RISMEDIA, October 4, 2010—Angelenos will have an unprecedented opportunity to reinvent and actively rebuild an 8,000 square foot miniaturized version of Los Angeles with their own hands as part of a ground-breaking community building experience called home sweet home that has been an international hit and which will launch at the Skirball Cultural Center September 24-October 3. With key landmarks including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Watts Towers in place, over the course of 10 days, thousands of Angelenos ranging from school children to those who have called this city home for decades will have the opportunity to recreate the city. They will be able to buy and develop property, take part in civic decision making, get to know their neighbors and ultimately erect more than 600 buildings. Sponsored by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, home sweet home will invite the public to explore the rewards and complexities of navigating the real estate landscape and urban planning in Los Angeles from an entirely new vantage point.
To bring the experience powerfully to life, local actors will play Coldwell Banker real estate agents as well as shopkeepers, and will pose as community members to foster dialogue. The experience will begin for visitors to the Skirball when they “invest” as little as $15 to acquire property and a building kit. As in life, a contract must be signed and a key is handed over which allows unlimited return visits during the 10-day installation. The community members will have the freedom to transform their properties into homes, businesses, public facilities and city structures. On September 30 at 7:30 pm, there will be a Town Hall meeting open to all key holders who have purchased property. The progression of the creation of the miniaturized Los Angeles will be filmed at every step of the process and the completed film will be shown at the installation’s closing night home sweet home Block Party on Sunday, October 3 at 5 pm.
“In a vast and diverse city like Los Angeles, it is not always easy to feel part of a community,” acknowledges Betty Graham, president and COO of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Greater Los Angeles. “We are proud to sponsor a project that celebrates getting to know your neighbors and working together for the greater good of our city. For the thousands of real estate agents who live and work in Los Angeles, making connections across city planning zones and cultural lines is as much a part of their job as placing their clients in the right home.”
Home sweet home will actively work with public schools throughout Los Angeles and expects nearly 100 students from middle and high schools in Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley to actively participate in the building of the city as part of social studies classes, making the event a dynamic, hands-on learning experience for the next generation of Angelenos.
Jordan Peimer, director of public programs at the Skirball Cultural Center, explains: “The project mimics the experience of purchasing a home, and helps people of all ages understand the complexities of becoming part of a community. For example, you can’t simply build a chocolate factory in your backyard—even if you wish—because it might go against zoning policies. Much like Coldwell Banker agents, the home sweet home agents will try to pair the client to the ideal property, in terms of location and style. The agents are almost like therapists, helping the participants think through their own values. For example, is it more important to be in the center of town or have a larger piece of property? It shows people that wherever they live—whether it’s a room at their parents’ house, an apartment or a rented home—a property is their home sweet home. But they will also need to negotiate common ground with their neighbors—even if it’s their parents or the renters downstairs.”
First created in 2006, home sweet home has traveled throughout Europe, the British Isles and Canada, making appearances at art centers such as London’s Barbican Centre and Battersea Arts Centre; at festivals, including the Edinburgh Forest Fringe and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Canada; and at schools throughout the United Kingdom.
For more information, visit www.coldwellbanker.com.