Color Compton - "OurArchive.Me"
Color Compton’s “OurArchive.Me” preservation project.In close collaboration with youth this project aims to re/claim and re/tell BIPOC histories and stories.Using existing visual archives while also documenting current stories for future generations, youth will build their individual archive and ‘our’ collective archive.This project will help strengthen a communal identity and develop ownership over BIPOC histories.Youth involved will not only develop leadership skills and creative skills but build strong cross-generational coalitions.
Describe the mission of your organization.
Color Compton is an organization geared towards working with youth to build community among people of color, while exploring identity and art.Grounded on history, students are introduced to concepts and historical records to engage in dialogue and use art to develop their own narratives and engage in critical thinking and local activism.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- South LA
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Color Compton was established in the city of Compton, California due to the rich history of the community. Compton is known worldwide, however many don’t know the complex history, including the residents of the city. We currently have no course or space that teaches youth about the history of their community. This is not unique in marginalized communities of color. Often, BIPOC histories and stories are not dissected in public school and youth are not taught much of their racial and/or ethnic history in a nuanced way. Color Compton aims to address this directly by being a physical creative space for youth and community members to learn the histories of BIPOC communities and Compton. Our office also holds original art pieces by Compton artists that highlight this vibrant history. “OurArchive.Me” project will encourage youth to explore more of their own histories and take ownership of their stories. Youth will also actively participate in creating and documenting current experiences.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
To specifically address the lack of diversity in narratives presented to youth in color in communities like Compton, we want to develop our “OurArchive.Me” project. This project is an extension of our Fall “Local Story” series that focuses on photography and video. In “OurArchive.Me” we aim to expand this and be more intentional about the creating and preserving aspect of visual art. This project will work in a series of residencies of groups of up to 10-15 youth members at a time. Each individual will receive a stipend for their participation and will work collaboratively to develop a communal archive catalogue. Youth will engage in educational research on archival work and histories of BIPOC communities and will actively engage with their community. They will begin with their own familial archival excavation and look through family photo albums and videos to begin an individual catalogue. Then they will present to each other and digitize any photos from community members to build on a community archive. Finally, youth will be behind the camera and document their own lived experiences and surroundings to capture their living archive.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
We hope to have a large impact on youth surrounding the South LA community and develop excitement surrounding BIPOC stories, historys, narratives and art. Historically, many of the stories associated with communities of color in South LA are submerged with violence. We hope to have an impact in changing this and provide a more positive, creative and diverse narrative around South LA communities and families. Beyond the youth, we believe that our project will engage folks from various generations and backgrounds and also encourage people to begin documenting their own experiences and preserving stories. We envision the youth in this area leading an international movement on creative forms of documenting stories and histories.
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 project is the extension of our existing “Local Story” programming series. We currently measure our impact by the number of applications we receive for the program, the retention rate of youth in the program, youth participation and engagement during the series, the final visual projects created, and the feedback survey completed by youth after the program. To date, we have had positive feedback and critical reflective feedback on the impact of self-identity and level of confidence in creative fields. Moving forward, we hope to continue these measures of impact and expand on our surveys to include more areas and room for growth. In addition we hope to develop a mentorship component to the project and ensure that students are not only developing leadership skills but are able to develop networks.
Which of the create metrics will you impact?
- Arts establishments
- and exhibitions
- Employment in the creative industries
- Public arts and cultural events
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
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