About the LA/IAI

The Los Angeles / Islam Arts Initiative (LA/IAI) brings together nearly 30 cultural institutions throughout Los Angeles to tell various stories of traditional and contemporary art from multiple Islamic regions and their significant global diasporas. LA/IAI is the first-of-its kind, wide-scale citywide initiative on Islamic arts producing and presenting programming such as art exhibitions, panels, discussions, and performances. Anchoring LA/IAI are two connected exhibitions, Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art and the contemporary art exhibition, Shangri La: Imagined Cities commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to be held at DCA’s Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) at Barnsdall Park from October 26 to December 28, 2014.

Los Angeles’ substantial populations from areas with strong Islamic roots make LA a compelling location for this initiative. LA/IAI casts a wide net, being inclusive and welcoming, with art as its central focus. The term “Islamic art” includes work created by non-Muslim artists from Muslim-dominant countries, work by Muslims creating art in non-Muslim dominant countries, and work by artists culturally influenced by Islam. Designed to build a greater understanding of the role of Islamic arts, LA/IAI seeks to stimulate the global conversation in connection to cultural, political, and social issues.

The LA / Islam Arts Initiative is presented by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) with major support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Community Foundation, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation, and Sister Cities of Los Angeles Organization. 

About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles’ 4 million residents and 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 Los Angeles.

DCA’s operating budget and managed portfolio totaled $56 million in fiscal year 2013/14. It consisted of: $13.4 million in City related and indirect cost allocations; $10.5 million in Transient Occupancy Tax funds; $9 million in one-time City funding; $9 million in funds from the Public Works Improvements Arts Program (PWIAP); $7.5 million from the Private Arts Development Fee Program (ADF); and $6.3 million in private and public funds raised from foundation, corporate, government, and individual donors.

DCA significantly supports artists and cultural projects through its Public Art Division by administering a portfolio that totaled $16.5 million in PWIAP and ADF funds in FY13/14. Of this amount, typically 15% to 20%, or between $2.5 and $3.3 million, was attributable to artists’ fees.

DCA’s Marketing and Development Division has raised $30 million over the last 12 fiscal years to re-grant to LA-based artists and arts and cultural organizations, and to support DCA’s special programming and facilities. DCA also grants approximately $2.3 million annually to 268 artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations through its long-established Grants Administration Division. Additional special project support of more than $1.5 million is also awarded annually for a total of approximately $3.8 million invested each year in LA’s creative community.

DCA provides arts and cultural programming through its Community Arts Division, managing numerous neighborhood arts and cultural centers, theaters, historic sites, and educational initiatives. DCA’s Marketing and Development Division also markets the City’s arts and cultural events through development and collaboration with strategic partners, design and production of creative catalogs, publications, and promotional materials, and management of the culturela.org website visited by over 3 million people annually.