Thank you Center for Cultural Innovation Visual Artists Grant


Thank you to the Center for Cultural Innovation for a Los Angeles County Visual Artists grant.

On the red carpet at the National Association of Arts and Entertainment
Journalism Awards 2019 with KTLA

Watch my YouTube videos with over 1,200,000 views and see me on KTLA TV talking travel.

Lisa Niver wins at NAEJ National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2019
Lisa Niver wins at NAEJ National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2019
Lisa’s latest ceramic art creation at MOLA

Learn more about my ceramic art on my Instagram and Facebook pages.

Four hundred artists and 80 arts organizations received $2.7 million in total grants as part of a broad-based COVID-19 relief effort for the visual arts in the Los Angeles region, the J. Paul Getty Trust and the California Community Foundation announced on June 17, 2020. The emergency support was designed to reach individual artists throughout all areas of LA County and arts organizations that serve the region’s culturally diverse communities.

“The arts are a source of expression, resistance, and healing,” says Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation, an operating program of the Getty Trust, which initiated the $10 million LA Arts COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund to help small and midsize visual arts organizations. “But our creative artists and arts organizations, who do so much to advocate for social change, will not survive this pandemic and its economic fallout if we don’t take action now to support them.”

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been especially hard on small and midsize arts institutions. The pandemic also laid bare inequities in funding, particularly for organizations that serve communities of color. Smaller arts organizations tend to operate without any endowment funds or cash reserves. Yet they act as essential community anchors, supporting creative expression for artists of color, providing access to the arts for underserved groups, and offering arts education in schools and at their own sites. Even while their doors have been closed, many have worked hard to maintain their community bonds, hosting COVID-19 testing sites or food distribution centers on their premises.

After months of lost revenue, these organizations are struggling to maintain staff, provide safe galleries and workspaces that meet new health and safety standards, and still ensure meaningful arts participation for their communities when they reopen.

The more than $2 million in emergency relief grants awarded to 80 visual arts nonprofits and museums provides support to meet urgent financial needs over the next three months, including staff salaries, rent, and emergency supplies to comply with public health measures. This basic operating support will also allow organizations some leeway to plan for reopening, restructuring, and collaboration. Innovation will be critical if these institutions want to continue their work.

“We’re going to have to become semi-experts in how to manage spaces and arts experiences through a public health lens,” says Betty Avila, executive director of the arts nonprofit Self Help Graphics & Art, which received an emergency grant.

Self Help has worked at the intersection of arts and social justice since 1973, serving its community in East Los Angeles by promoting local Chicana/o and Latinx artists. But Avila recognizes they won’t endure if they don’t adapt, and the COVID relief grant will start them on that path. “We cannot return to our work with a ‘back to business as usual’ perspective.” In the meantime, the emergency grant will help them cover operational expenses, including support for Self Help Graphics’ teaching artists.

The threats facing arts institutions extend to visual artists. Thousands saw their income evaporate as the museums and non-profit spaces that exhibit their work shuttered. Many also depend on part-time work as teaching artists or preparators who set up and take down exhibitions. Countless artists also survive on work in the gig economy. With high unemployment across the region, they are straining to find alternative sources of income.

The California Community Foundation and Getty responded by creating the Relief Fund for L.A. County Visual Artists. The Fund has provided emergency grants of up to $2000 each to 400 local artists who work in all visual arts disciplines. Artists who applied for grants were asked to demonstrate their artistic practice through an online presentation of their work and to describe their financial needs. Additional contributions came from a trio of local artist-endowed foundations: the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, the Sam Francis Foundation, and the Shepard and Amanda Fairey Foundation. The artist relief fund is administered by the Center for Cultural Innovation.

“This crisis is a wake-up call to all Angelenos to support the organizations that provide access to the arts and the artists that inspire us to be resilient,” says Antonia Hernández, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation, which is administering the LA Arts COVID-19 Fund. “The emergency grants will reach a wide array of arts nonprofits and dedicated artists, but more help is needed. The demand for funds was far greater than the supply. We welcome others to join us in this effort to ensure the arts continue contributing to the cultural vitality and wellness of our region for the benefit of all residents.”

For over 30 years, Getty and CCF have been longtime collaborators in the arts, supporting one of the most prestigious fellowships for visual artists in the country, the biennial Fellowships for Visual Artists. The Fellowship, led by CCF, was created by an earlier endowment from the Getty and has grown with subsequent donations from CCF and individual donors. The LA Arts COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund was a natural extension of that partnership. The next phase of their work together will focus on recovery grants to help key museums and visuals arts organizations reimagine their operations in order to survive and thrive in the coming years. More information on recovery funds will be available before this fall.

Getty is a leading global arts organization committed to the exhibition, conservation, and understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural heritage.  Working collaboratively with partners around the globe, the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute are all dedicated to the greater understanding of the relationships between the world’s many cultures.  The Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs share art, knowledge, and resources online at and welcome the public for free at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.

The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. Through strategic grant initiatives, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. It carries out its work in collaboration with the other Getty Programs to ensure that they individually and collectively achieve maximum effect. Additional information is available at

About The California Community Foundation

The California Community Foundation has served as a public, charitable organization for Los Angeles County since 1915, its mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities. CCF manages 1,700 charitable foundations, funds and legacies. For more information, please visit

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is a speaker at the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas Travel and Adventure Shows for 2023. Her podcast, “Make Your Own Map,” has been watched in more than 11 countries on 4 continents. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have nearly 2 million views. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

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We Said Go Travel

We Said Go Travel