ARTIST AND ACTIVIST PATRISSE CULLORS JOINS DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE’S ADVISORY BODY, THE ARTS COMMISSION
The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) has announced artist, best-selling author, and community organizer Patrisse Cullors has joined its Arts Commission, the LA County Board of Supervisors’ longstanding advisory body for the arts. The Commission seats 15 members, diverse arts community leaders chosen by the Board of Supervisors to represent each of the five districts in the County. Cullors was appointed by Supervisor to the Second District, Holly J. Mitchell.
To the Commission, which supports and advocates for Arts and Culture, Cullors brings a multi-faceted practice at the intersection of art and activism. She is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, artist, abolitionist, and Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network, an international organization that grew out of the Black Lives Matter movement that she began in 2013. TIME named Cullors one of the 100 most influential people in 2020.
Cullors has led multiple Los Angeles-based organizations, including Dignity and Power Now, Justice LA, and Reform LA Jails. She co-founded the Crenshaw Dairy Mart, an artist collective and gallery in Inglewood and the Second Supervisorial District with a mission "dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic justice, bridging cultural work and advocacy, and investing ancestries through the lenses of Inglewood and its communities."
As the faculty director of Arizona’s Prescott College’s new Social and Environmental Arts Practice MFA program, Cullors developed a curriculum focused on the intersection of art, social justice, and community organizing that is the first of its kind in the nation. In 2020, Cullors signed an overall production deal with Warner Brothers, where she intends to continue to uplift Black stories, talent and creators that are transforming the world of art and culture.
"Art is a powerful tool in helping to connect, envision and create a better world. Patrisse has demonstrated her understanding of this and has experience using various mediums of art and community engagement to inspire and create change. Patrisse shares my commitment to equity and justice and will use her creativity to make arts and culture more accessible for residents throughout the Second District," said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. "I look forward to working with her as one of our Arts Commissioners in ensuring that all communities are uplifted and empowered by the arts."
"Arts Commissioners play a crucial role as ambassadors and advocates for arts and cultural resources throughout Los Angeles County. They have a particular eye on arts equity, and the ways that the arts build communities. Patrisse Cullors, given her work in equity and justice, is a timely, exciting addition to the Commission," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District.
"I am deeply excited that Patrisse Cullors is joining the Arts Commission. She is an artist, an activist, a contributor to our cultural and creative economy, who is both rooted locally and known globally, and her work in racial equity and justice shows she has keen understanding of how to use art as a tool for change. All of these are relevant to our work, from supporting arts organizations and civic artists to advancing cultural equity through arts education and expanding pathways to creative careers. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with her to increase the visibility and the reach of arts and culture in Los Angeles County," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture.
"I am invested and committed to weaving community solidarity in the Second District, and more broadly in Los Angeles County, through art and culture," said Patrisse Cullors. "We can create meaningful change by investing in our imaginations and collective skills, give dollars towards beautifying our communities with art that is for us and by us, and continue to educate and amplify what justice can look at if we first invest in ourselves. All of these areas of work are areas that the Department of Arts and Culture is also committed to, and I am very excited to join this collaboration as an Arts Commissioner."