Arts for LA

Our 2012 Annual Report and a comprehensive list of our organizational benchmarks are available at Our work demonstrates the impact of advocacy by parents, students, teachers, small business owners, and government, corporate, and private foundation supporters. During 2012, 4,538 unique arts advocates sent 16,259 letters to policymakers through the Arts for LA website on 12 local campaigns. Our most recent advocacy success was the unanimous passage of the “Arts at the Core” resolution by the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) on October 9, 2012. The resolution affirms and protects arts education as core curriculum, like science and math, and its impact has been nationwide. Arts for LA has been contacted by education advocates in New York City and Chicago who want to pursue similar resolutions for their districts. This success is even more remarkable considering that in December 2011, LAUSD had announced its plans to eliminate arts education for elementary students in response to budget cuts. Throughout the spring of 2012, Arts for LA devoted its communication platform to generate public awareness of the issue, and our efforts resulted in 4,928 letters to LAUSD’s school board members and Superintendent Dr. John Deasy, PhD. In June, LAUSD reached an agreement that restored arts education for elementary school students, which laid the foundation for passage of the “Arts at the Core” resolution. The success of our campaigns has demonstrated the value and role of advocacy, not only for arts and culture groups, but for nonprofits of all disciplines. In 2012, the Los Angeles City Admin. Office recommended the city abolish a program that allows a number of nonprofits to pay $1 rent per year on city-owned buildings, instead of market rate rent. This measure would save the city $3 million, but endanger, if not eliminate, the nonprofits that provide health, arts, education, conservation, and other human services to vulnerable populations. Arts for LA rallied arts organizations and other community stakeholders such as LA Conservation Corps, ONE Generation, People Coordinated Services, West LA FamilySource Center, and others. Through the Arts for LA communications platform, over 3,000 advocates wrote to the LA City Council urging them to require a public hearing, including an economic impact statement on the nonprofit infrastructure. The City Council agreed, and the proposal has not been pursued since our stakeholders took action. Campaigns such as this have generated thoughtful responses to advocates from public officials, while the focus on positive, solutions-based advocacy has earned the organization and its network of advocates the respect of local policymakers, who are increasingly willing to meet with organizational leadership. Arts for LA believes these indicators point to a more engaged and empowered creative community, and policymakers who are recognizing the role of arts & culture in the health of the region.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Creative Capital: A campaign for a healthy & prosperous Los Angeles

    Creative Capital LA: a campaign for a healthy and prosperous Los Angeles County. Creative Capital LA is a public campaign to leverage the public investment in arts and culture to produce a successful and thriving Los Angeles County. With more and more research (LA2050, Otis Report, LA Stage Alliance’s Arts Census) showing that a robust arts & culture core reaps advances in education, business, and civic life, we are committed to supporting a future in which arts & culture are an essential part of the solution to building America’s Creative Capital – this year, and every year, to 2050 and beyond. Los Angeles has long been a beacon for big thinkers, dreamers, and innovators. We are the home of the second largest community of artists in the United States, the center of the film and music industries, the home for 5,000 fashion firms, and the epicenter of a creative movement building “Silicon Beach” alongside a vibrant core of creative small businesses. Now, all of us—educators, artists, lawmakers, business owners, creative workers, and arts lovers can unite under a single banner tailored for our individual neighborhood, community, or city, one that pulls us all together to complete the unique mosaic of creativity that is Los Angeles County. To launch Creative Capital LA, Arts for LA proposes a public engagement campaign to identify and celebrate the ways “Creative Capital” defines Los Angeles County. For the campaign, Creative Capital can be understood as a noun: a person, place, or thing. • CREATIVE CAPITAL is a person who creates or innovates. • CREATIVE CAPITAL is a place that nurtures creativity, fosters innovation, and embraces the imagination. • CREATIVE CAPITAL is a thing that enables creation or innovation (technology, infrastructure, materials like paint or musical instruments, public policies). Creative Capital LA will provide online tools and materials for individuals and groups to actively engage with each other, with their own communities, and with the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. We will ask people to submit images (or videos) of people, places, and things with one of three captions: “I Am Creative Capital”; “We Are Creative Capital”; and “Los Angeles is Creative Capital.” The range of possible images will reflect the diversity and creativity of Los Angeles: a child learning to play a violin, a class of middle school students working on a mural at their school, church choirs, dance groups, an architect in front of Disney Hall, book festivals, film crews, a fashion show by emerging designers, and so on. The collection of images will translate the concept of “Creative Capital” into a visual representation that will instill pride, inspiration, and social connection among those who call Los Angeles County home. The impact of this campaign on the indicator of Arts & Culture Vitality will be both personal and collective. Those who participate in Creative Capital LA will be engaged to express their commitment to and participation in arts and culture, and those who view these expressions will, in turn, be inspired and possibly motivated to engage themselves in the arts. Collectively, Los Angeles will generate an atmosphere to strengthen our arts & culture ecology and will signal to the rest of the country, and the world, how an abundance of creativity and innovation can produce a successful and thriving city.