LA County Board of Supervisors Approves Motion to Enhance Diversity at all Levels of Arts Institutions
County Will Establish a Task Force of Arts and Community Leaders to Study Best Practices around the Country and Recommend Ways to Enhance Diversity related to Boards, Staffs, Programming, and Audiences at Cultural Venues
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 10 unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, co-authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, that requires the County Arts Commission to establish an advisory group of diverse arts leaders who will work with arts institutions to develop recommendations for ways to enhance the participation and leadership of individuals from underrepresented communities in the arts.
The Commission is to report back to the Board with proposals that would lead to more diverse arts boards, staff, audience members, and programming at appropriate arts institutions.
A recent national study of diversity in American Art Museums released by the Mellon Foundation found that minorities are significantly underrepresented in top positions. Among museum leaders, only 4 percent are African American and 3 percent are Hispanic. Further, the study found that minorities have no significant pipeline for leadership positions.
“As a leader in the arts and perhaps the most diverse County in the nation, Los Angeles should be at the forefront of discussions and actions taken to improve cultural equity,” Supervisor Solis said. “Greater inclusion at all levels will strengthen our cultural institutions and help ensure maximum access to the arts for all, as well as future audiences and supporters for these important institutions.”
“Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world and a melting pot of cultures,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who co-authored the motion. “The arts organizations and programs in Los Angeles County should reflect this rich diversity in order to be sustainable, and to reach a greater audience.”
Laura Zucker, the Executive Director of the LA County Arts Commission, stated: “The County is taking the lead in a significant conversation here. That the Board of Supervisors wants recommendations that can move this conversation to action is a tremendous opportunity.”
The Supervisors’ motion pointed out that one out of every seven jobs in the County is being generated from an arts-related field, according to the Otis Report on the Creative Economy.
“Children from every part of our community not only need access to a robust arts education, but also need a robust pipeline for entering these jobs. We hope that this report will provide recommendations to achieve this end,” said Supervisor Solis.
The motion asks the Arts Commission to establish a broad-based advisory task force, receive input from around the County, and identify philanthropic and nonprofit partners in moving forward with its Final Report, which is due in about nine months. Read her motion here. Stream portions of Tuesday's public comments in support of the motion here.
Supervisor Solis Joins Faith and Human Rights Communities to Call Attention to Needs of Central American Refugee Children in LA County
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis joined a coalition of human rights and faith-based activists to raise awareness of a Nov. 14 “Brazos Abiertos” Resource Fair – a community fair that aims to connect Central American refugee families with nonprofits that can offer them legal, health and educational assistance.
“I want to bring to everyone’s attention the humanitarian crisis we are experiencing right here in our own backyard,” said Supervisor Solis at a Nov. 9 press conference, where she was joined by Mayor Garcetti’s Immigrant Affairs Director Linda Lopez, CLUE and the LA Episcopal Diocese Father Richard Estrada, Program Director Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project Patricia Ortiz and other representatives from various nonprofit organizations.
“An ongoing escalation of violence in the countries of Central America has created a new wave of refugees. Unaccompanied minors make up a large part of this wave,” said Supervisor Solis. “These children are fleeing extreme violence, many having been threatened by gangs or by cartels.
“It is a tragedy that these children feel so unsafe and in fear for their lives that they feel they have no other option but to uproot their lives and flee, leaving behind all they know. It is also a tragedy that these children undergo a perilous journey to arrive, here,” said Supervisor Solis, while standing alongside unaccompanied minors who endured the journey. “Many do not survive and those who do face new challenges – which is why I support this resource fair.
"We warmly welcome these children with open arms – or with brazos abiertos.”
The Unaccompanied Central American Refugee Empowerment Coalition is a network of non-profit organizations that work together to support and empower unaccompanied Central American refugee children. Click here for more information about the Brazos Abiertos fair.
Proudly recognizing that the United States is a nation that welcomes immigrants, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis recently participated in the launch of a citizenship campaign encouraging the more than 750,000 legal permanent residents in Los Angeles County to become U.S. citizens.
