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Villaraigosa wants to rescind L.A. arts grant cuts that stirred protests

OlgaGaraySkalijLos Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has backed away from his controversial plan to cut the city’s arts grants by $415,000 and give the money to four other cultural organizations he picked himself.

“We were overzealous,” Ben Ceja, deputy mayor for budget and finance, told the City Council committee that has been going through the mayor’s budget proposal with each department head, in preparation for making recommendations to the full council.

Ceja asked the budget and finance committee to restore the $415,000 to the Department of Cultural Affairs budget. While no action was taken, committee Chairman Bernard C. Parks said he was miffed that the transfer had been proposed in the first place. Restoring the money to the $2.7-million arts grants program would mean that 35 organizations already approved through the standard application process in which panels of experts review and score each proposal will not lose their grants; 271 others would avoid 7% to 15% cuts.

Ceja said in an interview that the change of heart came after Olga Garay, Villaraigosa’s appointee as executive director of the cultural affairs department, explained the longstanding process of competitive grants. It was “a key [factor] that made us reconsider this,” the deputy mayor said. “We didn’t want to harm the process.”

Read the full story at Culture Monster, The Times' arts blog.

--Mike Boehm 

Photo: Olga Garay, head of L.A.'s Department of Cultural Affairs. Credit: Wally J. Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (10)

The top hedge fund trader made $4 billion last year and paid 15% tax.

I am all for hard work and fair gains but 4000 million for one person for one year? More than all the NBA player COMBINED? And pays 15% tax?

The financial industry has hijacked this country.

The puppet wants to help Eli Broad, get the money he wants. The puppet really thinks he is smart, and everyone in LA is stupid. Furthermore, he wants to give out more favors to his friends.

It's nice that when the city is hitting hard times that we give 2.7 million for the arts. Next time you are being robbed or your house catches on fire..... paint a picture.

What planet is this guy (villaragrossa) on? He's been mayor for HOW LONG andclaims he doesn't understand "The Process"?! Impeach now while L.A. still has a chance. It is under villaragrossa that L.A. has gone down the tubes, he's squandered our money and frittered away our standing. Can't stand the guy.

"Overzealous" is not the right word. "Greedy" is more like it. In his greed for power, the mayor overreached. When his hand got slapped, he was forced to retract.

More frivolous waste, like NEA grants, in a time of GENUINE need....guess the hungry and jobless can 'dine' on pretentious art.

The mayor once again look like an id1ot! He says one thing and does another...just like his entire administration...he is all over the map.

Time for another DWP rate increase.

Considering the budget shortfall, they should rescind the entire $2.7-million arts grants program and return it all to the general fund.

Go here:


to take Villaraigosa out of office.


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