My LA2050 Announces Winners of $1 Million Grant Competition

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Winning programs have industry ties to such names as Mark Gordon, Norman Lear and actress Amy Smart.

My LA2050 Grants Challenge — a $1 million competition seeking creative and innovative solutions to bolster Los Angeles backed by the Goldhirsh Foundation — has revealed the winners of the third annual competition. 

From a pool of 302 submissions, LA2050 named 10 winners, each to receive a $100,000 award. Winners were selected in two categories via public vote online as well as jury selection. Each category features a winner in line with the organization's mission of making the city the best place to learn, create, play, connect and live. 

“All of the proposals craft a hopeful future for Los Angeles,” said Goldhirsh Foundation president Tara Roth. “The My LA2050 winners are championing innovative ways to repurpose public space, celebrate local creative professionals and strengthen career pipelines for the future workforce.”

Public vote winners include:

LEARN: Citizens of the World will develop a model incorporating social-emotional learning into everyday curricula, emphasizing self-regulation and social connection for healthy child development and school safety. (The organization was founded by uber-producer Mark Gordon.)

CREATE: Los Angeles Review of Books will profile a local writer or artist each day of the year, bringing exposure to the creative community. (Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks and Mark Ruffalo lent their support for this initiative on social media.)

PLAY: Grand Park will pilot the installation of permanent shade structures designed by a local artist at the park in Downtown L.A.

CONNECT: Los Angeles Promise Zone Initiative will provide students in the Promise Zone with summer jobs as young ethnographers to conduct 1,800 surveys measuring how the initiative is improving lives.

LIVE: Heal the Bay — in partnership with Pacoima Beautiful and the Pacific American Volunteer Association — will launch a multi-language project to improve Angelenos’ understanding of water challenges and to introduce Angelenos to water-saving strategies. (The org has notable board members from the industry, including actress Amy Smart, Homerun Entertainment's Barry Gribbon, Over the Top Prods.' Luann Laval Williams, Steven Bochco Prods.' Dayna Bochco and Crossroads Film's Peter Abraham.)

Jury voted winners include:

LEARN: Girls Academic Leadership Academy — LAUSD’s first all-girls public STEM high school — will create a makerspace, providing students with hands-on experience using new technologies and innovative processes.

CREATE: Los Angeles Bioscience Hub — in collaboration with East Los Angeles College — will create the Biotech Leaders Academy, establishing a pipeline for East L.A. students to become biotech entrepreneurs.

PLAY: People for Parks will unlock six new community school parks, providing more than 25,000 Angelenos access to a safe park within 1/4 mile of their homes.

CONNECT: CASA of Los Angeles will recruit and train 250 new volunteers who will serve as court-appointed special advocates on behalf of abused and neglected youth in the foster care system.

LIVE: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will provide at least 180 of L.A.’s 320,000 veterans and their families with support as they transition to civilian life through referrals to critical resources and support systems. (IAVA's board members include Normal Lear, director Peter Berg, WME/IMG's Greg D'Alba, football analyst Bill Cowher and Discovery Networks' Joe Abruzzese.)

In addition to the Goldhirsh Foundation’s $1 million check, the Annenberg Foundation and the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation will provide a combined $600,000 in awards for submissions in the grants challenge. Additional winners will be announced in 2016. More information can be found here

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