History

Arts for LA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, was incorporated in 2006 by a group of arts leaders

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Arts for LA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, was incorporated in 2006 by a group of arts leaders who had met informally for years to discuss and address the region’s most pressing arts issues.  Since that time, Arts for LA has expanded its reach and deepened its roots in neighborhoods and school districts across Los Angeles County.

Today, Arts for LA includes 55,000 supporters, 400 Member Advocates, 165 Member Organizations, and four full-time staff members.

The work of Arts for LA is made possible by a wide network of funders and partners.  We are a proud affiliate of Americans for the Arts, and a partner in Arts for All: Los Angeles County Blueprint for Arts Education

Arts for LA receives generous support from The Boeing CompanyCalifornia Community Foundation, the Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angelesthe Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and hundreds of member organizations and individuals.

Arts for LA's programs include: civic engagement and arts education advocacy trainings, convenings for the arts and cultural sector, direct education efforts with policymakers, and in-person and online networking activities. To connect arts and culture stakeholders spread throughout the vast region, Arts for LA implemented a groundbreaking web-based advocacy and communication platform that links 45,000+ subscribers in Los Angeles' 88 municipalities and 81 school districts. Arts for LA's robust website, ArtsforLA.org is a destination for arts and arts education advocacy, information and action for Los Angeles County residents.

Arts for LA campaigns have been instrumental in retaining millions of dollars in public support for arts and arts education. Selected results are: restored $5 million to LAUSD's arts education budget; maintained funding, that was threatened by elimination, for the Los Angeles County Arts Internship program. This program trains the next generation of arts managers and is a critical link in supporting arts education; preserved the 1% TOT allocation, which is the primary revenue stream for the City of LA's Cultural Affairs grants program. These and other campaigns have effectively leveraged resources for thousands of artists, arts organizations and arts education programs countywide.

As detailed in Arts for LA's 2013-2017 Strategic Plan, the goal is to empower those who attend, appreciate, and participate in arts and culture to become powerful advocates, with arts, culture, and arts education becoming an inclusive, respected public cause. Arts for LA embraces the theory of change that if it engages, informs, and mobilizes the nonprofit cultural arts, commercial creative industries, educational equity advocates, and cultural audiences, then:

  • The field will become valuable and relevant to the public interest.
  • Public value for arts, culture, and arts education will increase and become supportive of greater public and private resources.
  • Communities will have greater access to arts education, diverse arts/cultural experiences, and creative economy employment opportunities.

Policy change is a marathon, and Arts for LA has trained at a steady pace, consistent with its financial resources and the timeframe required for building positive, solutions-focused relationships between the public sector and the cultural sector. The organization's membership base is broad and deep, including cornerstone institutions as well as grassroots and community arts groups. As the only cross-discipline arts advocacy organization in the region, Arts for LA is uniquely equipped to both serve and lead the arts and culture field as it adapts to an ever-changing landscape that requires constant vigilance and preparedness.

Long-term organizational goals include:

  • Every K-12 student in Los Angeles County receives arts education as part of the core curriculum.
  • Every city in Los Angeles County invests in local arts and culture.
  • Every candidate running for election in Los Angeles County publicly supports the arts, culture, and arts education.