For immediate release October 16, 2017

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Celebrates City of Los Angeles as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction

Local Organizations Recognized for Cultural Vitality and Accessibility

WASHINGTON, DC — The Phi Beta Kappa Society is naming the city of Los Angeles as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction. The award is designed to showcase metropolitan areas with exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy and scientific engagement. 

Danielle Brazell, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) General Manager, will accept the award on the city’s behalf during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Theatre Center on October 17, 2017.

“We are so appreciative of this award recognizing that creativity is the lifeblood of LA. DCA honors and celebrates our city’s cultural and artistic diversity,” said Brazell. “We are committed to supporting, showcasing, and advocating for the arts and the artists contributing both to the economy in LA and the vitality of LA.”

The event acknowledges the outstanding contributions of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs to this municipal effort. “A city’s cultural vibrancy doesn’t just happen. It takes careful planning, financial support, and public commitment to its importance,” says Phi Beta Kappa Secretary/CEO Frederick M. Lawrence. “We applaud DCA not only for its cutting-edge programs that appeal to residents and visitors alike, but also for its equitable grants program, accessible public programs, and deep commitment to providing cultural opportunities for all.”

The event will also award $5,000 to four exemplary local organizations that build creative exchanges with new and diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or mathematics. 

WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that spotlights the power of a girl and her pen. It promotes self-expression through creative writing among underserved teen girls to help them become positive change agents in their communities through monthly writing intensives, public readings, mentoring, and collegiate preparation and attainment.

The Citizen Science Program  at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County engages local communities to better understand biodiversity in and around one of the world’s largest cities. From lizards to ladybugs, volunteers help survey and track the wildlife of the Los Angeles area. 

The United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance  provides opportunities for veterans to work and thrive in the arts and humanities. It highlights the power of the arts and humanities to help address critical issues that veterans face today including the transition to civilian life, education, employment, and the effects of wartime and service injuries. 

The TOPS Science Outreach Program  at Occidental College is a 20 year-long collaboration between Los Angeles area teachers and Occidental faculty that provides over 7,000 students each year with student-centered laboratory learning experiences that foster scientific inquiry and curiosity. 

The Phi Beta Kappa Society launched the Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award in 2016 to spotlight cities or metropolitan regions for their exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy, and scientific engagement. Previous recipients of this award include the cities of Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Atlanta.


About The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

As a leading, progressive arts and cultural agency, DCA empowers Los Angeles’s vibrant communities by supporting and providing access to quality visual, literary, musical, performing, and educational arts programming; managing vital cultural centers; preserving historic sites; creating public art; and funding services provided by arts organizations and individual artists. Formed in 1925, DCA promotes arts and culture as a way to ignite a powerful dialogue, engage LA’s residents and visitors, and ensure LA’s varied cultures are recognized, acknowledged, and experienced.  For more information, please visit

About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 39 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 130 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. For more information, visit