A #PicturePerfectPlaceWE DID IT!!


We’ve secured our new home! Scroll down to read an updated letter from our Executive Director. Thank you to all of our amazing supporters who contributed to our new home!
$20,000

Sabas Carillo

$10,000

Anonymous

Robert Metcalf

$1,000 – $2,499

Jimmy Moffat

Thomas De Simone

$500 – $999

Colin Raffel
Eric V. Ibarra

Mackenzie Floyd
Maya Jupiter

Nicole Choi
Sherry Yard

$100 – $499

Abby Tanori
Abril Iniguez-Rivas
Alicia Euceda
Ana Teresa Dahan
Andrew Ahn
Angela Pinkerton
Angela Rubalcava
Anna Miller
Anne Bray
Blake Panten
Bridgette Candice
Cindy Velez-Langley
Cynthia Freeman
Cynthia Levin
Danielle Spires
Diana Chang
Donna Lanen
Eden Mekonen
Elisabeth Nails
Elizabeth Dialto
Elizabeth Jessi
Elizabeth Lopez
Ellen Greenfield

Eric Hubbard
Eva Smith
Farand Koo
Gabby Tilley
George Gonzales
Giovanni Gallucci
Hallie Scott
Jeanne Mcconnell
Jess Castillo
Josh Kun
Juan Castillo-Alvarado
Kara Buss
Karen Linares-Luna
Kristen Murtha
Leah Choi
Leah Hubbard
Linda Vasquez
Liz Martinez
Loren Bouchard
Lucia Torres
Lyn Pentecost
Maija Leff
Mary Cohn

Mary Mccloud
Melissa Acedera
Meryl K.
Michael Hagen
Michael Hagen
Nicole Macias
Oriana Koren-Mcewan
Patricia Castaneda
Paula Ely
Paula Kirsic
Paula Sellers-Ronkin
Raquel Cordova
Roger Hill
Rosalyn Escobar
Ruth Beaglehole
Ruth Xochihua
Sarah Mchale
Sofia Ibarra
Sonny Abegaze
Stephanie Villa
Tanya Goodman
Wendy Mericle

$1 – $99

Adriana Almanza
Adriana Almanza
Adriana Yugovich
Alexandria Kemp
Alma Hernandez
Amelia Aleman
Amie Williams
Amy Smith
Ana Martinez
Andrea Neal
Andrew Maturo
Andrew Waddell
Angelica Jimenez
Anna Liza De Guzman
Auralee Anderson
Azusena Favela
Betty Avila
Brian Smith
Brittany Lindwall
Caitlin Ducey
Camilla Charlesworth
Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Valle
Cassandra Gonzales
Cesar Melgoza
Charles Cheung
Chris Hess
Christopher Barahona
Cindy Crane
Collette Mcgruder
Cynthia Galaz
Cynthia Sanchez
Daniel Martinez
Daniel Zuniga
Daniel Zuniga
David Kietzman
Debra Villalobos
Denise Torres
Desiree Panek
Diana Estrada
Donna Young
Emilia Cruz

Emilio Hernandez
Fabiola Lopez
Farnoosh Rafaie
Felipe Ocampo Jr
Francis Lee
Francisco Duenas
Gabriela Serratos
Gail Draper
George Abraham
Hannah Geraci
Helen Alonzo Hurtado
Isabel Casillas
Jacqueline Rivera
Jacques Morel
Janet Le
Janet Rodriguez
Janet Siegel
Janice Staab
Jazmine Puentes
Jennifer Murase
Jennifer Quevedo
Jenny Lin
Jessica Gonzalez
Jocelyn Ramirez
Joey Luau
John Willis
Jordyn Sun
Joseph Pagan
Julia Lo
Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Kevin Omeara
Kimberly Williams
Kjersten Jensen
Lindsey Esplin
Linnea Stephan
Magaly Resendez
Malia Smith
Maria Patino Gutierrez
Maria Romero
Marianna Yamamoto
Mariel Rowland
Marissa Bullock

Mark Stephan
Marlena Miller
Meghan Campbell
Melanya Torosyan
Meli Macedo
Melina Gooray
Miguel Luna
Mildred Grijalva
Nicholas Ronkin
Nick Zegel
Nicole Maturo
Norma Williamson
O Vegh
Raeanna Gleason
Raquel Roman
Rebecca Bright
Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt
Ron Maturo
Ruth Xochihua
Salina Canizales
Sam Vasquez
Sara Hahn
Sarah Garrahan
Sayuri Tanabe
Sazan Pasori
Selena Wilson
Sergio Ortiz
Shannon Wood
Shawn Hua
Shireen Alihaji
Stephanie Lundstrom
Stephano Medina
Taylor Galloway
Trinity Alexander
Veronica Tolentino
Yasmine Diaz
Yesenia De Casas
Yeu-Wei And Martha M Yee
Yvonne Rodriguez


A #PicturePerfectPlaceUpdates from our Executive Director

January 22, 2020

Hey friends!

