Galvanizing Communities in Support of the Arts

MOTION FOR THE ARTS

Supervisor Kathryn Barger has introduced an important motion honoring The County Department of Arts and Culture and uplifting the impact of the arts on the economy and the general well being of Angelenos across the County. It will be on the next Board of Supervisors agenda: October 3, 2023 as Item #13.

The motion states “As the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, with the Arts Commission, celebrates its 75th anniversary, and the Arts Education Collective celebrates its 20th anniversary, we’re reminded of the longstanding role of the arts in our neighborhoods.”

The motion also:

  • Instructs the CEO to work with County departments to promote arts and culture events, educational materials, and resources, including content for social media.
  • Establishes a social media campaign to build public will and knowledge around the arts.
  • Instructs the Department of Arts and Culture to create a virtual map of arts programs in the County.
  • Requests cross departmental collaboration to identify potential opportunities for grant support, arts education, internships, and pathways.

SHARE YOUR VOICE

Submit Written Comment Here in Support of Item 13

Suggested Talking Points:

  • LA ranks #1 in the nation for arts providers per capita but #259 in government funding allocation.
  • With nonprofit performing arts organizations shuttering, canceling programming, and laying off staff, it is more vital than ever to uplift and invest in the arts and culture sector.
  • In a 2023 report by CVL Economics on California’s live performing arts sector, state and local governments lost nearly $1 billion in tax revenue due to pandemic impacts on the performing arts in 2021 alone, and if current trends continue, state and local governments could see a combined $4.1 billion loss in tax revenue over a four-year period.
  • In July, the Department of Arts and Culture made a historic investment of $31 million in arts funding to nonprofits, $26 million of which was through the American Rescue Plan Act, the largest public sector arts grant program in the history of the region. Though this is a major step forward, we must sustain this support.
  • The arts are so much more than mere entertainment and play a pivotal role in society: they serve as a reflection of our culture and history. They promote social cohesion and bring people from diverse backgrounds together, encouraging dialogue, and bridging gaps in understanding.
  • Active participation in the arts, whether through creation or appreciation, enhances cognitive abilities, creativity, and critical thinking skills. This not only enriches individuals but also contributes to a more innovative and civically engaged society.
  • I encourage your unanimous support of this motion and urge you to increase funding for programs like the OGP at The Department of Arts and Culture.

‘THE PAUSE HEARD ’ROUND THE THEATER WORLD’

LA Times: ‘The Pause Heard ’Round the Theater World’

Comments from Ricky Abilez, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Arts for LA

On June 15, Center Theatre Group announced that it would be pausing programming at the Mark Taper Forum indefinitely. As a flagship theatre at one of the country’s largest regional organizations, the news spurred shock, sadness, and even anxiety among performing arts leaders nationwide.

The Performing Arts sector is continuing to grapple with the repercussions of pandemic shutdowns and an unstable economy. The Los Angeles Times said it most succinctly, the result has been “drastic cuts to programming, layoffs, candid pleas to subscribers about an industry-wide emergency and, in L.A., the indefinite shutdown of what for decades has been the city’s most prominent and important home for drama.”

At most performing arts institutions, audiences remain under pre-pandemic levels and in 2021 alone, the state’s Performing Arts sector lost a decade’s worth of job growth. While some theaters reopened after two years of closure, many were forced to shut their doors for good, particularly those serving historically marginalized communities. The recent Center Stage study by CVL Economics found that if current trends continue, state and local governments could see a combined $4.1 billion loss in tax revenue.

CTG’s news is yet another signal that investing in performing arts organizations is more crucial than ever. We must fund SB1116, the law known as the Equitable Payroll Fund, and continue to make the case that the arts are not simply a means of entertainment, but an economic force, social reflector, and cultural beacon of hope.

I urge all of you to read this article, take action, and support the vibrant and gripping performances at regional theaters of all sizes across Southern California.

CENTER STAGE: THE ROLE OF LIVE PERFORMING ARTS IN REVITALIZING CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES

   

The Performing Arts sector has long been a bedrock of California’s vibrant creative economy. Yet over the last few years, due to the global pandemic, the sector has faced various challenges ranging from venue closures and operational capacity to audience re-engagement. To further examine these impacts, Theatre Producers of Southern California, Actor’s Equity Association, and Arts for LA commissioned a research report authored by CVL economics. The study found that employment rates were rapidly increasing before the pandemic (43% between 2001 and 2019 – twice as fast as the overall economy), however, in 2021 alone, the state’s Performing Arts sector lost a decade’s worth of job growth. If current trends continue, state and local governments could see a combined $4.1 billion loss in tax revenue.

1. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT!
2. SPREAD THE WORD BY SHARING OUR SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT!
3. TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF CALIFORNIA PERFORMING ARTS SECTOR!

FEATURED IN LA TIMES HERE.

ON STRIKE: STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH WGA AND SAG-AFTRA

A Statement from Gustavo Herrera, CEO of Arts for LA

As a passionate advocate for arts and culture, Arts for LA stands in solidarity with the members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) who made the decision to go on strike on May 2, and members of SAG-AFTRA who are currently in negotiations and voted to authorize their own strike if an agreement isn’t reached before their contract expires on June 30. We recognize and appreciate the immense talent, creativity, and hard work that writers, actors, and media artists bring to the film, television, and radio industries. Their stories captivate and inspire us and help to shape the cultural landscape we all cherish.

At Arts for LA, we believe it’s essential to prioritize equitable pay and a living wage for the tireless work artists and arts workers provide to the creative economy. Our advocacy centers access, opportunity, and sustainability which is reflected in our Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative.

We also understand the uncertainties and challenges that arise from this situation; that the pause in work has already had far-reaching effects on various sectors within the entertainment industry. From production crews to directors to technicians, the impact has been felt by many.

As an organization committed to promoting and advocating for arts and culture, we believe it is imperative for all sides to come to the table, engage in meaningful dialogue, and work towards a resolution that uplifts writers, actors, and media artists not only financially but also by valuing their essential roles in shaping the stories we love.

Members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA deserve contracts that reflect the true value of their contributions. Together, let us foster an environment that celebrates the artistry of writers, actors, and media artists and that guarantees a bright future for the film and television industries so we may continue impacting lives through creativity.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DECLARE APRIL AS ARTS MONTH

ARTS FOR LA JOINS THE LA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CELEBRATE APRIL AS ARTS, CULTURE & CREATIVITY MONTH AND THE APPROVAL OF THE CREATIVE JOBS COLLECTIVE IMPACT INITIATIVE

April 4, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA) — Arts for LA, the leading voice for arts advocacy in Greater Los Angeles, joined the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today as they declared April as Arts, Culture, and Creativity month to celebrate and recognize the impact of the arts and creative workforce in the state of California. The Board of Supervisors also unanimously approved the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative motion, introduced by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis, District 1, and Lindsey P. Horvath, District 3, in support of Arts for LA’s coordinated effort to create 10,000 living wage jobs in the creative sector, especially in BIPOC communities.

“Artists and organizations in the creative space have never fully recovered, and passing this motion is another important step to fixing that. By focusing on cross-sectoral partnerships, funding, and culturally responsive practices for the betterment of all residents, we can prioritize intersectional and real-time responses to disparities in the creative sector exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “I’m proud to lead this effort during Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month and call on all Angelenos to take some time this month to support artists and creative workers—a critical backbone of our economy.”

This motion aims to support the goals of the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative (CJCII), a 7-year effort led by Arts for LA that includes the LA County Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Economic Opportunity on its steering committee, among other arts and creative economy leaders, and envisions a thriving and equitable arts and culture sector. This motion will specifically focus on the CJCII goals of creating 10,000 creative sector jobs centering youth and adults from historically underrepresented communities, parity between the regional population demographics and creative workforce representation, and a sector-wide median entry-level wage that is at or above the region’s living wage as determined by MIT’s living wage calculator. It also highlights the ongoing work of the County to build an equitable arts and creative sector, as well as data reports released by the Department of Arts and Culture that point the way to addressing wage disparities for entry-level BIPOC arts administrators and opportunities to address barriers to creative career pathways for underrepresented youth.

“As it stands, artists and creative workers can’t afford to live and work in Los Angeles,” said Gustavo Herrera, CEO, Arts for LA. “Compensation for entry-level arts administrators in Los Angeles County is well below a living wage standard – this disparity is most pronounced for BIPOC creative workers which stands at $32,027 for entry-level wage. It is no wonder that we hear from so many emerging arts leaders, particularly emerging leaders of color, that they cannot afford to work in the arts and culture field. It is going to take all of us, working across the sectors, to create a more inclusive and sustainable creative economy for all Angelinos.”

“Arts and entertainment are the cornerstone of Los Angeles life and our local economy. With today’s motion, we are seeing an enormous opportunity to develop a robust future creative workforce with diverse talent from our local communities,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District. “I proudly join Supervisor Solis and Arts for LA in advancing the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative to create 10,000 creative jobs centering local youth from communities that are underrepresented in the arts.”

