The California Institute of the Arts' (CalArts) Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Digital Arts Network (DAN) will link 10 community-based arts organizations via the Internet and computer videoconferencing systems to provide communication technologies and arts training programs to underserved Los Angeles youth.
This innovative project addresses two interrelated issues: the isolation among high school-aged young people growing up in an urban environment fragmented along racial and economic lines; and a crippling lack of access to art and technology-based educational resources. The DAN project will address these two problems by establishing telecommunications links so that young people throughout Los Angeles County can work with each other and communicate about key issues in their lives.
Multimedia workshops held at each community partner site and at CalArts will provide program participants with arts, communication, and digital technology skills beyond the scope both of public school education and typical after-school offerings. Most important, by emphasizing collaborative work, the project ensures that youth participants will work together on art, performance, video, music and writing initiatives. Young people from these underserved areas will form constructive working relationships and friendships, while at the same time acquiring skills they will need for higher education and employment. Over 200 teenagers will be trained during each 10-week session, enabling approximately 600 youth to participate each year.
Most of the Los Angeles County youth who will be served by this project lack even basic access to educational and cultural resources available in more affluent areas of the county. In particular, by providing access to state-of-the-art computers and equipment, this project will make a difference in the lives of over 600 youths annually by providing them with college-level training in computer and software use, along with computer applications in the visual arts: graphic design and photography, the performing arts, and communications technology. It will make a measurable difference in the future employability and educational attainment of these students, and will serve as a national model for using technology and arts to surmount cultural and economic barriers.
Partners include the KAOS Network in Leimert Park (South Central Los Angeles), Plaza de la Raza, Inner-City Arts, and the Watts Tower Arts Center. Many other organizations will be part of the DAN project network, including the Armory Center for the Arts, the Encino Media Center, the Inner City Cultural Center at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, the Santa Clarity Valley Boys and Girls Club, and Self-Help Graphics.