ACTIVATE Delegates

ACTIVATE Delegates functions as an advocacy lab for artists, creative sector workers, or anyone interested in the intersection of community organizing and the arts. The four-month program includes:

Hands-on learning opportunities.

Networking with field leaders.

Meeting with local elected officials and staffers to advocate for the art.

Mobilizing community members to support key legislation.

The course also will briefly touch on the fundamentals of cultural policy and civic procedures with the aim of empowering arts leaders to drive change across Arts for LA’s four policy areas: affordable spaces for artists, creative career pathways, equitable arts education, and equitable arts funding.

ACTIVATE Delegates is open to artists, arts professionals, cultural workers, educators, and community advocates interested in making change across LA’s creative sectors. We welcome applications from anyone interested in exploring the question: “What can I, as an individual, do to build the power of our creative communities across the LA region?”

ACTIVATE Delegates focuses on the intersection of community organizing and the arts, giving participants the skills they need to mobilize their community, build power, and impact local decision-makers and elected officials.

While the skills taught are widely applicable, ACTIVATE Delegates emphasizes the importance of the civic sphere and making change through local governments. No prior knowledge of advocacy/community organizing is necessary. Additionally:

  • Participants must live, work, or study in LA County;
  • Participants must be able to commit to all sessions;
  • Participants must be 18 years or older to apply;
  • Participants will be selected to represent the broad geography and demographics of Los Angeles County.

How Much Does It Cost?

Nothing! Arts for LA fully supports the cost of running ACTIVATE Delegates. If you would like to support our work, please consider joining Arts for LA as a member.

Program Requirements

  • Attend each Monthly Session: As this is a 4-month program, each session is critical in having a fruitful experience!
  • Complete Reading & Reading Response: Short readings will be assigned to ensure time is maximized during monthly sessions. A quick online post responding to the readings will also be required to increase opportunities for conversation among program participants. These monthly assignments are designed to take no more than one hour total.

If you have questions, please contact:

Our Activate Delegates Cohort

Alexa Edwards

Alexa Edwards is a budding art professional with a passion for media, music, and movement. Her journey into the world of arts and culture began at the University of Oregon, where she received her B.A. in Cinema Studies in 2019. Exploring the powerful storytelling capabilities of visual media and simultaneously rediscovering her love of dance and live performance. Eager to expand her knowledge and explore career paths in the arts, Alexa pursued and completed the M.A. in Arts Management Program at Claremont Graduate University last year. She firmly believes that storytelling has the ability to connect people and foster a collective understanding of the world. Through her work, she strives to encourage empathy and broaden perspectives while uplifting new artists. Her most recent work achievement was briefly partnering with Center Theatre Group for her thesis project centered around audience engagement strategies.

Astra Price

Astra Price (she/her) is a moving image specialist and an educator in digital media, having taught for over a decade at California Institute of the Arts. She has worked in the digital collections of such artists such as Bill Viola, Jane Geiser, Lewis Klahr, and Sylvère Lotringer. Her publications on the preservation of time-based media can be found in Leonardo and the IIC Journal. In addition to working with other artists, Astra is also an artist and filmmaker with a focus in experimental documentaries.

Bridget McKevitt

Bridget McKevitt is an accomplished Drama Researcher with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington. She is also a dynamic force in the world of actor training and theater making. Bridget’s artistic journey spans the globe, where she has trained in techniques developed by renowned masters such as Tadashi Suzuki, Kristin Linklater, Anne Bogart, and Sanford Meisner. Bridget’s portfolio extends beyond performance; her dedication to the intersection of art and healing led her to pursue training in Social Emotional Arts with the Arts & Healing Initiative. Her passion for storytelling and community engagement is evident in her work with Michael’s Daughter Foundation, where she dares to empower the next generation with creative expression through writing, directing and performance. Bridget’s multifaceted background reflects her commitment to the transformative power of art in fostering emotional well-being and social change.

Caroline Chang

Caroline Chang is a nonprofit arts administrator and event producer, with a special interest in developing cross-sector and interdisciplinary public art programs. She is passionate about activating public space(s) with creative collaborative experiences that ignite connection, engage participants in meaningful shared experiences, and increase equity and accessibility to resources in the arts. She also focuses on creating systems and processes that support artists, exploring methodologies for a thriving and evolving creative arts ecosystem. Currently, she is the Program Manager for Civic Strategies & Partnerships at The Music Center. Previously she has worked in theatre, film, weddings, and events. Caroline is also a writer of short fiction, poetry, and writing for performance, grounded in the mythical and magical ways humans connect to lineage and identity. She holds a BA from UC Irvine, and MFA from CalArts. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time honing crafting skills.

Caroline Haas

Caroline Haas, a proud-Los Angeles native, is motivated by a strong desire to nourish the community that raised her. As a community outreach worker on the frontline assisting homeless youth in Venice California, she advocates for those who have been neglected by the city’s infrastructure and lack of available resources for vulnerable communities. She finds power in helping at the individual level, developing meaningful relationships with the youth, connecting them with stable housing, and providing steadfast support and guidance to foster the development of life skills, leading to the highest level of personal empowerment. 
Caroline is grounded in the arts. She is a graduate of the Orange County School of the Arts, where she evolved as a singer and actor in the musical theater conservatory. Caroline earned her bachelor’s degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Oberlin College (21’). Caroline is an aspiring writer, comedian, activist, crafter, and performer.

Celia Vázquez

Passionate about making quality education and the fine arts equitably accessible to the people of LA, Celia Vázquez has spent more than 15 years in community outreach. With a B.A. in Art History from UCLA and an M.A. in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University, she has equipped herself with the necessary tools to help bring change to the way the fine arts are perceived and engaged with by local communities. Determined to create new bridges of accessibility and conversation between the fine arts and Angelenos, Vázquez envisions an LA where established institutions such as museums, theatres, opera houses, and ballet companies no longer just serve as spaces for conservation and exhibition. Instead, these institutions understand that the needs of their communities have changed and must, therefore, work diligently toward a new future and purpose: to create safe spaces for learning and inclusive, accessible educational programming.

Daniel Soto

Daniel Soto is an arts worker with over a decade of experience organizing performances and public programs in multidisciplinary non-profit arts institutions, including the Skirball Cultural Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and The Music Center. He is currently Creative Producer for UCLA Social Software, a new studio led by Lauren Lee McCarthy and Casey Reas dedicated to examining the social impacts and possibilities of making with software. He holds a BA in Geography from UCLA.

Elizabeth Kegley

Elizabeth Kegley is the Director of Institutional Giving for Geffen Playhouse, where she partners with corporate, foundation, and government funders. She previously worked with BroadStage and Cal Performances on the West Coast, was Executive Director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA and served as Managing Director of Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, TX. Elizabeth received her MBA from SMU’s Cox School of Business and her MA in Arts Management from Meadows School of the Arts, where she worked with The Dallas Opera, Dallas Business Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. An AEA stage manager for 10 years, Elizabeth worked with theaters around the country, including The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, American Repertory Theater, and Dallas Theater Center. When not fundraising for the arts, Elizabeth is a core team member of Angel City Pit Bulls in South LA.

Elsy Benitez

Elsy Benitez (she/her) is Las Fotos Project’s Events and Exhibitions Manager. She has more than 10 years of experience in curating exhibitions and working with a variety of institutions, artists, and students to help realize their creative visions. Before joining the LFP team, she was curating exhibitions in New York, at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center and has curated over sixty exhibitions including large-scale works by Tom Sachs and an Indiana focused zine themed show. Additional experience includes Documenta 13, an international art festival in Germany, as an Artist Assistant and at the Art Institute of Chicago assisting in the research of a Laszlo Moholy-Nagy exhibition. She received her M.A. in Cultural Studies with a focus on contemporary art from University of Leeds, England in 2013 and a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Art History from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her research is focused on intimacy, representation, and intersectionality.

Emily Eggly-Bowen

Emily has been teaching visual arts professionally for 8 years. She was born and raised in the town of Castaic, CA and has always had a passion for the arts. Emily started her teaching career in the School District of Philadelphia teaching k-8 visual arts before moving back to the Los Angeles area. She is currently a visual arts teacher and the electives department lead at a public charter high school in South Los Angeles. She holds a BFA and an MA in Arts Education and has made it her life’s journey to fight for equity and inclusion in her field.

Enrique Rivera

Enrique Rivera (he/him) is a filmmaker, artist, and cultural worker raised in the Puerto Rican diaspora, in Bridgeport, CT. A graduate of Emerson College and currently based in Los Angeles, his practice focuses on documentary storytelling and elevating BIPOC, LGBTQI+, and marginalized communities with inclusive, nuanced, and interconnected stories. Having won an educational lottery program with the intention to diversify Connecticut’s suburban public schools, he received a better academic primary education outside of his hometown, one that afforded the arts. His work aims to reimagine new bridges and fill existing gaps of access and opportunity within our diverse communities while pushing to preserve our unique histories through research, archival practices, and artistic creation.

Flora White

Flora White is a queer, biracial artist and activist. She served as co-lead of her high school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance for two years, creating a safe space for queer and trans students and organizing presentations to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion. She’s spoken about social justice through Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, and in 2022, co-produced Trans Existence as Resistance, a national, virtual protest and fundraiser for trans rights. She is a passionate writer, and has won awards from Scholastic, The Legacy Project, The Light Bringer Project, and the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate program. Flora has been singing, acting and dancing for much of her life, including with LA Opera, Shakespeare Youth Festival and Amazing Grace Conservatory. She also coached and directed younger actors at Shakespeare Youth Festival for several years. She graduated from Geffen Academy in June 2023 and will be attending Wesleyan University this fall.

Francesca Manto

Francesca Manto (she/her) is an artist, storyteller, impact producer, and editor with a speciality in documentary. Her career began in digital media and journalism, and she was the former creator and host of HALO-HALO, an Eater Youtube series exploring the changing landscape of Filipino food in the United States. Francesca received a B.A. in Global Studies and Digital Humanities from UCLA. Her future goals include creating a cultural center for communities to share stories that inspire, educate, and celebrate diversity through food and art. Francesca wants to focus her efforts on creating a Los Angeles that gives artists reassurance that this is where they can live, work, and thrive for generations to come.

Havilah Malone

Havilah Malone is an Executive Producer, Actress, and 3x Best Selling Author on a mission to be a catalyst for positive change in over 2 Billion people’s lives. She has been featured on FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, Huffington Post and more. Havilah inspires female Creatives and Entrepreneurs to multiply their impact and #BeProofOfWhatsPossible. She graduated from college at the age of nineteen with two degrees, and went on to manage a $160 Million dollar business for tech giant Hewlett Packard by age 21, and served as their On-Air Host on QVC & HSN. Havilah is known for her roles in national TV commercials, HBO’S Barry, Insecure, and NCIS: New Orleans. She received the NOW (Network of Outstanding Women) 2023 “Artist of Year” (for Acting and Producing), the Women’s Prosperity Network “She Rocks Award”, and Volunteer Service Award Gold Medal from the President of the United States. Havilah’s latest #1 Best Selling Book is: “Rewriting A New History: A Spiritual Path to Audacious Authenticity and Healing“.

Jacqui C. Smith

Illustrator Jacqui C. Smith passionately showcases the diverse beauty of women of color through her unique artwork. As a graduate of Columbia College of Chicago in Traditional Animation, her focus includes children’s book illustrations, animation, and artwork for companies such as Scholastic UK, Harlequin, and Penguin Books Australia. Notable projects include crafting murals for 60 Walmarts in 27 states with an emphasis on community and diverse representation. Jacqui also authored the series “Know Yourself: A Coloring Book for Girls (& Women).”

Jacqui partners with local businesses and non-profits for advocacy opportunities and she also founded the Brewyard Art Festival in 2017 as a way to support local artists. Jacqui’s art, featured in LA Weekly and the hit TV show All American, addresses the need for better treatment and representation of women of color intending to inspire change.

Jeffrey Dominguez

My name is Jeffrey Dominguez, I am an artist, born and raised in Mid-City, Los Angeles. I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Cal State Northridge, where I was involved in the Marketing Department for the University Student Union. During that time, I was also attending Los Angeles Trade-Tech College and taking class in the Sign Graphics program. This is where I gained an interest in the sign/advertising industry. I was able to find work in the years leading up as a chalk artist, custom bicycle painter, and as a neon apprentice.

I am currently working as a project manager for a fabrication company, Local Sign Guys. I am also the founder of my own traditional sign painting company, Jeffrey Signs. 

Through the Arts for LA , ACTIVATE Delegates, I hope to network and meet new people who share the same interest in making change and bringing opportunities to their community. 

Jennica Bisbee

Jennica Bisbee is Field Engagement Coordinator for CA for the Arts with nine years experience in arts education programming, emergency response, and fiscal sponsorship. She was most recently Grants Associate for Community Partners and was a member of the DEI staff working group. Previously, she was Field Engagement Coordinator and Assistant Site Manager at the Cal State LA COVID vaccination site for Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). In addition, she was Site Manager and Program Manager for Harmony Project and The Center for Arts Education. In 2017, she participated in Women of Color in the Arts’ Leadership through Mentorship Initiative, in 2018 served on the initiative committee, and during 2017-2018 participated in Race Forward’s Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab. Jennica holds a M.A. in Music Business from New York University and a B.M. with Elective Studies in Business from the University of Puget Sound.

Jereme Lua

Jereme Lua is an aspiring community activist and artist based in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. Currently, he is a gallery attendant at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and a gallery educator at the Museum of Neon Art where he educates the public on science and history by using art as a way to explore complex ideas. His career path has been moving in an out of the art space and politics, interning under Congressman Gomez (CA-34) where he handled casework ranging from immigration to passports and an internship with the Center for Asian Americans United in Self Empowerment (CAUSE) where he worked alongside elected officials and non-profits to enrich communities.

Jereme writes and performs slam poetry where he synthesizes his personal experiences and connects them with larger sociological forces demonstrating how large systems like race, gender, and socioeconomic status affect people on an individual level.

Jocelyn Lopez-Hagmann

Jocelyn Lopez-Hagmann is a labor organizer, theater practitioner, arts advocate, and native Angeleno. She is currently the California Organizer at United for Respect, a national non-profit labor organization advocating for pro-worker policies that uplift low-income retail workers out of poverty. Most recently in 2022, she collaborated with policy advocates at the Women’s Foundation California as the Economic Security Fellow to develop and pass the “CalWORKs and CalFresh Employment Requirement Exemption” statewide bill, AB 2300 (Kalra) to protect working families on public assistance from being sanctioned for leaving a job due to unsafe working conditions. Before working at United for Respect, she worked at SEIU local 721 to organize non-tenured professors and administrators at Occidental College to win their unions and mobilized app-based drivers around Los Angeles County to speak out about wage theft at the hands of big tech companies like Uber and Lyft. As an arts advocate, Jocelyn is passionate about leveraging the transformative qualities theatre and the arts have to build power within underserved and underrepresented communities. Jocelyn is a graduate of Whittier College and holds her B.A. in Theatre and Communication Arts.

