The Arts Commission works to ensure that arts and culture thrives in L.A. County, and last year provided many wonderful opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues in other county departments.
The Department of Parks and Recreation Nature Centers and the Natural History Museum joined with the John Anson Ford Theatres to create preshow activities for the Ford’s Big World Fun family series. These county partners brought their nature-focused programs to the Ford, exploring the native flora and fauna of the region and enthralling more than 5,000 county residents of all ages.
Project Willowbrook: Cultivating a Healthy Community through Arts and Culture—a new dynamic model for asset mapping and public engagement in civic planning—was named as an outstanding public art project by Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review. This project served as a model for two continuing projects. One is called Some Place Chronicles, which celebrates the people, histories and cultures of Athens, East Rancho Dominguez, Florence-Firestone, Lennox and View Park/Windsor Hills/Ladera Heights. The other is Antelope Valley Art Outpost, where the Arts Commission is supporting a comprehensive planning process, led by the Department of Regional Planning, in the unincorporated communities of Littlerock and Sun Village by exploring these communities’ creative assets.
In a continuing effort to bring quality arts education to all L.A. County public school students, the Arts Commission, working closely with the L.A. County Office of Education, has developed a plan for Vernon Kilpatrick High School that embeds the arts as a key strategy in LACOE’s educational model. This plan is part of the Camp Kilpatrick Replacement Project, an initiative by the Department of Probation to create the new LA Model for incarcerated youth that shifts from custodial to rehabilitative care.
These collaborations are only a few examples of how the county, by deepening its understanding of our region’s creative pulse and distinct identity, is expanding the role of arts and culture in community development.