Future Creatives – Access and Equity for Young Artists

Idea by Ryman Arts

We will provide increased access to Ryman Arts’ high quality art education and college and career support to underserved youth in Los Angeles County to reduce barriers and increase creative career pathway opportunities. Community outreach efforts will increase Latinx student participation in Ryman Arts to more accurately reflect overall LA demographics. Ryman Arts will introduce students to diverse creative leaders at behind the scenes career tours to provide guidance for young artists to have successful futures in the LA creative economy.


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

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g, using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

What is the need you’re responding to?

Research shows that students who engage in the arts have higher rates of academic achievement, high school graduation, and college matriculation (2017 Otis Report). There is limited funding for the arts and inadequate access to arts education for our youth. Despite small improvements in public funding, the gap keeps growing for vulnerable students with fewer community resources. As a result, fewer teens are prepared for college and many of our students do not see people like themselves in the big creative industries, and don’t visualize themselves there. Paradoxically, the creative industries in LA produce $203.2 billion annually and provide 1 in 7 jobs (2020 Otis). While our current student demographic is very diverse, Latinx students are particularly underrepresented. We are committed to creating more access for underserved communities so that students will not miss out on building art skills, learning about creative careers, and 15% of creative industry jobs available in the County.

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

Since 1990, Ryman Arts has empowered 34,000 high school students, filling the gap of high quality arts education programs in under-resourced communities. Ryman Arts serves approximately 600 students through its core program and 1,500 more through outreach efforts, annually – with students coming from over 190 zip codes. This free, 1½-year-long, out-of-school program integrates rigorous fine arts instruction, college and career counseling for talented youth who are most deprived of arts education opportunities. Ryman Arts conducts outreach each year and is familiar with strategies and partnerships that will assist us in creating more access to the program. Additionally, Ryman Arts has established strong partnerships with creative businesses, cultural institutions, and community partners and is in a unique position to execute this project.

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

Direct Impact: 2,100

Indirect Impact: 10,120

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Ryman Arts’ impact extends far beyond the studios where our students receive instruction. Upon graduating from Ryman Arts, students will have honed their creative and critical thinking, time management, self-discipline, and other life skills that are transferable to any chosen degree or vocation. Over 95% of Ryman Arts students go on to higher education—many are the first in their families – and approximately 1/3 of Ryman Arts alumni work in the creative fields. Our program supports our community by equipping Southern California’s youth with the abilities they need to develop strong artistic, academic, and life skills in order to reach their full potential and positively contribute to their own futures and the future of society.

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

Ryman Arts will serve 1,500+ students through outreach activities and 600 students through our core program. Our goal is to create a more equitable future for underserved youth by providing access to a high quality arts education, in-depth behind the scenes career tours, and college and career guidance.

Our outreach goal is to increase the number of Latinx students enrolled in Ryman Arts from the average of 25% to an incremental goal of 35% in ‘20-’21, to decrease the discrepancy between Ryman Arts student body and the Los Angeles student population. We will increase participation in community festivals/events that have significant Latinx population and economic need, produce applications in English and Spanish, provide online resources, and send mailings to educators.

Additionally, we will provide behind the scenes tours at 10 creative businesses for groups of selected Ryman Arts students to increase their awareness of the wide range of careers. Each tour will include a Q&A with a designer or creative leader of color at that firm who will share advice and their career path. By meeting and conversing with artistic leaders, young people from diverse backgrounds can visualize themselves in a variety of creative fields and learn how they can navigate a career pathway for themselves. Potential Ryman Arts alumni speakers, include: Devin Crane (Ryman ‘96), Production Designer for Space Jam 2, Warner Bros and Adrianna Arambula (Ryman ’04), Creative Director at Justice Design Group.

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

Communications support