Supporting our local communities with either our time or our money helps to strengthen where we live and makes the community a richer place to be. As you consider gifts this year, think about gifts that are fun for the recipient, don't take up shelf space and also help support local arts and non profits:
Machine Project is an Echo Park art space that "encourages heroic experiments of the gracefully over-ambitious. We provide educational resources to people working with technology, we collaborate with artists to produce site-specific works, and we promote conversations between scientists, poets, technicians, performers, and the community of Los Angeles as a whole." They also have these great events like this past weekend's Fry-B-Q and Door to Door Poetry Service. Al proceeds go towards even more awesome events and shows.
Good Magazine which just opened a new location and event space on Beverly donates 100% of its subscription price to the nonprofit of your choice. (And it's a great magazine).
826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Started up in Northern California by Dave Eggers and friends this space is committed to helping students express themselves. You can donate money, but posters and books from their time travel mart or donate your time to help tutor students.
Moca needs everyone's help to stay afloat and bringing all of Los Angeles great art, culture and events. Buy someone a membership and give the a gift that lasts all year.
Velaslvaysay Panorama is an old movie theatre turned exhibition hall, theatre and garden dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual visual experiences, including those of the 360-degree variety. Join their Enthusiast Society and help keep the arts alive.
[Images: Poster from 826LA, Stephen Colbert in the latest issue of Good, Machine Project's Birds for Chris Burden from Katherine Guillen, the outside of the Panorama]