Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles. An electoral organizer by trade, she’s mobilized thousands of Asian American & Pacific Islanders to the polls in over seventeen different languages in the past fifteen years at various non-profit organizations, starting with founding South Asian American Voting Youth in 2004. She currently is a Campaign Strategist at the Asian American new media organizing group 18MillionRising.
In 2016, Taz was honored as a White House Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. She is cohost of The #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast that has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Wired, and Buzzfeed as well as live shows recorded at South by Southwest and the White House. An avid essayist, she had a monthly column called Radical Love, was a blogger for Sepia Mutiny, has written for Truthout, The Aerogram, The Nation, Left Turn Magazine, and more. She is published in forthcoming anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors (2016) and poetry collection Coiled Serpent (2016) and was published in the anthology Love, Inshallah (2012). Her third poetry chapbook Emdash and Ellipses was published in early 2016. Taz curates Desi music at Mishthi Music where she co-produced Beats for Bangladesh and she annually makes #MuslimVDay Cards. Her artwork was featured in the shows Sharia Revoiced (2015), in Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s “H-1B” (2015), and Rebel Legacy: Activist Art from South Asian California (2014).
A native Angeleno, Betty’s work has centered on the intersection of the arts and social justice, with particular focus on community building, public space, and youth empowerment. She joined Self Help Graphics in 2015, an organization with a 43-year Latino artistic legacy and the longest-running, grassroots Dia de los Muertos festival in the country.She has held positions with the Getty Research Institute, The Music Center working on participatory art programs, and as Community Relations Manager with Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park. She received her B.A. in Literature at Pitzer College, has an M.A. in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University, and is a former Fulbright Fellow to Korea.
Tiffany “Jimini” Bong is a world-class, Hip Hop dancer and educator with a strong repertoire of original Hip Hop/Street dance forms. Her titles include being the two-time world Locking champion for Hip Hop International and the North American Locking Champion and representative at the renowned R-16 World Battle in Seoul, Korea. She is a founding member of the female dance crew, The Syrenz - who have performed beside commercial artists such as Justin Bieber, Usher, and Rihanna, and a member of World Dance Crew - founded by Janet Jackson’s iconic choreographer, Anthony “Bam Bam” Thomas. She continues to contribute to the global Hip Hop dance community by performing, judging, and teaching around the world. Tiffany has two bachelors’ degrees in Dance and Psychology, along with a Professional Designation in Arts Education. She is a teaching artist and presenter for prestigious organizations such as The Music Center, LA County Arts Commission, and Culture Shock LA. She is the founder and executive director of UniverSOUL Hip Hop - a community-based, K-12 cultural education company that brings cutting-edge Hip Hop programs into diverse school communities. In August 2016, Tiffany will be joining the faculty team at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance as a Lecturer in Hip Hop dance.
Mike Che has served as the Economic Development and Cultural Affairs Coordinator for the City of West Hollywood for the past 4 years. In his position he oversees programming and art exhibitions at the West Hollywood Library; coordination of the City’s Summer and Winter Sounds concert series, Free Theatre in the Parks program, and other performing arts programs; is the coordinator for One City One Pride, the City’s LGBTQ Arts Festival that runs the entire month of June; and assist with both grant administration and development. He launched the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate program 2 years ago and oversaw the development of a rebranding for the City’s arts and culture activities under the new moniker WeHo Arts, for which he manages the social media handles on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@WeHoArts).
Born in Chile, Mario Davila is the Executive Director of the After School Arts Program (ASAP) at LA's BEST. He also works and volunteers in many LA cultural organizations, using his bilingual skills. In addition to his contributions to LA’s BEST, he is a founder of the LAartlab program in which city teenagers conceive and produce free public art events. He has worked as a program developer as well speaker and arts educator for a number of organizations and institutions including the Los Angeles County Art Museum, The Getty Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Watts Tower Arts Center, and USC Fisher Museum of Art.
Michelle O'Grady is a marketing thought leader focusing on furthering small business equity and entrepreneurialism. Her work has emphasized on marketing management, communication process improvement, and sales development. As the Founder and CEO of Team Friday, Inc. - a creative agency focused building purpose, furthering causes and creating impact through collaboration and innovation. She leads cross-functional teams to develop intelligent and avant-garde solutions for brands, small businesses, personalities, nonprofit organizations, and civic programs.
Michelle has worked with Ford Motor Company, City of Los Angeles, LA Times, LURN, Whole Foods, LA Philharmonic, AARP and much more. She currently holds both the board and advisory seats with Esperanza Community Housing, Concerned Capital, and the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council.
Allison Ostrovsky is Cultural Affairs Supervisor for the City of Santa Monica. She creates arts and cultural events throughout the City, including the Airport ArtWalk, the Santa Monica Festival, Jazz on the Lawn, Glow, Día de los Muertos, and programs in Tongva Park. Prior to working with the City, Allison programmed and produced festivals for Community Arts Resources/CARS, whose clients included The Getty Center, The Getty Villa, the City of Santa Monica and the Natural History Museum. She is inspired by how arts and cultural events allow people to discover themselves, their communities and the world and experienced this while living in San Francisco, India, London and New York.
