CERT Training

CERT Training LAFD

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at Big Art Labs through LAFD. Preparing the community to help others in the time of a major disaster.

LALA hosted an intensive training weekend whereby 55 members of the burner community were CERT trained by Capt Stacey Gerlich at Big Art Labs. Why not? We know we will be the ones everyone turns to in a natural disaster. Why not be fully equip for the task while also being able to help the local fire department in the process. It was two massive days of First Aid/Basic Triage, Search and Rescue, Building and Safety, and general personal needs training.

We look forward to continuing to hone our skills under the guidance of LAFD.


Drum Night

Earth Day at LASHP

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS: In April, we began our summer partnership with California State Parks at the LA State Historical Park (aka Not a Cornfield). This is the same location where we do LA Decom.  State Parks asked if we could help them with their Fam Camp program by providing activities for the kids to do. Our immediate reaction was a drum circle with dancing and hooping.  They loved it. So for their two Fam Camp nights, members of the DEA (drum enforcement agency) brought several drums and a local teacher, Sara Jane, taught the kids how to participate in a drum circle. And those who did not want to drum did some fun dancing. This was a wonderful opportunity to share an activity we are passionate about with the kids ofEast LA.


Community Burn

SERAPHIM: THE SPIRIT OF UNIFICATION is a gift from the Los Angeles League of Arts and the entire Los Angeles Burning Man community to all of Los Angeles. We gift SERAPHIM as a source of healing. We are radically inclusive, thus everyone (including YOU) is invited to come to the park and decorate a piece of wood to be placed on the Vortex and burned on October 14th. You can come as groups or individually. What you write on the wood will come from your heart. They  are your hopes and dreams, fears and sorrows, memorials, inspirations, aspirations, prayers . . . anything burning inside you you need to release into the flames. ALL decorated wood will be burned.

To make a financial donation to SERAPHIM and help make this project possible please follow your heart.   

The Los Angeles League of Arts BURN Project team has chosen to construct an art piece as follows:

Incorporating the multi-ethnic influences of the Los Angeles area, this year’s design, SERAPHIM, will be four Angels supporting and protecting a vortex of flame. Each Angel will be representative of an ethnicity reflecting the multicultural influences of the City of Los Angeles. One angel will be decorated with an Asian motif, one with a Hispanic motif, one with an African motif, and one with a European Motif. The design of the Angels will be multi-dimensional with the body and wings having topographic layers. Each of the angels is 12′ tall and the distance between them is 17′. The central vortex will be 20’ tall and 20’ wide at the top.
The Asian Angel will be facing East, the African South, the Hispanic West, and the European facing north. Each modular Angel will be assigned to an Art Team for decoration utilizing clean burning non-toxic media for the décor. Another team will decorate the structural components of the project. If you would like to participate by decorating a component of SERAPHIM please contact our project manager David Wedeen dwedeen@laleagueofarts.org
The central Vortex, representative of a “Fire Sprite” commonly spawned by the large burns that occur at Burning Man is the child of the Angels and is a direct reflection of the Fertility of the Los Angeles Burning Man community. The central vortex will primarily be constructed of recycled shipping pallet slats which have been pre-dyed red, orange, and yellow using natural vegetable dyes. SERAPHIM will be erected the week before the Burn in the LA State Historical Park. Everyone in Los Angeles will be invited to come during the week and write on a piece of pallet wood their hopes and dreams, fears and sorrows, memories, inspiration, aspirations . . . anything burning inside them they need to release into the flames. As the recycled pallet slats are completed the Seraphim team members will nail the slat onto the central vortex in a haphazard fashion until the entire vortex is covered in slats.
“Playatech” style benches graced with palm tree and other iconic Los Angeles sights will be placed in and around the installation so as to provide a place for reflection and rest. Other art teams will be assigned to the individual benches.
It is our intent to utilize as much in the way of recycled wood and wood products as possible. To make a donation of wood and materials please contact David “Widget” Wedeen at  dwedeen@laleagueofarts.org.
Lighting will be low power Electro-luminescent tape and wire with color changing LED accent lighting. Additional lighting will be provided by simple solar powered LED lights to enhance safety around the structure. Lighting will be controlled at the same location as the Flame Effects. Layers of the topographic features of the individual Angels will be illuminated with EL Tape and Wire. Color changing LED wash and spots will illuminate the central Vortex, foot-light the Angeles, and provide ambient light for the safety of participants. All lighting will have low power consumption and the anticipated draw will be less than 15 amps.
The structure itself will be designed to withstand all possible weather conditions including 90mph wind gusts by our structural engineer. Ground anchors and cables may be utilized to further secure the structure.
Burn Plan Features:
On the evening of the Seraphim Burn, all four angels will raise their counterweighted wings as the piece burns.
With our primary emphasis on safety, the Los Angeles League of Arts will provide ample perimeter personnel and will additionally have at least two members of our team in full fire department “turn out” gear during the burn. An outer perimeter team will chase down and extinguish any embers which may blow in the park.
An Ember Watch team will remain on site until all the ashes have cooled and the site is ready for the Leave No Trace process to begin.
Leave No Trace:
After the project has been reduced to ashes, our LNT team will remove all metal, remaining charred wood and prepare the site for the removal of the clean DG (Decomposed Granite). We will utilize rakes, shovels and magnetic rakes to recover all metal, including screws, nails, bolt, nuts, cables and any other foreign materials that are not consumed by the fire

