Los Angeles was among a handful of cities awarded $1 million arts grants from billionaire Michael Bloomberg's charitable organization.
The winners announced Tuesday by Bloomberg Philanthropies include Los Angeles; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Gary, Indiana; and a group of three cities in Upstate New York: Albany, Schenectady and Troy. The cities were selected to receive the money over the next two years "to support temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development."
Mayor Eric Garcetti responded with a video message saying the money would go toward bringing public art to the Los Angeles River.
More than 230 U.S. cities submitted applications for the organization's inaugural Public Art Challenge, according to the Associated Press.
The proposals ranged from plans to revitalize decaying downtowns to promoting city identity, AP reports.
L.A.'s proposal focused on using art to spur public water conservation efforts. Here's the city's entry on the Bloomberg Philanthropies website:
The City of Los Angeles will commission up to 15 multidisciplinary artworks and public programs that focus on the city’s environmental concerns and engage residents for its inaugural Public Art Biennial. These installations will include locations alongside the Los Angeles River as well as other sites throughout Los Angeles, increasing awareness of the city’s need for water conservation.
The trio of cities in Upstate New York plan to illuminate up to 300 vacant homes to draw interest in once-thriving neighborhoods that have high vacancy rates, according to AP.
Only cities with 30,000 residents or more were considered. The selection criteria included the potential for a positive impact on the host city, proof of a clear and specific partnership between local government and artists or art organizations, evidence of technical and financial feasibility, a strong marketing and audience engagement strategy and a commitment to evaluating outcomes, among other considerations.
This story has been updated.