Five Los Angeles Arts Organizations You Should Know About
Incredible arts organizations that provide resources that every artist needs.
By Karina Vahitova on November 2, 2017
Putting together this article, I had one of those moments of, "Wow how lucky are we to live in a world full of people!" As artists, we may sometimes feel really alone in the day-to-day processes of our working lives, but the reality is that we are here together with others who have invaluable advice and skills to share. The best part? We can reach out and pull this beauty into our practices. Today, I am excited to share with you all a list of five fantastic Los Angeles arts organizations. These folks are doing great work to push our arts future forward. I hope you will find something you need below!
Center for Cultural Innovation has been helping individual artists acquire resources for sustainable entrepreneurship since 2001. With their myriad of professional development workshops and social impact grants for artist-entrepreneurs, CCI is a wonderful hub for all things art business. Their website has a resource directory, a workshop calendar, and opportunities for artists and art workers to apply for professional development grants.
Sustainability and social impact for the arts is at the center of this organization's mission. Their vast understanding of the arts ecosystem through copious field research and community engagement is evident in the kinds of programs their offer. CCI works as a catalyst by empowering artists and art workers with skills necessary to create a better future for the arts.
Women's Center started as two dinners for women hosted by its three co-founders Katie Bachler, Kate Johnston, and Sarah Williams in 2013. The topic in question was the trajectory of contemporary feminism. Now WCCW offers a co-working space in Frogtown (with a Risograph printer!), nightly events, and long-term programming, and is the home to the Feminist Library on Wheels. All over the website and in the physical Women's Center space you will be reminded that this organization centers trans women, cis women, femme, and non-binary folks, in their own words: "unqualified & unapologetically." Their resources and programs are grounded in a radically expansive and intersectional understanding of feminism and provide the kinds of interactions between women that push us to learn from one another. You don't have to be a member to come to the events so check out their calendar!
We all need a space in which to get in touch with our bodies. Whether or not our arts practice involves performance or working with the body formally, we all have one...and it asks to be considered. When I lived in New York and danced at places like Gibney Dance, I'd tell people that I was moving to LA and they would all remind be about Pieter. Oh have you been to Pieter?! Have you heard of Pieter Performance Space?! You should go to Pieter when you're in LA!
Now I understand why. Radically inclusive, with a focus on mind-body-spirituality, this is a beautiful space to come into yourself. I'll just copy and paste from their About page because they said it better than I can: "Through workshops, classes, public performances and residencies, dancers work and play together in a non-hierarchical environment. Ideas are embodied, exchanged and transformed rather than owned. There is a belief in abundance and goodness. There is a belief that everyone has something to give. At Pieter, brave dancing bodies are at home."
Rhizomatic Arts is run by the interdisciplinary artist Allison Wyper. Doubling as both a consulting agency and a collaborative making space, this is a great resource for both some one-on-one professional development with Allison and some hang time with a community of other artists working interdisciplinarily and helping each other make art.
In my opinion, some of the best advice on sustainability for artists comes from people who are artists themselves. When it comes to writing copy, learning how to talk about your work, or making a website for your art work, who better to help you than a person who has not only been doing this kind of consulting work for over a decade, but has also been producing and showing their art for even longer than that?
Reach out to Allison for a consulting session, take one of the workshops, or simply join the Rhizomatic Sustainability Network of multi-talented artists for skillshare!
As artists and art workers we are constantly working at the intersection of politics, the cornerstone of which is our ability to consciously fight systems of oppression. This work is nuanced and never-ending, especially in the genres of performance and theatre. This is why we are lucky to exist in the world with Carmen Morgan, who is the founder and director of artEquity — an educational organization that works with arts institutions and individuals in the performing arts who want to grow the activist within them by receiving diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
artEquity has a yearly training program for people who work in theatre specifically, but it is also possible to receive a custom-made training for your arts organization by emailing artEquity directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like a sneak-peak of the kinds of things you will be talking about in a training like this, you can watch this free artEquity webinar on Youtube.