2020 Grants Challenge

CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts Takes the Show on the Road

CHAMPS will purchase a portable stage solution that will allow us to set up an outdoor theatre and allow us to expand our performances to a wide range of venues in our neighborhood of Van Nuys and the surrounding city. Currently, CHAMPS does not have its own stage and pays costly outside venues for our numerous and varied student performances. A portable stage is an innovative solution that will benefit both our students, by enhancing their performance opportunities, and the community, by providing access to free, high-quality performances.


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

San Fernando Valley

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Research has shown that the arts are critically important to educational outcomes, including graduation rates, college matriculation rates, and suspension/expulsion rates. The performing arts, in particular, provide crucial points of connection between students and their families and community.

CHAMPS provides an arts-infused education to a diverse student body. We are located in a Low to Moderate Income area where 43% of residents have less than a high school education. Currently, 54% of our students are socio-economically disadvantaged.

CHAMPS does not have adequate space to accommodate an audience for its many dance, theatre, music, film, and poetry performances. As a public charter school, we lease space in an office building. This forces us to rent costly outside venues for our performances and to charge for admission. This, in turn, limits access for families of lower-income students and community members

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

CHAMPS was founded specifically to provide students with an immersive, high-quality arts education that is not widely available in our public schools. In contrast, only 40 % of students in LA County were enrolled in at least one arts course. CHAMPS’ model is designed to fill this void, both by providing opportunities for in-depth studies of a performing or visual art and by integrating the arts into core academic subjects.

The opportunities that we provide our young artists are unparalleled as we’ve acquired both local and national recognition while pursuing our mission. Notably, our program translates directly into strong graduation numbers and college admissions. CHAMPS’ four-year graduation rate was 93 percent in 2019, in contrast to In LA County’s 81.8 percent graduation rate. That same year, 52 percent of our students were admitted to four-year programs and 46 percent were admitted to 2-year colleges/universities.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 750

Indirect Impact: 208,511

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The proposal will directly impact the entire student body, faculty, and staff of CHAMPS, who will benefit from the cost savings the portable stage will provide and the enhanced opportunities to participate in performances. That total number is 750. In addition, families of CHAMPS students will benefit directly from increased access to their children’s performances.

Our portable stage proposal will also indirectly benefit the 102,000 residents of Van Nuys, the 70,176 residents of Sherman Oaks and the 36,335 residents of Panorama City and adjoining neighborhoods, who will enjoy new opportunities to attend the low- or no-cost theater, dance, and musical performances in their own neighborhood.

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

We define success for our portable stage project on two fronts: benefit to the school and benefit to the community. The school will benefit through enhanced performance opportunities, increased school spirit, and reduced cost for performance venues. The community will benefit from increased access to our school performances and outreach programs.

Specific metrics for success include:

* Revenue savings. CHAMPS currently spends $25,000 annually for venue rentals. We expect to be able to decrease that amount by at least half with a portable stage solution.

* Increased attendance at performances by students’ families, particularly lower-income families. Not having to pay rental fees means not having to charge as much (or at all) for attendance, and having more performances at the school eliminates transportation challenges for our families.

* Increased attendance at performances by members of the community. A portable stage solution allows us to hold more performances in Van Nuys (instead of more distant venues) and increases the desirability of the events for community members.

* Increased visibility for the school and community interest in the arts. More, and higher-quality, performances for our community will help local families learn about our school. They will inspire children and parents to consider participation in the arts, through enrollment at CHAMPS or otherwise.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts education

College matriculation

High school graduation rates

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support