90 Nonprofit Organizations Receive $36.1 Million for Post-Pandemic Rebuilding

May 20, 2021

The LA Arts Recovery Fund announced today the 90 nonprofit organizations to receive more than $36M in grants for post-pandemic rebuilding. Grant recipients span visual arts, theater, music, dance, literary arts, and arts education and serve communities throughout Los Angeles County. The Fund will provide operating support grants, ranging from $5,000 to $2 million over a period of two to three years, to small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits, ensuring that these critical community organizations can begin the recovery process and re-envision their futures.

Initiated by the J. Paul Getty Trust and administered by the California Community Foundation, the Fund is a collaboration between local and national funders and is the largest-ever pooled private investment for arts across Los Angeles County. The Fund was conceived to sustain community organizations and promote economic recovery, restore community health and wellbeing, and reaffirm the centrality of the arts in Los Angeles. Early partners include The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The traumatic events of the past year necessitated us to focus on the present and adapt to survive. But they also gave us the opportunity to pause and reflect, to reimagine our futures—ideal worlds built on shared values of equity and justice,” said Francis Cullado, Executive Director of Visual Communications Media, one of the recipients of the Fund. “Support from the LA Arts Recovery Fund is a catalyst for Visual Communications Media to reignite our work of rebuilding towards our shared future.” Visual Communications Media supports the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and media artists that empower communities and challenge perspectives.

Also among the Fund’s recipients is 18th Streets Arts Center, the largest artist residency program in Southern California. Executive Director, Jan Williamson, said of receiving the grant: “18th Street Arts Center recognizes the capacity of artmaking to transform and reimagine our communities. This award from the LA Arts Recovery Fund is transformative. Not only will it impact the lives of over 100 contemporary artists during the grant period but generations more in the decades to come. It will allow us to enhance our artist-in-residence experience and significantly expand our work with diverse community partners.”

Emmanuel Deleage, Executive Director of Fund recipient Casa 0101 Theater, said: “The LA Arts Recovery Fund is a gift from the universe. Casa 0101 has always sought to use arts as a way of healing—as a way of telling the stories that were not being told elsewhere, about uplifting and creating visibility in the Latino community. The LA Arts Recovery fund has taken a bold step to help Casa 0101 achieve its mission.” Casa 0101 Theater is dedicated to providing theater performances, art exhibits, and educational programs in the Boyle Heights neighborhood.

The Fund’s guiding principles include dedication to organizations that have been historically underrepresented and underfunded and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. More than 70% of the Fund’s 90 grantees are founded, led by, or have boards with a member majority from diverse communities.

In alignment with these principles, the Fund includes a challenge grant from the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures Regional Initiative, designed to recognize Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations that have made a significant impact on America’s cultural landscape, despite historically limited resources. The initiative seeks to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression in the United States.

Ben Guillory, Co-Founder, CEO, and Producing Artistic Director of the Robey Theatre Company, said of receiving the regional America’s Cultural Treasure designation: “This financial commitment by the Ford Foundation and the funding partners is a considerable investment in our mission to produce plays by and about the Black experience and to preserve the Black theatrical canon for generations to come. It will make a world of difference as we navigate reopening and the shifting socio-economic landscape in Los Angeles post-pandemic. We are truly grateful.”

The Fund represents an unprecedented collaboration between Los Angeles-based and national philanthropic organizations, with support from more than a dozen local and national funders. With a fundraising goal of $50M, the Fund anticipates pending and new contributions to be allocated toward additional grant funding, including technical assistance and capacity-building support to strengthen and revitalize the local arts sector.

Antonia Hernandez, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation, said: “We are proud to recognize this esteemed roster of 90 nonprofit grantees, exemplifying the breadth and depth of the arts in Los Angeles. Public and private institutions, community members, and philanthropists have come together to support these organizations in recognition of the diversity, innovation, and collaboration that sets Los Angeles arts apart nationally and worldwide. It is our hope that the LA Arts Recovery Fund will help create a more equitable and inclusive culture sector and serve as a building block toward a more resilient economy and vital future.”

Major contributors to the fund include J. Paul Getty Trust, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Jerry and Terri Kohl, The Ahmanson Foundation, Perenchio Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, California Community Foundation, The Music Man Foundation, Robert Lovelace and Alicia Miñana, Snap Foundation, Sony Pictures Entertainment & Sony Global Relief Fund, Ford Theatre Foundation and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, and The Weingart Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by Getty Patron Program & Getty Fund, The California Wellness Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Netflix, and Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation.

A Community Review Panel engaged the collective expertise of more than 50 panelists with deep knowledge of the Los Angeles arts sector to incorporate valuable community input and insights into the robust review process.

The full list of grantees can be found here.

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