Education, Arts & Culture

Endangered Arts Internship Program Restored

A ten week endangered Arts Internship Program that has given more than 1,400 undergraduate college students the opportunity to work with a non profit organization has been restored through the action taken by the Board of Supervisors at the County Budget meeting.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas spoke to the 75 undergraduate student who received paid summer internships in the arts at the 2011 Arts Summit at City Hall in Pasadena.

“I commend the Board for designating $250,000 to the Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program and making the internship program part of the County’s annual budget,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. ”Today the Board secured an investment in our youth and our economy by supporting a program which promotes innovation, leadership, and management skills.”

Since the expiration of federal stimulus funds in 2010, the Arts Internship Program has been in jeopardy of being eliminated from the County budget. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has championed the effort to restore funds for the program. Last year the Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the Ridley-Thomas motion which financially supported the arts program for one additional year.

The action by the Board of Supervisors today assures that the arts internship program will automatically be considered as part of the county budget each year.

“It often seems as though arts programs are considered a luxury but in reality these programs are essential to our youth and their development,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Art is the gateway that allows many students to unlock their potential.”

The Arts Internship Program was created in 1999, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to provide internships for nonprofit performing and literary arts organizations. Undergraduate students receive on the job training and experience working in nonprofit organizations. As part of the program students are paid to serve as staff members, board members and volunteers in non profit arts organizations. Students take on leadership roles and develop business skills in order to work on seasonal and special projects in various non profit organizations.

Los Angeles County Summer Youth Employment Program

During the summer months, you will:

  • Learn the value of work.
  • Work with professionals from different types of occupations and careers.
  • Make new friends and professional acquaintances.
  • Learn valuable life skills that will serve you for years to come.
  • Earn a paycheck and feel proud about the work accomplished.
  • Work on interesting projects and assignments.

Click here to access the service provider’s locations

CONTACT

Phone:
213-351-5390

Websites:
http://css.lacounty.gov/summer-youth.aspx
www.dol.gov/summerjobs

Email:
summeryouthjobs@css.lacounty.gov

Leimert Park Village Book Festival

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas spoke to thousands of book lovers, families, authors, and fans  of all ages gathered in Leimert Park on Saturday, June 25, 2011 for the Fifth Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair.

2011 Photo Slide Show…

This year’s fair featured 150 celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances, and musical acts. Leimert Park Village Book Fair has hosted some of the national’s top authors and artists including Nikki Govanni, Ishmael Reed, Pulizer Prize Winner Douglass A. Blackmon, California Poet Laureate Emeritus Al Young, Antwone Fisher, Hill Harper, and Synthia Saint James, just to name a few. LPVBF also annually distributes more than 1,500 free books to fair attendees, including over 300 books to local foster care children.

This year featured former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine Susan L. Taylor, economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist-turned-author Isabel Wilkerson. Among the notable authors present was Sugar Ray Leonard promoting his recently published autobiography.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair was founded in 2006 by Cynthia Ethusian Exum with the goal of promoting literacy and education in Los Angeles. The Leimert Park Village Book Fair was inspired by a project in February 1999 when Ms. Exum partnered with Our Authors Study Club, Inc. to present a ‘Festival of African American Authors’ at Los Angeles Southwest College. Its success in drawing 10 authors participating for an audience of 40 inspired the idea of creating an annual literary event. The concept of establishing a book fair in the community was further encouraged when Ms. Exum partnered with organizations Helping One Another Progress, Inc., Eso Won Books, the Leimert Park Merchant’s Association, and the 8th District Task Force Committee, and the office of Los Angeles Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District. Leimert Park was chosen as the host venue site because of its importance as the cultural/artistic center of the African American Community in Los Angeles.

The Inaugural Leimert Park Book was organized by a Planning Committee of over 30 persons including representatives from local schools, corporate/businesses, libraries, literary non-profit organizations, community organizations, and local authors, poets, and spoken word performers.

Today, the Annual Leimert Park Village Book fair attracts over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, and literary/educational exhibitor participants – and boasts an audience of over 5,000. Since its inception the Leimert Park Village book fair has grown in popularity and prestige becoming a cultural tradition and premier summer literary event. This year’s Book Fair will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2011, and everyone is invited this day of celebrating the written word.

More information is available at www.leimertparkbookfair.com

LA County Arts Education Collaborative Best In The Nation

Established by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Arts for All is the dynamic, County-wide collaboration working to create vibrant classrooms, schools, communities and economies through the restoration of all arts disciplines into the core curriculum for each of our 1.6 million public K-12 students. Arts for All was awarded the 2011 Arts Education Award by the nation’s leading arts advocacy organization, Americans for the Arts (AFTA). The announcement was made June 16, 2011 at AFTA’s annual convention, this year held in San Diego, CA.

According to the 50-year-old Washington-based nonprofit, this year’s field of candidates, comprised of 18 nominations from around the country, was the most competitive ever evaluated in the judging process. In addition, Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said that the Arts for All selection is all the more remarkable given California’s budget crisis.

“Particularly at a time when school districts face increasingly dire fiscal circumstances,” Lynch said, “Arts for All’s steady commitment and support has kept arts education at the forefront of school and community leaders’ consciousness in Los Angeles County.”

Alongside Los Angeles Unified School District’s own arts education initiative, 44 out of the 81 districts in L.A. County are now identified as Arts for All partners and committed to standards-based K-12 arts instruction. Funding for Arts for All comes from private foundations, corporations, federal grants and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The collaborative has been widely recognized by scholars for its creative approach and accomplishment.

Arts for All impacts close to 950,000 students and has experienced an annual growth in district participation since it began in 2003 with six vanguard districts. Arts for All has used a pragmatic approach to assist school districts as they build the foundations that support quality, sequential, K-12 arts education in dance, music, theatre and visual arts. For many children, this ongoing instruction in the arts is their most memorable educational experience, often leading to jobs and careers in what experts call the “creative economy” of Los Angeles.

Last year the Otis (College) “Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Regions” stated that the creative industry “supported one out of six jobs in the region, generating an estimated $127 billion in sales revenues and $4.6 billion in state and local tax revenues.”

 

Referring to the Arts for All track record, Laura Zucker, the Executive Director of the LA County Arts Commission, said, “It is our hope that our work in L.A. County will provide a model for school districts across the country that are committed to including sequential, standards-based K-12 arts education in the core curriculum.”

Visit www.lacountyartsforall.org to learn more.


Operation Graduation – A Celebration of Success

In an inspiring ceremony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, more than 280 students and 2000 well-wishers participated in a commencement ceremony for students graduating from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) alternative education programs, juvenile court schools, and special education programs.

The annual event, sponsored by the LA County Office of Education and the County Probation Department, celebrated the academic achievements of truly remarkable high school teens, who have persevered through delinquency, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and pregnancy.

The words of this year’s valedictorian, Roman Guerra, who struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) moved those in attendance.

“I have a purpose. I have a vision. I have faith. Tomorrow I am going to make a difference in this world,” said Guerra who reminded graduates, “If you fall, get up learn from your mistakes and approach problems differently.”

Overall, 633 students will graduate this year from the LACOE-led alternative education programs, juvenile court & community schools, and special education programs.

Congratulations Graduates!