Social Connectedness / 2013
Creative Activist Program
An Incubator, Academy, & Agency, our Creative Activist Program (CAP) is a place for LA’s creative activists to turn ideas into action & for the Los Angeles community at large to become a force for change. In LA alone, we incubate, educate, & represent over 45 different media & arts projects, ranging in media types (film, multimedia, music, visual arts, & more) & focusing on our 6 core causes (human rights, youth & education, global consciousness, environment, gender equality, & health & wellness).
Individually, our creative activists exemplify a heightened level of social connectedness. Having identified their cause, they use a media type to address an issue & inspire action. Their work in turn demands social interaction & civic engagement, & their projects draw community involvement & local volunteerism. As a collective, CAP fosters the community necessary to galvanize action around these issues & improve the social well being of Los Angeles.Current LA-based CAP projects include: THE IMAGINATION FOUNDATION Grown out of “Caine’s Arcade” & with support from the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Imagination Foundation (IF) turned a viral video with 6 million views into a movement that now finds, fosters, & funds creativity & entrepreneurship in kids. In 2012 IF launched its Global Cardboard Challenge & hosted over 270 events in 41 countries. TENDER GREENS SUSTAINABLE LIFE PROJECT A dynamic farming program developed by Tender Greens Restaurants’ founders, the Sustainable Life Project (SLP) provides transitioning foster youth with a safe, consistent learning & living environment. To date, SLP has nurtured a class of interns to complete the program & become Tender Greens employees. FOSTER THE FUTURE This project is the band Foster the People’s philanthropic initiative that works with charities & communities to influence the act of giving back & creating community. In LA they work with 826LA, Breakaway Education, LA Guerrilla Gardening, & Social Justice Learning Institute. The implementation of CAP throughout LA will consist of 2 different levels of engagement: 1) with individual high impact creative activists & 2) with the LA community as a whole. To our selected creative activists & their projects, we provide direct services as an Incubator, Academy, & Agency. As an Incubator, we offer strategic & narrative development to map out their goals & objectives. We host an annual CAP Summit at our community Center in Malibu where we exchange ideas & share lessons learned. We also provide our creative activists with the ON Revolution, a resource-rich online social network where they can collaborate around their projects & meet one another’s needs. As an Academy, we nurture our creative activists’ talents & introduce them to critical knowledge through workshops & seminars in our CAP Academy Series & through panel conversations in our ON Rev Speaker Series. All content from these series is filmed & made available on the ON Revolution social networking site. As an Agency we connect our creative activists with the people, funding, & networks they need. We also provide fundamental services such as fiscal sponsorship while matching them with industry professionals for mentorship. Our engagement with the LA community at large will take form as an expansion of CAP, geared for the public. We will hold an LA Creative Activist Conference for a broad audience. Fashioned in the style of an arts & media-centric TED Conference, this will be a fusion of our CAP Summit & our ON Rev Speaker Series. The Creative Activist Conference will highlight the work of our creative activists, offer panels about our most successful projects, & host forums on innovate solutions for LA’s pressing issues. This gathering will provide opportunities for the community to get involved through civic engagement & volunteerism. As part of CAP’s immersion into LA, we will offer Angelenos exclusive access to the ON Revolution site, our ON Rev Speaker Series, & our creative activists’ satellite community events. Armed with the endless possibilities of digital media, today’s Angelenos are all producers, journalists, storytellers – piecing together a collective narrative & engaging in a global dialogue. What story will we tell? Thanks to LA2050, this year we have the chance to make LA’s story count – to make it a story about the community that tackled issues like poverty, global warming, human trafficking, & educational inequity with films & words & photos. By nurturing LA’s creative activists & extending their work deep into the LA community, CAP will enliven, encourage, & sustain social connectedness throughout LA. CAP’s 45+ active local projects provide Angelenos with the opportunity to participate in the solutions that will determine the future of LA. Ultimately, our Creative Activist Program has the ability to make the story of LA2050 that of a community rich in social interaction, civic engagement, & volunteerism.
What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?
