Arts for LA Responds to LA's Proposed Budget for DCA

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 2:51pm

DCA logoOn April 30, Arts for LA’s Executive Director Danielle Brazell issued a letter to the Honorable Mr. Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Los Angeles City Council.  The full text of the letter follows.  Arts for LA will continue to monitor the city's budget process and update our advocates on its status whenever possible.

 

April 30, 2014

 

The Honorable Paul Krekorian, Chair
Budget and Finance Committee, City of Los Angeles
c/o City Clerk, City Hall Room 395
Los Angeles CA 90012

 

Dear Mr. Krekorian,

On behalf of Arts for LA’s network of 41,000 supporters, our 164 Member Organizations, and the 4 million residents of the city of Los Angeles, I write to you in response to the proposed budget for the Department of Cultural Affairs and thank you, your committee members, and the city’s leadership for your ongoing investment in arts, culture, and creativity.

ArtsDay 2014 once again demonstrated the deep investment in the future of Los Angeles held by the arts and culture community.  More than 400 advocates came to City Hall to celebrate Los Angeles’s ongoing reputation as America’s Creative Capital, an identity due in large part to the investments in arts and culture infrastructure by the city itself. That afternoon, 80 engaged delegates met with each councilmember to underscore the value of the Transient Occupancy Tax as the primary funding stream for DCA. 

As the nation and the world continue to recover from the financial collapse of 2008, tourism to Los Angeles has increased year after year.  Increased tourism means more overall funding in TOT revenue.  Per the City’s Administrative Code, 1% of these funds should be allocated to DCA, comprising its only source of city funding to support ongoing granting activities that invigorate Los Angeles’s nonprofit arts and culture sector.  In years when TOT revenue has decreased, DCA’s funding has decreased proportionately.  In years when TOT revenue increases, it seems logical DCA’s budget would increase proportionately.

However, this appears not to be the case this year.  We know the budgeting process involves balancing a complex system of allocations and the basis for these decisions is not readily apparent to those who are invested in a specific city’s budget.  Arts for LA is interested in learning when we can anticipate DCA’s funding to rise in proportion to TOT revenues and how we can help support such a decision.

As always, we value your partnership, collaboration, and leadership.  Thank you for maintaining your pledge to arts, culture, and creativity in Los Angeles.  

Sincerely,

Danielle Brazell,
Executive Director

DCA Budget Not in Line with Increase in TOT Revenue

Danielle,

Thank you for raising this question. The DCA is woefully underfunded and cannot accomplish its many goals and meet its many obligations with excellence if not given a proper budget to work from. Look forward to the reply.

Thank you for your ongoing advocacy,

Liz Schindler-Johnson