2015-16 Activate Projects

Members of the 2015-16 ACTIVATE Program cohort launched advocacy initiatives (Action Projects) impacting 26 cities and 27 school districts across LA County. Below you can learn more about these Fellows and their advocacy initiatives.

 


 

Paulina Sahagun
Cultural Policy Fellow
Mar Vista

Nathalie Sanchez

Nathalie Sánchez is a Los Angeles based artist, art educator, museum educator, and arts advocate. Sánchez received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Studio Arts with an emphasis in education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Her curatorial, art administrative and art education experiences with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fowler Museum, ESMoA, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, ArtworxLA, P.S. Arts, and Avenue 50 Studio, further enhance her personal and professional art practice. In 2010, Sánchez graduated from Otis College of Art and Design with a Master of Fine Arts in Public Practice. Combining her passion for socially conscious enriching work, and participatory engagement through cross-cultural conversation, multi-media installation, and event production, she has developed an art practice based on and in the public realm. She has collaborated with cultural organizations and art institutions to produce small and large-scale community art projects and public art programs.

Currently, she serves as the Visitor Engagement Supervisor at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


Andrea Santizo
Arts Education Fellow
Los Angeles USD

Andrea Santizo, an Arts Education Fellow representing LAUSD, has been working with the Luckman Fine Art Gallery at Cal State LA to have the gallery host regular visual thinking strategy workshop sessions for students when the gallery is otherwise closed to the public. Santizo has developed the program structure and curriculum into a formal proposal that will be used to invite schools from all over LAUSD to visit the gallery and participate in the workshops. Santizo hopes this exposure to arts programming in a formal gallery space will not only help district schools meet their visual arts requirements, but also inspire students to think critically about potential careers in the arts and within art spaces and organizations.
Link to Project

Tony Sauza
Arts Education Fellow
Los Angeles USD

Tony Sauza, an Arts Education Fellow working in LAUSD 5, has been working to increase the amount of music programming across LAUSD in all K-12 classrooms. Through his position at Little Kids Rock, Sauza has become an active supporter and partner of LAUSD’s Arts Branch and has developed relationships with LAUSD Arts Executive, Rory Pullens, and LAUSD Music Supervisor, Christopher Rodriguez. Sauza intends to solidify partnerships within LAUSD and the surrounding school districts to establish and develop Amp UP LA, an initiative between Little Kids Rock, LAUS and local partner universities. Ultimately, Sauza hopes to help secure the vertical alignment of music programming among all LAUSD schools across all grade levels to ensure that students receive consistent, uninterrupted musical instruction throughout their educational trajectories at LAUSD schools.
Link to Project

Evelyn Serrano
Arts Education Fellow
Los Angeles USD

Evelyn Serrano, an Arts Education Fellow representing LAUSD 6, has been working with the Young Citizen Arts Project to have students at 4 elementary schools develop projects around the One Water LA Program, which champions water reuse and recycling. Via the Young Citizen Arts Project, Serrano has engaged students in developing proposals that include engineering design and civic engagement components to address the topic of water conservation in LA County. Students from Serrano’s program have conducted guided research, met with engineers and a panel of experts, and presented their proposals to their local officials and the Department of Public Works at City Hall. Serrano’s program incorporates the arts in teaching students about civic engagement, environmental responsibility, and creative and collaborative problem solving.
Link to Project


Liane Shih
Arts Education Fellow
Alhambra USD

Kimber Smith
Cultural Policy Fellow
Los Angeles

Kimber Smith, a Cultural Policy Fellow from Los Angeles, has been working to elevate the voice of her neighborhood council in the decision making process of local government offices in order to increase awareness of and support for the arts. Smith has surveyed community members in the South Robertson area to collect information on the direction of the area’s arts mission, including an arts and culture assets inventory and pro-arts statement to be set before LA City Council on behalf of the area’s 45,000 residents. Smith intends to expand her survey coverage to other neighborhood council areas and develop a congress of neighborhood councils across LA County in order to create a space for discussions regarding the arts to be heard at local, regional, and county-wide levels.