To date Creative Visions Foundation has incubated over 150 creative activist projects and productions, reaching over 90 million people. Furthermore, these projects have reached 195 countries across the globe, and a recent evaluation of our finances, found that for every $1 donated to Creative Visions Foundation, $2.44 is raised for our fiscally sponsored creative activist projects. Additionally, since the launch of our Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism in Malibu, we’ve hosted more than 100 events, serving over 10,000 people through educational seminars and community program. Specifically, as an Academy, CAP’s Academy Series and ON Rev Speaker Series host approximately 20 events annually, which produce original content and generate roughly 300 minutes of finished productions a year.
Some notable projects to have come out of CAP include the following:
Video Volunteers: One of CVF’s first creative activist, nurtured by founders Kathy Eldon and Amy Eldon Turteltaub here in LA, Jessica Mayberry had a vision to teach illiterate Indian women how to use film to tell their stories and fight their battles. We helped her see it with business strategy, creative consulting, journalism education, and board development. Today Video Volunteers has created the largest, most diverse network of salaried community producers in the world. To date, Video Volunteers has created 15 community video units, trained 150 producers, employed 100 full-time producers, held 1100 screenings, reached 200,000 people through screenings, produced 60 video magazines and 50 additional films, hosted regular video screenings in 350 villages and slums, spurred 2,000 people to take direct action.
Happy: The latest documentary from Academy Award nominee and Angeleno Roko Belic, Happy sets out to answer the question and stimulate conversations around, “What makes you happy?” With a Facebook force of more than 30,000 Facebook fans, Happy quickly climbed to the #1 documentary on iTunes and declared February 11th, 2012 World Happy Day, holding over 600 screenings of the documentary in 60 countries on all 7 continents.
Living on One: A documentary about 4 LA-based college students who spent their summer living on $1 a day in rural Guatemala to better understand extreme poverty, Living on One has screened in 25 cities to 52,000 people & launched a Student Microfinance Movement with participation from 55 universities. A resource for students to take microfinance classes, find internships, and attend conferences, the Student Microfinance Movement builds the skill set necessary to become successful social entrepreneurs.
Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.
Bleick Studios Charity Brands CineCause Digital Fusion Do Good Bus Geena Davis Institute GOOD RYOT Invisible Children RED Digital Cinema Social Impact Media Awards Burkle Center Huffington Post MY HERO Project Tiziano Project TOMS Topanga Film Festival UN
LA Creative Activists’ Projects: Ama Yoga Beremedy Buyayear Cura Orphanage DEEDA DJ AM Memorial Fund Foster the Future FRESH U Happy Imagination Foundation Landfill Harmonic Linda’s Voice Living on One No Right Brain Left Behind One Person Crying Parson’s Nos Readkiddoread Sending the Orphans Back Steve Aoki Fund Symphonic Love Foundation Taming Your Anger Sustainable Life Project The Dinner Party Tribes in Transition Education
Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?
Volunteer hours generated. Local donations raised. Number of petitions signed. Number of users active on the ON Revolution social networking site. Number of people attending events.
We will evaluate CAP by detailing, measuring, and quantifying not only the impact that each of our LA CAP projects produces but also CAP’s impact on the LA community at large. We require that each of our LA creative activists submits impact reports that provide us with concrete metrics on their work, and we hold our own work to the same expectations. We will have impact reports on each of our nearly 50 LA creative activists as well as a comprehensive report on CAP’s impact on LA as a whole.
In these reports, we assess impact, social media, strategy, media attention, and fundraising.
Regarding impact, we will detail what direct services have been provided, who has been served, and how many people have benefitted. We will also evaluate what long-term effects the project produces, whom or what has benefitted from those effects, and the metrics surrounding those beneficiaries. Additionally, we will assess how the project has influenced change and what outcomes have been produced that have helped shape key policies, rights, and/or freedoms. Lastly, we will report on how our project has addressed the issues surrounding the root cause of the problem and implemented sustainable change.
