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Los Angeles

Creating a Roadmap for L.A. Culture

Bloomberg Associates assisted the City of Los Angeles with leadership development and strategic planning to strengthen and support cultural activities, with access for all.

Art has extraordinary power to transform perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, especially when it lives in places that are accessible to everyone.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Relevant Expertise

Advance a Vibrant Arts and Creative Sector

  • Cultural Promotion
  • Grants and Funding Strategies
  • Public Art and Events

Challenge

Culture is a quality of life issue. After sizable budget cuts, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs was in disarray and in need of a fresh start. L.A.’s creative sector was dominated by the star-studded Hollywood entertainment industry. The City needed Bloomberg Associates to help clarify key priorities for the department moving forward and establish realistic short-term and long-term goals for the Department of Cultural Affairs. This included ensuring access to cultural activities for residents and visitors to the City.

Back to Basics

Approach

In order to build a team to reposition the agency, Bloomberg Associates assisted in a comprehensive search for an ideal candidate to lead the department. In June 2014, a General Manager with experience as a non-profit arts advocate was appointed. With Bloomberg Associates’ knowledge and experience in municipal arts funding and agency repositioning, significant headway was made in re-establishing the agency. An internal strategic planning process was launched to examine the agency’s functions, engage senior staff, and focus priorities around the Mayor’s “Back to Basics” vision, which called for solving everyday problems for L.A. residents. The resulting Action Plan provided the agency with a road map for moving forward.

Impact

The Action Plan gave agency staff a clear new direction, served to streamline agency objectives, and was successful in lobbying for an increase in agency funds. The Action Plan also led to the development of new and improved initiatives to provide free and low-cost cultural experiences for Los Angeles residents and visitors, a strengthened creative workforce pipeline, and modernized agency operations to improve service delivery. Initial programs included “Pop-Up Broadway,” a model partnership between city agencies featuring two days of dynamic art installations and performances that took place in an underappreciated area of the city, and the Great Streets Art Activation Fund, a $200,000 grant program to bring arts, culture and life to nearly every region of Los Angeles.

Through its work developing the Action Plan, Bloomberg Associates developed a sense of purpose within the department, improved efficiency, provided free and low-cost cultural experiences to Angelenos, and prepared the department to advocate for future budget increases.

Pop-Up Broadway

Metrics

45% agency budget increase

68% increase in full-time staff

72% increase in part-time staff

$200K Great Streets arts activation

84 new staff positions