Arts & Cultural Vitality / 2013

Create LA: Free Art Classes for Kids

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Create LA

Our idea is simple - free quality arts programming for Los Angeles kids. Create LA is a nonprofit organization providing arts education programs to Los Angeles youth both in community locations and out of a facility in Glassell Park that it shares with Keystone Fine Art Studios, a group of over forty artists creating sculpture, paintings, public art, and media installations. The organization has worked diligently to create partnerships with local schools, businesses and organizations to deliver art instruction in various capacities, pulling from its immediate resource in supportive Keystone artists. Create LA’s goals are to engage youth in quality arts education; promote the spread of specialized skill-sets from this generation of artisans to the next; and provide an engaging community space for creativity to thrive. Specifically the organization aims to accomplish these goals through the connection of Los Angeles artists with kids in the community. Create LA will provide community members with expanding opportunities for participation through involvement in various events and the establishment of free after school arts programming with weekend workshop offerings. Our idea will impact the Arts and Cultural Vitality indicator by creating an environment where established and emerging artists work together to envision possibilities, explore options, and manifest unique expression.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Within the past year, we have been thrilled to work with a dedicated group of volunteers to provide free art workshops to youth in the community in various capacities. We have successfully engaged community members by hosting fundraising events in our facility, showcasing Los Angeles artists. We have been fortunate enough to participate in local initiatives, cosponsoring with American Legacy Fine Arts, Glassell Park Improvement Association, Eagle Rock Yacht Club, Glassell Park Elementary School, Los Feliz Arts Charter School, Los Angeles River School, eCALS, Saint Bernard Catholic School, Work Source California, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles. We have worked hard to establish a network of support consistently contributing time, money, and materials to our cause, including California Arts Club, Glassell Park Partners LLC, and The Classroom LA. We are excited about our upcoming collaboration with the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program of Los Angeles in piloting our after school program.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Keystone Fine Arts Studios, Glassell Park Recreation Center, various Los Angeles based visual artists

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Ultimately, Create LA aims to positively impact the Los Angeles community with its uniquely collaborative programming, fostering a lifelong enthusiasm for working creatively. Create LA will engage youth in quality arts education, promote the spread of specialized skill-sets from this generation of artisans to the next, and provide an engaging community space for creativity to thrive. Evaluation of project success will be measured by increased demand for arts programming in the community, individual improvement of higher-level thinking and expansion of artistic exploration among youth, and continued development of Create LA’s network of contributing artists and volunteers. Youth will continue participation in more complex courses, which can be measured by increased enrollment. Artist statements will capture the individual growth of higher level thinking in the reflective process. Additionally, as the organization provides youth with the space and opportunity to develop discrete skills from Los Angeles artists in various visual art forms, success will be marked by an increase in interested artist participation.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

Only through the deliberate shift of skills, trades, and ideas can we succeed in engaging the next generation of thriving artists and creative thinkers. Create LA was formed in direct response to the problem of lacking affordable arts education among today’s youth. The organization has begun to engage the public via numerous offerings including after school programs, weekend workshops, and community art instruction. Over time the Create LA facility will grow to be an invaluable resource and engaging community space.

The Los Angeles community will benefit from our presence as an institution of art, education, business, and creativity. As arts enhance culture, Create LA will be adding to the cultural vitality of Los Angeles, while directly serving youth with quality arts programming. Create LA youth will also get first-hand experience with the business of art through exhibition in regular gallery shows, where kids can familiarize themselves with the presentation process of visual art while participating in exhibits and events. Create LA will have the opportunity to encourage artistic exploration in youth, expose young people to career paths in visual arts, and provide them with on-site artist role models in the invested Keystone Studios.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

The prospect of success in the year 2050 is exciting for the Create LA program. Through participation and engagement in a comprehensive visual arts program, generations of community members will incorporate their creativity into all aspects of life. Appreciation for the talents and accomplishments of others will be paramount, which sustains a vibrant and peaceful environment.

Additionally, a portion of the Angelenos who have been involved with Create LA as students will now be artists in their own right, employing skills and techniques they have learned from artists before them and applying this knowledge in their current work. They will also be sharing and collaborating with the young learners of the city, continuing the tradition of passing on enthusiasm for learning in and through the arts to the next generation. The arts will be central to the development of young people, and the established artisans of the area will view sharing the process of creating art as an ordinary part of daily life.