We're making Community Lemonade in Long Beach, CA. Come and make lemonade with us!
! I'm on a 100 day odyssey for community and creativity in Long Beach, CA. We've got such an amazing city, and I'm a huge fan! I want to share it with you! I'm seeking out the creatives and the facilitators of creativity. The art and the locations that inspire art. Bringing them to you, here in this blog, and to others, on the streets of Long Beach.
I call it .
Today was Day 10 of Making Lemonade. I attended the artists meeting of the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach (CALB)
In preparation for this project - my 100 day odyssey - one of the first places I knew I wanted to visit was the Arts Council for Long Beach. It's a go-to organization for those who want to create art in Long Beach and need a little boost to get there. When I explained the concept... of making... of makerspaces... of The Community Lemonade Game... I was immediately pointed in the direction of CALB. Today, I found out why.
The CALB meeting was held at the Bungalow Building on Pine Street. Karen Reside, who is working to help advance the causes of artists and art in Long Beach, led the meeting. Reside & Associates is a group of grantwriting and fund development professionals that is facilitating the CALB efforts.
The goals of the CALB are ambitious, but nothing is gained without ambition, and setting your goals high gives you the opportunity for greater accomplishment.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars." Brian Littrell
CALB seeks to grow a community of artists (of all kinds) and people who value art and creativity bringing them together to share, to participate, to exhibit, to learn. Families, individuals, supporters.
If you have the spark, the idea, what do you do with it? Under CALB's guidance, the spark can be nurtured into a cozy campfire.
It all starts with a place... or many places... I've found that not having a place to work, to exhibit, to visualize, to share, to commune, can make a difference between doing and not doing. CALB has two spaces it's building its' community around:
- The Bungalow Art Center at 727 Pine Ave
- MADhaus performance space at 624 Pacific Ave
Then there is funding. You... or I... might have a grand idea, but if there is no funding for it, well... it probably would not happen. Funding for art materials, for artist time, for space. Karen provides grant training and grant writing services, so that artists can focus on what they do best. Their art. Some evidence of success is already evident, with a free, upcoming film series sponsored by PBS.
And the audience. Because art is made to be seen, heard, enjoyed. A committed community that cares about the art that is created at CALB spaces, by CALB artists, facilitated by CALB grantwriting. A community that can interact, often at no cost, simply by belonging to the CALB membership.
Then, only then, the magic can happen.
CALB is young, grassroots... defining the vision through vigorous, regular interaction with the artist community and engaging with business leaders in the city. Contact email: CALBarts@gmail.com.
Did I hear someone say free? For the first 100 members, be they artists or individuals, students or seniors, membership to CALB is free. I will post a copy of the application on this site when I receive it from CALB. Please check back for the application form.
Engagement with the creative community was obvious as the many artists introduced themselves and their discipline: dance, music, writing, lettering, murals, graphic design, art conservancy. There were many creative groups, too - the Long Beach Cinematheque, ARTS for LA, various theatre groups. There were the grant makers for the California Teleconnect Fund , run by the California Public Utilities Commission. There were the anthropologists... Yes, plural. I chatted with Cal-State Dominguez Hills professor, Sue Needham, about her role with the Khmer Arts program.
And now, a few notes from the meeting:
- The newly defunct Redevelopment Association was the umbrella organization for the Long Beach public arts program. When the RDA went away (as did all RDAs, due to elimination of funding at the state level), the public arts program also went away. Most cities had no ties between their RDA and public arts programs.
- The upcoming city budget (to be released next week) is expected to trim many programs. The extent to which organizations supported in part or in whole by city funds are affected is being awaited with some anxiety. The Arts Council for Long Beach is partially supported by city funds, and could be affected. (Penguin note: I would be very disappointed to see this happen. I know from personal experience that the Arts Council can see the spark and has implemented ways to facilitate it, as I have in the past been facilitated. Having your idea be validated by a group gives you the courage to do more.)
- The California Teleconnect Fund seeks to financially facilitate access to more advanced telecommunications infrastructure within California. Internet services provided directly or in partnership with an approved internet service provider are eligible for a 50% reduction in rates. Most of the large service providers are on the eligible list.
Some tidbits and things that I took away with me...
- October is Arts Month. At 3:00 PM Thursday (today), the Arts Month Task Force meeting is being held at Utopia restaurant (Broadway and Linden)
- Artist Jose M. Loza seeks to find residents of the Santa Fe corridor who are interested in being represented in a mural project that he is currently designing.
- 3rd Friday Swap at the Madhaus - bring your unwanted clothes, housewares, jewelry, cameras and swap for something that you want! The next swap is Friday, July 20th.
- Belmont Shore Summer Sunday Beach Hula. 8:00 AM Donation based.
- This Saturday is the 2nd Saturday Art Walk - Visit the About Face exhibit at 3rd and Elm and try on the masks! 20 years of Theatre Masks will be displayed.
- There is a new Farmers' Market starting up in North Long Beach (Artesia & Atlantic).
- A free membership to CALB
- A trail of artists for me to follow. Needless to say, I now have a long list of artists to get to know better!
Day 11: Following the Fiber Trails
Tomorrow I begin to follow the fiber trails to the Handweaver's Guild of America (HGA) Convergence conference, which begins on July 16th. I will visit one or more of the local fiber exhibits that are being held in coordination with the Convergence.
Want more lemonade?
Need to contact me? firstname.lastname@example.org