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An L.A. nonprofit’s tradition mapping mission goes statewide


For the previous eight years, the Santa Monica-based nonprofit 18th Street Arts Center has produced its Culture Mapping 90404 mission. The community-led, interactive digital map highlights the cultural historical past of Santa Monica’s Pico neighborhood. The emphasis is on pre-gentrification, earlier than the realm was overrun with luxurious properties and high-end grocery shops providing connoisseur macrobiotic bowls. The mission goals to focus on, interpret and archive previous and current “cultural assets” — people, areas, organizations and occasions — that make up the realm.

The map’s footprint — and the communities it should assist — simply obtained a complete lot greater.

18th Street Arts Center has been awarded a $3.3-million California Creative Corps grant from the California Arts Council to broaden the mission statewide. The new mission will make use of artists and “culture bearers” — that means people who interact in cultural practices — throughout the Golden State to create community-led cultural mapping initiatives that “foster well-being, social cohesion and cultural infrastructure.”

18th Street Arts Center is the longest-running artist residency in Southern California. Its present mapping mission features a companion web site that options oral histories and pictures documenting, in English and Spanish, greater than 150 “cultural treasures” within the space. One of them is the Quinn Research Center, an archive documenting Black tradition and historical past in Santa Monica and Venice; one other is an interview with longtime 90404 resident and activist Ruth Alonzo, carried out by her son Daniel Alonzo, an artist.

18th Street Arts Center has additionally commissioned artists to create works knowledgeable and impressed by the mission. That has included performances, exhibitions, murals and public artwork, a movie, strolling excursions and a neighborhood artisan collective.

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Arts and tradition is the muse of a neighborhood’s well being and well-being, says 18th Street Executive Director Jan Williamson. So increasing the Culture Mapping mission’s attain is particularly vital.

“The opportunity for 18th Street Arts Center to support [multiple] communities, by seeding a project, is very exciting,” Williamson says. “Because from our own experience in Santa Monica, we’ve seen how the community, as a whole, embraces the Culture Map towards multiple community policies and programs. We believe that will happen in these other communities once it gets started — it’s a kind of snowball and with the right intersection of community partners and artists, the snowball continues to grow.”

18th Street Arts Center will put out a name for candidates on Jan. 19. The heart will invite functions, which shall be free, from California practitioners of craft, design, dance, movie, literary arts, oral custom, interdisciplinary arts and different “culture keepers.” The 18th Street Arts Center says it’s making a particular effort to achieve out to Indigenous California communities.

Forty members shall be chosen by regional panels by means of a statewide RFP (request for proposal). Participants, introduced in mid-March, shall be given a $1,000 stipend in addition to skilled teaching to appreciate a mission proposal with a price range. The Atwater-based Clockshop will assist the 40 members craft their mission proposals.

Of the 40 members, 18 shall be chosen by one statewide panel to obtain a $65,000 wage with well being advantages for one yr. Their initiatives can even be absolutely funded, to not exceed $50,000 per mission. These remaining members — from 18 completely different California ZIP Codes — shall be introduced in May.

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Applicants for each rounds should be dwelling or working in California and their initiatives should be in a “quartile one” ZIP Code of the Healthy Places Index, which maps social circumstances that drive well being and well-being and which is produced by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. Quartile one ZIP Codes rating decrease — between zero and 25% — in metrics of well being and well-being on a scale of 1 to 100. There are a number of quartile one areas throughout California.

“Eight years of sustained collaboration with municipal partners (library, parks, housing, schools), research and evaluation partners (USC, Rand Corporation) and community groups representing the concerns of local Hispanic, Black, and Asian families,” 18th Street Arts Center says of the present Culture Mapping mission, “allowed us to elevate under-recognized community treasures by pairing them with experienced artists to create communityrelevant artworks. Through this, 18SAC has produced over 60 projects with artists and graduate students that address community concerns and wellbeing in Santa Monica.”

Expansion is the subsequent logical, if bold, step.

“Scaling our experience with culture mapping to multiple communities across the state,” it provides, “along with our wraparound communications, evaluation, and training will anchor new infrastructure in each town, upon which they can build novel well-being initiatives with more local artists into the future.”


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