Monthly Archives: August 2010

And Our Fundraising Campaign in LIVE!

Here it is boys and girls. Our very first fundraising campaign. “I Art LA”. We’ve got a kick butt viral video, and a bunch of “I Art LA” tees designed by different awesome LA artists. Buy a tee or just straight donate. Every dollar helps. And spread the word!!! Blog the video, put it on your facebook, twitter the tweet out of it. When you donate or buy a shirt TELL PEOPLE that you have. Your support can only encourage other people to join in this movement. We can’t do this alone we NEED your help.

Did you know that there are over 14.8 million people in Los Angeles? Did you know that if half, just half of those people donated $1, yes, one dollar to The Center we’d be up and running for the next 15.9 YEARS! Off of a dollar for every other person. So lets do this people!

Let’s bring art to ALL of LA!

And just so you know, this is the kind of money we need to raise:

Includes building the 60 seat performance theater, dance studio, silkscreening studio, and visual arts station. Removal of ugly security bars and installation of roll up security grates, exterior paint job and repair, interior paint job and repair, design, fire extinguishers, permits, landscaping, and much much much more.

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT – Dance : $287.97
Includes mops, specialty cleaner, mop bucket, etc for the year.

Includes piano, piano tuning, DJ station with mikes, turntables, etc…

Includes gallons and gallons of ink, screens, cleaner, rubber gloves, wet media acetate, srub pads, ink containers, screenprinting pens, tape, and more.

Includes kid brushes, teen and adult brushes (different brushes for different mediums), acrylic paint for kids, acrylic paint for teens and adults, Paint Palettes that hold 6 colors, paint palettes that hold 10 colors, oil paint, linseed oil, Turpenoid Natura, sketch boards, various charcoals (over 144 sticks), rubber erasers, drawing pads, sketch pads, kid scissors, adult scissors, canvases, primed wood panels, various drawing pencils (Pack of 144, 6B, 4B, 2B, B, HB, 2H), pencil sharpeners, glue, bristol pads, Rolls of 36′ x 1000 ft utility paper in various colors, newsprint sheets and rolls, construction paper, craft cups, craft sticks, feathers, pipe cleaners, felt, tissue paper, and of course goggly eyes and more.

Includes xerox machine, office supplies, wireless router, 2 computers, microsoft office, iwork, printed materials, internet, web hosting, utilities, salaries, health insurance, building insurance, volunteer insurance, event insurance, general liability, workers comp, legal services, fundraising/marketing/advertising/promotion, and more.

Did you know, we actually have this priced out down to the penny. Our budget plan looks more like a shopping list. For example 16’ Dance Barre with 3 double/adjustable chrome brackets is $397.50, 2-Ikea Expedit Bookcases for people to store their backpacks and shoes in for the Dance Studio are $99 each. Kneaded Rubber Erasers for the drawing classes, (they’re for charcoal and pencil) are $.99 each at the 2-1/8” x 2-1/8” x 3/8 size. We figure we’ll go through 50 of that size in a year which equals out to $49.50. This is how we did our budget. We priced out down to the penny every item we could.


Meeting with LA Stage Alliance

LA Stage Alliance The Center : South LA Meeting

Yesterday I met with Terence McFarland, the Executive Director of LA Stage Alliance to talk leases, buildings, and arts structure in general.  They’re in an amazing building in downtown LA. It use to be an old firehouse! In the room we met in Terence pointed out the circular depression you could still see in the carpet from where the fireman pole use to be. Fun!

Terence was such a nice guy as well as very helpful. He gave us a couple pointers and a list of a few other arts centers in Los Angeles that we should talk to. We’ll definitely follow up on that list. This is how you build big things. By talking to other folks that are doing it, learning and sharing knowledge.

Woo Hoo!

You may be wondering what this is a picture of… Well it’s me, (Jess) walking to my car in the wee hours after spending a bunch of hours at Aaron’s house where we busted ass on this fundraising campaign. We are so darn close. The shopping cart, (so all you nice folks can buy sweet “I Art LA” tees) is now working and oh so pretty. Worked on html for the website to get the campaign in gear, a lot of photoshopping, design, uploading and so on. I’ve got a very short to-do list for tomorrow, well I guess it’s “this” morning and we’ll be ready to launch our very first fundraising campaign. Let’s do this people! Lets get a building and start doing cool stuff!

After months of work we are so so so close….

We were blogged!