Keana Jackson Alfred

My name is Keana Jackson Alfred; I am the 1st Assistant Treasurer at Center Theatre Group and have worked on and off the stage for over ten years. As an arts administration professional for Los Angeles’s most prominent theatre company, I aim to work behind the scenes on behalf of artists and creatives everywhere, providing resources, support, and structure for their projects and practices.

I fell in love with theatre as a child actress, and my passion for storytelling developed into a career as a fashion and costume designer. I enjoy combining my zeal for the arts, deep affection for people, and expertise in communication to serve and support the theatre community locally and globally.

I want to deepen my leadership, organization, teamwork skills, and networking. These skills will allow me to be the most productive and effective leader possible and manage a thriving arts organization.

I am a Los Angeles native who enjoys writing everything from poetry to stageplays; I live in the Crenshaw/West Adams area of Los Angeles.

Kimberly Hernandez

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kimberly Hernandez is an executive assistant at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, working in the learning & engagement and social impact division. Prior to the pandemic, Kimberly partnered with community organizations like Alegria Peruanx, Compton Girls Club and Canyon Verde, to support their efforts in providing their community the opportunities to engage in events that advocate for self awareness, mental health, artistic expression, and professional development. In 2021, Kimberly joined the Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles one year before the transition to Arts for LA. In her role as Programming Co-Chair, she assisted in all planning efforts for several events, including the virtual Creative Conversation series titled, “Building a Professional Community Within and Beyond the Pandemic.”

Lawrence Abbott

Lawrence Abbott is a New Jersey native and a MFA graduate from Howard University of Washington, D.C. where he worked in their communications department producing short form content for their website. He navigated to international news to reality television to marketing production where he currently manages theatrical trailer campaigns.

Leví Angel Garcia

Leví Angel Garcia (they/them) is a non-binary stage manager, director, and community-based theatre artist. With a BA in Theatre Arts from Cal Poly Pomona, Leví co-founded Teatro Liberado, a theatre company of Cal Poly alumni. Together, they co-wrote “Caminos: A Mother’s Journey”, which won Pick of the Fringe at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2021.
Leví directed two short films, “Queer Sibs” and “BIND”, as part of Center Theatre Group’s community stories, focusing on uplifting queer and trans narratives. As a first-generation college graduate, Leví is passionate about making art a viable and secure career path. They aspire to provide tools and support for future queer artists grappling with imposter syndrome, fostering accessibility to a fulfilling artistic journey.

Mercedes Maria

Mercedes is a producer, actor, writer and member of SAG-AFTRA. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater from Northeastern University and enjoys singing and directing. Mercedes is an appointed member of the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission and is the founder of East Coast Heart Productions. She aims to continue to support diversity, equity and inclusion.

Mia Islas

Mia Islas (she/her) is a communication professional with experience in professional development, strategic partnerships, and digital design the higher-education, nonprofit, arts, and entertainment industries. Her background in career advising, portfolio review, and creative marketing is critical to servicing the approximately 1k+ undergraduate students and alumni in the Communication and Fine Arts Divisions of Pepperdine University in their internship search and career exploration. Mia is a proud daughter of immigrants, first-gen college graduate, and advocate for the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the Arts and Entertainment industries.

Nicole Tang

Nicole Tang is a digital collage and mixed media artist based in Los Angeles. After receiving a life-changing diagnosis, she started creating art as a pathway for hope and healing. She draws inspiration from documenting the power and resilience of the human spirit. Her intention is to support communities facing physical and emotional challenges.

Rebecca Crawford Muñoz

Rebecca Crawford Muñoz is a storyteller, advocate and facilitator who thrives most in the in-between spaces. Born with an insatiable curiosity and trained in public health, she’s worked around the world to flip power structures that hold communities back from social change, including at the Center for Artistic Activism (C4AA), UNESCO, the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Global Health Strategies and a practicum at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Rebecca bridges art and social justice advocacy as a flint to spark the creativity necessary to achieve the worlds we’ve only yet dreamed of. Her current obsessions include shining a light on the depth and breadth of Black and Boricua experiences and artistic expression and collaborating with civil society actors working to navigate intractable institutions on the path to success. ¡Vamos pa’lante!

Ree Magaña

Ree Magaña is a second-generation Mexican-American artist, curator, and marketing professional born and raised in Los Angeles County. After graduating from California School of the Arts-SGV, Ree studied marketing at Portland State University’s Honors College before transferring to Mt. San Antonio College to study Film, TV, and Electronic Media. Ree has a passion for making arts and education accessible to marginalized groups; founding CSArts’ Cultural Alliance group, creating a Thrift/Donate Center to aid unhoused individuals, promoting attainable career resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students at PSU’s Career Center, aiding professors with online teaching accessibility at Lumen Learning, working with community outreach at Center Theatre Group, and currently supporting artists as an Art Share L.A. team member.

Seanna Latiff

Seanna Latiff, a Trinidad and Tobago-born multidisciplinary artist and arts organizer based in Los Angeles, earned her B.A. in Art and Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Southern California in 2023. Grounded in mindfulness and collective liberation, her practice serves as a tool for social change through the examination of systemic grief and self-empowerment.

Seanna’s work intertwines personal and historical memory, and her primarily research-driven and politically-informed process incorporates biographical and surrealist elements, unveiling the intricacies of her intersectional identities. Her art often uplifts Caribbean diasporic narratives, emphasizing the crucial role of Black, Indigenous, and multicultural imaginations in shaping an equitable society.
As a versatile artist, Seanna’s practice spans fine art, writing, animation, curation, and arts education. Passionate about storytelling and abolition, she dedicates her life to art as a means of healing justice, providing a potent platform to address societal issues and advocate for transformative change.

Sonja Cayetano

Sonja Cayetano (she/her) is a 4th-year at UCLA studying World Arts and Cultures and Visual and Performing Arts Education. As an intern at the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, she has organized public events and documented Skid Row’s cultural history and artistic production. This past year, she became an exhibitor at the LA Art Show and 2023 My Green Building Conference, speaking about environmental justice in LA’s unhoused communities. In addition to curatorial work, Sonja is currently studying art education as a means of self-affirmation and collective empowerment. Through her work as a Teaching Artist in UCLA’s Visual and Performing Arts department, she developed a culturally-sustaining multi-media arts curriculum at the UCLA Community School. Sonja hopes to apply her passion for arts advocacy to museum sites, transforming them into spaces of artistic healing and community liberation.

Stephen Grey

Is a White-American filmmaker by day and a social advocate by night. Born with High-Functioning Autism, he’s set out to Hollywood to partner with the outsiders of society like him by making films to tell their stories and support them through advocacy. Stephen’s filmmaking themes focus on stories of people that society thought were bad but were good and are heavily defined by Race Relations, Autism, Identity, Culture, and Morality. He has produced films that cover the cultural spectrum and worked with filmmakers from all backgrounds. Stephen deeply loves America and believes its people have done great things… and that there’s more greatness to come.

Stephen has also been a member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, The Color of Change, and moderated dinners for Los Angeles’s Embrace LA series about race.

Tamara Renée Davidson

Tamara Renée Davidson is a Harlem-born and LA-based interdisciplinary artist, musician, and educator whose work crosses the disciplines of music, printmaking, writing, film, fashion, and Africana studies. Tamara completed her BA with honors from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2011. At Gallatin, she created an interdisciplinary major that combined Arts Education, Creative Writing, Jazz Vocal Performance, and Africana studies, focusing on The Caribbean and Latin America. Tamara received her MFA in Music Performance and Composition from The California Institute of the Arts in 2023. As an artist and performer, Tamara has performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. As an educator and administrator, Tamara has worked with The Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and The Huntington Museum, Library and Gardens. Tamara is currently the Partnerships manager at Harmony Project.

Tenay Washington

Raised in Los Angeles. Incredibly passionate about community building through multi-sectional art mediums. Recently graduated from Cal State La (org.comm), where I developed a fervent interest in the complexities of cultural policy and civic procedure. Excited to be a part of the ACTIVE delegates program.

Vanessa Diaz

Vanessa Diaz (she/her/ella) is a Pacoima based urban planner, interdisciplinary artist and writer. A product of her community, she carries the love from the murals she has grown up around and places like Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore. Her background ranges from technical fields like land use planning, architectural plan reviews and housing programs in the public sector. She is interested in the intersections of economic justice and placemaking embedded into anti-displacement work for affordable housing projects. Vanessa is a first generation graduate, holding a bachelor’s degree in Community & Regional Development (Gender Studies minor) from UC Davis and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from CSUN. She is currently working at Inclusive Action for the City as a compliance manager. She is excited in building more capacity as a cultural organizer as a delegate.

Xochil Menjivar

My name is Xochil Menjivar and I am a museum guide at El Pueblo Historical Monument. This includes museums like the Avila Adobe, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles, America Tropical Interpretive Center, and the Chinese American Museum. I graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. I am a skilled speaker and researcher interested in arts education as well as museums. My interests have taken me abroad to Turin, Italy to study at the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum). Alongside being a multi-talented anthropologist I am also an awardee of the 2023 Vera R Campbell Promise Scholarship. In my free time, I enjoy reading, fashion history, traveling, embroidery, and cooking.

Ana Guajardo

Ana Guajardo brings her experience as an arts researcher, independent curator, creative entrepreneur, and graphic designer to her roles at community and cultural organizations such as the UCLA Chicano/a Studies Research Center, the Vincent Price Art Museum, Self Help Graphics & Arts, among others, where she has worked as a researcher, programmer and curator. She is interested in uplifting artists, community stories and cultural movements through storytelling and socially engaged practice and art.

Anthony Centeno

Anthony Centeno is a native Angeleno with numerous years of experience as an educator in various settings. Prior to 2022’s covid lockdown (and state budget cuts), Centeno was a public school music teacher where he served over 700 kinder through 5th grade Southeast L.A. students and had the privilege of collaborating closely with parent volunteers. His most recent experience was as an arts integration classroom teacher, where he incorporated music, movement, storytelling and visual arts into daily lesson content. Centeno possesses a Bachelor’s degree in music, a Bachelors in theatre and a Master of Fine Arts in music. His interest and passion for all things creative arts regularly guide him on a continuous path of expanding his knowledge and experience in the arts. In addition to being an arts advocate, Centeno is a BIPOC activist (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and a feminist and LGBTQ ally.

Ashley Marie Garcia

Ashley Marie Garcia is a community organizer and CEO/Founder of Brown Girl Travels Magazine. Her community work is based in the neighborhoods that raised her, all tucked nicely in North East Los Angeles. She’s edited and produced 6 magazines for WOC, creating representation for dark skinned girls in the travel world so that the next generation of sun kissed babies know that this world is theirs. Between those issues, she’s produced and hosted four community events including a back to school fair, a free book fair, a marketplace with free haircuts for kids and a holiday gift give away, where over 500 gifts were given.

Ariadne Makridakis Arroyo

Ariadne Makridakis Arroyo is a Los Angeles-based poet, writer, and feminist of Greek and Guatemalan descent who grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. They completed their Bachelor’s degree in Critical Theory & Social Justice at Occidental College in 2020. Her writing has been featured in Twisted Moon Magazine, Evocations Review, Feast Magazine, Stellium Literary Magazine, Stonecoast Review, Rush Magazine, Stanchion Zine, Latin@ Literatures, and Tasteful Rude, and they are a recipient of the 2019 Argonaut Summer Research/Creative Writing Fellowship. Shcurrently serves as the Writing in the Schools Coordinator of Red Hen Press.

Brian Jaton

Brian Jaton is an arts and community advocate and recent graduate from Claremont Graduate University’s Arts Management M.A. program. He is a first-generation college graduate earning an Art History Bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2020. Brian moved to Los Angeles from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2018 where he worked selling art and antiques for 18 years. He loves Los Angeles’ embrace of contemporary art and its innovative cultural policies. While studying at ASU and CGU Brian’s stance on art pivoted to becoming a mission-based advocate for the overall impact visual and performing arts has on society. While attending CGU Brian worked briefly with Self Help Graphics supporting a year end development campaign, and most recently collaborated with publisher The Lapis Press and Mexico City artist Sofía Táboas on a multiple edition for his required capstone project.

Christopher Goodman

I am an experienced music producer and DJ based in Los Angeles. I have a passion for creating music and have honed my skills through a Bachelor’s degree in Music/Recording Arts and industry experience since 2005. I am an active member of the Student Leadership Institute and ASCAP and have received awards from the RIAA. I co-produced a charity single that raised over $2 million for HBCU students during the pandemic. My skills include strong communication and collaboration, adaptability, event planning and production, and team leadership. I am interested in working at the intersection of community organizing and the arts to affect positive change and make a difference.

Dale-Judith Zuhrah Seabrook

Dale-Judith Zuhrah Seabrook is a multiracial Black educator, illustrator, writer, actress, community organizer, wife and mother. Her skill set includes mentorship, advocating a healthy lifestyle and for humans with invisible disabilities. She specializes in creative and visual arts. Holds her BA in Liberal studies minor child development and soon Masters in Arts. The Arts have always brought her core happy memories. Numerous plays in grade school, singing, acting and dancing. Artwork for family, modeling for middle school. Secondary school voted most versatile performer and also cherished memories of game, drama club and choir. She began to understand humans better with humanities and embraced the up close look of the future when she became a teacher. She now inspires to bring Art to underserved communities and humans with invisible disabilities. Starting with her born and raised city of south central Los Angeles and stretching across the nation to her other hometown of New Jersey.

Elisabeth Grossman

Elisabeth Grossman is an LA native with a long-standing passion for theatre and arts education. She developed a passion for theatre growing up as a performer, and fell further in love with theatre while interning at a community theatre for children. She believes that theatre has the power to change lives for the better, and knows that providing theatre access to children is incredibly important. She recently spent a year working as the educational outreach and social media manager for Nine O’Clock Players Theatre for Children in Hollywood. When Elisabeth isn’t attending the theatre, you can find her reading, cooking, or trying to learn a new art skill! Elisabeth received a Bachelor of Science in theatre arts management with a minor in education from Ithaca College.

