Artists Not Paid by Villaraigosa’s Summer Night Lights Gang Reduction Program


I was copied on the following email by east-side artists who have been working on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Summer Night Lights project, now in its 2nd year.  A week ago the Mayor visited the Jordan Downs housing Project (pictured above) for a press tour.  Artists have worked diligently to provide what they could with their own resources to children who have no other summer alternative.  I took this picture above and witnessed how crucial art is to inner city youth who are starving to learn and desperately need patient mentorship.  –Victoria Delgadillo

FROM: Community Artist, Apprentices, and Master Artist/SNL 2009

RE: Summer Night Lights (SNL) Contract

DATE: September 2, 2009

To Whom May It Concern,

We the artists of the SNL Gang Reduction Program demand immediate payment for our services.  Many of us turned down other work to be a part of this important effort. The SNL programs success is majorly due to the arts component that is present at all 16 parks.  We all depend on this – this is our work, we have committed ourselves not only to our craft but to our community to provide the services they all deserve. Likewise we deserve to be treated as professionals in our field of expertise.  The Arts community is one of the most effected groups from the current economic downturn and continue to be disregarded by this neglect on the part of the City of Los Angeles.

The experience working hands on with the community has been remarkable. Many of us artist have gone through various lengths and have over exceeded in order to sustain the art, music and dance workshops for Summer Night Lights. For example, asking our colleagues, friends and organizations to donate materials, paying directly from our pockets, swiping our credit cards, borrowed money for equipment and materials. Although we have been partially reimbersed for materials, we have not been paid for our time and professional experience.  There has been a significant amount of preparation, time, planning and effort to make SNL a success. Our efforts have over exceeded our expectations and requirements. Continue reading