Become a Fellow


Benefits of Program:

  • Participation in nine sessions with top leaders in education, cultural policy, advocacy, and communication.
  • Opportunity to gain the tools, skills, and resources to foster positive change in your community.
  • Peer mentoring and access to expert consultants to develop an advocacy project to advance the arts in your community.
  • Monthly networking and opportunities for collaboration with fellow advocates.
  • Opportunity to host a meeting with decision-makers to discuss arts policy for your school district/community.
  • Recognition as an advocate leader in Arts for LA’s regional initiatives.
  • Free attendance to the LA Convergence, among other professional development opportunities.

ACTIVATE is generously funded by the LA County Arts Commission, the Louis J. Borick Foundation, and Arts for LA Contributing Members and is FREE TO ALL PARTICIPANTS.


Guidelines and Eligibility:

  • Participants must live/work in LA County.
  • Participants are actively involved in their school district and/or community.
  • Participants must be able to commit to all training sessions over nine months (September 2018 - May 2019).
  • Participants may only apply to ONE TRACK of ACTIVATE; there will be joint sessions when both cohorts are brought together.
  • Participants will be selected to represent the broad geography and demographics of Los Angeles County.
  • Participation may be limited to one representative per school district or city/ municipality.
  • Participants must be 18 years or older to apply.



Attend All Program Sessions 

ACTIVATE is a 9-month commitment. By agreeing to participate, you are confirming that you can attend all nine sessions (barring an emergency). Those who have unapproved absences will be charged a penalty fee. A full list of session dates and times for both program tracks is available HERE. Please note that the LA Convergence conference in November and ArtsMonth activities in April are optional professional development opportunities open to Fellows.

Design and Implement an Advocacy Project

Program participants will develop an advocacy project plan throughout the fall. This plan is intended to inform an advocacy action project from January to May 2019. Projects should address an existing goal for your school district/charter or city. We encourage participants to design projects that have SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. We recognize that projects can evolve and should be designed with consideration for continued advocacy action after the ACTIVATE program concludes. Arts for LA will guide you in the design of your plan, which should be developed by January 2018. 

Meet with Your Elected Officials

Participants are encouraged to set up a meeting elected officials [Arts Education: School Board Member(s)/ District Leadership and Cultural Policy: Mayor/ City Councilmember(s)/ City Leadership] to discuss arts initiatives for your community. This meeting should take place by April 2019. 

Document Your Project

Beginning in January, participants will be expected to document their progress towards their action project goal, keeping in mind how it supports the broader school district/charter or city goal. Project documentation should also outline how other advocates might replicate or adapt the project design in other communities. 

Participate in Evaluation & Story Telling

Arts for LA will work with different groups or news outlets to document participant’s work throughout LA County. Research teams, news outlets, and Arts for LA staff may interview participants to be featured in various publications. Participants will also be asked to participate in evaluation processes and may also be asked to share written reflections about their advocacy efforts throughout the year. Additionally, in May 2019, Arts for LA will host a culmination celebration for participants to share their action projects and experiences.



ACTIVATE Arts Education: 

The Arts Education track will explore education policy, data, research, communication strategies, and leadership building topics. Participants in the Arts Education track will work to support their local school district to expand, improve, and support arts education for students. Participants in this track will also design a spring action project that is tied to the school district's strategic arts priorities.


ACTIVATE Cultural Policy: 

The Cultural Policy track will explore cultural policy, government infrastructure, public art initiatives, communication strategies, and leadership building topics. Participants in the Cultural Policy track will work to support their city or municipality to expand, improve, and support arts and cultural policy and infrastructure. Participants in this track will also design a spring action project that is tied to their local city/municipality's cultural arts initiatives.