Sofia Klatzker is the Executive Director of Arts for LA, a regional advocacy organization dedicated to promoting arts and culture across government, education, business, and community life. Under her leadership, the ACTIVATE advocacy leadership training program more than doubled in size now representing 132 leaders; created a new mobile website connecting Arts for LA’s 50,000 members with local officials; surveyed over 350 candidates across 60 local elections in November 2015; and launched a campaign to register arts and cultural organizations to become polling stations. She has over 16 years experience advocating for and implementing arts policies, arts education, and grant making. Sofia currently serves on the boards of California Arts Advocates and Californians for the Arts, and serves on both the California Alliance for Arts Education’s Policy Council, and the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network Advisory Council. Sofia received her B.M. in Electronic Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory and her M.A. in Arts Administration from Goucher College.
Charles Flowers graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University and received his MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. His poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, and Puerto del Sol. Flowers is the founding editor of BLOOM, a journal for lesbian and gay writing Edmund White called “the most exciting new queer literary publication to emerge in years." He served as Associate Director of the Academy of American Poets, Executive Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation, and, most recently, as Deputy Development Director at the ACLU of the Southern California. After twenty years in Tennessee and twenty years in New York, Charles now calls Los Angeles home, with his husband and two dogs.
Director of Programs
Shelby Williams-Gonzalez brings 16 years of experience in the arts and arts education field to Arts for LA. Shelby has taught dance and performing arts for Los Angeles Unified School District and the California Dance Institute, worked as the Assistant Stage Director for LA Opera’s Education Program and most recently served as the Artistic Director for artworxLA. She continues her artistic career as dancer and choreographer for Viver Brasil – a dance and music company dedicated to bringing the rich cultural experience of Bahia to the stage. Shelby is a 2013 Fellow of Leadership L.A. – a program of the Southern California Leadership Network and a 2016 Fellow for the Courage to Lead Program sponsored by the DurfeeFoundation. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.
A native of Los Angeles, Abril Iñiguez-Rivas graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Biology in 2008. She went on to study marine biodiversity and evolutionary genetics in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. While at UCLA, her graduate studies and fieldwork at the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in Denpasar, Bali afforded her ample opportunities for SCUBA diving and spearfishing adventures across South East Asia. Upon leaving UCLA, Abril served as the Documents and Records Coordinator for the Immigration Center for Women & Children in Los Angeles before joining Arts for LA in 2016. Although a trained scientist, Abril nurtures her artistic side as a mariachi musician; she was a founding member of Mariachi Serrano de Claremont at the Claremont Colleges and continues as an alumni member of Mariachi de UCLAtlán with the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology.