In January, 2015, ArtPlace America announced a new, one-time grant program – the Community Development Investments (CDI) – for place-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a primary mission of community planning and development that have not previously incorporated arts and culture strategies into their core work.
The CDI program builds on the lessons learned through ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund, Research, and Field-Building Activities and is investigating what it means to then sustainably incorporate art and culture into the multi-sector work of a place-based non-governmental organization (NGO).
In August, 2015, ArtPlace America announced Little Tokyo Service Center CDC as one of the six participating organizations that received this CDI grant.
WHAT IS +LAB?
+LAB is LTSC’s effort to strategically incorporate arts and culture-based collaboration into key community development efforts in Little Tokyo. As the name suggests, we’re adding a new tool to our community development toolbox (+) - one that is creative and experimental (LAB) in hopes that we can better advance equity, sustainability, community empowerment, cultural vibrancy within a community of color.
We are tackling questions such as: How can we more creatively highlight Little Tokyo’s story - past and present - and connection to a larger Los Angeles identity of historic ethnic neighborhoods? How can we utilize arts and artists/cultural workers to build local power and advance community control over Little Tokyo’s future, like the development of First Street North? How can community development efforts support existing community, arts & cultural assets, ensuring the long term viability of affordable housing for residents with low incomes and historic small businesses?
WHAT ARE +LAB PROJECTS?
TAKACHIZU is a community participatory asset-gathering model and exhibition designed by Rosten Woo. Based in a temporary garage space (located at the future site of Budokan LA) until April 2017, Takachizu focuses its programs on community-curated events and "show & tell" workshops that celebrate, identify, and reflect on the many cultural treasures of Little Tokyo. Centered on questions around cultural sustainability and community development, Takachizu will be published into a book that connects how culture can inform community development efforts in the neighborhood in May 2017.
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#MyFSN Our Block. Our History. Our Future.
A neighborhood campaign that celebrates the only historically preserved block in Little Tokyo through community-based arts, awareness and engagement.
#MyFSN aims to highlight and celebrate First Street North (FSN) as a block critical to the past, present and future of the Little Tokyo neighborhood, and to eventually realize the Sustainable Little Tokyo vision for the block. Led by Little Tokyo Community Council, FSN stakeholders and Little Tokyo Service Center’s +LAB, we invite you to share your FSN personal stories, memories, messages, or facts via social media using #MyFSN #LittleTokyo #DTLA
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What is +LAB’s relationship to Sustainable Little Tokyo?
Led by Little Tokyo Community Council, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and LTSC, Sustainable Little Tokyo began in 2013 as a multi-day community visioning effort and has evolved into a holistic, neighborhood-wide campaign to promote the environmental, economic and cultural sustainability of Little Tokyo.
LTSC’s Community Economic Development work - as seen by our internal vision for Little Tokyo - falls under the SLT neighborhood vision for Little Tokyo. As a community development organization, however, our specific role in advancing this larger vision for our neighborhood involves community development strategies of organizing, planning and real estate development. Even with the addition of +LAB, our creative efforts are all grounded in community development strategies and outcomes.
For more information and to get involved, contact: