Promise Zone Arts (PZA) is a two-year, multi-neighborhood cultural asset mapping and activation initiative administered by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) co-created by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and LA Commons that utilizes cultural mapping strategies, ethnographic documentation, community gatherings, and free public events to identify and support the artists, cultural practitioners, tradition bearers, and sites that Los Angeles Promise Zone neighborhood residents deem significant.
Promise Zone Arts seeks to illuminate the value of neighborhood cultural assets from the perspectives of residents, and make the cultural treasures they identify visible and recognized as essential in making our communities more sustainable and livable.
Central Los Angeles is rich in Cultural Treasures–people, groups, events, places, and practices that are culturally significant. Neighborhoods including East Hollywood (Little Armenia, Thai Town), Hollywood, Koreatown, and Westlake/Pico Union are home to a great number of artists, culture bearers, and culturally activated sites. Identifying and shining a light on these cultural treasures is the goal of PZA.
In partnership with the L.A. Promise Zone, a federally designated collective impact project involving leaders from government, local institutions, nonprofits, and community organizations to target resources to create jobs, boost public safety, improve public education, and stimulate better housing opportunities for our residents and neighborhoods, PZA will activate public space, build social capital, encourage economic development, and foster public policy through the identification and promotion of cultural assets.
PZA has four core components:
1. Participatory Cultural Asset Mapping process facilitating resident engagement in the identification of neighborhood cultural treasures led partner organizations the Alliance of California Traditional Arts and LA Commons.
2. Recording and Documentation of Cultural Treasures to archive the stories and traditions discovered through the cultural asset mapping process to be added to a research database.
3. Public Digital Cultural Treasures Storybank showcasing underrepresented cultural assets and traditional and folk artists to provide exposure and opportunity
4. Free Cultural Treasures Celebrations for the whole family with local artists and interactive performances as well as traditional foods from the diverse Promise Zone communities.