Tom LaBonge says he wants to save the city’s arts programs

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The chair of the committee, Councilman Tom LaBonge, said the committee will save the city and programs about $2 million.

Madeleine Scinto: $2 million?

Tom LaBonge: But compared to no dollars, meaning the dollars are being erased because of the difficult times that we’re in. And so we need to reach to partners in order to keep these places open.

Scinto: Is there any fear that if you contracted out or leased out these programs that these partnerships won’t be able to execute these programs as well as the city has been doing?

LaBonge: Well, I think they can do… they’re seen around the country, these relationships that have grown and even in other cities and other countries as well, where there’s this relationship that enhances it, blossoms it. It makes things more creative, so I’m not afraid of this opportunity.

Scinto: Would this be the first public-private partnership in Los Angeles, if this went through?

LaBonge: In the early 90s, the cultural affairs partnered out with community groups to do the public-private partnership. But there were public-private partnerships from a long, long time ago. The Grand Theatre in San Pedro is a public-private partnership for many years.

Scinto: What kind of organizations would you foresee coming in to participate in this?

LaBonge: People who have a love of arts, a love of people and a skill to raise revenue.

Scinto: But you don’t have any specific organizations in mind?

LaBonge: No, I don’t know. That’s up to those who choose to bid on it. I hope people step up who have a value and a love for the city’s opportunity to continue art-community programs.