July 15 2015

Piece by Piece Receives California Arts Council “Creative California Communities” Grant

Arte Mercado Partnership is among thirty projects funded statewide in support of transforming communities through the arts

Los Angeles, CA July 15, 2015

The California Arts Council announced it plans to award $60,900 to Piece by Piece as part of its Creative California Communities program.

The Creative California Communities program supports large-scale collaborative projects that harness arts and culture as a key economic and/or community development strategy. 

The thirty funded projects will benefit residents and visitors in California’s communities by leveraging the assets of the creative sector, which includes artists, cultural organizations and arts-related businesses.

Piece by Piece joined with Esperanza Community Housing Corp to establish the Arte Mercado Partnership project and expand creative economy in a corridor of South Los Angeles that extends to Skid Row. The initiative will promote artistic and entrepreneurial opportunity. Community-driven mosaic projects will celebrate the talent and cultural diversity that is abundant within the corridor. The project will engage professional artists to work with residents to create mosaic art for the Mercado La Paloma public market and inaugurate an Arte Mercado retail gallery to support local artisans and fuel local economy.

 “Piece by Piece offers community residents unique opportunities for growth through arts learning," said Piece by Piece Managing Director, Lisa Marsh.  "Our work centers on helping residents to professionalize art skills through study in the mosaic discipline. The Arte Mercado Partnership supports this work through meaningful engagement of Piece by Piece Artisans and by establishing a strategy for promoting the entrepreneurial development of local artists while promoting creative economy within our high-need community.”

 “The project will enlist highly-qualified artists to lead Piece by Piece Artisans, all low-income residents that have trained to attain proficiencies in Mosaic, in making works of exceptional quality that celebrate the potential of art to convey the culture and stories of our community,” said Piece by Piece Program Director, Dawn Mendelson.  

“The Arte Mercado Gallery will provide an otherwise unavailable resource to the community, giving voice to rich culture and ethnic diversity," said Jacky Goh, Director of Development for Esperanza. "Gallery-related activities will complement the daily operation of Mercado La Paloma, where merchants work to grow sustainable businesses that showcase the cultural assets of the community,” 

“California Arts Council grants support a wide range of projects that are crafted by each community to reflect their values and needs,” said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. “It is always exciting to see what creative minds attempt to do when working collaboratively. With an increased state investment, we are able to further spark the powerful growth and prosperity that result from the deep arts engagement provided by our grant programs.”

To view a complete listing of all Creative California Communities grantees, visit arts.ca.gov/news/pressreleases.php

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Piece by Piece is a non-profit organization operating in alliance with Skid Row Housing Trust to serve residents of supportive housing in Skid Row and South Los Angeles. Its mission is to provide low-income and formerly homeless people free mosaic art workshops using recycled materials to develop marketable skills, self-confidence, earned income and an improved quality of life. Learn more at www.piecebypiece.org.

Esperanza Community Housing Corp works to achieve comprehensive and long-term community development in Los Angeles.  Esperanza opened Mercado La Paloma as an integrated space to create opportunities for community residents.  Built to support the emergence of first-time entrepreneurs, Mercado features an array of authentic foods and open community space to exhibit talents and indigenous culture. Learn more at www.esperanzacommunityhousing.org

Mercado La Paloma has served South Los Angeles since 2001, unlocking the entrepreneur skills of its residents, providing affordable retail opportunities, creating jobs and serving as a cultural hub for the South LA community. Learn more at Mercado La Paloma

The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts, fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations, serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts and providing effective and relevant programs and services. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

Contact Information
Lisa Marsh
Piece by Piece
Los Angeles, CA
Voice: 213-683-0522 x601
E-Mail: info@piecebypiece.org
Website: www.piecebypiece.org
Facebook:  piecebypiecela