Arts for All had its origins in a late 1990s meeting of leaders of Los Angeles County arts institutions, large and small, who sought to identify critical issues that could be addressed only by the arts community as a whole. Arts education was one of the issues identified. The Arts Commission (now the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture) convened the ad hoc Los Angeles Arts Education Task Force and commissioned a study on the state of K-12 arts education in LA County public schools. In 2001, the release of Arts in Focus: Los Angeles Countywide Arts Education Survey was the first comprehensive look at arts education in the nation’s most populous county.

Arts in Focus revealed the inequitable delivery of arts education across LA County. Strong work was taking place in a few places but significant barriers existed at the school district level. The survey found that there was no centralized body to focus on arts education and provided the baseline data needed to move forward.

Seeded by a California Arts Council grant, the Arts Commission hired arts education staff and formed the Los Angeles County Arts Education Advisory Group who developed the initiative’s goals and strategies through an 18-month planning process. Eight community forums were held to help guide the development of and broaden support for the regional effort. In 2002, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, LA County Office of Education and Arts Commission adopted Arts for All, Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education and the initiative was launched.


In celebration of 20 years of service to the young people of LA County, we acknowledge the hundreds of new and longstanding partners who have come together to accomplish more than any of us could have achieved alone. As we reflect on our progress to date, we also look to what’s ahead—and invite you to join us in this effort. Together we can ensure our next generation has access to personally meaningful arts education, in schools and in communities, that allows every young person to develop the skills and self-awareness to reach their full potential

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Explore the 20th Anniversary Celebration Book