Summer Art Program: Birdhouse Making (July 2011)

This July, WHP’s Executive Director, Edgar Arceneaux, taught a birdhouse making class with the children in Watts. Everyone was thrilled about the idea of building a small, single unit home for a family of birds! With this project, Edgar threaded together creative storytelling, architecture, drawing, painting, collage and fused it all with lots of fun! The final products were a wonderful expression unfettered creativity - pardon the pun. It was such a successful program that we hope to do again next summer.

We want to again send our special thanks to our dedicated volunteers: Christine Fuchs, Jason Leith, Sarah Loyer, Marvella Muro, and Nina Savill.

Birdhouse making week 1 to week 4 of July 2011!

Summer Art Classes: Mosaic making (July 2011)

In July, we wrapped up a 4 week mosaic making class with Artist-in-Residence, Raul Curiel. Raul has been designing mosaics for more than 15 years! In that time, he developed a completely new way to create mosaic works, and the children benefited from this new application. First, they explored the Watts Towers to see, first-hand, the magic of mosaic art, including images of works by Gaudi and from ancient Rome. In the images below, you’ll notice the intense concentration and furrowed brows of the students as they applied their tiles. Rafael, 6, commented, “it’s like putting a puzzle together!” In week 4, all of their hard work came into focus: their simple flower pots transformed into singular works of art.  Half the fun was seeing their faces - ah, the magic of mosaic art!

We want to send out a special thanks our volunteers for making these programs possible: Christine Fuchs, Jason Leith, Sarah Loyer, Marvella Muro, and Nina Savill.

We also want to extend our great appriciation to our sponsor for donating the tiles for this project:

Mosaic making from week 1 to week 4!

Summer art classes for kids

It’s summertime and, at WHP, that means summer classes for families. We organized two 4 week classes in July for the children in Watts: mosaic making and birdhouse making projects. Edgar Arceneaux is teaching the birdhouse class and below we are proud to show you week 1 of the project!

USC and WHP collaborate on a new project!

We are happy to report that WHP and USC have completed the first phase of the new fence at the Platform. We want to send a special thanks to USC Professor and Architect, Victor Jones, and Architect, Carlos Gutierrez for designing and partially funding the project. Come by for a visit and see the work!

WHP, USC, Watts residents, and volunteers came together to build phase 1 of the Platform fence

Coming soon: a new website!

This spring, Watts House Project is launching a new website, designed by Margo Graxeda and Sandra Rozza of LMSY. We are very excited about the new interactive feature of the website. Visitors will be able to navigate easily through WHP’s collaborative projects, find out about the artists and architects working with us, learn about the residents, and see how the Watts Towers inspired it all! We’ll keep you posted as things progress - it’s a countdown!


WHP family.

WHP hires Will Sheffie as Managing Director!

We are pleased to announce that Will Sheffie is the new Managing Director of Watts House Project. Will bring to WHP a wealth of civic experience having worked for local elected officials and a number of City of Los Angeles Departments. Will’s most recent assignment was with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Safe Neighborhoods Division. Will is familiar with the Watts community, having been involved on numerous projects and programs with community groups and not-for-profit agencies in the area. Hi ability to work with diverse groups and interests will be a positive for WHP. As the Managing Director, he will oversee WHP operations, systems and programs


Will Sheffie

Visit the Love Pop-up Shop!

Click here to visit the online Love Pop-up Shop!
Click here to visit the online Love Pop-up Shop!

Sept 14th Salon fundraiser hosted by board member, Steve Glenn

On Tuesday September 14, Board Member, Steve Glenn, generously opened his home to host one of a series of successful fundraising events we call Salons. As part of fundraising, donors competed in a silent auction for prizes that included architectural tours of some of LA’s most renowned homes by the architects who designed them. Other prizes included prints and a work by our very own Executive Director, Edgar Arceneaux. Thank you to our outstanding volunteers who devoted their evening to the fundraiser and special thanks to the organizers, new WHP board member, Channing Henry, board member and the evening’s host, Steve Glenn, and WHP Development Coordinator, Gisela Morales.

Salon on September 14th


In July (2010), WHP launched a new series of kid’s summer programs. Organized in collaboration with the local residents, artists, and educators, the month-long project called Gardening For Families was led by Educators, Katie Bachler and Sarah Dougherty with assistance from Gisela Morales. The kids learned about composting, gardening techniques, wrote in a journal about their adventures at a local Farmer’s Market, and learned about the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.

Gardening For Families on July 13: Making a Diary

Gardening For Families on July 17: Day at the Farmer's Market

Help LA Artists make grassroots changes in our neighborhoods: Pepsi REFRESH

From Watts, East Los Angeles and other LA neighborhoods come engaging, empowering, and exciting grassroots arts projects to improve the Los Angeles landscape. EATLACMA, PlaceIT, LA Commons and Watts House Project, led by local artists, tackle food, urban planning, and community redevelopment by engaging residents to work together to transform their neighborhoods.

Against the backdrop of potentially disastrous cuts to the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, four local grassroots projects have banded together to increase their chances of winning a national competition that will improve their communities. The Pepsi REFRESH Project will give away $20 million this year to a number of projects with the greatest popularity on its website. We are asking our friends, colleagues and neighbors to join us in a unified effort to help us reach the top of this list. With this funding, we can bring over a quarter million dollars to Los Angeles residents who are most in need of programs that dialogue with, engage, and empower them.

EATLACMA, led by Fallen Fruit (David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young), explores the relation between food, art, culture, and politics at LACMA. The exhibition includes planting gardens on the museum campus, workshops, performances, and hands-on public events.

PlaceIT, led by James Rojas, recycles materials such as toys, wooden blocks, and bottle caps into tools for people of all ages and backgrounds to build sustainable urban models, with hopes to reach more participants and transform the urban planning process.

LA Commons utilizes public art to bridge local artists, youth, and community members and celebrate diversity through a youth-led creation process, conducting neighborhood tours in partnership with UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning in a series called Trekking Los Angeles.

Watts House Project, led by LA artist/advocate Edgar Arceneaux, proposes to build 10 windmills in Watts backyards, freeing people from the power grid and bringing green job training and sculptural innovation to the neighborhood.

These projects collectively dare to share a common vision that empowers Angelenos to take control of their future and embrace the richness in their communities to increase the quality of their lives.

Pepsi’s REFRESH is set up in such a way that in order to win, people can vote EVERY DAY for the entire month, so please VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN!


Watts House Project is a 501c3 organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Our Federal Tax ID number is 27-0379225.