The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger that will launch a countywide effort to promote and support the arts sector which has been notably struggling to recover since COVID-19 restrictions drove down attendance and associated revenues.
“My motion is about helping communities to do their part to support the arts venues spread throughout our county,” said Barger. “I consider these venues to not only be spaces for entertainment, they are also shared communal spaces that reinforce mental and emotional well-being. They deserve our county residents’ full-hearted support.”
The losses experienced by the arts sector has had a ripple effect on many industries including public revenue. According to a 2023 report by CVL Economics on California’s live performing arts sector, state and local governments lost nearly $1 billion in tax revenue due to pandemic impacts on the performing arts in 2021 alone. If current trends continue, the report notes the losses could skyrocket to $4.1 billion over a four-year period that culminates in 2023.
The motion directs the county’s Department of Arts and Culture to launch a social media promotional campaign and to create a virtual map of arts programs so that residents can easily locate arts programming in their neighborhoods and attend.
Barger’s motion also directs several county departments that serve high numbers of the public including Public Library, Parks and Recreation and Beaches and Harbors to take a more active role in promoting resources and events related to arts and culture in Los Angeles County.
Barger’s motion was received with wide support and appreciation from a wide array of local arts venues and organizations, including Ophelia’s Jump and the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre (Claremont); Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena School of Music and A Noise Within (Pasadena); Skylight Theatre (Los Feliz); NoHo Arts District (North Hollywood); Stage Raw (Hollywood); Melodia Mariposa (Altadena); Sierra Madre Playhouse; Lancaster Performing Arts Center and Palmdale Playhouse (Antelope Valley) and Arts for LA , Center Theatre Group, the LA Phil, LA Opera and Fostering Dreams Project (Countywide).
A link to the letters of support submitted backing Supervisor Barger’s motion can be viewed here.