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Cultural Affairs Offers Grants for Creative Projects Throughout L.A.
By Staff and Wire Report
Published October 29, 2021

Cultural Affairs offers grants to artists and producers of neighborhood festivals throughout L.A. (DCA photo)

Online applications for creative proposals will be accepted starting November 1, by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). The agency will issue grants from its Public Space Activation Fund (PAF) and artists, community residents, cultural advocates, local nonprofits, and neighborhood business managers are welcome to submit new and innovative community engagement propositions to DCA.

Also, the Community Activation Fund will pay for three new “signature festivals” in each of the following five Los Angeles City Council Districts: 3, 6, 8, 9, and 12.

The first new category for the PAF grant, Community Expressions, provides opportunities for individual artists who wish to partner with a local business (a non-conventional art space) in their community for a one-time creative activity presented in person and/or online, for a mini-grant up to $900.

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The second new category, the Community Activation Fund, provides for Community Expressions grants, which are intended to foster new partnerships between individual artists and their neighborhood businesses (non-conventional art spaces) to engage local residents, build community, and promote economic growth through the arts.
Applicants in this category have an opportunity to propose up to $20,000 for a community picnic with entertainment that can take place at a wide range of street-adjacent, family-friendly spaces such as: public parks, school yards, parking lots, and other outdoor spaces that would otherwise be ineligible under the traditional Arts Activation Fund program.

The original component of the PAF, the Arts Activation Fund, will provide approximately ten grants of up to $10,000 to support pop-ups and festival-style projects that animate sidewalks, streets, intersections, and outdoor public corridors where the arts are not already common or present. Under this category, applicants representing a collection of community artists, a local arts ensemble, a nonprofit organization, or a commercial business may propose such outdoor cultural activities as live performances, displays of vinyl murals or temporary banners, candlelight vigils, cultural picnics, and/or mini-festivals framed around community-relevant themes. As in prior years, DCA’s Arts Activation Fund will continue to prioritize activities that would take place on, or adjacent to, the City of LA’s designated Great Streets.

The PAF was originally designed to fund a range of projects across the City that complement the unique character of their neighborhoods. In this spirit, the fund prioritizes applicants with proposals for their own neighborhoods, and whose initiatives have strong alliances within their local communities. The PAF projects may be temporary objects, installations, or experiences which are free to the community and strategically enacted within public view. The PAF funding sources were augmented in response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic during which businesses, schools, and many day-to-day activities were shut down.

“Never has the City of Los Angeles needed the Public Space Activation Fund more to help stimulate the reopening of our communities,” said Joe Smoke, DCA’s Grants Administration division director. “After 20 months of social-suppression during the COVID-19 pandemic, local artists need to reconnect with audiences and help neighborhoods reach out with small and large presentations. We hope the Public Space Activation Fund will stimulate creative ideas and new collaborations while fostering confidence and comfort in many communities.”

For more information on guidelines to apply for funding, visit http://dcaredesign.org/artsactivate/  before proceeding with a phone inquiry or proposal. PAF proposals are accepted online by the third Thursday of each month starting in November 2021 and continuing through June 2022.

Applications are reviewed within approximately 20 business days and feedback is available for those who need to modify and improve their proposal. Ideas can be adjusted and submitted 2 or 3 times when seeking approval.

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For more information on eligibility requirements and criteria for submitting a proposal for funding through the Arts Activation Fund, please visit: http://dcaredesign.org/artsactivate/.

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