2020 Grants Challenge

Creative Futures

We are unearthing the next generation of creative industry leaders from underserved and disadvantaged communities. We take our Fellows through a 12 week program of weekly workshops, access to a mentor group of executives from Apple, Google, Netflix and a guaranteed paid internship with creative organizations including LA Lakers, Spotify, World Surf League and Uninterrupted among others.


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

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

We aren't a collaborative proposal but we are a fiscally sponsored project through the Edward Charles Foundation.

What is the need you’re responding to?

We're responding to a broken system. A system that punishes poor people for getting sick, not being college educated or being system impacted. Apart from the obvious wealth gap, there is also an opportunity gap and it's this opportunity gap that we are bridging.

We believe that there is a ton of creative & diverse talent that is being ignored because they weren't born into the right families, neighborhoods or went to the right schools.

Our program is about identifying and supporting this talent, providing the opportunity and then having our Fellows pay it forward by providing future opportunities to others in their communities.

This isn't just about jobs, we are getting people careers and we're focussed on the creative industries because it gets more diverse voices in the room.

We are also helping companies providing them with diverse talent that adds value by helping them capture new markets, engage new employees and out perform their counterparts.

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

We're a 3 person founding team and none of us went to college or university. The fact that creative industry companies say that you need a 4 year college degree to apply is a form of discrimination, that leaves out a large portion of the population but especially from underserved communities.

Myself, I'm born and raised in Australia to an immigrant Indonesian father and white Australian mother. My father never earned over 50k per year, so we didn't grow up with money or connections, but at 16 I started a record label with $500 and sold it to EMI when I was 24 - I know that you don't need a 4 year college degree and 6 figures of student debt to become a marketing coordinator at Sony Music.

Yahniie is a system impacted African American Woman, born and raised in LA, grew up in foster care system, formerly incarcerated and was a teenage mother. She's incredibly bright, creative and resilient with over 5 years working in non profits and her lived experience is invaluable to our mission.

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

Direct Impact: 120

Indirect Impact: 240

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The way we find our talent is through our non profit partnerships listed in Question 10. However we have found that a majority of our Fellows are people of color, low income, single mothers and have been system impacted.

We will take 20 Fellows through our two in-person cohorts and 100 people online.

Example:We started this program as a pilot in 2017, with Michel'ei who had just been released from prison and was living with A New Way Of Life. She wanted to be a chef, we set up a 4 week paid traineeship with a chef and after the 4 weeks she was hired full time. She then used her story to become a criminal justice advocate and to inspire other Women and her 3 kids that they too could change their life. This is the indirect impact to others.

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

Success for our project is measured in a few ways, one is how many people we successfully take through the program, finishing both the 12 weeks of workshops and the 4-week paid internship.

Secondly, how many people we help find full time employment after they graduate from our program. Right now 70% of our Fellows have full time employment.

Thirdly, from an economic point of view we estimate that every person that goes through the program and gets a full time job contributes $30,000 back per year into the economy (roughly it costs the government $20k per year for every person living below the poverty line, and a person earning 50k per year pays roughly 10k in taxes).

Last year one of our Fellows, Francine, was living in a homeless shelter with her 11 year old daughter when she joined our program, did her internship at the World Surf League and day after she graduated they hired her full time. She now is an associate content producer, telling stories of diversity through surfing.

Yahniie, another one of our Fellows, joined us as non profit partnerships manager after she graduated and this year we officially brought her on as a co-founder, equity partner and director of partnerships.

The future for us is building out an online version of our curriculum so that we can scale our program to cities all across the globe and provide opportunities to those that traditionally have access to them.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?​

Employment in the creative industries

Economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated

Unemployment rate

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

LA is the best place to LEARN

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

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Strategy assistance and implementation