CITY HALL - Los Angeles City Councilmembers unanimously voted Tuesday on an updated guideline and expenditure plan for the Arts Development Fee, and immediately released $1.7 million in funds to build public art displays throughout the City, Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Jose Huizar announced today.
The vote will provide the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) with an expenditure plan for the funds which were scheduled to expire. In addition to the $1.7 million, ‘’the new structure’’ will allow the City to continue to spend millions more in the years to come.
“Upon taking office in July of 2013, I reached out to my colleague Jose Huizar and we took the bold move that started the process of unlocking funds for public arts citywide.” said O’Farrell. “The funds had been languishing, unused for seven years, and we brought the entire City family together in collaboration because we all believe so passionately in the arts. This is a huge win, not only for the art community, but for Angelenos in every part of our great City.”
The Arts Development Fee Ordinance had not been amended in over two decades. In July 2013, the Councilmembers introduced a motion to better direct the use of these funds in public art capital improvement projects in every Council District. In crafting the necessary updates, DCA and the artists themselves spoke to the councilmembers on the need to modify the City’s arts development fee process.
“The City of Los Angeles is the creative capitol of the world – home to a diverse, dynamic and an incredibly talented artistic community,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “Along with our mural ordinance, and additional mural-related funds that we recently approved, this adjustment to the arts development free will not only free up millions of dollars, it will free up our artistic community to share their work and beautify our neighborhoods. This is a great day for art in the City of Los Angeles.”
“Today we are unlocking years’ worth of arts development fees that have been languishing in city accounts instead of beautifying our communities," said Councilwoman Nury Martinez. "It is my hope that these funds will help bring programming and hands-on art activities to the children of the 6th District. I can't wait to see the creative and amazing projects that will take place when they put these funds to use."
"The action taken by the City Council today provides a renewed opportunity to strengthen the Department's ability to invest in dynamic public art in neighborhoods and communities throughout LA," said Danielle Brazelle, General Manager of Cultural Affairs.
Concurrently, in 2014, the Office of City Controller Ron Galperin completed an audit of the Arts Development Fee.
"I want to thank the City Council and the City Attorney for studying the recommendations of my audit and taking action, unlocking millions of dollars for the arts and cultural enrichment that have been languishing in a Special Fund,” said City Controller Ron Galperin. “Today is a good day for the arts in Los Angeles, and that's something we can all be excited about."