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Education by Nature: Los Angeles
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ExN:LA is a local model that meets the needs of the students, schools and communities served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Since 1985, CNI has served over 300,000 LAUSD students with our free, outreach Nature Discovery Program and our weekly Community Nature Programs at the Magnolia Place Family Center. We know first-hand the struggles of working within such a large district and the disenfranchisement of our community. ExN:LA is built on the idea that, to improve education, LA-based nonprofit partners, teachers, students and families must work together. Evidence shows the only way to truly affect large-scale reform, whether in education, community or family development is to shift from “program delivery” to participating in a “community of practice.” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says, “When families learn together and where schools truly become the heart and center of a neighborhood – a community anchor- there are tremendous dividends for children.” ExN:LA is exactly this kind of community anchor. Lesson plans focus on local issues, including nature in LA, the interplay of the city and its waterways, growing food in schoolyards, and changing human behavior to positively impact the world around us. The children we teach are concrete learners – they understand best the things they can see and touch. Project based learning helps children understand their place in the world and develop a connection to its care. ExN:LA helps teachers expose their students to STEM-based thinking that builds future success. Opportunities include modeling of scientific logic; professional development workshops; field trips; and lesson plans aligned with state curricula. ExN:LA benefits Los Angeles by improving the educational framework at large, making STEM subjects more accessible and addressing many of the issues we’ve had teaching STEM subjects to LA’s children. A 2011 RAND study “Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California,” found that 40-60% of California’s 2nd and 3rd graders are not proficient in core subjects, including STEM. Larger gaps exist for socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, including Latinos, African-Americans and English language learners, the main demographics in our community. These achievement gaps have early roots: the groups who are behind in third grade were behind when they entered kindergarten. A 2012 fact-sheet from Preschool California supports that claim, stating that early experiences –from the time children are born to the first day of kindergarten – shape whether a child’s brain develops a strong foundation for the learning, health and behavior that follow. “Early interventions for disadvantaged children are more economically efficient and produce higher returns than remedial programs to help teenagers and young adults catch up later on,” writes to James Heckman, of the University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in Economics. ExN:LA focuses on science and nature experiences for LA’s youngest learners.

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daKAT House:  A Public Housing Project for musicians.
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Fundamentally, it would provide affordable housing to a large group of people. Even better, this large group of people happen to be outstanding musicians, who will dedicate the term of their leases to creating a musical ensemble with the other tenants. And, even better than that, this group of musicians is engaged in the surrounding community, providing affordable instrumental music lessons to those who wish to learn. Every month sees a performance of the house ensembles. These performances are recorded, and broadcast over the internet. A major factor in the promotion and exploitation of the recordings will be the fact that the musicians are living communally in subsidized housing provided through the city and federal government. A program like this presents the city as a patron to its own artists. This type of reputation can serve as a magnet for other artists to relocate to our city, contributing to the economy of L.A. Since the performances are affordable, the house ensembles present a way in which the working-class community can discover symphonic music in a live environment. Since tickets to the L.A. Phil can get pricey, the opportunity to see live symphonic music is limited to those who have disposable income. daKAT House provides this opportunity to those on a fixed budget. This project provides a cadre of music teachers at a cut-rate price to those who would like to learn. The location of the Echo Park property is in close enough proximity to the VAPA Magnet High School in downtown L.A. There are also several elementary and middle schools in the area that serve a working-class community. Discounted local music lessons could provide an option that may not have been available for some of these families.

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The HeArt Project: Arts Education ends the Dropout Crisis in LA
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HP is one of the only arts organizations in L.A. that works exclusively with alternative high school students. Students attend alternative high schools (continuation and community day schools) for reasons including failing grades and behavioral problems, teen pregnancy/parenting, gang involvement, expulsion from their home school districts, or prior incarceration. Most are low-income minorities, and all are at high risk of dropping out for good. Our students have experienced high levels of transience and failure, perceive a lack of future possibilities, and have difficulty recognizing the value of their contributions and connection to others. As a result they are often unable to envision a future where they embark on fulfilling careers, feel a meaningful connection to their community, or identify and pursue substantive goals. We have witnessed through the years -- and research in the field supports our experience -- that the arts are a particularly effective mechanism to inspire hard-to-reach youth. Many HP students are part of rampant cycles of poverty, gang involvement and violence that perpetuate themselves within their families and communities. HP helps students help themselves and chart a new course in life. HP students connect with professional mentors, contribute to a positive peer network, graduate high school, and pursue substantive goals. By investing in their own potential, these teenagers transform into fulfilled and responsible adults with a stake in their communities. HP’s work is significantly underscored by a major report just recently released from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth” (2012), which compiles findings from four longitudinal studies. One example from the study is that in two separate databases, students who had arts-rich experiences in high school showed higher overall GPAs than did students who lacked those experiences. And further, high school students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits. This significant effect of the arts on the graduation rate of at-risk teenagers mirrors what we have witnessed in our 20 years of service.

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LA, the capital of mindfulness in 2050
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<p>This project will create a world class resource for training leaders in the mindfulness movement in the heart of Los Angeles. With new access to a property of 17 acres of pristine nature, this project will enable InsightLA to create a functional space for training health care professionals, educators, and other community leaders to become mindfulness practitioners and teachers in Los Angeles. By 2050, the program will have trained thousands of Mindfulness Ambassadors for the city, including health care professionals, educators, and community leaders, and provided the catalytic support to make Los Angeles a 'mindful city' that addresses health and environmental indicators upstream. In addition, free training resources will be provided online, so anyone can improve their mindfulness and drive positive behavior change in their own lives. This project, while focused on health, attacks all of the indicators at their root, by giving each of us and all of us the tools and training to be more mindful and considerate about the way we engage with the social, political, and natural environment and contribute to our families, our communities, and our city.</p>

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volunteers housing the homeless
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Getting fifteen chronically homeless people off the street and into permanent housing will (1) vastly reduce the amount of taxpayer money spent to take care of them IN the street -- in shelters, in emergency rooms and hospitals, in police stations and jails and prisons; (2) since the effort will be entirely volunteer and OF the community, it will draw the community as a whole into a closer relationship with the homeless generally and help to do away with the notion that we live in one world and they live in another; (3) it will save fifteen perfectly good people from a downward spiral from which most of us would be hard pressed to pull out and, in the case of a number of them, it will return them to a position of productivity alongside the rest of us: to jobs, to social and political interactions of all kinds, and (sure enough) to VOLUNTEERING to help others who are still on the downward spiral.

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Inspiring Healthy Futures
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Prototypes is often a last stop for women and their children who have immediate needs like access to shelter and food, but also complex mental health and substance use issues. With 11 locations in Los Angeles, and serving 12,000 people annually, Prototypes currently reaches underserved communities as a critical safety net for individuals seeking intensive and individualized treatment. Prototypes works to make sure that health disparities are reduced for the most underserved communities, increasing this population’s overall health and access to care. Additionally, Prototypes has made infrastructure changes in preparation for healthcare reform ensuring that our services continue to reach underserved care as individuals gain access to health insurance. Prototypes’ unique social service model fills a much needed gap in care in Los Angeles and is directly benefiting children who may have not received services or who may have been sent to the child welfare system when their mothers entered residential treatment. Each day, Prototypes provides children with shelter, food, counseling and therapeutic daycare in a safe and nurturing environment alongside their mothers. The women receive intensive and integrated services that give the tools to care for and support their children, ensuring their health and that their opportunities for success are not denied. This project works to remove health as a “hindrance to human development” as we envision a better Los Angeles.

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Empowering LAUSD with a Transmedia Education Platform for Change
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This project will hold all stakeholders involved in and affected by LAUSD's shortcomings accountable. Once voices and concerns are amplified and a masses of Angeleno's are engaged in making critical improvements to LA's education system, the cause itself will have a ripple effect that puts LA in the spotlight to improve its current state of education. By highlighting stories of both cases - positive and negative - from students, parents, teachers, after-school programs, and the like, others in LA struggling with similar issues will be able to learn from and be inspired by one another's experiences. The underlying purpose of the project is to create accountability. By creating a massive, interconnected, real-time "story world" that addresses very specific problems with LAUSD and creative solutions for addressing its shortcomings, those in LA responsible for the problems and issues with our education system will be held publicly accountable. On top of this, after-school programs, organizations, and enterprises available to LA's K-12 students will gain more exposure and support to expand their services once their impact has been highlighted.

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Transforming Los Angeles Schools Using the Parent Trigger Law
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<p>For far too long, meaningful power in regards to education policy has essentially rested in the hands of distant school district management and teachers unions. This has led to policies that far too often make little or no sense for children trapped in Los Angeles’ failing schools. </p> <p>We believe that fundamentally altering that power structure by introducing parents as real power players in a strategic way is the best way towards transformative policy change in public education, and each one of our strategies and tactics are geared towards accomplishing that endgame.</p> <p>As we build a cadre of strong parent chapters across Los Angeles fighting for reforms at their children’s low-performing schools, we will simultaneously begin focusing on translating those chapters into a city-wide movement for kids-first reforms in adult and school accountability, teacher effectiveness, college readiness, and other important areas.</p> <p>The first step in that process is to build strong horizontal relationships between our different chapters based on shared experiences and similar roadblocks they encounter in their Parent Trigger campaign efforts.</p> <p>We are certain that as our Parents Union Chapters launch in-district Parent Trigger efforts at their individual schools, other chapters across Los Angeles will consistently come up against similar roadblocks that are out of the hands of their local administrators or even their school district – state rules that force layoffs based only on seniority or that prohibit meaningful accountability by immediately granting teachers tenure after only two years.</p< <p>We will be actively and constantly seizing on these opportunities to channel parents’ frustrations up to district-wide and statewide advocacy efforts, which will serve as a key facilitator of our parent empowerment movement building efforts. </p> <p>All the while, however, we work to build horizontal relationships between the different chapters to create advocacy alliances based on common problems they are encountering at their schools. We thus very intentionally will use these chapters to build a local movement to advocate for key policy reforms on the district level always providing the type of sophisticated advocacy tools that are crucial for success by supplementing this grassroots movement with our organization’s proven skill sets in media, politics, and law. </p> <p>This philosophy guides our approach, which uses the Parent Trigger in partnership with sophisticated community organizing techniques to build a powerful, parent-based, movement for education policy that puts kids first. </p> <p>Thousands of children that are trapped in Los Angeles’ low-performing schools will become lifetime beneficiaries of this approach to education reform.</p>

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EMA PLAY:  Dance, Create, Think, Make the Future
EMA PLAY: Dance, Create, Think, Make the Future
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Los Angeles will benefit by having a culturally diverse event that they can attend for free. Los Angeles based chosen artists will benefit from being showcased. Some downtown (mainly restaurant and club) businesses will benefit from increased business. The City of Los Angeles will benefit from having a cultural event that will inspire attending Angelenos to participate in our future. All showcased artists and vendors will be LA based.

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This project will benefit Los Angeles in several ways. First and foremost, it will improve direct care to the thousands of Angelenos who already have existing benign and malignant brain tumors by developing the multidisciplinary Neuro-Oncology program at LAC+USC. LAC+USC Medical Center is one of the busiest public hospitals in the western United States and the largest single provider of health care in Los Angeles County. LAC+USC records nearly 39,000 inpatient discharges, 150,000 emergency department visits, and 1 million ambulatory care visits each year. Secondly, it will help ensure that all residents of LA County have future access to a specialized Neuro-Oncology care, physicians, clinical trials, and emerging therapies for years to come, so that care provided to LAC+USC patients is on par with any National Cancer Center. When new therapies for brain cancer do emerge, having the infrastructure in place to efficiently deliver care to patients with brain cancer will be critical; The proposed clinic will help with streamlined care delivery. Thirdly, it will help develop a Center of Excellence in LA County for many years to come, serving as a structural model and network for additional specialty centers to develop. Finally, research that emerges from this program may have indirect benefits for LA residents with brain tumors for years to come. Although complete elimination of healthcare disparities in Los Angeles by 2050 is a daunting task, we aim to serve as a model program for how a group of practitioners/providers with converging goals for patients can be a Center of Excellence despite limited resources, and reduce healthcare disparities within our treatment focus area.

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Mentoring through Education Movement
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Mentoring through Education will benefit LA by providing innovative, hands-on, and experiential educational services and workshops, with the development of Learning Communities. We expect over 300 students to be served throughout Los Angeles County in high-crime, high poverty communities over the course of the project. However, through the implementation of Learning Communities, the number of individuals served throughout Los Angeles will multiply drastically. Through these teaching communities, LA will benefit by creating more jobs, decreasing unemployment rates, improving the health of LA residents, creating safe environments for residents to live, and inspiring residents to educate their children at a very young age. Mentoring has shown to positively impact the lives of youth all over the world. It has inspired young people to face and overcome obstacles within their lives. Through the Mentoring through Education Movement, this project will revolutionize the way of learning, allowing young people to have a support system as they progress through not only their educational goals, but their lives. Through our embedded mentoring, community service, and restorative justice approach, we expect LA to benefit from our young leaders who are succeeding and giving back to their communities. By fostering young leaders to reach their goals and succeed in their lives, we expect the same individuals to model and inspire other young people to become future leaders. Collaborative Tutoring envisions the increase in high school diploma attainment rates within the Los Angeles County. With this, we expect that college-going rates will increase. It is our goal to build up young leaders that will pave the way for their own children and embed education within their children’s lives.

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Reduce Food System Environmental Impacts: Through their commitment to purchase at least 15% of annual food purchases from sustainable and local sources, LA institutions will contribute to our region’s environmental sustainability targets by reducing chemical inputs (such as pesticides and fertilizer) and food miles. Institutions are also encouraged to reduce meat consumption—a key strategy for improving public health and sustainability—as livestock farming is one of the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Influence Food Production Decisions: Increased demand for fairly and sustainably produced food from large institutional purchasers will encourage LA area farmers to shift towards more environmentally and socially sustainable growing practices. With more institutions adopting GFPP, we will provide market opportunities for farms that decrease or eliminate chemical inputs; avoid the use of hormones and antibiotics; conserve land, soil, and water; protect and enhance biodiversity; and reduce on-farm energy consumption and GHG emissions. Strengthen the LA Regional Food Infrastructure: We will build market relationships between GFPP purchasers and GFPP producers by working with partners to establish a LA Regional Food Hub. A food hub, supported by regular institutional demand, will provide necessary infrastructure to scale up the supply of local Good Food and make wholesome Good Food options affordable in small neighborhood markets in underserved LA neighborhoods. Climate Change Adaptability: Locally produced and sustainably harvested produce and fish ensure food security by avoiding disruptions in the supply chain or lapses in quality control. Moreover, a region that can generate its own food is less susceptible to fluctuations in the national and global food supply. It is also important for us to ensure that everyone living in the LA region has access to Good Food. LAUSD is a vital part of this goal. As the second largest school district in the country, they provide lunch to 650,000 students daily, 80% of whom receive free or reduced meals. Additionally, City government facilities reach at least 100,000 residents daily, through nutrition programs, employee cafeterias, and concessionaires. We will also work with universities and hospitals to expand GFPP. GFPP will ensure increased access to fresh, high quality local food to those who need it most. Create Local Jobs: Rebuilding our regional food system can create good, local jobs throughout the food chain—in food production, processing, distribution, food service, and waste. A localized food system can greatly benefit the LA economy because small, local farms, suppliers, and their employees are more likely to spend income locally, re-circulating 2 to 4 times the capital they spend. For example, through LAUSD’s GFPP commitment, local farmers, processors, warehouses, distributors and workers could receive at least $13 million annually.

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“Elementary instruction designated specifically for dance . . . is fast becoming an endangered species.” -- Erik W. Robelen, “No Obituary Needed for Arts Education, Study Reveals.” Education Week, April 11, 2012 (summarizing federal study on K-12 arts education). While the LA2050 report notes the relative strength of the arts in LA currently, a critical weakness is identified in the programs (or lack thereof) provided in our public elementary and middle schools. Even in schools that have managed to retain some visual arts or music programs in the face of debilitating cuts to arts education budgets, the overwhelming majority of students in grades K-8 in LAUSD today receive no exposure to dance. The LA2050 report notes that as of 2011, LAUSD employed only 250 full-time elementary school arts teachers – for more than 600 elementary schools. We know that few, if any of these, are dance instructors. The U.S. Department of Education recently reported that while 94% of elementary schools offered music and 83% offered visual arts in the 2009-10 school year, only 3% offered dance. (danceusa.org/newsactionalerts.) LAUSD’s own Arts at the Core Resolution acknowledged the District’s current “inequality and opportunity gap” in arts education for youth in our City, where students in parts of the District attend schools that raise private funds to provide arts experiences for their students, while schools with predominantly Title I students have no such resources. We aim to change that. The positive impact of dance on learning and psycho-social development has been widely documented in academic research. Dance activities support the development of fluency, originality and critical thinking skills (Deasey, 2002), improve test scores, school attendance, responsibility, self-discipline, and --- just as importantly -- an understanding of delayed gratification and work ethic (Brooks Schmitz, 1990b). Dance helps combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and helps counter the impact of lack of park access for our children (as reported in LA2050, just 33% of children in LA live within ¼ mile of a park, compared to 91% in NYC and 65% in San Diego). “[The] odds of being overweight or obese increased relative to lower household income levels, less neighborhood access to parks and sidewalks, lower levels of physical activity, and more time spent watching TV or on the computer. Black and Latino children had higher rates of obesity and greater chances of being overweight than their non-Latino white counterparts, after researchers adjusted for socioeconomic and behavioral factors, and state of residence.” (“A New Map of Childhood Obesity in the U.S.,” L.A. Times, May 3, 2010.) Expanding opportunities for children in LA to engage in quality dance education will not only impact the future of the Arts & Cultural Vitality in LA, but directly impact Education (thereby also improving Income & Employment), Health, and Social Connectedness in our City.

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Innovation Saturday for Los Angeles Youth
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There is an exciting groundswell of entrepreneurship and innovation in Los Angeles that must be extended to our city’s low income youth. Youth in Los Angeles who live in under-resourced neighborhoods suffer at the crossroads of two major crises affecting our city: the education crisis and the economic crisis. These crises disproportionately affect our city's African-American and Latino communities, who bear the burden of struggling schools and a depressed local economy, where better paying employment is difficult to find. When a segment of our population is cut off from full participation in the economy, the broader community suffers. A youth innovation conference specifically targeting our low-income youth works at the intersection of these crises to provide a fresh outlook for youth confronted by their community’s challenges. By directing resources and opportunities toward these under-served youth, our goal is to educate and motivate students to adopt an entrepreneurial vision for their own future. This conference will introduce students to the skills necessary for entrepreneurship (project planning, future forecasting, opportunity recognition, financial planning, public speaking, negotiating), and our digital library of resources will serve as a lasting source of information to enable our youth to think beyond their environment and to pursue opportunities that help them realize their full potential.

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Skid Row 2050
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The goal of the project is to create an inclusive and consensus-based model for healthy community development. We plan to develop policy suggestions and design possibilities of the built environment in Skid Row, transforming the lowest-income area of Los Angeles. Additionally, we want the existing population in Skid Row to have a vested interest in their community and increase a sense of ownership and buy-in for the area. <br/><br/> The ultimate goal of this project is to create a living product that creates an infrastructure for development and inclusion that fosters growth and transformation in the area. This community plan will raise awareness to a part of Los Angeles that has constantly been swept under the rug. This project will bring attention to a problem that is often marginalized and seen as someone else’s problem thus perpetuating the social injustice. By bringing homelessness and the lack of affordable housing to the forefront, we can begin a dialog that puts the most vulnerable at the center of the conversation. The Downtown Renaissance has never included Skid Row; this is an opportunity to make sure it does not continue to be left out of the conversation. <br/><br/> We aim to expand the dialog around the impact and possibilities of housing. Rather than just defined as a roof over one’s head, we hope to activate and push the performative aspects of housing. We want to redefine housing as intentional components of daily life that have been thoughtfully designed, developed, and operated. We strive to serve as an example of how housing and the built environment can transform lives and be an active part of the fabric and identity of Los Angeles.

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Young Warriors
Young Warriors
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Based on statistics from the California Family Council, children from fatherless homes are more likely to: commit suicide, be poor, drop out of school, have maladaptive behavior, be abused, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away, join gangs, wind up in state institutions or on state welfare, or be killed. Young Warrior changes these boys future for the betterment of themselves and society. 1. The first objective of YW is to increase self-esteem and self-efficacy in boys whose identity is lost and who are at risk of becoming another troubling statistic. YW mentors inspire boys discover their own strengths, take on new challenges, and face their failures as well as their victories. In these critical life lessons, YW mentors develop trust with participants so that the participants are able to hear good advice, and therefore, become good decision makers. 2. The second objective of YW is to encourage and develop positive interpersonal communication amongst participants, mentors, peers, parents, guardians, teachers, and authorities. YW mentors promote diversity and respect for others by modeling self-discipline, integrity, honesty, compassion, forgiveness, ethical and moral behavior. YW starts cultivating these skills in the home by collaborating with a local Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in creating a parent education program. This curriculum assists parents become more effective in the lives of their boys. 3. Finally, YW third objective is to prevent negative, risk-taking behavior, including gang prevention. YW reduces the need to find security in gangs, substance abuse, or the like by instilling worth and confidence in participant's abilities. YW participants learn anger management, conflict resolution, and how to engage themselves in healthy, positive affiliations with others.

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Engaging the Reluctant Volunteer
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<p>Our project will benefit L.A. by making helping easy, accessible and inclusive. More than that, by bringing people of different worlds together in the name of helping, and focusing on what we have it common, it will be clear what we can accomplish when we work together. Finally, by working to make events impactful, rewarding and fun, we will help build a culture of helping and civic engagement.</p> Along the way, we will fill food pantries, stock classrooms, tend gardens, fix buildings, raise money for worthy causes, and engage, empower, validate and bring together people of all ages, backgrounds and means throughout LA.</p> <p>We are reluctant to give numbers because then the tail can start wagging the dog. Of course, we understand that goals are important: so we can promise to next year give away 20,000 books or 25,000 pounds of food or 5000 bags of clothing; provide 2500 Christmas toys, or raise thousands of dollars to send kids to camp, fight cancer, or respond to a natural disaster. Host a community dinner for 200 every month, create an annual art show and pet adoption and concert. Hold beautification days at 50 different schools. Make large scale capital improvements at shelters, afterschool facilities, or homes for vets or seniors. Engage 50,000 people a year. All are doable, and we've done them and more.</p> <p>Here's the thing: Big Sunday is, perhaps, not the youngest or hippest organization out there. And, while we see how important it is to engage young people, we think people can still help after they're 34. Or 54. Or 94. Big Sunday is nothing if not inclusive, reaching out to and including people of all ages and backgrounds and at all socio-economic levels, letting them know that they're wanted and needed, getting them involved, and bringing them together with other good-hearted people.</p> <p>Full disclosure: We'd considered coming up with some very specific project for this proposal. But having been around for a number of years, we believe that there is no silver bullet. Change comes about through an ongoing, concerted effort. We are proud of the work we do and have done, and an opportunity like this would allow us to continue and expand it. When we started years ago, we said we wanted to be a group that brings people together to make the world a better place, not in response to a catastrophe, or because of a single compelling incident, but because it's the right thing to do. We like to think that we, through the ongoing generosity, goodwill, hard work, humor, dirty hands and big hearts of many, have accomplished that.</p> <p>Then again, by creating an easily navigated system to both meet and fulfill needs, and by helping to bring together our terrific brethren in L.A.'s helping world, we can greatly expand this culture of caring, concern and compassion, and engage even more people in the process of making life better and easier for all Angelenos.</p>

