Several Eastside arts organizations –including two in Boyle Heights – are among recipients of $2.7 million in emergency grants from the J. Paul Getty Trust and the California Community Foundation announced Wednesday.

In total, 400 individual artists and 80 arts organizations will share the $2.7 million in grants, as part of a broad-based COVID-19 relief effort for the visual arts in the Los Angeles region. 

The LA Arts COVID-19 Fund was established to reach individual artists throughout all areas of LA County and arts organizations that serve the region’s culturally diverse communities – and who have seen their incomes reduced or eliminated during the pandemic.

The bulk of the grants –more than $2 million – is going towards the 80 small and midsize arts institutions, many of which are struggling to maintain staff, provide safe galleries and workspaces that meet new health and safety standards, and still ensure meaningful arts participation for their communities when they reopen.

The emergency relief grants awarded to visual arts nonprofits and museums will provide support to meet urgent financial needs over the next three months, including staff salaries, rent, and emergency supplies to comply with public health measures. This basic operating support will also allow organizations some leeway to plan for reopening, restructuring, and collaboration.

“We’re going to have to become semi-experts in how to manage spaces and arts experiences through a public health lens,” said Betty Avila, executive director of the arts nonprofit Self Help Graphics & Art, in a released statement.

Self Help and  the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory are the two Boyle Heights organizations that received emergency grants.  

Other Eastside visual arts spaces that received grants are Plaza de la Raza and Las Fotos Project, both in Lincoln Heights, Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock and the East Los Angeles College’s Vincent Price Art Museum, in Monterey Park.

The California Community Foundation and Getty additionally created a Relief Fund for L.A. County Visual Artists. The fund is providing emergency grants of up to $2000 each to 400 local artists who work in all visual arts disciplines, many of whom are straining to find sources of income after losing access to exhibition space and income from part-time jobs.

Additional contributions came from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the Sam Francis Foundation, and the Shepard and Amanda Fairey Foundation.  





“This crisis is a wake-up call to all Angelenos to support the organizations that provide access to the arts and the artists that inspire us to be resilient,” said Antonia Hernández, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation, which is administering the LA Arts COVID-19 Fund. 

“The emergency grants will reach a wide array of arts nonprofits and dedicated artists, but more help is needed,” Hernández said in the released statement. “The demand for funds was far greater than the supply. We welcome others to join us in this effort to ensure the arts continue contributing to the cultural vitality and wellness of our region for the benefit of all residents.”

The Fund’s next phase of work will focus on recovery grants to help key museums and visual arts organizations reimagine their operations in order to survive and thrive in the coming years. More information on recovery funds will be available before this fall.

A full list of organizations receiving grants can be downloaded on a pdf here.


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