City: Los Angeles
Position Seeking: City Council – District 13

Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.

Oh, so many. I started in theater camps when I was nine years old.
I had really incredible teachers and mentors in acting. Rather than one single moment of viewing or participating in a show, I think the entire atmosphere I grew up in, in summer conservatories, learning voice, movement and acting methods (and playing a lot) was the empowerment the teachers instilled in us. It was always about the greater team, working toward a single objective. My summers at California Theater Center completely shaped who I am today. I have life long friends from their summer programs and they taught me how to be a professional at a very young age. They set a high standard for their productions and the quality of human beings that filled their company. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.

Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?

I think we have an incredible opportunity to actively support our artists. We should be supporting/sponsoring development and mentorship opportunities in public schools. We should be actively incentivizing organizations to be diverse and bring in children to see their work. We should create more public festivals and street fairs so that art is literally infused throughout our district. We should be giving a megaphone to the organizations already doing incredible work and supporting their endeavors to do more. Big vision: create a kind of local Federal Theater Project / living newspaper for District 13 that utilizes multiple mediums for our current technology.

Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?

Oh this is a beautiful question.
I envision creating affordable, mixed use, dense housing. I envision creating public squares that are destinations for residents to share space with one another. I envision sustainably run, local bus lines. City sponsored bikes with protected bike lanes. Walkability and green spaces throughout Los Angeles. Moving away from our isolating cars and getting on the streets to talk with one another. Supporting small, local businesses with government support and incentives. Artists, musicians would flood our metros and streets. Young people hosting readings and slams and events that elders attend. White people learning the heritage of Armenians. Armenians learning of our Thai community, Thai embracing our Latino community. Sharing in each other’s culture and art. I see our children learning a second language in pre school. Learning another in middle, another in high school. Fully embracing that America is a country of immigrants. Celebrating this fact through language, culture, art.

Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 6 jobs in LA County supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. If elected, how will you aim to ensure the continued vitality and growth of the creative economy and the artistic community that it supports?

We must make sure our artistic community is financially supported. We must also revive the arts in public schools and encourage our children that pursuing an artistic career is possible in our world. So much of ensuring our creative community thrives is in changing the dialogue we have around it. Making sure our leadership says it is essential to support the arts, that we make storytelling a part of who we are as a people. As council, everything we do will be imbued with creativity- from how we engage with constituents, to the policy we craft, to how we fight for the basic rights and dignities of Angelenos.
Thank you so much for this questionnaire! So refreshing. Whatever happens on March 7th & beyond, I would love to connect further with your organization. We are the resistance :)