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January 28
1850 - Death Valley '49er William Robinson dies in Soledad Canyon from drinking too much cool water [story]
Leaving Death Valley


In the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th anniversary year, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Business and Management of the Arts released a new report on Thursday that lays the groundwork for disability-led content in the creative sector.

Asking the question “who is responsible for ensuring access to art”, the L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with CBMArts released “Accessibility and the Arts: Reconsidering the Role of the Artist,” supporting Arts and Culture’s mission to foster cultural equity and inclusion and make art accessible to everyone in LA County.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified underlying structural and systemic inequities,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, and Supervisor to the First District. “For more than a century, the County of Los Angeles has invested meaningfully in arts and culture. However, more work is necessary to solidify gains made, advance equity, and increase access so that the creative sector benefits all residents—including people with disabilities. This new report in this moment in time will help us in our continued work to address and dismantle historical inequities in services, investments, and opportunities.”

Through interviews with disabled and non-disabled artists and art professionals, the report investigates the role of artists and the museums that exhibit their work in making artwork accessible to people with disabilities.

It is centered on accessibility in terms of visual or hearing disabilities, and on art that is experienced in museum settings.

This study was conducted by CBMArts’ Katrina Sullivan and Arts and Culture’s Bronwyn Mauldin, Director of Research and Evaluation. They found general agreement among those interviewed that ultimate accountability for making art accessible lies with the museums and galleries that present it.

The responsibility of artists is more contested terrain. While some believe that requiring artists to take responsibility for making their own work accessible could be a constraint on creativity, many non-disabled artists see it as an opportunity to rethink their work and their audiences, and explore new ways to share their ideas.

At the same time, disabled artists are passionate about continuing to break down barriers between their audience and their own works.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires auxiliary aids and accommodations to reduce barriers. Since its passage, the arts sector has worked to improve access for people with disabilities, including American Sign Language interpretation for live performances, low sensory performances, touch-friendly exhibits, and grants for artists with disabilities.

But more can be done. The report makes recommendations to the arts and culture sector, from artists to museums and galleries to educational institutions to policymakers and funders, on actions they can take to expand and normalize disability access to arts and culture, and the benefits this access offers.

“As an educational institution training future arts professionals, we recognize our responsibility to teach students how they can reduce barriers to access. Our partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture is critical to bringing the real world into our classrooms,” said Dr. Jonathan T. D. Neil, Director, CBMArts.

“Cultural equity, inclusion, antiracism, and accessibility are guiding principles at Arts and Culture, and are critical to the future of our field. We are expanding our responsiveness to accessibility and disability by investing the resources of our Research and Evaluation team in this landmark anniversary of the ADA,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture. “The goal is to catalyze more disability-forward dialogue and increase awareness on issues ranging from audience accessibility, to disability as identity, intersectionality, and disability artistry—and increase inclusion in arts and culture for all people of Los Angeles County.”

Accessibility and the Arts: Reconsidering the Role of the Artist on Arts and Culture’s website. The PDF of the report has been optimized for assistive technologies, and an audio version of the report is also available via SoundCloud.

There are also resources on accessibility at Arts and Culture’s Digital Resource Center.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 307 new deaths and 6,917 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia late Tuesday reported its 113th COVID fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
Nearly a year into a pandemic that gobbled up millions of jobs and caused double-digit jobless rates, California's Employment Development Department is still mired one of the largest — and most costly — bureaucratic failures in state history.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors learned Tuesday there are four legal options for removing county Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has been accused of a lack of leadership and obstructing oversight, among other issues.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
On behalf of more than two dozen partner agencies, Assistant Director in Charge Kristi K. Johnson of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced the results of "Operation Lost Angels,” an initiative which began on January 11 and recently culminated in the recovery of 33 children.
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021
One year ago (Tuesday), the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced its first case of the novel coronavirus.

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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
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With COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked at Los Angeles County sites through the end of the week, Public Health officials assured those who received their first dose are guaranteed their second — but confusion over the scheduling process prompted officials to clarify the situation Tuesday.
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CBRE announced the sale of Sierra Crest Center, a neighborhood retail and office center in Santa Clarita, to a joint venture group for $9.9 million.
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Built in the 19th century, the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall played a pivotal role in the early development of the Santa Clarita Valley.
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