Elizabeth Cho

Elizabeth Cho is a cultural organizer and Program Manager for Partnerships at LA Commons. She is passionate about creativity, culture, and public space as a means to activate and heal. From 2018 to 2022, she was the executive assistant for the artist Shepard Fairey, assisting with mural installations, print releases, and civic art campaigns. She has organized with Gente Organizada in Pomona and enjoys gardening with the Beverly Vermont Community Land Trust. Elizabeth received her BA from Wellesley College, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies and minoring in Education.

Ethel Zafranco

Ethel Zafranco is an LA-based multimedia artist and a product of art-based community programs that targeted underserved youth. She received her bachelor’s in studio arts from Loyola Marymount University and is pursuing her masters in Art Therapy. Being first-generation Mexican-American, she has come full circle and focused her efforts on empowering underserved BIPOC youth through creative expression via community workshops, after school programs and summer camps. She also paints community-focused murals with her husband under the alias of AQMNI and together they currently facilitate an immersive mural creation program for the youth in which they include them in the process of conceptualizing, designing and executing a large-scale art piece on their school campus or recreational space.

Francine Banda

Francine Banda is an interdisciplinary artist from Los Angeles. They received their BA in Art from UCLA in 2019. Banda’s art practice includes painting, graphic design, sculpture, and ceramics. They are inspired by nature, their Mexican/Indigenous heritage, and people who are passionate about art. In addition to their art practice, they also enjoy cooking, experimenting with natural dyes, and making jewelry. Banda is interested in engaging with their community through art and plans to create an art space that centers BIPOC artists in Los Angeles.

Hannah Dominica Chua

Hannah Dominica Chua (they/she) is a Pilipinx arts activist and cultural organizer born in Quezon City, Philippines and raised in Escondido, CA. They recently graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures and a minor in Pilipinx Studies. For their senior thesis, Hannah spearheaded a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, arts project that critically explores Pilipinx identity formation and corporate mobilizations of diasporic nostalgia: “‘Joy Served Daily!’: The Jollibee Empire, Labor Exploitation, and Selling Diasporic Nostalgia”. Hannah is a passionate advocate for Ethnic Studies and universal access to arts education. She believes in the transformative potential of art and storytelling as tools to foster radical imagination, and inspire actionable change. In their free time, they enjoy crocheting, up-cycling second-hand clothing, and listening to very long video essays while doing other things.

Indeya Eubank

There’s multiple ways to fry a fish! Hello my name is Indeya Eubank and my passion lies where creativity meets business and community. I enjoy things such as marketing, branding and graphic design- I see them as creative problem solving. I take pride in creating work that has meaning and is thoughtful. In that, Community is an important piece. There’s so much power in people coming together for a shared cause. Being around community has the power to uplift you, be a support system, and encourage growth. I love doing work that supports that. I also love to paint, draw and dance (Hiphop, Tap, and Salsa are my favorites). Just like frying a fish, there’s so many ways to use these mediums for expression and to tell your story. Through this program, I hope to connect with other artists and learn how I can advocate for access to art education and affordable creative spaces.

Jasser Membreno

Jasser Membreno is a Latino artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, with an incredible facility for drawing and painting. His work is figurative and fantastical; the landscapes, buildings, and objects he creates live simultaneously in the past, present, and future of a world full of decay, mystery, and invention. Since graduating from the Character Animation program at Calarts in 2008, he has continued to create works of art that appear in galleries, film, tv/animation, book publishing, and sculpture work. Along with having illustrated two children’s books, Jasser published his first illustrated, bilingual book Pensamientos/Thoughts. He also co-founded a company called CineNovel which bridged the art, literature, and entertainment worlds. Currently, Jasser is developing an animated series based on his character designs and focusing on his passion for the arts. He plans to showcase his new paintings in the fall of 2023.

Jeniffer Perales Garcia

Jeniffer Perales Garcia (she/her/ella) is a bilingual museum educator. She is currently working at the Fowler Museum at UCLA as Manager or K-12 & Family Programming and Bilingual Educator. As a first-generation, English-learner, DACA-mented Latina, her work strives to create a more accessible and welcoming museum space. Jeniffer received her B.A. in Latin American Studies and B.A. in Spanish from UT Austin.

Jessica Coreas

Jessica Coreas is a writer, musician, and community organizer, and currently serves as YMF’s Community Relations Coordinator. Jessica’s professional interests lie at the intersection of the arts and community activism, and has spent the last decade curating music programming within the San Gabriel Valley (SGV). She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in film and media studies from UC Irvine and enjoys cooking, photography, and walks with her dog in her spare time.

Jocelyn Ayala

Jocelyn Ayala is a Queer Mexican-American, first-generation graduate of Occidental College with a B.A. in Art History and Visual Arts. In 2020, she began working in her hometown Pomona, CA at The dA Center for the Arts. She is currently the ArtBridge Outreach Director, managing all visual arts programs created by The dA for the Pomona Unified School District. She is also the Public Arts Coordinator at The City of Pomona, working towards supporting the City’s mission to create a more vibrant public arts scene for her community. Outside of work, she is an artist, focusing on both traditional and digital illustrations.

John Broadway

After graduating with a degree in Journalism from CSULB, and a short ill-advised entrepreneurial endeavor, I decided to pursue a career in screenwriting and filmmaking. After two years of film classes and working in the film industry I decided to merge my film aspirations with my activist and social justice aspirations. After a couple years of service in the Public Allies program working with Inclusive Action, I founded Artivists United, production company that creates film/video, online content, events, and merchandise that merge art and activism. I look forward to continuing to grow my knowledge, experience, and network in pursuit of utilizing art create meaningful societal impact.

Kevine Ecliserio-Velez

Kevine Ecliserio-Velez is an independent artist, travel writer, and mental health advocate from East Los Angeles, California. As a Chicana and first-generation professional, she is passionate about developing community initiatives, enriching students in the K-12 sector, and assisting students pursuing higher education. Kevine has developed a workshop series for an Upward Bound TRiO program that focused on the college-going culture and developed English writing workshops to enhance students’ literacy skills to be successful in their academics. In addition, she facilitated a lecture series at the WESTOP Student Leadership Conference, which focused on informing participants about the importance of soft skills and applying them in their day-to-day life to develop networking skills as they progress through their journeys. Within her academic journey, Kevine was awarded a Community Builder Award within her department while successfully earning her Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies from California State University, Northridge. Kevine formerly worked at the Chinese American Museum as the Community Engagement Coordinator, where she built and sustained over 50 community partnerships across the United States and Canada. Currently, Kevine serves as the Marketing Coordinator for the Promotions and Partnerships team at the LA Phil. She one day hopes to create an impact in the community and inspire others to achieve their goals.

Laser Webber

Laser Webber is a trans musician, performer, and author. His music “challenges the patriarchy, champions marginalized voices, and finds emotional resonance in everything from robots to breakfast foods.” He has toured the US, Australia, and Europe as front person of the Doubleclicks, and has racked up over 4 million Youtube views amongst their large and beautiful grassroots audience. Laser’s latest project, Billboard-charting musical concept album “Teaching a Robot to Love,” is a sci-fi story about the trans experience. As a speaker and author, he uses his personal experience with crowdfunding to help independent artists get money and attention for their creative projects. He has raised more than $2 million using Kickstarter and Patreon for comics, games, and music, and is the author of “Crowdfunding for Musicians,” a how-to book for indie artists who want to achieve their dreams without gatekeepers.

Maria Bjorkdahl

Maria Bjorkdahl is a Swedish-Moroccan visual artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. Her art focuses on notions of unearthing multiple layers and buried memories. Using materiality and process, she mines ideas of hidden meanings by either literally taking apart and unraveling the warp and weft of the traditional cotton duck painting support, or more recently, stitching old pocket calendar pages onto canvas. Maria’s work has been shown throughout Southern California including Artcore, Launch LA, The Museum of Latin American Art and Gallery 825. She is a member of Los Angeles Art Association and a grant recipient from the Center for Cultural Innovation. Maria is committed to finding ways and opportunities for artists to have access to affordable work and exhibition spaces in the community.

Michael Papias

Michael Papias (He/Him) is a first generation Mexican-American Orphan that entered California’s child welfare system in 2009. He completed his undergraduate degree in 2021 at UC Berkeley, with a double major in Ethnic Studies, Film and Media Studies, and a Minor in Education. While at Berkeley, Michael completed an Ethnic Studies Seniors Honors Thesis that unpacked the cultural experiences of Latina/x/o’s in California’s child welfare system. He used his data to create a year-long community art intervention program, Tu eres Tu, to address the cultural and social deficits that accompany the Latina/x/o foster youth experience. In 2022, Michael became the director of Journey House’s Visual and Performing Arts program, which assists former foster youth in accessing self-determination through the arts process. Michael’s interests focus on the foster youth identity in relationship to knowledge production, theory, activism, and arts practice.

Mona Yeh

Mona Yeh has a passion for the intersection of culture, stories and social movements. She is currently the Culture Director at MoveOn. She was recently Program Manager of the climate work at Exposure Labs, a film and impact company, lead producer of a broadcast radio series on public transit commuting as part of the Localore: Finding America initiative, and the Communications Director of the Funder’s Collaborative on Youth Organizing, a national funding intermediary. She also has a background as a youth worker and in youth media and civic education. In her free time, Mona enjoys reading, cooking, bike riding and getting outdoors. In pre-pandemic times, she was also a karaoke enthusiast and beginner tap dancer.

Nico Rosario

As an artist, educator, researcher, and activist, her work meets at the intersections of creative arts, politics, culture, and education, with a special interest in youth and subcultures. A writer and photographer, Nico directs the Academy for Theatre Leadership at Center Theatre Group, focused on pathways to the creative workforce. Outside of her professional work, Nico is the co-host of Black Women Are the Illuminati, a podcast centered on Black women visionaries. She also hosts the radio show, Maximum R&B, on Accra-based Oroko Radio, and she’s currently juggling two long-form writing projects: a novel centered on underground dance culture and the art world, and a screenplay about straight-edge culture and militant veganism in ’90s-era Salt Lake City.

Nina Lopez

Nina Lopez (she/her) is an arts and social justice advocate with a passion for transformational storytelling. With familial roots in Mexico and Ireland, Nina learned at an early age the importance of culture and how it can be used as a tool for othering and belonging. In wanting to focus on how culture can unite, heal, and transform, Nina pursued Bachelor’s degrees in Latin American and Latino Studies and History of Art and Visual Culture at UC Santa Cruz. She went on to work in the social justice sector and recognized the many opportunities to utilize the arts to ignite and sustain positive social change. Now residing in Los Angeles, Nina is passionate about amplifying the work of community artists who are challenging oppressive narratives and shifting hearts and minds through radical storytelling. Nina believes that this will help create a more just, caring, and equitable world for all.

Rachel Burke

Rachel Burke has spent over a decade activating public space with cultural programming and events throughout Los Angeles County. In her previous job with Community Arts Resources, she produced multiple festivals and pop-ups including GLOW for the City of Santa Monica, Little Tokyo Design Week, Chinatown Summer Nights, Friday Night Concerts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and Family Weekends at The Broad. As CicLAvia’s Chief Program Officer, Rachel leads all event planning, programming and logistics from start to finish. She works closely with the city, partners and the local community to ensure that each CicLAvia is fun, safe, and successful. A native Angeleno and UC Berkeley graduate, Rachel is always happy to share her tips on the best spots to dine and drink around LA.

Ree Quijano

Ree Quijano (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and second generation Filipino-American based in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Their work revolves around analyzing and serving the Filipino diasporic experience by exploring subjects such as migration, intergenerational trauma, revolutionary history, and United States imperialism. Quijano has exhibited in galleries throughout LA, including The Mistake Room and VAMA Gallery at LACC. They hope to integrate their art practice with community organizing and advocacy as a representative of Malaya: Long Beach and Carson, as well as through their work as an Teaching Assistant for the PRAXIS City ArtS Parks art engagement program. Quijano received a B.A. in Studio Art in 2022 from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), where they are also currently enrolled in the Teaching Credential Program for Single Subject in Art.

Samantha Alexis Manuel

Samantha Alexis Manuel (she/her) is a 4th-year at UCLA studying Communications, Art History, and Digital Humanities. She has interned at museums, galleries, and archives, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and the Center of the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG). Her roles focused on exhibition development, marketing/design, arts administration, and digital archival practices. Samantha coordinated and planned the earlier stages of “Our Voices, Our Getty: Reflecting on Drawings”, to be presented at the Getty in February 2023. She has also interned for 11:11 Projects through the LACAC to help develop/execute public art, programming, and experiential installations. She is excited to begin her internship for the Exhibitions & Planning department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Spring 2023. Samantha aspires for an arts administration career and desires to learn more about increasing accessibility and advocacy within arts/culture-based institutions.

Stephanie Gordian

Stephanie Gordian is a first generation Mexican-American. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Design from California State University Dominguez Hills. Throughout her community college journey she was involved with several art organizations, awarded art scholarships and participated in public art projects with organizations such as Heart of Los Angeles, Art Division and LA Commons. Having access to free art classes reminded her of the power of art and what it can do to help communities heal, grow and connect. She hopes to be an advocate for arts education and continue her creative path. She is currently doing an apprenticeship with Public Allies Los Angeles where she is using her graphic design skills to lift communities in South Central Los Angeles.

Valery Mendoza-Martinez

Valery Mendoza-Martinez is the Community Arts Program Manager at LA Commons—an organization that engages communities in artistic and cultural expressions that tells their stories as a basis for a shared understanding of Los Angeles. She supports strategic planning, community building and execution of art programs across historic Black and Brown neighborhoods in LA. Valery has planned comprehensive social justice campaigns and programs for students of color in the UC system, and is passionate about the leadership development of Black and brown organizers and residents of Los Angeles as producers of resources and solutions towards transformative change. As an artist, Valery has led numerous mutual aid art fundraisers to support Black, Indigenous people of color across the country through the creation of low waste accessories. Valery aims to connect narrative storytelling and community building between Black and Brown artists to further create systems of care and community.

Vanessa F. Melesio

Vanessa F. Melesio is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles region. Using color, composition, and freeform shapes, her works are simple, abstract renditions of her human experience. Vanessa’s works have showcased at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries and the Mexican Center for Cultural & Cinematic Arts at the Los Angeles Mexican Consulate. Her motifs explore the experiences of carrying cultural labels such as first-generation college student, abstract artist, and planning professional. As she explores the influences of the subcultures, she evaluates the value nuanced experiences as such can influence society as a whole. An alumnus of California State University San Bernardino and current student of Cal Poly Pomona, M.S. Urban and Regional Planning, and is interested in being a community planner with an ethnographic approach to work in collaboration with communities within the Inland Empire and Los Angeles region.

