In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 67 submissions to the CONNECT goal category. This goal category depicts a future where every resident in our region is empowered to engage and interact with their fellow Angelenos, move around our city efficiently, and contribute meaningfully to the civic process. You can see a summary of every single CONNECT proposal categorized by issue area here.
Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the CONNECT goal category:
- While COVID-19 means we're safer home, Angelenos are working to stay connected by any means possible, giving this category new meaning. We saw a trend in proposals aspiring to revive our connections to the city and each other post-pandemic. Proposals like Inspiring Service, InsightLA, Union Rescue Mission, CHIRLA, and more give us so much hope for the future of our region! On issues like homelessness and immigrant rights, these organizations want to inspire and encourage people to get active and be part of the solutions to some of LA's most intractable problems.
- Along those lines, 67% of submissions to the CONNECT category were targeting the 'social and emotional support' metric. From mental health services and trauma response to an educational video game for children with autism, there are many creative ways in which organizations are looking to ensure that Angelenos have sufficient support. It's clear to us that people are yearning for deeper social and emotional connection during this period of physical distancing. Among the organizations focused on impacting social and emotional support in Los Angeles are Citizens of Culture, Social Cipher, the Indigenous Circle of Wellness, and more.
- We also noticed a desire to utilize and activate volunteers across all issue areas. Volunteering is one of the most important ways we can engage with our local communities, so it's no surprise that organizations like LA Works, 826LA, and PLUS ME Project are hoping to increase 'rates of volunteerism' in the region.
- More than one-third of the CONNECT proposals focused on the transformative power of public art to inspire civic engagement and bring people together. Public music performances from the Neighborhood Music School, a puppet festival from the Skirball Cultural Center, and a pop-up “dancemobile” from Heidi Duckler Dance are just a few of the creative arts-based events that groups are looking forward to once we can all gather again.