Inglewood Candidates Respond to Arts & Culture Survey

Thu, 03/14/2013 - 8:30am

Photo: inglewood Cultural ArtsThree of nine candidates for the Inglewood City Council have responded to Arts for LA’s semiannual arts & culture candidate surveys.  The surveys, which cover the overlap between the economy and public funding for the arts, were published today on

Arts for LA’s nonpartisan surveys educate candidates about the important links between the arts, cultural infrastructure, the economy, and overall quality of life within communities.  Inglewood’s arts and culture core follows the recommendations of the city’s Cultural Plan, adopted in 1996.  As a result of this plan, the city supported creation of Inglewood Cultural Arts, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through diverse programs, which include individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and economic status.

Additionally, Inglewood’s Cultural Plan called for broader arts investment in a variety of areas.  It directed the city to establish new venues to host visual and performing arts events for Inglewood’s residents while expanding arts education programs in Inglewood USD schools.  The plan also called for more support for working artists.  “Artists have long known the well-kept secret of [Inglewood’s] reasonably priced studios in older commercial buildings downtown, breezy Westside climate, and small town community atmosphere,” according to Inglewood Cultural Arts.

“Since our inception and throughout our history, we have maintained that founding spirit by continuing to provide multidisciplinary arts education opportunities and sharing essential arts related information to the community,” said MonaLisa Whitaker, executive director of Inglewood Cultural Arts. “As our city embarks on its next phase of development on many levels (educationally, physically, etc.), we felt it was essential voters were aware of each candidate's experiences in the arts. The opportunity to partner with Arts for LA was timely as it provided an effective and respectful way to ask the questions and elicit thoughtful responses.

According to the 2012 Otis Report on the Creative Economy, the Los Angeles region’s creative businesses took in $120.9 billion in revenue last year and generated $3 billion in state and local tax revenue while supporting 1 in 8 jobs.  With the economy still at the forefront of this year’s election cycle, support of the region’s robust arts and culture economy is a priority for many candidates.  A recent report from the Goldhirsh Foundation’s “LA2050” project claimed LA County is home not only to the most arts organizations per capita in the nation, but to the largest community of working artists in America.  These facts underscore the need for all cities in our region to craft arts and culture policies that support, retain, and develop creative economy opportunities.

Arts for LA hopes the surveys not only provide candidates the opportunity to reflect on what arts and culture mean to them personally, but the broad impact investments in the arts can have on communities and students. “Inglewood’s thriving arts community, thanks to the support and involvement of Inglewood Cultural Arts, directly contributes to the quality of life of all its residents” said Danielle Brazell, executive director of Arts for LA. “The arts leadership in Inglewood successfully works in partnership with the city, the school board, and residents in every neighborhood.”