2013 Grants Challenge

Dear Los Angeles

"Dear Los Angeles" is a social media promotional network designed to get citizens of L.A. engaged in their society. Creating videos and podcast content similar to the models forged by TedTalks and NPR, we plan on creating three brands that will engage citizens of Los Angeles in order to encourage political awareness, community involvement, and adult education opportunities: Dear Los Angeles - Our flagship brand focusing on great things about Los Angeles, and great people who love Los Angeles. Shining a spotlight on young volunteers, local innovators, local businesses, and local political initiatives, the goal of this project is designed to encourage and excite people about how they can make a difference in their local community. Weekly videos will update participants on what's going on in the city, and how they can be a part of movements that will improve their living conditions. The Producer's Lounge - Focusing on the multi-billion dollar film & TV industry that many flock to L.A. for, this weekly audio podcast will focus on practical nuts and bolts of the entertainment industry, and how people can advance their careers and their financial stability within this field. With financial stability, comes an increase in security, and an increase in long term community investment. DEKIT - Partnering with an already established magazine published out of New York, DEKIT (http://dekitdekit.com/), weekly videos will focus on young creators and emerging artistic influences in Los Angeles. Part of the Dear Los Angeles/Dekit videos focus will be on young artists, in order to reach out to students, particularly middle school students. All these pieces of content combined will tell the many varied stories of this very complex city.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?


Our organization has not published anything public yet. I conceived this idea about three months ago after talking with the CEO of Dekit Magazine. If I were to receive this grant, I could have the website and social media channels up and running in less than a month, and weekly episodes for all 3 brands out in less than two months.

I can tell you that as an individual, I have line produced two feature films, one of which was acquired and released by Lionsgate (you can view my resume on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1336027/). I have become a member of the Producer's Guild of America, and I partnered with others on two separate internet media companies, and while they fell short of expectations, I have learned from their mistakes.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, I have a large address book of contacts in industry, education, and politics. I will utilize these contacts to build content on growing movements, and events that are affecting the greater Los Angeles metro area, and will continue to affect it for decades to come.

In addition to my own personal relationships, I have formed a partnership with the aforementioned Dekit magazine (http://dekitdekit.com/) based out of New York, and we will be capitalizing on cross-promotional opportunities, as well as brand sharing, in order to gain as large an audience as possible.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

This is one of the key indicators that will set Dear Los Angeles apart from other online media outlets. Many organizations which broadcast information online measure their success by subscribers, sponsorship revenue, and Likes on their FaceBook page.

While this will be an important indicator for us, our real measure of success will be offline activity. How many people will volunteer for a neighborhood improvement project after seeing our content? How many people will investigate a new artist or artistic movement after viewing our coverage?

Our measure of success is more than just views; it's our follow-through rate, which can be measured through website analytics and click-throughs to other L.A. based organizations, and attendance at important L.A. events. These can be traced through metrics following click-throughs to tracking pages on our website, and seeing how many of these click through then proceed to our partners’ websites.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

I've lived in Los Angeles for 12 years, first moving here from Connecticut to attend film school at USC. Since then, I've seen many people move here and leave, and become angry and agitated about Los Angeles. They viewed it as a city with no art, no connectedness, and no real opportunities. However, the reason I love L.A. and have stayed here for so long is because of the art, the culture, and the limitless potential I find here. I've received and witnessed endless opportunities, and I want to convey that to the people around me.

By conveying that excitement, we will mobilize hundreds of people across the greater metro area to get involved in beautification projects and voter initiatives. We can motivate people to volunteer as a social activity, as well as an important lifelong goal. We hope to engage in early outreach, in order to get ahead of the trends and the important movements, instead of just following them.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

In 2050, the Dear Los Angeles brand and organization will branch out using advancing forms of technology to bring Los Angelinos together.

If we can combine local resources to alleviate local problems, then we can make a difference in this city for the better. By 2050, Dear Los Angeles will be responsible for increasing local volunteer work for neighborhood improvement three-fold. Currently 25% of Los Angeles residents rate their communities s fair or poor (California Community Foundation), but by 2050, Dear L.A. initiatives will help bring that number down to single digits, and make people excited to live in L.A. again. Dear Los Angeles will focus on informing Los Angelinos on important local political matters, and on their political options.

This invites and empowers new residents of Los Angeles to take part in their city, accelerating the acclamation process, and as a result encourages trust in their neighbors, and increases the knowledge and resources they need about their social and civic institutions.