"Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world, and Danielle has the experience and passion to lead the Department into a new era that showcases our talent, inspires our youth, and supports our creative economy," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Arts shouldn't be an afterthought. They should be a core part of our city government, and Danielle is uniquely qualified to make sure arts and culture touches every Angeleno's life."
"I believe in the power of arts and culture to improve the quality of life, the economic circumstances, and the civic dialogue in our city," said Danielle Brazell. "I’m thrilled to catalyze this vision through the Department of Cultural Affairs on behalf of the Mayor and the residents of our great city.”
Brazell's nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council.
"As chair of the City's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and Los Angeles River committee, I am eager for the Department of Cultural Affairs to move forward on key arts initiatives that will benefit all Angelenos," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell.
"Danielle Brazell is deeply committed to making arts and culture accessible to everyone in Los Angeles and I am very excited for her to get started," said Eric Paquette, President of the Cultural Affairs Commission.
Brazell has led Arts for LA since 2006, transitioning it from an ad-hoc steering committee composed of local executive arts leadership to a highly visible arts advocacy organization serving the greater Los Angeles region. Under her stewardship, Arts for LA has built a diverse coalition of over 160 member organizations and an advocacy network of more than 41,000 people, making it a formidable force in building public and political will for arts, culture, and arts education in the county.
"Mayor Garcetti has tapped an ideal leader to helm the Cultural Affairs department," said Arts for LA Chair Terence McFarland. "Danielle is a fierce advocate and understands, to her core, the transformational qualities of the arts. A change agent, beloved in the arts community, she will serve us all well, in partnership with the Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles.”
“We’ve had a terrific collaboration with Danielle Brazell and Arts for LA over the past decade, particularly in making great strides in restoring arts education in public schools," said Laura Zucker, Executive Director of the L.A. County Arts Commission. "As she takes on leadership of the Department of Cultural Affairs, we look forward to the city and county finding new rich ways to work together on a variety of key arts issues. Avanti!”
Brazell began her career in the arts apprenticing at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica while performing and teaching community workshops. In 1999, she became Artistic Director of Highways and revamped its programming and formalized a pipeline for emerging artists to present at the venue. In 2004, she became Director of Special Projects for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, overseeing the relocation of the Foundation’s administrative offices and planning the Actors Center.
Brazell is the recipient of numerous grant awards, including the 2000 Getty Visual Arts Fellowship, a 2009 CLEAR Communications Fellowship sponsored by the James Irvine Foundation, and a 2010 SHero Award from then California State Senator Curren Price. She serves on the Arts for All Executive Committee, the California Alliance for Arts Education's Policy Council, the Board of Directors of Californians for the Arts, and California Arts Advocates. A graduate of Leadership LA and Leadership California, Brazell also attended and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The Department of Cultural Affairs generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for L.A.'s 4 million residents and more than 40 million annual visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and enriching cultural activities through grant making, marketing, development, public art, community arts programming, arts education, and building partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in neighborhoods throughout the city of Los Angeles. The Department has 38 full-time staff, 80 part-time staff, a projected operating budget of $11 million, and a total managed portfolio of $52 million in fiscal year 2013/14. For more information, visit www.culturela.org.
Photo credit: Joe Notaro