Brittney Mendez is a first-generation Mexican American freelance illustrator and animator, who carved her path through hard work and determination. Despite the challenges of growing up in a low income household, her unwavering commitment to her artistic development led her to the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Instead of following the path of entering the world of animation media via enrolling in a four-year college, she found her way by unconventional work paths. She is an alumni of Santa Monica Community College, and has joined organizations, such as “LatinX in Animation”, “Women in Animation”, and the “Group Effort Initiative” as invaluable resources. Brittney currently works as a freelance 2D animator for indie animations, made by smaller productions. She utilizes social media as her way of connection with other freelancers and to support the rise of up-and-coming independent animations in the industry.
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.
Los Angeles native DeJon Ellis Jr. has been a grip with Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 80 for 25 years. He has worked on various projects, from feature films to prime-time television and music videos. Ellis currently serves as Local 80’s business agent for grips, crafts services, set medics, marine, first aid employees and warehouse workers. Ellis is also a member-at-large for IATSE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Inez S. Bush is the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District Board Chair. Inez’s belief in arts and creativity being essential to a healthy society and as a trained facilitator of strategic planning for non-profit organizations, businesses, education, and arts education institutions, which makes her a good fit as Board Chair. As former Assistant Dean of Extension at Otis College of Art and Design, she was responsible for cultivating and implementing external programs that serve businesses, educational institutions, and the community. Previously she worked for the Culver City Unified School District as the District Arts Consultant and founded an award-winning creative marketing communications firm, Gramercy Partners, Inc. Inez received a BFA in Graphic Design from State University of New York, Purchase College and a Master’s in Education, Leadership and Change from Antioch University Los Angeles.
Morenike Dosu serves as Director – Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Business Partner for DreamWorks Animation. In this role, she draws upon her 20+ years of Animation + VFX experience to develop and execute DEI workforce initiatives aligned with DreamWorks’ goals to recruit, retain and cultivate their inclusive workforce.
A key strategic partner to DreamWorks’ business leaders and HRBPs, Morenike drives measurable, systemic and sustainable change across DreamWorks while leading the studio’s long-term DEI framework. By diagnosing issues/needs and analyzing data related to DEI, Morenike builds strong relationships within all levels of the studio’s workforce and partners with multiple DEI stakeholders across DreamWorks and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) to develop and implement efforts that foster a studio culture where everyone can do their best work.
Prior to DreamWorks, Morenike has worked across the world at top-tier global studios such as Animal Logic in Sydney, The Moving Picture Company in London, and Framestore in Los Angeles. She’s been credited on blockbusters such as Prometheus, The Jungle Book, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
Oscar Magallanes is a Chicano artist based in Los Angeles. Growing up in a Mexican-American barrio in LA, his artwork draws heavily from his upbringing and explores iconography from different eras. Expelled from high school at the age of fifteen, Magallanes was later admitted into the Ryman Arts program, which encouraged him to pursue a career in the arts. He went on to earn a BA in Art from UCLA in 2016 and an MFA in Visual Art from UC San Diego in 2021. His work can be found in the permanent collections of several museums including The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California. In 2016, he founded the art collective 3B, which has produced public art projects for various institutions. Magallanes has also served on the boards of several arts organizations and taught at UC San Diego.
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.
La’Toya Cooper is a hardworking mother of two beautiful kings. She was born and raised in Los Angeles Ca where she became a victim and survivor of the child welfare system. She is a proud advocate to help change this system for our future and our children’s future. La’Toya is a part of Lens Co’s collaborative project developing a Young Person Led Intermediary. She is also a part of The LA County Youth Commission where, along with other young leaders, she is a current voice for the young people in our county. La’Toya is passionate about fighting the injustice of probation, child welfare, and the homeless systems creatively . Her passion is expressive writing and helping others. She strives to be the best authentic person she can be despite the odds against her. “I want to travel the world to meet every race and experience every culture. I’m done surviving I want to live.”
Steve Rosa (they/elle) completed their Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of California, Irvine in 2015. Their emphasis was in Dance and Technology with works that centered Latinidad. Rosa also completed a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, with a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education, from the University of California, Los Angeles. They are an alum of Cypress College (A.A. in Dance and Dance Teaching Certificate) and Cerritos College (A.A. in Photography), where they received various degrees and awards.
As a collaborative artist they work with projection design, film making, multimedia installation, photography, sound design, and other media. Some selected collaborators include: Justin Morris, Primera Genercaion Dance Collective, no) one Art House, University of California, Irvine, and Maha and Company.
Currently, Rosa is a tenured professor, and chair of the dance department, at Saddleback College. There they teach both studio and lecture courses, direct productions, develop inclusive curriculum, and engage in equity-based work within the greater campus community.