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We Rise

Gallery Talk: Art Rise – How Art is Being Used to Offer Healing to LA

Classroom of Compassion, “Los Angeles, I hope u know how loved u are,” 2021, mixed media installation. Photo courtesy of Classroom of Compassion.
Free

May 1 - Jun 30

(All times are in PDT)
Free

WE RISE, an initiative organized by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) is hosting a month-long series of free community programs, events, and experiences that highlight healing powers of art and connection. Now in its fourth year, the program coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, and organizers are cognizant of the need for mental health support now more than ever. 

“Connectedness is vital to mental health and wellbeing, more so now than ever as we begin recovering from the multiple collective traumas experienced across our county this past year,” said Dr. Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., and Director of LACDMH. “Our WE RISE campaign…is designed as a heart-forward opportunity and movement built to empower our diverse communities to come together for strength and healing.” 

The organizers of WE RISE embraced art this year to do just that. Twenty-one art installations have popped in public parks and foyers across the city, designed to be publicly accessible outdoors in a socially distant fashion. Many of the sites are clustered within the downtown area, such as several installed in LA State Historic Park in Chinatown, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes near Union Station, or The Music Center and Grand Park. 

Other projects are in more surprising locales, such as Little Tokyo Car Wash’s large scale interactive community altar dedicated to the lives lost to COVID-19, a work created by Classroom of Compassion. A map of all the projects can be found here, and while you are driving between sites, you can listen to one of the projects, an ethereal musical soundtrack composed by Dorian Wood and Carmina Escobar.