Youth Programs Earn NEA Grants

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Three art education programs for youth at the LA LGBT Center have been awarded grant money from the National Endowment for the Arts, including OutSet: The Young Filmmakers ProjectWe Can Be Heroes mural project, and Somos Iguales (We Are Equals) mural project.

“Our life-enriching arts programs are integral to the health and well-being of our youth members,” the Center’s CEO, Lorri L. Jean. “Some of the world’s most dynamic and unforgettable works of expression have been created by LGBT people, and thanks to this prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, we can continue to inspire and invigorate the next generation of imaginative minds.”

The $35,000 grant is part of the NEA’s first major announcement for fiscal year 2018 in which NEA Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $25 million in grants.

“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States,” said Chu. “These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives.”


OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project provides LGBTQ youth ages 16-24 with hands-on instruction by entertainment industry professionals specializing in script writing, direction, production design, cinematography, and editing. Produced by youth-led teams, OutSet films are entered into competition and screened at Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival.

We Can Be Heroes mural project engages transgender youth who are experiencing homelessness to create mural panels over eight weeks in an open studio at the Center’s cultural arts venue. Under the guidance of a visual artist, the themes of the mural project focus on historical trans figures who have made significant contributions to the movement.

Offered in partnership with LEA, the Somos Iguales (We Are Equals) project convenes local LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 15-24 to participate in art classes held at Mi Centro, the Center’s partnership location with LEA in Boyle Heights. Participants produce mural panels depicting LGBT themes to be displayed at high schools within the LA Unified School District.

For more information about the Center’s youth programs and services, visit lalgbtcenter.org/youthservices.

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