Empowering Community Through Cultural Creativity
Venice Community Housing
VCH kindly requests support for its art installation project, an activity of the organization’s Arts Community Collective (ArtsC2) committee. ArtsC2's purpose is to implement visual arts within Venice and provide a valuable cultural opportunity for VCH tenants, Venice residents, and surrounding communities. The art installation project is a manifestation of this purpose, as VCH strives to add public art installations (i.e. murals, sculptures, landscape design, etc.) to its permanent supportive housing and affordable housing properties.
Please describe the mission of your organization.
Venice Community Housing works to reduce homelessness, maximize affordable housing, empower low income constituents, provide social services and advocate for public policy that protects and strengthens the economic, racial and cultural diversity of Venice & other neighborhoods on the Westside of LA.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- Safe Place For Youth
- Beyond Baroque
- Venice Arts Council
- Venice Art Crawl
- Venice Mar Vista Arts District
- 18th Street Arts Center
If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.
The organizations listed as partners on this proposal are members of the ArtsC2 external committee. The external members include VCH tenants, VCH program participants, local artists, and interested community members. Including external committee allows ArtC2 to gain the support of the community and obtain advice and assistance in areas in which we may not have experience. Many of the external committee members come from other nonprofits and art organizations, making ArtC2 a truly collaborative effort. The internal and external members meet to discuss items such as the distribution and review of Request for Qualification submissions and artist selection for the installations. Representatives from these arts organizations also assist with interviewing potential artists.
What is the need you’re responding to?
VCH is honored to be a past LA2050 recipient and watch four murals come to life. Tenants at each mural site have been engaged, as their voices are lifted through art. They feel empowered and proud of their homes. Because tenant feedback has been so positive, VCH wants to bring art to more buildings.
Many talented artists submitted applications. While VCH could only hire four lead artists, we want to utilize more of the talent in that pool, as well as grow the base of artists. This group will be invaluable as VCH continues the development of Reese Davidson Community (RDC) - 140 units of affordable and supportive housing, 25% of which will be for low-income artists. RDC will also have a community arts center and spaces for public art. VCH aims to eventually create art installations on every property it owns, making art a meaningful part of every Venetian’s life. The continuation of this project moves VCH into a broader role as cultural provider, improving public and common space.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
In addition to providing housing and services, VCH works to sustain the diversity of Venice and to address interests of low-income residents through advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. Through volunteer engagement, community organizing, and collaboration, VCH leverages its connections to achieve lasting change for more people. By building strong community leaders, VCH supports their efforts to speak for themselves and create change. This foundation in grassroots community organizing puts VCH in an excellent position to expand its advocacy work into the arts realm.
VCH’s art installation project is developed, managed and executed by ArtsC2. ArtsC2 has both internal VCH staff members and external members. External members include VCH tenants, local artists, and community members, so that experts in art inform the decision making process, and those who were formerly unhoused make sure the process is inclusive and reflective of marginalized populations.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Research shows correlation between murals and social/cultural/economic benefits, as well as positive impacts on mental health (opticosdesign.com). According to PolicyLink, public art initiatives have been identified as an advancement strategy for economic development of populations at risk of displacement as a result of gentrification.
Low-income communities and communities of color have long used art to survive racism. Through art, oppressed communities tell stories that promote healing. Public art acts as a megaphone for marginalized people to extend their voice and demand equity. VCH has found all of this to be true - murals promote a sense of identity, belonging, and welcoming in low-income buildings.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The following goals have been established for ArtsC2’s 2020-2021 art installation project:
1) Complete four art installations on schedule, as outlaid in project timeline. 2) Install an interactive children’s art station at VCH’s Westminster TLC, which provides short-term housing to families who are experiencing homelessness. TLC provides temporary housing and supportive services while families identify options for permanent housing. The 32-bed building has room for up to eight families. The interactive art station will be a space where children living on-site can draw and create together. 3) Add 25 new artists and artist apprentices to pool of candidates via the previously established RFP process. 4) Identify affordable housing supporters through community engagement and arts events. 5) Create 12 temporary employment opportunities for the community – one lead artist, one artist apprentice, and one community liaison at each four art installation sites.
Success will be defined by creating art installations on four of VCH’s properties and an interactive children’s art station at TLC by summer of 2021. VCH will measure this by monitoring that the hired artists complete their projects in the given time frame, that each project has two community engagement meetings prior to beginning the art installation, and by gaining new supporters for housing developments in VCH’s pipeline, as measured by the submission of support letters.
Which of the create metrics will your submission impact?
- Arts establishments, instillations, and exhibitions
- Employment in the creative industries
- Income inequality
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to PLAY
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
In the Treehouse by Warehouse TV
A children's show that merges ASL and spoken English languages exposing kids to topics ranging from the basics to emotional issues akin to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
University of Southern California
Fighting Social Inequality For College Students
A LA2050 grant will support the internship program at the Center for the Political Future, in which college students are placed in unpaid political internships throughout the Los Angeles area. Many college students cannot accept unpaid internships due to their financial limitations, which ultimately impacts their future job prospects after graduation. Funding students at an unpaid internship produces social justice allowing everyone to take advantage of opportunities while in school in order to better prepare them for a successful career.