Now in its second year, the Creative Strategist Artist-In-Residence Cycle two embeds an artist as a creative strategist and art maker into a County department for a year-long residency. The participating departments include: Mental Health, Parks and Recreation, and Public Health. The selected artist will work alongside staff, project partners, community stakeholders, and artists in a collaborative process to develop, strategize, promote, and implement artist-driven solutions.

The Creative Strategists will work with the Arts Commission and partner departments to develop an evaluation plan. The Creative Strategist will document the process, approach, and lessons learned to help transform County practices and responsiveness. The Creative Strategist may work with at-risk populations, such as Foster Youth, Probation, Homeless, LGBTQ, and others


Provide community building activities and messaging around mental health issues that encourage dialogue and action with the Department of Mental Health.

Develop and integrate arts and cultural programming as a core program in parks with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Act as thought partner in the creation of the Office of Violence Prevention with the Department of Public Health.


In June 2017 the LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to fund the placement of artists, arts administrators, or other creative workers who are representative of diverse constituencies in paid positions as creative strategists in County departments "to develop innovative solutions to social challenges." The LA County Arts Commission manages the implementation of the artist residency. This project is part of the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, a county initiative designed to ensure that everyone has access to arts and culture, and to improve inclusion in the wider arts ecology for all residents in every community.


This residency is open to professional artists who live or work in LA County. The Creative Strategist must be available to participate onsite for a part-time flexible schedule in the designated LA County Department for the duration of the AIR program. Project Locations:

  • Department of Mental Health: Korea Town
  • Department of Parks and Recreation: Alhambra
  • Department of Public Health: Alhambra

Creative Strategists must also travel to locations throughout LA County for field work and engagement—The County of Los Angeles is over 4,000 square miles and serves a population of nearly 10 million residents speaking over 200 languages. Access to transportation is required.

NOTE: For the Department of Mental Health, the artist must be available for part-time hours throughout the month of May for the "We Rise" campaign and throughout the month of September for suicide prevention and recovery month.

NOTE: For the Department of Public Health the artist must be available during Public Health Week April 1-7, 2019 with mandatory participation on April 4 for the official launch event of the Office of Violence Prevention.


The Creative Strategist will be given an all-inclusive budget of $50,000 per year broken down as follows:

  • $40,000 will be allocated to artist fees, travel, mileage, and parking
  • $10,000 will be allocated for all costs associated with the development and execution of community-specific engagement, activities, and art making


An artist as Creative Strategist is someone who can bring artistic methods to help County departments achieve clearly articulated goals. This project requires a deep commitment. Artists must be driven by collaborative work and a commitment to community engagement. And they must have a portfolio which demonstrates their ability to align creative practice with social and public need. To assure that the goals of the project are met, artists will be required to participate in a competitive selection process.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of stakeholders and evaluated on the following:

Art Practice
  • Artistic merit and professional qualifications demonstrated in a dynamic portfolio of past work
  • A broad range of creative skills applicable to the development and execution of the residency program, including but not limited to: social practice, happenings, permanent and temporary artworks, convenings, pop-ups, etc.
  • Experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders
  • Ability to communicate effectively and synthesize complex concepts related to program development
  • Basic knowledge of the diverse services provided by the designated LA County Department (Department of Mental Health, Department of Parks and Recreation, and/or Department of Public Health), eagerness to learn more, and a sincere desire to work on the goals and directives of Department

Selection Process

Up to five artists will be selected for interviews based on evaluation listed above. The selected artists will be required to develop a short presentation for a committee of County staff, project partners, community stakeholders, and local residents. The committee will evaluate the artist’s applications and presentations to select the artist-in-residence.

How to Apply

Applications must be uploaded to Call for Entries (CaFE) no later than February 28, 2019 | 11:59PM Mountain Time (or 10:59PM PST).

NOTE: Any application materials received after the specified date and time will be rejected and considered non-responsive.

Artists may apply for up to two opportunities. See applications materials on each opportunity page for more information.


  • Do not send original artwork.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • If artists are applying as a team, the team must be declared at the time of application in the letter of interest. Teams must include resumes for all team members with application. Please submit a minimum of five images per team of completed or proposed projects, not per artist.
  • The Arts Commission reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses received, or commission an artist through another process.
  • All artists who submit their materials for review will receive written notification of the results of the selection process, including identification of the selected artist(s).
  • This request for qualifications does not constitute an offer to contract or a promise for remuneration, recognition, or any other thing. Submission of any materials in response to this request for qualifications will not constitute an express or implied contract. The information contained and/or any program or event described herein may be changed, amended, modified, canceled, revoked, or abandoned without notice at any time and for any reason at the sole discretion of the Arts Commission or the County of Los Angeles.
  • Artists will not be eligible for more than two County projects at any given time.
  • Priority will be given to artists who have had no prior commission of the same or greater budget with the LA County Civic Art Program.
  • If an artist is selected for the Artist-In-Residence, that artist will be required to enter into a contract with the County of Los Angeles. Because the Artist-In-Residence will partially take place on County property, artwork will be located on public property, and because the County of Los Angeles is a public entity subject to laws, rules, and regulations which are not necessarily applicable to private persons or companies, the Arts Commission has prepared a form agreement for use in connection with artwork commissioned for the Civic Art Program. If an artist is selected, that artist acknowledges that they are willing and able to enter into a contract in the form made available on the Arts Commission website. The Arts Commission reserves the right to revise or change its form agreement at any time, for any reason, and to require artists to use the revised form for contracting purposes
  • The artist is required to carry General Liability Insurance for 1 million and indemnify the County and Automobile Insurance meeting California minimum standards throughout the duration of the Artist-In-Residence.
  • The artist will submit to a background check prior to start of the Artist-In-Residence, and participate in an County on-boarding process (including but not limited to County policy on equity, sexual harassment prevention, and other training as necessary).

Have Questions?

Contact Pauline Kanako Kamiyama, Deputy Director of Civic Art and Acting Cross-Sector Manager/Creative Strategist Initiative at 213-202-5920 or

For additional information about the Civic Art Program, please visit the Civic Art Program online at