Thursday, October 15, 2009

CB Grant Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 20th

We wanted to wish you good luck as you put the final touches on your grant application. These are a few important reminders as you get ready to submit your application by the deadline date of Tuesday, October 20th:
1. Make 3 copies of the application
2. Use a binder clip to keep the application together. Do not staple or use binders and folders.
3. Applications must not exceed 35 pages.
4. Make sure all parts of the application are filled out.
You can submit your application one of 3 ways:
1. Dropping it off at our office at City Hall, Rm. 356
2. Dropping it off at your local council field office
3. Mailing it (must be postmarked by Oct. 20th)
If you are dropping it off, please have the staff sign and date stamp the Submittal Receipt and keep a copy of it.
We have the full details of submitting an application and the final requirements at this link:
Good luck again!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Only Four Workshops Left for 2009-10!

The first eleven workshops have been great. CB Grant staff has met many community members who have shared their wonderful ideas in beautifying their respective neighborhoods. Now, we are down to the last of the workshops for the 2009-10 CB Grant cycle. There are only 4 workshops remaining:
Remember that when you attend you are encouraged to share information about your project or organization. Also, bring a sweater -- sometimes, the air conditioning is turned to 11!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

America the Beautiful Mural Enriches Special Education

"American Spirit Arena" project funded by CB Grant and completed by Leichman Development & Beautification Committee
Excerpts from the Leichman's press release:
Nearly 100 special education students have helped muralist Elizabeth Criss create the "American Spirit Arena" at Leichman High School, 19034 Gault Street, Reseda, CA. With support from a Los Angeles Community Beautification Grant, the walls of the school's main courtyard have been filled with colorful details of our country's treasures and traditions. The goal is to help students understand the inspiring concepts contained in patriotic songs.

The project started a year ago when Principal Pauline Furman explained to artist Criss that even though the school recites the Pledge of Allegiance and broadcasts songs with patriotic themes, the meanings remained elusive to her students. The decision was made to enhance a drab courtyard with imagery chosen to convey a sense of country.

Today, the students can see Smokey Bear extinguishing a campfire beneath Half Dome in Yosemite. Opposite that, they can view the dome of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Now, when students exit their cafeteria, they walk past Benjamin Franklin and Rosie the Riveter tending "The Supreme Food Court", filled with a cornucopia of New World Crops. As students come and go, they pass "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" which relays a short history of transportation, from the Mayflower to the Space Shuttle. When students return to school this week, they will better understand the phrases "sea to shining sea," "amber waves of grain," purple mountains majesty," and more through the freshly painted "America the Beautiful".
About Leichman High School: An LAUSD facility, Leichman High School provides instruction to 215 students with moderate to severe disabilities from all over the San Fernando Valley. Ranging in age from 13 to 22, their curriculum focuses on developing communication, vocational, and independent life skills.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"City Offers Grants to Beautify Neighborhoods"

CB Grant awarded Melrose Parent Group a grant for their project, "Reach toward the Stars, Motivational Mural at Melrose Elementary"
The CB Grant Program and the mural depicted above was highlighted yesterday in an article (page 6), "City Offers Grants to Beautify Neighborhoods" by Amy Lyons of the Beverly Press, a local newspaper serving West Hollywood, Hancock Park and Wilshire communities.
Mentioned in the article are some of the organization members and the projects that was funded in the area: Jim Etue, a mural at Melrose Elementary School; Theresa Dahl, a vegetable garden at Carthay Center Elementary School; a median beautification along Fairfax Avenue; and Krista Michaels, a tree planting along the Cahuenga Pass.
Theresa Dahl, Friends of Carthay Center, described the CB Grant program nicely when she said, “I feel that communities are divorced from their neighborhood schools, and one way to reinvigorate that support is with these grants. They serve as great connectors. The grant really empowers people in their community because you have to get pledges of volunteer hours from all different kinds of people. You have doctors working alongside janitors on these makes people realize they can make a huge difference in their community.”
To read the whole article, click here. For more information about the CB Grant, click here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Location Change for 1st CB Grant Workshop

Edendale Library
Join the CB Grant staff at it's first workshop tomorrow on August 11th at 6 p.m. The location has moved to Edendale Library located at 2011 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. At the workshop, staff will explain the grant process, explain how to fill out the application, and show pictures of completed projects.
CB Grant staff do not anticipate any more changes to the workshop schedule. Stay informed about the CB Grant on our website or by joining the CB Grant mailing list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Free Landscape Workshops for LADWP Customers

