LA Arts Recovery Fund
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the J. Paul Getty Trust initiated a $10 million fund to support Los Angeles-based nonprofit museums and visual arts organizations. Administered by the California Community Foundation (CCF), the fund awarded $2 million in emergency relief grants to 80 diverse small and mid-sized arts organizations across Los Angeles County in spring 2020.
At the same time the Getty began to work with foundations across LA to create a pooled fund to support the entire arts sector, including the performing and literary arts. This effort soon attracted national funders to join them. The result is the LA Arts Recovery Fund, the largest-ever pooled private investment for LA arts nonprofits in Los Angeles County. Grants are administered by CCF and provide significant flexible operating support for a minimum of two years to a select number of small and mid-sized LA County arts organizations with projected annual operating budgets of $10 million and below prior to March 2020. In May 2021, the Fund announced over $36 million awarded to 90 institutions.
Why Our Arts and Cultural Organizations Need This Support
LA County's more than 500 nonprofit arts organizations, along with the region's artists, are powerful contributors to the local creative economy, generating more than $203 billion annually. One of every seven jobs in Los Angeles is in a creative field, according to the 2020 Otis Report on the Creative Economy. They are also places of civic and community engagement that spark joy and inspiration and help us make meaning in the world.
Yet the outlook for arts and cultural nonprofits is grim. Surveys of local arts organizations by Americans for the Arts since the pandemic started show that in LA County, 46 percent of arts nonprofits have dipped into financial reserves, 38 percent have laid off or furloughed artists or creative workforce, 37 percent have concerns about their ability to make payroll, and 15 percent say they are not confident their organization will survive the impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has also magnified pre-existing financial and structural challenges experienced by arts nonprofits, including inequities in national arts funding among small to midsized organizations and those that serve diverse communities.
The LA Arts Recovery Fund is a coalition of local and national funders. Supporters include The Ahmanson Foundation, Vladimir & Araxia Buckhantz Foundation, California Community Foundation, Ford Theatre Foundation/LA County Dept. of Arts & Culture, J. Paul Getty Trust, Jerry and Terri Kohl, Rob Lovelace and Alicia Miñana, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Music Man Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Perenchio Family Fund, Snap Foundation and Sony Pictures Entertainment & Sony Global Relief Fund. The Fund includes a challenge grant from the Ford Foundation's America's Cultural Treasures initiative, designed to support Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression in America.
Last updated May 2021