LA County Arts Commission Interns Embark on a Historic Downtown Tour

Group photo outside Grand Central Market.

Los Angeles County Arts Commission (LACAC) interns journeyed to the past on Wednesday, July 15 as they participated in a walking tour of Downtown Los Angeles to learn about and explore the historic buildings, artwork, and locations that embody the city.

Led by Los Angeles Conservancy tour guide, Carolyn Coughlin-Grimm, the tour group learned about the early beginnings of the city of Los Angeles and its eventual growth into a leading urban center. A mixture of architectural elements and motifs from different eras, such as Roman-Greco and Art Deco design elements, were pointed out by Coughlin-Grimm as the tour group made its way through busy streets.

Among the iconic destinations visited included Pershing Square Park, Grand Central Library, the Bradbury Building, and Grand Central Market. Looking up and taking the time to admire the various building façades and their respective intricate interiors, it was shocking to see how many elements and public art exhibits go unrecognized by the masses each day.

One interesting fact mentioned by Coughlin-Grimm that pertained to the city of Los Angeles, was that public developers in the past were required to allocate 1% of their building budget to a public arts project. Similarly, each year, the LACAC allocates funding to partner with local arts organizations in the Greater Los Angeles area, such as LAMusArt, to sponsor 10-week, paid arts internships for local college students.

The Arts Internship Program, which was established in the year 2000, “provide[s] undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience working in nonprofit arts organizations, while assisting arts organizations and developing future arts leaders.” Through their experiences with “nonprofit performing, presenting, literary and municipal arts organizations,” interns explore careers and the interconnectedness of the arts to other career sectors.

At the end of the tour, it is our hope that the interns were left with a greater sense of wonder and admiration for the city of Los Angeles and that they recognize how much art surrounds them every day.

The LACAC Arts Internship Program is offered every year to currently enrolled undergraduate college students who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County. For more information, please visit

LA County Arts Commission interns making their way through busy downtown streets.

Los Angeles Conservancy tour guide, Carolyn Coughlin-Grimm, shows the group visuals of what current downtown buildings used to look like in the past.

Interns look up to admire the embellishments and design motifs of a building.

Outside the LA Grand Central Library.

An intricate chandelier inside Grand Central Library.

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