2023 Grants Challenge

Connecting Youth with Media Arts Education

LACP's Outreach Program offers after school photography workshops and experiences for youth ages 12 - 18 from historically underserved communities. The self-expression that comes with artistic learning promotes better health and well-being as youth have the opportunity to express their feelings as well as explore their likes, and dislikes constructively. Art inherently builds on youths' emotional development, helping them find their space within themselves as well as their community.


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

K-12 STEAM Education

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

Central LA

East LA

South LA

West LA


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?

Teenage life has enough challenges on its own. With pandemic-induced isolation, distance learning, and social justice matters at the forefront, the past three years have hit youth hard, especially those in underserved communities, who are also impacted by the traumas of immigration and displacement. Finding a way to express themselves in the face of troubling news and their own traumatic experiences is essential for youth's well-being. LACP's Outreach Program provides the vehicle for youth to engage in a social-emotional creative experience in a safe space that empowers them to find their voice through artistic expression. Photography workshops offered by LACP seek to provide non-verbal forms of creative expression and communication, aspiring to empower participants by encouraging them to develop, articulate and share their own lived experience and perspective on their world.

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

LACP's Outreach Program offers free photography workshops and experiences for youth ages 12 - 18 from historically underserved communities in collaboration with the Children's Institute, Arts at Blue Roof and is finalizing a partnership with Inglewood Parks and Recreation. Offerings include summer workshops and afterschool programs. Summer workshops are offered as a one-week class, Monday - Friday, 10 am - 1 pm, over a period of six weeks, for a total of six classes. They are held at an art center/photo gallery in Los Angeles. During summer workshops, youth explore photography that connects their vision as storytellers with their surrounding environment. Afterschool programs are offered for a total of fifteen hours, meeting twice a week for 1.5 hours per session, over five weeks. During the after-school workshops, youth learn basic photography fundamentals and learn concepts of portraiture by photographing fellow classmates. Previously held at Legacy Middle School and Locke High School in Los Angeles, LACP's Outreach Program is in the final stages of becoming a vendor with LAUSD and is poised to expand its programming across the district in the 2023-24 school year. Whether it be summer, school-based, or after school programming, each workshop/session culminates with an event that exhibits the students' work with their community and the wider world. These events are open and promoted to the general public.

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

Self-expression is crucial for the development of a child's identity, self-confidence and sense of belonging to the world. It opens children's minds, allows them to form thoughts and ideas, and communicate their feelings in a positive way, promoting better overall health and well-being. LACP has designed a curriculum and employs a teaching methodology that creates a safe culturally affirming learning environment that promotes this building trusting relationships with youth through: - Building a culture of inclusion and respect that welcomes all participants. - Giving effective praise participants when they model thoughtfulness and respect for peers, adults, and the community. - Setting a tone of respect. - Modeling appropriate behavior and genuine caring. As youth embody these experiences, they carry these qualities into the world around them. As such, LA benefits directly from this work through the independent, artistically-minded individual they continuously evolve into.

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

Artistic outcomes of youth participants will be measured by demonstration of their grasp of essential camera functioning (e.g., ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and frame rate) and basic composition principles, including line, shape, texture, color, tone, distance, balance, and space. Developmental outcomes focus on cognitive, behavioral, and social determinants, such as: academic outcomes and behaviors (lower suspension rates, optimism about college or post-secondary career, increased school attachment and engagement, increased standardized test scores and GPAs, higher rates of graduating on time); practical skills that translate into real-life situations, such as: problem-solving, critical thinking, and affirmative decision-making; and social skills (communication, empathy, resilience, self-confidence). A primary outcome is that youth learn how to not just look, but see.

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

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 2,000