Arts for LA Progress Report, 2006-2012
An overview of Arts for LA's primary activities, benchmarks and successes during its seven years as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Our 2012-2013 Annual Report will be published soon! Here's a preview of our impact:
- ArtsDay brought over 500 participants to Los Angeles City Hall to celebrate arts and culture's role in building a stronger city.
- We hosted 3 Cultural Policy Study Sessions for 60 leaders exploring issues in arts education, civic engagement, and the creative economy.
- Our new advocacy teams in Glendale, Inglewood, and Whittier bring the total number of students we cover to 46,058 in 65 school sites.
- We supported the Southern California Grantmakers Candidate Forum for Los Angeles City Council run-off elections.
- We brought in 16 new member organizations.
- Surveys of our members and supporters showed 96% of our arts advocates are registered voters.
- We partnered with voter engagemet groups including National Voter Registration Day, Vote with Your Mission, and the LA Voter Engagement Coalition to bolster voter turnout in LA County.
- The City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission adopted the Arts & Culture Policy Framework for Los Angeles County as being in alignment with its work to foster peaceful, respectful communities united in dialogue.
- 99 of 163 candidates participated in fall and spring Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys in Burbank (city & school district), Glendale (city & school district), Inglewood (city), Los Angeles city & school district, Pasadena (school district), Pomona (city), and Santa Monica (city & school district).
- We debuted Relay, our monthly dispatch of advocacy news, and tweaked it along the way to improve readability and featured content for supporters.
- We forged a partnership with KCET's online arts magazine Artbound to provide in-depth writing on issues of cultural policy, advocacy, and related issues in LA County.
- Arts for LA’s subscriber count rose to an all-time high of 23,645 while Twitter followers reached 5,413 and Facebook fans reached 6,750, bringing total reach up to 35,808.
- Website traffic increased by 34% to 85,982 visits.
- We endorsed Measure J, Prop 30, and Prop 38 on the fall ballot and supported ACR 12 (Arts Ed Month), AB 580 (CA Arts Council Funding), SB 432 (Creativity Index), SB 571 (CA Income Tax Arts Ed Checkoff), SB 789 (Arts Plate). We opposed AB 329 (Support for Online Ticket Resellers). We also supported LAUSD's "Arts at the Core" resolution.
- 6,604 letters were sent to decision makers in the 7 campaigns we ran in 2011-2012.
- We ramped up individual giving; 43% of our donors made their first gift to us!
Arts for LA's 2011-2012 Annual Report is available for download.
- Arts for LA generated 1,800 letters to leaders in response to LAUSD’s proposed arts education cut.
- We partnered with California Alliance for Arts Education on a state-level campaign advocating the use of Title I funding for arts education.
- Arts for LA led a campaign to save Arts Education in LAUSD and identified alternate revenue streams like Title I funds to keep arts education alive in the district.
- We coordinated 153 surveys of candidates running for election in 37 LA County school districts, Long Beach City Council, City of Culver City City Council, and LA City Council District 15 elections.
- We mobilized 300 subscribers to send letters supporting the withdrawal of AB 2540, which would have imposed a 7.5% tax on theater tickets in California. The action was coordinated in partnership with California Arts Advocates, Theatre Communications Group, LA Stage Alliance, and the entire network of theaters in California.
- In partnership with the Mayor, City Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts for LA presented Arts Day at City Hall, bringing local stakeholders together discuss the value of the arts in Los Angeles with their councilmember.
- In partnership with Americans for the Arts Action Fund, Arts for LA hosted the ArtsVote 2012 Briefing, a calibrated effort among leaders at all levels to cultivate an informed electorate knowledgeable about arts issues.
- In partnership with the Arts Council for Long Beach, Arts for LA presented the Long Beach Candidate Forum on March 21, which featured candidates for Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College Board of Trustees, and the Long Beach City Council.
- We produced the 2011 LA Convergence, co-hosted by The Music Center, bringing together nearly 200 business, civic and arts leaders to discuss the state of the arts in LA and its role in creating a vibrant Los Angeles.
- Arts for LA staff presented at community festivals and local, regional, and national conferences as field experts on arts policy and advocacy. Danielle Brazell was also invited to participate in Leadership California.
- Neither the County nor any city within it proposed significant cuts to arts & culture. No elected official or community entity proposed a challenge to the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs budget.
- Arts for LA’s subscriber count rose to an all-time high of 22,388 (an 15% increase from 2011).
- Our expanded web content generated an 850% spike in single daily traffic on ArtsforLA.org, demonstrating our ability to mobilize our base around an issue in a timely manner.
- We developed/trained 4 new Advocacy Teams and maintained teams within the existing 8 team districts. The number of people trained in advocacy best practices through the team initiative topped 560.
- Arts for LA drafted and launched a five-year strategic plan.
We developed/trained three new Advocacy Teams and maintained teams within the five pilot districts. The number of people trained in advocacy best practices through the team initiative topped 500.
- Our expanded web content generated a 175% spike in average daily traffic on ArtsforLA.org.
- We participated in multiple collaborative campaigns and initiatives, including the Educate Our State Rally and the House Resolution 1 Rally.
- Arts for LA membership grew to 110 organizations and 120 individual members.
- Danielle Brazell served as district captain for the 33rd congressional district at national Arts Advocacy Day.
- We organized campaigns in the far North and East regions of LA County to encourage their representatives to support Governor Brown’s proposal to let Californians vote on tax extensions.
- Arts for LA surveyed candidates for office in the City of Los Angeles, City of Pasadena, Pasadena Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Burbank Unified School District, posted all 38 completed surveys on ArtsforLA.org, and sent emails to all 19,500 subscribers.
- Staff met personally with six Los Angeles councilmembers to discuss the value of arts & culture.
- After the major letter-writing campaigns of 2009/2010, when the City of Los Angeles City Administrator's Officer’s (CA) proposed major cuts/dissolution of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), Mayor Villaraigosa’s office contacted Arts for LA with a statement that the Mayor did not support the CAO’s proposal. The city council also did not support the proposal, and the DCA received baseline cuts proportional to other departments.
- Neither the County nor any city within it proposed significant cuts to arts & culture.
Arts for LA developed/trained five self-sustaining Arts Ed Advocacy Teams in Arts for All districts. Teams preserved arts teacher positions and advocated for local support for arts education.
- Our Campaign to Save Arts Education in LAUSD generated over 1,000 letters and national press. Campaign Chairs include Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation, and philanthropist Eli Broad. Superintendent Ramon Cortines announced $5 million reinstated to LAUSD Arts Education.
- Membership grew to 90 organizations and 75 individuals.
- Successful advocacy campaigns included preserving paid LA County Arts Internships, dedicated funding for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and support for Cultural Arts Centers.
- We launched redesigned this website to streamline user interface and team integration.
- Arts for LA hosted three Think Tanks for executive arts leadership.
- Our constituents sent 10,000 letters to policymakers in support of arts and arts education in Los Angeles County.
- We developed the 2008 Regional Policy Platform.
- Arts for LA surveyed school board candidates running for election in Arts for All districts and candidates for LA County Supervisor. We also hosted a forum for Supervisor candidates.
- We produced the 2008 LA Arts Convergence.
- Arts for LA hired two more staff members, a development & operations manager and advocacy manager.
- We hosted a welcome breakfast for elected supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
- Arts for LA co-produced 2009 LA Arts Town Hall (a regional convening of 650 arts professionals).
- We developed an online advocacy tool to link subscribers with elected officials; we launched this website.
- Arts for LA surveyed school board candidates running for election in Arts for All districts.
- We held four Executive Arts leaders forums with elected officials and arts & cultural leadership.
- We developed a partnership contract with Arts for All, the Regional Blueprint for Arts Education.
- Arts for LA co-Produced the LA Arts Town Hall (regional convening of 600+ arts professionals).
- Arts for LA became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit after 12 years as an ad-hoc committee.
- The Board of Directors hired first staff position, executive director Danielle Brazell.
- 30 arts & cultural organizations joined as member organizations.