Board of Airport Commissioners Increases Investment in Musical Arts Program at LAX

09/07/2018 01:30 PM

For Immediate Release
September 7, 2018

Becca Doten


Members of the contemporary classical music collective Jacaranda performed for guests in August as a part of LAX Presents.

(Los Angeles, CA) Yesterday, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) approved an amendment to add an additional $150,000 to the contract with Grand Performances for the development and production of cultural programming at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Grand Performances collaborates with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) on the LAX Presents program, which features Los Angeles-based artists performing in the unique space of an international airport. The 2018 LAX Presents line-up includes 18 performances across nine months, including six classical performances, a DJ with dancers and a percussionist, a marionette show, and a dance troupe influenced by the India subcontinent.

“One of the strategic goals of Los Angeles World Airports is to deliver facilities and experiences that are exceptional, and our partnership with Grand Performances helps us provide that unique experience for those who work at and travel through our airport,” said Gabriel L. Eshaghian, Commissioner, BOAC. “We are pleased to expand this program so that even more of our guests will be able to experience live performances at LAX.”

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater brought their interactive show to Terminal 7.

“Nothing lifts the soul or calms the mind like music and art, even in the midst of a bustling airport,” said Sarah Cifarelli, Art Program Director, LAWA. “Our partnership with Grand Performances gives us the opportunity to create fresh, surprising, and engaging performances that will delight our guests and provide a new dimension to their travel experience.”

Now in its second year of a three-year contract, LAX Presents brings together artists from across Los Angeles to perform at various locations throughout the airport, both pre- and post-security. In December 2016, the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) approved funding for the three-year pilot program, in partnership with Grand Performances. Grand Performances is Los Angeles’ premier presenter of free, outdoor summer performing arts programs. In addition to showcasing some of L.A.’s finest musical talent, LAX Presents enlivens the airport’s public spaces and delivers distinctive cultural encounters to travelers.

“Grand Performances is proud of our partnership with LAX and thanks the commission for augmenting this program,” said Mari Riddle, Executive Director, Grand Performances. “LAX Presents provides local artists the opportunity to reach a new audience in a unique setting. And while LAX travelers welcome these unexpected concerts, the other audience enjoying the music are the LAX employees."

Yesterday’s action by BOAC expands the scope of the LAX Presents program. With the new funding, LAWA aims to double the number of performances, from 18 performances across nine months to 36 across nine months. Approximately one-third of the performances will be classical music, and the rest will include international music or other types of performances. The additional funding also will allow LAWA and Grand Performances to produce two sing-along events, one in the spring and one in the fall, which will include live music and dancers. The songs and theme for the sing-along program are yet to be developed, but likely will feature songs with a nexus to travel, Los Angeles and/or love.

Grammy Award winning Oscar Hernandez brought his Latin Jazz quintet to Tom Bradley International Terminal in the most recent installment of LAX Presents.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fifth busiest airport in the world and second in the United States, was named in Skytrax’ 2018 top 10 U.S. airports. LAX served more than 84.56 million passengers in 2017 and offers 737 daily nonstop flights to 100 cities in the U.S. and 1,386 weekly nonstop flights to 88 cities in 44 countries on 73 commercial air carriers.  LAX ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.2 million tons of air cargo valued at over $101.4 billion.  LAX handled 700,362 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2017.  

An economic study based on 2014 operations reported LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues.  The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital-improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion, $966 million in state and local taxes, and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues. 

LAX is also the second most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund. 

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter  @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

About Grand Performances:

Celebrating its 32nd year, Grand Performances aims to inspire community, celebrate diversity, and unite Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts. Grand Performances presents high-quality music, dance, theater, and more during the summer at the breathtaking California Plaza in the heart of Downtown as well as at other venues throughout the year including the Los Angeles World Airport. Follow @GrandPerformances on Facebook, @GrandPerfs on Twitter and Instagram and our YouTube Channel at For more information visit


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