connect / 2015

SBC at CRAFTED: Bridging the Cultural and Generation Gap through Sustainable Art Education

SBC at CRAFTED: Bridging the Cultural and Generation Gap through Sustainable Art Education

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by South Bay Contemporary, CRAFTED

SBC will build and operate a new arts education and exhibition facility at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. This new SBC arts center, the first of its kind on the LA Waterfront, will appeal to all generations and be accessible to people of all income levels. Our shared goal is to engage youth and seniors in arts and sustainability through a program of exhibitions and workshops that emphasize community, connection and the exchange of ideas between people of all backgrounds and ages.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South Bay
  • City of Los Angeles
  • San Pedro, Los Angeles, South Bay

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics?

  • Rates of volunteerism
  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Number of public transit riders
  • Participation in neighborhood councils
  • Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)
  • Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.

South Bay Contemporary (SBC), a non-profit arts organization dedicated to building the arts in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, has a 10 year track record of putting on great exhibitions and related classes. SBC is now developing membership and community programs, and seeks to bridge cultural and generational divides through arts education.

SBC will use this grant to provide a high quality, multi-generational arts experience for children, families and seniors throughout the South Bay. Arts and creativity is a critical part of human development, enabling children and adolescents to mature into functional, productive adults that are able to think creatively and solve problems. Tragically, arts programs have been drastically cut from many school curriculums, and low-income families are disproportionally affected due to limited low- or no-cost arts activities. For seniors, the process of observing and making art offers a wide range of health benefits and enhances imagination and creativity, helping them to realize their unique, unlived potential; but unfortunately there is a lack of high-quality art programs available to low-income seniors.

SBC plans to build a 3,000 sq ft exhibition and learning space at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles, a vibrant 26,000 sq. ft. arts and crafts marketplace on the LA Waterfront in San Pedro, featuring the work of more than 50 resident artists and craftspeople. The market provides an opportunity for a culturally, geographically and creatively diverse population of artists to share and sell their work with the public.

SBC plans to further that mission and help realize the vision of CRAFTED as a creative campus on the LA Waterfront. SBC’s goal for collaborating with CRAFTED is to join with an established creative community to offer a unique arts education program.

Programs offered in the new exhibition/education space will have two components: thought-provoking exhibitions focused on environmental sustainability and storytelling; and hands-on intergenerational arts workshops led by major Los Angeles artists. SBC already has commitments from Tracy Weiss, who is well known for her work with recycled plastics (http://www.zhibit.org/traceyweiss); Hyung Mo Lee, Dawn Ertl (http://dawnertl.tumblr.com) and found object artist and SBC co-founder Ben Zask. We will offer a minimum of 6 major exhibitions and a series of workshops, complemented by a regular program of activities led by SBC staff and artists.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

We estimate that in this one-year pilot program, we can provide half-day, intensive arts workshops led by a working artist for 960 children and seniors, and expose approximately 180,000 individuals and families to the SBC special exhibitions and smaller-scale arts activities at CRAFTED. We will know that we are successful if we are able to provide our program to our anticipated numbers; and if we are able to assist LA2050 in its goal of increasing the number of households in LA that have participated in the arts through engagement with an arts/cultural institution.

Through this program, SBC will create mentorship opportunities for young interns and volunteers to develop leadership skills. This program should create six paid internship opportunities and help these young adults become permanently employed in the arts.

We will also evaluate our work based on number of new SBC memberships, grant awards and donation contributions, sales of art objects and increased visitors.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)