Relay: We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live



Dear Friend, 

StoryQuote_(1).jpgThe story of America at this moment is fraught with ideology. Most visibly in the political sphere, there has been a loss of civility and respect, in how we treat each other, in how we talk to and about each other. When words are used as weapons and walls are being built, to change the public discourse requires new narratives and ways of connecting to each other. As Tahir Shah writes, "Stories are a communal currency of humanity" (In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams).

For the 2016 LA Convergence, we've chosen the theme, Amplifying Our Stories, and will feature two powerful storytellers for our keynote: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña and poet & performer Mayda  Del Valle. In a year when some voices are not being heard, or even silenced, many communities are turning to art to express and understand this difficult moment in our country. Joan Didion notes, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” As a catalyst for cross-sector conversations and collaboration, the LA Convergence will leverage storytelling as a way to articulate our problems as well as to envision solutions. 

We must embrace our civic role and offer a different story of this election season. Please take someone to the polls when you vote. If there are long lines at the polls, if people get cranky and anxious, let us keep the peace and make the experience as positive as possible. Share your stories and create connections for coming together. For those of us who believe in civic process, there is no more important story we can tell. 

My best, 




Sofia Klatzker
Executive Director

Registration Opens for LA Convergence

Renee_Tajima-Pena_headshot.Credit_Claudio_Rocha.jpgThe 2016 Convergence will be held on Thursday, November 3, at the Nate Holden Center for the Performing Arts (same location as last year). Our keynote speakers are Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña (top) and poet and performer Mayda Del Valle.

Find out more and register here:

If you have questions about ticketing, please contact Charles Flowers at [email protected] 


Coffee & Registration

Welcome:  Sofia Klatzker, Arts for LA

Opening Keynotes: Renee Tajima-Peña, Mayda Del Valle

Breakout sessions; topics include:

  • Race Relations
  • Storytelling
  • Educational Equity

Lighting Round Breakout: Solutions & Technical Assistance (TED Talk Style. Topics include:

  • Public Policy Analysis – “Political State of Now (Post-Election) – Where are we? What do we do from here?”
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Technology & The Arts


Breakout sessions; topics include:

  • Gentrification & Development
  • Social Practice Art
  • Mass Incarceration & Public Health 

#ArtsVote Update

With the election just weeks away, Arts for LA is currently conducting our Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys which promote dialogue around issues related to arts education and cultural policy with candidates and residents.

Volunteer callers are needed from Friday, October 14 - Friday, October 21.  For the November 8 ballot, Arts for LA is surveying 82 candidates in the following elections:

School Board Elections

  • Acton-Aguar Dulce Unified 
  • Alhambra Unified School District  
  • Saugus Union 

Municipal Elections

  • Alhambra
  • Carson
  • Downey
  • Malibu
  • Palmdale
  • Pomona
  • Santa Clarita
  • Santa Monica

If you live in any of these school districts or cities, we would greatly appreciate your help contacting candidates to encourage them to submit their survey. We provide a script and a list of candidates and their contact information. Phone calls can be made from home or the Arts for LA offices, depending upon availability. If you're available, please contact Program Associate Abril Iniguez at [email protected] as soon as possible.

National Arts & Humanities Month

NAMHlogo_LOWres.jpgOctober is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)—a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. NAHM was launched by Americans for the Arts 30 years ago as National Arts Week in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of:

FOCUSING on the arts at local, state, and national levels;

ENCOURAGING individuals and organizations to participate in the arts;

ALLOWING governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and

RAISING public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives. 

Find out more and access resources here.

Thank You 

Many thanks to those who contributed or renewed their membership in Arts for LA during our recent campaign to raise $5,000 for our arts education advocacy. With the support of those listed below, we raised $5,575 - 10% above our goal!  It's not too late to participate! Joinrenew, or donate today!

826 LA / Sasha Anawalt  /  Art Center College of Design  /  Susie Baldwin  /  Nancy Berman  /  Becky Birdsong  /  Sonny Calderon  /  Jessica Ceballos  /  Amanda Dillon  /  Kenneth Foster  /  Barbara George  /  Joy Gregory  /  Teresa Hill  /  Eugene Hutchins  /  Charlie Jensen  /  Annette Johnson  /  Sofia Klatzker  /  Victoria Lanier  /  Ana Marie LeNoue  /  Steven Llanusa  /  Hannah Maxima  /  Vera Mijojlic  /  Christopher Raster  /  Lisa Ruiz  /  Sarah Russin  /  Analia Saban  /  Mark Slatkin  /  Jeanne Tripplehorn  /  Karla Vasquez  /  Amy Cheung von Haam  /  White Hall Arts Academy  /  Patty Wilson