ARTS:EARTH PARTNERSHIP & LOS ANGELES ARTS SECTOR LEADING BY EXAMPLE
A ground-breaking private / public partnership
Initiates groundbreaking sustainable changes
in America’s second largest city
In February of 2010, Arts:Earth Partnership (AEP) (www.artsearthpartnership.org) the non-profit green certification organization, was engaged by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) under the direction of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and leadership of Executive Director Olga Garay and Cultural Facilities Director Ernest Dillihay, to perform sustainability assessments on all city owned cultural facilities. Arts:Earth Partnership was chosen for its unique focus on the cultural sector and its considerable access to the general public through its theaters, museums, art galleries, dance studios and production offices that make up their targeted businesses.
This unprecedented contract between Arts:Earth Partnership and the City of Los Angeles was the first step to wide scale sustainable changes that will be phased into all 700+ Los Angeles City facilities and operations by December 2012. The innovative Los Angeles Arts Sector is quietly leading the way toward a sustainable future in Southern California with this unique AEP and DCA contract.
AEP was able to complete sustainability assessments on 19 of the city’s cultural institutions. These include the 77,000 sq. ft Los Angeles Theater Center, The Nate Holden PAC, Barnsdall Gallery Theater, Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro and the Sun Valley YAC. In January of 2011, AEP presented their findings to representatives of the Mayor’s office as well as the Department of Cultural Affairs, Office of Sustainability, Department of Sanitation and General Services. The detailed assessments, coupled with an on-going internal review of city-wide purchasing practices resulted in a clearly understandable set of remedies that would allow these facilities and operations to be recognized as sustainable businesses. Inspired by the outcomes of the report, the various city departments decided to implement the changes necessary to bring these cultural facilities into compliance with AEP Green Certification standards (which are equitable to USGBC’s green certification standards) and set an example not only for the private sector, but for the rest of the city departments to follow.
As a direct result of this process, the Department of Sanitation’s and Arts:Earth Partnership Program led a joint training session for DCA facility managers at Barnsdall Gallery in a series of trainings that will inform and educate city staff on the city’s new preferred purchasing program and highlight environmentally safe products and procedures.
“The people at Arts:Earth Partnership understand the cultural sector and have been invaluable in helping to chart a course of cost savings and sustainability at all of our cultural facilities, even in these difficult economic times. I encourage all municipalities and arts organizations to get involved,” Says Olga Garay, DCA Executive Director.
Inspired by the leadership of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles was just named the 7thgreenest major US City in the country in a recent National survey. Los Angeles is on a path to become one of America’s most innovative green cities. In 2005, LADWP received a mere 3% of its electricity from renewable sources; today, the utility is close to 20% renewable. Angelenos use 20% less water today than they used a mere two years ago.
About Arts:Earth Partnership
Arts:Earth Parnership was founded in 2006 at the Electric Lodge in Venice, the first 100% renewable energy powered cultural center in Los Angeles. AEP is the official green certification for cultural facilities in Southern California whose member businesses include museums, art galleries, theaters, production offices and cultural centers. To request an assessment or for more information on the Arts and Sustainability movement in Los Angeles please contact Arts:Earth Partnership at [email protected].