2020 Community Impact Grant
Legal-name: Agape Children’s Museum
Address: 2892 N. Bellflower Blvd, Suite 465
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Vaughn Pitts, Founder & CEO
First-name: Patricia Tsoiasue
Title: Project Manager
Purpose: Equip Long Beach with masks, teach families to sew, create collaboratives of sewists that market their products.
What-is-project: Our project provides a solution to a timely problem.
The City of Long Beach is requesting masks be donated to low-income families. Donated masks risk not being the color/style of the recipient, who might then not wear them. Some individuals resist wearing masks.
With many layoffs, previously stable families now risk becoming homeless.
Agape Childrens’ Museum, Makersville and Masques will co-present a mask making series of classes delivered virtually by Fashion Masques’ co-founder Patricia Tsoiasue and others. We will instruct families in making masks and expand our reach as those families also engage in instruction and we will coordinate the sewing of 5000+ masks.
We will, in this way equip families with masks they will wear.
We will provide training in mask making and the use of a sewing machine.
Types of masks to be made:
Pleated mask with filter pocket.
Cup-shaped mask variants: with filter pocket and with sewn in filter, with nose piece and with ear loops and ties.
We will encourage each participant to also create 6-12 of each type of mask for sale. This will advance their sewing skills, increase their level of confidence in sewing, and reinforce the value of these new skills.
For homeless youth receiving services from the City of Long Beach, we will seek out spaces as our community sewing spaces.
Participants may sell their masks in one of the Fashion Masques outlets:
Kiosk at Shoreline Village
We will create a nurturing community of sewing families, equip that family and those around them with masks and provide a means for producing revenue. We anticipate a number of other positive outcomes from this project, and that other projects could be made leveraging new skills.
As families get stronger in their skills, and as we grow the number of masks we create, we will seek out additional places where the masks could be sold. Retail outlets will carry our masks, creating an income flow to the families and to the project.
The need for masks and a sewing community is sudden and evident. Fashion Masques is being tapped for new projects including a new collaboration with Istanbul Home, a provider of Turkish Cotton. Our top line mask is being requested in production quantities of up to 5000, but we are not able to support this. We are working to develop the market at a price that supports US wages. We anticipate that some of the work will be performed by Turkish weavers and sewists and some of the work will be done by US sewists. This product has been prototyped and we are working to develop the local skills to work with the Turkish Cotton. This opportunity opens the door to International collaborations and shared product development of fashion products with Turkish villages and our Long Beach’s Shoreline and other Villages.
How-will-you-succeed: We will have succeeded when we have a stable and supportive community of sewing artists (sewists) that emerges from this effort, and that community engages in our shared communities of The Agape Childrens’ Museum, Makersville and Fashion Masques to instruct, make masks for others, make art, make art masks, and sell these masks with or without our support.
We will measure our success in the following ways:
#1/ The number of individuals trained.
#2/ The number of masks trained individuals make during our instructional weeks.
#3/ The number of masks sold at the kiosk, on ETSY and on the Fashion Masques website.
#4/ The number of trained individuals that undertake their own instructional outreaches.
#5/ The ability of the project to sustain itself without requiring volunteer support outside of the mask making community.
During the funded period, we will provide a monthly report of progress using the above metrics, as well as provide a narrative report to funders.
Funds to sustain the program will come from a percentage of sales made from each mask. These funds will be used to cover overhead costs of space, packaging, website management and community support.
We anticipate the project will lead to new, different projects. We hope that the project will be complete in 1-2 years when masks are no longer required, but our trained community will have started many cottage industries that will help them to afford cottages of their own.
Who-are-you: We are three entities gathered together in support of this project:
The Agape Childrens’ Museum
Agape Children’s Museum, is a 501 (c) (3) family-based health and educationally minded organization that provides intellectual, emotional, social and physical development to children in the gateway cities of Southern California. Currently, operating as a traveling or “Museum without Walls” museum, with plans to open as a full fledge facility in the fall 2020, ACM, through its “Creative Way Initiative”, has begun to create a long standing commitment to implementing sound creative arts advocate and health promotion practices for the children and families that the museum serves. The Museum’s programs and traveling exhibits connect with the California State Academic Standards offering a wealth of learning opportunities to teachers, school children and their families.
Makersville is a new non profit corporate entity that is working towards tax exempt recognition. It has, since its formation in 2012, provided instruction to youth around Long Beach through class deliveries, camps and now virtual instruction. Makersville was founded by Caprice Rothe, Morio Murase and Patricia Tsoiasue. As part of its new non profit goals, Makersville has the committed support of several leaders including: Mary Barton, Laura Knapp, Ann Heusser, Debra Fixen. Makersville goals are those related to K-12 educational outreach. Makersville’s educational projects are usually run as collaborations with 501c3 non profit agencies. Past collaborations have included the Long Beach BSA, Lincoln Elementary School, Uncoded and the Long Beach – Qingdao Association. Makersville projects have included outreach at the Oasis at the Villages of Cabrillo, through the programs of the New Frontiers district and its leader, Sherry Martinez. Sherry Martinez has indicated support for this project, although the specific level of participation and interaction is still to be determined. Makersville has participated at events attended by and run by the Agape Childrens’ Museum. This project is the first project that will be run by the new team of Makersville leaders, but all are accomplished in management. Makersville projects have included multi-national collaborations of youth working on team projects. Our 2018 project collaboration with the Long Beach – Qingdao Sister Cities won an award in the category “Innovation: Youth and Education” from the International Sister Cities.
Fashion Masques is a new business emerging from the challenges of the past few months. It was created with the support of and operates under ETES Inc, an incubator for socially responsible projects and businesses in Long Beach, CA. Fashion Masques is co-owned by Jesse Miller and Patricia Tsoiasue and accesses the resources of ETES Inc., a C-Corporation run by Patricia Tsoiasue.