From the LADPW Public Affairs Office ~ Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is offering FREE workshops for its customers on caring for lawns and water conservation through low maintence, affordable landscaping practices.
All workshops are held from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Free parking is available. The dates and locations are:

Class space is limited. Reserve your space now by emailing LADWP or calling (800) 544-4498 and pressing "5".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009-10 CB Grant Application is Now Available

The Application and Guidelines packet for the 2009-10 Community Beautification Grant (CB Grant) is now available online HERE. The CB Grant is a competitive annual matching grant of up to $10,000 awarded to community groups to fund neighborhood beautification projects. Grants have been awarded for many different types of projects including public sculptures, murals, landscaping and neighborhood identification markers.
The application is available on our website, Last day to apply is Tuesday, October 20, 2009.
Learn how to apply at one of the 15 workshops held throughout the LA area. At the workshops, you will receive tips on how to make your application more competitive, see bef0re and after pictures of successful projects, meet CB Grant staff and like-minded members of your community, and have your questions answered.
The images that grace the new application cover were chosen from some great Community Beautification Grant funded projects. We would like to recognize these organizations and their projects.
Front Cover (left to right)
Back Cover (top to bottom)

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Two Lives Lost - Their Spirit Forever Remembered"

Families, friends and the Public Works family came together for a dedication ceremony of a statue in honor of two City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works employees who lost their lives by a co-worker on February 24, 2005. The monument was created by REMEMBERED, a private organization honoring the two employees, Mr. Ricardo "Big Rick" Garris and Mr. Rene Flores. REMEMBERED was awarded a CB Grant of $10,000.
On the plaque are the words:
In Memory of Rene Flores and Ricardo "Big Rick" Garris
February 24, 2005
The City of Angels wept this day....
Hearts broken... Grief insurmountable...
Time stood still...
A singular cry was heard.
Alas, the burden lifted... Held high with a promise... One by one...
They came to know Love Surrenders Not To The Passage of Time
And we... The City of Los Angeles... Shall Remember...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our New Outreach Graphics are Now on the Presses!

The graphics for the 2009-10 Workshop Flyer have just been recently sent to the City's exceptional Publishing Services Division of the Department of General Services. Publishing Services prints most of the publications that the various deparment uses. From posters to postcards, they strive to create publications that we can be proud of. We are fortunate to have such incredible services "in-house".
It shouldn't be long now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nine New Projects Completed

Our grantees have been very busy in the last few days with their projects. CB Grant staff has taken part in over 8 dedication in the last 10 days. These are (in no particular order):

  • TERA - The Eagle Rock Association, "Eagle Rock Make Art Not Trash Project" ~ Commissioned local artists to design and create ceramic mosaic panels. The panels were attached to 20 cast concrete trash receptacles gracing Eagle Rock's main commercial streets.
  • The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful, "Wiota Circle" ~ Installed an impressive neighborhood marker on Colorado Blvd.
  • Friends of Westminster Avenue Garden, "WE Garden" ~ Expanded and revitalized the garden area in the school.
  • Castle Heights Elementary, "Spacing Out!: Creating Learning/Play Spaces" ~ Created a host of improvements to the kindergarten yard.
  • Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Beautification Committee, "ArtCans for Silver Lake" ~ Installed the third set of "Art Cans" in Silver Lake.
  • Vinedale ES Parent Teacher Association (PTA), "Vinedale Elementary School/La Tuna Canyon/Sun Valley Community Mural Beautification Project" ~ Created a mural honoring America's past and present. The border of the mural features tiles that were created by each student in the school.
  • Wilton Place Elementary School, "The Power to Dream/Strive To Succeed!" ~ Painted a inspirational mural in the school at the main enterance.
  • Playa del Rey Beautification Committee, "The Little Garden That Could" ~ Transformed a corner of the school into a beautiful garden.

Also of special mention is the recently finished project "Literary Mosaic" by the Friends of Memorial Library. The internationally recognized artist Brent Spears, known for his designs for the first five House of Blues venues, created a mosaic bench at the Memorial Branch Library. This amazing work of art using tiles, glass and unique "found objects" brings to mind the Watts Towers and the work of Antoni Gaudi.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CB Grant General Information Workshops: Aug - Sept 2009

Save the Date to attend one of the 15 CB Grant Workshops near you. Released is the LIST of 15 Community Beautification Grant Workshops held throughout the Los Angeles area.

