Staff

  

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Gustavo Herrera
Executive Director
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Gustavo was appointed as Arts for LA’s Executive Director in December 2018.  Prior to working with us, he was the Western Regional Director for Young Invincibles (YI), where he was responsible for leading YI’s California offices, including its West Coast expansion. As director, he set strategic direction and advanced YI’s policy priorities on health care, higher education, jobs, and civic engagement for the region.

Before starting at Young Invincibles, Gustavo was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of L.A. Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LAPCA), overseeing the day-to-day operation of a county museum, including the oversight of a master plan committee responsible for strategically developing three acres of additional museum campus. From 2010-2012, Gustavo led the Maestro Foundation, a classical music and performance arts foundation, as the Director of Organizational Development. Between 2007-2010, he assessed and recommended business growth strategies in the US marketplace for the global Fortune 500 Company, American Honda Motors, Co.

Gustavo holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from American Jewish University and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies with an emphasis in socio-politics and economics and Art History from the University of California Santa Barbara. Gustavo served on the Board of Directors of the Create: Fixate Arts Organization (2006-2010). He is a current Strong Workforce Implementation Advisory Board Member for the California Community Colleges, Advisory Board Member for the California Physician’s Alliance and founding Board Member of Silverlake Forward.


Aubrey Farkas Harris
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
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Aubrey Farkas Harris is a 15-year veteran of Los Angeles’ political and civic arenas.  She has held senior staff positions in US Congress, California State Assembly, and preeminent nonprofit organizations, and has successfully run several political campaigns.

Aubrey’s lobbying accomplishments include creating California’s Homeland Security Grant Program for vulnerable nonprofits, and passing landmark anti-discrimination legislation. Aubrey spent her early career working for members of Congress and the California State Assembly, where she developed foreign and domestic policy positions and legislative initiatives. A veteran of high-profile political campaigns, Aubrey has a talent for distilling complex policy for wide audiences. 

Aubrey earned a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Southern California and graduated from UC Davis with degrees in Political Science, Art History, and Middle Eastern/South Asian Studies. In her free time, Aubrey co-chairs the Glass Leadership Institute, and is on a personal journey to find the world’s best baked goods. 


Cordelia Istel
Director of Organizing
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Cordelia Istel is an organizer, educator, and administrator with over a decade of experience working at the intersection of cultural programming and social justice. Before joining the Service Employees International Union as an External Organizer, she served as Director of Programs for a non-profit theater company engaging climate justice in urban environments, Manager of the Met Opera's Education Department, and also helped create the United States Department of Arts & Culture - a national network of activists using arts-based strategies to address urgent issues facing their communities. In addition to her advocacy, Cordelia continues to make performance-based work and has toured/presented in LA, NYC, SF, Mexico City, Paris, and Brussels. She is a graduate of Yale University (degrees in Political Science and Theater Studies) as well as the California Institute of the Arts (School of Theater). In her spare time, Cordelia cooks, hikes, and attempts overly-ambitious craft projects with varying levels of success.

K.C. Buller
Development and Communications Associate
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KC joins the Arts for LA team from Seattle, Washington, where she recently finished her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. KC has always been passionate about theater arts - from performing to stage management to design - but is even more excited to begin advocating for all art forms and artists. While she defines her own art form as "arts facilitation," that is, arts administration and artist support, KC's academic and theatrical background have prepared her most for this role within Arts for LA and her larger art form of supporting all things art.

Prior to her work and education in Seattle, KC attended the University of California Santa Barbara, where she codified her artistic passions by stage managing and serving as a community relations intern for the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance, while earning her degree in Communication. In her spare time, KC can be found consuming as much art as possible - finding new music and movies, going to shows, and exploring Los Angeles.