Museums, galleries, and arts nonprofits are still being hammered by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and related recession, and even where arts institutions have remained open, occupancy limits are in place to help limit patron and staff exposure to airborne pathogens. Nowhere is the pain more acute than Los Angeles where, as the New York Times noted just yesterday, museums across L.A. County have been closed continually since March of 2020.
Now, the J. Paul Getty Trust is leading the $38.5 million L.A. Arts Recovery Fund, announced by the trust on February 9, which is targeted at keeping struggling small and mid-sized arts nonprofits around the county afloat. Organizations with annual operating budgets of under $10 million (pre-pandemic) can apply for two years of unrestricted operating funds on the California Community Foundation’s (CCF) website, which is administrating the fund.
As the Los Angeles Times points out, this new fund is an outgrowth of a $10 million initiative headed by the Getty and CCF originally launched in April of 2020. Two million of the funding raised was distributed across 80 different arts organizations and museums (the full list was provided by the Getty here) before the initiative was paused so that it could be retooled and expanded.
Now the fund has accumulated a constellation of local and national co-funders—according to the Getty, the list includes:
The Ahmanson Foundation, Vladimir & Araxia Buckhantz Foundation, California Community Foundation, Ford Theatre Foundation/L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture, J. Paul Getty Trust, Jerry and Terri Kohl, Robert Lovelace and Alicia Miñana, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Music Man Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Perenchio Family Fund, Snap Foundation, and Sony Pictures Entertainment & Sony Global Relief Fund.
“Los Angeles’s arts organizations embody the diverse cultures of our region and are critical to making us one of the most vibrant, innovative, and collaborative arts communities in the nation,” said Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, in the Trust’s announcement. “By organizing the L.A. Arts Recovery Fund, we’re mirroring their commitment to collaboration, coming together to provide what we hope will be meaningful support at a time when the very existence of these organizations is threatened. In the process, we hope to help create a more equitable and inclusive arts sector for the future.”
The ultimate goal of the fund is to reach $50 million, and the Getty and CCF are still actively recruiting donors to hit that target. With a total of one-third of L.A.’s 500 arts nonprofits claiming, according to Americans for the Arts, that they’ve had to dip into their emergency reserves and/or lay off furloughed employees, the trust hopes the extra cash and provided technical support will help beleaguered organizations both get back on their feet and plan for the long-term future.