2021 Grants Challenge

A Place Called Home - Community Arts Initiative

Arts and Creative Expressions (ACE) at APCH harnesses the power of creativity in South Central, Los Angeles to nurture healing, positive communication, and individual self-determination for young people, strengthen our community, and advance social change. Through our Community Arts Initiative we will expand on more than 200 classes a year in music, theater, dance, visual arts, and digital media to bring the voices of South Central young artists to the world and leading industry creatives to South Central through more than 50 public events.


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

Central LA

South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

In LA, where creative industries generate 1 in 7 jobs, arts education is a vital pathway to employment. However, workers across these industries do not reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of our youth, who are primarily LatinX and Black/African American. To make greater gains in racial equity, it is vital to nurture and arm marginalized youth with tools to access and sustainably thrive in creative industries. Unfortunately, when 87% of APCH families live below the federal poverty line ($26,500/family of four), artistic pursuits are seen as a luxury and not an important opportunity for economic/social mobility. COVID-19 has drastically impacted the LA creative landscape where artists must now be multi-disciplinarily, digitally, and technologically fluent to be competitive in an oversaturated market. Community arts events at APCH will provide our members with valuable industry exposure, an equitable creative landscape, and a platform to share urgent issues within their community.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Our Community Arts Initiative will produce 50 virtual, onsite, and hybrid public arts events to provide cultural enrichment, community engagement, professional performance opportunities, access to wider audiences, and entry to creative industries for South Central residents. These events are produced and run by staff and youth members - valuable opportunities for our young people to build 21st century job skills. Hundreds of members will present creative work and have recorded material to add to their portfolio for professional and postsecondary pursuits. Alternatively, more than 100 creative professionals will perform, collaborate, and teach through these events. Events will include: The LatinX Theater Festival; Comic, Art, and Literacy Expo (CALE); APCH Studio Album; The Moondance Film Festival; public recitals; First Film Friday’s; virtual art exhibitions; and virtual theater productions. Since 1993, APCH has offered after school arts education through its no-cost program model to youth ages 8 - 24. Our creative avenues introduce the arts to members, guide them towards professional careers, and leverage our community partnerships with movie studios, nationally renowned artists, musicians, actors, agencies, and more, to provide invaluable industry exposure. We are a community hub for youth development with a 32,000 sq. ft. center that includes instructional spaces, a dance studio, a state-of-the-art theater, an art gallery, and a professionally equipped recording studio.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 500

Indirect Impact: 10,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Investing in the art of marginalized youth strengthens, innovates, and diversifies the LA creative economy, currently about 10% of LA's gross economic output. Elevating the art of young people will share rich and diverse cultural experiences to help drive social change. We are generating critical pathways in professional artistic development for South Central, a notoriously underserved area. These platforms will bring art, industry professionals, and meaningful education to people in our community who will not only gain the greatest benefits from the opportunities, but may not be able to attend similar events due to socio-economic barriers. APCH predominantly serves low-income families, where a high percentage of residents are immigrants. We open our events to community members, providing access points to connect our families to essential services we provide for food and financial insecurity - additionally and critically important for COVID-19 recovery in LA.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This Initiative will incorporate both ongoing events and ambitious new projects that will directly engage more than 500 youth and 5,000 community members at a time when people feel more disconnected than ever before due to COVID-19. APCH will track and record the following criteria as a method of evaluation: 1) The number of public events and expositions produced 2) The number of members, families, and community members who attend each event 3) The number of youth projects completed or showcased through each event 4) The number of professional artists, performers, creatives, companies, and organizations that we partner with through each event. High level indicators of Initiative success will include: 1) An increase in ACE class enrollment 2) Member matriculation to artistic post-secondary or vocational pursuits 3) An increase in LA County institutional partnerships and/or engagement. 4) Referrals for other APCH services from CAI events.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Arts establishments, instillations, and exhibitions

Employment in the creative industries

Income inequality

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to LEARN