Last year I became a co-chair of the Advisory Committee for LA County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII). It’s a role I relish, as this groundbreaking effort was launched to address long-standing inequities in the arts and culture sector. Supervisor Hilda L. Solis authored a motion, passed in 2015, directing the LA County Department of Arts and Culture to identify constructive ways to "enhance the participation and leadership of individuals from underrepresented communities in the arts." CEII was the result.
From the beginning, CEII has been a model of participatory policymaking as hundreds have been engaged to provide input at each step of the way. In June 2017, the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the 13 recommendations generated through this process initially funding four. One of the most important funded recommendations was to establish a Countywide Cultural Policy (Cultural Policy) to provide a roadmap with concrete elements focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, setting out ways in which all LA County departments can contribute to cultural life by ensuring that every resident has access to arts and culture.
Now the focus is on implementing the Cultural Policy and again the public’s input is sought to ensure that it represents the needs and opportunities of all communities throughout the County. We are working to finalize the strategies that the County will prioritize in order to equitably implement the Policy. We live in a large and complex region with many funding needs. Your voice is critical to determine the most important strategies for LA County to implement and fund in order to have the greatest impact. Please click the link to let us know your top three strategies.