(Above) Artwork Courtesy of LA Commons.
SECOND DISTRICT RECOVERY GRANTS AWARDED TO 80 ORGANIZATIONS IN SOUTH AND CENTRAL LOS ANGELES, BUILDING EQUITY AND INCLUSION THROUGH ARTS AND CULTURE
To support nonprofits in South and Central Los Angeles as they recover from COVID-19 losses, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture has awarded grants to 80 nonprofit organizations in the $1M Second Supervisorial District Recovery Grant.
The one-time program was designed with a cultural equity lens and eligibility requirements that were intentionally expansive—arts organizations could apply, but so could organizations that use the arts to address social and health issues, and to confront systemic and racial injustices. Application criteria included arts programming that contributes to the cultural fabric of the Second District, advances positive social change, and is responsive to the community, particularly underserved and Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, and communities of color. Nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations in the district were eligible to apply.
The resulting grant pool includes 80 diverse organizations that reach underserved communities in a variety of ways, including performing and visual arts, art services and education, and social justice advocacy. The award amounts range from $800-$14,700, and the program also includes a capacity building component so that the grantee organizations can access the Department of Art and Culture’s professional development resources and a Second District recovery grantee peer exchange opportunity to support capacity building, strengths-based learnings, and social networks among awardees.
"The Second District’s nonprofits have faced great hardship over the last two years, and their layoffs and closures are not insular—their COVID-19 losses reverberate out through the communities that these organizations serve. It is time to heal. The Second District has long championed organizations working at the intersection of arts, culture, and social justice. This unique recovery grant allows them to continue to grow the equity, access, and inclusion that the arts and arts services can bring," said Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Chair, Holly J. Mitchell.
"Arts and culture play a critical role in Los Angeles County and our communities," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. "This recovery program was designed to help small- and mid-sized nonprofits in the Second District both survive the pandemic and increase their ongoing sustainability by combining funding with capacity building and peer exchange opportunities. When we support local arts and culture organizations, we also lift up the communities—historically underfunded and hit hardest by COVID-19—so many of these organizations serve. This grant continues our pandemic support for the LA County arts field, and we look forward to offering more creative recovery opportunities in the year ahead."
"We are thankful to Supervisor Holly Mitchell for understanding the increased financial needs of cultural organizations created by the COVID pandemic. Celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, this grant will allow Pan African Film Festival to give our audience the option to attend PAFF either physically or view the films online," said Ayuko Babu, Executive Director, Pan African Film Festival..
"Over the last two years of this pandemic, not only have BIPOC artists, their families and their communities been hit especially hard, but we have been called to action," said Leilani Chan, Artistic Director, TeAda Productions. "In addition to facing serious health vulnerabilities in already at-risk communities, social justice issues from BLM to anti-Asian hate necessitates artistic responses to help create dialogue and healing. The challenge of both not being able to meet in person nor gather in large groups has put a particular strain on theatre companies, arts organizations, and artists who thrive on working in and with community. Yet to pivot to digital formats to continue to create and connect with our audiences has been crucial throughout the pandemic. With the support of this funding, TeAda's artists have been able to pivot our creative practice, rise to the occasion and continue to provide opportunities to connect, dialogue, and heal."
"The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture has been a rock-solid partner in Destination Crenshaw’s mission to be an economic incubator for South Los Angeles’s artist community, and the County’s investment will make a significant impact on Crenshaw’s creative economy," said Jason Foster, President and COO at Destination Crenshaw. "We’ve committed these resources to hiring early and mid-career Black and Brown artists, who now have an opportunity to contribute to the rich cultural fabric of our community by participating in our mini-mural project along the Crenshaw Corridor during every phase of project construction."
"Working in South LA, we witnessed the worst effects of COVID-19. We have also seen how artistic participation has been a salve in this difficult time, enabling our youth and community members to come together, to express their pain but also their hope and to heal together," said Karen Mack, Executive Director of LA Commons. "We are so grateful for the arts recovery grant from Supervisor Holly Mitchell's office as it recognizes this power of the arts, providing us with support to activate young people as leaders in a creative community effort to imagine a better future—gathering stories and transforming them into art as the basis for Creating Our Next LA."