This is Eric, Founder & Executive Director here at Las Fotos Project. I hope that 2020 has met you with kindness and prosperity, and I’m reaching out with some terrific news, some not-so-good news, and some fantastic news.

Our new space is looking really great! Thanks to the over 200 generous supporters who contributed to our fundraising campaign last spring, we were able to raise funds to sign a lease on the new space in August of 2019.

Before we started construction, I had the opportunity to host a walkthrough of the space with our students, share some of my vision, and get their ideas and feedback. Ultimately, we brought together all of our thoughts to design a space that best fit the needs of our students and the future of the organization.

Check out our blueprints and our before-construction photos…

Some cool new additions will include a 1,200 square foot exhibition space, a 150 square foot darkroom, a 450 square foot state-of-the-art photography studio, plus space for our staff and students to work and collaborate. We also will have a 3,000 square foot outdoor space that we can renovate for outdoor learning and events.

The new space will allow us to open a new storefront photography studio later this year. We’ll have affordable photo packages so you can start coordinating those glamour shots, best friend mall photos, and holiday portraits with your friends and family. And soon, our teen photographers will be doing product and food photography for local businesses and restaurants to help them improve their marketing materials.

It is our vision that this new space will become an incubator for young women looking to start their own creative-based business as well as an asset to the Boyle Heights community that fostered our own growth as an organization in our earlier years. This space is going to be absolutely amazing and I’m excited to invite you to the ribbon-cutting ceremony soon.

Now for the not-so-good news…

Construction was initially supposed to take three months and we had our hearts set on a January move-in date, but it’s looking like it’s going to take just a little longer. One of the major causes of the delay in construction was an unexpected issue with the center retaining wall which meant we had to get additional permits from the city to change the plans. Unfortunately, last week I received this not-so-good news regarding the permits, and so now the timeline is looking like we’ll have a March move-in. With that said, you’ll be receiving other emails from us over the semester, which begins in a few weeks, with more exciting updates about our upcoming projects and events. I’ll also continue to keep you looped into news and progress of the new space.

2020 going to be a very, very exciting year for the organization and for our students who will soon be able to take advantage of a larger creative and learning space and the opportunities that come with it.

Regardless of the current challenges with getting our space up and running, everything is still coming together for the benefit of our students. It’s with great pleasure to announce that the Ahmanson Foundation has granted us $57,000 to provide additional equipment to our students. Thanks to The Ahmanson Foundation, we will also be able to provide more cameras, new laptops, lights, and other studio equipment for our students to create, tell their stories and continue doing all the awesome things that they are already doing here are Las Fotos Project.

Thank you for investing in Las Fotos Project and in the future generation of women photographers, entrepreneurs, creatives and community leaders.

With deepest gratitude,

Eric V. Ibarra
& the entire Las Fotos Project Family


April 10, 2019 Update:

We started the #PicturePerfectPlace campaign on April 1st with the intent of raising $30,000 in 30 days in order to secure a new home for Las Fotos Project. I’m excited to share that we did that, and more!

By the end of day 1, we had raised $13,755  thanks to 28 supporters including the team at May Lindstrom Skin who invested $10,000. By the end of day 2, 38 additional supporters brought us to $16,703. We were already filled with excitement when, as day 4 came to a close, we received a notification that our friend, Sabas Carrillo, helped us cross the finish line with another $10K donation. Our students and staff were still reverberating from the outpouring of love and support when we received the news that an anonymous donor through the California Community Foundation gave another $10,000 donation. 122 people helped us raise $41,000 in 4 days. It was pretty surreal.

We’ve never embarked on a fundraising effort like this before, but we couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity.  My friend Karla sent me a text on Friday night congratulating us on the quick meeting of our goal. She said, “The community always comes through for Las Fotos Project.” And she is absolutely right. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this campaign. We appreciate you!

So, what now? When we hit that $40K mark, my team asked, “What would it take to secure our home for two full years?”

Now that we’ve hit our 1-year lease goal, we’re only $18,805 away from $60,000 which would secure our lease through 2021. We’ve spent hours imagining all the potential that could come with a more permanent space, and after a quick chat with our students and mentors, we’ve decided to go for it – we’re going to raise the $60,000 needed to secure this new home for 2 years!

We have 20 days to raise $18,805  and we’re confident we can get there with your support. If you haven’t already done so please donate to help us secure the 2nd year lease, share with your networks and spread the word. We look forward to celebrating with you all later this year at our new home in Boyle Heights.

