The Annenberg Foundation today announced that it awarded $400,000 in grants to an additional ten organizations that competed in the recent My LA2050 Grants Challenge.
LA2050, an initiative spearheaded by the Goldhirsh Foundation to steer the region towards a brighter future, recently awarded $1 million to a group of projects it believes will change Los Angeles for the better. Now, the Annenberg Foundation is taking it one step further by committing additional grant funds to broaden the impact of the initiative.
“By means of the internet and social media, LA2050 created a novel approach toward community engagement in Los Angeles. We wanted to leverage the due diligence and learning initiated by the Goldhirsh Foundation,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Too often our work in philanthropy is conducted in silos. So we reviewed the remaining LA2050 entries and used a complementary grant review process to move another ten projects forward.”
The Annenberg Foundation’s grant recipients tackle challenges in broad programmatic areas across the Los Angeles region. They include:
Project: SOUND SHARE LA Project
Organization: Future Roots Inc/Dub Lab
Goal: To design a dynamic website with comprehensive resources to explore the past, present and future of creative music in Los Angeles.
Project: South LA + HackerSpace = Innovative youth community united to learn technology skills together
Organization: URBAN Teens eXploring Technology (URBAN Txt)
Goal: To create a "Hacker Space" for technology innovation for youth in South LA, with an open-door policy for everyone to express creativity, address social issues through computer programing and innovate through collaboration.
Project: Network and Nature: Identification and Implementation of Community Green Spaces within Los Angeles
Organization: From Lot to Spot
Goal: To create a planning and implementation tool that will assist in the realization and installation of simple landscape-based interventions to create a network of community green spaces within low-income communities in Los Angeles.
Project: Young Leaders For A Healthy LA
Organization: Young Invincibles
Goal: To develop a smartphone application that educates users on available health providers, different health insurance options, direct connection to the new California exchange for more affordable coverage with notifications and reminders.
Project: Skid Row 2050
Organization: Skid Row Housing Trust
Goal: To create a neighborhood development plan through 1) community engagement and research with current and local residents, 2) design sessions with national leaders in community development and design and 3) public exhibition of the community process and visions for Skid Row in 2050.
Project: Green Jobs in a Zero Waste LA
Goal: To design an exclusive franchise system for collection and diversion of waste from customers not served by the City, by establishing designated service zones with haulers competing for the exclusive right to service each of those areas. Successful bidders would have to adhere to strict environmental, recycling and labor standards.
Project: Peace to Prosperity
Organization: Communities in Schools of San Fernando Valley
Goal: To prevent violence through well-designed and coordinated sporting events.
Project: Upcoming One Day on Earth Filming Event
Organization: One Day on Earth
Goal: To build capacity for an upcoming participatory media event across the Los Angeles metro area. The documentary effort will focus on the challenges and hopes of local communities.
Project: Building Strong Small Businesses through Microlending
Organization: Opportunity Fund
Goal: To provide loans of $2,500 to $100,000 at affordable, fixed interest rates to small business owners with small capital needs and imperfect credit.
Project: Neither Food or People Should Ever Go to Waste
Organization: L.A. Kitchen
Goal: To collect millions of pounds of California's abundant fruits and vegetables, prepare healthy meals to strengthen our marginalized neighbors, train older adults returning from prison and youth aging out of foster care in culinary arts, provide powerful volunteer and employment opportunities for Los Angelenos, embrace social enterprise businesses and generate our own income.
This is not the first time the Annenberg Foundation has recognized the power in partnerships as a means to build a better Los Angeles. Recently it spearheaded the formation of a groundbreaking coalition, LA n Sync, whose vision is to position LA as a strategic destination for federal, state and national philanthropic investment.
In February, as part of its effort to create a shared vision of success for Los Angeles in the year 2050, the Goldhirsh Foundation invited both nonprofits and private companies to submit an idea that would positively impact the region. The ideas were propelled by a demographic report on the future of the region commissioned by LA2050 that divided the health of Los Angeles into eight key indicators: Arts & Cultural Vitality, Education, Environmental Quality, Health, Housing, Income & Employment, Public Safety and Social Connectedness.
The report had some good news—that the region has a healthy, thriving arts community. And a lot of bad news—the Los Angeles county unemployment rate topped national and state figures with a rate of 12.2%, and the region’s graduation rates are among the lowest in the country.
Inspired by these facts and by the region in which they live, the public voted on the proposals over a two-week period in April, selecting their favorite submissions online at myla2050.maker.good.is. The My LA2050 Grants Challenge received 279 submissions, and more than 70,000 people voted to help the Goldhirsh Foundation choose the initial ten winning proposals.
“Collaborations like this one are critical to position the region more competitively for investment,” said Ben Goldhirsh, Chairman of the Goldhirsh Foundation. “I hope the LA2050/Annenberg Foundation collaboration will serve as an example to other philanthropic sectors, of how they might join forces and multiply impact in a very real way.”
To view all of the submissions and winners go to www.LA2050.org