Today, the Goldhirsh Foundation announced winners for its annual My LA2050 Grants Challenge, a $1M competition to source creative ideas about shaping the future of Los Angeles. The 12 winning organizations will receive grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to implement projects in 2017 that make Los Angeles the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live.
The projects were crowdsourced in an online grants challenge that invited organizations in Los Angeles to submit proposals that would shape a brighter future for Angelenos. The winning projects build on local conversations about social impact, and address topics including sustainability and clean energy, skills-based learning and vocational training, representation in the media, and inclusive entrepreneurship as tools for social mobility.
“We are energized by the diversity of proposals selected for grants this year," said Goldhirsh Foundation president, Tara Roth. “From San Pedro to Lancaster, these organizations are authentic to the communities they serve. They tap into the collective consciousness of Angelenos to solve local challenges in a way that is impactful and creative."
In addition to crowdsourcing solutions for Los Angeles, the grants challenge engaged the public by allowing Angelenos to vote on their favorites of the ideas submitted. This year, as in years past, tens of thousands of Angelenos voted.
The Goldhirsh Foundation is also working with other funders to support more organizations that participated in the grants challenge. The Annenberg Foundation announced in September that it will offer up to $250,000 in grants for projects related to technology and communications to improve the lives of Angelenos.
The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation (RPDFF) and CAA Foundation also announced today that they will join the philanthropic collaboration. RPDFF plans to grant an additional $500,000 to support 10 projects at $50,000 that focus on collaboration in their proposals. The CAA Foundation will use the grants challenge to help inform its philanthropic efforts in public education throughout 2017.
The Goldhirsh Foundation's 12 winning proposals for the My LA2050 Grants Challenge are:
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles will leverage its STEM network to provide middle school students with ocean-based learning including: lessons on sustainable methods for aquaculture, an introduction to the local ocean ecosystem, technology-enabled ocean exploration, and blue technologies.
Lost Angels Children's Project ($25,000)
Based in Lancaster, the Lost Angels Children's Project will provide 50 at-risk, disadvantaged, and foster youth with hands-on vocational training in classic car restoration via a safe educational afterschool program.
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media ($25,000)
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is a research-based organization working with the entertainment industry to improve gender balance in media to empower women and girls. The Institute will provide scholarships and mentorship opportunities for 50 girls aged 13-18 to participate in their See Jane Salon Series.
California Institute of Technology ($100,000)
Via its Cleantech 2 Edtech program, Caltech will explore promising clean energy and water technologies, work with LAUSD and LADWP to pilot them, and offer complementary education and internship opportunities for high school students in cleantech.
Opportunity Fund ($100,000)
Opportunity Fund will provide access to capital to 240 underserved LA small business owners in collaboration with 10+ community organizations helping to create self-sufficiency & jobs. Through this new program, Opportunity Fund will create a network of quality lending partners that will expand the organization's reach, improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and capture data about local entrepreneurship.
Triforium Project ($100,000)
The Triforium is a 70s-era, six-story sculpture and public art project in Downtown Los Angeles that has never been able to achieve the ambitious vision of its artist. The Triforium Project, in partnership with 5 Every Day, Tom Explores Los Angeles, Downtown Art Walk, and Art Share LA, aims to realize the artist's vision by retrofitting the Triforium, replacing its incandescent bulbs with LEDs, and install an updated computer system designed to invite musical interaction.
Surf Bus Foundation ($100,000)
Surf Bus partners with LA City Department of Recreation and Parks to connect LA's low-income, at-risk youth with the ocean and provides transportation, bathing suits, wetsuits, surf boards, boogie boards, food, and ocean safety education.
Big Citizen HUB ($100,000)
Over the course of 22 weekends, Big Citizen HUB will build a pipeline of social changemakers by bringing together 236 diverse young people, ages 11-26, from across Los Angeles for leadership development and community service.
Tierra del Sol Foundation ($50,000)
Tierra del Sol Foundation will connect 500 adults who have developmental disabilities to volunteer opportunities at 120 nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles.
Friends of the Family ($100,000)
The Man2Man Project will connect multiple generations of men and boys for the dual purpose of helping young dads to become great fathers and preventing at-risk boys from becoming fathers too soon.
Sierra Club Foundation ($100,000)
Sierra Club will develop a campaign to help Los Angeles equitably transition towards 100 percent clean energy. The campaign seeks to engage residents and stakeholders about LA's clean energy future, track and evaluate the city's mechanisms for spurring clean energy solutions, educate the public, and use social media to engage in a dialogue.
Covenant House California ($100,000)
In partnership with a revered barber in Long Beach, Covenant House will open the Precise Barber College to train traditional students and homeless youth. The social enterprise will help students become certified barbers, learn about entrepreneurship, and give back to their community via a street outreach team that offers free haircuts to homeless youth.