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In honor of Lewis MacAdams (1944–2020), founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River, the LA River Public Art Project is launching The Lewis MacAdams Prize.

The Lewis MacAdams Prize is initiated in the daunting time of the COVID- 19 pandemic, which has all too pointedly brought home the need for equitable community experiences of public art and culture. This year, our prompt is to imagine the LA River—Los Angeles’ most connected open space—as a public art destination.

Through an open call, we invite artists, designers, and makers at all career stages to submit their ‘blue sky’ projects. The Lewis MacAdams Prize is a $500 award. A special prize of $150 will be awarded to emerging artists 18-years-old and younger. Three honorable mentions will be recognized. All proposals will be publicly presented. This is an ideas competition.

Deadline is July 20, 2020. Projects will not be produced by the LA River Public Art Project. As such, money is no object; no permits required. Select a site anywhere along the 51-mile length of the river.


Trained as an architect, Iris Regn is currently the Civic Art Project Manager for the LA County Arts Commission.

Sandy Rodriguez’s artworks explore intersections of history, social memory, contemporary politics, and cultural products. She is the recipient of the 2020 Caltech Huntington Art and Research Fellowship.

Hamza Walker is the Executive Director of LAXART, a nonprofit art space in LA, and an adjunct professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago.

Diane Matyas is a New York visual artist with a career in museum leadership, exhibition development, art education, and public programming.

Founded in 2014, the LARPAP advocates for the LA River as a diverse and shared public art destination.