2020 Grants Challenge

Community Practice

The funds from LA2050 will support Community Practice, a donation based social emotional learning and mental health program. It includes weekly community engagements, webinars and online training, and publishes social-emotional learning resources. This art-based program serves to combat loneliness and create emotional literacy in a city that can feel isolated and disconnected, exacerbating the problems of bias, and mental health issues. Some topics we address are grief,emotional management, and conflict management.


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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Our work destigmatizes mental health, and creates an accessible, affordable entrypoint for people to explore the benefits of becoming more aware of their thoughts and emotions to their daily life. We host group therapy & discussion, in person and online to ease the financial burden and leverage the strength of community in combating issues that make us feel isolated in our experience but can be more common than we expect, connecting over shared goals and experiences.

Emotional Intelligence is a critical part of community mental health. But the ability to recognize our emotions and the emotions of others is not inherent, it must be modeled and learned. Whatsmore, is that this is a fundamental human necessity regardless of race, age, gender, or socio-economic status.

Los Angeles’ sprawl can add to feelings of isolation, and this sense of disconnectedness contributes to depression. Our Community Practice reminds us that we are all in this together and gives us tools to get through.

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

Since 2010 Citizens Of Culture has done the work of bringing people together for intimate gatherings about the most important issues of our time. We have served as a contemporary platform for discourse on the matters of politics, relationships, art, entrepreneurship, and mental health. We have gathered a body of nearly 20,000 subscribers, and over 10,000 past event participants.

Since 2016 we have engaged heavily in the practice of using arts and culture as a vehicle for socio-emotional learning and healing. We’ve hosted workshops on dealing with grief, racial trauma, sexual assault, and weekly group therapy gatherings with groups as diverse as incarcerated prison populations, to high scool teenagers.

Now, with our audience and network of teaching artists, and mental health professionals we are positioned to establish our work as a contributing force in the space of community health and healing arts.

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

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 5,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Whether the way we interact in traffic, at work, or in a global pandemic, we need soft skills to be able to maintain awareness of our thoughts and emotions and communicate with each other. We provide education & services that should have been taught in schools. It helps us give language to what we are going through, and understand the experiences of others.

The impact of our work will de-stigmatize mental health services, make an accessible, affordable entry point to acquire mental health services, with particular interest to marginalized communities. Offer immediate relief to daily issues of loneliness, isolation, and long term benefit socio-emotional education and create a culture of open communication.

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

The success of the project will be measured by both qualitative and quantitative metrics. The first of which will be a count of individuals we are able to attract to the program, along with information we will be recording some demographic like culture, race, and socio-economic standing. Along with this we will also record psychographic information such as whether there was a preexisting interest in this kind of learning, and socio-political orientation.

With entry and exit surveys we will be able to check in with the learning that individuals take from our programs and how that correlates with the learning outcomes that we aspire to create with the design of our activities. Also, we must record the kind and degree of relief that our work produces in participants.

Another key metric is the number and degree to which professional partners collaborate and support our work. It is important that our work is recognized to some degree by the academic and professional arenas to help shift the status quo, and share resources. Important questions to answer would be, at which stage do we begin gaining traction, what kind of industry specific marketing will be required to achieve this? What kind of established and emerging professionals take interest in our work? What research trajectories does it highlight.

Another KPI is the interest the media takes in our work and story, and how that helps or hinders our marketing efforts, and ability to attract new participants.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your submission impact?​

Social and emotional support

Public arts and cultural events

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

LA is the best place to LEARN

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

Strategy assistance and implementation

We'd love all the help we have access to.