Victoria Vargas

My name is Victoria Vargas, and I graduated from UCLA. I majored in Anthropology, interested in learning about the archaeology of the Americas. I participated in a field school in Denmark this past summer, which was life-changing and enjoyable. I hope to gain more experience in the field by participating in research in Mexico. I’m also a dancer who enjoys Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Hip Hop, and Belly Dancing. I recently completed one year of dancing Folklorico and am now learning Danza Azteca. I’ve interned at the Smithsonian Latino Center, LACMA, and the Fowler Museum, which is why I applied for this program. I hope to support communities of underrepresented backgrounds to pursue opportunities in the arts and increase diversity in these fields.

Laura Brody

Laura Brody sculpts for the human body and its vehicles. She developed and curates Opulent Mobility, a series of exhibits that re-imagine disability as opulent and powerful. Her art has been shown at the Ikouii Creative, ACE/121 Gallery, Brea Gallery, the Charles River Museum of Industry, Westbeth Center For the Arts, California State University Northridge, Gallery Expo, the Dora Stern Gallery at Arts Unbound, and The World of Wearable Art. Ms. Brody works as a professional costume maker and designer, an artist, and as an educator. She is passionate about reuse, sustainability, and re-imagining disability.

A’raelle Flynn-Bolden

A’raelle Flynn-Bolden (she/her) is an actress, vocalist, playwright, and arts activist. She is a CalArts alum and is from/based in Los Angeles, the unceded territories of the Tongva, and Kizh people. As an arts activist, her focus is on the representation and amplification of the lives of BIPOC/PGM ( Black, Idigenous, People of Color/ People of the Global Majority ). Through her artistic work and advocacy she seeks to help mold a more equitable and rich arts landscape for BIPOC/PGM artists to freely create. She is a co-author of the Los Angeles Anti-Racist Theatre Standards, Co-Founder of BLKLST Los Angeles, is currently a playwright in the 30 Under 30 Playwrighting Cohort at IAMA Theatre and acts as the Artistic Associate at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

Alexis Hyde

Alexis Hyde is currently working as an art advisor/dealer/curator/podcast host/whathaveyou, in Los Angeles, but you may have seen her most recently on TikTok, as the Director of the Museum of Broken Relationships , or as the Curator of the Quinn Emanuel Artist-in-Residence program.

Alma Juarez

Alma Juarez is a Mexican-born artist and educator currently living in Los Angeles, California. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration Fine Art from Art Center College of Design. Alma works with various mediums but focuses mainly on painting and photography. Her work is inspired by personal experiences, emotions, human behavior, and her environment. Alma has served as an educator and mentor working with inner-city youth, students from immigrant and economically disadvantaged communities from elementary to adulthood, and post-secondary students. Carla acts as a liaison with key community partners, leads Levitt LA’s youth development program and builds community through music.

Anna Floersch

Anna Floersch: After graduating from UCLA, I entered the entertainment world to explore my passion for storytelling and television. I started at NBC Entertainment learning about TV development, production and primary research for primetime. I have been at the Walt Disney Company for the last two and a half years, where I help develop strategies to grow some of the biggest brands, franchises and stories around the globe. I came into this industry because I believe in the power of stories to change the world – to make us more compassionate, empathetic and deepen our relationships with the people closest to us. In my downtime I can most often be found reading my favorite journalists, spending time with my golden retrievers, or debating which ice cream shop is the best in Los Angeles.

Ashley Kruythoff

Ashley Kruythoff is a versatile artist and communications professional. She’s a Caribbean-American photographer and designer based in Los Angeles who brings strong art direction to her creative work. She believes in the power the arts have to inspire minds and evoke societal change by elevating awareness of social, environmental, and cultural issues. To her, it’s important to share messages of support and hope for individuals who suffer from mental health conditions. As a marketing specialist at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, she advocates for nature and the environment. Kruythoff believes that carrying out effective projects require more than just technical mastery: it is essential to be spiritually present, develop substantial knowledge about your subject matter, and build meaningful relationships with sensitivity. Kruythoff is a Getty iStock contributor. Her artwork has been featured many California galleries. She is a member of the Los Angeles Art Association and Climate Designers.

Astrud Reed

Astrud Reed, Museum Professional / LA Arts Advocate. I am passionate about community engagement, enhancement, and empowerment. I believe participatory art and education, celebrating diversity and evolving urban design techniques, are the keys to achieving these goals. My Master of Arts in Museum Studies research on “Tactical Urbanism and the Dynamic Shift to Embrace Deviance and Diversity: The Beauty and Tone of LA Street Art in Twenty-first Century Communities” looks at revitalization without gentrification in LA’s Urban Core through short-term beautification projects (i.e. street art.) I am fascinated with contemporary “live” art, especially when it provides a voice on issues affecting the local population. I take advantage, whenever possible, to meet local/visiting artists to speak with them, watch them work, and observe how they connect with the communities in which they create and display their art so that I may advocate for their importance in the city planning sphere.

Blaze Bautista

Blaze Bautista is a visual artist graduating from UCLA in March 2022 with a major in World Arts and Cultures and a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education. With her concentration in arts activism, she has developed and facilitated student workshops that educate on using the arts for social justice and healing. She has worked with UCLA Arts Engagement, the Hammer Museum, the UCLA Prison Education Program, and the UCLA School for the Arts and Architecture. She is passionate about bringing the arts into communities, even virtually. Her biggest project was curating UCLA’s first interactive virtual “iartucla” gallery which featured 40+ student artworks. As a painter and digital illustrator, Blaze uses captivating visuals to engage audiences in social issues. She recently illustrated portraits of abolition activists including Angela Davis, Harry Belafonte, and Dolores Huerta which will be published in the book, Rebel Speak: A Justice Movement Mixtape in March 2022.

Brandon Karagozian

Brandon Karagozian is first-generation, low-income, Queer, Latine undergraduate student at Pomona College majoring in Public Policy Analysis with a concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Additionally, he is minoring in dance performance. Brandon is passionate about gaining experience in the arts non-profit sector as well as providing an equitable and accessible arts education for all communities. Striving to become a ballerina at age 15, he has devoted much of his educational experience in providing art programs to communities of Los Angeles and supporting those pushed to the furthest margins. Brandon is currently the program and administration for LA based CONTRA-TIEMPO where he is responsible for assisting in arts management and facilitating processes that provide the arts for low-income communities of color based in an anti-racist context. Additionally, he serves in many leadership positions at Pomona to trailblaze a path for future queer, first- generation, low-income artists.

Ceci Moss

Ceci Moss is a curator, writer and educator based in Los Angeles, USA. She is the founder of Gas, a mobile, autonomous, experimental and networked platform for contemporary art. Her first book Expanded Internet Art: Twenty- First Century Artistic Practice and the Informational Milieu is released through the Bloomsbury series International Texts in Critical Media Aesthetics. Her writing has appeared in Rhizome, Art in America, ArtAsiaPacific, Artforum, The Wire, CURA, New Media & Society and various art catalogs. Previously, she was Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Senior Editor of the art and technology non-profit arts organization Rhizome, and Special Projects Coordinator at the New Museum. She is currently a Lecturer in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts and she has held teaching positions at University of Southern California, Scripps College, the San Francisco Art Institute and New York University.

Chelsea Sutton

Chelsea Sutton is a playwright, fiction writer, director, and immersive experience creator. She was a 2016 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and is member of the Clarion UCSD “Ghost Class” 2022 Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop. Chelsea was a 2018 Sewanee Writers Conference Playwright Fellow and a Humanitas PlayLA award winner, and her plays have been finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Woodward/Newman Drama Award, Reva Shiner Comedy Award, and others. Her fiction has also appeared in Bourbon Penn, F(riction), Speculative City, and more. She is the Associate Artistic Director at Rogue Artists Ensemble where she co-founded and co-directs the Rogue Lab New Play Incubator. She holds an MFA from UC Riverside.

Chinelo Ufondu

Chinelo Ufondu is the Development and Communication Associate at Fathomers, a creative research institute based in Los Angeles dedicated to supporting artist-led projects, where she assists with funding research, external communication and executing public programs. She has written for print publications and has co-authored a paper for the Studio Museum in Harlem as part of the inaugural cohort of their Museum Professionals Seminar. Prior to her role at Fathomers, she worked as an arts educator and journalist. She holds a B.A. in Global Studies with an Art & Technology minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara


Claudia Mayoss

Claudia Mayoss is the Assistant Director of Enrollment Management for the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, which represents UCLA’s visual and performing arts programs for undergraduate and graduate students to the public. She also serves as an assistant liaison for UCLA Arts and the main office for Undergraduate Admission and is a member of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management’s Undergraduate Recruitment Committee. Claudia received her B.A in Dance and B.A in Political Science at UCLA, and recently earned her M.A in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School.

Diana Castro

Diana Castro (they/them) is an artist and cultural organizer located in Los Angeles, CA. Diana is the vice co-lead of OC MECCA’s Transtitional Age Youth (TAY) advocacy group, which strives to advocate for more mental health resources for youth 16-26. Diana specializes in community-centered arts activism projects that center self empowerment and sustainability models. Diana’s career trajectory is marked by administrative work in cultural institutions, direct service with transitional-age youth, and independent research projects. In their free time, Diana likes to read, create art, write, and travel on LA’s public transportation system.

Edlin Velasquez

Edlin Velasquez was born and raised in South Los Angeles. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a BA in Psychology and a BFA in Ceramics she continued to focus on her artwork in ceramics and support administratively in arts education. She moved to New York in 2019 where she worked with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art and artist, Gabriel Garcia Roman, on a project showcased at the New York Pride Parade. Edlin also comes with a wealth of experience in counseling and tutoring youth. She is inspired to create a safe-space for students to expand their thinking and explorations from where they are to where they are inspired to go. Edlin is back in LA and it passionate about working with communities in an arts and educational setting and would like to continuing growing in this direction.

Estrellx Supernova

Estrellx Supernova is a queer, AfroIndigenous choreographer, performance artist, healer, and founder of an emergent ecosystem called Estrellx Supernova & The Cosmic Angels / The School(s) of Tenderness. Estrellx Supernova focuses on their solo choreographic work, The Cosmic Angels takes the form of a remixed dance company, choreographic healing collective, and The School(s) of Tenderness will be a network of (13) schools / global hive sites located near energetic earth centers. Each site will be its own respective architectural design project (using the beehive as its main organizing principle) composed of the following: CLUB, healing center, ritualistic performance venue, farm, innovation incubator. This vision will be created by and for BIQTPOC Creatives. Estrellx frames choreography as embodied excavation, as an intimate practice that opens up portals towards giving oneself radical permission to dissent, celebrate, grieve, and rest. Estrellx asks, “What do you really want and how exactly do you want it?”

Gabriela S. Grant

Gabriela S. Grant is a quirky, introspective interdisciplinary movement artist from Prince George’s County, Maryland. Grant explores what it means to “be still” through movement to better understand her human being-ness beyond her ego and earthly aspects of her identity such as race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. She graduated from The University of Maryland, College Park, in May of 2020 with a B.A. in Dance and Social Change Through Dance. She made an impact on her community through her leadership in the Dance Department as a Creative and Performing Arts Scholar, as well as her work to use dance as a transformative tool for economically disadvantaged youth in the Prince George’s County Public School System and beyond. She recently moved to Los Angeles, California, and is pursuing a professional dance career here. Grant’s hope is that ACTIVATE will provide a foundation for her pursuit of using dance as a transformative tool in her Los Angeles community.

Gaby Hernández

Gaby Hernández (She/Her/Ella) is an arts administrator, creative and first- generation graduate born & raised throughout Los Ángeles County. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Community Studies from The University of California, Santa Cruz, and an Associate’s degree in Communication Studies from Mount San Antonio College. She holds deeply seeded roots in advancing access to the arts, access to public spaces, and cultural equity. Currently, Gaby serves as the Programming Coordinator for Grand Park at The Music Center. There she has had the pleasure of working in the community with local and international artists, cultural organizations, and partners to provide LA County with accessible arts and culture programming. Gaby is a daydreamer who is enthralled with imagining and innovating a future where every human is granted access to creative experiences, possibilities to engage in arts disciplines, radical celebrations of cultural identities, and strong nurturing community bonds.

Heidi Rhodes

Over the past 30 years, Heidi Rhodes has worn nearly every hat on and backstage in theatre and film. An actor, director, and producer, she has also performed as a singer-songwriter, a Modern and Argentine Tango dancer, and exhibited as a visual artist and designer. Fulfilling her passion for working with children, Heidi now serves as Program Director for The Young Shakespeareans (a nonprofit empowering 4-8th graders in underserved communities) and consults with Ava’s Heart, (a nonprofit providing lifesaving resources to organ transplant patients) as an events producer, grant and copywriter, and book editor. Additional administrative experience includes running a 50+ person theatre company, various interior design companies, and consulting for many small businesses. Heidi holds a BA in Psychology from UNH and a Master of Interior Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Ilaan Egeland Mazzini

Ilaan Egeland Mazzini has an eclectic arts career as a dancer, educator, curator and conveiner. She has performed across the United States; taught movement for children to college students; created a variety of arts programs for museums, theaters, schools and festivals; mentored artists and arts professionals; and works tirelessly to connect community with the arts. She is currently the Director of Program and Activations for The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Prior to that, Ilaan served as Program Manager for Artist Recruitment and Engagement and Community Initiatives at the John Anson Ford Theatre, and Head of Family Programs at the Skirball Center. She holds a BFA in Dance from the California Institute of the Arts in dance, and an MFA in Dance, Department of World Arts and Culture, from UCLA.

October BLU

October BLU is a Los Angeles native spoken word poet, educator & graduate student. In My Space of Honesty is her first collection of published poetry and prose published by World Stage Press in 2019. As a first-generation healer and generational curse breaker, October uses writing as a tool for understanding identity, processing trauma, moving through experiences of struggle, empowerment, growth, joy and healing. She has performed poetry from the KPCC’s UnHeardLA, FoxSoul, and the Pan African Spoken word and Arts Festival.

Jennie E. Park

Jennie E. Park is a Korean American artist, writer and curator interested in interdisciplinarity and integrated approaches to honesty. (In)visibility and (in)vulnerability, and world-generating dynamics of entanglement and of truthful paradox, recur as practices, tools or puzzles she explores in relation to her project-based work. She is currently an MFA student in Art and Creative Writing with an Integrated Media concentration at California Institute of the Arts, and her prior graduate degrees in cognitive psychology and law inform her art and writing practices. She has written for Los Angeles-based Artillery and other arts publications, and her art, film and written works have received awards through film festivals, galleries and other exhibition venues since 2018. Prior to dedicating herself to artmaking, she ran the alternative dispute resolution and legal education programs at a local nonprofit for artists, after serving there as a UCLA School of Law Public Interest Fellow.

