The 2017-18 applications are in, folks! There are some incredible individuals to consider and 14 slots to fill.
Take a look at the range of emerging arts leaders below (listed in reverse alphabetical order), and VOTE HERE!
1. Isabel Vondermuhll:
My name is Isabel and I am thrilled to apply for a position on EAL/LA’s Leadership Council. I moved back to LA last month, the day after I graduated from the M.A. Arts Administration program at Columbia, in order to start work at The Music Center. I joined EALA when I retired from L.A. Ballet three years ago. I believe I was introduced to your organization through Tara Aesquival, Executive Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, who I was filling in for while she was on maternity leave. At this time I was deciding where to go to grad school and I attended one of your panel discussions with Claremont Graduate University. I am also a member of your New York counterpart, and recently attended a great panel about women in leadership in the arts. Now that I’ve moved back to LA and the dust is beginning to settle, I am looking to become more involved in your organization. I am interested in getting experience in leadership because my five year plan is to work in development in a large organization and then perhaps branch out on my own and manage a smaller dance company, multidisciplinary art space, or something along those lines. I’ve been invested in the arts in LA for about seven years now. One of the main takeaways from the various research papers I wrote on this subject for grad school was that while there is an abundance of arts organizations here that are competing for resources, they aren’t exchanging information. I think that joining a group like EAL/LA will help me to get more of a bird’s eye view of that situation.
2. Alan Vidali:
As a former EAL/LA Protégé, arts marketing professional, and an artist, my professional quest is to use the power of the arts to enrich the human experience. I believe that every human must have the right to observe, participate, and create art. To this end, I have dedicated my professional development not only to the creation but also to the marketing side of the arts. Currently, I am the Marketing Manager for Frimex hospitality group in Los Angeles and I am also the Creative Director of the artist run project ProudMexicans.org, which aims to effect change and transform the conversation around what defines Mexicans in the US through a series of workshops and art projects. In addition, I am a student at the CSULB School of Art MFA program and part of the Global Network of Mexicans living abroad. As a Mexican/American artist living in Los Angeles since 2011. I am deeply concerned with social justice and arts equality, not only for my community but for all Angelenos. If selected to become part of the leadership council, I will bring my storytelling skills with my marketing knowledge to promote and hopefully expand the reach of EAL/LA to an audience interested in relevant social issues and the arts. I would be honored to serve as part of the leadership council and give back to EAL/LA for all their support over the last year.
3. Lauren Tothero:
My mission is to empower actors to see themselves not just as artists, but entrepreneurs. When I graduated from NYU with a BFA in Drama, I was equipped with craft and technique, but little business sense. I found myself confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to turn my acting training into an acting career. When I started to learn business principles, I began to feel control over my career for the first time. Decisions were no longer “Well, this feels right,” but instead became data driven. I started to say no to unpaid work, and became more confident in my own value. If elected, I will help you do the same. I will implement programming that teaches you how to make smart, informed financial decisions, so you can feel secure enough to fully pursue your creative endeavors. Goodbye starving artist. Hello healthy, happy, fulfilling artistic career. Together, we’ll learn the nuts and bolts of running a successful business in order to set ourselves up for long-term financial security. Because you’re not going to be able to create to your fullest potential if you’re worried about making rent.
4. Stephanie Denise Silberman:
In elementary school, I was brought to a local art museum on a field trip that changed the course of my life. However, as a child of a working-class family in Florida, I did not have access to a visual art class outside of school, and my interest in the arts was regarded as a childish dream. Now as a young arts professional in the non-profit sector, I have been striving for more opportunities to give back to those who could truly benefit from access to the arts. Most recently, I was an Arts Education Fellow in the ACTIVATE Arts Advocacy Leadership Program by Arts for LA and appointed Treasurer for Museum Educators of Southern California. Therefore, I hope to join EAL/LA as an At-Large Member to meet fellow arts educators with a similar vision and to assist to the best of my professional abilities with community engagement, outreach, fundraising, cultural equity and inclusion initiatives. I supports access to high-quality arts education for all youth regardless of socio-economic backgrounds because I believe that a good education is arts education integrated into public education. I support the arts as a Museum Educator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and as a Development & Marketing Coordinator at The Gabriella Foundation, a non-profit that provides high-quality dance instruction to the underserved youth of Los Angeles. I graduated with a MA in Art History from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in Art History from the University of Florida.
5. Carlton Roberts:
My name is Carlton Roberts it is my intent to apply to be apart of LC. I'm interested in being apart of the development or communication committee. I am a producer at CBS radio, and I work closely with the local non profit Ebony Repertory Theatre . I love figuring out how to get from point A to B, building culture, meeting new people, and can never go wrong with a great game of uno.
