PRESS RELEASE: Los Angeles Launches Artists Relief Fund

LOS ANGELES - The City of Los Angeles launched its artists relief fund today, providing one-time funding of $500 to $1,500 to artists in the City of Los Angeles until September 1, 2020 or after the first 600 applicants. The Citywide COVID-19 Emergency Response Program for Individual Artists, administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the first COVID-19 relief fund specifically geared toward individual artists.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

August 12, 2020

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

Los Angeles Launches Artists Relief Fund

LOS ANGELES - The City of Los Angeles launched its artists relief fund today, providing one-time funding of $500 to $1,500 to artists in the City of Los Angeles until September 1, 2020 or after the first 600 applicants. The Citywide COVID-19 Emergency Response Program for Individual Artists, administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the first COVID-19 relief fund specifically geared toward individual artists.

“Local artists and arts nonprofits are the creative heart of Los Angeles,” Councilmember Ryu said. “The work of writers, musicians, painters and all artists help make Los Angeles the vibrant and dynamic city we love. We need to be supporting these artists - and finding new ways to bring their creativity to the public.”

The $340,000 fund was created after Councilmember David Ryu introduced a motion seeking to repurpose his council district’s Arts Development Fee (ADF) fund, which are dollars that come to each council district from commercial development that can be used to support arts projects, facilities, and arts education programs that are free or low-cost and accessible to the public.

"As a creative capital, Los Angeles must ensure that artists are able to access funding to help weather the pandemic, its economic aftermath, and envision a new social contract that places people and community at the center,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The idea was first put forward by Councilmember Ryu in April, and was supported by Arts for LA and 147 local arts organizations, who wrote in an open letter to the City that “Councilmember Ryu’s motion will allow artists and performers an opportunity to provide a tangible community benefit that the COVID-19 pandemic effectively decimated.” 

"Los Angeles' arts and culture economy is facing a prolonged recession, and supporting the city's innovators is critical to the sector's recovery. Arts for LA is proud to work closely with Councilmember David Ryu and the Department of Cultural Affairs to ensure this funding is made available to artists now, and we look forward to the launch of the Arts Relief Fund program for arts organizations,” said Gustavo Herrera, Executive Director of Arts for LA.

The Arts for LA letter and Councilmember Ryu’s original motion invited that other Council Districts were welcome to join, which would expand the size and scope of the program. 

Councilmembers Cedillo, Blumenfield, Koretz, Harris Dawson, Wesson, and Buscaino added their ADF fund dollars as well.

The fund was created with a focus on individual artists, with an emphasis on supporting minority artists and artists of color. To qualify, artists must demonstrate financial need and detrimental impact caused by COVID-19, such as an inability to pay rent or bills. Funds are available to artists of all kinds, including DJs, writers, visual artists and more, and can be used to help bring more art to the public, such as galleries creating an online showing, dance studios launching online lessons, or film festivals creating a virtual screening.

Councilmember Ryu also introduced a motion today seeking to allocate $20 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to the Department of Cultural Affairs to backfill funding gaps and support the department and local arts organizations.

Artists can learn more about the fund and apply 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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