Department of Arts and Culture Announces $750,000 in Awards for Community Impact Arts Grant Program

Grantees Include Organizations Working with System-Involved Youth, Veterans, and Programs Serving the Disability, Homeless, and Immigrant Communities

September 11, 2019—The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture has announced $750,000 in arts grants to 58 nonprofit organizations through the Community Impact Arts Grant (CIAG) program in this fourth year of awards. The County of Los Angeles, through the Department of Arts and Culture, provides these arts programming grants to support social service and social justice nonprofits, municipalities, and institutions of higher learning, enabling these organizations to deliver a wide variety of cultural services to residents that support arts and culture throughout LA County.

Little Okayo
Photo courtesy of Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation.

This year, the program expanded: CIAG’s initial three-year demonstration project funding was $500,000 per year and was increased by $250,000 for a total of $750,000 in grant investments

From arts workshops for youth experiencing homelessness, to a musical theater youth diversity apprenticeship program, to LGBTQ-focused film festivals, these grants support the arts and cultural programs of social service, social justice, and municipal organizations to reach incredibly diverse communities, said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

Not everybody receives cultural services through traditional arts outlets. Because these grants broaden the contexts in which arts serve County residents, they increase the ways that people across LA County can access art and cultural services, said County Board of Supervisors Chair, Janice Hahn.

Using arts to deliver essential County services in areas such as mental health, environmental protection, homeless prevention and intervention, and community re-entry for justice-involved individuals, to name a few, will help to ensure that the County reaches a wider service population with better outcomes. It is no longer business as usual when it comes to reaching out to those in need, said Los Angeles County Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chair of the newly-established Department of Arts and Culture.

Grantees received awards that range from $6,900 to $15,200 and support one-year arts projects for organizations looking to build upon existing arts programming. Applications were reviewed and scored by 25 panelists with experience in the arts, nonprofits and social services, including artists, nonprofit administrators, and those with experience working with the diverse communities being served by applicants.

Examples of the projects supported by CIAG include the Stories of Migration a mural creation and community-response exhibition at the Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice; the Arts and Empathy Restorative Justice Project by Painted Brain, which integrates arts, interpersonal learning and development for youth seeking to avoid a criminal record; trauma-informed art programs for veterans and their families offered by Homes for Families; the Long Beach QFilm Festival showcasing features, documentaries, and short films centered on the LGBTQ experience; and Friends Outside in Los Angeles County’s TheatreWorkers Project program providing formerly incarcerated individuals with opportunities to redefine their personal narratives and improve communication skills through theater.

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