LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE ANNOUNCES ‘COMMUNITY IMPACT ARTS GRANT’ AWARDS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

Grantees Include Organizations Providing Services for Individuals with Disabilities, Veterans, and Underserved Youth

The Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) announced today $750,000 for 75 Community Impact Arts Grants (CIAG), one-year grants for arts programming at nonprofit social justice and social service organizations, and municipal departments throughout LA County.

Different than Arts and Culture’s longstanding funding for nonprofits with a primary focus on the arts, CIAG supports arts-based programs of social justice and service organizations. CIAG was designed to address two priorities: making arts services available to LA County residents who might not experience them through traditional arts venues and outlets, and encouraging integration of the arts in cross-sector work at local nonprofits.

CIAG supports arts programming at nonprofits and municipalities—in this cycle, the United Cambodian Community, Would Works, and National Day Laborer Organizing Network, for example—that often serve low-income individuals, individuals with disabilities, veterans, systems-impacted youth, and other underserved communities. An analysis of the program’s impact by Arts and Culture’s Research and Evaluation team found that CIAG grants support a wide variety of populations and communities underserved by the arts as measured by specific populations, race and ethnicity, and poverty rates, often in areas where more than 25% of the population earns less than the federal poverty level.

Grantee programs span disciplines from therapeutic visual arts, to social justice filmmaking, music education for youth, dance empowerment, and museum memory programs for dementia. Explore a complete list of CIAG grantees, and the programs and events this funding will support.

"The Community Impact Arts Grant program continues to be an innovative and equitable way to direct our arts resources. I am proud that to see my motion with Supervisor Solis affirming the CIAG program help actualize its power to deliver culture funding," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly J. Mitchell.

"We know that arts are for everyone. We also know that communities with more access to cultural resources have better health, education, and safety,” said Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda. "With the Community Impact Arts Grant funding, we are able to bring the benefits of the arts to communities that need them most, and support organizations, artists, and cross-sector collaborations that use the arts in innovative and powerful ways to strengthen equity and services in our diverse County communities."

"We have hundreds of incredible arts nonprofits in Los Angeles County, but not everyone, especially in communities of color, has a direct relationship with these organizations or access to their services. The Community Impacts Arts Grant program bridges that gap, and I’m very proud of the way CIAG is building an equitable funding infrastructure," said Eric Eisenberg, President of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Testimonials from CIAG Grantees

"We have continued our program throughout the pandemic, though we have adapted our offerings for safety during this difficult time. This long period of fear and anxiety has taken its toll on our students, our staff and our whole community. We are so grateful for this funding because it gives us the opportunity to provide art and community experiences, no matter the challenges. Sometimes art is the one thing, maybe the only thing, that keeps us going. We are just so thankful to receive funds from the Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture to do this work with our youth and community so we can continue creating and sharing art."
—Sayon Syprasoeuth, Program Manager, United Cambodian Community, Living Arts Long Beach program.

"No Limits for Deaf Children and Families is deeply honored to be a recipient of the Community Impact Arts Grant. CIAG funds have been life-changing for children with hearing loss providing them with a stage to develop language, foster creativity, promote self-esteem and provide equity and inclusion to all."
—Michelle Christie, Executive Director, No Limits for Deaf Children and Families

"Bringing music to day laborer corners across Los Angeles will reconnect the National Day Laborer Organizing Network with its roots. Since our inception, we have been incorporating arts and music as a way to organize, inform and unify our community. With the support of the CIAG grant, we will use music to facilitate organizing, build worker power, and inspire community."
—Ishell Linares, Co-Director of Development, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

"Would Works is honored to be awarded this grant which we will use to support our pilot Community Builders Program (CBP). CBP provides employment and job training in woodworking, furniture design, and fabrication to people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. In CBP, these artisans are paid to design and build accessible, beautiful, and functional outdoor furniture for communal spaces at permanent supportive housing sites, homeless service centers, and shelters. Through a community-led design process, CBP places the unhoused and/or recently housed community at the center of both design and construction of their own built environments."
—Lee Buchanan, Development Director, Would Works

Background

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. In April 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Supervisor 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.

Applications for the CIAG program were reviewed and scored by 19 expert panelists from the Los Angeles region’s robust community of cultural workers, artists, curators, nonprofit arts administrators, arts funders, and arts educators. Award recommendations were reviewed by the Arts Commission and approved by the Board of Supervisors. The 2022-23 Community Impact Arts Grant program will award $750,000 to 75 grantee organizations, in award amounts that range from $3,400 to $11,600.