Jessica G. Ramirez

I am Jessica G. Ramirez and I am a Los Angeles-based artist. I was born and raised in Pacoima, CA. I graduated from the University of California Irvine in 2019 with a double major in Art (Studio) and Art History. I am currently working as a Line Manager for the Home Depot while I attend school. I am planning on pursuing a MA in Art Therapy and getting my Teaching Credential in Art. As an artist, I work in mixed media and working on projects focused on public art and community space.

Jostin Grimes

Jostin Grimes is an educator, storyteller, and community builder from Gordon, Ga. His passion and commitment to the arts has been evident since his early theatre, band, and choir days throughout 6-12th grade and undergraduate journey. Jostin is a graduate of Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and was a proud member of the Morehouse College Glee Club. During his time in the Glee Club, Jostin noticed the societal and cultural impact that the arts play in the world and especially across Black communities. As a former elementary educator, he made sure to find ways to creatively incorporate the arts in his teaching and interactions with his students. Currently, Jostin is an education specialist at Spotify on the Soundtrap for EDU team. In this role, Jostin is able to combine his love and commitment for music and the arts to inspire thousands of students across the west coast to become storytellers and creators that will shift cultures and develop narratives for communities.

Katie Lindsay

Katie Lindsay is a writer, director, and producer of new plays, musicals, and theatrical experiences. During the pandemic, she created A Walk in My Neighborhood, an immersive audio experience in Atwater Village which the LAist called “genius.” Katie is currently writing a musical in the Geffen Writers’ Room, and was the 2019 Bill Foeller Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she directed Orlando by Sarah Ruhl. Select directing credits include Red Emma & the Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan (The Tank, NY Times Critic’s Pick), Bar Dykes by Merril Mushroom (Celebration Theatre), Keeping up with the Prozorovs by Lucy Gillespie (Hollywood Fringe; Encore Producers Award, Best Female Director nomination), and Harry & The Thief by Sigrid Gilmer (The Habitat). Katie is the Artistic Director of Big Little Theater Company which produces plays that are “epically intimate.” She is also co-Founder of MeetCute, an evening of short plays that builds community in Los Angeles.
Proud member of the Dramatists Guild and SDC and graduate of Dartmouth College.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is an arts administrator with a passion for expanding the scope and access of theatre and the performing arts. Originally for Schertz, Texas Kevin has lived in Los Angeles for 4 years completing an MBA / MFA in Theatre Management at Cal State Long Beach while working at nonprofit theatres in Los Angeles including Center Theatre Group, and the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ Will Power to Youth Program. He is currently the Audience Services Manager at the historic East West Players located in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.

Kyndal McLyn

Kyndal McLyn has been working in the Los Angeles art scene for over six years. After studying Art History at CSULA she spent numerous years working at multiple art institutions including MOCA and the Hammer museum.

Lauretta Coumarbatch, M.D.

Lauretta Coumarbatch, M.D. is an emerging visual artist, writer, community encourager and disability advocate from the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is also a doctor and public health specialist with over 35 years experience in pediatrics, aging and wellness. Lauretta is focused on the dynamics of arts, faith and health disparities in minority communities especially during this pandemic. And she uses art to promote social justice and anti-racism. Lauretta is also passionate about creating space and inclusivity in the arts for female, older, BIPOC and disabled artists like herself. She co-founded an artist residency at a local arts non-profit, where she assisted in workshops, artist playdates, gallery exhibits and other events. She also helps musicians and actors to create public and performance art. Lauretta has grant writing experience and she participates in local and statewide arts advocacy. She also volunteers with youth arts nonprofits and she sings in choirs.

Maddie Chavez Rivas

Maddie Chavez Rivas is a rising senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Ethnic Studies and minoring in Global Studies. They have volunteered at domestic violence clinics, interned with rent boards to ensure accessible, legible tenant petition forms, and have spearheaded efforts towards combatting sexual violence and sexual harassment within the Latinx community.

Maeva Asare, 2021

‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’ – Carroll, 1865, Chapter V

No Black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much’. Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’ … No woman has ever written enough. – bell hooks – Remembered Rapture: The Writer At Work, 1999

Compassion and Empathy allow us to think of new ways for freedom to exist…only then are we allowed to have a conversation worth having. – Maeva Asare, 2021

Marty Preciado

Marty Preciado is a cultural policy advocate. For over a decade, Marty has developed arts programming in the interest to deepen power, representation and access between cultural sectors and audiences; from curating inclusive programing to community initiatives focused on arts and culture; Preciado’s research and curatorial projects focus on transcultural exchange of politics and gender, with an emphasis on music, arts, and culture. Preciado is currently researching implementation of cultural policy as a conduit of accessibility and equity between constituents and the arts sector. Marty is a graduate of the Executive Program in Arts & Culture at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice.

Megan Ruble

Megan Ruble is a professional actress based out of Los Angeles. Whether acting, singing, writing, or producing, she is committed to the art of storytelling and the change it can elicit in the world.

Michaela Bulkley

Michaela Bulkley is continuously building a collaborative and sustainable performing arts ecosystem focused on community-driven leadership development. She is passionate about organizational infrastructure in the arts. Her focus on sustainability, long-term planning, and creative problem solving has naturally drawn her to a career in producing, project management, and advocacy. Michaela’s mission is to create an environment in which theatre leadership is values based and equitable, which will help artists thrive and more diverse stories to be told.

Nadia Chrisanto

Nadia Chrisanto is a passionate arts administrator and highly self-motivated with a demonstrated history of working in mission-specific museums and nonprofit organizations serving individuals in the arts, history and culture. She was the 2016 Getty Marrow Undergraduate Curatorial Programs Intern at the California African American Museum (CAAM), where she developed her passion in the arts and nonprofit administration. After the internship, she continued working at CAAM as a curatorial & program assistant, then as program assistant for the Center for Cultural Innovation(CCI), and as Administrative Assistant for LACMA’s Education & Public Programs Department. She recently rejoined CCI as their Assistant Operations & Digital Assets Manager. Nadia has extensive experience in project management, programming, curatorial research, exhibitions planning, grantmaking, and arts administration. She is committed to supporting works of under-resourced BIPOC artists and communities, and using art & history to promote diversity and cultural history. Born in Jakarta and moved to Los Angeles in 2002, Nadia received her B.A. in History from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and A.A. in History, Humanities, and Social & Behavioral Sciences from Pasadena City College. Nadia enjoys delicious sweets, cooking, playing games, and spoiling her two cats, Boba and Mochi.

Paola Lopez

My name is Paola Lopez, LA native born and raised in Echo Park. I am a passionate go getter always looking for opportunities for growth and taking my community along with me for the journey. I love my city and have been part of the nonprofit and union sector in Los Angeles for 7 + years. With a love and dedication to the arts and freelance in the ever evolving world of events & entertainment. Honored and proud to be able to uplift and be given the opportunity to be entrusted to amplify the many talents and voices of LA based community artists as well. As part of the Grand Park team, as Social Media Manager and Programming PA. Currently attending LATTC Community Planning/ Economic Development Leadership program. I am committed to uplifting, protecting, and acknowledging the voices in my communities with access to the arts and resources for all. My goal and dream for Los Angeles is a cultural, equitable, accessible, community preservation, community building city for all Angelenos with access to free public programs and resources. It is an honor to be part of this year’s 2022 ACTIVATE Delegates Program cohort. I look forward to building long lasting relationships and activating my leadership power.

Paola Perez

Paola Perez is a recent college graduate with a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on Bilingual/Multicultural Education. She is committed to her community through volunteer work which began in college. Paola obtained her BA in Art History from UC Berkeley, where she volunteered at the school’s museum and studied abroad in Berlin. After graduating, she became a docent at LACMA, combining her love for art and teaching. From this experience, she learned the value of art education and recognized its transformative impact and extensive need. She wants to focus her work on making art education more accessible for underserved communities through alternative mediums like distance learning.

Raven Sanchez

Raven Sanchez is an artist and organizer that has lived and worked in San Francisco for over 10 years, where she studied Sociology and Latin American Studies at the University of San Francisco – while simultaneously daydreaming and re-imagining the potential of community arts in her hometown West-Whittier – Los Nietos an unincorporated region of Los Angeles County. Raven’s family lineage spans generations in East Los Angeles which significantly impacts the depths of her connection to LA and its people. Raven maintains her link to the Bay Area through her work in nonprofit leadership. Raven studied visual arts and painting at the City College of San Francisco and from 2018 – 2020 initiated an artist-run project named Whittier Levantate that addressed community arts and social/local issues as a way to cultivate collaboration amongst artists and local organizers in her community. Raven now lives in Los Angeles and is dedicated to innovative methods of incorporating a social lens into her art practice and grounding future projects with abolitionist frameworks and community centered outcomes.

Sam Campbell

Sam Campbell is a sophomore at Cal State LA where she is studying Mass Communications with an emphasis in advertising and public relations. An Angeleno born and raised she has been involved in a variety of LA based nonprofits over the years including WriteGirl, Inner-City Arts, and Young Storytellers. Most recently she was part of the 2021 cohort of the Los Angeles County Arts Internship program where she served as a programs and communications intern for Create CA, a nonprofit organization which advocates for equitable arts education for all K-12 students throughout California. Sam lives in Northeast Los Angeles and enjoys exploring her creative side through tap dance and indulging in sour strawberry belts.

Sharon Senko

Sharon Senko is a small business and economic equity advocate who is passionate about community-led development and ownership. She currently serves as a business counselor with a collaborative of six community-based organizations dedicated to empowering low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs with the resources to start and grow their businesses. Her work also includes policy research and strategies to address displacement and design innovative models for access to capital. Art and music are an integral part of her daily life, and drive her desire to collaborate with creative communities to build power and provide impactful solutions. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering with food justice mutual aid organizations, experimental music, and late night dance parties.

Sophia Bautista

Sophia Bautista is a Program Coordinator for Youth Leadership Institute, where she teaches youth in Long Beach storytelling, campaign strategies, and zine making enshrined in social justice values. She previously worked in programming for the Feminist Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles, working at the nexus of feminist practice and creative work. Her previous research projects with UCLA featured narratives of laborers who are frequently neglected and live at the furthest peripheries of our structures.

Veronica Popovic

Veronica Popovic is a Chicana/Latina, Scholarship Consultant, raised in Atwater Village. As a college student she had a passion for photography and was mentored by the artist, Harry Gamboa Jr. She was a member of his international performance troupe, Virtual Vérité. Veronica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge. After college, she moved to New York to volunteer with AmeriCorps at Rochester Community Television. She empowered youth to produce a TV show on the topics of race relations and regional history. She graduated from USC with a Master of Education in PostSecondary Administration. She has worked in higher education for the past 16 years – at USC, Cal State Northridge, Cal State LA, and most recently as an Admissions Evaluator for UC Irvine. Her area of expertise is in scholarship management. Veronica has won the Scholarship Provider of the Year Award from the National Scholarship Providers Association!

Vinita V. Pugal

Vinita V. Pugal has over 25+ years of experience in Master Planning, Experiential Design, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture. She is the founder of Designodal, Inc., a collaborative forum for designers. The vision of Designodal Inc. is to connect people and transform the world through design by integrating art, nature, culture, and storytelling. Vinita has worked for over fifteen years on designing various prestigious projects in the United States & abroad. Working closely with people around the globe has made her a culturally responsive designer. Born and educated in India, she had the privilege of working on the design of multiple projects in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa before moving to California. She believes that telling the story of the people helps build community engagement and activates spaces. The art of storytelling inspires her as a medium of design. Qualification – BArch, MArch, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP

Vivian Glazier

Vivian Glazier is an actor, writer, and vibrant creative from Fort Worth, TX. She graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Drama from the University of Oklahoma, where she was awarded the Van Heflin Award and the Mary Gray Thompson Award and was recognized on the Letzeiser Honor List. She self- published two poetry books: one whole world and 100 OVER FOUR. She firmly believes that art has the power and responsibility to change the world.

Aidan O'Connor

Aidan O’ Connor is best described as a rejected Fanta girl (just as bubbly, but not as tall). While she grew up in LA County, Aidan has spent the last 7 years devoting her time to performing sketch comedy and improv at numerous theaters around Chicago. Most notably, she has performed with teams at iO and Second City, coproduced a weekly variety show, Thunderdome, at CIC Theater, and worked as a professional choreographer for Second City’s RedCo. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Comedy Writing and Performance Program and the Second City Conservatory program. Aidan is looking forward to learning and advocating for arts in LA.

Albert Tran

Albert Tran is an arts advocate, visual storyteller, creative writer, determined student, and curious about all aspects of art mediums. In June of 2018, Tran graduated from Gabrielino High School. Tran is currently a third-year student attending Pasadena City College to achieve his goals of transferring and obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in June 2022. Building his career, he is working as an Education Intern for a nonprofit performing arts organization called the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. He is collaborating alongside Wallis’ Director of Education, Mark Slavkin. Some of his roles include but not limited to; organizing and researching information related to the Wallis’ School Partners program, communicating with various co-workers to work on various projects, outreaching to independent teaching artists, and attending weekly meetings concerning the arts sector.

Alfred Nomad

Alfred Nomad is an artist activist & entrepreneur creating his own path as an artist and curator. He is also the founder of the culture brand LxVE (Love x Value Everything & Everyone) to highlight and encourage entrepreneurial creatives to follow their passions, collaborate with like minds and give back to communities through creative content, clothing and events based around music and fine art. Alfred has been using his voice as an artist and storyteller to cultivate amity within communities for more than a decade. Curating experiences such as concerts, art exhibitions, panels, and his annual festival (hitting it’s 5th year anniversary this year) LxVE Fest, Alfred effortlessly weaves together his musicianship and collective advocacy. With his thoughtful life driven subject matter, and musically modern sound that tends to blend Hip Hop, Jazz, eclectic samples and an alternative influence he lets his art speak to the lives of his listeners.

Allison Soto Morales

Allison Soto Morales is the Development Manager at Las Fotos Project. Having pursued a bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from Mount Holyoke College she is currently finishing her master’s degree in World Heritage Studies from Brandenburgische Technische Universität. With professional experience working in several cultural organizations throughout Los Angeles, this native of the San Fernando Valley is interested in how access to cultural institutions is influenced by policies and how they reinforce cultural and social barriers. Motivated by the space and shared authority Las Fotos Project has created for its community in Boyle Heights and neighbouring areas, Allison hopes to bring the same spaces in communities throughout the San Fernando Valley.

