One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival
At certain points in its long history, LA Pride has fallen under criticism for being less relevant, too focused on partying and/or commercial interests, and for lacking an educational component to teach people about LGBTQ history. As such, the city convened a task force in 2005-2006 to look at these issues.
Based on research from the task force, the city developed a goal to gradually extend the Pride Event to incorporate a month-long series of arts, film, cultural, and social activities that celebrate the creativity and diversity of the West Hollywood/Los Angeles LGBT community.
The City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) took on the task of addressing this recommendation in 2008, resulting in the creation of One City One Pride. Organizations were encouraged to apply for general grant funds to present art projects with LGBTQ themes during the month of June and the city/commission created a branding and marketing platform to promote them through a dedicated web presence and pamphlet.
In 2012, the city further invested in the arts by adding a new staff position of Arts Coordinator who had responsibilities for programming at the Library and other venues, marketing arts events, and principal coordination for One City One Pride. In addition, council provided $25,000 of general fund dollars to support One City One Pride, which had previously not had a specific budget attached to it. The city’s addition of a staff member who could focus more time and effort onto One City One Pride allowed the program to thrive.
The majority of programming for One City One Pride is derived via an open call for city-funded grants. A conscious decision was made to have the grants be open to both arts organizations and to individual artists (a relative rarity in government funding) to provide greater accessibility for underserved populations who might not have the backing of a 501(c)3 organization.
Part of the requirements for One City One Pride grants include that the programs must be free to attend or have a maximum ticket price of $10. This is designed to make sure that programming is accessible to anyone regardless of economic status. Generally, about 90% of One City One Pride programs are free to attend.
In 2016, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division undertook an 18 month community outreach process to create a cultural plan which provides a framework to organize, develop, and sustain the work of the city’s arts and culture programs over the next 5+ years. The process included contributions or input from 1,700 individuals, and involved 26 arts and culture pop-ups, 17 “Living Room Sessions” (informal talkbacks around specific arts and culture topics), the collection of 731 online and in-person surveys, and 4 workshops led by social practice artists intended to deeply engage specific populations in West Hollywood (seniors and teens). Following review by the City’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, the cultural plan was adopted by the West Hollywood City Council on August 21, 2017. The Plan is designed to continue to collect feedback from the community through ongoing “Artist Roundtables” and “Living Room Sessions.”
The resulting cultural plan, named ‘WeHo Arts: The Plan, provides a flexible framework involving 5 principles:
Within these principles there were 20 specific recommendations. One City One Pride engages all five principles of the plan and uses the plan’s recommendations and feedback from the community in charting a course to the future.
The One City One Pride festival has produced many programs, events, and outcomes.
One City One Pride website
West Hollywood, CA– 2019 AAC Winner: Presentation
Art Coordinator, City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069