Art Insider April 7: MOCA furloughs, Getty’s $10 million arts funding, a virtual dance party

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This week, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) furloughs more staff, the Getty announces $10 million to fund small and mid-sized arts organizations, and the California African American Museum (CAAM) hosts a virtual dance party. 

MOCA lays off more staff

MOCA Grand Avenue. Photo: Elon Schoenholz. Image courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Last week MOCA laid off 97 of its part-time staff. According to the LA Times , the museum “hoped to hire back staff when the museum reopened and made the move so workers could file for unemployment benefits and cash out accrued vacation pay.”  

Now MOCA has furloughed even more workers. Effective last Friday, 69 full-time staffers are taking full or partial furloughs. Some have had their salaries slashed while asked to keep working. All furloughed staff will continue to receive health benefits, though many will lose their salaries beginning April 17. MOCA is not institutionally funded, and cities lack funding, despite the $10 million donation from Carolyn Clark Powers in January to make the museum free for all. Though the funds for that donation were stipulated to go to the free program and aren’t easily reallocated, many staffers are now questioning the priorities of the museum’s funding allocations. 

Getty announces $10 million in arts grants

The Getty Center. Credit: Pixabay.

The Getty, which has committed to continue paying its 1,400 employees through the coronavirus shutdown, has announced a major boon for LA artists: $10 million in grants geared at visual arts institutions and organizations. The grants will range from $25,000 to $200,000, and be funded through the Getty Trust’s strategic initiatives funds. 

Jim Cuno, president and chief executive of the Getty Trust, explained to the LA Times , “It’s a sum of money that we put aside for unanticipated opportunities that are deserving.” 

He hopes other individuals or organizations will jump in to contribute to the fund. “We don’t want to be doing it alone,” Cuno explained. “The Getty has an important role in the cultural life of the city. The idea is that we could work with others and get something done to address the needs of small and midsize institutions, which have fewer resources that can sustain them over time.” 

The new grants will be distributed by the California Community Foundation (CCF) along with the Fellowship for Visual Arts Grant (a preexisting grant that will be refocused to act as emergency support for individual artists). Details have yet to be announced, but many arts organizations are hopeful that the grants could help them stay afloat during the pandemic.  

More details coming soon on and .  

Tonight: Dance with the California African American Museum

A dance party at CAAM. Image courtesy of CAAM. 

The news is unfolding at a staggering rate, and trying to keep up could plummet you deep into the couch. One LA museum is reminding people to get up and dance. 

Usually the California African American Museum (CAAM) hosts opening celebrations — called Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop — for new exhibitions. Those celebrations include food trucks, DJs and dancing. 

Tonight, CAAM goes virtual with Can’t Stop, “Really” Won’t Stop , a dance party on Instagram Live. CAAM says via Facebook, “If you’ve attended Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop in the past, you know what we're talking about: attendees always celebrate the Museum’s new exhibitions in style — with a spontaneous community line dance.” 

The virtual event will feature a live set by Mr. Choc and J.Rocc of The Beat Junkies , and will take place on The Beat Junkies’ feed (@thebeatjunkies). It’s all happening 7-9 p.m. So get off the couch, put on your dancing shoes, and bust a move!

Join the virtual line dance

A Chuck Arnoldi-inspired craft from the USC Fisher Museum

Charles Arnoldi,
Broken Memory (detail) (1984). Acrylic, sticks, and wood chairs on plywood. Image courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

This week’s art project comes from The USC Fisher Museum of Art, where a survey of four decades of work by Venice Beach-based artist Chuck Arnoldi is currently on view. Based on Arnoldi’s sculpture Broken Memory (1984), the project involves using found sticks to create art.


  1. Look at Chuck Arnoldi’s sculpture pictured above. What do you see? What materials did he use? How did he make it? 
  2. Go on a walk and collect sticks. 
  3. Now use your materials (sticks, scissors, paint, hot glue, yarn, or whatever you have at home) to create an artwork inspired by Broken Memory. 
  4. One idea: Paint the sticks in different colors, and then attach them with hot glue or yarn to create an abstract 3D sculpture. Paint similar patterns on cardboard, and cut out into unique shapes. Glue these shapes as a second layer behind the sticks. 
  5. Tag @fishermuseum when posting your finished artwork.