Thanks again for your continued love and support. :)

Best regards,


Eric V. Ibarra

Donate

April 1, 2019

Dear friends,

I am so excited to share with you an opportunity that we can’t pass up. With your help, we can move into an ideal space for our girls to call their creative home and have a place where Las Fotos Project can continue to grow and flourish.

Imagine walking down Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights and stepping into an exhibition space with the work of our girls hanging on the walls, a group of students envisioning projects with their mentors, a young entrepreneur prepping for her next paid photography gig, and a young girl stepping out of a darkroom with a photo she just developed.

It would be amazing, and you can make this dream a reality. We have the perfect location for a new home, and all we need is $30,000 in the next 30 days. We can do it!

Let’s take a step back and remember how we got here.

I started Las Fotos Project in 2010 because I strongly believed in the healing abilities of photography. So much so that I quit my job so that I could focus my energy on launching what began as a small series of photography workshops. At the time, my office was my sister’s guest bedroom, and my office-mates were my then 2-year-old niece, Gloria, and my 6-year-old niece, Sofie – they hold the title of most critical advisors I’ve had to date.

It was there where the power of participatory photography was born, and the first big project was introduced to teenage girls in Los Angeles. From 2010 to 2012, the Las Fotos Project team of volunteers planned workshops on park benches and coffee shops and worked with our eager students in schools, libraries, and community spaces.

Our first break came in the summer of 2013, when our friends at Girls Today Women Tomorrow generously offered us our first space, a 12’x12’ room in the back of their offices in Boyle Heights. It was cramped, but it was a place where our volunteer team and students gathered, connected and planned. During those three years, we held photo exhibits all over the city, our community and programming rapidly grew, and this little office quickly went from a meeting space to a storage space. We needed to move out to realize our potential. So we did!

In 2016, with the help of our friends and funders, Las Fotos Project found our first official home. We moved into what most of you now know to be our creative space, a 1,300 square foot gallery, studio, and classroom in Lincoln Heights that was designed in collaboration with our girls. Officially opening in February 2017, we started offering photography classes every day after school and on weekends. Students started taking the liberty to stop by, grab a laptop, a camera, and be creative any day of the week.

The Space has also become our students’ showroom, where they bring their family, friends, and neighbors to see the powerful photographs they’ve created in our programs.

Slide to see before and after images of our current space.

Above all, our home has also become a second home to our students. Here they have developed a community of girls who share similar hopes and insecurities; they laugh together, explore together and create together. As 17-year-old Regina shared, “Las Fotos Project has provided me with a sisterhood, amazing mentors and a safe space to express myself.”

All of us will always have fond memories of this space, but as the organization has grown, it’s time once again for us to move on.

This brings us to April, 2019.

Timing is of the essence.

Not only have we outgrown our space in Lincoln Heights, we’re now on a month-to-month lease with no long-term option available. Now that we’ve seen what having a creative home has meant for the girls in our community, we know there is no way we can be without one.

But we have hope!!

I have found what could be our new home. Last month, I visited a 3,000 square foot space in Boyle Heights owned by a group of nonprofit organizations. Their mission is to provide long-term lease properties at sustainable costs to small businesses and community groups in order to combat the community-shattering effects of gentrification.

The space is ours – but only if we’re able to secure funds within the next 30 days which will allow us to sustainably pay our rent.

I have already shared this news with our friends at the Herb Ritts Foundation, who have pledged to cover half of our rent. Their support means we’re already halfway there! And so we are now in need of the support from you, our friends and community.

Will you help me raise $30,000 in the next 30 days so that Las Fotos Project and our community of girl creatives can have a permanent home?

I envision this new space to be a creative hub for all teenage girls from the community – current and not-yet-enrolled students – and a space where everyone is welcome to witness the power of girls and their cameras.

This fully customizable space would also enable us to build a state-of-the-art production studio so the young women we work with can build and monetize their skills, and grow our learning space so that we can accommodate more of the 180 girls currently on our waiting list. There is even an outdoor space with the potential to bring together our girls, their families, and neighbors for events like film screenings and cook-outs! It will be a picture perfect place.

We’ve experienced the tremendous impact a space like this can have on the lives on the girls in our community, and I am personally committed to making this our new home because Las Fotos Project girls deserve this, and so does our community. Remember my niece Sofie? She just joined Las Fotos Project as a student, and I want her and all the young girls we serve to have a safe space where their creativity can continue to develop.

Help us make this happen and donate what you can today. Please share this campaign with your friends. And if this all goes as planned, you can look forward to an open house celebration when we move in this September.

Thank you for your continued support. It makes a difference.

Warm regards,


Below are images of the space we'd like to call home.