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Creative Activist Program
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Transcending the binds that educational attainment often places on individuals’ exposure to and opportunities for engagement, CAP will strengthen social connectedness throughout LA by cultivating creative activist projects that offer social interaction, civic engagement, and volunteer opportunities. CAP inherently affects LA2050’s metrics for social connectedness. Regarding social interaction, CAP not only provides Angelenos with the ON Revolution resource-rich social networking site to communicate and collaborate around projects and issues alike, but it also offers the LA community a wide variety of events. Aside from the LA Creative Activist Conference, Angelenos will now be able to attend an ON Rev Speaker Series event every 4-6 weeks. Additionally, at our Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism in Malibu, we host gallery openings, monthly Sundowners for creative activists to meet and mingle from April through September, and Sack Lunches for Angelenos interested in creative activism to come learn more. Recently, we’ve begun hosting occasional screenings and even held small festivals at our Center as well. Separately, our 45+ creative activists and their projects host an array of satellite events around LA, from fundraisers to awareness events, available to the broader LA community. Regarding civic engagement, each of CAP projects offers individuals numerous points of entry to mobilize personally and as a community around issues that matter most to them. As a media and art centered source for engagement, we meet citizens at the core of what inspires them, and these projects call on the community to take action. For our creative activists, action can take many different forms – from a Global Day of Play for a Cardboard Challenge to a screening and discussion around global poverty and microfinance. Action can also mean donating to a cause to sustain its work or signing a petition to influence institutional change. Regarding volunteerism, CAP and the projects under its umbrella survive thanks to volunteers, and we have a bottomless well of opportunities for volunteers to get involved. The media and arts component of CAP functions as that entry point for the average, uninspired, uninvolved citizen to become inspired and get involved. And with inspired, involved, invested citizens, LA has the potential to flourish as a community and tap into its own spark to ignite change both locally and globally.

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Los Angeles is called "the Entertainment Capital of the World." It has a creative economy that generates close to $4 billion in state tax revenues, employs a million people in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and accounts for $100 billion in sales/receipts in L.A. County alone. Yet there are whole areas, whole neighborhoods, often for miles on end, where there are no bookstores, no movie houses, no art galleries, no cultural spaces. These culturally barren sections include South Central L.A., East L.A., the Harbor, and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The arts are concentrated in downtown, the shoreline, Hollywood, museum row, and such. We are not opposed to these vital tourist-laden centers of culture and commerce. But we need a neighborhood arts policy in Los Angeles so that every community can benefit from cultural store fronts, independent bookstores, public art projects including murals, workshops in all the arts, digital arts, and more. Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural's "Art Transforms Community" workshops prove this works in any neglected and resource-limited area of the city. Flavored by the people of the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Tia Chucha's is a model of how every community can have its own cultural wellness center -- they can name it for someone else's aunt if they wish. The point is that the arts are they key "log," the one stake that when moved opens up a logjam. The arts reach across ethnicity, race, religion, and culture. The arts are the unity-in-diversity that finds commonality and wholeness to one of the most divided and contentious cities in America.

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Departures Youth Voices Mobile Classroom
Departures Youth Voices Mobile Classroom
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According to the LA2050 Report, education in Los Angeles is “a significant impediment to human development.” A harsh reality for the almost 2 million students in L.A. County. The facts are abundantly clear that a high percentage of students are not receiving the kind of education that engages and nurtures their interests, or offered the support they need to identify and connect their interests to academic success and career opportunities. This is one reason for the large number of disengaged students and dropouts (i.e. lost students) in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD.) Departures Youth Voices knits together these crucial elements in its media literacy curriculum. The program uses digital media as an engagement and creative tool that empowers today’s youth to become civically engaged and active participants in their community. The development and launch of the Youth Voices Mobile Classroom will increase the number of participating students from schools and organizations lacking in digital media resources. Youth Voices students will gain access and insight into the new 21st century digital culture and economy, in which Los Angeles plays a major role. They will become prepared for an increasingly media-centric higher education programs in the world class universities and colleges in the Los Angeles area, as well as for taking on multiple roles in the growing media and technology industries in the city.

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$1,000,000 in total grants
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Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

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Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

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Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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