LA Arts Groups vs. LA Mayor

(4-29-10) In the LA Times...L.A. arts advocates are girding for two more battles at City Hall.

One is fighting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to take away $415,000 in arts grants from groups that qualified under the standard competitive application process, in favor of four that he chose.

The other is preserving rent-free use of city buildings by nonprofit organizations, including leases on 245,000 square feet devoted to the arts. The city council's budget and finance committee voted last week to require nonprofits to pay at least half the market rate in rent, plus utilities and maintenance — potentially costing arts tenants several hundred thousand dollars a year.