At the workshops, the CB Grant staff shares a lot of information about 2009 -10 grant process, including showing pictures of previous projects, explaining in detail how to fill out the application, and offering tips on how to submit a competitive proposal. No reservations are required to attend.

Check the CB Grant website's WORKSHOP PAGE a few days prior to the event to confirm the date and location as there may be changes to the workshop schedule.

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Community Day of Service & Grand Opening: June 27th, 2009

Bureau of Sanitation and Million Trees LA (MTLA) is teaming up to increase the public's awareness of the City's environmental programs and to make Los Angeles the cleanest, greenest big City in the nation. The event includes:
  1. Community Day of Service- Volunteers will be planting trees along Mission Rd. To be a part of the tree planting, RSVP to Thalia Uribe by June 23rd at (213) 473-9950 or by email, Remember to bring gardening gloves, sunblock and a hat to the event.

  2. Grand Opening of the East LA MTLA Tree Center and Environmental Facility- Trees and mulch will be given away at the grand opening. A limited quantity of citrus trees will be available for adoption (must live or own property within the City of Los Angeles) so it's first come first serve. The facility, soon to release its schedule of operation, will offer free mulch and trees. To find out more, contact the City's Citywide Services Directory at 3-1-1 (within LA area) or at (213) 473-3231 and request for the Million Trees LA Program.

  3. Over 20 eco-friendly organizations will be sharing their services and/or products to help the community to act and think green.

Event Info:

  • Date: Saturday, June 27, 2009
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: 850 N. Mission Road, Los Angeles (between Cesar Chavez Ave. & 5 fwy on ramp). Street parking available.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ZERO Waste Conference - May 30th, 2009

All of us together can make ZERO!
The City of Los Angeles' Department of Public Works will be hosting its 4th Zero Waste Citywide Conference on Saturday, May 30th, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Center at Cathedral Plaza (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels), Second Floor Ballroom, located at 555 W. Temple St, Los Angeles. Doors are open at 7:30 a.m. for early attendees to partake of a light breakfast and to receive information from the vendor tables.
The Zero Waste Plan is being developed with input from stakeholders representing a broad section of the community. In the last two years, stakeholders have met to contribute to the City's development of a Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan (SWIRP) that will lead Los Angeles into a "zero waste" city by 2030. The plan will include waste reduction, increase recycling and trash management. At the conference, the Policy, Program and Facility Plan will be presented for review and discussion.
To learn more about Zero Waste Plan, go to

Thursday, April 30, 2009

CB Grant Featured in 2009-10 Budget Summary Book - Part 2

The Community Beautification Grant Program was cited as a "Community Win" in the Mayor's Proposed 2009-10 Budget Summary Book. Included in the budget book are highlights of the CB Grant, as provided below:
  • Since 1998, over 930 projects have been completed in partnership with the community. To view over 540 projects situated on an interactive map, follow this link (
  • The City's original investment of $5,460,000 to fund these projects has yielded over a 200% return of $16,403,000 in matching funds and labor from the community and its partners.
  • Over 102,000 people volunteered their time and expertise to complete the projects.
  • These projects have solved many problems plaguing our communities and were done so without incurring City of Los Angeles staff time or resources.
  • Some of the more innovative projects include a community-based recycling program in Pacific Palisades, a proposal to install solar-powered trash receptacles in Echo Park, and developing a community garden SECURED TO A WALL in Downtown LA's skid row.
  • Many community leaders have used the grant to spark revitalization efforts that have lead to further community investment, including Atwater Village, Pacoima, Downtown Los Angeles, Studio City, Venice, and Larchmont Square.
  • Many cultural communities have installed projects, such as the Japanese-American mural on Central Ave., the Thai Town angels on Hollywood Blvd., the dome representing ancient Latino culture on Huntington Blvd., and the landscaping project at the California African American Museum to name a few.