“These individuals work, pay taxes, create businesses and often buy homes, here in Los Angeles County, said Supervisor Solis at the Nov. 10 campaign launch held at the Los Angeles office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “They already contribute so much to our regional economy.
“We want them to know of the advantages of acquiring citizenship in this country. They could vote in national and local elections. They could seek better employment opportunities, and they could acquire passports, allowing them to travel overseas more freely,” Supervisor Solis said. “Above all, they can help their family members become U.S. citizens, too.”
Several local and statewide elected officials, community groups and news media outlets have thrown their support behind the campaign, ¡Protégete!…¡Ciudadanía Ya!, which they hope will encourage at least 100,000 new citizens to vote in the 2016 federal elections. Organizers say 2.5 million people throughout the state qualify for citizenship.
The drive will continue through November 2016. Organizers say 2.5 million people throughout the state qualify for citizenship. For more information on the citizenship application process, please call 888-839-8682 or visit the website ciudadaniaya.info.
Veterans Day Observations
Cities and communities throughout the First District honored military personnel and their families on Veterans Day, which this year fell on Nov. 11. Crowds gathered for parades and commemorative memorials to recognize the sacrifices of our veterans.
“I want all the veterans and their families to know that you’re not alone. We’re here for you,” said Supervisor Solis at commemorative service in Pico Rivera. “We leave no veteran behind. Thank you for your courage to keep our country safe.
“Now that you have come home after a long journey overseas, it is our turn to show our gratitude by standing by you - just as you stood by us. In Los Angeles County, we have more than 380,000 veterans. Los Angeles County has the highest percentage of homeless veterans in the nation,” Supervisor Solis said. “As your First District Supervisor, I am advocating for veterans so that they can get the housing, support and job training that they need to succeed and thrive.”
To review photos taken at various Veterans Day events throughout the First District, please click here.
Grand Opening of Teague Terrace Apartments
Residents and community leaders recently celebrated the grand opening of Eagle Rock’s new affordable housing community, the Teague Terrace Apartment Complex. Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, along with Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, WORKS President Channa Grace, among others, gathered on Nov. 9 to mark the important event.
A development project of the local non-profit WORKS (Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge and Services), the Teague Terrace complex contains 56 apartment homes - 39 of which are designated for project-based Section 8 vouchers. The project will house homeless veterans, small families, and seniors, among others.
Supervisor Solis lauded the project as an example of how various groups can come together to provide affordable housing to vulnerable populations, especially in areas within the County and City with a very limited supply of housing units.
“Every day we encounter more and more individuals and families that desperately need a safe home just as they deserve basic human services to get back on their feet or recover from illness or disabilities,” said Supervisor Solis. “In order to provide for the stability and true recovery needed by families of modest means throughout LA County, we need over 500,000 more affordable homes.
“It is time to welcome bold new ideas, and as my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors have shown recently, we are willing to dedicate new resources to these solutions.”
The Teague Terrace Apartments are located at 4260 Eagle Rock Blvd. They are named after Ruth Teague, a longtime activist and champion for permanent supportive housing who passed away close to three years ago.
SAVE THE DATE
Brazos Abiertos Resource Fair
La Placita Olvera
535 N. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Sat., Nov. 14, 2015
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free Bicycle Safety Classes
East Los Angeles Library
4837 E. 3rd St,
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Sat., Nov. 14, 2015
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Women Build Metro Los Angeles
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
400 W. Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Tues., Nov. 17, 2015
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Enhancing Urban Biodiversity: Multi-Sector Approach
South Gate Community Center Auditorium
4900 Southern Ave.
South Gate, CA 90280
Thurs., Nov. 19, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
East Los Angeles Field Office
4801 East Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Phone: (323) 881-4601
Fax: (323) 887-7286
Hall of Administration Office
856 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-4111
Fax: (213) 613-1739
El Monte Field Office
3400 Aerojet Avenue, Suite 240
El Monte, CA 91731
Phone: (626) 350-4500
Fax: (626) 448-1573