LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Department of Cultural Affairs announced Tuesday that it will give $400,000 in grants aimed at using the arts to promote economic growth, build community and engage local residents.

The Public Space Activation Fund for Outdoor Creative Enhancement and Engagement Projects will accept applications through June 2022.

"Never has the city of Los Angeles needed the Public Space Activation Fund more to help stimulate the reopening of our communities," said Joe Smoke, DCA's grants administration division director.

"After 20 months of social suppression during the COVID-19 pandemic, local artists need to reconnect with audiences and help neighborhoods reach out with small and large presentations. We hope the Public Space Activation Fund will stimulate creative ideas and new collaborations while fostering confidence and comfort in many communities," he added.

The Public Space Activation Fund grants have three categories:

  • Community Expressions grants up to $900 to provide opportunities for artists who want to partner with local businesses for a one-time creative activity presented in-person or online.
  • The Community Activation Fund is a pilot funding category made possible by the American Rescue Plan that intends to fund three new "signature festivals" in City Council Districts 3, 6, 8, 9 and 12, with up to $20,000 per awardee for a community picnic with entertainment in a public park, school yard, parking lot or other outdoor space.
  • The Arts Activation Fund provides about 10 grants of up to $10,000 each to support pop-ups and festival-style projects that animate sidewalks, streets, intersections and outdoor public corridors that don't have artwork present.

Applicants will be prioritized for their strong connection with their community, and the grant fund was designed to benefit projects that complement the unique character of Los Angeles' different neighborhoods. 

The Arts Activation Fund category is the fund's original component, and projects are prioritized if they take place on or adjacent to the city's designated "Great Streets." Applicants can propose outdoor cultural activities including live performances, displays of vinyl murals or temporary banners, candlelight vigils, mini-festivals and more.

More information about the grants is available at dcaredesign.org/artsactivate. Proposals are accepted online by the third Thursday each month starting in November and through June 2022.

It will take about 20 business days for each application to be reviewed, and the DCA will provide feedback for those who need to modify or improve their proposals. Applicants can adjust and resubmit two or three times.