“Investment in arts and culture today means a more robust creative sector, richer cultural life for our communities, and a stronger creative workforce for generations to come,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. “This Board of Supervisors motion builds on decades of ongoing programs, grants, internships, research, and coalition building by the Department of Arts and Culture that have expanded access to creative career pathways, invested in the arts workforce, and cultivated the capacity of our region’s arts ecosystem of organizations, educators, artists, emerging leaders, funders, and advocates. Yet there is more to be done to increase equity in our creative industries. I am excited to further this work with the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative.”

About Arts for LA

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, and 165 Member Organizations.

ARTS FOR LA’S POSITION RE: RACIST STATEMENTS BY LA CITY COUNCILMEMBERS

Los Angeles and the nation have felt the reverberation of the blatantly racist comments shared among the City of LA’s Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, and former County Federation of Labor head, Ron Herrera. Their words, and more importantly the sentiments that they reflect, are revolting, divisive and simply wrong.

Arts for LA stands for an equitable, healthy, vibrant, and creative Los Angeles, and we cannot continue to put trust in leadership that perpetuates abusive and harmful colonial legacies. We stand with those supporting today’s resignation of Councilmember Martinez, and calling for the immediate resignation of Councilmembers Cedillo and de León. Los Angeles needs and deserves representation that centers community interest, builds solidarity among Angelenos, and creates a compassionate and supportive environment where everyone can live, work and thrive. The recordings are proof that we need to continue to work as a community to dismantle institutional racism in all its forms.

We call on our artists and creative community to lift up your voices and use your special gifts to demand a Los Angeles united against hate and racism. LA needs healing and restorative justice; artists always have played and always will play a critical role in making that a reality.

THIS IS WHAT ADVOCACY LOOKS LIKE…

#ARTSVOTE2022 IS UPON US!
A few things every #ArtsVoter can do right now…

THIS IS WHAT ARTS ADVOCACY LOOKS LIKE.

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of you took action to make it clear:
we must invest in arts & culture!

HERE ARE SOME OF THE KEY PRIORITIES YOU HELPED MOVE FORWARD BY SENDING EMAILS, MEETING WITH DECISION MAKERS, AND POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

WHAT’S UP NEXT?

IT’S PRIMARY SEASON.

BALLOTS DROP TODAY FOR THE JUNE 7 ELECTION.
A few things every #ArtsVoter can do right now:

Make a plan to vote. Angelenos have never had so many options when it comes to getting your ballot counted. Vote-by-mail, mobile voting centers, and in-person voting are all options this spring. Not sure if you’re registered? You can check here.

Find your local Vote Center. Many arts & culture organizations serve as official voting centers. Cast your vote, then experience some art!
Stay tuned for a video survey of LA Mayoral Candidates. To help #ArtsVoters prepare to make their voices heard, Arts for LA has asked all LA Mayoral Candidates to outline their vision for arts & culture. We’ll release their answers next week.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

In solidarity,

Arts for LA

APRIL IS #ARTSMONTH!

TAKE ACTION FOR #ARTSMONTH!
Join us in weekly advocacy efforts and make sure the voices of creative communities are heard at all levels of government!

Check out our #ArtsMonth Social Media Toolkit (with graphics, hastags, and take action links) and help us spread the word!

Also, be sure to check out the incredible month of programming and action from Californians for the Arts celebrating Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month.

Lastly, the LA County Department of Arts & Culture has put together a beautiful collection of graphics and art work to celebrate April as #ArtsMonth.

LA PERFORMING ARTS & REOPENING SURVEY

Read about the Los Angeles region’s latest Performing Arts and Reopening Survey.

Published in February 2022 by Star Insights, The Performing Arts and Reopening Survey provides a deeper understanding of the current needs of LA’s performing arts organizations and a comparative look at how the needs of these organizations have changed over time.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE SURVEY FINDINGS!
For more information, contact Arts for LA at info@artsforla.org.

JANUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER

Read about upcoming events and advocacy actions you can take today.

THIS PIECE IS COURTESY OF LILIAN DELGADO.

Welcome to 2022! We are excited to continue to build our advocacy movement for a more equitable and sustainable future for the creative industry of Los Angeles. We are grateful for your unwavering support. Because of you, we raised $46,828 during our 2021 year end fundraising drive, and welcomed 100 new members to the organization. We must continue to build our community power and unified arts advocacy voice. We must continue to come together in solidarity for a just and sustainable creative sector.

We are excited to share that we have selected our 2022 ACTIVATE Delegates cohort. Congratulations to our 2022 ACTIVATE leaders.

