#1 Arts Provider Per Capita

Los Angeles is the #1 arts provider per capita in the United States, but #52 in arts dollars and #259 in government support. It is imperative that we invest in the creative workers who make LA the creative capital of the world. Since late fall of 2020, Arts for LA has held community listening sessions culminating in a need for the development of a Just Economic Recovery Plan for the LA Region’s arts + culture sector.

In 2021, Arts for LA introduced the Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative (CJCII). This is a cross-sectoral partnership in Government, Non-profit, Business, K-12, Research, Postsecondary, Higher Education, and Labor sectors.

Dr. Katrina VanderWoude

Dr. Katrina VanderWoude brings well over 25 years of progressively qualifying leadership experience (instructional and student services) serving community colleges and four-year institutions. Formal education and experiences have provided a strong foundation, knowledge, and understanding of the comprehensive community college and its role in transforming lives through access to educational preparation, career training, and essential life skills, as well as its role in the community with respect to economic and workforce development and community engagement. Dr. VanderWoude possesses expertise in the operational areas crucial to community college leaders: accreditation, enrollment management, an understanding of state and federal laws related to students and employees, facilities planning, accessible programs and services for all students, and the ability to execute multiple initiatives in a culturally diverse environment. Professional credentials include a doctorate in Educational Leadership, with emphasis in Higher Education, Organizational Systems and Development, and Student Affairs.

Dr. VanderWoude currently serves as Vice Chancellor at the Los Angeles Community College District, the largest community college district within the nation with nine accredited colleges, and over 200,000 highly diverse student enrollments. Dr. VanderWoude has also served as President of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Grossmont College, part of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) and an Achieving the Dream school. Dr. VanderWoude is committed to equity-minded student success and brings that lens to all practices and programs and additionally believes that fully collaborative partnerships are critical for ensuring social, economic, and political mobility for our most underrepresented and historically marginalized students and communities. Local community-based efforts have included serving on the Los Angeles Mayor’s Commission for Reparations, the East San Diego County Education Alliance Executive Committee (a formal K-12 partnership) with emphasis on dual enrollment and transition to college for high school students, and initiating the Pathways to Success Academy that brings community college courses and services to incarcerated women. Dr. VanderWoude also served as Chief Instructional Officer for the San Diego/Imperial Valley Community College Region for several years and the CCC Chief Instructional Officer’s Executive Board, and the Basic Skills state-wide Advisory Committee. Leadership roles have included: Vice Chancellor, President, Vice President, Vice Provost, Dean, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Associate Dean, Corporate Training Director/Grants Coordinator, Board President, and Foundation Board Trustee. Teaching related assignments have included: Professor, Adjunct Faculty, Research Mentor, Course Lead, and Lecturer in-person, hybrid, and online courses.

Kelly LoBianco

Kelly LoBianco was appointed Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development, a branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services, in November 2021. In this capacity, she is establishing a Countywide economic and workforce development strategy that centers an equitable recovery and inclusive growth and will cultivate a vibrant, regional economy with opportunity and mobility for all workers, businesses, and communities.

An executive-level public servant and nonprofit professional with over 15 years of public and social sector experience at the federal, state, and local level, Kelly brings wide-ranging expertise to LA County. She is a service leader who uplifts community voices and demonstrates measurable, equitable, and sustainable impact. She is also a successful change agent for policy and programs in the social services, workforce development, and economic revitalization fields.

Most recently, Kelly served as Chief Program Officer for The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx, a leading New York City-based nonprofit, where she oversaw the design, delivery, and scaling of workforce development and social enterprise programming in furtherance of the organization’s economic and environmental missions. While at HOPE, Kelly was elected as co-chair of YES! Bed-Stuy, a place-based, collaborative effort of community-based organizations and young adults to build stronger pathways to education and employment for opportunity youth. Prior to HOPE, Kelly was appointed by the Mayor of New York City as Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Department of Small Business Services, following several senior-level roles within the agency. With key industry partnerships in healthcare, tech, and media and entertainment, among others, Kelly administrated citywide bridge, training, and transitional work programs that met hiring and training needs and advanced system change goals, seeking to build diverse, qualified, and enduring talent pipelines and career pathways with family-sustaining wages in emerging and high-growth sectors. Kelly began her career working for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington DC.

Kelly holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University, and an executive education certificate from Columbia Business School’s Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals.

Kristin Sakoda

Kristin Sakoda is Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, a local arts agency which fulfills a mission to advance arts, culture, and creativity throughout the largest county in the U.S. The Department of Arts and Culture provides grants and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations; runs the largest arts internship program in the nation; coordinates countywide public-private arts education initiatives; increases access to creative career pathways; commissions civic artwork; supports free community programs; leads the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative; and advances cross-sector cultural strategies to address civic issues. Appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Ms. Sakoda previously served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Under her leadership, she led the organization during its historic transition into the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.

