Cultural Arts

The City of Whittier has a large and active arts community whose efforts are visible throughout the City and year-around. In 1987, the City of Whittier authorized the formation of the Cultural Arts Commission as the official agency for the encouragement and development of the arts in the community and schools.

The mission of the Whittier Cultural Arts Commission, appointed by the City Council, is to enhance the quality of life in the Whittier community by providing leadership, advice and advocacy on cultural arts. The Commission will accomplish its mission of support for arts in the changing community by identifying and prioritizing needs, and providing networking opportunities for arts organizations to enhance the quality of life.

To achieve its mission, the Commission has several standing committees that report on cultural matters and continue to encourage various programs througout the community.

Cultural Arts Calendar of Events... click here

Art in Public Places

In 1993 the City Council adopted the Art in Public Places Ordinance (12.52), which established a percentage for art programs in the City. The intent of the program is to provide a collection of nationally recognized artwork throughout the City for public benefit. The Ordinance requires new residential, commercial or manufacturing development having a total value of $250,000 or more to provide artwork valued at one-half of one percent of the total project cost or pay in-lieu contributions equal to the same amount. The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee advises the Commission and the Council on public art matters.

Please click here to view the Art in Public Places Brochure.

Please click
here to view Art in Public Places information in Whittier.

For more information on the City of Whittier's Art in Public Places program, call the Community Services Division at (562) 567-9400 or click on the envelope to e-mail. Email link to Community Services Dept

Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation

To assist the Commission in its effort to keep the arts thriving in the City, the Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation was established in 1991. The Foundation works to fund the arts through the generous help of its members and contributions from local organizations. The mission of the Foundation is to: Raise funds for incorporating the arts in all public and private sectors; 

  • Provide a network of support and supporters for the arts;

  • Encourage and assist schools in making the arts a part of every student's experience;

  • Promote growth in the arts through increased community involvement; and

    Support and appreciate the arts and nurture the artists

    Since its inception, the Foundation has funded many programs. Arts education was identified as a community need and the starting point of a broader plan to support the arts. The Foundation utilizes a Request for Proposal (RFP) program to fund cultural programs and reviews grant requests on an annual basis. Local arts organizations and schools apply for grants from the Foundation by completing an RFP application. Applications are available January through February from the Community Services Division in City Hall at (562) 567-9400.

    The Foundation is proud to have funded a wide variety of cultural arts programs, such as:

    • Students from the Whittier Union High School District are able to take tours of museums such as the Huntington Library, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Center.

    • Live Shakespeare plays for seventh and eighth grade students presented by professional actors in an authentic theatrical setting.

    • Music appreciation taught by professional musicians from the Rio Hondo Symphony for fourth and fifth grade students in the Whittier City and East Whittier School Districts. Students receive hands-on instruction.

    • Creative visual arts instruction for talented youth in collaboration with the Whittier Art Association.

    • Outreach programs provided by the Shannon Center for local elementary schools.

    • Several local school music, dance, drama and visual arts programs that provide hands-on experience and increase students' appreciation of the arts.

    Whittier Arts Foundation Honors Artists and Supporters

    Four local artists and supporters of the arts were honored at a banquet on Wednesday, July 18 at the 10th annual Honors Night, sponsored by the Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation.

    Honored were Jeanette Kelly, folk art and contemporary craft – textiles; Dr. Frances Norbert, music; Dr. Joseph L. Price, Friend of the Arts; and Dr. Williametta Spencer, instruction in the arts – music.

    “We honored some very deserving individuals, put smiles on the faces of many and received a slew of kind words from those who attended,” said Eric Martinez, Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation Board President.

    The Cultural Arts Foundation holds this event annually to honor artists and art supporters who have made a significant contribution to the quality of the arts in Whittier.  The Foundation, a private, non-profit fund-raising group under the aegis of the Whittier Cultural Arts Commission, raises funds to provide grants and other arts programs for the City, especially in the schools.

    For the Whittier News press release of the honorees... click

    For more information about the Whittier Cultural Arts Foundation, Honors Night and its other arts activities and programs, contact Greg Alaniz, Community Services Supervisor, at 562-567-9400 or

    Whittier Nights at the Hollywood Bowl

    A longtime summer tradition, Whittier has taken concert-goers to the Bowl for over 60 years. A committee of dedicated volunteers and City staff work to coordinate the event in which buses are chartered to take residents to a concert so that participants don't have to worry about driving or parking at the Bowl!  

    Contact the Community Services Department for more information at 562-567-9400.

    Click here for Hollywood Bowl Flier

    Visual Arts

  • In 1989, the City and the Commission began the City Hall Lobby Visual Arts Exhibition program. Demonstrating the City's commitment to creating a culturally healthy community, the program has brought art and artists to the public at City Hall and Parnell Park for employees, visitors and residents alike to view and appreciate. Since that time, the lobby has exhibited a diverse collection of art including paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs. The Visual Arts Committee reviews submissions and recommends an exhibit schedule to the Commission. 

    Please click here to download the Visual Arts, Lobby Arts invitation and instruction letter.

    Please click 
    here to download the Visual Arts, Lobby Arts Application and Brochure.