The new partnership between the city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to conserve and promote the Watts Towers has paid its first dividend—a big one, writes Mark Boehm in the Los Angeles Times.
The museum announced Wednesday that it has received a $500,000, one-year grant from the James Irvine Foundation to carry out its work on the towers. The city couldn’t have landed the grant on its own because the San Francisco–based foundation doesn’t fund government agencies.
Facing extreme financial pressure, the city, which manages the towers under a long-term contract with the state of California, which owns them, had budgeted just $150,000 for this year’s work, down from a peak of $300,000 a few years ago. Last spring Virginia Kazor, the historical curator who had supervised towers conservation, took an early retirement offered as part of the drive to reduce government spending.
Conservation work came to a standstill; Olga Garay, executive director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, said no one else on the staff had the expertise to oversee it.
|Don Cherry Brown Rice 1975|