As it continues to expand access to the arts for all residents, the board of supervisors voted to adopt the Los Angeles County Cultural Policy Strategic Plan. Developed with community and arts field input, the new strategic plan includes 18 tactics to expand cultural resources across L.A. County. Its adoption represents a milestone in an ongoing shift in county arts and culture – increasing funding for artists, programs and community-based arts organizations with a cultural equity lens; elevating the arts as a cross-sector strategy; and investing in cultural life for all our people and communities.
Today’s motion directs the county’s chief executive office to explore a funding increase for the Department of Arts and Culture’s Organizational Grant Program and the Free Concerts in Public Sites program. OGP is the region’s flagship program for funding support for arts nonprofits – it sustains the diverse arts ecosystem of the county and spans every artistic discipline, budget size and geographic location, ensuring access to arts and cultural activities from visual arts, theater, dance, film, literary and arts education organizations, and more. The Free Concerts in Public Sites program, a hallmark county arts program for decades, provides access to music concerts, performances and local festivals for communities. On hiatus due to the pandemic, the return of the free concerts program would bring jobs to musicians and presenters, grants to organizations with their own free concert initiatives and family-friendly events all over the County.
The board’s action builds on three previous motions, all driven by the desire to address longstanding disparities in the arts and culture field. In 2015, Supervisor Solis authored a motion that directed Arts and Culture to identify constructive ways to “enhance the participation and leadership of individuals from underrepresented communities in the arts.” This led to the 2017 Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and recommendations on how LA County departments could work together to provide, through new and existing services, every resident with access to arts and culture.
“My work to develop and advance Los Angeles County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative over the years is a testament to my commitment to ensuring all Angelenos, regardless of where they live, have access to the arts,” supervisor Hilda L. Solis said. “I fight to ensure that arts are incorporated into county services, so that we can further guarantee equity and that we allocate resources to allow the Department of Arts and Culture to succeed in their mission to advance arts, culture and creativity throughout Los Angeles County.”
“Art is not a luxury,” supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It is a critical component of a creative and healthy economy and a resilient society. Today’s motion will explore potential funding to invest in programs that create jobs and opportunities for artists, provide performances in diverse neighborhoods and build a solid infrastructure for the county’s unparalleled ecosystem of arts nonprofits.”
For information, visit lacountyarts.org.