February 07, 2018
ArtCenter College of Design is pleased to announce it has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This prestigious new grant was awarded in support of a project that aims to build mutual trust and cooperation between the Long Beach Police Department and Long Beach residents.
“This recognition from the NEA is a tremendous endorsement of the power of visual communication in our society and how thoughtfully designed campaigns have the potential to create change and even lead to improved human relations,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. “This project is emblematic of ArtCenter’s ongoing commitment to use design for social innovation.”
“We’re exhilarated to partner with Long Beach Police Department to find solutions to a nationwide problem,” said Tyrone Drake, associate professor in the Graphic Design department at ArtCenter College of Design. “This is a vivid example of how art and design may possibly affect a community’s well-being, feelings of safety and help law enforcement professionals work more effectively.”
The project, "Building Trust, Bridging Divides: Visual Communication for Diverse Communities and Their Police," will kick off in May and be co-led by ArtCenter College of Design and the City of Long Beach, California’s seventh-largest and one of the nation’s most diverse cities. It will build upon findings from the 2015 President's Task Force on Community Policing and serve as a pilot for other cities.
Nationwide, leaders are increasingly looking to designers for help as they address social issues concerning racial, cultural and socioeconomic tensions. Consensus builders agree, the country is poised at a critical tipping point in relation to how police work with residents. The President's Task Force on Community Policing concluded that building trust and legitimacy is urgent—essential to preserving American democracy—and that technology and social media are integral tools that must be better used, in close conjunction with improved policy, community engagement and officer training. Developing human-centered new technologies and social media tools is a core strength of designers.
“This innovative partnership with ArtCenter College of Design provides the Police Department with a tremendous opportunity to enhance communications with the residents that we serve,” said Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna. “The graphic design strategies and social media tools developed through this partnership will assist us in showing the human side of policing, while continuing to build trust and respect with our community.”
The $30,000 NEA grant will support the project utilizing graphic design principles to improve communication and address misperceptions between police departments and the diverse communities they serve. The project brings together senior-level design students and faculty with two critical constituencies: a police department and community advocacy groups.
Leading the ArtCenter team are Tyrone Drake, associate professor, and Jennifer May, director of the College’s Designmatters department, an international initiative that has been leading design for social impact education for more than 15 years.
ArtCenter has partnered with the City of Long Beach since 2015. Most recently, a Designmatters project brought together experts from the City’s Department of Health and Human Services with students to address an increase in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs among residents. The topic was the subject of a three-day intensive DesignStorm workshop as well as a 14-week course that explored insights and potential solutions for communicating facts, symptoms and testing resources. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the city plans to implement the student-created information campaigns for the communities affected by STDs including HIV/AIDs.
The City of Long Beach Innovation Team (i-team) has also retained the services of several ArtCenter students, working as Designmatters Fellows, who worked with the i-team and stakeholders developing solutions to Long Beach’s most pressing challenges by facilitating design thinking in the public sector. One recent example is undergraduate student Isaúl Berenguer who worked directly with City staff, community partners and leaders on the Harvey Milk Park Project aimed at connecting people, connecting place, and co-creating a public space in Spring 2017.
To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
About Designmatters: Founded in 2001, Designmatters is a groundbreaking, college-wide program that serves all academic disciplines at ArtCenter College of Design. The department sets a global standard for art and design education in social innovation. Designmatters advances art and design as a force for innovation and social change through research, advocacy and action. Designmatters collaborates with nonprofit organizations, industry, and national and international development agencies on immersive, outcome-oriented research and projects. ArtCenter students, alumni and faculty participate in cross-disciplinary design studios, workshops, independent studies, fellowships and internships that yield high impact results which are widely disseminated. In recognition of Designmatters’ leadership, ArtCenter was the first design school to receive Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status at the United Nations.
About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
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ArtCenter College of Design
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