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:
• Everyone deserves access to a variety of cultural and creative experiences, from neighborhood cultural centers to major arts institutions.
• The breadth, depth, and diversity of its arts and cultural life are a critical measure of the vitality of Los Angeles.
• Arts education is central to the development of all children and to ongoing and creative engagement for people of all ages.
• Arts and cultural organizations and artists require a social environment that values and supports their contributions and encourages excellence.
• The arts strengthen communities by increasing cultural empathy and fostering civic and public engagement.
Last week before the election, we gathered 200 arts leaders at our annual Convergence to look deeply at the most pressing issues we face and the role of the arts in addressing those issues. The exquisite passion presented by keynote speakers Renee Tajima-Peña and Mayda Del Valle and all of the participants invigorated me. In light of this week’s election which further exposed the deep divisions in our country, I am doubling down with my core belief that the arts are fundamental to creating an equitable, healthy, and creative society and democracy.
Locally, we can celebrate that our three endorsements (Measure A, Measure M, and Prop 55) passed on Tuesday, which also saw the election of Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger to the LA County Board of Supervisors - both of whom met with Arts for LA and arts leaders in October to establish a working relationship and to communicate our priorities as a field.
Through our ArtsVote work with candidates and elected officials, or through our advocacy leadership program ACTIVATE, Arts for LA is working on the ground to transform policy makers into arts-centric leaders, who affirm Arts for LA’s values.
“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” - Toni Morrison, March 2015.
Together we are the hope. Together we are the change.
Highlights from 2016 LA Convergence
Over 200 local arts leaders and advocates attended this year's Convergence, which was held on Thursday, November 3 at the Nate Holden Center for the Performing Arts.
Video of keynote speakers, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña and poet and performer Mayda Del Valle, is now available.
Renee Tajima-Peña schedules screenings of No Más Bebés around the country; the DVD is available, in English and Spanish, for purchase for classroom & library use for K-12, nonprofits, and public libraries at Good Docs. To sign up for screening updates, visit http://www.nomasbebesmovie.com.
TEDxLA on December 3
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience (short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less). TEDxLA will be an event where the village in which it is held will play a central role in how we have global impact. TEDxLA gathers world-class innovators, designers, educators and explorers to inspire and share their visions of an “Imagined Future.” TEDxLA will cover topics as varied as space travel, collaborative art, food fairness, education revolution, gender equality, robotics, healthy living, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and more.
Speakers include classical pianist Tara Kamangar, actor Harry Hamlin, Argentinian actor and singer Juan Pablo di Pace, among others. Complete list of speakers here. Use code Arts4TEDxLA for 10% discount on tickets.
SAVE THE DATE: Art for Rights, December 7-11
Arts for LA is partnering with Art for Amnesty to bring a week of arts activism to Los Angeles. The goal: harness the creative power of the arts to inspire 10,000 actions on behalf of Write for Rights. Art For Rights, hosted in the world famous Container Yard in Downtown Los Angeles, will see the creation of 12 original murals, the curation of a provocative installation on the current refugee crisis, a high profile visual arts competition hosted by Secret Walls, and a series of curated discussions around human rights and the arts. Art For Rights is free of charge. We invite you to engage with the art, learn about our human rights work & take action.
California Arts Council Opens Grant Cycle
On November 1, the California Arts Council opened four of its grants programs for applications - with ten more opening in the near future. As a result of increased state arts funding, the California Arts Council will award more grants than it has in the past 13 years
Sign up for an informational webinar on Thursday, December 1, for an overview of all of the California Arts Council’s 2016-17 grant programs, highlighting some changes and new additions to its grant offerings. Click here to register.