A&E  

The Arts as Collateral Damage

Saving L.A.'s Cultural Affairs Department

By Richard Amromin
Published on LatinoLA: March 10, 2004


The Arts as Collateral Damage


Under the rubric of "Priority Based Budgeting", an obscure cabal of vulgarian accountants and hack bureaucrats known as "The Mayor's Budget Team" has crafted a way to dismantle and eliminate the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department (CAD). Under the guise of "consolidation" its functions will either be eliminated or atomized to corners of non-arts trained agencies.

If Mayor Hahn's gray-suited Philistines have their way here are a few inevitabilities.

* $3,500,000 in grants to 250 arts organizations and individuals will disappear.

* Services for almost 350 community arts festivals will be eliminated.

* 22 Neighborhood Arts and Culture Centers, historic preservation efforts, and 170 public art projects will be taken out of the hands of arts professionals.

* The Arts Development fees developers must dedicate to art are now controlled by the arts professionals at CAD. Under the proposed "consolidation", developers will have free rein to designate any project of their whim or fancy as compliant.

* The proposed dismantling of CAD and the scattering of a few saved services will result in a complete loss of a unified cultural voice in the second largest city in the United States.

* A statement will be made that the arts don't matter in our city.

* The quality of life of our citizenry will suffer immensely.

THIS DECISION WILL BE MADE IN THE COMING WEEKS.

THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL. BUT IT IS A VERY REAL THREAT. HOWEVER, UNLESS YOUR VOICE IS HEARD, AND HEARD NOW, THE MAYOR'S MYOPIC RUBES WILL PREVAIL.

BE NOISY AND GET READY TO CELEBRATE BEATING CITY HALL.

HERE'S HOW TO SAVE CAD

***Call and/or write every City Council Budget & Finance Committee Member and every Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee Member, demanding their support for CAD. Their contact info is at the end of this E-mail, in the City Council list.

***Tell your family and friends to do the same. Only a big loud protest from a spectrum of the citizenry will make the difference.

Budget and Finance Committee
Bernard Parks, Chair
Cindy Miscikowski, Vice Chair
Tony Cardenas
Eric Garcetti
Greig Smith

Arts, Parks, Health & Aging Committee
Tom LaBonge, Chair
Alex Padilla
Martin Ludlow

** Call and/or write every City Council person, demanding their support for retaining an intact Cultural Affairs Department. (If you have limited time, just do your own and let her/him know that you vote.) If you don't know your Councilperson, check out http://www.lacity.org/council.htm (a list is also provided at the end of this E-mail).

** Write to the L.A. Times, L.A. Weekly, and other papers' editorial pages, expressing your outrage. Where to write is included in every paper's masthead or on the editorial page.

** Attend any City Council meeting you can and sign up for three minutes of free speech. Flood the chambers. Tell them what you think. Tell them you vote.

** Attend the community action meetings addressing this urgent issue.

CITY COUNCIL ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS

District 1 - Ed Reyes
(213)-473-7001
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 410
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 2 - Wendy Greuel
(213)-473-7002
200 N. Spring Street, Rm475
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 3 - Dennis P. Zine
(213)-473-7003
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 450
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 4 - Tom LaBonge
(213)-473-7004
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 480
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 5 - Jack Weiss
(213)-473-7005
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 6 -Tony Cardenas
(213)-473-7006
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 455
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 7 - Alex Padilla
(213)-473-7007
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 465
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 8 -Bernard Parks
(213)-473-7008
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 460
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 9 - Jan Perry
(213)-473-7009
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 420
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 10 -Martin Ludlow
(213)-473-7010
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 430
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 11 - Cindy Miscikowski
(213)-473-7011
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 415
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 12 - Greig Smith
213)-473-7012
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 405
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 13 - Eric Garcetti
(213)-473-7013
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 470
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 14 -Antonio Villaraigosa
(213)-473-7014
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 425
Los Angeles, CA 90012

District 15 - Janice Hahn
213)-473-7015
200 N. Spring Street, Rm 435
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Mayor?s Budget and Finance Contacts:

Doane Liu 213.978.0622
Deputy Mayor
City of Los Angeles

Julia Kirwan 213.978.0723
Executive Director
Office of Management and Budget

City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department 213.473.7700

Margie J. Reese
General Manager






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