In an effort to attract and support the creation of more live events in Downtown Long Beach, DLBA has implemented an easier and more transparent application process for its Community Event Microgrants. Ranging from $250 to $1000, these grants are for individuals, groups, businesses, neighborhood associations, and nonprofits who want to hold events in Downtown.
“DLBA is excited to finally introduce this project. It is primarily motivated by the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), which align with our mission to cultivate, preserve and promote a healthy, safe and prosperous Downtown for all,” said Justine Nevarez, DLBA’s Community Outreach and Events Manager.
The application process will open on April 17 for events taking place between June 6 and Sept. 30. Community Event Microgrant applicants should review DLBA’s service area boundaries to make sure their proposed event will take place within them. The deadline to submit is May 14.
Nevarez and DLBA’s Special Events and Sponsorships Committee made the grant application changes after meeting with the Arts Council for Long Beach to gain some insights into their grant methods. They also studied the sponsorship process at the Port of Long Beach, which has been very successful with community-based events.
The Community Events Microgrant application process had not been updated since it was first implemented in 2012. Nevarez elaborated: “The sponsorship process has not been very transparent to the public. We wanted to bring back an updated process in order to let the public know that 1) this is a service we provide, and 2) that we support the diverse community of Downtown Long Beach.”
Nevarez pointed out that DLBA has been making a serious effort to incorporate DEIA in all aspects of the organization since the civil unrest in Downtown in the late spring of 2020. The updated grant application is one more step.
“I appreciate that the process is standardized, and has become more transparent and accessible to level the field for all potential event planners,” said Clay Wood, Special Events and Sponsorships Committee Member who owns the East Village pottery studio Clay on First. “Incentivizing planners to create more events in neighborhoods filled with small businesses like mine benefits not only the community, but the business owners as well.”
Committee Member Silissa Uriarte Smith, who operates her business Purpose Centered Coaching and Consulting in Downtown, shared Wood’s optimism: “I’m thrilled that DLBA has started this transparent process so we can get more folks out and about in the community,” she said. “I’m looking forward to attending more in-person events in Downtown as the area begins to thrive again.”