CB Grant Featured in 2009-10 Budget Summary Book - Part 1

The success of the Community Beautification Grant Program was recently recognized on two pages of the Mayor's Proposed 2009-10 Budget Summary Book. Grant recipient, Save Chatsworth, is profiled on page 54. The full text below:
In 2005, the area above the 118 Freeway at the end of Canoga Avenue was a 13-acre public site plagued with problems. Former trails were overgrown with non-native weeds and plants. The spectacular rock formations were covered with graffiti, and illegal campsites
were found throughout the area. That was before the organization Save Chatsworth received three grants for the area in 2006, 2007, and 2008. The grants were awarded to revitalize the area, including its trails, and to install informational kiosks highlighting the local flora and fauna. Even after suffering damage in the recent fires, the area continues to prosper. Hikers and horse riders now regularly utilize the area. Since the improvements have been completed,vandalism has been almost non-existent in the park.
Vanessa Watters, the Head of Save Chatsworth,said "I know times are tight and we all have to sacrifice a little bit but I am glad the City recognizes the value created by their Community Beautification Grants. Our experience has been extremely gratifying. The City worked with us and helped us when we encountered any problem and ours was not a typical project. Our goal was to clean up the sites of dumping and debris and make it a nice area for people to pass-through. We've had a great response to the informational panels we have erected that educate passers-by as to the fascinating history of Chatsworth and the local fauna and flora. Next on our list is to create a hitching post and add an information kiosk on equestrian life. Once you start these projects, the work goes on. In these times it’s difficult, but even a little bit spent on projects like this is so uplifting."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Attend the Free LANI Community Forum on May 14th at USC

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) will host the 7th LANI Community Forum on May 14th from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at USC Davidson Conference Center, located at 3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90089. The forum is a one-day conference focused on having community members connect, learn and share information.
This year’s forum offers a variety of workshops on diverse topics such as incorporating art into your commercial district, fundraising, and transforming alleys into vibrant, productive spaces. The full list of topics is on the brochure. Joyce Perkins, Co-Founder and Board Member of LANI, will be the Honorary Speaker at the event.
The presenters will include industry experts and representatives from private, public and non-profit sectors sharing their knowledge. From our office, Michael Espinosa, the Manager of the CB Grant program, will be moderating a panel on Neighborhood-based efforts to reduce waste.
Free parking, free food, wonderful conversation, and great speakers. What more could you ask for?
For more information and to reserve your spot, visit

The City of Los Angeles Provides Free Recycling Services for Your Big Event

Help the City of Los Angeles reach its goal of reducing waste by 70% by the year 2015. In support of this, the City of Los Angeles Special Events Recycling Program provides free recycling services for special events held throughout Los Angeles. Bins will be provided at events to recycle beverage containers (glass, plastic or aluminum) and/or cardboard. Special events can include dedications, workdays, or festivals.
Contact the Special Events Recycling Program at (213) 922-8301 to coordinate free recycling services at your next special event. Have the following information ready:
  • Name, date, time and estimated number of attendees.
  • Information for the crews and their trucks.
  • On-site contact information for the day of the event.
  • City Council District.
The program provides uniformed staff and colorful, clearly labeled yellow or blue recycling bins at the events free of charge. The staff will set up the bins with plastic liners, monitor and change the bins throughout the events and pick up bins and recyclables at the end of the event. The program does not provide trash removal containers or services.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mayor Villaraigosa's Proposed 2009-10 Budget

On April 20, Mayor Villaraigosa released his 2009-10 Proposed Budget for the City of Los Angeles's Fiscal Year 2009-10 (July '09 to June '10). The budget will be discussed, debated, changed and adopted during the next two months by the Los Angeles City Council and then approved by the Mayor.
The budget will go before the Council's Budget and Finance Committee starting April 27 and hearings will continue until approximately May 12. It will then be vetted in front of the full council where a final budget must be approved or modified by June 1st. The details of the process can be found in the City Charter, sections 310 - 315.  
The Mayor's Proposed Budget allocates $525,000 for the 2009-10 Community Beautification Grant cycle, cut from last year's amount of $600,000 (which was reduced to $480,000 in mid-year).  The Office of Community Beautification is looking at how to stretch the available dollars to fund the maximum number of projects in Los Angeles.  We are considering returning to a maximum grant amount of $5,000 to allow for the maximum number of community projects.  We'd like to hear your thoughts. How will a $5,000 cap affect the projects you are considering for the next grant cycle?  If you have comments, please send us an e-mail at

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day at Los Angeles City Hall