Lauren Snook
Arts Education Fellow
Long Beach USD

Link to Project

Tyler Stein
Arts Education Fellow
Lawndale Elementary School District

Tyler Stein, an Arts Education Fellow working within the Centinela Valley Union High School District, is working with Helene Tredeau, the Special Education Department Arts Coordinator, to develop arts programming for intellectually disabled students within the district. Stein, who formerly worked with a similar program for intellectually disabled adults, has re-fashioned the adult curriculum to serve high-school-aged teens and has incorporated the school district’s common core guidelines within the program’s artistic framework. Stein is also working to develop an extension of the high school program that will allow students to transition to the established adult program upon graduation, ultimately building a long-term trajectory that will provide sustained, structured arts exposure to a currently underserved student and adult population.

Shanna Tellez
Arts Education Fellow
Pasadena USD

Shanna Tellez, an Arts Education Fellow representing the Pasadena Unified School District, has been working to create an Arts Chair position at her local elementary school PTA board for the 2016/2017 school year. Tellez has meet with school board administrators to outline the role of the Arts Chair on the PTA board and has secured support from the school board president and other board members. Tellez intends for the Arts Chair position to a be sustainable (non-intimidating), interesting, and fun way for parents to engage with the PTA board regarding arts education and programming at Pasadena USD sites.


Ella Turenne
Ella Turenne is an artist, activist and educator. She is the editor of a volume of visual art and poetry commemorating the Haitian revolution entitled "revolution|revolisyon|révolution 1804-2004: An Artistic Commemoration of the Haitian Revolution." Ella is also a filmmaker whose work has been an official selection of various national film festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Montréal International Haitian Film Festival, where her short film "woodshed" was nominated for Best Short Film. In response to the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Ella co-edited a volume of poetry on Haiti called “For the Crowns of Your Heads;” the funds raised were used to aid a library that was destroyed in Port-au-Prince. Ella recently wrote and performed her first one women show, "Love, Locs & Liberation," a solo show about beauty identity and empowerment. For more, visit www.ellaturenne.com.
Link to Project 1
Link to Project 2
Link to Project 3
Link to Video

Daniel Villa

Cultural Policy Fellow
Los Angeles

Daniel Villa, a Cultural Policy Fellow from South Los Angeles, has been working on engaging a coalition of local artists and community members in LA City District 9/ South Los Angeles to make use of the Arts Development Fees (ADF) available for projects in the area. Villa’s research into the current use of ADF funds in CD9 has determined that the timeline for the issuance of the funds once after the initial proposal of the project ranges from 8 months to 1 year. Having found that the length of this funding timeline has discouraged local artists and community members from pursuing these funds, Villa is working with CD 9 and local South LA stakeholders to increase the awareness of ADF funds and shorten the timeline for project approvals and the dissemination of funds for approved projects. In this way, Villa hopes to increase not only the number of arts projects brought to fruition in the South LA area, but also the civic engagement of artists in his community.
Link to Project


Marqueeda Watson

Cultural Policy Fellow
Long Beach

Marqueeda Watson, a Cultural Policty Fellow from Long Beach, has been working to develop a Digital Media Mentorship Program to assist students and novices in discovering new professional opportunities in digital media. Participants in Watson’s Digital Media Mentorship Program, are introduced to the entrepreneurial spirit of the digital world and acquire practical skills that will allow them to make use of basic digital media infrastructure (wordpress, tumblr, etc.) to increase fluency in digital and social media platforms. Watson’s interactive workshops aim to encourage participants to pursue digital media as a career and demonstrate that art is an integral component of digital media and various other career fields.


Shannita Williams
Cultural Policy Fellow
Los Angeles

Peggy Zask

Cultural Policy Fellow
Rancho Palos Verdes

Peggy Zask, a Cultural Policy Fellow from Rancho Palos Verdes, has been working in collaboration with CSULB and CSUDH to develop a community arts center in the city of San Pedro. Zask has attended neighborhood council meetings to participate in discussions regarding the redevelopment of the city of San Pedro, providing a voice for the arts in conversations regarding the vision for and renewal of the Downtown San Pedro area. By presenting critical information about the creative economy in neighborhood council meetings, Zask intends to continue influencing the redevelopment of Downtown San Pedro to ensure that the arts are incorporating in a meaningful way, including a space for a community arts center in the heart of the city’s new center.
Link to Project