American Rescue Plan Grant, Panelists, 'Memory in Futurity,' and more!
American Rescue Plan Grant, Panelists, 'Memory in Futurity,' and more!
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LA County Department of Arts and Culture
A Message From Our Director

"Wee Nehiinkem—All my Relatives" by Mercedes Dorame.

Earlier this month, a motion authored by Chair Hilda L. Solis proclaimed November as Native American Heritage Month. In keeping with Los Angeles County’s priority of cultural and racial equity, and in recognition of our American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities, this month I feature our ongoing collaboration with the LA City/County Native American Indian Commission (NAIC).

In 2020, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Countywide Cultural Policy, a Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative recommendation that calls for the County to "identify ways to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land at County public events and ceremonial functions and celebrate the contributions of culture bearers and traditional arts practices of diverse communities."

To move this work forward, we are excited to work with lead partner NAIC on the development of a Land Acknowledgement policy, protocol, and toolkit for LA County. Acknowledging the First Peoples upon whose unceded land this County now sits is just one piece of the County’s work with local tribes and the AIAN community, part of a broader effort to address truth, reconciliation, and healing, gain a better understanding of the history of the region, and develop a set of Land Access policies and protocols.

In addition, today we will open a new opportunity for our next Creative Strategist residency with NAIC, please see below for more details. Other work in our department includes a recent collaboration with NAIC and AIAN community members to host a grants workshop to expand access to arts funding and deepen dialogue on inclusion in the field and an upcoming exploration on how we can expand artist pathways to public art. We know we have more work to do to make these opportunities more accessible to AIAN artists and organizations and uplift their good work. We look forward to the journey.

As always, we're pleased to support the field. I take this opportunity to give a shout out to Pukúu Cultural Community Services, as well as grantee partners Cornerstone Theater Company and the Autry Museum of the American West for their work with Native American communities.

Finally, if you did not get a chance to explore it when it debuted last year, I encourage you to check out the Memory and Futurity in Yaangna Civic Art project on our website. Grab your VR goggles and watch the virtual reality film, Birthplace of the People.

I am proud of our Department's work to advance arts, culture, and creativity, together with our partners at the NAIC the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the unprecedented steps the County is taking to uplift the true histories of Los Angeles County and prioritize equity for all of our communities.

In gratitude,
Kristin Sakoda

Arts and Culture Receives American Rescue Plan | National Endowment for the Arts
We are extremely happy to announce that the Department of Arts and Culture has been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. We will distribute the $500,000 award to arts service organizations that are current grantees through the Organizational Grant Program to support existing jobs, new jobs, or to support restoration of jobs that were furloughed or eliminated due to the pandemic, with a focus on positions that directly support cultural equity and inclusion work and efforts at these organizations. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20.2M to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for sub-granting. We will share more details soon!
View Full List of Grantees

Call For Artists: Creative Strategist | LA City/County Native American Indian Commission

LA County, We Rise - Walk for Wellness community pop up event at Earvin Magic Johnson Park.
The Department of Arts and Culture and the LA City/County Native American Indian Commission (NAIC) seek a Creative Strategist to work in partnership with NAIC as an artist-in-residence. This one-year residency will focus on increasing awareness, deepening understanding, and celebrating the diversity of local tribes and the LA County American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) community, in particular their histories and cultural practices, and will develop strategies and recommendations that contribute to building and sustaining trust between LA County and the AIAN community.
Learn More
Apply Now
Deadline For Submissions: December 27, 2021 | 11:59PM (PST)

A recommendation of the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, the Creative Strategist program places artists in County departments to work alongside staff, project partners, and community stakeholders in a collaborative process to develop, strategize, promote, and implement artist-driven solutions to complex social challenges. The program supports the Countywide Cultural Policy and serves as a model for arts-based, cross-sector projects and community engagement with County departments to support equity across all domains of civic life.
Learn More

End of Year Report | Arts Ed Collective

Staff and artists from the Arts for Healing and Justice Network (AHJN) and member organizations.
Image by Sylvanus Leone. Courtesy of AHJN.
The Arts Ed Collective’s 2020-21 End of Year Report documents how collaborating partners have navigated the pandemic and how the strategies that drive this work have shifted. With last year's adoption of the new LA County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education and Plan for Elevating the Arts as a Justice Reform Strategy by the Board of Supervisors, the work of the Department of Arts and Culture along with hundreds of partners now formally extends beyond public education and aims to change the social conditions and public systems that impact where and how young people access learning in and through the arts. The report summarizes recent efforts through which this collective is stretching beyond a single program or approach to prioritize resources for youth historically excluded from learning in the arts and expand arts-based strategies in school, after school, and in communities.
Learn More

