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LACMA, LA Phil Among Recipients Of $3 Million In L.A. Cultural Affairs Grants

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Jazz at LACMA (Photo courtesy of LACMA via Facebook)
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The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, a government office devoted to promoting arts and culture in L.A., announced last week that it will invest over $3 million for nonprofit arts organizations to create over 1,150 public activities for Angelenos to partake in.

The DCA gave out a total of 270 grants to various L.A.-based nonprofit arts organizations and festival producers, including the California LGBT Arts Alliance, WriteGirl, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival, Women in Film and the Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles. Grant beneficiaries are expected to put on free and low-cost activities for L.A. residents, ranging from poetry workshops to outdoor festivals like Independent Shakespeare Co.'s Griffith Park Festival. The Pan-African Film & Arts Festival will use the DCA grant money to put on three days' worth of film screenings, while Women in Film will create a career advancement program for emerging female artists; after-school programs like WriteGirl and 826LA will put together creative writing workshops for students.

The largest grant on the DCA's list for 2017-18 was a $53,000 pledge to the LA Philharmonic, closely followed by $52,000 to CalArts and $50,000 to the Autry Museum of The American West. Hefty grants were also awarded to museums including LACMA, MOCA and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to create internships and free after-school programs.

Overall, the average grant amount was approximately $11,000, DCA Grants Administration Division Director Joe Smoke noted in a press release, and the grants were awarded by a team of peer reviewers from the Southern California community. Much of the DCA's $3 million went toward funding neighborhood programs like the Echo Park Film Center and the Valley Youth Chorus, which put on low-budget shows in their communities.

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Fear was sparked in many creative communities last spring when the Trump administration proposed eliminating federal arts budgets, but the DCA's investment in nonprofit arts around the Los Angeles area ensures that for a year, at least, L.A.'s arts programs will remain open to the public. “With this critical funding, DCA supports our nonprofit partners throughout Los Angeles in providing more access to quality arts and cultural activities to people across our great city for free or at a low cost,” DCA General Manager Danielle Brazell said in a statement last week.