Catch the highlights from LA Convergence 2016, held on November 3, 2016 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.
With threats emerging of defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and its sister agency for the Humanities, Arts for LA executive director Sofia Klatzker travels to Washington DC for WESTAF's (Western States Arts Federation) annual Arts Leadership & Advocacy Seminar. During the January 30 through February 1 meeting, 60 arts advocates from Western states will learn more about the current and planned future work of the NEA, hear updates on federal-level advocacy efforts, and meet with their members of Congress.
Tune in to KPCC's AirTalk on Monday, January 30, to hear Executive Director Laura Zucker of the Los Angeles Arts Commission in a pro/con discussion on the recent news about budget cuts effecting the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Other guests include Romina Boccia of the Heritage Foundation and KPCC President Bill Davis.
January is when the rubber meets the road, when we are focused on building new relationships, securing alliances, determining legislative and budget priorities, and expanding our coalition. This period of political transition is the perfect time to meet with newly elected officials, while also encouraging new voices to consider running in upcoming races.
Last week the Arts for LA board adopted a new strategic plan for 2017-2022. As we developed the plan, our fabulous committee (members listed below) helped us revise our mission, which now reads:
Arts for LA activates artists and organizations, and leads communities to advocate for an equitable, healthy, creative Los Angeles Region.
This week, I reaffirm my commitment to supporting and defending you and local arts and culture. This starts by reminding all of us of Arts for LA’s core values:
We have less than two weeks till the Nov 8 election. In California, we have 17 state propositions on the ballot, in addition to local measures. To help make the best informed decisions possible, we surveyed candidates in all local elections, and we also endorse Prop 55 and Measure A and M, all of which contribute to greater access to arts and arts education (details below).
The story of America at this moment is fraught with ideology. Most visibly in the political sphere, there has been a loss of civility and respect, in how we treat each other, in how we talk to and about each other. When words are used as weapons and walls are being built, to change the public discourse requires new narratives and ways of connecting to each other. As Tahir Shah writes, "Stories are a communal currency of humanity" (In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams).
A new school year has begun. We all know arts education is central to the development of all children and to ongoing creative engagement for people of all ages. Arts for LA has a strong record of advocating for the equitable distribution of arts education for all students.
Anyone watching the news knows that the fall election season has begun in earnest. There is much to focus on locally, and at a recent meeting with the LA County Registrar-Recorder, we learned that there will be a minimum of 19 ballot measures to consider on November 8.