The Board of Supervisors approved a motion Tuesday directing county staff to work with Metro to secure grant funding to support arts, entertainment and recreation programs across the county in the weeks leading up to the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Los Angeles in 2028.
The motion by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn notes that prior to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, there was an Olympics Arts Festival over the course of 10 weeks, attracting an estimated 1.2 million people from around the world. The festival included dance, music and theater productions, while also fostering a wide-ranging program of murals, art exhibitions and other events.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board last year approved a motion calling for the development of a $10 million open streets grant program to facilitate similar events ahead of the 2028 Olympics, with the agency subsequently issuing a report envisioning a mix of neighborhood-level events throughout the county and more “regionally significant events.”
The agency could begin issuing such grants supporting such programs as early as next year, potentially creating arts opportunities early enough to be in place ahead of the 2026 World Cup, for which Los Angeles is serving as one of the host cities, according to the motion.
“Metro staff explored various state and federal grant opportunities to fund the recommended $10 million program,” according to the motion. “However, Metro faces many restrictions as a transit agency and cannot apply for many arts, culture and recreation grants. The county, on the other hand, is a suitable lead sponsor for the program because it already collaborates with Metro on this initiative and covers the whole region. Moreover, the county can leverage its regional parks, street closures, and other assets to support larger events.”
The motion calls on county officials to support Metro’s grant applications and work to ensure that arts programming ahead of the large-scale sporting events includes traditionally underserved communities. The motion also call on county parks and arts/culture officials to consider planning viewing parties for this summer’s Women’s World Cup that “celebrates and promotes women in sports.”
“The Olympics, Paralympics and World Cup are more than just sporting events,” Solis said in a statement following the vote. “They are occasions for the world to come together, celebrate global cultures and appreciate the value of play and fair competition. As the city of L.A. hosts these games, L.A. County should seize the opportunity to create opportunities for everyone to participate in arts, culture, and recreation programming.”