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Advocates celebrate creativity at ArtsDay 2014

Advocates celebrate creativity at ArtsDay 2014

An estimated 500 plus advocates participated in ArtsDay 2014, an "annual opportunity for Angelenos to celebrate the contributions of arts and culture to the community and to talk with their elected officials about why the arts are important to us."

The day began with a continental breakfast in the City Hall rotunda, where Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed the crowd with a speech about the indispensable role of the arts in our city.

Advocates donned bright red T-shirts (pictured right) designed by artist Stephen Walker, reinforcing Los Angeles' status as the world's "Creative Capital" and serving as a visual symbol of the power of L.A.'s creative community.

As the day's City Council meeting began, ArtsDay participants flooded the chambers in a show of solidarity for the arts. A variety of speakers described how the arts had positively affected their lives.

"This was my third time at Arts Day LA," said Camille Schenkkan, Center Theatre Group's manager for emerging artists and arts professionals programs. "It's exciting to see the growth of the event and how, each year, more local legislators sign on to support ArtsDay LA.

It's a reflection of the work done by thousands of passionate arts advocates to hear an elected official talk about the economic and cultural value of Los Angeles' rich arts ecology."

Delegations from each City Council district met with their elected officials to "thank them for their investments in arts and culture ... and [to] ask them to keep their pledges to foster healthy, vibrant, and prosperous communities that include the arts."

ArtsDay 2014 was organized by Arts For LA, an organization dedicated to "foster[ing] a healthy environment in which arts and culture may thrive and be accessible to all in Los Angeles County."

"I was excited to participate in ArtsDay LA for the first time," said Traci Cho Kwon, CTG's director of school partnerships, "and was thrilled to join the hundreds of other arts advocates in presenting a clear and visible message in our red T-shirts on the need for continued investment in arts and culture in our communities."