ArtsDay 2013 Draws Nearly 500 People to City Hall

Wed, 04/24/2013 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

PHoto: Arts Day T-shirtArtsDay 2013 drew a massive crowd of arts advocates to City Hall on April 17 to celebrate Los Angeles's legacy of fostering arts and culture and the city's national identity as America's "Creative Capital."

An estimated 380 people gathered in the John Ferraro City Council Chamber at ten o'clock to show their support for arts and culture in Los Angeles.  Danielle Brazell of Arts for LA organized several speakers for a presentation hosted by District 4 Council member Tom LaBonge, who kicked off the nearly forty minutes of testimony and comments by arts advocates and city council members.  Near the end of the presentation, District 15 Council member Joe Buscaino sidled up to Mr. LaBonge and sang an acapella rendition of a song from "Damn Yankees," which Mr. Buscaino appeared in during high school.

Speakers at the meeting included Otis College of Art + Design President Samuel Hoi, Creative Space CEO Tyler Stonebreaker, The Boeing Company Community Investor Tamika Lang, Human Relations Commission member Leni Boorstin, and Emmy-nominated actor CCH Pounder.

Advocates attending the meeting proudly wore or held up their ArtsDay t-shirts.  The red shirts were donated by American Apparel and then printed with a special design by Los Angeles artist Andrew Colunga, featuring the words "Creative Capital" and "Los Angeles" with "economy," "democracy," and "education" linking the two phrases.

Photo: ArtsDay delegates

The second annual event reflected months of planning and collaboration between Arts for LA, City Council offices, and local arts advocates.  The day began with a special reception for grantees of the Department of Cultural Affairs.  Approximately 250 people enjoyed the opportunity to network with friends and colleagues.  Sonia Tower, vice president of community relations for reception sponsor Ovation, welcomed guests and turned the podium over to Olga Garay-English, executive director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.  Deputy Mayor Aileen Adams spoke of the importance of the arts in capturing the history of Los Angeles.

Sixty ArtsDay delegates participated in an advocacy training faciltated by Arts for LA's Advocacy Field Manager Abe Flores and 24th Street Theatre's Debbie Devine and Jay McAdams.  Delegates were presented with information on "crafting the ask" and exercises to increase their confidence in meeting with their Council members.  These meetings took place throughout the afternoon.  Following each meeting, delegates reported back to discuss the impact of their meetings and network with other delegates.

At noon, all the ArtsDay delegates joined many special guests for a "chic picnic" lunch in City Hall's Bradley Tower.  With the broad vistas of Los Angeles as the backdrop, Mayor Villaraigosa appeared and spoke of his passion around fostering the arts in Los Angeles during his tenure.

The day was electric and exciting, proving yet again the power of positive partnership between the arts and elected officials.  Arts for LA anticipates hosting the third annual ArtsDay in 2014 around the same date.

Watch the video of the City Council meeting: