Arts & Culture organizations have been hard hit by COVID-19 closures

According to a 2020 report on the Creative Economy in California, one out of every seven jobs in Los Angeles is in a creative field, be that art, music, studio production, theater, or anything related. Those jobs generate an estimated $203 billion annually in LA County.

Creatives have been hit hard by the pandemic, and while it is necessary endure the closures, it’s been a particularly difficult struggle for those who cannot continue their work digitally. According to a survey by Americans for the Arts, one in seven arts organizations in the county are not sure they will be able to continue their work due to the impacts of the pandemic.

“This has devastated the sector and so we’ve heard from hundreds of organizations. We also know artists and others, creative workers they employ really looking for relief and ways to get to recovery,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director, LA County Department of Arts & Culture.

The J. Paul Getty Trust, the trust behind the Getty Museum, is organizing a rescue effort for those floundering organizations. They have established the LA Arts Recovery Fund with an initial $38.5 million endowment to give grants to small and midsized art-based nonprofits some much-needed financial relief.

“This is a collaboration of many local foundations and also national foundations to support the infrastructure of our nonprofit community in the arts,” said Antonia Hernandez, CEO of the California Community Foundation, which will oversee dispensation of the grants to those who qualify.

“We want to move past relief and into recovery,” said Wendy Garen, from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. To that end, the grants are unrestricted, giving recipients a free hand to spend the money however needed without onerous oversight.

Criteria for eligible organizations includes:

  • Nonprofit status
  • Located in and serving LA County
  • Principle offices in LA County
  • Primary mission providing art and culture programming
  • Has existed for at least 3 years
  • Operating budget under $10 million
  • Has a Board of Directors

Other criteria and application information for the LA Arts Recovery Fund can be found here.

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