Innovators Cohort 2020

Meet our ACTIVATE: Innovators 2020 Cohort

 

Monica Harte, Managing Director of The Actors’ Gang in Culver City, is an accomplished artist and arts administrator. In New York, she was noted for her unique approach to the presentation of operatic repertoire. As co-founder and general director of Remarkable Theater Brigade (RTB) for fourteen years, she launched the highly successful annual production of Opera Shorts at Carnegie Hall. As interim general director of the Nevada Opera Association, she applied her unique & innovative approach to operatic repertoire winning the company world-wide attention and renewed acclaim with an anime version of Madame Butterfly.  As producer, director, soprano and voice teacher, Harte's career has taken her across North America and Europe. Author of theatrical works and academic articles, Monica’s current projects explore the implications of the arts in educational arenas catering to marginalized youth. Monica holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Graduate Center in New York City.

Eric V. Ibarra is a social entrepreneur and a visionary leader who brings greater resources to nonprofit and for-profit social impact spaces by centering the voices of the youth in community-based programs and collaborations. His passion for supporting youth of color to be self-empowered moved him to found Las Fotos Project, a photography mentoring organization inspiring teenage girls to use cameras to advocate for gender, racial, and social justice. He expanded this work to create pathways to life-long economic success by opening access to the creative economy in Los Angeles through paid arts and culture work-learning opportunities for those aged 16-24.  He believes in a future industry that reaches new heights through the creativity of black and brown youth and is committed to creating a collective impact model for transformation and systems change to improve the lives of young people and create systems of care for them and their families.

Rich Johnson is an arts producer, musician, sound designer & teaching artist with a passion for applying the arts as a tool to build communities. Rich co-founded Centrifuge Arts in 2015 and currently works at LA Commons and the American Youth Symphony in administrative roles. 

Justus Jones is a Los Angeles native, teaching artist and aspiring rapper. He graduated from New Earth Youth Build in 2016 and soon after began teaching poetry to formerly incarcerated youth. As an artist and rapper, Justus loves to tell the real and uncut in his music. He has facilitated poetry and creative writing workshops with system-impacted youth in South Central LA and countywide. Justus is currently working to support the reentry and youth leadership programming at Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network. He has participated and performed at various events throughout the country including Create Justice, the LA County Youth Diversion Summit and the Youth Power Summit where he engaged with legislators and advocated for statewide youth justice bills. Justus continues to work with formerly incarcerated youth with the intention of creating space for them to know they are not alone in the traumas they experience.

Cobi Krieger is a research consultant focused on diversity and equity in the creative workforce. Krieger is also a project manager who works with artists and arts organizations to produce meaningful experiences. Through partnerships with leading members in the arts community, Krieger seeks to extend the benefits of the arts to those who seek them. By creating innovative research about barriers in the arts and by conceiving art-based content and events for the public, Krieger’s goal is to make the arts inclusive. Since relocating to LA in the summer of 2018, Krieger has worked directly with the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, ForYourArt, and Frieze LA. Krieger holds an MA in Arts Management from the Center for Business and Management of the Arts at CGU (formerly known as Sotheby’s Institute of Art), a BA in Art History and a BA in accounting from Tel Aviv University.

Andrea Lofthouse Quesada is a transdisciplinary artist and educator based in Alhambra. Working the intersections of civic engagement, land use, culture and the environment, she's been active in the SGV since 2015. Andrea ran for City Council under the slogan “Find Your Power” and recently worked as a Planning Commissioner. Equal parts visionary and cheerleader, she leverages her background in cross cultural work, design thinking, language, and facilitation. Her work embraces the affective and cognitive realms for transformative social change. Diverse communities have uplifted her environmental justice organizers in Oakland and nature conservationists in China to her work at the New York Botanic Garden and Art Center College of Design. Andrea currently teaches Environmental Science at Alhambra High School. Her personal art practice focuses on healing and power. She holds advanced degrees in Education and Scientific Illustration. Her undergraduate degree is from UC Berkeley.

Maricela Martinez is an immigrant mariachi artist by family tradition.I am the general director, lead trumpet player, and singer of Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas. I am using my profession to preserve and safeguard the mariachi culture and traditions, to advocate and organize this community for its own enrichment. 

Sheila Reamer is an educator, passionate about teaching and music. She has had the privilege of uniting the two disciplines through her work as an elementary teacher, ELA resource coach, and vocal music teacher in Torrance Unified School District. Her most enjoyable work in the arts occurs every Sunday as she shares her love of music at Immanuel Baptist Church, playing the piano. Using her foundation of education from USC and true learning gained from her students, she is continuing her effort in seeking equity education for diverse student populations and opportunity in the arts to enrich the educational experience for all learners. 

Danny Tisdale, is an internationally recognized visual artist; educator, and community activist. He received his M.F.A. study at Otis/Parsons School of Design, and his BA from California Polytechnic University. Mr. Tisdale has has also mounted exhibitions all across the USA, Africa and Europe. Tisdale has earned awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA); Franklin Furnace Performance Art; Creative Time; and fellowships from the White House Millennium Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; Gordon Matta-Trust; and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He was a commentator on the issue of censorship before a U.S. Senate Sub Committee Hearing for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). He participated in the PBS American history television series Colonial House. Tisdale worked as advertising Director at Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, before becoming founder of Harlem World Magazine.

Miranda Wright founded Los Angeles Performance Practice in 2010, and the LAX Festival in 2013. Miranda comes from a theater background, and works as an independent producer and performance curator. She has worked with Center Theatre Group, Center for the Art of Performance (CAP) UCLA, and CalArts Center for New Performance, among others, on special projects and initiatives, including a research initiative with neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists led by Kristy Edmunds and Sam Miller. She is the 2014 recipient of Center Theatre Group’s Richard E. Sherwood Award, and in 2015, was awarded a Cultural Exchange International Fellowship through the City of Los Angeles and the British Council to work with ArtsAdmin in London, and in 2016 she was the Curatorial Artist in Residence at CAP UCLA. Miranda holds a certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice In Performance at Wesleyan University, and an MFA in Producing from California Institute of the Arts.