About

About

Getty House is much more than the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles. It’s a gathering place, a center for creative exchange, and a hub for action that embodies the dynamic spirit of one of the world’s great cities.

Guided by the inclusive vision of Mayor Eric Garcetti, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, and the Getty House Foundation Board of Directors, the programming at Getty House focuses on bringing Angelenos from across our city together with innovators, activists, business leaders, and government officials from around the world. Getty House’s programming celebrates the diversity of our city, fosters public/private partnerships, and promotes greater civic engagement.

Getty House opens its doors to artists, veterans, school children, tech pioneers, and visiting dignitaries, among others, because that’s LA at its best.

 

A Message from First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the Getty House! Over the past seven years, more than 25,000 Angelenos have gathered here to build community and dream up a more equitable and sustainable future for our great city. My husband Eric and I are honored to have personally hosted them all. Our guests at the Getty House have come from all corners of our city and all walks of life.

One of our greatest joys while living at the Getty House with our family has been celebrating annual holidays—ranging from Independence Day to Veterans Day—with Angelenos of all backgrounds and experiences.

In addition, we have been excited to support the policy-focused, action-oriented programs the Getty House Foundation Board of Directors regularly organizes here. This amazing group of people deserves immense credit for how active and impactful the programming at the Getty House has been during the Garcetti Administration.

When welcoming guests to the events the Getty House Foundation hosts here, I consistently ask one question: “How many of you are visiting here for the first time?” At every event, the vast majority of attendees still raise their hands! I am extraordinarily happy about this, because events that proactively reach out to Angelenos who have never before had the opportunity to visit this historic venue and engage in discussions about the future of our city with important civic leaders have kept me excited about the work we do here.

I will never forget the first event my husband Eric and I hosted at the Getty House after we moved here in January of 2014. We invited our neighbors over for a post-New Year’s Day celebration of hot chocolate and cookies. Together, we all wandered the Getty House’s lovely living room, library, dining room, and kitchen; explored the gardens designed by noted landscape architect A.E. Hanson in 1921; and talked about the role the Getty House has played in our local government since the Getty Oil company donated it to the City of L.A. forty-five years ago.

I am so grateful for our neighbors, who have been very kind to our family during the time we have lived at the Getty House. All of them have graciously accommodated the visitors we welcome here, and many of them have regularly participated in and contributed to the Getty House Foundation’s mid-day and early evening events.

Together, we have achieved a lot at these events. We have quadrupled the number of jobs available through the “Hire L.A.’s Youth” program and quadrupled the number of domestic violence victims served by L.A.’s Domestic Abuse Response Team program. We have engaged neighborhood leaders in drought education and earthquake preparedness programs, and we have gathered non-profit leaders and civic activists together to expand permanent supportive housing and protect immigrant rights.

Overall, the Getty House has been the venue for more than 100 holiday celebrations and policy-oriented events during the Garcetti Administration. At Halloween, foster children, children without homes, and children without a place to trick-or-treat run through hay-bale mazes set up in the backyard, while interacting with story-tellers and face-painters. At Thanksgiving, we invite veterans and military families separated from loved ones abroad to a dinner that is especially dear to us due to my husband’s own military service. Another special event we host here each year is the Getty House “Snow Ball,” which welcomes hundreds of people from our local senior centers for a day of dancing that—paradoxically—involves no snow, either real or fake. These seniors definitely know how to cut a rug, even in the 80-degree weather that is common to many L.A. winters!

In my formal role as L.A.’s First Lady, I have enjoyed hosting important local, state, national, and international dignitaries at the Getty House. These dignitaries have included members of L.A.’s City Council and County Board of Supervisors, other U.S. mayors, state legislators and governors, U.S. Congressmembers and Cabinet members, and several foreign dignitaries and heads of state.

As a volunteer working to support the Getty House Foundation’s community programming, I am equally proud of how many L.A. residents I have welcomed here for the first time over the past seven years. Particularly dear to my heart—because of my own history of gender-based activism and public service—are the women and girls who have been included in events specifically aimed at improving their social, economic, and political status in our city.

To date, thousands of women have come to the Getty House for thematically-organized events during Women’s History Month in March and on Women’s Equality Day in August, while thousands of girls have joined us for unique events honoring the birthdays of Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony in February and acknowledging Title IX Day in June.

The Getty House Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Series has shined a spotlight on the trailblazing women of L.A and ensured that girls across our city can get a glimpse of what they can achieve from women who have excelled in fields in which they are unrepresented, such as engineering and journalism. This series has also highlighted many of the Garcetti Administration’s most notable gender equity achievements. For instance, through its gender equity work, the Garcetti Administration has achieved gender parity on L.A.’s boards and commissions for the first time in L.A. history and closed the gender-based wage gap in the Mayor’s office. Furthermore, there are three times as many women working at our City’s Information Technology Agency, twice as many girls playing sports at our City’s parks and recreation centers, and a historic number of women serving our City as fire fighters.

