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Big Grants for NELA Nonprofits

2020 Arts & Culture Editions Featured Front Page January More News

By Mary Lynch

Four local nonprofits will begin 2020 with generous grants to support their work in the fields of art, music and the environment. The money will mainly be directed to programs for children and teens, though beneficiaries also include local artists who will gain outlets for their creative pursuits and local audiences who will be treated to cultural events fostered by the grants.
The grantees are:

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), a nonprofit devoted to the revival of the L.A. River, has received a grant of $99,600 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The money will be used to bring educational programs to students at 12 schools in L.A., including 5th graders at Garvanza Elementary and 3rd and 4th graders at San Pascual STEAM Magnet in Highland Park.

Students will learn about the past, present and potential future of the L.A. River through in-classroom lessons, field trips and activities on FoLAR’s L.A. River Rover, a 38’ mobile education center. Central to the curriculum is training and practice in how to think like a scientist. /

Three local nonprofits were recently awarded grants from the Eastside Arts Initiative, a grant-making program of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.  They are:

The Santa Cecilia Orchestra, in Eagle Rock, has received $25,000 to broaden its arts programming. The grant will let the orchestra expand its “Teddy Bear” program to introduce youngsters to the orchestra. The money will also be used to increase the number of chamber concerts that focus on minority audiences and to add more orchestral performances to the season. /

The Orchestra Plaza de la Raza, a new company of student performers, will be created with the help of $25,000 for the Community Ambassadors Program of the School of Performing and Visual Arts at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. The orchestra will be the latest of several ensembles at the Plaza de la Raza, including Mariachi Juvenil, Ballet Folklorico and Latin Jazz Combo. The new orchestra’s repertoire will continue the tradition of fostering appreciation of the diverse Latino arts and culture scene./

The Center for the Arts Eagle Rock (CFAER) has received $10,000 to produce “Balay/Bahay: Creating Community,” a year-long series of cultural events celebrating the large Filipinix community in Northeast L.A. One evening each month, the interior of CFAER will be transformed into a replica of a night market in Manila featuring visual, performing and culinary art by local Filipinx artists. /

P.S. The Eastside Arts Initiative, which supports artistic projects in eastern L.A. County, is now accepting applications for its next funding cycle. The deadline for applications is Thursday, Jan. 31. For more information, visit or contact