Regarding social media, we will outline the project’s social media strategy, and we will detail, measure, and quantify social media traffic, reach, reaction, and action. For instance, we will track who we are reaching, how we are reaching them, who is reacting, what they are saying, who’s taking action, what actions are most important, etc.
Regarding strategy, we will detail our project’s goals and objectives over the past year and illustrate how we reached these goals and objectives, noting the benchmarks along the way.
Regarding media attention, we will describe coverage received in 2013 and how the project received the attention.
Regarding fundraising, we will provide year-end financial statements, including the budget and expense report for the past seven months.
We will measure success by evaluating the metrics surrounding LA’s volunteerism, voting, and civic and social engagement before and after the implementation of CAP in Los Angeles. LA2050 currently gives LA an orange rating for social connectedness, implying that LA’s lack of social connectedness currently hinders human development. With CAP, we strive to significantly enhance human development across LA, and we intend to measure that by quantifying the work of our LA creative activists and evaluating the social interaction, civic engagement, and volunteerism produced through our Creative Activist Program.
How will your project benefit Los Angeles?
Transcending the binds that educational attainment often places on individuals’ exposure to and opportunities for engagement, CAP will strengthen social connectedness throughout LA by cultivating creative activist projects that offer social interaction, civic engagement, and volunteer opportunities. CAP inherently affects LA2050’s metrics for social connectedness.
Regarding social interaction, CAP not only provides Angelenos with the ON Revolution resource-rich social networking site to communicate and collaborate around projects and issues alike, but it also offers the LA community a wide variety of events. Aside from the LA Creative Activist Conference, Angelenos will now be able to attend an ON Rev Speaker Series event every 4-6 weeks. Additionally, at our Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism in Malibu, we host gallery openings, monthly Sundowners for creative activists to meet and mingle from April through September, and Sack Lunches for Angelenos interested in creative activism to come learn more. Recently, we’ve begun hosting occasional screenings and even held small festivals at our Center as well. Separately, our 45+ creative activists and their projects host an array of satellite events around LA, from fundraisers to awareness events, available to the broader LA community.
Regarding civic engagement, each of CAP projects offers individuals numerous points of entry to mobilize personally and as a community around issues that matter most to them. As a media and art centered source for engagement, we meet citizens at the core of what inspires them, and these projects call on the community to take action. For our creative activists, action can take many different forms – from a Global Day of Play for a Cardboard Challenge to a screening and discussion around global poverty and microfinance. Action can also mean donating to a cause to sustain its work or signing a petition to influence institutional change.
Regarding volunteerism, CAP and the projects under its umbrella survive thanks to volunteers, and we have a bottomless well of opportunities for volunteers to get involved. The media and arts component of CAP functions as that entry point for the average, uninspired, uninvolved citizen to become inspired and get involved.
And with inspired, involved, invested citizens, LA has the potential to flourish as a community and tap into its own spark to ignite change both locally and globally.
What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?
For CAP, success in 2050 would be an LA where we’re interacting with one another, engaging in critical issues, volunteering for what moves us, and participating as voters to craft the narrative around our community. LA2050’s report on social connectedness looked bleak at best.
In 2050, we see an LA with over 50% of its residents active on the ON Revolution social networking site, or engaging with one another on whatever platform the ON Revolution has evolved to become. More importantly, we see an LA where that same number of people, if not more, is interacting with one another face to face at a host of community events.
We see an LA with no fewer than 100 active LA creative projects operating under our Creative Activist Program, with an additional 50 projects having graduated to alumni and operating as their own 501©3s. In turn, we see an LA with a dramatic rise in civic engagement, increasing the local donations raised and the number of petitions signed by at least 300%.
We see an LA where the rates of volunteerism have risen from 21.5% to 65.8% and the number of adults volunteering has climbed from 2 million to 6 million. We see an LA that sits somewhere in the top 3 metro areas for volunteerism rates.
And we see an LA where we’re voting and trusting and enjoying our community.
Above all, in 2050 we see an LA where social connectedness is not an indicator of human development but instead an essential part of life. It is in our blood and sweat and DNA as Angelenos, and it is only the beginning of our potential to thrive.