At the Getty House, Eric and I have been so lucky to collaborate with and benefit from the leadership of so many extraordinary women at the Getty House Foundation, including Executive Directors Mary Hodge, Rocio Gandara, Monica Granados, and Kristin McGowan; Assistant Director Nadia Wehbe; and Robyn Ritter Simon, who has planned most of the Women’s Leadership Series events here. All of them represent the very best of the inclusive and action-oriented spirit of this space.

I hope everyone reading this letter will have the opportunity to join us here at Getty House someday to celebrate all that makes Los Angeles special and help us as we continue to dream up and plan for the future of our city.

Amy Elaine Wakeland

Best wishes,

Amy Elaine Wakeland
First Lady of Los Angeles


A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Fellow Angelenos,

Welcome to Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles. Since 2014, Mayor Garcetti, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, and their family have called this home, while working to open the space to residents across our city. Prior to their arrival and following the establishment of the Foundation in 1994, the focus was largely on small mayoral gatherings and private tours. We set out to change all of that

We show our commitment to expanded programming and accessibility particularly in the work we do annually to promote equity and inclusion. Title IX Day every year is a great example. We share the historical significance of Title IX and all of the different opportunities available to young girls today in Los Angeles, but we also identify ways in which we can expand the roles and visibility of female coaches and mentors by bringing the two communities together for a day at the house where they participate in sports, meditation and hear from female athletes that would never have achieved their goals but for the passage of Title IX.

As a mother, I derive the greatest pleasure from the children that join us annually for different holiday celebrations like our Halloween Spooktacular. This annual event gives us the opportunity to welcome children from all across Los Angeles to participate in a halloween festival in a safe and fun environment. Not every Angeleno child is able to Trick or Treat safely so we bask in the joy on the faces of these costumed children as they partake in this day long festival.

Our efforts to expand access are clear in our decisions to launch several new initiatives from Getty House over the last seven years. It was here at Getty House that we launched LA’s College Promise, LA’s Green New Deal, and the Save the Drop campaign. These Public Private Partnerships that directly impact the daily lives of everyday Angelenos were launched from the “People’s House” because we know that decisions about where we attend school and daily environmental choices, are made at home. By welcoming Angelenos to the Mayor’s home we continue to show our commitment to doing this work alongside you.

While COVID-19 has made it impossible to host in-person events at Getty House, our work remains more important than ever as we forge new approaches to engage our city, lift up our most vulnerable neighbors, and inspire the next generation of L.A.’s leaders.

We’re adapting to the times through virtual conversations like our recent Women’s Equality Day celebration that honored the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote and the ratification of the 19th Amendment. In order to directly give back and support our local families in need we have also taken this opportunity to continue growing nourishing fruits and vegetables in our 14 Tower Gardens which are donated by LA Urban Farms and harvested weekly by their team of farmers. The Getty House staff then provides this food to families at non-profit organizations such as the Alexandria House, the Downtown Women’s Center, the Salvation Army, and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.  We’ve even had the opportunity to welcome some of these organizations to the house to participate in harvesting and learn more about sustainable agriculture.

We look forward to reopening the doors to Getty House soon. Until then, we hope you’ll engage with us online and take advantage of all this L.A. landmark has to offer.

Warmly,
Kristin McCowan
Executive Director, Getty House Foundation


About the Foundation

The Getty House Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to civic education, community engagement, and the preservation of Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles.

In 1993, the Getty House Foundation was established to raise funds for and oversee the refurbishment of Getty House. From 1993 to 1995, the foundation worked with more than 300 Angelenos to restore the house.

Today, the Getty House Foundation primarily oversees programs and outreach initiatives, including the Community Holiday Series, the Engage LA Series, and the Women’s Leadership Series. These programs celebrate our city’s diversity, foster public-private partnerships, and promote civic engagement in Los Angeles.

Getty House also serves as the venue for important mayoral protocol and governmental relations events.


Board of Directors

The Getty House Foundation is led by a board of directors that oversees the implementation of the mission of the organization and the organization’s programs.

Since 2013, one of the major goals of the board has been to ensure that a broad cross section of Los Angeles residents—especially young people—have access to Getty House and are included in its programs. More than 4,000 residents now visit Getty House each year.

The foundation also oversees the preservation of the physical house and its gardens. Since 2013, the board has focused on issues of environmental sustainability where this work is concerned.