Tag Archives: Meetings

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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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: http://www.cnmsocal.org/ 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. 🙂