The arts are an essential part of our lives and our communities, but during the pandemic, performing arts institutions necessarily have been deemed non-essential businesses. As a result, live theaters are facing the very real threat that the show will not go on, and many may be forced to close forever.
The long-term consequences of that threat are especially dangerous in a place like the NoHo Arts District, which is home to the largest concentration of theaters in the country outside New York. The NoHo Arts District is one of the cultural treasures of our city primarily because of the range and quality of its theatrical productions. If NoHo's theaters were to close, North Hollywood would lose an essential part of its character, and Los Angeles would lose part of its soul.
Councilmember Krekorian introduced a motion in Council this week to create a new program that will offer a critical lifeline to NoHo's theaters and performance spaces. His motion, which is expected to be approved by the full council next week, will create a grant program for performing arts organizations, using arts funds that have been paid to the city by developers. These grants will help performing arts organizations to cover their operating expenses and stay afloat at a time when they have zero income from box office receipts, classes or other sources.
These grants will give us all hope that when the pandemic subsides, the show will go on after all.
Closing performance of In My Mind's Eye on March 15, at The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.
Photo Credit: Doug Engalla