Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Everyone loves the library!


Well, at least I always have. The library was always a special magical place for me growing up. I loved (and still love!) books.

Raising the funds to build The Center is tough. And has taken a lot longer than I ever thought. Maybe it’s the times, maybe I had much shorter than realistic time-line, either way it’s become clear to the group that we needed to make some shorter term goals.

It was in a board meeting that Aaron made the statement “I just want to start.” And that’s become our new mantra.  In this city, where there are so many people with disposable income you never really know what will happen. People could get interested and we could have the money in a couple months, or it could be slow going and take years. We have vision and direction to build a center for the arts in South Los Angeles. A true center for the arts with a 60 seat theater for events and performances, a silkscreening studio, a dance studio, etc.. but the fact is it could take years to get our dream space.

Which begs the question, what do we do? Well, in the words of Aaron, we start.

So we’re looking into places like the public libraries, schools, etc… Places that have space we could use to teach art classes out of. It’s exciting and disappointing at the same time. It’s disappointing, because it severely limits all the awesome classes we want to offer. It’s exciting because we are living our mission statement.

“…to inspire and educate young people in the community through unique classes in the arts…”

Art should be accessible to everyone, and we will be doing just that.

I was dropping off a book at the Vermont Square Library (See the photo above of the beautiful space surrounded by an equally beautiful park.) And thought, hey while I’m here it would be a good chance to talk to them. Aaron had emailed them previously, but as we’ve found, emails so often get lost in the shuffle or the dreaded spam filter.

The librarians were super nice. AND they have an AWESOME community space in their building. It even has a sink in the room which allows us to do painting and other sink-necessary classes.

Because it’s a city owned space there are a lot of rules, which they’re looking into. The next steps on our side, is deciding what we can do that is appropriate in the space. (It’s like you’re coming into someone else’s house and you want to be respectful and considerate.) Maybe we do one or two Saturday classes to learn how to work well together and then build from there. Maybe we try and do art classes that have a tie-in with cool books. There’s a lot to figure out. We’ll be deciding our next board meeting.

Very positive news. At the very least, two art classes would up the art in the area, basically by 200%. That’s the part we need to remember, every little bit helps. Everything has a positive impact.

P.S. You can always donate so we have the funds to pay for art supplies and a building of our very own.

-Jess

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LA Phil, As he’s known to his peeps.

Last week I met with Leni from the LA Philharmonic. She is so nice. We were email introduced by Terence from LA Stage Alliance. She had seen our viral video, and asked him about the project.

The LA Phil is doing this really neat program right now called YOLA. Their vision is to build youth orchestras in ‘underserved communities’.  Right up our alley. When we get a building *ah the magic phrase* then this program has additional space to offer classes. How cool is that? You can read more about The LA Phil program here: link

So, in meeting with Leni she pointed out something we’ve come to realize, a lot of starting non-profits have a business partner. There’s usually the creative team and then someone with more of a real estate background who has a lot more of the connections to funding.

It’s not impossible to do this without one, but it really does help. Inner City Arts had a similar set-up when they started. The founders were Bob Bates (Co-Founder and still Artistic Director) and Irwin J. Jaeger (Co Founder). Bob was the professional artist and Irwin was the business guy with real estate experience. There’s even a quote on their website

“You pay the bills and I’ll teach the classes.”
Bob Bates to Irv Jaeger
Inner-City Arts Co Founders, 1989

So we’re keeping our eyes out. If anyone out there has this kind of experience and would like to help, please let us know.

I’m going to be meeting with Bob Bates of Inner-City Arts tomorrow and am super excited. The set-up of Inner-City Arts is very similar to what we’re going for. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to talk to an individual who has founder and continuing experience of a successful arts center.

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:

BUILDING RENOVATION COSTS: $245,469.25
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.

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT – MUSIC : $1,763.65
Includes piano, piano tuning, DJ station with mikes, turntables, etc…

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT – SILKSCREENING STUDIO: $7,860.18
Includes gallons and gallons of ink, screens, cleaner, rubber gloves, wet media acetate, srub pads, ink containers, screenprinting pens, tape, and more.

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT – VISUAL ARTS : $8,988.98
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.

OPERATIONAL COSTS : $430,724
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.