Aug 30, 2021

Read our August Newsletter to learn more about purchasing tickets for our 2021 State of the Arts Summit, and meet our newest AFLA team members!

Arts for LA’s annual series of Community Strategy Sessions is in full swing. Thank you to all who joined us for our first Community Strategy Session on Affordable Space last week. There are still three more opportunities to share your experience and help shape our 2022 policy and advocacy agenda.

These Community Strategy Sessions will culminate at our virtual State of the Arts Summit: Solidarity for Sustainability on Thursday October 14, 2021. We hope you will join us.

Buy Tickets Now >

Arts for LA’s organizational members receive one free ticket to the State of the Arts Summit. You can renew your organization’s membership here; if you have any questions, email our team here.

Arts for LA is growing! We are excited to introduce two new team members Robin Gilliam, our Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and Melissa Flores, our Leadership Development Manager. We also onboarded our 2021 Laura Zucker Fellow, Erika Hirugami, whose research will examine resources and opportunities for undocumented artists in LA. Learn more about them all below.

Lastly, Arts for LA has been tracking closely and advocating for two key state bills, SB 805 (Rubio) and the Arts for LA and California Arts Advocates co-sponsored bill, SB 628 (Allen). Both bills made it out of the Suspense file and will head down to the Assembly Floor and then to the Governor’s desk. Stay tuned for more opportunities to advocate for the arts, including these two state bills and the final vote for LA County’s Public Art in Private Development Ordinance scheduled in two weeks.


Gustavo Herrera
Chief Executive Officer


Free, virtual, and open to all, these events are essential in shaping our advocacy for the coming year. Join us to explore how we can collectively build a local arts and culture ecosystem that unapologetically centers equity and the well-being of our region’s artist-leaders and arts workers.

10:30 AM | TODAY August 31 – Arts Education

Focuses on the state of arts ed in the broader LA region. Together, we will learn about the most urgent challenges facing students, arts educators, and community-based orgs, as well as strategize new models to ensure every student can access the arts education.

10:30 AM | September 8 – Creative Jobs

Focuses on the impact of the pandemic on the diversity & equity of the region’s creative workforce. Together, we will learn more about the most urgent challenges facing artists & arts workers, as well as explore new models that center our sector’s most important resource – its people.

10:30 AM | September 14 – Resources + Capital

Focuses on the impact of the pandemic on the stability and sustainability of our sector. Together, we will learn more about the most urgent challenges facing artists & organizations attempting to recover, as well as explore new models that center our sector’s most important resource – its people.

Then, join us at our virtual conference, the 2021 State of the Arts Summit on Thursday, October 14! Tickets are on sale now. Click the button below to purchase tickets. This year’s event – Solidarity for Sustainability -brings together cross-sector visionaries experimenting with new models and structures that center equity, sustainability, and prioritize the arts & culture sector’s most valuable resource – its people. Check out highlights from our 2020 State of the Arts Summit at the video here.

Organizational members of Arts for LA receive one free admission to the 2021 State of the Arts Summit. Click here to renew your organization’s membership, and email to receive your complimentary admission.

The 2021 Arts for LA State of the Arts Summit is sponsored by:

Bank of America, the LA City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Hollywood Chamber Foundation, Claremont Graduate University’s Center for Business and Management of the Arts, and Agora Realty.


We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Laura Zucker Fellow, Erika Hirugami, MAAB, Founder and CEO of CuratorLove. Erika’s research will examine resources and opportunities for undocumented artists in LA.

Hirugami holds an MA in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, in conjunction with the Drucker School of Management and Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University. Additionally, Hirgami holds multiple BAs from UCLA in the fields of Art History, Chicano Studies, and Mexican Studies. She is currently a doctoral candidate at UCLA, where she challenges the convergence of transnational aesthetics with a special focus on critical race theory through the undocumented experience.

As a Getty and Kress Foundation Fellow, Hirugami has developed curatorial statements at museums across Mexico and United States. After being a Public Art Curator for the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Los Angeles, Hirugami became the Curatorial Director for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, as well as the Curatorial Director for various galleries while becoming a visiting Lecturer for Universities across the US. She has curated exhibitions for multiple spaces across the globe, and her written work has been published internationally.


On August 21, 2021, Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, in partnership with Young Invincibles and Arts for LA, unveiled the THRIVE 90805 mural on the corner of Artesia and Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach!

Painted by muralist VLAD, we are proud and honored to be involved with this project, and look forward to more!

Visit this incredible mural, and send us a picture for a chance to be featured on our website and social media!

We are so excited to introduce you to our two newest team members! Meet our Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Robin Gilliam, and our Leadership Development Manager, Melissa Flores.

Robin Gilliam joined Arts for LA in August 2021. In her previous role as an External Affairs Associate for the California Department of Justice, she represented the Office of the Attorney General in policy and public affairs issues, from civil rights to environmental justice, facing Southern California communities. In other roles, Robin served as the Program Manager for the Compton Jr Posse managing day-to-day operations of the youth development program, private consultant to non-profit organizations focused on strategic outreach and engagement, and guest advisor for arts and communication courses at Otis College of Art and Design and the University of Southern California. Early in her career she interned in the Public Art Division of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC).

Robin brings a background steeped in values of equity, access, justice and creativity, and believes strongly in the power of diversity and durable relationships in fostering critical change. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from the University of Southern California and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Robin is an avid equestrian and in her spare time can be found at the ranch with her horse, or diving deeper into her yoga practice.

Melissa Flores is a program and operations specialist with demonstrated experience interacting with diverse community members and creating positive relationships to further various program outreach. Prior to Arts for LA, Melissa worked with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator where she helped curate their member experience and bring its community together virtually. Melissa has also worked at The Gabriella Foundation, spearheading various projects including the expansion of their summer camp program to low-resource communities in Los Angeles. Melissa has a diverse art foundation having been a dancer for 15+ years, studied film at Santa Clara University and appointed co-chair of the Leadership Council of Emerging Arts Leaders, Los Angeles.

In her downtime, Melissa can be found rooting for her favorite sports team (Go Clippers!), ambitiously working on her running pace and exploring all kinds of food in Los Angeles.


and the generous support of Organizational and Individual Members like you.