July 20 2015

Piece by Piece Receives California Arts Council “Local Impact” Grant

Funds will allow Piece by Piece to extend the reach of the arts to those with limited access

Los Angeles, CA July 20, 2015

The California Arts Council announced it plans to award $11,640 to Piece by Piece as part of its Local Impact program. 

The Local Impact program fosters equity, access, and opportunity by providing project and partnership support for small arts organizations reaching underserved communities. All projects must extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations that have limited access to the arts.

The Local Impact grant funds Piece by Piece to provide artist-led community workshops engaging formerly-homeless residents of supportive housing.

To reduce barriers to participation in the arts among at-risk residents, the project takes art to the community with inviting, inspiring group projects that leave behind an enriching return: mosaic art to enhance the environment in which it was made. Art made in groups provides a lasting source of esteem for those practicing their creativity, and encourages participation among those with limited or no prior experience in art.

The Community Workshop began as a strategy to engage residents at Star Apartments, which houses 100 persons identified by the County as highest at risk to chronic homelessness. The offering gained popularity among residents of supportive housing throughout Skid Row, inspiring many to enroll in the Piece by Piece Skills-Building Series.

“The Workshop is notable for its ability to address the need for creative engagement that is highly-encouraging, promotes connection with others and stimulates motivation for achieving a range of personal goals,” said Lisa Marsh, Piece by Piece Managing Director. “The activity promotes creative expression and brings improved wellness and quality to the lives of persons facing complex issues that have made them vulnerable to homelessness.”

"Artist-Instructors facilitating workshops are not only accomplished mosaic artists, they boast exceptional talent in working with members of vulnerable populations to build esteem, establish goals and work to attain them,” said Program Director Dawn Mendelson.  “The workshops, in action, fuel fresh insights and explorations in Mosaic Art that are relevant to the community’s needs.”

“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 Local Impact grantees, visit arts.ca.gov/news/pressreleases.php

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Piece by Piece is a non-profit organization operating 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.

Piece by Piece at Star Apartments.  In strategic partnership with Skid Row Housing Trust, Piece by Piece operates a social-enterprise that offers participants arts learning that brings voice to creative expression and a path to earned income.  While continuing its long-standing service in South LA, a new home base in Skid Row has enabled greatly expanded programming reaching tenants from among 2,400 recently-homeless residents of supportive housing in the area, as well as the unhoused.    

Skid Row Housing Trust.  The Trust provides permanent supportive housing so that people who have experienced homelessness, prolonged extreme poverty, poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction can lead safe, stable lives in wellness. Learn more at www.skidrow.org

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