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learn / 2021

ViCA Foster Art Program

ViCA Foster Art Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Venice Institute of Contemporary Art

We mentor youth and young adults from low income families to help them make art, and to nurture careers in the art world in arts administration, education, documentation, conservation, support staff, and infrastructure. We provide goal-oriented, structured settings in which they can learn, grow, and thrive by providing venues and avenues to display their newly learned skills.


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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • Other:: Foster kids under the jurisdiction of LA County.

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

There is a shortage of, and/or highly unequal, arts and real art world education in low income areas of Los Angeles. This needs to be addressed early and often, especially in the age range of 12-24, as these are years in which arts can play a huge role in the direction of a person’s life. There are some organizations that help with this on a daily basis, and yet there needs to be much more added to their ranks, in specific organizations such as ourselves who have the position within the art world to not only teach them how to be creative and eventually exhibit the best of their work, but most importantly nurture careers in the art world as artists and in arts administration, education, documentation, conservation, support staff, infrastructure, and the myriad supporting businesses.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

We mentor at-risk and disenfranchised youth and young adults to provide them with the confidence, skills, and expertise they will need to succeed in a career in the arts. Through study, training and education, students will learn how they can be a vital part of the art world we serve. During Covid, many of what used to be in-person mentoring will often need to be online, and we can readily serve that as well. The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art presents exhibitions both physically and online, publishes articles and books, creates documentaries, and does online zoomcasts originating locally and across the globe to tell stories of the creative people that live here and abroad. We will mentor and instruct these youth and young adults in real world projects in skills such as arts administration, education, documentation, conservation, support staff, and infrastructure that they can use to succeed in the art world, and any other world they choose to live in thereafter.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

100
Direct impact
1,500
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

If our work is successful, we will provide the art world with a much needed infusion of people previously marginalized, formerly at risk youth, and people of color that the art world needs. For us to be a truly diverse community we must embrace and empower everyone who has the goal to speak freely, especially our young people. We must provide the environment to help people tell the stories that matter to them, and to us.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We have worked with the Felix Organization and the LA Unified School District to identify and mentor youth in the arts, and are keeping in touch with them to see progress in our efforts. In their regular reports, they have identified and implemented demonstrably successful programs and we emulate and expand upon. Most importantly we plan to keep in touch with our mentees and supporters to document evidence of the sustained success of the people we serve.

Which of the learn metrics will you impact?​

  • Arts education
  • Enrollment in afterschool programs
  • Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE