With California still ranked last nationally in per capita state spending on government grants to the arts, advocates hope an improving economy will bode well for the first legislative bid in four years to address its lowly status.
An Assembly bill introduced by Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) would dedicate $75 million a year from the state's general fund for the California Arts Council — up from the current $1 million.
Adrin Nazarian is a product of the San Fernando Valley. He grew up here, graduated from a local Valley school before receiving his BA degree in Economics from UCLA in 1996. Adrin served as chief of staff to Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the communities of Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, North Hollywood and Valley Glen, before being elected to the State Assembly. Previously, Adrin had served as chief of staff to then-Assistant Majority Leader Paul Krekorian in the California State legislature, representing the communities of North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Valley Glen and Toluca Lake among others, since 2006.
Adrin developed his passion for public service from an early age and while in college decided to volunteer in as many places he could to better understand in what arena he would apply himself. A life altering experience was when he applied to become an interviewer of battered and abused women at the San Fernando Valley Superior Court Domestic Violence Clinic unit as a summer internship job. There he saw first-hand the results of what happens in the privacy of homes, taking down reports in order to submit restraining orders on behalf of the victims. This experience stayed with Adrin, which years later lead him to sit on the YWCA Board, and has influenced each of his policy making roles in public service.
Upon graduating UCLA, Adrin participated in the prestigious CORO Fellowship in Public Affairs program. From 1997-1999, Adrin served as an aide to Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), assisting him with business and labor community issues.
In 1999, former Governor Gray Davis appointed Adrin as Special Assistant to the California Trade and Commerce Agency. During his tenure at the agency, he helped establish the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, which focused on creating and maintaining technology based jobs in California.
Adrin believes in civic engagement and the importance of giving back to his community, he has served on the boards of several community based organizations including the East Valley YMCA and the YWCA. Adrin was one of the founding members of Generation Next Mentorship program which worked with local public schools to give young people alternatives to a life of gangs and drugs.
Adrin and his wife, Diana, live in Sherman Oaks with their sons Alex and David.