Arts for LA believes that grassroots leadership empowerment is a key strategy to achieve systemic access to the arts and arts education. By training local residents how to advocate on behalf of their communities to the local policy makers, participants amplify the voices of their community and improve the health of their schools and neighborhood spaces. To address this need, Arts for LA developed ACTIVATE, an advocacy leadership program.

In the summer of 2014, working with its partner Arts for All, Arts for LA recognized the current need to not only identify key arts education advocates living within communities but also to develop the leadership skills of these advocates so that they have the capacity to strengthen and sustain local arts education initiatives. ACTIVATE: Arts Education is part of a strategic collaboration between Arts for LA and Arts for All. Arts for All is the LA County initiative dedicated to making the arts core in K-12 public education. Arts for LA is a key partner in Arts for All, working to build political and public will for arts education across LA County.

In its inaugural year (2014-15), ACTIVATE produced a leadership network of 39 knowledgeable, invested community leaders, trained to engage stakeholders in their communities, to increase local awareness of the importance of arts and arts education, and to take action to ensure that every resident and every student have equitable access to the arts.

Embarking on its second year,  in August 2015 Arts for LA received over 400 applications for an original goal of 50 arts education fellows and 25 Cultural Policy fellows.  In response to the demand, Arts for LA secured additional funding and expanded the program to a total of 99 participants. Added to the previous year’s cohort, ACTIVATE participants now represents 26 cities and 34 school districts, forming the base of our advocate volunteer corps.

Applications for the 2017-18 ACTIVATE Program are now open! Learn more about how to BECOME A FELLOW.

If you have any questions about the program, please email us at info@artsforla.org, or call us at 213-225-7580.

ACTIVATE is funded by The Boeing Company, LA County Arts Commission, the Louis J. Borick Foundation, and Arts for LA Contributing Members.