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

The Creative Career Center, by Las Fotos Project

The Creative Career Center (CCC), Las Fotos Project's new multi-pronged initiative aiming to reach 19 to 24-year-old women-identified and gender-expansive photographers, expands on the organization's mission to provide historically underrepresented young women and nonbinary people of color the resources necessary to be competitive candidates in today's creative economy.


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

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by the Snap Foundation)

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

City of Los Angeles

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

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

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

Women of color face the compounded effects of both gender and racial inequality in the creative sector. Among these challenges are establishing connections with professionals or finding mentors who share lived experiences. This lack of representation and support networks limits access to the $508 billion that creatives contribute to California's economy and, by extension, creates an additional economic disparity among women and gender-expansive individuals. When conducting research for the Creative Career Center, one of the focus group participants shared "It was really hard to penetrate that industry, especially as a femme and person of color when I was younger... There were roadblocks and parts of my career I felt were stalled because I didn't have that network to tap into." An LFP alumni also shared about her internship experiences: "- as a woman of color, you gotta know everything. They are going to jump at anything to discredit you... People gatekeep the creative economy."

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

The goal of the Creative Career Center is to increase participants' social and cultural capital in order to build their capacity to be successful in the creative economy and establish the creative career of their dreams. We polled youth participants, alumni and established photographers to determine which elements would support their career growth. Based on this information, we designed the CCC to include seven distinct programs: career coaching, technical certification opportunities, job and internship placement, professional development workshops, studio visits, personal thesis projects, and creative collaborations - address gaps in knowledge and barriers to access by providing mentorship, hands-on skill application, industry connections, job experience, portfolio creation, and more. Participants of the CCC will also have the opportunity to engage in various leadership activities and collaborative events, including leading multi-person creative productions, learning how to market and advertise their services, impromptu public speaking opportunities, mock job interviews, and small business planning. Professional development workshops will include in-depth skill and technical photography training, inspirational presentations from industry veterans, interaction with established photographers, and a firm grasp of today's creative economy.

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

We are working toward a vision where art & creativity is not just accessible to young people in our community, but a viable avenue for them to advocate for change, uplift their lived experiences and be an instrument for social justice and advance the leadership of BIPOC artists Los Angeles' creative economy. In the long-term, our new initiative aims to solve historical barriers to employment and career success that the participants face and ensure students are self-aware, confident in their skills, and industry-ready. The first step to achieving this vision, which is our objective within the grant period, is to successfully launch, evaluate and solidify programming in order in order to build the capacity of participants to be successful professionals in the creative economy and achieve their individual short-term skill-building goals such as developing their personal website, securing their first client contract, putting on their first gallery show, or securing an apprenticeship.

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

Evaluation data and feedback for this initiative will be collected through post-project surveys, testimonials, and/or focus groups. Through these methods, we will collect qualitative data reflecting participant satisfaction with various aspects of the program, including curriculum, mentoring, networking opportunities, and support services. Additionally, we plan to gather quantitative data through the post-surveys which will give us information on job interviews or placements, income growth, creative projects undertaken, or entrepreneurial ventures started. We will also seek feedback from our coaches, partners and other stakeholders to explore their perceptions of the program's relevance, usefulness, and impact on future creative careers in order to establish long-term feasibility of the initiative.

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

Direct Impact: 20

Indirect Impact: 180