artplace americaOn Aug. 31, President Obama announced that Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) is one of six organizations selected to participate in the ArtPlace America Community Development Investments (CDI) program.

Over the course of three years, LTSC will receive $3 million to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its core work.

LTSC will host a community forum for anyone interested in learning more about their work and ArtPlace’s CDI program on Monday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles.

“We are happy to share this extraordinary news with the Little Tokyo community,” said Dean Matsubayashi, LTSC’s executive director. “This funding could not have been more timely as Little Tokyo is the center of so much development. We look forward to building relationships that showcase how local artists and arts organizations can help make Little Tokyo an even more thriving place to live, work and visit.”

“Arts and culture are too often left out of community planning conversations,” said Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace’s executive director. “Little Tokyo Service Center is prepared to demonstrate the unique value that artists and arts organizations can bring to its comprehensive community development initiatives. They will serve as a national model for any place-based community development organization looking to work more comprehensively and inclusively to build a healthy, thriving community.”

“Little Tokyo Service Center has been invaluable to downtown Los Angeles,” said Don Howard, president and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation and member of the ArtPlace collaboration. “We are excited that they will be partnering with ArtPlace to incorporate arts and culture into their community engagement work going forward.”

“LTSC applied for this initiative because it sees the importance of integrating artists into the community development process,” said Remy de la Peza, LTSC’s director of planning and policy counsel. “It is the right time for our community to take advantage of this opportunity because we are embarking on deepening our commitment to creative placemaking strategies for our neighborhood through our Sustainable Little Tokyo initiative.”

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

In total, ArtPlace announced $18 million in grants on Monday to six organizations nationwide. The other organizations are:

• Cook Inlet Housing Authority (Anchorage, Alaska), a tribal housing authority that focuses on affordable housing development and broad neighborhood revitalization strategies

• Fairmount Park Consevancy (Philadelphia), a public parks stewardship organization that champions the role parks play in strengthening civic life and economic development

• Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (Jackson, Miss.), an anchor health services facility that promotes local economic and community development opportunities with a health-based lens

• Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, a rural community development corporation that engages in comprehensive housing and community development

• Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (Zuni Pueblo, N.M.), a youth development organization that promotes healthy lifestyles among Zuni youth and families.

Each organization will host a public forum in October to introduce the program to its community. For more information, visit

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