Los Angeles, CA
Grant Cycle:
Type of Grant:
General Operating Support
Social Practice

The mission of LA Commons, a project of Community Partners, is to engage communities in artistic and cultural expression that tells their unique stories and serves as a basis for dialogue, interaction and a shared understanding of Los Angeles.

Established in 2003, our programs are grounded in the philosophy that culture is a valuable community resource, art is a powerful tool for telling stories and creating change, and artists have an important role to play in the community development process. Since 2003, LA Commons has engaged local artists, youth and residents, developing trusting and reciprocal relationships through story-sharing and collaborative public art creation. Each year we employ 60 independent artists with roots in the communities in which we work and supply paid apprenticeships for 90-150 low-income youth, supporting development of their own creative practice. We amplify community needs through the artworks that are made with general audiences and policymakers in mind.

Through community-based arts programs centered on youth leadership, we help diverse, systemically disinvested neighborhoods to build connection and empowerment through the creation of dynamic works of public art. Grounded in Central and South Los Angeles, we work with artists and culture bearers, youth ages 15–25, and residents of all ages. With an ethnic makeup of 60% Latino, 35% African American, 2% Caucasian, 2% Asian, and 1% mixed race, South LA includes LA County’s lowest per capita income ($10,659) and highest poverty levels (47%).

LA Commons plays a unique role facilitating local engagement in arts and culture as well as in other important issues – including health, transportation and education, and giving residents, particularly youth, a voice and an on-ramp to making positive change.