Grants Awarded to Advance Arts Education


The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) has announced that grants totaling $811,600 will be awarded to 40 Los Angeles County school districts. The Advancement Grant Program is administered through the LA County Arts Education Collective, the countywide initiative dedicated to making the arts a core part of every child’s growth and development. Advancement Grants, underwritten by the Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, offer flexible funding to school districts, and are matched by school district funds. Leveraging public and private resources, they will invest more than $1.6M this year to expand access to instruction in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts.

“We know that learning is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, so as educators throughout Los Angeles County innovate their operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an obligation to support customized learning initiatives that equip students with invaluable creative skills,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “The Advancement Grants will be used for initiatives designed by the school districts themselves, as they know how to best reach their communities and be attentive to gaps and inequities in resources.”

School districts use Advancement Grants to implement district-wide arts education in a range of ways: arts integration, professional development and resources for teachers, social emotional learning in the arts, arts classes, and musical instrument purchases for at-home instruction. To address data showing disparities in access to the arts, Advancement Grants promote equity with priority points for school districts serving large student populations of 10,000 or greater, and those with an Unduplicated Pupil Count of 71% or greater which includes students eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals, foster youth, and English language learners.

The mission of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture is to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout Los Angeles County. It provides leadership, services, and support in areas including grants and technical assistance for nonprofit organizations, countywide arts education initiatives, commissioning and care for civic art collections, research and evaluation, pathways to the creative economy, professional development, free community programs, and cross-sector creative strategies that address civic issues. For more information, visit lacountyarts.org

The LA County Arts Education Collective is the countywide initiative dedicated to making the arts a core part of every child’s growth and development. Starting with just one school district in each Supervisorial District nearly two decades ago, the Arts Ed Collective now includes a robust coalition of partners that represents more than 72 school districts, 5 charter school networks and hundreds of community-based arts organizations, teaching artists, educators, philanthropists, and advocates. The initiative is coordinated by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, is supported by curriculum and instructional services provided by the LA County Office of Education, and is guided by a Leadership Council and an active Funders Council who continue to invest in this formidable movement for arts education across Los Angeles County. It is recognized as a national model of collective impact in arts education. For more information and a list of philanthropic funders, visit lacountyartsedcollective.org

“We are proud to provide Advancement Grants with an eye toward increasing equity and access in arts education for the benefit of our County youth,” said Kristin Sakoda, Director of Arts and Culture. “In this unprecedented time, the human connection, educational engagement, wellbeing, and creative expression that the arts provide is more important than ever. We are deeply grateful for our school district, philanthropy, and County partners as we collectively work to ensure opportunities for students to create and thrive.”