learn / 2016

Cultivating Creative Students opens up creative fields to Los Angeles high school students.

Cultivating Creative Students opens up creative fields to Los Angeles high school students.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Wisdom Arts Laboratory

Cultivating Creative Students provides creative college prep support — college counseling and portfolio coaching — to high school students lacking financial resources.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Prep for Art - College Coaching for creative students, based in Los Angeles. Prep for Art is spearheaded by Linda Pollack, a Los Angeles based artist and member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC). Linda gives presentations about supporting student creativity and college supplements in public libraries as well as events like College Day at Beverly Hills High School.

Please describe your project proposal.

Cultivating Creative Students (CCS) broadens access to creative fields by supporting hs students as they prepare for life after high school. While most students have access to some form of college counseling, few high schools are versed in supporting students for creative college programs. CCS will provide rigorous creative college prep resources, including college counseling, portfolio coaching, documentation and more, to students lacking the financial resources for such focussed support.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • College completion
  • College matriculation rates
  • Student education pipeline

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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • South LA

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

Most schools in Los Angeles, including public schools, provide some form of basic college counseling for their students. Providing college counseling geared towards creative students pursuing arts and/or broader liberal arts programs is especially challenging because it requires an individualized, intensive, intuitive approach that is time consuming in order for it to be effective. In the more resourced schools and communities of Los Angeles, many students have access to a vast network of college coaching support, be it through the school itself with offerings itself, or through access to a number of private college counselors and private tutors. There is a remarkably different picture, However, in the public schools of resource-challenged communities. In these schools, support beyond the most basic college application requirements is rare. With Cultivating Creative Students (CCS), Wisdom Arts Laboratory of Pasadena collaborates with Prep for Art (College Counseling for Creative People), to provide rigorous and innovative college counseling resources for creative students who would otherwise lack the financial resources necessary to have access to this more sophisticated network of support .

Cultivating Creative Students will develop a program for high school students that will include support for portfolio development, documentation, the school list, personal essay /other statements development, interview preparation, financial aid coaching, and out reach to parents unfamiliar with the US college system and application process. Cultivating Creative Students could also help identify possible internships, competitions, and events such as National Portfolio Day and other occasions that help students grow their fluency with presenting their creative talents.

In addition to supporting students intending to pursue formal art programs, Cultivating Creative Students will also support students who want to pursue broader liberal arts programs, through developing a supplemental portfolio that can showcase and platform endeavors in broader cultural production, such as students who are involved in advocacy work, newspaper work, self initiated projects, students who have created an innovation on solving a problem. There is no limit to where creativity is found!

In this way CCS opens up creative fields and practices to a more inclusive Los Angeles.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

The success of this project will be measured in terms of the number of students we will reach out to in general presentations, as well as the number of students we ultimately work with in supporting them as they develop, complete and submit their college application. This includes students who are applying to arts programs with a required portfolio as part of the application process, as well as students who receive our college counseling support and create portfolios as a supplemental component of their application package to broader college programs (ie, liberal arts, communications and other majors). We will track students as they journey through college to provide support during their college years and track and note their completion, transfer and withdrawal rates.

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

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support