Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (LA)

County Arts Leadership
2001

Support for the arts in Los Angeles County exceeds $35 million annually. We believe this to be the largest monetary support of the arts by any county in the United States. All five County Supervisors are active supporters of the arts.

Under the Board, the Arts Commission's budget has increased from less than $900,000 in 1992 to more than $5 million in 2001. Allocations to the grant programs have tripled. The Board created the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in 1947. It is the second oldest local arts agency in the state.

The Board designated the Hollywood Bowl, a County Regional Park, as a summer home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic 75 years ago. Over the past decade, the Board allocated more than $25 million in capital improvement funds to the Hollywood Bowl and the Ford Amphitheatre, bringing both facilities up to modern production standards and insuring ADA access.

The Board donated the land for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Music Center of Los Angeles County in the 1960s (which are both now County departments), and for Disney Hall in the 1990s. The Board provided critical leadership to complete funding for this Gehry-designed landmark symphony hall and provided a $95 million parking garage.

The Board provided leadership to create and fund the Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program. In a new partnership creating the nation's largest arts internship program, the Arts Commission joined with the J. Paul Getty Trust to jointly award over $1 million for visual, performing, and literary arts summer internships throughout Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program awarded $519,840 to fund 127 performing and literary arts internships at 66 organizations in 2000.

Through the County's Productivity Investment Fund, the Supervisors funded the creation of an Arts Education Hub in partnership with the Los Angeles County Board of Education, whose board is also appointed by the Supervisors. The hub will work to implement sequential arts education in all K-12 public schools in the County. This program will reach 1.7 million children, 3.4% of the children in public schools in the country.  Members of the Board of Supervisors co-founded the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and provide district-specific grant programs for arts education programs.

In addition to direct monetary support, the Board of Supervisors has found ways to creatively provide access to the arts for County residents, including use of transportation funds to provide park and ride shuttles to the Hollywood Bowl and Ford Amphitheatre, as well as transportation to museums and performing arts events for County youth and senior citizens.