Cal State LA
In 2017, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles began a partnership with Cal State LA’s Television, Film, and Media Department to co-develop an ongoing project titled Community Impact Media to encourage diversity in filmmaking. This innovative course provides hands-on experience in media production and offers storytelling mentorship to guide students through the creation of original short documentaries about the inspiring work of local nonprofit organizations. Alongside a financial contribution, the partnership encompasses opportunities for Cal State LA students to engage with the gallery and its program, which includes collaborative events hosted at the gallery and onsite filming opportunities.
To date, over 100 students have participated in the class, resulting in 16 short documentaries highlighting the work of local nonprofits. In 2019 Cal State LA updated their computer lab and made new equipment purchases. 500 students have used the computers for enhanced training and professional development.
In the first iteration of Community Impact Media, which began Fall 2017, students focused on the meaningful work of LA-based nonprofits Piece by Piece, Learning Rights Law Center, My Friend’s Place, and Girls Today Women Tomorrow. Through collaborative workshops students learned how to share the stories of the nonprofits and the communities they serve. Additionally, the course paired students with established filmmakers and public relations professionals, who provided a wide range of feedback from editing, direction, and visual effects, to story building and marketing techniques.
For the spring 2018 semester, students focused on the work of Cal State LA Prison Graduation Initiative, Project Rebound, and Youth Justice Coalition, three local initiatives that have been affected by funding constraints. The resulting documentaries from this semester were a call to action for public support – they communicate how these initiatives provide educational support for incarcerated people, combat recidivism, and impact juvenile and criminal justice policies. The organizations worked with the students to use these films in their fundraising and outreach activities.
The Fall 2018 semester drew attention to regional nonprofits that are developing solutions to address environmental challenges in California and beyond: Green Technology, Grades of Green, and Communities for a Better Environment. The students worked directly with the organizations and received one-on-one mentorship from local filmmakers throughout the process of making the documentaries. By forming relationships with the organizations, students were able to gain professional experience outside the classroom.
The short films created during the 2019 Spring semester featured four LA-based nonprofits dedicated to arts advocacy: Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory, Everybody Dance, Music Mends Minds, and Painted Brain. Each of these documentaries draw attention to the ways in which the local nonprofits are benefiting communities through social support, rehabilitation, empowerment, and education.
During the 2019 Fall semester, Community Impact Media students focused on LA-based nonprofits Inner City Law Center and Media Done Responsibly. The students’ documentaries highlighted how these local organizations are promoting equitable legal services and accessible media literacy training for marginalized communities in Los Angeles. Inner City Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services to the most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles, promoting access to decent, safe, and fully habitable housing for homeless and working-poor families and individuals residing in Los Angeles’ inner-city neighborhoods. Media Done Responsibly is a mentor and leadership development program that trains student innovators to be conscious consumers, creators, and advocates of media that reflects their full humanity.