To turn yesterday's spaces into public places and inspire the next generation to steward them.
In the 20th Century, America saw waves of Historic House Museums throughout the country. These historic places are the former homes of important individuals that were converted to educational or tourist destinations. However, recent evaluation has shown that only 3 to 5% of these sites explicitly represent African Americans, Asian Americans, or Latino populations combined. As a result, the LA region is struggling to hold the interest of its young people, who are incredibly diverse, in our historic places. With 18-24 year-olds being the least likely to visit a historic site, we need to normalize heritage. At We Are the Next, we aim to remove the museum environment and build a connection between urban youth and historic places that emphasize the everyday, tell the stories of our diverse communities, and promote job and career opportunities for these youth in the field of heritage conservation. We do this with a three-step process:
Identify a historic place or a space which holds cultural value that is in need of revitalization.
Renovate the space to emphasize its historic value, prioritizing resident feedback.
Facilitate youth programs in the space to ensure the next generation will value and utilize the resource.