Los Angeles County arts nonprofits will benefit from a record $38.5 million recovery fund, the result of a collaboration between local and national philanthropic organizations, it was announced Tuesday.
The LA Arts Recovery Fund pools contributions from more than a dozen organizations to provide multi-year operating support for small and medium-sized arts groups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — those with smaller budgets that play vital roles in their communities.
Initiated by the J. Paul Getty Trust and administered by the California Community Foundation, a longtime collaborator in supporting the arts in Los Angeles, the fund has attracted local and national contributions to help bolster the local arts scene and its relevance worldwide.
The fund will provide organizations with access to technical assistance and capacity-building support. Donors are asked to join the effort to increase the pool to a goal of $50 million.
“Los Angeles’ arts organizations embody the diverse cultures of our region and are critical to making us one of the most vibrant, innovative, and collaborative arts communities in the nation,” said Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, an operating program of the Getty Trust. “By organizing the LA Arts Recovery Fund, we’re mirroring their commitment to collaboration, coming together to provide what we hope will be meaningful support at a time when the very existence of these organizations is threatened. In the process, we hope to help create a more equitable and inclusive arts sector for the future.”
The pandemic has taken a toll on arts and cultural nonprofits. Surveys by Americans for the Arts show that almost half of the county’s arts nonprofits have dipped into financial reserves and one-third have laid off or furloughed staff. One in seven say they are not confident their organization will survive the impacts of COVID-19.
“This is a defining moment for Los Angeles,” said Wendy Garen, president and CEO of The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, which is among supporters of the fund. “Our region runs on creativity, and all the arts are interconnected. The LA Arts Recovery Fund represents a down payment on the robust arts community we need, now and after the pandemic. Investing in our community’s cultural and arts organizations today is an investment in a more resilient economy and vital future for the entire region.”
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