Today, we spent our morning in the beautiful Tom Bradley tower of the City Hall building honoring special citizens and organizations that are making a difference in each Council District (CD). We went as a guest of Ida Tallala, a recent grant recipient and staunch neighborhood advocate. Also present were former recipients, Kent Smith of the Fashion District and David Kietzman of Project Youth Green.
The full list of honorees at the event were:
  • Los Angeles River Keeps (CD1)
  • The Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City (CD2)
  • Wilbur Avenue Elementary (CD3)
  • Toluca Lake Garden Club (CD4)
  • Jonathan Weiss (CD5)
  • Glenn Lopez (CD6)
  • Project Youth Green (CD7)
  • City Year Los Angeles (CD8)
  • Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) (CD9)
  • Renee A. Gunter (CD10)
  • The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (CD11)
  • Chatsworth Neighborhood Council (CD12)
  • Ida Tallala (CD13)
  • Los Angeles Fashion District (CD14)
  • Lori Moilov (CD15)
We would like to congratulate these groups for their hard works making Los Angeles a cleaner and greener city.The PROGRAM has all the descriptions of the groups' outstanding achievements.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Friends of Atwater Village Poem

Some of the organizations that we work with have been blogging for years. Sandra Caravella, of the Friends of Atwater, put together a poem for our 10th year anniversary a few years back and posted it on their blog
It was the year 2000
And a few understood 
There were things we should do
To beautify the hood
We formed a non- profit
Let’s call it FAV
And started to plan 
What projects to have 
Now ideas were plentiful
And poured out with no end
But where to start, how to start
And just where to begin.
Money the road block
Without it we can’t
Then Netty said, “I have this app 
For a city funded grant”...
CLICK HERE to see the full poem on their website,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2008-09 CB Grant Awardee Banner

For the last five years, the Community Beautification Grant has presented the recipients of the grant a banner to display on their project. The banner has a signature "AWARDEE" displayed across the top of the banner. This is to alert passers-by that their neighbors are striving for something more.
The image above depicts the 2008-09 banner that was presented to each organization at the Awardee Recognition Ceremony on March 16th, 2009 (full list of awardees). The 16 project pictures that grace the top and bottom of the banner are from exceptional recently completed projects. They represent a variety of projects and areas, including a new recycling program in Pacific Palisades, elegant new community signs in Harvard Heights, the transformation of a neglected space to a school haven in Sunland, and a community garden attached to the side of a wall in Skid Row. All the organizations shown on the banner are listed below with the name of their projects:
Top row, left to right:
Bottom row, left to right:
Look for the banner in a neighborhood near you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Learn How to Use Web-based Tools to Promote Projects. Free Talk on May 16th at the Garden in Every School Resource Fair

Do you have a community-based project that you'd like to promote, but lack the money to advertise it? With the internet and a few minutes a week, you can open new avenues for your project and organization.
Michael Espinosa, Editor of and Grant Manager of the Office of Community Beautification, will be sharing his knowledge on how to use web-based tools to promote projects. The workshop, "Expand your web knowledge! Blogging and tweeting, picture-taking and video-making your way to success", will take place on May 16, 2009 at the Garden in Every School Resource Fair at the innovative Venice High School Learning Garden located at 13000 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90066. The Fair, open from noon to 4 p.m., is completely free of charge. Michael will present the 45 minute talk three times, at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
The Garden in Every School Resource Fair will offer information on support programs and resources. In addition to our web tools workshop, there will be workshops on composting, worms, earthboxes, nutrition gardening, fundraising, and teaching strategies. More information can be found on their FLYER.
See you there!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Transformation of the Historic Hoover Steps

The dedication of the CB Grant funded mural, "Fluid City Rising", on the Hoover Steps on March 26, 2009 was glorious.
It was glorious because it transformed the staircase at the end of Hoover Street from being a neglected dead end known for attracting vandalism and dumping to a vibrant cul-de-sac.
It was glorious because it celebrated the successful pairing of the acclaimed muralist, Ricardo Mendoza, with the caring, yet persistent Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds of the Franklin Hills Residents Association.
It was glorious because the muralist, City of Los Angeles' staff members, and the community behind the project bestowed the triptych mural to the residents and the many students that use the steps to get to and from school.
It was glorious because the project was finally done. This project had slowly simmered to completion -- people constantly asked Mary Frances, "Is it almost done, yet?"
Yes, it's done now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Birth of the Community Beautification Grant Blog

Hello everyone. Thank you for visiting the new CB Grant blog. We will be sharing information that is relevant to the grant-seeking community, information about Los Angeles, and exciting information related to the Community Beautification Grant. On the right side of this page we have a photoshow displaying pictures of completed projects. To see the pictures situated on an interactive map, click on the map image. What can you do with this map? well...

More coming soon. Stay tuned....