LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on a motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath that declares April as Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month to celebrate and recognize the impact of the arts and creative workforce, as well as support the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative (CJCII), which hopes to create 10,000 living wage jobs in the creative sector.
The creative economy is home to 7.6% of the State of California’s jobs, but its workforce has an outsized impact on overall economic output. According to the 2023 Otis Report on the Creative Economy, the five creative sectors (Architecture and Related Services; Creative Goods and Products; Fine Arts and Performing Arts; Entertainment and Digital Media; and Fashion) were collectively responsible for 14.9% of the State’s $3.4 trillion economy in 2021. Each job supported by creative economy activity resulted in $37,717 in additional tax revenue, generating over $194.1 billion in federal, state, and municipal taxes.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the creative industries have faced unprecedented financial pressures. In addition, the recovery trajectories among creative sectors have varied significantly. For example, employment levels within the fine and performing arts sectors in 2021 remained at 18.9% below where they were in 2018.
The motion approved today builds on Los Angeles County’s support for the creative economy. It focuses on the CJCII goals of creating 10,000 creative sector jobs centering youth and adults from historically underrepresented communities; parity between the regional population demographics and creative workforce representation; and a sector-wide median entry-level wage that is at or above the region’s living wage as determined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) living wage calculator.
The initiative is being coordinated by Arts for LA, with philanthropic funding support, and led by a steering committee that includes the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity, and others in the arts, data, and creative economy.
“Artists and organizations in the creative space have never fully recovered, and passing this motion is another important step to fixing that. By focusing on cross-sectoral partnerships, funding, and culturally responsive practices for the betterment of all residents, we can prioritize intersectional and real-time responses to disparities in the creative sector exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m proud to lead this effort during Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month and call on all Angelenos to take some time this month to support artists and creative workers—a critical backbone of our economy,” said Supervisor Solis.
“We are Los Angeles, where the film industry was born and where the arts are constantly revolutionized. As the global hub for entertainment, we have a fantastic opportunity to boost our local economy by strategically investing in our youth from communities in our County that are underrepresented in the arts,” said Supervisor Horvath. “I look forward to being a part of the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative to generate 10,000 jobs for local youth, creating a future workforce built by and for LA.”
“As it stands, Angelinos in the creative sector can’t afford to stay in Los Angeles. For instance, compensation for entry-level arts administrators in Los Angeles County does not meet a living wage standard – especially for BIPOC arts administrators which stands at $32,027 for entry-level wage,” said Gustavo Herrera, CEO of Arts for LA.
The CJCII helps to address underinvestment in the arts and disparities in employment, wages, and pandemic recovery. It will cultivate necessary cross-sectoral partnerships—including colleges, K–12 schools, small arts nonprofits, government, business, labor, entertainment, and large-scale creative employers—for the betterment of the wider arts ecology.
To read the full motion, click here.
About Arts for LA
Arts for LA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, was incorporated in 2006 by a group of arts leaders who had met informally for years to discuss and address the region’s most pressing arts issues. Since that time, Arts for LA has expanded its reach and deepened its roots in neighborhoods and school districts across Los Angeles County. Today, Arts for LA includes 55,000 supporters, 400 Member Advocates, and 165 Member Organizations.