A series of parks that revitalize and empower communities through creative placemaking

ARTScorpsLA (ACLA), a community-based program in Los Angeles, fosters creativity and community by turning abandoned lots into art parks and gathering places. Established in 1992 as a nonprofit associated with the University of Southern California, ACLA was a response to civil unrest in the area. Its mission is to revitalize local communities and empower residents by facilitating innovative uses of land, developing creativity, and fostering community involvement and pride.

ARTScorpsLA transformed urban dumpsites into unique community artparks — which were then open to all locals, including gang members.

1999 Selection Committee

ACLA’s artistic, sculptural, and landscape projects typically involve young adults and require connection, collaboration, and cooperation. A series of art parks designed and built by residents reclaim neglected areas through creative placemaking that celebrates their diverse community. And as part of a city-wide anti-graffiti initiative, ACLA created nearly 28 murals that help beautify and unite the neighborhood. Workshop space and programs create a training ground and educational opportunities for local youth, helping to create long-term impact on the community.