Cristina Pacheco is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit consultant. Cristina most recently served as the Director of Programs at Arts for LA where she developed the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Leadership Program, training community advocates in areas of policy, leadership, coalition building, and communication. Before moving back to her hometown area of Los Angeles, Cristina studied and served in San Diego for nearly a decade. Most recently, she worked with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory as a community teaching artist and administrator with the Community Opus Project, a program designed to make music education accessible for students in Chula Vista, California. Her early career included serving as an event coordinator with the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and organizing international service programming for students at Point Loma Nazarene University. A life-long vocalist, Cristina is featured soloist and founding board member of the Walnut Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale which serves the East San Gabriel Valley through community music programs. She also serves on the Advisory Board for The Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Cristina holds an M.A. in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego and a B.A. in Media Communications with a music minor from Point Loma Nazarene University. Cristina deeply believes in the value of a thriving arts sector as a vital component to the healthy and vibrancy of communities and individuals.
An experienced professional dedicated to design thinking, innovation, arts education and creative placemaking, Nadine Rambeau is the Managing Director of the art and social practice division of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where her track record includes strategic planning, curriculum design, artistic research, digital education, community partnerships and outcomes-driven student assessment. In her current role, Ms. Rambeau is responsible for leading teams of CalArts students and CalArts Faculty and Alumni as they teach over 2500 youth at public schools, community centers and social service agencies throughout the region. In addition to her work with CAP, Ms. Rambeau currently teaches in the CalArts School of Critical Studies. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and her M.F.A. in creative writing from CalArts. Before coming to the California Institute of the Arts, Ms. Rambeau served in leadership roles at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Chernin's Center for the Arts, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Leo Burnett Company.
Ella Turenne is an artist, activist and educator. She is the editor of a volume of visual art and poetry commemorating the Haitian revolution entitled "revolution|revolisyon|révolution 1804-2004: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution." Ella is also a filmmaker whose work has been an official selection of various national film festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Montréal International Haitian Film Festival, where her short film "woodshed" was nominated for Best Short Film. In response to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ella co-edited a volume of poetry on Haiti called “For the Crowns of Your Heads;” the funds raised were used to aid a library that was destroyed in Port-au-Prince. Ella recently wrote and performed her first one women show, "Love, Locs & Liberation," a solo show about beauty identity and empowerment. For more, visit www.ellaturenne.com.
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Matty Wilder brings sixteen years experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, with specific training and knowledge in strategic planning, assessment and evaluation, board development, fundraising, and community organizing. As senior
program officer for The Herb Alpert Foundation, Wilder works with a range of arts organizations and special projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including the Take PART initiative, which fosters collaboration across five school
districts and district leadership in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, and is working toward building a sustainable pipeline of arts education and cultural experiences for children and their families. In addition to serving as board chair of
LA Voice, an affiliate of the PICO National Network, he is also a board member of the Project X Foundation for Art and Criticism, advisory board member for the Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles, and an alumnus of Leadership LA, a program of
the Southern California Leadership Network, class of 2013. Currently pursuing his Master's in Public Administration, with an emphasis on public policy and local government, at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, Wilder's background is in theater and photography and he holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Bennington College.
Sarah Williams is the co-founder and Managing Director of the Women's Center for Creative Work (WCCW). The WCCW is an arts nonprofit located along the L.A. River in Frogtown, whose mission is to cultivate Los Angeles' feminist creative communities and practices. A born and raised Angeleno, Sarah returned to the city 10 years ago to attend USC's Curatorial Practice in the Public Sphere M.A. program after undergrad at UC Santa Cruz. In addition to WCCW, Sarah has worked at ForYourArt since 2006, and has consulted on projects and events for High Desert Test Sites and Freewaves.
Steven Wong is currently an adjunct professor at Pasadena City College and a curatorial consultant for the Chinese American Museum (CAM). Previously he was the Interim Executive Director and the senior staff curator at CAM and developed and implemented both contemporary art and history exhibitions. His academic interests include Chinese transnational labor migration from the 1850-1930, the role of Orientalism in the construction of Chinatowns and tourist economies, and the formation of Chinese American ethnoburbs in Southern California. In 2012, he co-curated an exhibition at CAM as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 titled Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles which was the first comprehensive exhibit about a group of pioneering Chinese American architects whose designs continue to influence the landscape of Southern California. As part of the Getty’s 2017 Pacific Standard Time L.A./L.A., Steven is currently conducting research on the Chinese diaspora in the Caribbean by examining Chinese Caribbean cultural production and visual arts. Previous to his work at CAM, Steven was the Director of Digital Literacy Initiatives at the Little Tokyo Service Center also in Los Angeles, and he has lectured both at UC Santa Barbara and Ventura College in the Art Studio, Asian American Studies, and History Departments. Mr. Wong holds a Masters in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (1998) and a Master in Fine Arts from the University of California (2000).
Sue Bell Yank is a writer, producer, and arts educator. She is Director of Communications and Outreach at 18th Street Arts Center, and was formerly head of Academic Programs at the UCLA Hammer Museum. In between, she worked in online digital education for Oprah Winfrey and is dedicated to working for access to arts education for all.
She has a deep-seated investment in socially and politically-engaged art that can be traced to her years as a public school teacher in Lynwood and South Fairfax. She is currently an advisor for the Asian Arts Initiative's Social Practice Lab and the granting organization SPArt, and is on the board of Clockshop. Her writing has been featured in exhibition catalogues, UCSD’s Social Practice journal Field, the Liverpool Biennial journal Stages, n.paradoxa feminist journal, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, the Huffington Post, KCET Artbound, and various arts blogs including her ongoing essay blog entitled Social Practice: Writings about the social in contemporary art (www.suebellyank.com). She has been a lecturer at California College of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, UCLA, and USC.