Arts & Cultural Vitality / 2013

Moving Voices of Los Angeles

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Filipino Migrant Center

The Moving Voices of Los Angeles is an audio storytelling project for the digital age. It will preserve the South Bay's immigrant community's stories, transmitting experiences and values to future generations in its own voice. Moving Voices will train audio storytellers from within the community and create an app to modernize the tools and make it easy for others to replicate the project.

The Moving Voices of L.A will

  • Revive audio story telling as an art form
  • Train community artists
  • Create an app to move the time-honored art form into the digital age
  • Provide access to participation in the arts
  • Weave community stories and experiences that make Los Angeles
  1. Reviving an art form

    Hearing someone's voice is not the typical way we learn about stories. We consume stories largely through visual images. It's time that we train our ourselves to listen. The Moving Voices of L.A is innovative in that it will revive this time-honored way in conveying and receiving the stories of our communities, adding richness to the arts and culture of Los Angeles.

  2. Training community artists

    Moving Voices of L.A will train young adults in capturing stories of their communities through the voices and words from people around them. Every week, field interviewers will capture a story from the 16 cities, diverse ethnic migrant communities that make up the South Bay. Through the community's voice, stories will come alive, guiding the growth of the community. Training and support will be provided by experienced cultural workers with graduate degrees in social documentation, cultural anthropology, public health, and interactive journalism.

  3. Create an app to move the time-honored art form into the digital age

    Technology is making it cheaper and easier than ever to create high quality photographs, video and audio. The Moving Voices app will make audio storytelling snap by guiding an interviewer, organizing audio and making it easy to publish a finished story.

  4. Provide access to participation in the arts

    Moving Voices of L.A gives community members an opportunity to engage in a low-cost accessible art medium through content production ,online publishing to a large audience and a growing community of audio storytellers.

  5. Weave shared stories and experiences

    Each week, individual stories from the diverse immigrant communities of the South Bay will be captured and presented online. These individual stories will be woven into a collective narrative that presents a rich tapestry of how the South Bay came to be, where it is, and where it is going. At the end of the year, a community exhibit and symposium will take place to celebrate the voice of the community.

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

  1. Launched a successful campaign with trafficked migrant workers that helped them obtain T-visas and create a tactical coalition composed of community organizations, churches and lawyers.
  2. Co-sponsored the “living wage campaign” in Long Beach, mobilizing community members collecting thousands of signatures and campaigning for a bill that was passed in the popular vote.
  3. Engaged in the campaign to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights through legislative visits, actions in Sacramento and actions in Los Angeles.
  4. Held large community forums on comprehensive immigration reform and DACA (Deferred Action) for dreamers.
  5. Conducts well attended immigration forums and health clinics in Long Beach for low-income families, migrant workers and youth.
  6. Organized and mobilized community youth for a series of Hip-Hop workshops in Carson and Long Beach.

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

Our organization has strong alliances with other community-based organizations in the South Bay area, and will continue to collaborate with them on this project.

  1. Asian Pacific American Legal Center
  2. Philippine American Bar Association
  3. National Guestworker Alliance
  4. National Domestic Workers Alliance & California Domestic Workers Alliance
  5. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in LA
  7. CLUE
  8. Samoan Federation of America in Carson
  9. Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization
  10. Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community
  11. Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition
  12. St. Lucy's Church
  13. Khmer Girls in

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

A mixed-methodology will be employed when evaluating success of the project.

Quantitative evaluation:

  • numbers of interviews conducted
  • number of project participants will reflect demographic realities of the South Bay communities
  • number of youth trained
  • analytics for the online community (dedicated project website, social media outlets)

When conducting social investigation, measuring success through numbers has its limitations. Qualitative evaluation is the piece that will reveal the story behind the numbers. Moving Voices of L.A. will utilize open ended questionnaires when designing instruments and protocols. The movement of the participating communities will be revealed through observations, small informal group sessions, and document reviews.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

According to the Goldhirsh Foundation's My LA 2050 report, "…the immigrant population that propelled the area's growth in recent decades is becoming more deeply settled, and they're rearing a new generation of California natives." The immigrant experience is a story worth preserving, studying and learning from for both the individual community and Los Angeles as a whole.

Moving Voices of L.A. will create accessible and easy to use tools to share experiences and create an online community of storytellers.

The Moving Voices of Los Angeles will:

  • Connect communities
  • Bridge generations
  • Stimulate action
  • Lead other cities
  • Provide a picture in voices of its communities
  • Become source materials for future use

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

In 2050, it is our hope and vision that arts and culture in Los Angeles will:

  • Continue to see a thriving artist community
  • Contain diverse voices and communities creating and participating in the arts
  • Include both traditional and non-traditional forms
  • Propel experimentation in new art forms
  • Increase genuine access to all public institutions and programs
  • Have a stronger funding support for arts in education