An Extremely Incomplete List Of L.A. Arts Organizations That Have Benefited From NEA Funding
On Thursday, President Trump officially moved to defund the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA, along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, are among the 19 agencies that the president's 2018 budget blueprint has targeted for elimination.
Here's a list of all the L.A.-based arts organizations that received funding from the NEA in fall 2015 alone, and a rundown of what that funding paid for (the descriptions are from the NEA grant proposals, so some details may have changed).
"NEA funding is 45 cents for each American citizen. It’s such a small amount of money in the scheme of the federal budget, but it has such an impact on urban and rural communities across the country," a representative for Venice Arts, one of the organizations funded during this cycle, told LAist. "It’s elimination is really not going to save us any money on a federal scale, but it will have a detrimental effect on communities across California and across the country."
"We’ve published a few books written by high school students here in Los Angeles that were supported by the NEA," a representative from 826 LA told LAist. "Without that support, the voices and the very powerful stories of these young people living in areas of L.A. that don’t get much attention would never come to life. Shutting that out will make it harder for us to understand each other and hear the stories of marginal populations that are really challenged in our society."
- The Jazz Bakery ($25,000) • Funding supported concerts, conversations, a symposium, and workshops as part of the 2016 Jazz Masters series. NEA Jazz Masters Carla Bley, Paquito D'Rivera, and Bill Holman performed concerts at venues in Culver City, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, California and participated in community and educational events.
- EngAGE: The Art of Active Aging ($15,000) • Artists provided weekly access to arts programs in various disciplines for seniors from underserved, low-income communities in Southern California. The classes resulted in the creation of new works and culminated in numerous public arts events such as art shows, performances, readings, and radio show segments.
- KCET ($25,000) • Supported Departures: Youth Voices along the LA River, a media arts education program. Students researched their neighborhood and examined issues facing their community using media arts.
- Costa Mesa's South Coast Repertory, Inc. ($50,000) • Supported the annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, which featured world premiere productions and staged readings of previously unproduced plays by established playwrights and emerging writers.
- CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater ($10,000) • Support the creation and presentation of "SHE WHO: Frida, Mami, & Me," a collaboration between Artistic Director Ana Maria Alvarez and choreographer Marjani Forte that emerged out of the choreographers' conversations about art, gender, and their own cultural backgrounds (Latino and African-American).
- Symphonic Jazz Orchestra ($10,000) • Support a free concert that blended jazz and classical music, as well as related outreach activities. Economically disadvantaged residents were able to attend a concert featuring jazz saxophonist Ernie Watts. Outreach activities served low-income youth attending elementary schools in Long Beach and South-Central Los Angeles, as well as individuals affiliated with the local VA Hospital and a local senior community.
- Huntington Beach Municipal Art Center Foundation ($10,000) • Helped fund a Day of the Dead celebratory exhibition that showcased the cultural and historical significance of skulls and bones by local and national artists. Family-friendly arts activities, including workshops, lectures, and gallery tours, were targeted to engage the low-income and majority Latino community of Oak View, California.
- 826LA ($15,000) • Funding supported the Young Authors' Book Project, an in-depth creative writing and publishing project for high school students, which was provided free of charge at an underserved L.A. high school.
- Better Youth ($10,000) • Supported a youth-produced media showcase at the Los Angeles Film School with youth participants from media literacy and media production training programs in South Los Angeles, specifically Watts and Compton.
- Center Theatre Group ($50,000) • Helped the theater theater invest in a growing pool of diverse artists through artist-driven initiatives focused on nurturing emerging and established voices of all backgrounds. It also supported a thriving and sustainable national support system for new work. The program included playwright commissions, year-round readings and workshops of new projects in development, workshop productions of experimental new work through the DouglasPlus program, and an annual Writers' Workshop.
- Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre ($10,000) • Supported the creation and production of "Fish Eyes," a project that encompassed citywide, site-specific performances using a massive fish-like structure (The Fish), as a mechanism to raise issues of ecology and water preservation in Los Angeles and nationally.
- Cornerstone Theater Company (Fall 2015, $30,000) • Supported the tour and production of "Urban Rez" by Larissa FastHorse, an interactive and immersive production that portrayed the Native people of the Los Angeles basin and explored the effects on indigenous people when their culture, language, land, and identity were stripped away. The theater partnered with members of local tribes (Tongva, Kizh, and Gabrieleno).
- Film Independent ($25,000) • Supported the Los Angeles Film Festival; programming was accompanied by master classes, live performances, panel discussions, and a day-long conference on issues facing underserved artists.
- Heart of Los Angeles ($50,000) • Supported the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles at Heart of Los Angeles (YOLA at HOLA). An after-school, El Sistema-inspired music program, HOLA provides free ensemble-based music instruction to students in central Los Angeles. The YOLA at HOLA program is a partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is directly inspired by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel's formative experience with El Sistema, Venezuela's youth orchestra movement.
- The Industry ($12,000) • Supported the commission and premiere of a new multidisciplinary opera "Galileo" by composer Andy Akiho, which is adapted from Bertolt Brecht's play "Life of Galileo" and will be staged around an enormous bonfire on a stretch of public beach in Santa Monica, near the Santa Monica Mountains National Park in Fall 2017. (The Industry was responsible for the much-touted L.A. opera Hopscotch last year).
- LAXART ($25,000) • Supported a series of exhibitions of newly commissioned artwork produced through a residency program that encourages artists to consider Los Angeles as a city in flux, and to work outside the confines of museum or gallery spaces, creating projects that activate the city.
- Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Society ($25,000) • Supported an artist residency by cellist Joshua Roman that encompassed orchestral and solo performances, community engagement, and media initiatives. Plans included featuring Roman in Mason Bates' Cello Concerto on the mainstage and in free children's concerts, pre-concert discussions with the soloist, solo recitals on the Baroque Conversations series and in-store at Amoeba Music, elementary and high school classroom visits, radio broadcasts, and an installment of Roman's "Everyday Bach" video series shot in an iconic local setting.
- Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions ($20,000) • Support public programming and an exhibition catalogue for the group exhibition "Customizing Language," which considers current debates around immigration and border control as well as the cultural typography of Los Angeles. The exhibition catalogue, in conjunction with a series of lectures, panel discussions, and community workshops, will provide multiple points of public engagement. Additionally, video documentation and online streaming of public programs will expand the exhibition's reach.
- Los Angeles Master Chorale Association ($45,000) • Supported choral concerts with related educational activities.
- LA Opera ($70,000) • Support the world premiere of "Anatomy Theater" by composer David Lang, with libretto by Mark Dion and Lang, with performances at REDCAT in the summer of 2016.
- Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Fall 2015, $90,000) • Support in/SIGHT, a series of multimedia, collaborative productions and related educational activities.Collaborations took place between the Los Angeles Philharmonic and media artists including the Quay Brothers, Bill Viola, Alberto Arvelo, and Ars Electronica Futurelab, with related educational activities.
- Machine Project ($20,000) • Support a series of multidisciplinary events inspired by Imagine Your Parks. Machine Project worked with national and international emerging artists to create new works located within public spaces throughout Los Angeles. Artists created performances, installations, and other artworks that explore the legacy and identity of National Parks, and their role relative to community-building, as well as cultural and natural history.
- Mount Saint Mary's University (On behalf of Da Camera Society) ($15,000) • Support the presentation of the Chamber Music in Historic Sites project by the Da Camera Society. The project included community workshops, master classes, and mini-residencies.
- Kaya Press ($10,000) • Supported the publication and promotion of new books by Kaya Press. Specializing in experimental titles by writers from the Asian-American and global Asian/Pacific-Islander diaspora.
- The Music Center ($30,000) • Support the presentation of FOCUS: Hip-Hop, which illustrated both the global and local impact of hip-hop. Pre-performance talks, movement workshops, a symposium, and showcase of Los Angeles's best dance crews in Grand Park added context to the art form.
- Piece by Piece ($20,000) • Support a visiting artist series to bring artists together with homeless citizens in downtown Los Angeles. Homeless and formerly homeless residents of public housing in Skid Row and South Los Angeles participated in as many as eight multi-week workshops. Exhibitions, held at a variety of venues throughout the city, showcased the artists and their work.
- UCLA Fowler Museum ($45,000) • Support the exhibition "African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste Globalization, and Style." The Fowler published a scholarly, multi-author volume and developed public programming for people of all ages to accompany the exhibition.
- Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA ($20,000) • Supported the presentation and development of "Memory Rings," a multidisciplinary work presented with free educational and engagement activities, including lectures, discussions, workshops/master classes, interactive walking tours, and public art-making activities.
- Ryman Arts ($25,000) • Supported pre-professional studio art classes for high school students, which were taught by experienced artists and offered free of charge.
- Self Help Graphics & Art ($20,000) • Support Self Help's Annual Dia de los Muertos Arts and Cultural Programming, which included community art workshops, an exhibition, and a public procession marking the holiday and a day-long festival featuring live music, craft vendors, elaborate altars, and traditional foods.
- Sri Lanka Foundation ($25,000) • Support the Sri Lanka Day Festival, a cultural festival and parade that involves Los Angeles's Sri Lankan community presenting the folk arts of the South Asian country.
- TAIKOPROJECT ($20,000) • Master artist Chieko Kojima conducted a residency and collaborated in producing a new work, inspired by the ancient Japanese folk tale "The Road to Kumano." The performance combined Japanese folk dance and taiko drumming.
- The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company ($15,000) • Supported the Youth Theater Residency Program. Focused on youth in the juvenile justice system and those placed under foster care, the project served at-risk youth of all ages.
- Visual Communications ($25,000) • Supported the 32nd L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival.
- Project X Foundation for Art and Criticism (aka X-TRA) ($20,000) • Supported the reviews section of "X-TRA Magazine," a quarterly visual arts publication.
- Valley Performing Arts Center ($20,000) • Supported the creation and premiere of "Two Dancers. Two Musicians. Infinite Possibilities."
- Armory Center for the Arts ($40,000) • Supported theater work and an exhibition on issues relating to poverty for a performance created by John Malpede and the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) and staged at The Armory. Artists researched studies of urban planning, housing data, incarceration, and the personal experiences of inmates.
- Red Hen Press ($20,000) • Support the publication and promotion of books of poetry and nonfiction.
- City of San Fernando, California ($55,000) • Support the Mariachi Apprentice Program, including after-school and weekend apprenticeships. Focusing on serving primary and secondary school students from underserved communities, the curriculum is intended to instill a sense of self-confidence, pride, and identity while providing an outlet for cultural expression, and celebrate the Mexican heritage that represents residents and surrounding communities
- Grand Vision ($10,000) • Supported Japanese Taiko drumming workshops and associated activities in San Pedro, with professionally-led workshops offered to students, a majority of whom are Latino immigrants, participating in English-as-a-second-language immersion courses at a local adult learning center. Workshops culminated in a free world music concert where students performed as the opening act.
- 18th Street Arts Center ($10,000) • Support artist residencies and related activities and the creation of a cultural asset map that identifies community resources and documents arts-friendly partners, such as schools, businesses, and individuals.
- KCRW ($75,000) • Supported the Independent Producer Project, which provides opportunities for radio producers, performers, writers, and artists to create new work that is then distributed through KCRW's broadcast and digital platforms. Series that have developed from the program include "Unfictional" and "Strangers."
- Santa Monica Museum of Art ($40,000) • Supported the exhibition "Norm Laich: This Brush for Hire," and an accompanying catalogue.
- Santa Monica Symphony ($10,000) • Supported a performance project celebrating the legacy of American contralto Marian Anderson.
- TeAda Productions ($10,000) • Supported the creation and production of "Masters of the Currents," a new work exploring recent immigration in Hawaii and created through community-based story gathering and devised theater techniques.
- Tierra del Sol Foundation ($20,000) • Supported an exhibition series and professional fine arts training in Sunland for adults with developmental disabilities.
- City Hearts ($15,000) • Supported the full-year program, Setting the Stage-Arts Learning For Life. Teachers experienced in both their artistic field and teaching high needs students led classes in dance, theater, photography, and music at Title I and charter schools, youth and family community agencies, and transitional homes and centers throughout Los Angeles County. Students showcased their work for a supportive and diverse community audience at an outdoor Shakespeare theater.
- CalArts ($45,000) • Supported the creation and presentation of contemporary performances as part of the 20/20 Interdisciplinary Initiative at REDCAT.
- Venice Arts ($10,000) • Supported an arts mentoring program. Youth received free, technologically intensive arts instruction and mentoring support for submitting their work to exhibitions, competitions, and festivals.
With additional reporting by Layla Halabian