LA’s Main Art Benefactor Eli Broad is Going to Save LAUSD’s Dying Elementary Art Program

We previously reported that LAUSD’s $470-million budget shortfall was going to cut directly into our elementary children’s art education. Today, Los Angles Times reporter David Ng told us that arts hero Eli Broad has been named an honorary chair of Arts for LA, an advocacy group that organizes community support for arts education in the school district. Charles Segars, chief executive of Ovation TV, has assumed the title of chair of the Campaign to Save Arts Education in LAUSD.

In his new role, Segars will serve as the public spokesperson for the campaign. He will help Arts for LA to recruit cultural leaders to serve on the campaign’s steering committee and to work with local business leaders on behalf of the organization.

The Campaign to Save Arts Education in LAUSD was created in response to a recent LAUSD budget proposal that would eliminate 50% of elementary arts teachers for the 2010-11 school year.

In a statement, Segars said he’s read “far too many studies on the extraordinary benefits of arts education on students’ overall ability to learn and succeed in school, as well as in life, to let our arts education program get kicked to the curb.”

Ovation TV is a specialty television channel that provides arts and cultural programming to its subscribers.

In December, the LAUSD published a series of proposed budget cuts, which include eliminating half of the district’s arts specialists who teach a specific cultural subject, such as music or dance, in elementary schools. The move would result in an estimated savings of $14.9 million for the 2010-11 year.

Photo by Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Eli Consilvio