Call for Panelists | Organizational Grant Program | Community Impact Arts Grant Program | Advancement Grant Program | Civic Art Program

Photo courtesy of OGP grantee MashUp Contemporary Dance Company.
Every year, the Department of Arts and Culture looks for a diverse range of prospective panelists to serve on review panels for our Grants and Civic Art programs. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis, with the list of panelists updated on a quarterly basis. Honorariums are provided for panelists who participate in a grant review panel or artist selection committee.

Individuals can nominate up to four panelists (including themselves) for one or more programs by providing their information in the application form. If you would like to nominate more than four individuals at a time, you may use the same link to provide additional nominations.
Learn More
Nominate a Panelist
To further promote equity, panelists selected to serve on a grant panel are provided implicit bias training with a particular focus on the grantmaking process. Individuals who have pending grant applications with the Department of Arts and Culture are prohibited from serving on panels that review those applications.

Memory and Futurity in Yaangna

Excerpt from "Waa'aka: the Bird Who fell in Love With The Sun," illustrations by Carly Lake.
In July 2020, the Department of Arts and Culture put out a call for for artists, in collaboration with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, to create a temporary artwork or program in response to the November 2018 removal of the Columbus Statue at Grand Park, downtown Los Angeles. Two projects were selected: a virtual reality engagement program by the Puvungna Collective and a temporary art installation by Mercedes Dorame.

If you missed the opportunity to explore the temporary installation last year, we encourage you to view the gorgeous photos of Wee Nehiinkem—All my Relatives by Mercedes Dorame (photos by Photos by Erick Iñiguez and Evelyn Hang Yin). Alternatively, the virtual reality film, Birthplace of the People: A Tongva Origin Story by The Puvungna Collective, is viewable from the comfort of your home via YouTube.
Learn More

Tazbah Rose Chavez Named Spirit of Creativity Honoree

Tazbah Rose Chavez.
As we seek to uplift LA County's artists, culture bearers, and the contributions of diverse communities, we highlight this year's Spirit of Creativity and all the honorees named by the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission as part of Native American Heritage Month. These honorees include: Tazbah Rose Chavez, Tracy M Ball, and Angie Dorame Berns, who have been named the Spirit of Creativity, the Spirit of Community, and the Spirit of Tradition, respectively.

Tazbah Rose Chavez is a performance poet turned director and television writer. She is currently a Co-producer on FX's new series Reservation Dogs, a former story editor on NBC Universal's Rutherford Falls and was a staff writer for SyFy's Resident Alien. Raised in Payahuunadu, Tazbah is a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe and comes from the Nüümü, Diné and San Carlos Apache people
Watch the Celebration

First to Five Documentary

The LA County Board of Supervisors.
The County of Los Angeles released a fantastic short documentary about the first all-women Board of Supervisors since its inception in 1852. It features the current Board as well as the two women who previously served on the Board – Yvonne Burke (1979-1980 and 1992-2008) and Gloria Molina (1991-2014).

Through their personal stories, each Board member speaks candidly about how they bring a unique lived experience and understanding of what’s currently at stake for LA County constituents, and shares the challenges they have faced along the way in each of their political careers.
View Now

In Brief

  • The LA Times published a story about a potential state ballot initiative that will raise more than $800M for arts education. LA Magazine also covered the ballot initiative.
  • The California Arts Council is seeking arts and cultural practitioners from disparate communities statewide to volunteer for our upcoming grant review panels. Learn more.
  • For our colleagues in theaters, galleries, arts nonprofits, and community-based organizations, we have posted a new Q&A with information about mask and vaccine requirements. It was developed with colleagues at the Department of Public Health.
  • Kristin Sakoda appears in this KCET Artbound episode about the Autry Museum of the American West’s re-imagining of an onsite mural, which depicts a widely accepted mythology of the West that prioritizes white settler colonialism.
LA County Department of Arts and Culture
1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90017
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