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learn / 2020

Money Makers

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Junior High, Incorporated

Junior High will create “Money Makers” — a 10-month program featuring 10 workshops built to prepare artists ages 15—25 for life in creative careers. With career artists, tax professionals, and legal experts working with trained educators to develop instruction, Junior High will curate accessible programming for young people to develop skills in financial literacy. Topics will include budgeting, invoicing, and paying taxes. Lessons and branding will prioritize females, people of color, queer artists, and those experiencing financial burdens.

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

  • City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

What is the need you’re responding to?

The first step in addressing pay inequity is teaching young women and artists of color their value. Remedial education lacks the necessary training for financial literacy, especially for poor and working class students who often have the most to lose when it comes to poor financial management. “Money Makers” will equip teenagers and young adults with educational components that basic schooling lacks. Through learning budgeting, invoicing, and proper financial practices, more young people will feel equipped to enter the workforce, get paid for their labor, and pursue successful careers in the arts. Through this education — pay gaps will diminish, lower-income communities will secure more financially-fulfilling opportunities, and those most burdened by a lack of literacy will have the chance to advance in a society that prioritizes wealth.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Junior High is uniquely situated as a dynamic space for both young people and emerging artists. We have an expansive community of over 30,000 members — 33% of which are between the ages of 13 to 24. Throughout our five year tenure as Los Angeles’ most notable art space for young people, we have garnered a reputation for authenticity, responsibility, and knowledge. As the founder of Junior High and a freelance artist myself, pursuing art and entrepreneurship with no professional financial training felt like starting at an incalculable disadvantage. While the ethos of Junior High in general has always been to offer my community what I, myself, lacked — this particular project feels more immediate. Financial literacy is tied directly to self-worth. If I could teach young me what I know now, I’d spend fewer years struggling financially and invalidating my labor. Just because I “made it on my own” doesn’t mean the next generation of artists should have to.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

As programming will be free to the young people of Los Angeles, we hope many will subsequently begin successful careers as artists. We’re accounting for 50 students in person per workshop, and a much larger audience digitally. Online, we estimate the viewership to be around 10,000-20,000 unique impressions. Focusing our efforts on prioritizing women, POC, and queer artists will better equip them for successful long-term careers in the arts. Not only does this improve the economic standing of these communities and their varying intersections, but studies have proven that increasing the pay and economic standing of women, especially women of color, would dramatically impact their families and the United States economy as a whole.

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

Junior High will consider “Money Makers” successful if:

— we provide 10 months and 10 courses of professional development and financial literacy at no cost to the community — we serve at least 50 artists IRL and 5,000 artists online per workshop — 95% of the artists served are between the ages of 15 to 25 — 95% of the artists served are from the following demographics: female-identifying, queer, trans or nonbinary, people of color, and lower or working class —100% of the instructors are female-identifying, queer, trans or nonbinary, people of color, and lower or working class — we are able to pay instructors sustainable wages high above any minimum wage evaluations — Junior’s High’s following doubles per social media metrics — we partner with more community organizations to bring these courses to life, thus granting students more access to dedicated resources from not just Junior High, but also our community partners

On a broader scale, a true testament of success will be how many young people interact with our content and go on to become successful, financially secure, and empowered.

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Arts education
  • College graduates
  • College matriculation

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CREATE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community