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County set to fund an eclectic mix

FREE concerts get a boost. So does a self-described “risky” stage venture, a Hollywood bus tour and aspiring Native American theater artists.

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s appropriation for grants to nonprofit arts organizations for fiscal 2006-07 -- a record amount at more than $4.5 million -- was announced in June. Specifics, released this month, show dramatic increases for many organizations over last year’s awards.

Among the eclectic recipients: “Native Voices at the Autry,” the theater initiative at the Autry National Center, will receive $143,000 over two years to support new work for the stage by Native American writers, up from last year’s $52,900.

Downtown’s Colburn School awarded $18,000 for 2005-06, will receive $92,600 over two years to support more than 100 free concerts; the Skirball Cultural Center’s free “Sunset Concerts” world music series will receive $108,600, also over two years.

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Meanwhile, a one-year grant of $26,500 goes to the Hollywood Entertainment Museum for “a bus tour of movie-related cultural sites, lectures and film rights.” And Long Beach-based International City Theatre will receive $50,800 over two years, up from $15,500 last year, to support production of what it called “a relevant but risky new play with special artistic requirements and nontraditional forms of reaching audiences.” The play is likely to revolve around Long Beach’s Cambodian immigrant community, one of the largest in the U.S.

-- Lynne Heffley


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