Santee H.S. Garden

santee big perspective

The Carver Garden, run by Carver Middle School students, helps feed Carver students at every cafeteria meal. Your participation made the Carver Garden possible.

We have an exciting new project, a large hydroponic garden at Santee Education Complex. Santee serves a population of about 2,100 high school students; about 73% qualify for free or reduced fee lunches.

What will the Santee students grow?

At first, the garden will grow tilapia and/or catfish, leafy greens and herbs. As the garden matures, tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting plants can take some of the space. Tree People have generously agreed to furnish 6 fruit trees, which we plan to grow in re-purposed, used wine barrels. We will be putting in benches as well. All of this will convert bare concrete into a student-friendly food production and rest area.

Is it eco-friendly?

It’s very eco-friendly. The aquaculture garden will be a closed mini-ecosystem, using about 90% less water than growing conventionally.

How can I participate?

There are three ways YOU can Participate.

  • Financial – every dollar donated to the garden projects goes directly to the project. No salaries are paid with your donation dollars.

  • Materials – a list of materials needed for the garden can be found on this web page. If you have any of these items or wish to acquire them for us, we love and appreciate donations of materials
  • Time – we need volunteers to help build the garden and work on it from time to time as the seasons and crops change. You can volunteer individually or gather your friends, family, coworkers, and community members for a fun day in the dirt.

Tell other community members who may want to participate by donating or helping us build this efficient, modern system to help feed Santee students.

How much will this garden cost to build?

About $30,000 total in donations and in-kind trade of materials.


What parts will we have to buy? Check our list below. We happily accept donations of individual parts.

Click here for a list of helpful parts that can be donated.

Who is supporting us already?

Burners Without Borders has awarded us $500 to use for materials. Tree People will contribute 6 fruit trees. Armstrong Garden Centers will be furnishing most of the plants.

Los Angeles League of Arts (LALA) is providing free administrative and accounting services through Athena Demos with others to be named, free grant writing by Susan Bergemann, free garden design and implementation through Tom Cemo at Ecofficiency, free project oversight by Christopher Hennes, and free fun and building from YOU and your friends at our building parties.

If you would like to coordinate a fund raiser, please contact athena@laleagueofarts.org. Thanks to everyone who supports the projects by attending these fun events.

We are applying for a Metropolitan Water Authority grant of $2,000. We are making many other grant applications taking tax-deductible individual and company donations, and seeking donations of building materials through our link above.

We still need the support of individuals. Small contributions add up. Donations are tax-deductible, and you can donate here.


Stay tuned for announcements about progress on fund-raising and building party announcements.




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