Sunday, April 13, 2014

Artist Videos Focus on Public Health Crisis



The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) in partnership with Freewaves, a Los Angeles-based media organization, presents a free screening of artists’ videos, LONG LIVE LA and a panel discussion about art and health/care issues, Wednesday, April 30th, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, at the new Laurie Hendricks Gallery, 1504 Mission Street, South Pasadena as part of its SPARC LAB Series.
In January 2014, Freewaves commissioned a distinguished group of artists to create videos addressing the public health crisis facing Los Angeles County for a new program entitled LONG LIVE LA. The participating artists are: Mel Chin, Yoshua Okón, Poli Marichal, Ann Kaneko, John Jota Leaños, and The Here and Now (Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr). 
Using a variety of styles, narratives, images, and music, the artists have created a total of 35 original videos addressing the issues of heart disease, obesity, mental health, lead poisoning, and overall wellbeing. From Feb. 17 through March 31, the videos were broadcast hourly on more than 2,000 LA Metro buses throughout Los Angeles County, reaching an estimated one million Metro riders daily.
“ I have always believed that art and artists are one of several solutions to community issues, and must be at the table during these community conversations”, says Howard Spector, Director of SPARC.
“Our country’s public health crisis has received a lot of attention in the traditional media, yet the problem continues to get worse,” says Anne Bray, executive director of Freewaves. “We thought that artists could bring a fresh perspective to these issues and reach people in a way that conventional PSAs and news stories do not.”
The evening will feature a panel discussion about how artists can contribute to the public dialogue about health and inspire people to embrace healthier lifestyles. 
The persuasive and compelling videos included in LONG LIVE LA suggest that artists have much to contribute. Following their run on Transit TV, the videos are now on view in waiting rooms and websites of community health clinics and health organizations throughout Los Angeles. They are available online at: and can be embedded via Vimeo at:

Ann Kaneko from the Series "Quigon"

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