So neat-o! We met this awesome funny guy Willie at the Downtown LA artwalk a couple weeks ago. He’s on a mission to crash 100 parties in 100 days. Well he crashed LA Artwalk and was kind enough to include a blurb about us and a photo on his blog. Check it out here: CLICK

We Need a Building

The more we get out and about, the more we research, the more firmly I believe we need a large building. It’s the only way we can offer the kinds of classes and events we want and to be the kind of center for the arts that we want to be. Michael’s been researching community events as well as arts in the area. He sent me this article from January of 2001 about a music program for kids in South LA. CLICK: Sweet Strings in South Central L.A.

It sounds like it was an amazing program.

“By October 2000 there were 60 kids in the program and 100 more on the waiting list”

“Was” though, because for the life of me I can’t find any kind of current information or website about it.

And here’s the thing. This isn’t easy. Building a center for the arts, or even offering just one class. It takes a lot of people, a bunch of time, and a TON of research. We accomplish great things by working together and sharing knowledge with each other. This is how we build a sustainable community. And of course, make friends. When we work together the load becomes lighter. If we have a building, then other smaller groups have a place they can use as well. Whether it’s for one or two classes that a smaller non-profit or person wants to offer, or a sewing circle, or some kind of group meeting.

It’d be so much easier to raise a couple thousand bucks and just get a small store front sized space. But that isn’t the plan. We wouldn’t be able to have events, and we wouldn’t be able to offer classes in ALL the art fields. We’ve built our budget and are raising funds for a 60 seat theater for events and performances, a dance studio, a silkscreening studio, and a visual arts station and music station. We’re going big, because that’s the only way we can do this right. Small dreams give us small things. Big dreams big things. And we’re going big here people.

Please donate anything you can to help us accomplish this dream.

Community Fun Stuff

We’re working on adding a new section to the blog about cool events going on in the community. Here’s one that looks like a bunch of fun!

Ice Cream Social: Something Old Is New Again
Saturday, August 14, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
William Andrews Clark Library gardens, 2520 Cimarron St. (Kinney Heights)

What better way to spend a summer afternoon than eating ice cream, socializing with neighbors and listening to musical entertainment? Please put on your summer whites or Victorian-inspired attire, and join WAHA at its Ice Cream Social, returning to West Adams after a too-long hiatus.

In the 1980s and 1990s, WAHA tradition called for an annual Ice Cream Social, with sweets and frozen treats, games and lots of fun for kids and grown-ups alike. But as WAHA invented some new activities, the Ice Cream Social fell by the wayside, albeit with fond memories. This summer, WAHA is bringing the event back – and happily, at a great venue we are sure you all want to see.

The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is one of Los Angeles’s major landmarks and scholarly library resources, noted for its rare books, Oscar Wilde collection, and fine printing. The library was erected by William Andrews Clark, Jr., and named after his father, who had built a mining fortune in Montana. The son, a prominent Los Angeles book collector and philanthropist, had a house at the corner of Adams Blvd. and Cimarron Street, and from 1924 to 1926 he constructed the library and its formal gardens on the same lot.

In addition to ice cream, cookies, and music, we will have a cake walk. This game is a combination of musical chairs and a raffle — the person who lands on the winning square wins a cake. There will also be raffle prizes and other surprises.

All in all, a lovely way to while away a summer afternoon in Historic West Adams.

If you would like to donate baked goods or volunteer to help, please contact .

Nice people introduce you to more nice people.

A couple weeks ago we met with Emiko Ono in the LA County Arts Commission office. She’s so nice and helpful! It’s amazing to me how many incredibly nice people we’ve already met on this road. We got hooked up with her from the (also super rad) Randi Tahara she’s a Senior Deputy out of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’s office. Randi gave Emiko one of our sweet proposals and there you go. Really nice of her to go above and beyond like that.

The meeting with Emiko was very helpful and insightful. She gave us information on how to be a strong organization, and some tips and resource leads to follow up on. Like the Center for Nonprofit Management. Check them out here: they over training, classes, etc… for nonprofit administration.

We also learned that the city of LA use to do some $1 per year lease programs. Unfortunately the city seems to be phasing that out, (Cause LA is broke, budgeting and all that) but hey! It never hurts to ask right? Or at the very least look into it. Who knows, maybe on of these spaces that currently have a cheep lease would let us throw a fundraiser at there space.

All in all, very uplifting, and a bunch of good stuff to follow up on. 🙂