The United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance provides opportunities for veterans to work and thrive in the arts and humanities. It highlights the power of the arts and humanities to help address critical issues that veterans face today including the transition to civilian life, education, employment, and the effects of wartime and service injuries. USVAA also raises awareness of the contributions of veterans who have distinguished themselves in the arts and humanities and enriched the American experience.
Phi Beta Kappa will also recognize the innovative efforts of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs , led by Danielle Brazell, and four exemplary local organizations that build creative exchanges with new and diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or mathematics.
Formed in 1925, the Department of Cultural Affairs promotes arts and culture as a way to ignite powerful dialogue, engage residents and visitors, and ensure that LA’s varied cultures are recognized, acknowledged, and experienced. Its grants program, accessible public art and events, and extensive network of neighborhood cultural centers reflect DCA’s commitment to providing cultural opportunities for all.
WriteGirl is a Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization that spotlights the power of a girl and her pen. It promotes self-expression through creative writing among underserved teen girls to help them become positive change agents in their communities through monthly writing intensives, public readings, mentoring, and collegiate preparation and attainment. Serving over 500 girls annually, WriteGirl generates impressive outcomes with 100% of participants attending college.
The Citizen Science Program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County engages local communities to better understand biodiversity in and around one of the world’s largest cities. From lizards to ladybugs, volunteers help survey and track the wildlife of the Los Angeles area. In the process NHMLA connects real scientists to teachers, students, and the general public through projects and programs that foster authentic experiences in nature. The data collected lead to a deeper understanding of L.A.’s ecosystems and ultimately creates a city that works better for humans and wildlife.
The TOPS Science Outreach Program at Occidental College is a 20 year-long collaboration between Los Angeles area teachers and Occidental faculty that provides over 7,000 students each year with student-centered laboratory learning experiences that foster scientific inquiry and curiosity. The program has produced conclusive results showing substantial increases in student conceptual understanding and statistically significant increase in their interest in science classes and science in general.
Learn more about the Cities of Distinction Award Series at pbk.org/cities