(Above) "Grow, but Never Grow Up" by Nate Frizzell.
Los Angeles County recognizes that arts and culture strengthen quality of life, health, resilience, and the social and economic development of our people and communities. The Countywide Cultural Policy provides direction for how LA County and its departments can ensure that every resident has meaningful access to arts and culture. It connects arts and culture to County plans, initiatives, and services in order to promote equity across policy areas.
The Department of Arts and Culture's role is to lead programs and collaborate with County departments and agencies to implement the policy.
On this page, we invite you to explore the Cultural Policy itself, as well as the Strategic Plan that includes 18 actionable strategies to enact the policy through programs, staffing, and strategic partnerships with County departments. Together, the policy and the Strategic Plan provide a roadmap for increasing the investment in LA County's cultural life over time.
The Cultural Policy values and celebrates art, culture, and creativity; strengthens cultural equity and inclusion; and integrates arts and culture in LA County strategies to achieve the highest value for people and communities.
Three Main Goals:
- Invest in cultural infrastructure and access to arts and culture
- Advance arts and culture in every sector of civic life
- Promote cultural equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging
Cultural Policy Development:
- Staff engaged in preliminary research to review existing policies or plans from other jurisdictions and to identify models and best practices that could be used to inform our process.
- A Request for Proposals was released in late summer 2019 to secure a consultant who would develop a process to engage stakeholders in the development of a region-wide cultural policy.
- Department staff and consultant Soluna Group reviewed existing policies and research, engaged stakeholders, and developed the policy framework.
- The completed policy was submitted to the LA County Audit Committee for review in February 2020.
- On June 23, 2020, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis introduced a motion, co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to adopt the policy, which was unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
- On April 20, 2021, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis authored a motion, co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to fund a "needs assessment" to provide a baseline of knowledge about where County arts and culture resources are allocated, including a publicly available asset map that shows County investments in facilities, grants, programming, and resources. From it, gaps and areas of need based on demographics and geography can be identified, then addressed.
- On October 5, 2021, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion by Supervisor Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Kuehl, that directed the Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services; the LA City/County Native American Indian Commission; and the Department of Arts and Culture to hire a consultant to facilitate the development of a Land Acknowledgment policy, protocol, and toolkit, thereby advancing an element of the Cultural Policy.
- "Advancing Cultural Equity and Inclusion," is a document detailing the approach for developing the Countywide Cultural Policy and includes priorities and implementation.
To achieve the vision and goals of the policy will require multiple tactics and investments over time.
- To develop the strategies, Department of Arts and Culture staff began with the initial set of 13 Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII) recommendations and input from community members shared during the CEII process in 2016, and reviewed strategies and ideas that emerged from the development of the Countywide Cultural Policy in 2019.
- In June and September 2021, the CEII Advisory Committee convened to review the remaining unfunded original CEII recommendations and to develop new strategies for the Department to consider.
- In December 2021, a condensed list of 29 strategies were developed and presented to the CEII Advisory Committee and others, including staff, for feedback.
- In January 2022, the strategies were released on the Department's website and shared widely for public comment. More than 670 people from the arts and culture field and the general public participated to provide direct input on their priorities for the Strategic Plan.
- A final set of revised strategies, with costs, is incorporated into a Cultural Policy Strategic Plan and submitted to the Board of Supervisors on July 1, 2022.