We are a nation, and a world, in pain. Orlando. Baton Rouge. Minneapolis. Dallas. Nice. Istanbul. This partial list of cities has become a found poem of violence, anger, and despair that catalogues an almost weekly assault on individuals, human dignity, and civil rights.
When our hearts ache with pain, many of us look to the power of art to heal, to help process strong emotions, such as anger and grief. Recently, the Los Angeles Times acknowledged this capacity with a series of articles, "The Culture of Anger," exploring the ways artists are - and are not - processing the difficult world we are living in.
But we are far from helpless in these moments. One of our strengths is the ability to provide a space where we can hear one another and see one another. Words, images, bodies in motion - all have the power to represent the anguish of our current moment, find our collective humanity and connectedness, and lead us toward hope. We challenge you to create opportunities where our neighbors, those who police us, and those who govern us can express themselves with honesty, courage, and safety.
This is the single most important time to encourage your audiences, friends, and family to vote, to be engaged, to not give up. For those looking for tools to be better advocates, please encourage them to become one of our ACTIVATE fellows this year (details below).
Change is possible. We have the power to overcome racism, violence, bigotry, and fear by doing what the arts do best: reflecting, empowering, and connecting us together.
ACTIVATE Applications Due August 1
Just 10 days left to apply to ACTIVATE 2016-17, an arts advocacy leadership program that recognizes the importance of local leaders and seeks to empower these individuals with the skills, knowledge, and an expanded network to effect change in communities across Greater Los Angeles. During this nine-month program, participants learn from top leaders in social justice, education, cultural infrastructure, advocacy, communication, and policy. More about the 2016-2017 ACTIVATE Program, which begins in September, can be found on our website.
Applications for the 2016-17 ACTIVATE program are due August 1, 2016. Apply today!
Blog Post: 5 Inspiring Models of Arts Integration
On June 13 and 14 the Getty Museum hosted Arts Integration + California: A Convening, which featured various models of arts integration from across the state. In addition to keynotes, case studies, and group discussions, brief “Spark Talks” gave five speakers less than 10 minutes each to highlight one or two big ideas. The Spark Talks were packed with actionable ideas for integrating the arts into the K–12 classroom—here are executive director Sofia Klatzker's takeaways from the day:
1. Improve Academics by Using Creativity
2. Focus on Equity First, Quality Second
3. Prioritize Arts Integration in the Community
4. Use Imagination to Drive Learning
5. Treat the Arts and Academics as Equal
Read her complete blog for additional commentary and videos of the presenters.
City, Disrupted on June 10
On June 10, 2016, the Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN) held their annual Planning and Land-Use Strategies Summit (PLUS2) geared towards addressing analytical thinking and collaboration around issues related to urban areas, community building, and innovation. Arts for LA co-sponsored the event, and the arts & advocacy were embedded throughout the day. This year’s theme ‘Disrupting the City’ attracted a diverse arrangement of speakers and issues including but not limited to: city planning, food systems, art and gentrification, housing, and architecture. Read more.
New Board Officers & Staff at Arts for LA
Arts for LA has elected new officers for its 2016-17 Board of Directors:
Melody Kanschat, Chair
James W. Schultz, Vice-Chair
Terence McFarland, Treasurer
Robin Greer, Secretary
In addition, Winifred White Neisser (right) has been elected to the Board of Directors. Find out more about the fantastic board of Arts for LA.
On July 1, Abril Iniguez-Rivas joined the Arts for LA staff as our new Program Associate, and Victoria Hernandez, a junior at Pitzer, joined the Arts for LA family as a LA County Arts Commission summer intern. Find out more about Abril and Victoria.
Thank You to Our New & Renewing Members
Many thanks to the following individuals and organizations (in bold) that joined or renewed their membership during our June campaign. With their support, we raised just over $15,000 to fund arts advocacy in Greater Los Angeles. Many thanks to our matching donors Amy Aquino, Robin Greer, Sofia Klatzker, and James W. Schultz. Many thanks to the Valley Performing Arts Center and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for their donations of tickets to eligible members.
Amy Aquino / David Aquino / Arts High Foundation / Jane Austin / Glenna Avila
Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez / James Babbin / Jennifer H. Babcock / Kathy Baker
Erin Branham / Danielle Brazell / Qathryn Brehm / Jan Breslauer, Esq. / Sara Brown
Leticia Buckley / David Burton / Andrew Campbell / Amanda Carlson / Stacie Chaiken
Johanne Chavez / John P. Connolly / Jennifer Cuevas / Sara Daleiden / Jane Deknatel
Diavolo / Karen Dunbar / Brett Egan / Abba Elfman / Susanna Erdos / Kay Erickson
Troy Evans / Patrick Fabian / Debra Fletcher / Fractured Atlas / Leslie Friedman
Tom Gammill / Olga Garay-English / Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles / Geffen Playhouse
Carine Giacomini / Maria Gobetti / Danny Goldman / Amy Green / Linda Grimes
Michael Hakim / Genethia Hudley-Hayes / Zeljko Ivanek / Gina M. Jackson
Claudia James Bartlett / Charles Jensen / Thelma Johnson / Jackie Joseph / Robert Joy
Miriam Kaplan / Jan Kirsch / Sofia Klatzker / Steve and Catherine Klatzker / Theresa Knopf
Bettina Korek / Laura Korman / Steven Llanusa / Susan Loewenberg / Christa Lorenz
James Mack / Marsue MacNicol / David Marks / Roman Mars / Max Mayer
Terence McFarland / Bettie Grace Miner / Nobuko Miyamoto / Mike Napoli
Winifred Neisser / Alexander Nelson / Vanita Nicholas / Thomas Ormenyi
Cristina Pacheco / Debra J.T. Padilla / City of Pasadena / Cynthia Pearson
Claire Peeps / Rhoda Pell / Performing Arts Live / Eloise Porter
Marissa Chibas Preston / Jessica Rich / Bobbe Salkowitz / Nathalie Sanchez
Pat Skipper / Sony Pictures Entertainment / Sue Stoddern / Claudette Sutherland
Toby Tannenbaum / Jon Tenney / Bruce Thibodeau / Brandon Turner
Victory Theatre Center / Shelley Wagers / Cheryl Walker / Todd Waring
Michelle Weger / Henry Weinstein / Lee Werbel / Erin Whitney
Jessica Williams / Shannita Williams / Steven Wong / Gerald Yoshitomi
Funders Who Support Advocacy through Arts for LA
Thank you to the following funders who have awarded grants to Arts for LA in recent months. Not every funder understands what an investment in advocacy can accomplish, and we are so proud to be a 2016-17 grantee of the following:
Louis L. Borick Foundation
California Arts Council
California Community Foundation
Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Rosenthal Family Foundation
The Stuart Foundation
We're also grateful for the ongoing support of The Boeing Company and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.