The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) has announced $750,000 in grant awards for 63 nonprofit social justice and social service organizations and city departments, as a part of its Community Impact Arts Grant (CIAG) program.

Different than Arts and Culture’s longstanding funding for nonprofits with a primary mission in the arts, CIAG supports arts-based programs of social justice and service organizations, recognizing their reach in underserved and marginalized communities. CIAG was designed to address two priorities: It makes arts services available to LA County residents who might not experience them through traditional arts venues and outlets, and it encourages the intersection of the arts in cross-sector work in local nonprofits.

CIAG grantees include mental health, disability, environmental, homeless, immigrant rights, youth, justice reform, and veteran service organizations. The one-year awards support a variety of community projects. A Place Called Home, for example, a South LA youth afterschool organization, will use the grant to sustain its performing arts program. Sunland’s Tierra del Sol Foundation will advance the career development, exhibition, and sales of artwork by adults with lifelong developmental disabilities. Home for Families, in Woodland Hills, will support trauma-informed art programs for low-income veteran families. (View a full list of grantees)

The CIAG program began with seed funding from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2015 and evolved as a pilot program over the next six years. This April, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis to sustain and expand funding to CIAG. The motion signifies a recognition of the impact of the program, and the County’s ongoing investment in the arts and in its Cultural Policy, which integrates arts services into cross-sector County work.

"We have hundreds of incredible arts organizations in Los Angeles County, but not everyone in our communities, especially communities of color, has a direct relationship with them. We need to think outside the box with our grants and build better access to arts services, especially now, as we work to eliminate the inequities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Impact Arts Grant program is an innovative way to bring arts services to historically under-invested communities," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District.

"Research tells us that communities with access to cultural resources have better health, education, and safety. But there needs to be more equity in how we target these resources and investments," said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. "The motion I authored this spring with Supervisor Solis affirms the Community Impact Arts Grant program and its power to deliver cultural funding, programs, and services to under-served LA County areas and neighborhoods."

"The arts are a vital part of civic life and can also be a tool for addressing equity and cross-sector problem solving in a range of issue areas," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. "We are proud to fund hundreds of arts and culture organization grantees that comprise our region’s incredible cultural sector. The CIAG program serves as a complement to those grants by supporting a cohort of nonprofits using arts in their social justice and social service missions to reach communities where they are, with programs made all the more impactful by the arts. The pandemic made clear the stark inequities we face in our communities—the work of these programs is needed now more than ever."

Testimonials from CIAG Grantees

Supervisorial District 1:
"Like much of Southeast Los Angeles, the City of South Gate was devastated by the pandemic. As we gear up for re-opening, arts programming will be a crucial part of our community’s recovery," said Marissa González-Kucheck, Cultural Arts Coordinator for the City of South Gate. "This grant will support the development of new exhibits in our City’s Art Gallery. The funds provided by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture will also enable us to provide free arts workshops while working with local artists, thereby supporting the recovery of our own arts community as well. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to recognize, support, and uplift the cultural vitality of our community by providing artists with a venue for showcasing their work and addressing contemporary issues through our programs."

Supervisorial District 2:
"Now, in the wake of a traumatic year, it is more important than ever that we lift up the voices and creativity of South Central youth," said Katie Skawski, Grants Manager at A Place Called Home. "During COVID-19 the Community Impact Arts Grants from the LA County Department of Arts and Culture helped APCH members produce dance recitals, fully virtual theater productions, studio albums, new music compositions, and so much more. Arts and Creative Expressions at APCH engaged 474 youth in virtual arts educational curricula in music, theater, and dance, and as we continue our virtual programming and begin on-campus services, CIAG will help us reach more than 500 youth with creative opportunities in the coming year."

Supervisorial District 3:
"The LGBT community has progressed this far because of our brave seniors who marched and persisted on the frontlines in the early years of the LGBT movement," said Michael McFadden, Los Angeles LGBT Center's Associate Director of Senior Services Programs. "Thank you to the County's Department of Arts and Culture for this generous grant to fund our documentary filmmaking project. The older adults we serve will have the rare opportunity to learn new creative skills and the ability to share stories of their authentic selves deservedly with pride."

Supervisorial District 4:
"Hands-on fine arts programs for youth in the communities we serve are almost non-existent. Our public schools have very few if any regular fine arts classes and activities for our youth, and at the same time, youth serving organizations like ours have difficulty finding funding to support our daily efforts. Thanks to the CIAG Awards we are able to provide daily/year-round fine arts instruction at our "7" Club sites for over 1200 youth annually," said Mike Lansing, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.

Supervisorial District 5:
"Through the County's investment in Tierra's Careers in the Arts program, artists with developmental disabilities are given the opportunities and support they need to develop their skills and be recognized for their contributions as artists," said Maria Jones, Tierra del Sol Foundation’s Program Director. "As people feel the long-term impact of the isolation caused by COVID-19, they will need support to re-engage their community. For those with developmental disabilities, this increases access and communication challenges they experienced daily, even before the pandemic. With the County’s contributions, these artists have access to the support they need and the high-quality supplies that match the quality of their own artwork."


A Place Called Home
Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles
Book Club for Kids FSP Community Partners*
Boys & Girls Club of Venice
Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor
Casa de las Amigas
Center for Empowered Family
Child & Family Center
City of South Gate*
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights
Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (Community Coalition)
Community Health Councils
Day One
Descanso Gardens Guild Inc.
El Centro Del Pueblo
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation
Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Inc. (HOLA)
Homes for Families
InnerCity Struggle
Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Inc.
L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs
LA Promise Fund
Legacy LA Youth Development Corp.
Library Foundation of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Development Foundation*
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Los Angeles Mission
Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Martyrs Memorial
Los Angeles Public Library*
Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation (Kid City Hope Place)
Love Activists*
LTSC Community Development Corporation (Little Tokyo Service Center)
M F PLACE, INC. (My Friend's Place)
New Earth Organization
New Horizons: Serving Individuals with Special Needs
No Limits Theater Group Inc.
One in Long Beach, Inc. (The LGBTQ Center Long Beach)
Optimist Boys Home & Ranch
Painted Brain
Peace Over Violence
Program for Torture Victims
Proyecto Pastoral aka Jesuit Hispano Ministry
Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, Inc.
Sharefest Community Development, Inc.
Southern California Public Radio (SCPR, KPCC, LAist)
Special Service for Groups, Inc.
Sports Theatre Arts Recreation Inc. (STAR Inc.)
The Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley
The Compton Initiative
The People Concern
The Way Center of Truth
Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind
Tierra del Sol Foundation
United Cambodian Community (UCC)
Vigilant Love FSP Community Partners
Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
West Valley Boys & Girls Club
Woodcraft Rangers
Youth Mentoring Connection
YWCA of Glendale and Pasadena

* New to the CIAG Program