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$1 MILLION 'SECOND SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT ARTS AND CULTURE RECOVERY GRANT' OPENS FEBRUARY 24, 2021 TO SUPPORT LONGTIME AND EMERGING COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
Nonprofits Located in Second District are Eligible for Program, Funded by Former Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
In December 2020, outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas allocated $1M for a one-time grant program to support existing and emerging arts and culture organizations in the Second District. The program, managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, recognizes the arts as an important component in reflecting diversity, building communities, and strengthening the economy.
"The purpose of the Second Supervisorial District Arts and Culture Recovery Grant program is to deepen investment in community-based organizations that contribute to the cultural fabric of South and Central Los Angeles and support the arts in our communities with a lens toward equity," said current Los Angeles City Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. "It ensures that these nonprofits not only survive our current health and economic challenges, but that they grow even stronger—expanding their role in the arts and cultural infrastructure and in Los Angeles’ creative economy."
The program is open to small- and mid-sized organizations that are existing Department of Arts and Culture grantees, non-grantees, and emerging organizations located in the Second District. Eligibility is expansive—non-arts organizations that use the arts to address social and health issues, and confront systemic and racial injustices, can also apply. It prioritizes organizations that contribute to LA County’s cultural diversity and reach underserved communities, including Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous communities. It will help organizations sustain their staffs and support the services they provide to their communities, after months of pandemic-related closures and cancelations. The program also seeks to strengthen and bolster organizations with additional capacity building and peer exchange opportunities for awardees.
"This grant is a significant investment in our communities thanks to the leadership of my predecessor, Mark Ridley-Thomas and is vital in furthering the creative contributions and advocacy that defines the Second Supervisorial District," said Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. "I am committed to working with Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture to ensure more organizations are able to expand their impact and advance social and health justice with this key funding resource."
"Arts and culture play a critical role in the economic resiliency of Los Angeles County and in the social resiliency of our communities. Our nonprofit organizations serve as cultural community anchors, whether through their arts programs, cultural spaces, or arts-based strategies to advance social change," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. "This program comes at a critical time for organizations in the region as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the very survival of nonprofit arts organizations unable to reopen their doors and particularly organizations led by and serving communities of color that have historically been underfunded or lacked access to capital."
In 2015, former Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion with Supervisor Hilda Solis, unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors, that set the then Arts Commission on a journey to create a framework for advancing cultural equity among the region's arts and culture sector. The Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and its 13 recommendation—six of which have now been adopted—is the result. He authored the motion that transformed the Arts Commission into the first-ever Department of Arts and Culture. With Supervisor Kuehl, he authored the original motion of Investing in Justice Involved Individuals through the Arts in December 2018 and in March 2020 adopted the plan. Most recently, in July 2020, Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion establishing an Antiracist Los Angeles County Policy Agenda unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Through the leadership of Ridley-Thomas and now Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, the Second Supervisorial District has long championed the arts and organizations working at the intersection of arts, culture, and social justice through support of the Organizational Grant Program, the Community Impact Arts Grant, and the Arts Internship Program.