Four years ago, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed the LA County Department of Arts and Culture to conduct
a constructive County-wide conversation about ways to improve diversity in cultural organizations for all LA County residents. The conversation that unfolded was built on community voices and input, and in 2017, we released the Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative (CEII).
The pursuit of cultural equity and inclusion means bringing about a time when all artistic and cultural practices are recognized, included, and supported equitably. Our charge as a department is to develop programs and policies relating to arts and culture, with support such as grants, arts education, career pathways, training, civic art, and research and evaluation. Fostering cultural equity and inclusion is in our DNA, and our vision is to see LA county as a region where arts, culture, and creativity are integral to all aspects of civic life for all people and communities. We are privileged to support, resource, and glean inspiration from the work of our many partners and grantees in the cultural community.
Below, are just a few examples of how we are doing just that:
Implementing the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative
CEII included 13 actionable recommendations to further greater diversity, equity, inclusion and access to the cultural ecology. The Board of Supervisors funded and directed implementation of the first five recommendations. This direction has shaped much of Arts and Culture's activities over the last two years, including:
Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Cultural Field
Beyond The Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative
In 2018, Arts and Culture was named one of 32 members of the Art for Justice Fund's national cohort in support of our Arts and Youth Development Project—a project whose aim is to provide arts-based programs and services for those impacted—or at risk of becoming impacted—by the criminal justice system.
Increasing our Internal Capacity for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Cultural equity and inclusion are not only an initiative, they are values and practices we strive to embed in our work across all program areas of our department. We work within and beyond the four corners of the CEII report and recommendations.