2021 Grants Challenge

Soniditos de Southeast Los Angeles: Music Space for Trans Youth, Gender Expansive Youth, and Girls

Chicxs Rockerxs South East Los Angeles (CRSELA) aims to create a space where trans youth, gender expansive youth and girls can access resources, mentorship, and music education in Southeast Los Angeles. We envision an after-school space where participants can grab a snack after music lessons and receive homework help before going home. An inter-generational space where trans, gender, expansive, and women musicians, artists, and activists can teach the next generation of southeast LA youth.


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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

Other:: Southeast Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

There is currently no geographically and financially accessible space for music education in Southeast LA that aims to increase the visibility of women, Trans and gender expansive musicians of color in music. From 2012 to 2018, only 9.7% of commercially successful artists were women of color (WOC). It is more difficult to assess that of the LGBT+ community due to a lack of research/documentation. LGBT+ youth also experience higher rates of suicide. According to the CDC, 70% of Latino LGBT girls felt sad and hopeless almost everyday. 95% of Southeast LA identifies as Latino and the median household income is two-thirds of the LA County average. 56% of households have a higher housing cost of burden than the California average. Research shows that those same households spend less on food and other essentials meaning many families cannot afford to purchase basic gear for their children to pursue an interest in music-making, much less pay for private instruction.

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

A physical location in Southeast Los Angeles will provide a consistent space for our free and sliding scale programming to call home. Our space will be used for music and workshops to encourage creativity, critical thinking, conflict resolution, teamwork, self-confidence and leadership. Music lessons through our Soniditos program will offer weekly instrument lessons for participants ages 8 to 17. Beginner or advanced classes will be offered on guitar, bass, vocals, drums, and keyboard. Lxs Sobrinxs, our youth organizing team, will use the space for meetings, workshops, or to host events they want to see throughout the year. Once a month, our Future Me! series will offer workshops and hold space for teens to talk about college, careers, and planning for their futures. Since our programming will take place after school during dinner hours, providing dinner and snacks is essential to ensuring participants can focus on learning their instrument, organizing, or planning for their future. Additionally, after school programming oftentimes conflicts with working class parents' work schedules, so early drop off and extended pick up hours are imperative to offering fully accessible programming.

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: 100

Indirect Impact: 2,000

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

If our work is successful, Los Angeles County will have a transformative space where trans youth, gender expansive youth, and girls can access resources, mentorship, and music education in Southeast Los Angeles. An inter-generational space where trans, gender, expansive, and women musicians, artists, and activists can teach the next generation of Southeast LA youth. Our short-term goal is to use the space for our current Soniditos music lessons, Sobrinx youth organizing, and Future Me! workshops as well as an after-school space for our participants. We hope to grow alongside our participants and be a consistent resource as they transition to the next generation of music-makers, leaders, and mentors at Chicxs Rockerxs Southeast 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?

We will define and measure success with pre and post programming surveys from our youth participants as well as from their parents/guardians. These surveys are anonymous and include questions on participant self-confidence, satisfaction of programming, suggestions, and likelihood of participating in the future. Volunteers will also submit post-programming surveys on their experience and year-round employees will participate in self-evaluations. To show the demand of our program, we will track participant enrollment and retention as well. We already have surveys from our Soniditos Saturdays lessons and Summer Camp that we can adapt for our Sobrinx and Future Me! Series. Results from our past surveys have already provided some insight on our programming’s positive effect on our participants and request for more frequent programming.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Arts education

Enrollment in afterschool programs

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY