Outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has allocated $1M for a grant program that will support the arts in the Second District. The one-time grant program will be managed by the Department of Arts and Culture. To promote equity, the program will give priority to organizations that contribute to LA County diversity, and those serving underserved and communities of color, including BIPOC communities. It will be open to existing County grantees, non-grantees, emerging organizations, and creative placemaking institutions in the Second District.

Over and over again, I have seen the ways that arts organizations can uplift our communities, and have watched many of them grow and flourish in my time as a Supervisor. Now, as I leave this chapter of service, I want to embolden these incredible nonprofits and the diversity, equity, and inclusion they bring to both the people they serve and to the region’s creative economy, said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Second District. By fortifying our art and cultural infrastructure until we emerge on the other side of this health and economic crisis, we can ensure Los Angeles remains the creative capital in this country.

Nonprofits and fiscally-sponsored organizations located in the Second District, including non-arts organizations that use the arts to address social and health issues, will be eligible to apply when guidelines are released early next year. The grants will provide flexible support. With COVID-19 forcing closures and cancelations, the awards will help small- and mid-sized organizations survive the pandemic, sustain their staffs, and support services they provide to their communities, into the future. The program is intended to support new organizations as well, offering additional capacity building and peer exchange opportunities.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was a champion for the transition of the Arts Commission into the County Department of Arts and Culture, the support of the creative economy in the region, the Arts Internship Program, placing Creative Strategists in County departments, and promoting arts and culture in the community. This program will deepen investment in community-based organizations that contribute to the cultural fabric of the Second District, whether through their programming, their cultural spaces, or arts-based strategies to effect positive social change. We are proud to honor the Supervisor’s legacy and use these generous grants to lift up the arts nonprofits that serve the Second District, said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture.