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Stimulus Funds for Latino Theater, Chinese Museum

Los Angeles Garment and Citizen, News Report, Staff Report Posted: Oct 14, 2009

The Latino Theater Company in the Historic Core neighborhood of Downtown and the Friends of the Chinese American Museum at the El Pueblo Historical Monument north of the Civic Center are among a handful of non-profit organizations that have been awarded portions of a recent grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The federal funds will reach local non-profit organizations through the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The NEA provided a total of $420,084 to be divided between the county and city entities, which plan to distribute the money to a total of 16 recipients as part of the federal governments $700 billion economic stimulus program. The specific amounts of money going to the various non-profit groups remained unavailable at presstime, although officials said that funds are expected to help pay the salaries of 21 administrative staffers whose jobs could have been lost due to the economic slowdown, which has crimped fundraising and other revenue sources for many non-profits.

The citys Cultural Affairs Department will send funds the Latino Theater Center, which is a resident troupe at the New Los Angeles Theater Center on the 500 block of S. Spring Street, as well as the Friends of the Chinese American Museum. Other groups in line for funds from the city include: Contra-Tiempo, the East Los Angeles Classic Theater, the Greenways Arts Alliance, the L.A. Stage Alliance, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, the Unusual Suspects Theater Company, and We Tell Stories. The Los Angeles County Arts Commission grants will fund positions at the Angeles Gate Cultural Center, the Eagle Rock Community Cultural Association, the H.E.Art Project, the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, the Jazz Bakery Performance Space, the Ryman/Carroll Foundation, and the Southwest Chamber Music Society.

The County Arts Commission administers approximately $4.4 million in grants to more than 300 non-profit arts organizations every year. The citys Cultural Affairs Department awards $3.2 million in grants annually to more than 280 artists and organizations.

City and county officials said that the federal stimulus grants were awarded through a competitive process that required applicants to demonstrate that the positions were critical and in jeopardyor had already been eliminatedbecause of the economic recession. The grants were limited to organizations that had received funding from the city and county panels in the past and met certain standards in terms of annual budgets.

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