LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Life Imitates Dreams: Advance Creative Communities

Idea by Dreamhaus LA

Dreamhaus works to uplift the creative genius in all of us and advance opportunities for youth and young adults pursuing creative careers. The Dreamhaus creative process of making, doing, exploring, expressing, and sharing can be experienced through participation in internships, workshops, and programs with partner organizations. Dreamhaus embraces creative expression and self-reflection to explore identity and solidify how participants contribute to a world where we all thrive.


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

Income Inequality

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

South LA

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?

1.2 million 16-24-year-olds live in LA County, and 12.9% are considered disconnected youth, neither in school nor at work. 12% of the workforce in LA County are employed within the creative economy. Los Angeles is increasingly an unaffordable place to live with many young people questioning the value of postsecondary education and a competitive economy that requires both hard skills and a strong network to succeed. Simultaneously, youth and young adults represent culture creators and have the drive to build careers in the creative economy or apply creative thinking to effectively innovate in other fields. Social capital takes on new meaning when young people align their interests to increasing economic mobility through entrepreneurship and social impact efforts rooted in creative expression. Dreamhaus builds on lived experience to expand opportunities for young people through workshops, internships, brand collaborations, and special programs with partner organizations.

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

Life Imitates Dreams: Advance Creative Communities is the new signature program of Dreamhaus for young people to engage in meaningful career development in creative fields. Dreamhaus was a partner with the Snap Foundation Youth Advisory Council, led workshops with Art+Practice, CAAM, Vox Collegiate Academy, The Academy Museum, and currently hosts interns for internal projects. Dreamhaus is excited to launch a two-part program for young creatives including a workshop series and an internship program for youth to learn about brand management, art direction, fabrication, how to navigate the creative economy, and uplift their existing skill sets. The workshop series allows participants to engage in immersive learning opportunities, connect and learn from working creatives, and gain a deeper sense of the direction they wish to pursue. Interns contribute to various projects including product development, creative marketing and social media, event planning, and participate in ongoing professional development such as finance for creatives, project management, and self-care strategies. Workshops are free, include transportation support, meals and snacks, and an access point for deeper collaboration with Dreamhaus and peer-organizations. Interns are compensated for their time and energy, develop transferable skills, and are regarded as valuable contributors toward shared deliverables.

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

Dreamhaus is part of a larger effort across Los Angeles to ensure youth thrive as a result of meaningful employment and actively contribute to shaping the health and prosperity of their communities. While we don't teach people how to be artists, we do support individuals to apply creative thinking processes in a range of settings and career pathways to contribute to our collective well-being. The program will cultivate opportunities for up to 120 people annually who may or may not be active in creative fields to ideate and reimagine solutions unique to their own context. In an age of increasing automation and the prevalence of artificial intelligence the need to uplift critical and creative thinkers is more important than ever. Participants will engage in an ecosystem of diverse thought and resources that contribute to creative problem solving. The domino effect is significant and not only spreads to other communities but enhances positive multi-generational change.

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

This program is stemming from a pilot initiative incubated through the Snap Foundation Youth Advisory Council and internal internship opportunities. Dreamhaus continues to mentor alumni and maintains an open door for ongoing collaboration. Developmental evaluation of our efforts are emerging through data collection on how participants leverage existing talent for real world application while gaining new knowledge and resources. We are looking at how experiences translate to building social capital, increasing income, access and success in education and career pathways, the ability to navigate freelance opportunities in a competitive economy, and ultimately, how we see a decrease in disconnected youth counts. Qualitative data will also be sourced from participants, knowing that a "with us, by us, for us" approach is both inclusive and reflective of those with lived experience to shape positive outcomes. Currently demand exceeds capacity and we look forward to expanding opportunities.

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

Direct Impact: 120

Indirect Impact: 144,000