CityLife brings together young people from diverse backgrounds and offers them exposure to and experiences with the Arts, culture, history and politics of Los Angeles in order to find creative solutions to urban issues. We promote educational and interpersonal practices that encourage participants to find their own voices, become independent thinkers, be leaders within their community, and develop into adults who a … Read More
CityLife brings together young people from diverse backgrounds and offers them exposure to and experiences with the Arts, culture, history and politics of Los Angeles in order to find creative solutions to urban issues. We promote educational and interpersonal practices that encourage participants to find their own voices, become independent thinkers, be leaders within their community, and develop into adults who are good neighbors and active citizens who value learning as a means to personal growth, economic benefit and social change.
During every session of CityLife, participants tackle an urban issue and propose solutions to those challenges. Middle school students have designed an urban park, created public art for a redevelopment district, proposed an “Alley District” in Downtown, designed possible replacements for the 6th Street Bridge across the Los Angeles River. In addition, they wrote “The Sacred Spaces of Wilshire Boulevard, a Guide for Kids, by Kids,” published jointly by CityLife and the Los Angeles Conservancy, and remains on the Conservancy website (http://www.curatingthecity.org/sacred_spaces_kids.pdf). This project, funded by a grant from the History Channel, was a finalist for an award, which allowed us to take two participants to Washington, DC, where, among other adventures, they got to meet with staffers of Senator Feinstein and watch a debate on the Senate floor.
High school students created a People’s Promenade to connect the residential community of the William Mead Project with the Cornfield. This project was featured in an exhibit, RETHINK LA, Perspectives on a Future City, in 2011 at the A + D Museum. Students at Lincoln High created a brochure, Exploring the Centennial, using the school’s Centennial Celebration as the impetus to identify and propose projects that would improve the campus.
Many of our participants have had their first exposure to classical music and have brought their entire families on CityLife outings to the Hollywood Bowl, also a first for them. Families have attended CityLife activities at MOCA, again often for the first time. And all have experienced broadening their horizons by exploring neighborhoods outside of their own, often for the first time. They have learned to examine evidence, explore issues from different perspectives, ask questions and develop opinions.
We know that many of our former CityLifers have gone on to attend and complete college and are starting out in careers in education, the arts, web design and marketing. One is currently working on the CityLife staff; another is designing our website; two others are beginning to help with fundraising.
CityLife received a Rose Award from the Downtown Breakfast Club. And student projects have been featured in articles in the Los Angeles Downtown News and the Los Angeles Times.