2021 Grants Challenge

Media & Arts Creative Center

The Media & Arts Creative Center of Echo Park will be a site for nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on public arts, media and arts education. The building will be purchased by The Neighborhood Investment Company (Nico), a Public Benefit Corporation that localizes wealth creation to combat gentrification and build long-term financial stake in their community. Initial tenants will be Dublab radio and ArtworxLA. This center will offer young students and artists the opportunity to learn, produce and present work in all forms.


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

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Every year Los Angeles becomes an increasingly difficult city to afford with the steady rise in rent for commercial properties. We are looking to combat this obstacle by creating a co-operative space, first by sharing the cost of purchasing the building as a collective and then by maintaining the space as a collaboration. This shared environment will offer stability and security to the arts organizations, allowing these groups to focus on their work and their participants, rather than the burden of rising rent costs and building upkeep. By doing so, we ensure that the organizations and the participants will enjoy everlasting success. Additionally, through the role of The Neighborhood Investment Company this building will be purchased at below market rates, passing affordable rent on to the tenant organizations.

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

The grant will alleviate start-up costs, site build-out and early maintenance of what will be a brand new arts community center and co-operative in Echo Park. This building will house three organizations who, through the role of The Neighborhood Investment Company, will operate with a stable and below market rent via a 20-year lease provided by NICO. The building will be dedicated to only house nonprofit organizations as tenants. The mission of this building is to serve the community through media programming, public arts and arts education. Its tenants, initial Dublab, and ArtworxLA, will conduct their day-to-day operations from this location including progressive radio, podcasts and video programing; arts education for alternative high school teenagers through sustained arts exposure and immersion; and the cultivation of diverse creative communities and practices. Furthermore, as these organizations exist together in one site, the opportunity for participants to engage with each group naturally increases - a symbiosis that exponentially benefits the individuals to grow with introductions to every organization located at the center. This center will be a beacon in the community, creating a wide impact on many levels. Behind the stability and security of this venue, we will be able to grow deep roots in Los Angeles and provide a space that prioritizes the interests of the Los Angeles youth and people overall, in a healthy and flourishing way.

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

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.)

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

Direct Impact: 800

Indirect Impact: 1,000,000

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

We envision a Los Angeles community center where young people can learn, be engaged and inspired, see themselves grow and perform in ways they never imagined. We want to affect their perspective in life, of themselves and empower how they participate in the world. A safe place where artists can have a platform and a voice with a means for amplification, and where Los Angeles’s creative communities can connect, learn, and network. Success will be the individuals that join the center, will take their talent and philosophies to better Los Angeles, with skills, excitement and a compassionate vision.

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

Our success will first be seen by the number of participants and developed programs/events that come through the center. 3 - 4 cohorts per organization per 3-month term of 5 -25 participants each. Weekly panels, discussions and workshops. 14 hours of live radio programming. Finished work in the public and private sector - programs on air; published or produced written work and visual arts; and on the streets. Success of this project as a co-operative building, will be defined by the impact we make in the community through our programs and the financial stability it offers to the tenant organizations.

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

The Neighborhood Investment Company will be in charge of the negotiation and purchase of the building. This purchase will be made through their funds. They will assist in creating the administrative framework under which all three nonprofit organizations will be tenants. Nico will also oversee contractors and build out of the space. Future Roots inc. dba Dublab will coordinate between all four parties involved and will assist with general and administrative matters. Additionally, they will assist in identifying equipment needed for the building and moving costs. ArtworxLA will assist in defining the needs of each organization, purpose of each space and environments.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Arts education

High school graduation rates

Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE