Art for All
Art for All is a series of artist-led family workshops, virtual programs, onsite activities, take-home art projects, and a portable programming pod that brings arts education to all nine districts of Long Beach. At Compound our educational partner is Slanguage, a renowned artist collective, that has radicalized arts education for 25 years. We intend to raise non-status quo narratives that have been silenced and buried, speak truth to power, and reactivate public space through equity and access.
Describe the mission of your organization.
Compound, located in the Zaferia district of Long Beach, is the newest cultural complex in southern California dedicated to the intersection of contemporary art, wellness, and community impact. Compound’s unique mission is to provide equal access for free, culturally inclusive wellness resources and art programs to the local community.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- South Bay
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
Art and access do not always go hand in hand, particularly in our sprawling city that is often divided along socioeconomic lines. Though Long Beach is located in one of the wealthiest counties, 22.8% of its residents live at or below U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines. At Compound we are doing things differently. We are aware that culture is not neutral. Compound aims to mitigate structural inequalities by fostering free programs that can be experienced safely from a variety of locations. We believe that culture shifts consciousness. With the support of partners such as LA2050, Compound will use Art for All to bring renowned artists and educators into the public realm throughout all nine districts of Long Beach through portable arts education. Bringing arts education literally into the streets ensures direct engagement and impact between our artists and new audiences. In light of the hardships of this trying year, we have seen the transformative power of our programs on families.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Compound will take Art for All directly into the city, bringing portable programming pods to each district of Long Beach. Art for All invites artists to produce engaging and accessible artistic programs and workshops for families and has done so virtually during the pandemic, bridging contemporary art, wellness and social impact. Our collaborating artists have created projects in response to the concept of Radical Empathy over the course of the multiple phases of quarantine. This traveling version of Art for All will increase equitable access to recreational and creative space, and provide free opportunities for arts education and enrichment. Compound will collaborate with local artists, such as mentor and teacher Rudy Almazan, who founded Creativity Ascending. He has launched a youth-for-youth movement that teaches design and screen printing, with the mantra “For Youth From the Ground Up.” Almazan distributes art supplies to community children, and brings art to local youth through portable screen-printing at neighborhood parks in Long Beach. We will collaborate with Rudy and fund his efforts under the Compound Art for All umbrella. Our educational partner Slanguage, founded by Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Diaz, will run the lab to support the development of innovative ways of thinking about education, creative process, contemporary social issues and community through Slanguage programs “You Got to See It to Be it,” and Teen Council.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)
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.
Our traveling arts education will remove barriers to recreational and creative space, such as geographic proximity and cultural familiarity, allowing communities to co-create new art and ideas in real time. Compound will bring arts education into our streets and into the city where audiences can directly engage and collaborate with artists. Art for All will empower populations who may not otherwise have access, to participate in innovative educational creative workshops outside of the context of school and traditional institutions. Our virtual programs have already proven their deep impact, providing space for recreation, reflection, and transformation: one child and one family at a time. Our community must heal from the psychological and social tolls of this year. Through our continued commitment to access and equity, Compound will go directly into the communities we want to serve. Art for All contributes to our cultural reset through hands-on arts education and community-building.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Long Beach has a mere 3.02 acres of recreational space per 1,000 residents, which is far less than Los Angeles, which boasts 8.10 acres per 1,000 people. In Long Beach, both municipal poverty rates and the lack of recreational and creative space underline the severely unmet need for free and open access to wellness-promoting activities such as Art for All. Art for All has launched virtually during the pandemic year, providing virtual space for recreation and reflection. We measure impact through the growing numbers of participants. Our ever-expanding audience and direct testimonials from children and families who have participated, define our success. We are humbled by participants who’ve shared that our virtual programs have changed their lives. At Compound, through arts education, breath-work, meditation, and culture forums unpacking the intersections of race, society, and representation, our participating children and families see their unique experiences affirmed and expanded.
Which of the create metrics will you impact?
- Arts establishments
- and exhibitions
- Employment in the creative industries
- Minority- and women-owned businesses
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
- LA is the best place to LEARN
- LA is the best place to CONNECT
Contemporary Art League
Unity. Solidarity. Equity.
Contemporary Art League is a cooperatively owned and operated trade organization with a mission to build unity, solidarity, and equity in our field. CAL is an ambitious, long-term effort to unify and support the unprotected, under-resourced, and largely underpaid labor force of art workers within the broader creative economy in Los Angeles County. We offer community services, professional support, and advocacy opportunities to our members online and at our community center, responding directly to the needs of our community.
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.