2021 Grants Challenge

Developing Transition Age Artists

Transition Age Artists is a documentary that highlights the need for social justice and innovation within the American foster care system. The film will reveal many of the challenges facing disconnected youth who have “aged-out” of the system. It will also feature social workers, advocates, and educators who are on the front lines of social change.The film highlights the stories of Green Pines Media artists while showcasing their exceptional talents. It will also focus on the Founder & CEO's journey from social worker to social entrepreneur.


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

County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Each year, more than 23,000 young adults exit the American child welfare system without family ties or reliable support systems. Foster care alumni are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at a rate of 21.5%, versus 4.5% of the general population. As they transition into adulthood, many struggle with a lack of life skills and high rates of unemployment. Over 40% will also experience homelessness. Traditional services for these transition-age youth (TAY) are severely limited, and those affected often suffer in silence due to stigma or a distrust of the system.

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

Green Pines Media is a for-profit California benefit corporation. The startup was established by a child welfare social worker to build trust and supportive services for transition age youth. The company accomplishes this by monetizing the work of TAY artists and teaching life skills in the context of entrepreneurship. This is done in a stigma-free, trauma-informed environment. Green Pines Media partners with TAY visual artists to create, sell, and/or license products. They also partner with TAY vocalists and musicians to license their music for TV, film, video games, and commercials. All artists are provided with a modest advance to help them pay for living expenses. Artists may also draw additional funds to help with emergency housing and other necessities. After recoupment, profits and royalties are split 50/50 with the artist. Transition Age Artists is a documentary about the origins of Green Pines Media and their innovative approach to supporting creatives who have “aged-out” of the system. The film is currently in pre-production with plans for a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of filming. The LA2050 grant will help us expand the number of TAY artists who are involved in the film. This allows more TAY artists to reap the financial benefits of merchandising, and the creation of music that will be licensed for the film. The grant will also be used to hire a professional film editor who is willing to host TAY interns during post-production.

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: 58

Indirect Impact: 200,000

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

Short-term: This grant will assist over (30) TAY artists in Los Angeles County earn an income using their art and music. It will also give them the ability to participate in the creation of a film. If our work is successful, they can leverage this experience to launch their own projects, or secure employment in other areas. This grant will help Green Pines Media and associated companies generate revenue after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term: This grant will help create intellectual property that will educate viewers about the need for innovation within social services. It will also inspire others to create social enterprises to address social problems. If our work is successful, Los Angeles County will have the first full-service creative agency and production company for disconnected youth who have emancipated form the child welfare and probation systems. It will also create a safety net for former foster and probation youth of all ages.

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

TAY Artists: Green Pines Media has established trust among a vulnerable population that has a tendency to avoid seeking help from traditional social service organizations. To date, Green Pines Media has paid over $31,800 to (14) TAY artists. During the pandemic, the company also assisted with emergency housing and other necessities. FILM The work done in pre-prodction has set us up for a successful production period. We have also established a clear vision of the story. This has allowed us to engaged an audience of interested partners, organizations, and individuals who believe in the social impact of Green Pines Media and the film. AUDIENCE The film will allow us to reach a wider audience that has little knowledge of the experiences facing transition age former foster youth.

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

Green Pines Creative, Inc. d/b/a Green Pines Media is the lead organization upon which the documentary is based. The company will provide access to their business methods, their allies, and TAY artists who are interested in sharing their stories. riddick & gray, LLC is a film production company founded by current students from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and the USC Marshall School of Business. riddick & gray are responsible for guiding the development and fundraising for the film.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Employment in the creative industries

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

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