THE OVATION FOUNDATION CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENTS OF FIVE CREATIVE ECONOMY innOVATION GRANT RECIPIENTS AT AWARDS CEREMONY

March 13, 2017

Minneapolis’ Juxtaposition Arts; New Orleans Video Access Center, Berkeley, CA’s Project H Design; Richmond, VA’s Storefront for Community Design; and Los Angeles’ WriteGirl Are Awarded $20,000 Each for Their Model Creative Economy Programs

Los Angeles, CA – March 13, 2017 – At an awards ceremony and luncheon held in Downtown Los Angeles Friday, March 10, The Ovation Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ovation TV, acknowledged the winners of its Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards Program. The program focused on recognizing model workforce development programs and projects that invest in preparing artists for jobs in creative industries.

California State Senator Ben Allen, who was a panelist in the Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards Program and is a champion for the Creative Economy within California’s Legislature, serving as Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, attended the event and stated: “It has been an honor to participate in the review process for this year’s innOVATION Grant Awards and to witness first-hand the extent and depth of the great work that is being done in support of the creative economy. Through programs like this, exemplary projects, like those from today’s grantees, serve as inspiration for what can be accomplished on an individual level and, in turn, impact an entire community.”

Liz Janneman, President of The Ovation Foundation; CA State Senator Ben Allen; Jessica Yas Barker, Director of Corporate Relations, Ovation TV
Liz Janneman, President of The Ovation Foundation; CA State Senator Ben Allen; Jessica Yas Barker, Director of Corporate Relations, Ovation TV

Ovation Foundation President Liz Janneman added, “During a time when the value of the arts is being questioned and federal support is being threatened, the programs showcased here today are irrefutable proof that our country’s creative industries are key drivers of innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Through The Ovation Foundation, we hope to underscore that even a little support and seed money can go a long way to encourage and inspire innovation in communities across the country.”

Five grants of $20,000 each were awarded to the following nonprofit organizations:

Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) started in Minneapolis in 1995 as an enrichment workshop in public housing, expanded into an after-school program, and today anchors a commercial corridor where they are advancing a long-range vision to activate the creative genius of youth. JXTA has been able to continue its work thanks to a 2016 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) is the Gulf South’s oldest media arts nonprofit, cultivating a sustainable creative economy in south Louisiana through creative industry workforce training, independent filmmaker workshops, community film education events, youth media programs, community based video productions and video preservation services.

Project H Design uses the power of design, architecture, and hands-on building to amplify the raw brilliance of youth, transform communities, and accelerate job and college opportunities for under-resourced teenagers in Berkeley, CA.

Storefront for Community Design works to enhance the quality of life for Richmond, VA residents through low-cost design assistance, design education, and community engagement efforts. Storefront impacts resilient but disadvantaged communities providing a sustained, long-term presence and access to professional design assistance.

WriteGirl is a project of Community Partners that promotes creativity and self-expression to empower girls within a community of women writers. Founded in Los Angeles in 2001, WriteGirl leverages the skills and experience of professional women writers to help lead workshops and mentor teen girls in creative writing.

Applicants for the Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards were judged according to their content, partnership opportunities and the creative ways in which technology is used as a medium to enhance workforce development and skills training to better prepare individuals for a competitive global economy.  To view the grant guidelines, visit http://theovationfoundation.org/innovation-grant-awards-program.

Panelists for The Ovation Foundation’s Creative Economy innOVATION Grant Awards Program in attendance at Friday’s luncheon included Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, economist with the LAEDC and principal contributor to the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy; Joe Smoke, Grants Administration Division Director for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Keith McNutt, Director of the Western Region of The Actors Fund; and California State Senator Ben Allen.

The Ovation Foundation launched in 2014 to provide a focus for Ovation TV’s philanthropic, advocacy, and educational initiatives. Their mission is to support and increase access to the arts by educating the public on the importance and value of the arts; advocating for prioritization of the arts through social action campaigns to increase funding and expand educational opportunities; and, contributing direct support to non-profits, cultural institutions, and arts education organizations.