April 12, 2023
Kristin Friedrich, Director of Communications
LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant Launches, Delivering $1.2M to Performing Arts Field
Online application open April 12 – May 10, 2023
Photo courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center.
As part of its ongoing relief and recovery initiatives, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture launches the LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant this week, designed to support the region’s performing arts sector. With it, the department will deliver $1.2 million in one-time funding to artists, independent producers, and organizations that have a demonstrated history of developing, producing, and/or presenting work in the performing arts disciplines, including dance, music, theater, folk, and traditional arts.
Grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded through a competitive application process to applicants who have a supportive regional audience, play a meaningful role in the local arts ecosystem, reflect the cultural and geographic diversity of LA County, and propose project activities that meet the goals of the initiative. Funded projects will support the creation, documentation, and presentation of new or existing artistic work.
Unlike many of the department’s grants, this program includes eligibility for individual artists and producers based in LA County. Small and mid-size performing arts organizations are also eligible—including nonprofits, for-profits, fiscally sponsored organizations, and producing collectives that perform regularly throughout the region at various indoor and outdoor venues or as part of a festival. Funding for the grant originated from the County’s previous operation of the Ford Theatre and the now dissolved Ford Theatres Foundation. The grant is administered on the department’s behalf by the Center for Cultural Innovation.
“The LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant will strengthen the ongoing recovery and creative capacity of the performing arts field through flexible funding support that centers the artistic and creative process,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture. “Dance, theater, and music makers engage our humanity through the performing arts. These artists, and the creative collaborators and arts organizations that partner with and present them, play a vital role in our arts ecology, yet they’ve been hard hit by the pandemic and other losses. This grant will address key needs in the field—providing funding that can be used to create, document, and present artistic work, access venues and rehearsal spaces, pay artist fees and living wages, utilize media and technology, amplify underrepresented voices, and engage audiences. As a former dancer and performing artist myself, I am especially pleased to carry on the County’s longstanding support for performing arts.”
Background on LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Department of Arts and Culture has supported the relief and recovery of the arts and creative sector of the region, in addition to its ongoing programs. The LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant initiative is part of this work. Funding for this grant traces back to the John Anson Ford Theatres, owned by the County of Los Angeles and previously operated by the LA County Arts Commission (now the Department of Arts and Culture) in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Ford Theatre Foundation. Over decades of performances, programs, and support, the Ford Theatres were known for sustaining diverse artists and audiences. In 2016, the Ford Theatres separated from the Arts Commission, and in December 2019, the operation of the Ford Theatres was transferred to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. As part of the dissolution of the Ford Theatre Foundation in 2020, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved remaining Ford Theatre Foundation funds to be transferred to the Department of Arts and Culture to establish a non-renewable regrant fund to support the region’s diverse performing artists, producers, and organizations.
In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic disruption began, with the performing arts sector hard hit by shutdowns, losses, and revenue and audiences still lagging significantly today from pre-pandemic levels, even as other sectors of the LA County creative economy are recovering. The pandemic also disproportionately negatively impacted communities of color and those already facing barriers, historic disinvestment, and systemic inequity. Artists and other creative workers in the performing arts identifying as female and BIPOC, among others, have also seen disproportionate impacts on employment, opportunities, and wages.
The initiative aims to carry on the spirit of the former Ford Theatre Foundation and support the mission and vision of the Department of Arts and Culture, and work done through a lens of cultural equity and inclusion.
About the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County. It provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, countywide arts education initiatives, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research and evaluation, pathways to the creative economy, professional development, free community programs, and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. For more information, visit lacountyarts.org
About the Center for Cultural Innovation
The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) was founded in 2001 as a California 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Its mission is to support individuals in the arts—artists, culture bearers, and creative entrepreneurs—to realize greater self-determination so as to unfetter their productivity, free expression, and social impact, which contributes to shaping our collective national identity in ways that reflect the diversity of society.