In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 25 submissions to the PLAY goal category. This goal category depicts a Los Angeles where people of all ages have easy access to clean, safe, and sustainable venues to enjoy the natural environment, arts and cultural resources, local beaches, and waterways. You can see a summary of every single PLAY proposal categorized by issue area here.
Here are a few trends we noticed in submissions to the PLAY goal category:
- Proposals to the PLAY goal category tended to focus on building community and activating neighborhood spaces for play. Through pop-up events or volunteering, the goals of these proposals were to get people engaged with their communities, create safe, walkable neighborhoods, and increase the number of open space and park facilities. Organizations like the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Nature for All, and CicLAvia make us hopeful for a time when we can all gather together again!
- The most commonly targeted metric in the PLAY category was 'youth sports participation.' This year 13 organizations aimed to improve the physical fitness of young athletes of all abilities through sports like lacrosse, baseball, and skateboarding. In doing so, they also hope to teach participants essential life skills and support their educational progress. These organizations include Harlem Lacrosse, the Dodgers Foundation, the Urban Warehouse, and others.
- We also saw a trend in PLAY proposals encouraging Angelenos to get active not just for their physical health, but also for their mental wellness. Projects from the American Heart Association, Up2Us, Inc., and Cedars Sinai Medical Center specifically highlighted how spending time outdoors and engaging in sports and recreation activities can improve the social and emotional health of participants.
- This year, we received more than double the number of proposals in the PLAY category compared to both 2018 and 2019. Although PLAY is still the smallest category in this year's challenge with 25 projects, we were excited to see such an increase from the previous two years.