Piece by Piece is an Inaugural Recipient of the Creative Economic Development Fund Grant with support from the Surdna Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
The fund provides seed money to establish Arte Mercado retail gallery in support of growing creative economy in South Los Angeles and Skid Row
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Los Angeles, CA – The CEDF is a newly launched program that provides funding for projects that will help expand creative enterprises. This year, the fund provided grants of up to $12,500 to organizations with earned income activities that use commercial strategies in pursuit of a social impact objective. Piece by Piece was one of 8 selected recipients.
“The objective of CEDF and of Piece by Piece is to have positive economic and social impact in the City of Los Angeles,” said Piece by Piece Managing Director, Lisa Marsh.
“We appreciate the Fund’s commitment to uplifting the creative assets in our communities. Our project recognizes that the Skid Row and South Los Angeles corridor reflects a rich pool of of residents with creative talents that are eager to engage. We aim to draw upon this resource, and the motivation that we observe among residents to contribute to their community in meaningful ways. We look to engage community members in learning and work activities that help to build creative economy benefitting the entire community.”
This seed funding will enable Piece by Piece to open a shop to market mosaics made by participants of its workshop program, residents of supportive housing in Skid Row and very-low-income residents of South Los Angeles. The workshops provided by Piece by Piece enable residents to build art skills, ultimately achieving Artisan-level skill in mosaic. The Piece by Piece social enterprise markets art made by its participants as well as a line of mosaic wares that are sold in retail markets, creating earnings opportunities and jobs for residents.
Piece by Piece will partner with Esperanza Community Housing Corp to establish its gallery in Esperanza’s Mercado La Paloma, an entrepreneurial hub that features a rich cultural mix of restaurants and merchants. The plan is to engage artists to work with residents to create mosaic art for the Mercado La Paloma public market, inaugurate the Arte Mercado gallery to support Artisans and conduct ancillary cultural activities to support an arts-based strategy that drives local economy.
“The Arte Mercado Gallery will provide an otherwise unavailable resource for local Artisans to market their work. 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,” says Jacky Goh, Director of Development for Esperanza. “We see the gallery as presenting opportunity for bringing additional cultural activities into the Mercado space, uplifting the talent that is abundant in our community and bringing new audiences to the Mercado.”
“Many of today’s entrepreneurs not only want to make a profit, but also want to do something good for their communities. The Creative Economic Development Fund will invest in the startup and expansion of arts-businesses so that these entities can play a stronger and more visible role in the City’s economic future,” said City of Los Angeles Mayer Eric Garcetti. "This Fund is also a wonderful complement to the City’s Great Streets Initiatives as these are exactly the kinds of creative businesses that we hope will proliferate along the Great Streets thoroughfares.”
“This Fund is one of the first of its kind anywhere, bridging the arts and our economy while helping causes and communities,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “We are excited to recognize this group of recipients. Their enterprise solutions to addressing social needs demonstrates how exciting it is to be doing business—especially creatively—in Los Angeles right now.”
For more information about the Creative Ecnomic Development Fund (CEDF) visit www.cciarts.org
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 Creative Economic Development Fund is a newly launched program that provides funding for projects that will help launch startup ventures and expand micro-sized creative enterprises. Piece by Piece is an inaugural recipient of a grant from the Fund to use commercial strategies in pursuit of a social or community impact objective.
The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles' 4 million residents and 40 million annual visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and enriching cultural activities through its activities. More at www.culturela.org .
The Center for Cultural Innovation promotes knowledge-sharing, networking, and financial independence for creative entrepreneurs by providing business training, grants, and incubating innovative projects that create new program knowledge, tools, and practices. www.cciarts.org.