2021 Grants Challenge

KCRW's Create Beat

The Create Beat celebrates the creative genius of Southern California by highlighting the artists who make Los Angeles the home of the extraordinary. The program deliberately moves beyond mainstream arts institutions to engage with the creative and revolutionary humans living in our neighborhoods who make a profound and tangible impact. Through authentic, intimate stories of local changemakers, the Create Beat redefines what art and culture means in LA by proving that these spaces can be more accessible, relatable, and community-centered.


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

County of Los Angeles

Other:: Santa Barbara County

Orange County

Palm Springs Area

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

When thinking of arts and culture in Los Angeles, icons like Hollywood and major museums first come to mind. While these places are essential to the cultural makeup of our city, the emphasis on well-known institutions can create an arts culture driven by status and power, rather than the people and stories behind each work of art. Providing a homogeneous representation of art in LA can make these spaces uninteresting and inaccessible to the average person, further creating barriers to underrepresented groups in the arts and entertainment industries. Arts and culture are a vital resource for inspiration, story-telling, and community participation, but our current coverage is not as representative as it could be. The Create Beat will spotlight the creators that bring unparalleled creativity to LA and tell the human stories behind our city’s incredible cultural output.

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

By using a wide lens to discover one-of-a-kind local artists, the Create Beat will provide opportunities for listeners to engage with the arts, highlight diverse artists and art forms, and make art and culture accessible, compelling, and human-driven. Through our award-winning journalism, the Create Beat will create a space for artists such as the guerilla gallerists, the escape room creators, the activists using sport to change minds, uniquely SoCal street artists, and the people reinventing live music to share their craft and explore how wider societal issues play out in their creative expressions. This coverage will be a brand new short-form feature each week on our regular programming, like “Greater LA,” that brings the voices and sounds of Southern California to the world. The Create Beat aims to be the definitive source of in-depth coverage for the genius of Southern California in all of its various forms. Providing an equitable platform for visionaries to share their art will help restructure the media practices that can overlook local creators and artists. By broadening the scope of our reporting and promoting a more holistic scope of reporting to include more voices, the Create Beat will also encourage community members to engage with and participate in the arts to help diversify the arts and culture industry.

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: 500,000

Indirect Impact: 13,000,000

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

The KCRW Create Beat aims to highlight the vast diversity of arts and culture in Los Angeles by celebrating the genius of the people who make it. We aim to transform Los Angeles County by creating a platform to showcase diverse artists, art-forms, and the way that these projects interact with the communities who call Los Angeles home. This will help highlight creatives who are frequently overlooked in a city in which arts and culture coverage can become dominated by major players in the entertainment world. At the same time, the KCRW Create Beat will enable our listeners to engage with these works in a way that is accessible, compelling, and human-driven. By better understanding the plethora of artistic opportunities around them, we aim to inspire our listeners to engage with creatives in their communities.

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

KCRW will gauge the success of the Create Beat through a variety of metrics. For all of our programs, KCRW tracks listenership through monthly Nielsen Reports that help us understand how many individuals are tuning in through our terrestrial broadcast signal, as well as through analysis of digital engagement on our website and other digital platforms. We will use these methods to track the reach of the project broadly. Additionally, KCRW tracks the success of our projects through audience engagement. This takes the form of engagement around our content on social platforms as well as through audience feedback, which is frequently requested through tools such as Hearken. KCRW will track audience engagement and feedback over the course of the grant period to understand the interests of our audience and how this content is being received in the community.

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Arts establishments, instillations, and exhibitions

Employment in the creative industries

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

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