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L.A. Arts Month officially kicks off today

January 5, 2010 | 10:51 am


Los Angeles likes to call itself the "creative capital of the world" -- a boast that is certain to raise eyebrows in cities like New York, San Francisco, London or Paris.

But could the claim actually be true? A recent study titled the 2009 Otis Report on the Creative Economy says one in every six people in the L.A. region is employed in a creative field. In addition, L.A. organizations in the creative field earned an estimated  $121 billion in revenues in 2008, while those in Orange County accounted for an estimated $18 billion.

The study's definition of "creative field" is broad and includes the entertainment industry, as well as digital media and self-employed artists. (The study was conducted with the participation of the L.A. County Economic Development Corp. -- not exactly a neutral party when it comes to shaping public awareness of the region.)

Whether you believe L.A.'s claim to cultural supremacy, it's hard to deny how far the city has come in the fields of arts and culture. Today, the city officially kicks of L.A. Arts Month, an annual celebration of the area's visual and performing arts. Organized by more than 30 local arts groups and political organizations, the event is essentially a concerted marketing effort to raise awareness of the area's cultural offerings.

We'll have more from this morning's official kick-off ceremony later today. But for now, check out some of the L.A. Arts Month events, exhibitions and performances happening around town this month.

-- David Ng

Photo: A view of the central garden at the Getty Center. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times