A cultural locus, Los Angeles, CA is known the world over for its vibrant arts & crafts scene. In the downtown area, the arts district was founded in 1976. Many artists gathered at the location, from nearby cities like Venice, Santa Monica and Long Beach. Professional and amateur artists sought and found large affordable spaces in previously abandoned downtown buildings.
In the past, artists were compelled to hide their living status. Frequently, the local fire department would conduct unscheduled fire inspections. Fortuitously, artists dwelling in the many lofts typically had a few hours warning, and would rush to conceal any signs of living there.
To provide assistance to the denizens, the Artists In Residence ordinance was enacted. This code allowed artists and craftsmen to legally live in buildings which conformed to established safety requirements. The popularity of the downtown lofts raised rents from about 30 cents a square foot to above one dollar per square foot. During the 1980’s arts & crafts localities were so plentiful that people made money by conducting bus tours of the district.
Currently, greater than twelve hundred artists and craftspeople live and work in the arts district, and hundreds more in the surrounding areas.
The City of Los Angeles also supports a public arts program, which compels area builders to contribute one percent of their construction-related costs for new structures to a public art fund.
Los Angeles is famous for its mural art, and the thousands spread throughout the city are thought to be greater than in any other city in the world. Native Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera and Jose Orozco have painted noted murals in the area.
Around the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Chicano arts & crafts movement began in the city. A lot of the material produced was in the tradition favored by Mexican muralists. Murals created in this era by artists and crafters still exist in East Los Angeles. The Chicano arts & crafts in Los Angeles also spawned the internationally known D?a de los Muertos annual festival.
In conclusion, many of the most widely-known art museums on the globe are located in Los Angeles. Among them are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center, and the Hammer Museum. Less prominent arts & crafts museums in the city include the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the California African American Museum, and numerous sculpture gardens.