GenToGen

The Big Idea

As Jews we believe in Tikkun Olam repair the world. As artists, we practice Hiddur Mitzvah adorn/make beautiful the mitzvah. As Jewish artists we hold to the idea that art can repair the world. GenToGen provides the next generation of Jewish Artists with a sustainable way to put these ideas in to practice. GenToGen (Generation To Generation) is a three-tiered project encompassing intergenerational and trans-denominational Jewish community engagement, support for working artists, and the development of an arts focused Jewish communal living paradigm that can then be recreated in other cities to support Jewish artists. We aim to accomplish this through a multivalent approach phased out over several years by:

1.) Creating a virtual hub for Jewish artists to network and collaborate (GenToGen);

2.) Providing a community based arts education center which will serve as a physical hub for GenToGen and focus on re-engaging Eastside Jews with Judaism through the arts; and

3.) Creating affordable cooperative live/work space based on the history of the Kibbutz and Lower Eastside New York cooperative housing for emerging Jewish artists in Los Angeles who need financial assistance in order to launch their artistic careers in a sustainable way.

1. GenToGen GenToGen is an enterprising, media-rich, bi-monthly podcast focused on highlighting Los Angeles based Next Gen Jewish artists and connecting them to generations of Jewish change makers through an online community. Out of these podcasts will come programming that features three live-events, two of which will feature an LA-Based Artist, and of which all will include an open mic element. With innovative programming and outreach to local community, this space will serve as a hub for Jewish artists in the region.

2. Community Arts Center During the launch of GenToGen artists and organizers will develop a community space for Jewish artists to use as studio and gallery space, meeting and events space, and educational spaces meant to re-engage and reconnect Eastside Jews to Judaism. Through outreach to the broader community in which the center is located, artists will gain valuable skills by providing arts education to members of the broader community at large who wish to use art to institute positive change in their community as well as participate in an incentives-based program that will give artists structure, support, and career-advancing benefits in exchange for their work in reinvigorating Jewish community programs on the Eastside.

3. Artists Kibbutz Cooperative Housing - Following the launch of GenToGen and the community arts center, the Jewish Artists Kibbutz will open, providing subsidized housing to the artists helping to run the collective. With a rotating group of residents, this space will serve as a think tank for future Jewish arts initiatives, as well as provide a crucial support system for emerging artists to continue developing their craft. The mentorship from older artists living in the Kibbutz housing will aid younger artists with learning the essential tools that allow each artist to build a sustainable art practice.

The Impact

The primary three goals of GenToGen are:

1.) Sustain, nurture, and grow a community of Jewish Artists;

2.) Engage and reconnect Eastside Jews through arts-based community engagement; and

3.) Provide low-cost communal living for emerging Jewish Artists.

1. GenToGen Through virtual components including the GenToGen podcast, a virtual art gallery in Second Life, and a blogging/vlogging (video based blogging) web-presence GenToGen establishes visibility, as well as builds a community hub of Jewish artists, first in the launch city of Los Angeles, and then in other states. GenToGen's online presence will allow artists to share work and ideas, as well as network with other artists, gallery owners, curators and arts patrons in order to build a sustainable art practice. Through the construction of a virtual gallery in Second Life, GenToGen will provide artists a central location (hub) to exchange ideas and network with other artists as well as create additional visibility for LA-based Jewish artists. GenToGen's impact on the Los Angeles Jewish community is a richer, more connected Jewish arts scene not limited to just the visual arts.

2. Community Arts Center - With the gallery and community arts space, GenToGen will nurture young artists, provide a space for artists of all ages to explore and make art, and increase exposure for emerging Jewish artists with rotating exhibits and live performances. By serving as a hub for artists and Jewish arts initiatives currently operating in Los Angeles, we will help bring together pockets of community which do not currently interact in the Los Angeles Jewish Community. The educational components of the community arts center will offer outreach providing Jewish education through the arts, as well as offer in-reach to active participants of the center through GenToGen's programming and mentorship opportunities. The Community Arts Center will impact both the currently underserved Eastside Jewish community by re-engaging them with Judaism, as well as the emerging Jewish arts community seeking support and guidance.

3. Kibbutz Art Cooperative Housing - The communal living component of this project helps emerging Jewish artists continue to develop with some financial stability. In addition, the creation of an intentional community living space in conjunction with a gallery space will create deeper, more lasting bonds between artists and other Jewish community members who are engaged with building community. Through a graduated incentives-based participation model, artists will gain resources and access to mentorship, subsidized communal housing and other help based on their involvement within the community through the Community Arts Center. This will help ensure that the community is sustainable over time, and also create deep, long-term personal connections which are the heart of true community.

This Is A Great Idea Because

This project is innovative because of our approach to nurturing Jewish community and Jewish artists through a program of graduated engagement with Los Angeles Jews through the arts. This project has a holistic approach whereby Jewish artists are supported to further develop their craft, gain financial knowledge and stability, and become more knowledgeable about and engaged with creating and sustaining Jewish community while re-engaging a broader underserved community of Jews in East Los Angeles.

1. GenToGen - GenToGen is the first step in a graduated engagement with Los Angeles Jews through the arts, developing a model, which can be replicated in other cities. GenToGen's virtual community of artists leads participants towards further engagement through the Community Arts Center and Artists' Kibbutz. Using innovative approaches to creating online community with podcasts, blogging, and Second Life's virtual spaces we will foster a unique collaborative Jewish arts community in both Los Angeles and globally. The initial network opportunities GenToGen provides will help nourish a robust GenToGen Mentorship Network, where older artists will connect with younger artists through mentorship opportunities and emerging artists will have access to resources such as the Goose Egg Project designed to assist young artists with financial sustainability for a personal arts practice.

2. Community Arts Center - The Eastside Los Angeles gallery and community arts center linked to an artist's live/work space will help fill gaps that currently exist in Jewish arts initiatives. Inspired by Talmud we will use an open source software approach, which will treat Judaism like expandable software code, enabling Eastside Jews to engage and reconnect to Judaism by exploring and expanding our understandings of sacred texts, histories, and traditions through the art making process in order to define a Judaism that meets both our individual and community needs. In addition to in-reach based programming at the center's physical location, participating artists in GenToGen's programming will provide outreach to both Jewish elderly and children through the center's mobile arts center, the Veggie Bus Program, which aims to reconnect Jews to Judaism and connect Jews across the Los Angeles landscape.

3. Kibbutz Arts Cooperative Housing - GenToGen expands the concept behind the Six Points Fellowship (a Jewish arts fellowship) and Moishe House (a cooperative living space for young Jews) by creating a more sustainable, longer-lasting community through using co-housing models for creating intentional communities. GenToGen's artists co-housing project would be a synthesis of the Kibbutz model for successful communal living, the co-housing models developed by the Lady's Garment Worker's Union housing project in New York, as well as current models at work in communities throughout the United States. Through initial engagement with GenToGen's virtual hub and demonstrated long-term investment in the community through the Community Arts Center, members of the Artists' Kibbutz insure a sustainable Jewish and artists' community in Los Angeles. This new graduated program would provide a prototype for a model of co-housing that could be extended to help support Jewish artists in major cities throughout the United States.

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