Our advocacy continues: TAKE ACTION by January 31! The LA County Department of Arts and Culture and the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative are seeking public comment on a set of Strategy Proposals that will guide the Department’s work over the coming years.

We are only a few weeks away from releasing our 2022 Policy and Advocacy Agenda. Thank you to the hundreds of advocates who joined our strategy sessions, our convenings and working groups in 2021. Your voice helped us define our priorities for this year. We are happy to preview ahead of the release that Arts for LA has officially endorsed the Arts and Music in Schools – Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act. The statewide ballot initiative, currently in its signature gathering phase, is estimated to increase arts funding in schools by approximately $800 million to $1 billion annually. Arts for LA will continue to keep our community informed and engaged in the coming months.

Onward!

Gustavo Herrera
Chief Executive Officer

CONNECT.

The Picerne Family Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2022 Artist Outreach Project!

The application deadline is March 31, 2022.

Artist Outreach gives accomplished visual, performing and literary artists the opportunity to share their passion and expertise with under-served members of our community.

Selected artists, age 55 and older, contribute to their community by providing educational, mentoring and/or therapeutic art experiences to under-served groups. These art experiences are intended to reach people of any age group who might not otherwise have opportunities to enjoy the benefits of quality arts programs. Artists applying for the grant propose the arts programming they wish to provide, identify the population they are interested in serving, and choose a local nonprofit to collaborate with.

Grant Amount: Selected artists will receive up to $12,000 to contribute an average of 6 weekly contact hours with participants over the course of one year.

Eligibility: To be eligible for this grant, artists must be at least 55 years old and live in or plan to serve people in Los Angeles County or Orange County, California.

Application Information: The application deadline is March 31, 2022. Artists are encouraged to review the information and eligibility requirements outlined on the Foundation website, and then contact the Foundation in advance of their written application in order to discuss their intended projects.

Learn more >

The 2022 Californians for the Arts Regional Conversations are coming to Los Angeles County!

February 10, 2022 | 1:00 PM

This is your opportunity to connect, to get the latest news on resources and Federal and State arts policies, to collaborate on local priorities and to strengthen advocacy in the region. It is also an important opportunity to share your needs with Californians for the Arts so that we can better serve you and unify our statewide voice for the arts.

SPECIAL FEATURE: This year’s regional conversation is brought to you in partnership with Arts For LA, who will provide information and opportunities for you to engage locally. This event will also feature a conversation with local performing arts advocacy leaders on the unique challenges facing the sector and the need to build solidarity across arts disciplines.

Your registration will allow CAFTA to provide you with a detailed agenda prior to the event.

Register >

LEARN.

​​There are two webinars coming up from our partners at CreateCA:

Arts Activism in Action: Spoken Word and Zines

February 3, 2022 | 4:30 PM

Join Mason Granger, Interim Deputy Director of Get Lit and UCLA grad student, alea adigweme as we create activist art to submit to the Student Voices Campaign! Register >

 

The Arts are a Student Right!
3 Simple Steps to Make Schools More Creative

February 3, 2022 | 6:00 PM

This is a critical moment in the movement for every student’s right to creative expression. Arts programs provide outlets for expression, build resiliency and improve academic performance. Students in your school district should have access to these opportunities. Take action now: Learn about the role of parents, students and community members to serve as advocates and to convince decision makers about the value of arts education. You will walk away with ready-to-use tools from Create CA, CA PTA, Arts for LA and Arts Education Alliance of the Bay Area that will support you in advocating for a creative education for all students in your district. Register >

LEAD.

The LA County Department of Arts & Culture (LACDAC) and Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative (CEII) are seeking public comment on a set of Strategy Proposals that will guide the department’s work over the coming years.

TAKE ACTION

In June 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the 13 recommendations set forth by the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII), and voted to fund four of the recommendations, which Arts and Culture subsequently launched. One of those funded recommendations was to establish a Countywide Cultural Policy (Cultural Policy) to provide a roadmap with concrete elements focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, setting out ways in which all LA County departments can contribute to cultural life by ensuring that every resident has access to arts and culture.

For more background on the Cultural Policy and its public comment period, visit the LA County Department of Arts & Culture website.

Job Board Highlights

Arts for LA updates our Job and Artist Opportunity Board weekly. Click the button below to look through our most recent job postings. If your organization has a job you would like to post on Arts for LA’s website, click here to fill out our job submission form.

   

ARTS FOR LA IS FUNDED BY:

and the generous support of Organizational and Individual Members like you.