Ms. Sakoda is an arts executive, attorney, and performing artist with more than 25 years in the field. She has appeared on national and international stages including with dance and social justice company Urban Bush Women and in musicals Rent and Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Prior to her work at the Department of Arts and Culture, she served in key leadership roles at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs overseeing a portfolio of strategic, programmatic, policy, legislative, and funding programs with a $200 million annual budget, and was instrumental in advancing diversity and inclusion; public art; creative aging; cultural facilities; and affordable workspace for artists. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law with honors in Entertainment Law, and B.A. from Stanford University with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity and a secondary major in Feminist Studies. As of 2021, she is a Board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of public and private arts funders in the U.S.

Mark R. Edwards

Mark serves as the Vice President of Government Relations for JVS SoCal where he advocates for the systems change that address the barriers to good paying jobs, including the creative sector. Much of the work is done in collaboration with other organizations.

Mark has an expertise in navigating complex bureaucratic systems that was first developed in the private sector while employed as an Associate for a leading land-use firm, where he specialized in land use entitlement issues and later serving as the Director of Government Relations for a premier boutique lobbying firm. In this capacity, Mark assisted clients with obtaining or maintaining nearly $250,000,000 in contracts with city and county governments.

In the public sector, Mark’s knowledge base was further developed as a Senior Field Deputy for former Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. He was responsible for managing Brentwood, West Los Angeles and a portion of Palms serving the array of needs for approximately 50,000 constituents. Solving constituent issues involved working collaboratively with city, county, and state agencies, and with the community.

Mark is involved with and committed to community. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was honorably discharged. He was instrumental, as part of a team of community leaders, in the creation of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. He completed a three-year stint as a Board Member of Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles, a dynamic, and progressive, not-for-profit agency that effectively works to improve the health of people who are homeless through direct services, education, and advocacy, working with fellow board members and the executive director to navigate us through a horrible economic downturn. Mark served on the board of Barnsdall Art Park Foundation Board, where he served as chair for two years where they had a role in supporting the inclusion of the Hollyhock House as an UNESCO World Heritage Site representing one-of-eight Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Presently, Mark serves on the Executive Board of Governors for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, chairs the Legislative Action committee, and formerly co-chair of the Economic and Workforce Development committee.

A product of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Mark has resided in Los Angeles for 27 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from California State University, Northridge with a concentration in Public Administration and Community Service.

Patricia “Patty” Huerta

Patricia “Patty” Huerta (she/her/ella) is a first-generation Mexican American performing artist, dance-maker, curator, community organizer, arts advocate, and educator from East L.A.  who is dedicated to amplifying the stories of her Latiné culture by weaving together her Afro-Latin Social Dance background with her contemporary dance practices.

She received her B.A. and M.F.A. in Dance and Experimental Choreography from UCR, where she earned The Gluck Fellowship of the Arts, M.F.A. Graduate Fellowship, and UC MEXUS Grant. Patty has collaborated and presented work at The Odyssey Theatre, Redcat Theater, The Ford, Our L.A. Voices at Grand Park in Los Angeles, UCR ARTS Museum, Oxy Arts at Occidental College, FLACC Festival, Mission Dance Theater, Berkeley Arts Museum (BAM), Highways Performance Space, Human Resources L.A., the BlakTinx Dance Festival in Arizona and L.A., and México City. She has taught and choreographed for the Tournament of Roses Parade at Pasadena City College, ACDFA Dance Festival at California State University, Long Beach, various K-12 schools in Southern California, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and is currently a faculty member in the Department of Dance at UCR. 

Patty is a founding member of Primera Generación Dance Collective (PGDC) for over 8 years, a board member of Show Box L.A. (SBLA) in Los Angeles, and an Arts Advocate committee member for Arts For L.A. in Los Angeles. PGDC is the recipient of the 2021-2023 National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) grant as well as the California Arts Council (CAC) and Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) grants. PGDC has been featured in The Los Angeles Times and recently produced and curated the third iteration of (de) Color-Es, a communal event designed to visibilize artists of color at the intersection of dance making and social activism, at NAVEL Space L.A. PGDC is currently working on their next full length work which will premiere at Redcat Theater in June of 2024.

By 2030, our goals are to:
  • Create parity between the regional population demographics and creative workforce representation;
  • Establish a sector-wide median entry-level wage that is at or above the region’s living wage as determined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator, and;
  • Create 10,000 new creative sector job placements centering youth and adults from historically underrepresented communities.

Click below to see our images from the Creative Jobs Collective World Cafe on September 8,th 2023 at NAVEL in downtown LA. Graphic Recording and images courtesy of Jai Ollennu from SketchEffect.