In February of 2010, after a couple years of developing the program, honing our business model and having our checklist vetted by various entities, AEP signed a groundbreaking contract with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to assess and then assist all City owned cultural facilities to become green certified businesses. Since then we have been asked to be a part of Los Angeles official green business certification program, sharing administrative duties with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and Los Angeles Visitor and Tourism Board. AEP will assess and administer any business in the arts and culture sector (Museums, Theaters, Art Galleries, Dance Studio’s, Production Offices, Arts related non-profits and Cultural Centers.) LACCD will handle restaurants, garages and general offices and Los Angeles Visitor and Tourism Board will handle green hotels and lodgings. Any business that goes through AEP certification will be recognized as a green business by the City of Los Angeles. We also have the exact same arrangement with the City of Santa Monica and their green business administrator Sustainable Works. This is a powerful new system of greening businesses through non-profits rather then city departments and is unlike any in the country or world. To date we have 40 members in Los Angeles. You can see a full list here. http://artsearthpartnership.org/members/
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Arts:Earth Partnership (AEP), is a Los Angeles, California based 501 (C)(3) non-profit corporation that was organized in 2008 for the purpose of creating and administering a green business certification program specifically for cultural facilities. We are the “official” administrator for the arts and cultural sector of the Los Angeles Green Business Certification Program alongside the Los Angeles Community College District, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and the Los Angeles Visitors and Tourism Board. AEP promotes and works with arts and cultural organizations to integrate comprehensive environmental sustainability into their operations through a certification process. AEP and its partners form a powerful network of arts and arts support organizations committed to finding solutions to the serious environmental challenges that face our communities, our city and our world. The AEP certification process looks at 8 different areas of operations; • Operations and Culture • General Practices • Solid Waste • Water Efficiency and Urban Runoff • Energy Efficiency • Chemical Use and Pollution Prevention • Transportation • Landscape As the message spreads about climate change and the real dangers associated with it we realize that now is the time to make concrete changes that will create real results. AEP is uniquely qualified to lead this effort with experts that have been trained and have a history of working with the arts and sustainability. The sector has largely been ignored to this point and there are large opportunities to empower these facilities to make a difference and expand their mission as a cultural facility to include the environment. No longer will they just be a theater or a gallery. They are a theater or a gallery with a purpose and mission that includes being part of the solution and contributing positively to solutions to mitigate climate change through emissions, waste reduction, and purchasing policies. AEP is not about waiting for others, we are leading, in action and making it happen. “According to the US Census report of 2007 there are 124,624 active cultural and recreational facilities in the US.” This includes for profit and non-profit. Arts and culture provide a unique connection to the general public that other commercial businesses cannot replicate. The mission of a cultural facility is to draw audience from all walks of life and as a result, they reach the broadest diversity of individuals within a community. In another 2006 survey listed in “Creative Capitol,” it notes that the audience base of arts and cultural organizations makes up a substantial 43% of the community. In the greater Los Angeles area that is over 4 million people!