Los Angeles Selected for World Cities Cultural Forum Leadership Exchange

"LA Skyline" by Susan Logoreci.


LA County Department of Arts and Culture
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Will Address Access to the Arts, through Cultural Data Mapping and Olympic Games’ Cultural Olympiad

The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs join international cities chosen for the World Cities Culture Forum’s (WCCF) Global Leadership Exchange Program. The WCCF exchange program tackles global issues including culture as an expression of democratic participation; providing access to creative space; addressing risk at cultural institutions; and funding that supports diverse art forms. For the next two years, participating government and creative leaders will work to find innovative solutions to challenges in the creative sector, including inequity and economic hardship intensified by COVID-19. LA joins an 18-city collective with Amsterdam, Austin, Barcelona, Chengdu, Lagos, Lisbon, London, Melbourne, Milan, Montreal, New York, Paris, Stockholm, Sydney, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich in the project. The Leadership Program is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Google Arts and Culture.

The LA County Department of Arts and Culture led by Director Kristin Sakoda and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs led by General Manager Danielle Brazell will have a principal role in two projects—a multi-city Cultural Data Mapping exchange to share best practices in data collection and mapping cultural assets, activities, and participation to support arts and culture; and a Cultural Olympiad two-way exchange between Los Angeles County and City, and their Paris counterparts, to embed frameworks for cultural equity and inclusion in the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

The goal of the Leadership Program is to exchange ideas (virtually, for now) to strengthen support for culture. Arts and culture are increasingly understood by major cities around the world not only as an important sector, but also as a way to support beneficial outcomes and address local and global challenges, from climate change to tourism to public health.

"Cultural mapping helps us understand how our resources can be more equitably distributed throughout Los Angeles County," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. "It is particularly important as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of color and devastated economic and social progress within the creative sector. The World Cities Culture Forum’s Leadership Program is critical to our work in sustaining a future for arts and culture here at home, and all of the cities on this global team."

"The Department of Arts and Culture is honored to take part in the World Cities Culture Forum global leadership exchange, elevating the arts as a core part of our region’s future and participating on a global stage," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. "Through our work in Research and Evaluation we have long believed in the value of cultural data. The mapping exchange is an opportunity to share models with multiple cities around the world, learn new ways to collect data, tell the stories of arts and culture in our communities, map the distribution of cultural resources, inform cultural policy, and expand equity in the most populous county in the U.S. We are equally thrilled to work with the City of LA and our counterparts in Paris to explore frameworks to embed the values of cultural equity and inclusion in the Olympic Games and Cultural Olympiad as we look to the significant impact of welcoming the global audience to the LA County region in 2028."

"As with any exchange program, common goals are to create opportunities for all participants to engage, learn, and work together to solve critical issues and challenges, and ensure better outcomes for prosperity," said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. "The City of Los Angeles and its Department of Cultural Affairs and LA County and its Department of Arts and Culture are fully engaged in our continued roles as strategic partners with the World Cities Cultural Forum and are excited about the possibilities for collaboration with our international friends through the Global Leadership Exchange Program. We look forward to sharing our best practices in cultural asset mapping and listening to our colleagues across the globe relate how they expand access to arts and culture so we can share and apply valued lessons learned to LA’s equity and inclusion strategies for the Cultural Olympiad and the games."

The exchanges will bring WCCF member cities together to set the groundwork for policy and action as a global, cities-led cultural network. This network will identify best practices in cultural asset mapping, creating a supportive foundation for cities to improve and enhance support for culture, especially as they support arts role in cross-sector policy development and pandemic recovery. A public session will be held virtually for the Cultural Data Mapping exchange in December 2021. An in-person exchange will be explored for the Paris/LA Cultural Olympiad in 2022.

About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout LA County. The department provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations; professional development opportunities; public art commissions and the supervision of the County's civic art collection; countywide arts education initiatives; research and evaluation of the arts sector; the formation of career pathways in the creative economy; free community programs; and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. This work is framed by the County's Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative and a longstanding commitment to fostering access to the arts. For more information, please visit the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. Folow @LACountyArts on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for more information about the Department's work.

About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)
DCA advances the social and economic impact of arts and culture through grantmaking, public art, community arts, performing arts, and strategic marketing, development, design, and digital research. DCA creates and supports arts programming, maximizing relationships with other city agencies, artists, and arts and cultural nonprofit organizations to provide excellent service in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. For more information, please visit culturela.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/culturela, Instagram @culture_la, and Twitter @culture_la.

About the World Cities Culture Forum
The World Cities Culture Forum is a leading collaborative network of the world's major creative cities supporting dynamic government leadership. The Forum's members champion culture as an essential driver for the social and economic success of cities through sharing ideas and data, designing innovative and equitable policy, and advancing positive change. The World Cities Culture Forum includes 40 cities – Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Austin, Barcelona, Brasilia, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Chengdu, Dubai, Dublin, Edinburgh, Guangzhou, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Nanjing, New York, Oslo, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zurich. The World Cities Culture Forum is an initiative of the Mayor of London, convened by BOP Consulting. For more information, please visit worldcitiescultureforum.com.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 810 cities and 170 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.6 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

About Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture is an innovation partner for cultural institutions. The team provides technologies that help preserve and share culture and allow curators to create engaging exhibitions online and offline in museums. The Google Arts & Culture app is free and available on the web, on iOS and Android, allowing users to explore exhibitions from over a thousand museums.