Anne Marie DAgostino

Anne Marie DAgostino’s passion is igniting students with engaging and current art curriculum, and connecting communities through art. She co-founded The Graffiti Art Project which ran for six years and established a Chalk Walk that has run for seventeen, including during the COVID pandemic. She also co-founded the TakePart in Art festival serving three school districts in its eleventh year. Anne Marie studied with Paul Darrow at Scripps College while earning a BA in Art at Claremont Mckenna College. After Claremont, she spent several years in high tech prior to finding her career in art education. She holds a M.Ed. from Canisius College and is an early adopter of the digital classroom evolution. Anne Marie has a deep connection to Letterpress and owned a 100 year old Vandercook proof press on which she published 7 books. In her free time, she can be found painting a public mural, or crafting Ukrainian eggs.

Asya Michelle Shein

Asya Shein is the Founder and Publisher of Fusicology “The Source for Progressive Events, Music & Culture since 2003” aggregating event listings in 20+ North American cities along virtual streams with exclusive content and releases that define the Soul Diaspora. Working in the music business since the age of 15, as a promoter then later talent agent, Asya was raised in Toronto and attended Wayne State University in Detroit and then settling in Los Angeles in 2000, a proud resident of over 20 years. As a new media, tech and music marketing entrepreneur, Asya has produced the various events with the City of Los Angeles and Department of Cultural Affairs, LA County via the Ford Theaters and Grammy Afterparties that have featured Stevie Wonder, and Common. Fusicology has launched a brand new virtual portal and app platform in 2020 along with embarking on a new health & wellness startup, FuseLife.

Austin Cyr

Austin Cyr is the President and Founder of Ground Up Communications, a Los Angeles based community engagement firm focused on infrastructure and local political campaigns. Austin arrived in Los Angeles after serving as a political tracker, working with American Bridge through Arizona’s 2014 midterms. Austin also worked with Arizona artist agency Store44, representing clients in the visual arts.

Beth Soroko

Beth Soroko is an advancement officer at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). She joined the organization in 2014, during its previous iteration as the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) and was part of the core team that transformed and relaunched SMMoA with a new home in downtown Los Angeles and new identity as ICA LA in 2017. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley, where she created a specialized research program titled Art and Social Change; her studies included field research in the Community Arts Lab at Utrecht University, Netherlands. Prior to ICA LA, Beth managed grants and youth education programs at Red Hen Press. She sits on the advisory board of A Ship in the Woods, a nonprofit incubator for visual art, music, and new media.

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila is a political and non-profit operative with over 10 years experience, and a start-up artist. Demonstrated ability in organizational planning and strategy development, team leadership, project management and community organizing. Knowledgeable about political and government affairs, and a fanatic of fine art. LinkedIn:, Instagram: @betsyavilaart

Carene Rose Mekertichyan

Carene Mekertichyan is an actress, writer, singer, educator, and proud Angelena. As a Black Armenian woman, she is drawn to storytelling that centers marginalized narratives and believes true art exists to spark empathy and create social change. Her identity and LA upbringing inform both her art and intersectional activism. She serves as the Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co. and is a teaching artist for The Unusual Suspects and Creative Acts. Her plays have been produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MeetCute LA, Company of Angels, Independent Shakespeare Co., and Sacred Fools’ “We the People Theater Action”. She is also part of LAist’s “Racism 101” team. She received her training from Dartmouth College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Celia Mandela Rivera

Celia Rivera is an actress, activist, arts educator and theatre administrator. She graduated from USC. She is the Artistic Associate at Skylight Theatre. She spent six years at the Geffen Playhouse, working her way up from Box Office Agent to Teaching Artist and then to the Community Engagement Coordinator. Her work merges theatre and social justice. Currently, she is working on a grassroots organization that focuses on accountability in the theatre industry. Its main goal is to create safety and equity for BIPOC theatre-makers. Some past acting credits include Time Out LA recommended Love Is Another Country, Bolingbroke in Chase What Flies’ Richard II, Antony in Project Nongenue’s Julius Caesar. She co-directed Skylight Theatre’s Never Is Now. IG: CeliaMandel

Chris Descartes

Christopher “Rocket” Descartes is a Caribbean American Artist from Earth. Brooklyn born, currently residing in Los Angeles where he has been producing a wide array of works focused more on the materials and created textures to highlight the varying subjects. Recently he has been merging form and function with a collection of sculptural home goods. Making spaces of intentional peace & tranquility. More plant art coming…. Learn more about him through conversation. Slide in his DMs @chris_rocket_

Divya Kaushik Kohli

Divya Kaushik Kohli has been a Development consultant for Film Festivals for over 7 years. Following the Festival circuit from Mumbai to LA and Cannes, she has worked with several international studios and media partners like Unifrance, TV5Monde, Telefilm Canada, Luce Cinecittà, etc. Kohli is based out of Los Angeles and manages Cultural and Community partnerships for the American Film Institute’s Festivals), concurrently heading the Sponsorship team for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Prior to this, she worked in Entertainment Sales with Walt Disney India and CNBC Network 18, managing partnerships with brands like Audi, Volkswagen, Marriott, etc. She has Masters in both Business (MBA) and Film (PGDMC) and immigrated to the United States in 2013. Combining her love for the Arts and Community building, she hopes to be instrumental in matching organizational missions to the right audiences locally and globally.

Elizabeth Guzman

Ellie Guzman is a community organizer based on Tongva lands (South Central Los Angeles) who is passionate about building community power and transformative justice (TJ). Her interest in TJ fomented during her time as a youth organizer at California for Justice where she was called to use restorative justice practices to support youth. In her current capacity, as a tenant organizer at Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, she is developing an unlawful eviction rapid response network (modelled from the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective) to build community resilience. In her spare time, Ellie supports autonomous organizing efforts and enjoys learning about sustainable living, herbal medicine, and her ancestral healing practices.

Felicia Cain

Felicia Cain is the Admissions Coordinator at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), where she coordinates and oversees all aspects of the application, audition, admission and enrollment process for prospective and incoming students. Over the past 4 years, she has provided support for LACHSA’s administration, arts department chairs, faculty and students. In addition, Felicia has served as a parent representative and staff representative on countless committees including LACHSA’s equity task force, parent council board and foundation board. Felicia is the proud mom to a college student and LACHSA Alumnus. She is an accomplished vocalist and is very eager to returning to performing when it is safe. Felicia is also a lifelong learner and will begin graduate studies in the spring.

Gail Lopes

Gail Lopes is a retired lawyer with specialties in corporate, employment, technology, and nonprofit law. She has served as Chair of the Boards of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in New York City, and Students Rising Above in the California Bay Area. She is also a member of Theatre Communications Group’s National Advisory Council. After earning a JD at Harvard Law School, she spent ten years at the law firm of Morrison & Forester. Gail also served as a Vice President for product for legal and HR professionals in two start-ups. Through a consulting firm she co-founded, Gail has led numerous strategic planning initiatives at both profit and nonprofit organizations. She and her husband Jim have two daughters, one a theatrical director in Los Angeles and the other a sommelier.

Giovanni Rubio

Giovanni Rubio, graduated in 2012 with a BFA in Digital Media and a Community Engagement certificate with the ACT program (Artist Community Teaching) at Otis College of Art and Design. He considers himself as cultural worker, with a focus on digital graphics and public art. Currently, he does freelance design work along with being a part time instructor for Somos L.A. Arte program and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He has facilitated art workshops for young people at parks, recreation centers, housing projects, youth detention facilities, public schools, charter schools and junior colleges throughout the greater Los Angeles County area.

Gleason Bauer

Gleason Bauer (they/them) is a facilitator of white anti-racism affinity groups. Able to recognize and articulate the developmental stages within their own process of building a positive white racial identity, Gleason marries lived experience with their teaching expertise, scaffolding this identity development process, and supporting it with skillful facilitation, mindfulness practices, experiential learning, and compassionate and courageous community. Gleason is also an award-winning theatre artist and educator with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing curriculum, facilitating groups, and coaching individuals to embody the fullness of their humanity. Gleason’s professional skill set has been built through years of creating and holding intentional space for personal awareness and transformation, as well as for collaborative and community-based creation. It comes from iterating how best to facilitate experiences that allow groups to build the trust needed to stay in-process as they sit with the discomfort of uncertainty and change.

Jacqui Malouf

Jacqui Malouf is a multiracial Teaching Artist who reminds us that tradition says, “the young will teach the old.” She is committed to the decolonization of education, aiding marginalized members of society to find voice and full expression, as antiquated, oppressive systems thankfully die. At the dawn of another renaissance, Jacqui strives to amplify this movement, on the stage and the page. Ms. Malouf believes that arts integration is the seed of democracy. She identifies as Ojibwa, MicMac, Metis, SWANA and Celtic & acknowledges how imperative it is to value, tell and reflect our ancestor’s stories, in order to create a more just present and an equitable future. She lives, creates and teaches on stolen Tongva land and has founded a non-profit foundation called “What’s Your Story?” WYS provides professional development for teachers and school administrators to address DEIB and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in storytelling, through the greater, evolving narrative.

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

An actor and arts advocate, Jeannine Stehlin is producing managing director/publicist for The New American Theatre, where she’s produced over 100 plays in LA and NYC. Jeannine received the 2019 Career Achievement Award from Stage Raw, a digital journal dedicated to honoring L.A.-based arts and culture. She was recently reappointed to her second term as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner for Culver City. As commissioner, she granted money to arts organizations for programming, and co-designed the city’s Artist Laureate program. She advises the school district’s Career Technical Education program to support students on career pathways in the arts and creative industries. She is past president, Culver City Cultural Affairs Foundation, and served on the board of Culver City Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee, overseeing a $160M Municipal Bond for School Improvement projects. Jeannine earned her MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology and a BS in Communications and Advertising from the University of Illinois.

Jennifer Castillo

Jennifer Castillo is a lover and advocate of the Arts who strives to nurture her passion and interests through the work that she does. Her past experiences, primarily focused in Arts Education, range from working in Chicago teaching toddlers about art history (Matisse, Monet & Me), encouraging creativity in preteens in Los Angeles (Inner City Arts) and roaming San Francisco galleries mentoring high school students in Visual Thinking Strategies (deYoung Museum). Putting her Art History degree to work, she also had the opportunity to work on groundbreaking exhibitions such as @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz , WOMEN: New Portraits Annie Leibovitz, and Art AIDS America. Through her work Jennifer is continuously in search of opportunities in which to be of service to the community and contribute to making the Arts more accessible to people of all ages and from all walks of life. Currently working in the Education Department at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, she spends her time coordinating the School Partners program, getting students into the theater or artists out into the classrooms.

Jocelyn Guihama

Jocelyn Guihama has worked with community-based organizations for over twenty years. She is the Director of Administration and Experiential Learning for UCLA’s Undergraduate Program in Public Affairs, which requires students to work in the community during their senior year. Previously, she was Deputy Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy, which supported programs and research on housing justice and criminal justice reform in partnership with social activists. She also managed research on the nonprofit sector at the Center for Civil Society. Before joining UCLA, Jocelyn worked at various nonprofits serving youth and immigrants. Off-campus, she has been board chair of MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), president of the Balboa Parent Association, and an advisory board member of CSUN’s Center for Southern California Studies.

Joshua R Lamont

Joshua R. Lamont is an artist, fundraiser, and teaching artist from Maryland (the DMV). As an artist, he has worked in collaboration Cornerstone Theater Company, The Actors’ Gang, The Robey Theatre, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Blair Thomas Puppet Company; Company of Angels; African Continuum Theatre Company, and the all deaf rock band, Beethoven’s Nightmare. He has performed in 3 countries including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and the Festival Clin d’Oeil in Rhimes, France. A teaching artist, Joshua has taught inside California’s corrections with adults and children as well as young students inside LA County schools. Joshua has produced several plays including Every 28 Hours, which looked at the statistic that, in America, every 28 hours a Black man, women or child is killed by someone employed by the US government. He has helped raise more than $300,000 for the arts.

Joyce Kwon

Joyce Kwon is a musician and creative placemaker committed to increasing access to the arts through storytelling. Through brand strategy, writing, video production, and song, she has been crafting stories about folks of the diaspora as well as arts organizations and independent musicians. She is a long-time content strategist and editor at Tronvig, a branding agency for museums and nonprofits based in Brooklyn, and serves on the Equity, Diversity, Accessibility & Inclusion committee at Young Musicians Foundation, where she is a teaching artist. An LA County High School for the Arts graduate and Museum Camper at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, she holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MM from Manhattan School of Music, where she was a Fellow at the Center for Music Entrepreneurship. During quarantine, she has been enjoying creating public art and community spaces for villagers on her Animal Crossing island.

Karin Chan

Karin Chan is a communications specialist with a background in public policy, nonprofit advocacy, and journalism. She has worked to advance policies that benefit the Asian American community on a national and state level and most recently conducted media relations and partnership outreach for the 2020 Census campaign on behalf of the U.S. Census Bureau. Based in the San Gabriel Valley, she spends her free time organizing digital cultural activities within her community and producing self-released music.

Karla J. Sequeira

Karla J. Sequeira was born in Los Angeles and raised in Whittier, she is a daughter, sister, wife, and educator who has a passion to create and inspire. She is motivated by my story and the stories of others. Her mother is Mexican and her father is Nicaraguan. She is their proud daughter who was inspired by their stories, humility, work ethic, and love for literature and education. She is a product of the school district that she works for and her earliest memories are filled with the arts, creativity, and an incredible amount of support. She received her BA and MA from Whittier College and continued there for a teaching credential. She completed an Education Specialist Credential and post graduate studies at CSUF, CSUN, and Loma Linda University. Her professional roles in education include teacher, Speech Therapist, Education Specialist, Instructional Coach, and Social Emotional Arts Facilitator. Each role has added to her story and she has been able to teach and learn from others. She has an active role in bringing Social Emotional Learning and Arts to teachers and students, as she presents professional development sessions and deliver lessons in our classrooms. She is part of LACOE’s CDOL team, as a committee member, which has inspired and motivated her to continue growing and learning in the field of social emotional arts.

Kathleen Jequinto

Kathleen Jequinto, Development and Events Associate at LAMusArt, where she works closely with foundations and program partners to provide equitable access to the arts for youth throughout LA’s Eastside. The arts played a major role in all developmental aspects of her youth, so she grew determined to help pave the same pathway for those who are less represented in arts fields so that they too may reap all the benefits that the arts foster. Initially by way of concert marketing and performance, Kathleen began working with her theatre alma mater, and 20 LA Archdiocesan elementary schools to administer music, art, dance and drama to schools who had little to no budget for arts education. She has spent the most memorable moments in her career as a teaching artist in voice, musical theatre and piano implementing original curriculum and lessons to bring out the best in young artists.

