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2022 Grants Challenge

Crimson Square Writer's Lab

The Crimson Square Writer's Lab is a program that provides education and development to playwrights and aspiring screenwriters. It is run by an all-female creative team and provides no-cost education and mentoring to aspiring writers age 18+ from all backgrounds and education levels. It provides local performance opportunities in Los Angeles for completed works and mentorship for taking their completed work into the professional workplace.

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What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

BIPOC- and Women-Owned Businesses

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

County of Los Angeles

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Getting access to quality playwriting or screenwriting education is expensive and out of grasp for many people due to income level, access, transportation, or prerequisite educational requirements. Our program provides both in-person and online writing education, providing access to the program that might not normally be possible. In addition to education, we provide a pipeline for our program participants to eventually have their works produced professionally on stage, or mentoring to take their work into the professional marketplace, creating opportunities for them to begin careers as creative industry professionals.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

This grant will provide salary and administrative support for the ongoing program, as well as funds for expansion to accept more applicants into the program for the 2022-2023 program. It will also help provide funding for the finished works to be produced and presented to the public and industry professionals. With additional funds, we would be able to provide laptop computers and professional writing software to low-income applicants who are not able to provide their own.

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

We are working to balance representation in the entertainment industry. Access to quality education, mentorship, and professional industry contacts is an invaluable step in creating this balance. By providing this access, we are able to put forward an exciting, diverse group of new talent, able to move forward into the industry with professional skillsets and unique voices. By removing barriers such as income level, educational pre-requisites, and transportation, we are able to support the development of voices that would normally not have the chance to be heard.

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

In the 2021-2022 season, we were able to develop five female writers of diverse backgrounds and present their collaboration as a Los Angeles theatrical stage debut with a professional world premiere. It was presented at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and received much critical acclaim, including being listed as a "Top 10 in Los Angeles" by Stage Raw. Each of the writer's works was seen by many industry professionals, theatre critics, and public audiences. Each of these writers is being commissioned to develop their first solo project for the upcoming season. Our expansion will enable us to extend this same development and educational process to more applicants. We will measure our success by how many of our applicants move forward to having their work presented in a professional capacity, whether that be on stage, or to industry professionals.

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

Direct Impact: 8

Indirect Impact: 36