Knowing Your Place and Making Do: Radical Art Activism in Black and Latino Los Angeles, 1960 to the Present


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


History of Art and Architecture


This dissertation investigates a constellation of arts organizations founded and managed by people of color in Los Angeles from 1960 to the present. Equal parts activist headquarters and alternative art spaces, they protested the city’s major cultural institutions and carved out physical and creative spaces for Black and Latino artists and publics. These organizations and affiliated artists formed the networks of apprenticeship, instruction, and affiliation for much of the Black and Latino artistic production in Los Angeles since the 1960s. This project centers on the artworks, exhibitions, ephemera, and alternative spaces forged within the context of Black and Latino Angelenos’ arts advocacy, activism, and community art practices. Analyzed as a series of case studies, these art formations provide insights into the popular uses and re-readings of the spaces, frameworks, and alliances through which art has traditionally been activated, curated, exhibited, and received.