Khayla Golucke

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Khayla Golucke is a professional dancer and arts management professional currently based in Los Angeles. She earned her MA in Arts & Cultural Management from King’s College London and BA in English and Dance (Magna Cum Laude) from Loyola Marymount University. Khayla has diverse experience in the arts and entertainment sectors, and has worked in marketing, programming, and community engagement roles for companies such as the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, and Tremaine Dance Conventions. In LA, Khayla is an active member of Dancers Alliance and is passionate about advocating for dance and the arts in her greater community.

Kim Córdova

Kim Córdova is a writer and the director of glass design brand Vissio where she oversees collaborations with artisans, designers and architects. Her writing has appeared in multiple publications including Art Agenda, Art Review, frieze, SFMOMA’s Open Space, and Momus, where she was the Mexico City Contributing Editor. She was short listed for the 2017 International Award for Art Criticism (IAAC) and was selected for the 2020 Art Writer Workshop. Córdova is deeply committed to public welfare. She has worked with humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief on initiatives including earthquake relief and mobile healthcare to serve marginalized communities in Mexico. Prior to living in Mexico, Córdova was active at grassroots organization Emerging Art Leaders Los Angeles (EAL/LA) which provides professional development to self-defining “emerging” art administrators in greater LA. As a 2020 Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow, Córdova is working on a design-based cultural diplomacy exchange initiative between Mexico, China, and the US.

Lillian Fox Peckos

Lillian Peckos is a recent graduate of Kenyon College, where she studied political science and minored in Spanish. Since finishing college in May of 2020, Lillian made a commitment to try to support and facilitate community within the constraints of the pandemic. With the help of two friends, she began Community Circle, a virtual space for educators who center their practice on justice-oriented education and anti-racism, to exchange ideas and resources. Further, she was a teaching assistant at an academic enrichment program for middle school students. Lillian spent many nights phone banking in Georgia for the general election and the Senate runoff. She is eager to learn more about the intersection of policy, advocacy and the arts!

Lisa Diane Wedgeworth

Lisa Diane Wedgeworth is an interdisciplinary artist who has been invited to exhibit her work in Los Angeles, North Carolina, Scotland and Paris; and to perform at Williams College and Northwestern University. She is a recipient of the 2020 COLA Individual Artist Fellowship and has lectured about her work at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), OTIS, California State University Los Angeles, Chapman University and Los Angeles City College where she is a part-time faculty member. A cultural producer, Wedgeworth exhibited emerging artists in her studio-based project space PS 2920 between 2015 – 2016 and recently launched the public platform, Conversations About Abstraction to share the voices of abstract artists historically excluded from the Western canon. She has recently joined Arts at Blue Roof as its Executive Director.

Mara Hsia-Palma

Mara Hsia-Palma (she/her) is a multi-hyphenate artist, writer, performer, and teaching artist. She works with the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, and most recently worked with Center Theatre Group (LA) and re:theatre as an instructor. Her mission in life is to help people who feel powerless discover their own unique inner superpower and strength. Mara completed East West Players’ Writing a TV Pilot course, taught by Teresa Huang (2020). She combined her artistry with activism during the Intiman Theatre Emerging Artist Program in 2017, developing a 10-minute solo performance piece about her family’s immigration story from the Philippines. Mara graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Political Science and Theatre Studies.

Mariam Tabatabaee

Mariam Tabatabaee is an arts worker with a passion for creating inclusive and accessible programming for all constituents, regardless of background, ability, socioeconomic status, gender, race, et al. She holds particular interests in disability advocacy and accessible programming, having developed tours for visitors who are blind or have partial vision at the Guggenheim and Craft Contemporary. She has worked at institutions including LACE, The Broad, The Guggenheim Museum, and The California Science Center, and is currently the Project Coordinator for the Learning and Engagement department at the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. She serves as Programming Committee Co-Chair for Emerging Arts Leaders, where she has also revamped the Protégé mentorship program as the Program Manager of Mentee Enrichment. Mariam holds a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from UCLA, and is an AAM 2020 Annual Conference Scholar and 2020 Studio Museum in Harlem Museum Education Practicum participant.

Michelle Vincent

Michelle Vincent has been teaching Art for 14 years in the Whittier City School District at Katherine Edwards Middle School. She is committed to creating an enriching artistic environment for students, providing educational and artistic opportunities, making cultural and community connections in the arts, and continually developing as a professional to further enhance the program for my students. Additionally, Michelle set up a You-Tube channel, Michelle Vincent art, to aid in Distance Learning. Michelle believes every student deserves access to the tools and resources needed to succeed academically, personally, and artistically.

Mickiela Montoya

Mickiela Montoya recognized lack of public awareness & services available to Veterans specifically women veterans in the U.S. She inspired Columbia University Professor Helen Benedict’s award-winning book The Lonely Soldier, which received an extraordinary amount of community & public media support including an Exceptional Merit in Media Award (EMMA). Mickiela’s impressive selflessness has led to many roles in her community ranging from swaying policy through testifying before Congress & the Senate, promoting academia for USC’s Military Social Work Program and spokesperson for VA’s most viewed PSA commercial. She was named 2018 Los Angeles Veteran of the Year and 2019 Shero of Los Angeles for her continued service to Veterans and her community through her combined 18+ years of federal service.

Mildred J Correa

Mildred Correa a passionate Graphic Designer and Illustrator. She has had the privilege of working alongside inspirational people whose daily actions change the world for the better and this is what she aims for on a daily basis personally and professionally. Through her career, freelancing, and passion projects, she communicates messages that bring awareness to causes that strengthen the community and better the world. She strives to use her vast array of communication and design skills to create a positive impact in the community by working with organizations and individuals with altruistic intentions; whether it’s through activism, art, or higher education. She has worked with various galleries, museums, small ecocentric businesses, non-profit arts and performing arts organizations, and universities. Advocacy for animals, the environment, and art are her main focus. An alumna of Pasadena High School’s Graphic Communications Academy, Pasadena City College, and Humboldt State University. She currently lives in Pasadena, CA.

Nahal Jalali-Farahani

Nahal Jalali is a visual artist, writer, and strategy consultant focused on advancing social change through the arts. She has supported dozens of public, private, and social sector organizations in the areas of innovation and growth, and has written and researched extensively on the topic of socially engaged art – including as the Laura Zucker 2020 Arts for LA Fellow. Nahal earned her MPP from Georgetown University.

Nancy Nyberg

Nancy Nyberg serves as a Teaching Artist/Mentor in Storytelling and Dramatic Arts. Nancy earned her M.F.A. in Drama/Directing and a Certificate in Arts Management from the University of California, Irvine. She received B.A.’s from Wichita State University in Theatre and Anthropology.

Natalie Lawler

Natalie Lawler weaves paths as a visual artist, technical art historian, and curator. Strongly rooted in interdisciplinary research, she is eager to connect art, science, and heritage preservation dialogues. Current projects include creating a series of zines on pigment history and color languages and researching the role of wellbeing initiatives in the museum and conservation sector. She values experimentation, patience, and humility. She is also an occasional cheesemonger. Formally, Natalie trained in drawing and painting at California State University, Long Beach, and in technical art history at the University of Glasgow; she has previously worked as curator of collections for Chapman University, where she led an exhibition for the 2017 Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Most recently, she served an internship at ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, Rome).

Natasha Middleton

Natasha Middleton was born into a ballet legacy. Her grandmother danced with the Ballet Russes, and her father, Andrei (Bill) Tremaine, with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She was a ballerina with the original Pacific Ballet Theatre, under the direction of her father. She trained and danced in Los Angeles, New York and Europe. She danced in such ballets as Nutcracker, Raymonda, Spartacus, and Carmen. With music and acting under her belt, Ms. Middleton performed and choreographed in many musicals, operas, television and theater plays. She traveled much of the world studying many forms of cultural dancing, art design and contemporary dance. Ms. Middleton began choreographing professionally on Broadway for Jazz artist Chick Corea and went on the world tour with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. She also staged several productions during the Ford Amphitheater’s summer events program. And, in 2000 she founded Media City Dance in Burbank, a school specializing in a strong children’s dance program. Natasha Middleton continues to instill in her students her family legacy of classical ballet and more.

Phylise Smith

Phylise Smith is a native of Los Angeles and currently lives in Pomona. As a longtime Dance Professor at College of the Canyons, and Scripps College, her dance specialties and background include, modern, West African dance and other dance styles. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor. A staunch advocate for dance and the arts, Phylise has led her own dance company, “The Serakumbil Project” and has received grants from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. Phylise has presented scholarly papers on dance both nationally and internationally and works locally to create choreography and produce dance concerts allowing the “everyday” student to experience the beauty of dance. With graduate degrees in both Political Science and Dance, Phylise has always advocated for students and the importance of the arts in their lives and their communities.

Rachel Keller

Rachel Keller is a public programs professional and independent curator, specializing in community outreach and audience engagement. She currently works as Public Programs Coordinator for Palm Springs Art Museum, and formerly was Education & Community Outreach Liaison at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles where she managed programming with the gallery’s community partners including: Cal State LA, Art + Practice, CalArts, and SciArc. Rachel has also held positions at The Broad, Shulamit Nazarian gallery, and LACMA. Her curatorial practice centers on interdisciplinary dialogue, community engagement, and public participation, and she has curated exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and Dakar, Senegal. Rachel holds a BA in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College and a MA in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere from USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Rebekah Neel

Rebekah Neel is an artist and educator with a deep love for the wisdom of artists and their power to affect change. Raised in China, Hong Kong, and Thailand, Rebekah has found her home in Los Angeles. For more than 10 years Rebekah has used her degree in Art Education to lead workshops designed for participants of all ages. She has partnered with Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, the Pasadena Education Foundation, and the former Pasadena Museum of California Art to teach art to students from across the Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. A passion for life-long learning has led Rebekah to design her own self-directed M.F.A. program in Matriarchal Art Practice. This program — based on the overlooked labor of caretakers — incorporates performative art practice, collaborative research projects, and domestic craft. Rebekah’s artwork is rooted in identity and often features printmaking, collage, mixed media, and found objects.

Rosalind McGary

Rosalind McGary has been a working artist for over 25 years. Her interest lies in art and the practice of art as healing tools for both individuals and communities. Rosalind is Founder and Artistic Director of Compton based Sēpia Artist Collective, through which she is producing The Compton Arts Project. The Compton Arts Project is a series of multidisciplinary events, exhibits, panels, and workshops recognizing Compton’s impact on arts and culture. McGary is also Founder and Creative Director of Cakecutter Institute, a non-profit arts organization fostering cultural exchange centering the narratives of Black and brown artists. Rosalind is dedicated to finding ways to create space and opportunity for artists to express themselves and thrive.

Sehnita Joshua Mattison

Sehnita Joshua Mattison is a television producer for a number of daytime talk shows and court shows such as Judge Judy and Divorce Court, where she earned her second Emmy nomination this year. In front of the camera, Sehnita served as the Co-Host and News Director for CCN Sunrise, a hyper-local morning show serving the world-class city of Pasadena, California. The show engaged residents with entertaining segments on everything from local/national politics to cooking and fitness. Sehnita moved to Culver City in 2011 with her husband and has two children. Her oldest son is completing the Spanish Immersion program at El Marino Language School. Sehnita graduated with a B.S. in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan.

Sonia Mehrmand

Sonia Mehrmand received her Master’s degree in Public History and Museum Studies at the University of California, Riverside, during which she worked on oral history projects in Riverside’s Eastside and LA’s Chavez Ravine, co-curated the States of Incarceration exhibit in partnership with the New School, and coordinated the Huntington Library’s annual summer professional learning series for public school teachers. She moved to Sydney in 2016 and produced projects such as Australia’s inaugural Screen Diversity Showcase, the Citizen Writes writers development program, and the StoryCasters Project for emerging POC content creators. She currently lives in Orange County and works remotely as Assistant ED at Diversity Arts Australia, a national organization that advocates for racial equity in the creative industries. Her projects are grounded in collaboration, mentorship and capacity building as a means of creating lasting and substantial systemic change in the creative sector.

Stephanie Monte

Audio engineering sparked her interest when Stephanie Monte started tinkering with her dad’s record player. That inspired her to become a DJ and career in radio. She obtained a BA degree in broadcast journalism from CSULA and worked at the University Times newspaper where she I developed reporting skills and started the first internet radio station. In 2013, Stephanie began the MA program at USC and later interned at the Children’s Radio Foundation in South Africa where she produced shows with young people living in the townships who shared stories about identity and community. Stephanie interned at SCPR on the education desk then started to build her own after-school media program. Stephanie mentors the Por Vida Media Youth Collective, creating a space for young people to share their narrative. Navigating as a queer Xicana woman has been challenging and she hopes to give students the tools they need to also break through.

Alyse James

Alyse James is a visionary artistic leader and theatrical professional. She has worked as a producer, theater administrator, and dramaturg. Alyse is passionate about devising new work that highlights the power of empathy and its ability to encourages audiences to become active allies in their own communities. As a producer, Alyse’s interest is in fostering new work. She has served as the line producer for several projects that have been featured at California Institute of The Arts, REDCAT, The Huntington Gardens, Bootleg Theater, and The Orchard Project.

Alyssa Bierce

Alyssa Bierce is a young professional working in communications in higher education, currently at the USC Thornton School of Music. She has a background in visual and performing arts, and earned her BFA in Art Photography from CSU Long Beach. Alyssa is interested in public art as a source of civic identity and activation, and would like to see a future where pursuing a career in the arts isn’t synonymous with poverty wages.

Amanda Vincelli

Amanda Vincelli is an artist, strategic designer, cultural programmer and community organizer from Montreal, Canada. She is currently the Program Director and Co-Founder of NAVEL, a non-profit organization fostering collectivity and kinship through accessible cultural public programming, collaborative learning initiatives, and space residencies. Through her personal, curatorial and organizing practice, she imagines, studies, designs and activates systems for cooperation and dialogue across difference. Along with her many collaborators, she develops cultural programs and projects that are rooted in social, economic and environmental justice—working towards a more equitable, caring, creative and collaborative future.

