2016 Grants Challenge

The PLACE: building an infrastructure of support for emerging artists and their mentors.

DSTL Arts & The Partnership for Los Angeles' Creative Education will nurture & support teaching artists & the emerging artists they mentor through training & creative space for cultural production.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Founding Partners of The Partnership for Los Angeles' Creative Education (The PLACE):, DSTL Arts, Emerging Arts Leaders/LA, , Affiliate Organizations/Programming Hosts:, Los Angeles Public Library–Junipero Serra (South LA) & Cypress Park branches, Los Angeles County Library–East LA Library, Trade School Los Angeles (nonprofit), Because China Arts (nonprofit), Poems and Petals (artist collective), ClusterFu (artist collective)

Please describe your project proposal.

DSTL Arts & The PLACE, will establish & manage a centralized creative workspace that will act as a hub for training & resource development for volunteer mentors & teaching artists working within our respective mentorship programs for both at-risk youth (ages 16–24), & adult emerging artists & arts administrators, while also providing a fixed venue for our cultural events & arts programs in partnership with our affiliate organizations.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your proposal impact?​

Social & emotional support

Cultural events

Rates of volunteerism

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CONNECT?

We'll rent a commercial space & build infrastructure for The Partnership for Los Angeles’ Creative Education (PLACE), a collaboration between the nonprofits, DSTL Arts, Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles & our organizational affiliates.

With our organizations sharing the space, we're committed to collaborating across all our programs to create a pipeline of arts mentorship & educational opportunities for creative, at-risk youth, emerging artists, & seasoned arts professionals, with various entry points for anyone from the ages of 16 to 116. Via our mentorship programs, we intend to continue providing deep social & emotional support to our communities of emerging artists, especially those who are from communities which are continually underserved & underrepresented in the arts.

The centralized location will house DSTL Arts' programs, including our Arts Mentorship Program for at-risk youth ages 16–21, a new fiscal sponsorship program for individual artists, Art Block (a zine-making workshop series for youth ages 16–21) & Conchas y Café, an arts-literacy & creative writing workshop series for Spanish-speaking adults & caretakers of youth in DSTL Arts' programs.

The space will also host regular, free-to-low-cost educational & professional development workshops for adults ages 18 & over, conducted by Trade School LA volunteers & Emerging Arts Leaders/LA, ranging in subject matter from art appreciation & DIY crafts, to freelance creative business & arts administration. Trade School LA, through barter-based programs, offers pedagogical training to anyone interested in sharing skills through workshops, regardless of age, providing a low-stress environment for knowledge-sharing. Additionally, Emerging Arts Leaders/LA will coordinate its Protégé arts-professional mentorship program out of the space.

We'll rent a 1000–1500 square foot space within 6–8 months of funding, & purchase furniture & equipment to convert the space into a gallery & creative workspace for our co-working membership program, including internet, copy, print & phone service. The space will continually host arts-related events, including art shows, poetry readings, & book release parties that we will coordinate in partnership with all organizations forming The PLACE.

We'll also purchase volunteer management software for The PLACE. DSTL Arts will utilize up to 10 volunteer arts mentors & interns yearly in support of our Arts Mentorship Program, & Art Block & Conchas y Café creative writing programs. Trade School LA will use up to 75 volunteer instructors & interns yearly in support of their educational workshops. Emerging Arts Leaders/LA will use up to 40 volunteers & interns yearly in support of their Leadership Council, “Protégé” emerging arts-professional mentorship program, & professional development workshops. Our shared infrastructure will match skills & interests of all volunteers with the appropriate programs.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Aside from establishing a permanent, sustainable workspace & infrastructure being shared by members of The PLACE, we'll evaluate The Partnership for Los Angeles' Creative Education annually based on the following goals:


-recruit & train 5 volunteer arts mentors for cohort of 20 total Arts Mentorship Program students, ages 16–21

-provide 1,500 hours of mentorship to at-risk youth, ages 16–21

-60% of Arts Mentorship Program students will enroll in, or continue, post-HS degree/certificate programs, 30% will continue HS, graduate, or enter HS-equivalency programs

-fiscally sponsor 5 emerging women and/or minority artists

-75% of all program participants will indicate positive experience, artistic growth, & improved self-esteem via our self-assessment tool

Emerging Arts Leaders/LA

-pair 16 emerging arts-professionals (age 22 & over) with 16 seasoned arts admin through Protégé mentorship program

-offer 12 professional development workshops & mixers

-provide 20 professional development scholarships to emerging arts-professionals serving on Leadership Council

Trade School LA

-recruit & train 75 volunteer instructors

-offer 120 barter-based educational classes, serving 1,000 participants


-host 16 internships in support of all programs

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Advisors/board members



Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support