(Above)Lila Downs' Día De Muertos - Al Chile at the Ford Theatres on October 19, 2019. Photo by Lindsey Best.
The Ford Theatres has a special place in our hearts at the Department of Arts and Culture. For over 20 years, the Department of Arts and Culture (then the Arts Commission) programmed a vision of the venue as a home for Los Angeles County’s diverse artists, cultures, and communities.
On Tuesday, November 12, in a motion by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to transfer operations of the Ford Theatres to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. The LA Philharmonic, which also operates the Hollywood Bowl, will begin operation of the Ford on December 1, 2019 and will begin programming with the 2020 season.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas directed the LA Philharmonic Association to hold "community engagement sessions with local artists and interested stakeholders…to discuss outreach, program development, and audience development, to include recommendations on maintaining accessible and affordable ticket prices." Per the County lease with the LA Philharmonic, the Department of Arts and Culture will play an important role in the County’s requirement that programming of the Ford Theatres align with the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII).
Through the generosity of the Ford Theatre Foundation, we will also further the legacy of the Ford with a new regrant opportunity for the remaining Ford Foundation funds and will provide more notification about this in the coming year.
As the Department of Arts and Culture we look forward to continuing our role to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout the County, foster cultural equity and inclusion, and support local artists and the astonishing array of vibrant cultural organizations whose programs enrich, reflect, and contribute to our diverse communities—at local community-based venues, County-owned venues, and beyond.
To the Ford staff, the cultural community, Arts Commissioners, supporters and friends, we say: Los Angeles County is in debt to your tireless efforts and dedication—thank you!