Ben Evans

Following an extensive career as a full-time professional artist specialized in performance and choreography, my work developed into projects of public engagement rooted in practices of walking. After ten years of being based in Paris and Barcelona and working globally, I moved back to the States in 2016, settling in Los Angeles. I have been the Programs and Gallery Director of the ACE/121 affordable housing development for artists since 2018, and have been instrumental in deepening arts visibility in Glendale. It is a further goal to establish a regular practice at the confluence of art, AIDS and activism, within the local communities where those themes emerge and intersect.

Carla Contreras Cabrera

A proud Chicana, Carla Contreras Cabrera was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. After graduating from Humboldt State University, she immediately moved back to Los Angeles to continue her work in uplifting underrepresented communities through equitable community engagement and advocacy. In previous roles Carla was a student mentor at the Latinx Center for Academic Excellence at Humboldt State University, committed to the advancement of underrepresented students. She also organized events with Latino Outdoors to empower underserved communities to strengthen their cultural connection to outdoor spaces. Most recently, Carla was an Outreach and Education Coordinator at the Housing Rights Center, the nation’s largest c civil rights organization focused on promoting and securing Fair Housing. As t. the Community Outreach Coordinator for Levitt LA, Carla acts as a liaison w. I. with key community partners, leads Levitt LA’s youth development program a. n. and builds community through music.

Cynthia Sanchez

Attorney and mediator specializing in the entertainment and cultural industries with experience in the following sectors: federal government, private, public and non-profit in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Sheila Reamer

I am a motivated teaching professional inspired by the concept of leading by following. I received a foundation from USC through the completion of a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degree in education and music, but true learning occurred out in the field. Years of experience in education and specialized knowledge in literacy and music have developed my skills to adapt and modify project planning and instructional design. Having served as a vocal music teacher, classroom teacher, English Language Arts resource coach, and church musician, I’ve gained a broad perspective and opportunity to work with a diverse population. My passion is equity for diverse student populations and I believe the arts are a beautiful means of enriching t h. the educational experience.

Mr. Ed Rodriguez

Mr. Ed Rodriguez currently serves as consultant for nonprofits and is Executive Director of the TahDah Foundation. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration from California State University Dominguez Hills and a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State University, Northridge. Mr. Rodriguez has fifteen years of experience as an educator and non-profit executive after serving eight years in the leadership of Mellon 1st Business Bank in Downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Rodriguez began his career in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a teacher. He then served as a director, administrator and COO of various public charter schools in Los Angeles and Orange County. Mr. Rodriguez currently serves as an e d u. c. educational consultant & as the Executive Director of the TahDah Foundation, a an organization focused on fundraising and providing holistic arts education to u underserved and inner city communities in California, New York, and Virginia.

Edwin Burgos

Edwin Burgos is the Brand Marketing Manager for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, where he assists in developing brand strategy and delivering marketing media plans to drive global visitation to the city. He serves as the Board’s point person for LGBTQ Marketing and provides support for the organization’s cultural partnerships, including the 2019 Frieze Art Fair. Prior to his work with the Tourism Board, Edwin worked as a project manager in the telecommunications industry and as a marketing assistant for an LA-based independent record label. He has a degree in Audio Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami.

Fabian Fuertes

Fabian Fuertes is a Manager, YOLA with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, an internationally renowned orchestra that harnesses the transformative power of live music to build community, foster intellectual and artistic growth, and nurture the creative spirit. As a native Angelino and firstgeneration Latinx, he is extremely proud to be a part of an organization that designs and delivers world class learning opportunities to under-resourced communities. In his work with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), Fabian is a part of a team that serves more than 1,200 young musicians across four sites in Los Angeles County, providing them with free instruments, intensive music instruction, academic support, and leadership training. Through the A C ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Leadership Program, he hopes to explore personal b blind spots, transcend ineffective behavior patterns, and enable t. r. a. n. s. transformation. Collectively, he believes that arts advocates can create a w o. r. world where the beauty and challenge of art inspire any person to fulfill their gr. greatest potential.

Heather Collette-VanDeraa

I’ve worked in nonprofit management, academia, political and arts fundraising, taught a range of courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences, I just launched a jewelry line of handcrafted artisan pieces and I volunteer with patients battling mental illness. My life has defied easy categorization and so have I, but not without abject failures and starting over—more than once! Friends and colleagues describe me as courageous, tenacious, kindhearted, generous, unapologetically feminist and trustworthy.

James Panozzo

James Panozzo, Founder & Executive Director LAUNCH LA co-founded TARFEST, a free multidisciplinary festival held annually at the LaBrea Tar Pits Park, in 2003. He served as the Director of Lawrence Asher Gallery from 2004 – 2010, exhibiting emerging and mid-career painters, sculptors and installation artists. James created the non-profit social enterprise LAUNCH LA in 2010 to oversee the production of TarFest annually. LAUNCH LA also presents programming and exhibition opportunities at its gallery on La Brea Avenue as well as other temporary locations throughout Los Angeles. James is from Cleveland, OH and moved to Los Angeles immediately upon graduating from Miami University in Oxford, OH. He has also enjoyed living a n. and working in Phoenix, AZ, San Diego, CA, New York City, Vilnius, Lithuania a and Warsaw, Poland.

Johanne Preciado

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor who provides program oversight and management for children and family mental health services in the Westlake area. Uses and trains clinical staff using art and non verbal methods to address mental health treatment and community engagement.

John Pick

John Pick is Creative Producer of the Snowball Party, a community based social experience. He is also known for his series The Best of Craigslist on TruTv and Funny or Die which was nominated for the Best Webseries by the LA Weekly. He also directs and produces a live version of the Best of Craigslist. He led storytelling workshops at the Ojai Playwrights Conference and taught acting for the East LA Classic Theater Company.

Josh Coen

Josh Coen is an artist and photographer based in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelors in Fine Art from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette I’m Fine Art Photography. His work has been exhibited across the world in various group and solo exhibitions. He currently teaches photography to adults with Cerebral Palsy at UCPLA in Culver City, and is a vocal advocate for arts education within the disability community.

Joshua Jesse Ramirez

I have always chosen to live a life of contribution; continually looking beyond my own reflection with a willingness to serve. As a first-generation low-income minority student with a disability, I have never let the circumstances I was born into, dictate who I am. In fact, it is because I was continually challenged that I built an unbreakable passion for the Arts, specifically Art Education and Creation. Mark Twain once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For me, education is freedom, and a way to continually learn new and exciting concepts that allow me to grow as an educator, while learning to apply them in my life and in my career.

Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith serves as Programs Director at the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to quality music education experiences through a robust Teaching Artist Program that serves nearly 5,000 students throughout Los Angeles, as well as new initiatives including the Debut Fellowship Program. Before her role at YMF, Ms. Smith taught for four years as a music educator at a progressive arts integrated school, creating curriculum, designing and leading programming, and developing opportunities for her students to engage in civic awareness and action through the arts. A passionate arts administrator and educator, she is an advocate for the universal inclusion of arts in all student’s school experiences, and continually develops and promotes opportunities to further this mission. She has presented numerous conferences and institutions including CASMEC, CMEA, USC, and UCLA among others, on topics ranging from culturally responsive pedagogy to integrating technology in the classroom and music curriculum. Ms. Smith received her B.A and teaching credential from UCLA, majoring in music education and minoring in applied developmental psychology.

Kenny Ng

Kenny Ng is the Arts Program Manager at LA Promise Fund, where he facilitates the development of arts education curriculum and projects for LA County schools. In his current role, he oversees communications, classroom scheduling in Media ArtsMatter, a 3-year arts integration program funded by the Department of Education, manages Teaching Artists, and oversees ArtsMatter 2030, a game design integration grant project funded by Epic Games.

Kristin Friedrich

Kristin Friedrich has become fixated on accessible, easy-to-digest, jargonfree communication that drives people to action. After a decade of assistant and story editor work in film and TV, her first paid writing job was for the website, which met its demise during the dot-com bust. What followed was a path-shifting position into more localized and place-based writing (rather than the virtues of Barbie), as a writer and arts/culture editor at the local weekly, Los Angeles Downtown News. Kristin next ventured to the Natural History Museums of LA County (NHM, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum), first as a writer and editorial manager, then as the Director of Communications. She spent 13 years touting the museums’ transformations, relevance, and strategic direction. Her most recent post is at the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. Instead of demystifying science and nature topics for the public, she works on delivering actionable communications about the new department’s services to the media, the field, but most importantly, the people of LA County.

LaMar Anderson

As Founder and CEO of Axum Creative in Pasadena and as a professional photographer I collaborate with socially conscious companies advocating justice thru consultancy and the creation of positive image making. As a teaching artist I develop photography curriculum reflective of CA, VAPA and Social Justice standards to create relevant, dynamic and engaging lessons which cultivate learning and safe creative space for youth K-12.

Luz Rodriguez

I am presently an Arts Associate at the Lincoln Heights Youth Arts Center with the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs. Since 2016, I have provided LHYAC’s multidisciplinary youth arts program with arts administration and graphic design support. Additionally, since 2008, I have been offering my skills as a graphic designer, mixed media artist, and arts administrator to various arts and culture nonprofits and organizations, such as Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, InnerCity Struggles, HOODsisters Collective, and many more. I firmly believe arts can transform and heal communities, and it is crucial to provide access to high-quality arts education, especially to our underserved populations.

Marco Barcena

City of Bell Gardens Council Member Marco Barcena graduated from the University of California Berkeley, where he created his own Interdisciplinary Studies Field Major with an area of concentration in Technology and Consumer Behavior. His major integrates Art coursework such as interface design and visual thinking. Marco wrote a major thesis on The Rationalization of Emerging Marketing Trends and graduated to continue working in local government as an employee of over 15 years. Marco’s recent work includes guiding the City into the digital age by establishing online presence, creating award-winning management systems, developing policy that supports community health and wellness, rebuilding parks and playgrounds, and increasing staff productivity. Marco believes that Art empowers communities, but due to challenges commonly found in significantly disadvantaged communities like his, Art has faded into the background, something he hopes to change during his tenure in council.

Maricela Martinez

I am a 38-year-old Mexican with the purpose of sharing and enhancing the mariachi culture to the world. Peace, human and equal rights advocate, activist, and artist immigrant. Married with children who believes in the power of community and service, who believes in the power of music and the arts.

Melba Martinez

Melba Martinez is a community / cultural organizer and artist from Pacoima, CA. Melba has been an organizer for over 10 years and has worked with LGBTQ communities, students, communities of color and immigrant communities to create futures were they can thrive. Melba’s art explores themes of fatness, queer kinship, home and belonging. Melba works across a variety of mediums including performance, installation, video, zine making, makeup, costuming and fiber arts. Melba uses art as a tool for creating community. During their time as the Director of Creative Incite Melba developed a passion for arts leadership and making the arts accessible to marginalized communities. Melba believes in the power of marginalized people using art to tell their stories and create spaces of joy and pleasure.

Monica Harte

Monica Harte is an accomplished artist and arts administrator noted for her unique approach to opera. As co-founder and general director of Remarkable Theater Brigade in New York for 14 years, she launched Opera Shorts at Carnegie Hall for which her logo design won a mention on the Grammy website blog: “They had my favorite promotional graphic of the year…” As general director of the Nevada Opera Association, she applied her innovative approach to operatic repertoire winning the company world-wide attention with an anime version of Madame Butterfly and biker version of Carmen. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Graduate Center in New York City, where she served on the voice faculty at both Manhattan School of Music and The Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College. Most recently she has found a home with The Actors’ Gang in Culver City, CA as Managing Director.

Nohemi Camacho

Nohemi Camacho is a Creative Health and Wellness Coach. She helps creative individuals design balance, wellness, and greatness in their life and work. She is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is a graduate from California State University Los Angeles with a degree in Theatre Arts and Dance. Her work in theatre, music, and arts management ignites her belief that all creative individuals can lead a healthy, productive, and joyful life.

Rachel Kilroy

Rachel Kilroy is an educator and endeavors to be a force in producing programs that bring about systemic change to the implementation of arts education programming. Her passions lie in advancing the ubiquity of arts education, expanding access to arts participation for every child, and engaging art learners of all ages. Rachel began her arts career as a Los Angeles County Department of the Arts funded intern and grew to have extensive experience as a Program Coordinator at Get Lit-Words Ignite and School & Group Program Coordinator for Cayton Children’s Museum. In the last year, she served as an Arts Education Exposure grant adjudication panelist for the California Arts Council and is currently a member of the Leadership Council and Marketing Committee Chair of Emerging Arts Leaders / Los Angeles. She is a member of Museum Educators of Southern California, Museum Educators Roundtable, Americans for the Arts, and Arts for LA.

Sara Aceves

Sara Aceves is a 24 year old Latina, who was born and raised in Boyle Heights. She received her BA in Fine Arts from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Since graduating she has been creating her own art and is also part of her family art collective called KalliArte. She is currently working as an assistant to the director of Avenue 50 Studio. Sara has reignited her passion for art and community through this job.

Scarlett Kim

Scarlett Kim is a Seoul-born, LA-based director, artist and producer. She works with performance as survival ritual, intimate exchange, and act of revolution. She is Co-Director of The Mortuary, a curatorial initiative and laboratory for unclassifiable practices in life and art, and Programs & Projects Manager at CultureHub LA, a global art + technology community. Scarlett creates participatory environments for collaborative authorship and curates communal contexts for strategizing alternatives to hegemonic systems. She engages experiences of abjection and displacement to imagine non-linear, collaged, and undefinable narratives. Across physical and virtual spaces, she activates emerging technologies to redefine liveness, agency, and presence. Scarlett has recently presented work with the Prague Quadrennial, Thomas Mann House, Heidi Duckler Dance, Chilean National Council of Culture & the Arts, and La MaMa Umbria Next Generation Residency. She also works as a translator and cultural liaison between Korea and the U.S. MFA Directing, CalArts.

Sheila McMullin

Sheila McMullin is author of daughterrarium, winner of the 2016 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize chosen by Daniel Borzutzky. A community-based workshop leader, she facilitates creative writing workshops for all ages. She co-edited the collections Humans of Ballou and The Day Tajon Got Shot from Shout Mouse Press. As a youth ally and organizer, she is committed to supporting young people amplify their voices through storytelling, art, and civic participation. She holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and helps maintain her neighborhood’s Free Little Libraries. Find more about her writing, editing, and activism online at

Rachel May (Ray) Smith

Rachel May (Ray) Smith is on a mission to change the arts sector from the outside in, making it stronger and more equitable for everyone. She has over 10 years experience in the arts and nonprofits leading administration and programming and creating engaging experiences with the arts for a wide variety of audiences. Ray has published pieces on art education with Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education Association and Zócalo Public Square. Currently the manager of New Frontier Programming at the Sundance Institute in Los Angeles, Ray also previously served on the leadership council of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles.