PRESS RELEASE: Councilmember Ryu To Introduce Motion for Artist Relief Fund

LOS ANGELES - Following unprecedented job loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Councilmember David Ryu announced today new legislation to repurpose Arts Development Fee (ADF) funds earmarked for Council District Four into an Artist Relief and Grant Fund, which would provide small grants to artists and arts nonprofits located or working in the district. Councilmember Ryu, who chairs the City Council Committee on Arts, is also seeking to amend City law to make it easier to repurpose ADF funds into additional emergency relief funds for artists and arts nonprofits.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

April 6, 2020

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

 

Councilmember Ryu To Introduce Motion for Artist Relief Fund

Legislation Supported by More Than 140 Arts Organizations

LOS ANGELES - Following unprecedented job loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Councilmember David Ryu announced today new legislation to repurpose Arts Development Fee (ADF) funds earmarked for Council District Four into an Artist Relief and Grant Fund, which would provide small grants to artists and arts nonprofits located or working in the district. Councilmember Ryu, who chairs the City Council Committee on Arts, is also seeking to amend City law to make it easier to repurpose ADF funds into additional emergency relief funds for artists and arts nonprofits.

“Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world, but our creatives are suffering right now,” Councilmember Ryu said. “The economic turmoil caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has put thousands out of work and arts nonprofits at risk of permanent closure - all while we have arts funds sitting idle. We are in an economic emergency, and we need to repurpose these funds now to save our creative economy from permanent, lasting damage.”

A coalition of 147 arts organizations in Los Angeles signed a letter in support of the legislation, calling for it to be expanded citywide. Arts for LA, a nonprofit network of Los Angeles artists and arts organizations, penned the letter.

“One-in-six jobs in Los Angeles are in the creative sector, and despite the enormity of the industry, COVID-19 has effectively brought all jobs in the arts and culture field to a standstill. Thank you, Councilmember Ryu, for taking swift action to support the vital artists and organizations devastated by the outbreak,” said Winifred Neisser, Board Chair of Arts for LA.

Council District Four’s current ADF fund totals more than $1.2 million, which Councilmember Ryu would like to see converted into a fund that would assist artists and arts nonprofits in creating artwork and performances available to the public online. Councilmember Ryu also sent a letter to Department of Cultural Affairs General Manager Danielle Brazel today urging an immediate repurposing of the Council District Four ADF funds into emergency grants.

Councilmember Ryu’s motion also instructs the Department of Cultural Affairs to report back on how the program could be scaled up in the future. Since ADF funds are tied to each Council District, Councilmember Ryu’s funding could only be spent on artists and nonprofits who live or work in Council District Four. The total ADF funds available citywide is more than $10.9 million.

The ADF Program, managed by the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, has existed for nearly 30 years as a way to promote the expansion of public art. Developers of commercial projects costing more than $500,000 are required to pay into the program, to support the creation of public art, art restoration, festivals, and more. 

Of the 294 arts projects currently identified for ADF funds, only 25 are not earmarked for special events or arts festivals - all of which have been or likely will be cancelled or postponed during this Coronavirus pandemic which limits public gatherings. 

Read the letter from Councilmember Ryu here.

Read the letter signed by local arts organizations here.

Artists and arts organizations based in Council District Four that are interested in grant funding, please click here.

 

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Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys. 

 


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