The CD14 CRA bond funds will allow Self Help Graphics & Art, established in Boyle Heights in 1970, to fill funding gap and enable them to purchase property they currently rent and remain in Boyle Heights for years to come.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Huizar joined with Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) Tuesday morning at their Boyle Heights headquarters to announce $825,000 in City funding that will enable the groundbreaking Arts organization to fill a funding gap and stay in Boyle Heights for decades to come. SHG was founded in Boyle Heights in 1970, and later had to move from their long-time home in East LA, before moving back to Boyle Heights in 2011.
The City Council voted Tuesday’s to approve Huizar’s item to provide the $825,000 commitment, which will allow SHG to fill a critical funding gap that will allow them to purchase the City property located at 1300 E. 1st Street that they currently rent. The funding comes as a community benefits loan with a commitment from Self Help Graphics and Art to provide community benefits in arts services and programming to the local community – something they’ve done for 47 years.
“Self Help Graphics & Art is an arts organization that grew out of a real need in the 1970s to nurture Chicano expression in the arts at a time Chicano Art wasn’t recognized as legitimate,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “Yet in spite of challenges, this organization has grown in capacity, influence and recognition, benefiting eastside artists and our youth with their programming and assistance. These funds will allow them to continue being the great community asset that they are and to remain in Boyle Heights – the neighborhood they were founded in – for years to come.”
The property located at 1300 E 1st St. (aka the Ocean Queen Building) was appraised by the City at $3.625 million. Self Help Graphic and Art has secured $2.8 million in funding to invest in the purchase through a $2.05 million loan from the California Community Foundation and a $250,000 loan from the Weingart Foundation, as well as two $250,000 grants from the California Community Foundation and Zac Guevarra, a former board member.
The funding $825,000 that Councilmember Huizar is providing through CD14 CRA/LA excess bond proceeds will bring them to the full appraisal price of $3.625 million.
“Very few community driven spaces like Self Help Graphics survive four decades,” said Betty Avila, Self Help Graphics & Art Co-Director of Advancement and Administration. “Community based cultural centers like Self Help Graphics are foundations that reflect the existing community and provide a space for creative growth, gathering and incubation. Securing a permanent home for Self Help Graphics greatly increases the social and cultural wellness of the Eastside and offers residents the opportunity to achieve wellness, lower barriers and build the skillsets needed to break through and thrive in the creative economy of Los Angeles and the world.”
“Making Self Help Graphics’ current building its permanent home means a continued source of cultural programming, arts education and creative workforce development for a community that sits in the largest creative economy in the world,” said Joel Garcia, Self Help Graphics & Art Co-Director of Programs and Operations. “Self Help Graphics is a space for healing and creative expression and it represents a major cultural arts win, during a time where our nation’s highest office is questioning the validity of the contributions and experiences of the Chicana/o and Latinx communities to this country. The office of Councilmember Huizar and the City’s support for the effort to call 1300 E. 1st St, Self Help’s permanent home, is an important statement about the values of the City of Los Angeles and space in the Creative Capital of the world.”
The Los Angeles City Council will vote on the site’s acquisition by Self Help Graphics & Art on Friday.