A Memoryhaus and Archive Caretaker Fellowship Program
ITS-IN-SCOPE is a Memoryhaus, in Historic South Central, innovating an intuitive model of collective learning intended to support our community as we figure it out together. Our physical environment serves as a site for learning, optimizing, and imagining how shared histories can inform a collective future. Our annual fellowship cultivates leadership through artistic and archival frameworks, enabling people in historically divested communities to explore contemporary studies, remember intuition, and engage history as a tool for self discovery.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated both the lack of available resources in predominantly Black communities and the ways anti-Blackness is inherent in so many systems in the United States. As a result, Black people of all ages in South Central have been unable to imagine their actualization forcing them into uninspiring experiences of life with little to no upward mobility. The infrastructure within which we live our lives and explore the possibilities for our communities are outdated. The remnants of past resources and opportunities are unable to keep up with the constantly growing and changing needs of Black people. The deficit framing of Black culture contributes to the perception of impossibility around reinvestment. Community does not lack an abundance of information or knowledge by which we may reimagine our circumstances and sense of self, what we require is space and time to apply historic know-how towards present ways of being.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Our project consists of two main components: a physical space in Historic South Central and an annual fellowship program. Our Memoryhaus is the home for our community programming and a site where youth in the South LA community can gather in interdependent study. Monthly programming is inclusive of experiences like communal discourse, sound healing, multimedia creation related to the present exhibitions and the opportunity for the community to publicly present their work for engagement. In this way, the community is able to explore the SCOPE curriculum in a way that integrates unique understandings into their daily life. Functionally, the space consists of a showroom exhibiting material artifacts, a research library, and an outdoor classroom. The Archive Caretaker Fellowship was created to empower the intuition and curiosity of local artists, futurists, and historians. The individuals in harmony with the collective will engage in 6 months of shared study, from October 2021 through March 2022, to explore overlooked histories, unimagined futures, and contemporary solutions in fellowship with local caretakers. Our curriculum incorporates concepts like time, space, love and post colonialism but engages them from the unique perspective of the individual in the context of their personal understanding. In this way, critical dialogue is cultivated through explorations of self to better inform both a collective learning and a solution based process of knowledge production.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 10
Indirect Impact: 1,000
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Historical awareness is a necessary foundation in the development of Black youth in their quest to self actualize. At this time, there are few reflective opportunities for Black youth to explore the circumstances of their experiences. Intellectual gate-keeping prevents them from understanding the parallels in their present experiences and those of their ancestors. We aspire to cultivate communal appreciation, reflection and healing by intentionally connecting the experiences of Black Angelenos to those of the larger Black diasporic experience in the United States. As a community centered, community operated archival space, we intend to cultivate the conditions to work towards a shared vision of what Los Angeles can represent for Black youth presently and in the future, formed by them. Our fellows develop unique frameworks of collective leadership, to be explored in their personal practice as artists and archivists and in the SCOPE space for larger communal engagement.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
The Archive Caretakers Fellowship graduated its inaugural cohort in Spring 2021. Beginning in October 2020, fellows participated in a rigorous discourse based curriculum. Qualitatively, fellows engaged the curriculum material throughout the fellowship from the framework of their current practices as artists and archivists. Upon completion of the program, fellows developed Material Artifacts (archival pieces) that incorporated their learnings throughout the fellowship in an interactive format. Fellows also developed workshops that centered their learnings for the larger community to participate in from mid-March to mid-April 2021. Quantitatively, fellows and participants in the various workshop experiences self reported through a survey their satisfaction with the experience. A total of 62 members of the community participated in intimate, appointment-based fellowship presentations at our archival space.
Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?
Student proficiency in English & Language Arts
Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
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