New Program: LA County Awards Over $31M to Arts and Cultural Organizations

From LA County Arts: Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture announces over $31 million dollars will be awarded to over 750 arts, cultural, and equity-building organizations, a historic County investment in the nonprofit creative sector.

Over twenty-six million dollars of that sum comes from Los Angeles County’s allocation of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief and recovery programs. To distribute these one-time funds, the Department of Arts and Culture designed and implemented Creative Recovery LA. This initiative supports the nonprofit creative sector that is facing ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, and focuses on organizations located in and serving communities most impacted by COVID and inequity. With a $26.4M total, 668 grantees, and over 1,900 individual grants awarded through the program’s innovative 5-in-1 grant opportunity design, Creative Recovery LA is believed to be the largest single publicly funded arts grant program in the history of the Los Angeles region.

The rest of the $31M is funded by the Department of Arts and Culture’s flagship Organizational Grant Program, which sustains LA County’s cultural ecosystem with funding to arts organizations of every artistic discipline, budget size, and geography, and the innovative Community Impact Arts Grant initiative, which supports municipalities and social service and social justice nonprofits that use the arts in their community service programs.

"This is part of the County’s effort to address inequities and better support underserved communities that were hit hard by the pandemic, and that includes the arts and cultural organizations that serve our communities," said Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair and Supervisor to the Fourth District. "All three of the Department of Arts and Culture programs that make up this $31 million investment—the ARPA funds that the County earmarked for the creative sector, along with the Department’s two ongoing grant programs—prioritize equity and organizational sustainability, so that we can build back LA County’s creative economy in this challenging time."

"My work to develop and advance Los Angeles County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, and now the Countywide Cultural Policy, is a testament to my commitment to ensuring all Angelenos, regardless of where they live, have access to the arts," said Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. "These grant programs are aligned with that commitment because they support equity and enable our Department of Arts and Culture to succeed in its mission to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County."

"The Department of Arts and Culture’s grant programs are crucial to the livelihood of diverse arts nonprofit organizations. By bringing these resources to communities that have been impacted by long-standing inequities, we are helping to ensure all Angelenos can access the many benefits of the arts. Our grantees harness the creative power of the arts to enhance youth development, affirm cultural identity, revitalize our local neighborhoods, and much more. Through the equitable investment of arts funding, we have an opportunity to maximize the unique impact of the arts nonprofits serving the diverse communities of Los Angeles County," said Holly J. Mitchell, Supervisor to the Second District.

"Creative Recovery LA is a significant public investment in the value Los Angeles County places on the arts, which are essential to the community recovery, connection, and creative expression," said Lindsey P. Horvath, Supervisor to the Third District. "Grants to arts nonprofits will support their economic recovery and a more equitable County where we prioritize and celebrate diverse voices."

"Investing in the arts is investing in our communities, because arts and culture resources improve mental health and wellbeing, economic opportunity, and youth development," said Kathryn Barger, Supervisor to the Fifth District. "The reach of these grant programs is incredible. They support everything from grassroots organizations with micro, small, and mid-sized budgets, to major cultural institutions, and everything in between. They serve millions of our residents and visitors every year in every corner of the County, including those who are most vulnerable, and they provide stable careers for artists and arts workers. We need that kind of breadth to restore the County’s arts infrastructure and our creative economy."

"The Department of Arts and Culture invests in LA County’s cultural life. One core way we do that is by making public funding accessible for hundreds of arts and equity-focused organizations—museums, art centers, dance companies, theaters, arts educators, music, folk and traditional arts, youth justice, literary organizations, and more—that provide culturally relevant programs that reflect, and serve, our diverse communities," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. "Arts organizations were hit hard by COVID-19 and continue to face challenges. We created the largest public sector arts grant in the region’s history with the $26.4M Creative Recovery LA to meet this moment, and together with our annual Organizational Grant Program and Community Impact Arts Grant, we aim to catalyze the work of rebuilding and re-imagining LA County as the creative capital of the world with a lens of cultural equity and inclusion for all Angelenos."

Learn more about the program here.