6. Astrud Reed:
I have been a member of the Emerging Arts Leaders of Los Angeles for the past two years. I have found the events to be incredibly educational and a vital networking tool within the group, and with the guest speakers. It would be a great honor to join the Leadership Council as an At-Large Member to help further the organization’s mission through programming, development, and marketing. I am passionate about community engagement, enhancement, and empowerment. I believe cultural respect, participatory art, and education are the keys to achieving these goals. No one should be left out. No idea is insignificant. We are stronger and happier citizens when we work together. I will complete my Master of Arts in Museum Studies in June 2017. My research focus is on “Tactical Urbanism and the Dynamic Shift to Embrace Deviance and Diversity: The Beauty and Tone of LA Street Art in Twenty-first Century Communities,” and looking at the curator's role in guiding culturally sensitive urban planning to protect against gentrification. This aspect of the museum curator and public outreach coordinator's duties will aid in forming strong bonds with the community while providing a great service to present inhabitants and maintain the diversity that makes Los Angeles dynamic. In researching these areas, I have become acquainted with area artists, citizens, art advocates, gallery owners / staffs, and city officials.
7. David Perryman:
Working in various positions of music education (as a teaching artist, artistic director, and in administration), I have discovered a passion for arts administration that complements and reaches beyond my original aspirations as a performing musician and educator. I am currently serving as Asset Manager and Teaching Artist at the Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides music education to low-income families around Los Angeles. My primary duties are to create and manage systems to track thousands of musical instruments across multiple sites. Over time, the position has evolved to include general administrative support with tasks including: workflow management and editing for the operations handbook, management of teachers and students, and data management. Prior to this position, I served as Artistic Director at Esperanza Azteca, a similar music education organization. Originally, I served as Teaching Artist, but was promoted after helping to plan and implement their 8-week summer workshop and semester curriculum. As Artistic Director I prepared the orchestra for multiple concerts including a gala featuring Placido Domingo, secured a large instrument donation, and created systems to track attendance and assets. My non-profit experiences have taught me that management directly affects the service provided and I aspire to reach an executive-level position to help solve the common issues plaguing music organizations. I believe EAL can provide me with the resources and network to work towards that goal and believe I can offer valuable insight into organizational efficiency, community awareness, and education. Thank you for the opportunity and consideration.
8. Maxwell Peters:
My name is Maxwell Peters and I am Writer, Director, and Arts Education Advocate in the Los Angeles community. I am currently a Teaching Artist with The Miracle Project, a non-profit Creative Drama/Theatre Arts program for people with Autism based out of The Wallis (Beverly Hills) and the newly minted Creative Drama/Theatre Arts Lead Teacher at Equitas Academy Middle School in Pico Union. My work in the arts has focused on giving a voice to underserved populations mainly the special needs and at-risk lower socio-economic communities. After spending the last five years entrenched and unfulfilled with my work in the entertainment industry at companies like The Walt Disney Company, AwesomenessTV, and Popsugar I have taken the steps necessary to fully transfer into the world of Arts Education and am looking for a community of like minded individuals who can help me grow professionally and ease in this transition. I think my unique blend of experience in both the corporate and creative sides of entertainment will prove to be very help with when it come to future programing opportunities with EAL/LA. Thanks in advance for your consideration!
9. Ines Familiar Miller:
I am an arts administrator committed to social justice and to ensuring equitable access and representation in the arts. As the Assistant to the Director of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Los Angeles (UNAM LA), I proudly serve the Hispanic community of the region by advancing cultural and educational exchange between Mexico and the United States. In addition, I coordinate Tomorrow’s Filmmakers, Today, a professional development program for emerging Latino filmmakers in L.A. I hold a B.A. in History from the Iberoamericana University in Mexico City and a graduate degree in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University. After having an amazingly rewarding experience as a mentee in EAL/LA’s Protégé program in 2016 and participating in several Programming Committee meetings, I would like to give back to the organization and support its mission to grow and support the next generation of creative leaders in Los Angeles. I would be honored to be a part of the Leadership Council and contribute to EAL/LA by implementing and further developing my skills in partnership building, programming, fundraising and community engagement. In times where the arts and the nonprofit sector are facing shifting landscapes, we need to be prepared to adapt to these challenges. I believe we can continue to grow and strengthen EAL/LA’s presence within the arts sector of the Greater Los Angeles area and to make a difference in the professional lives of our peers who are committed to advancing the arts in the region.
10. Jose M. Meza:
I am honored to be applying to the Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles’ Leadership Council as an At-Large Member. I have a background in opera and classical voice performance. My mission is to explore and share the gift of performing arts to as many people as possible. As an emerging arts leader, I believe this great opportunity would allow me to acquire new and important skills. Ultimately, I share EAL/LA’s mission, and can provide administrative and coordinating help as an At-Large Member. Submerging myself in the performing arts for 9 years has allowed me to witness the impact it has on an individual. Currently, I work with The Harmony Project whose focus is to provide music education to youth in low-income communities. I also perform and provide administrative help in various choruses in the LA area. EAL/LA has been fulfilling its mission for years. I recently shifted my focus from performance to arts administration. My decision to shift was made after knowing there were networks like EAL/LA that would provide support. I look forward to gaining new skills as an At-Large Member and becoming a great arts leader in Los Angeles. Likewise, I would be of great help as an At-Large Member. I have experience in event planning and concert coordinating. As a board member for performing groups I have been able to help with concert programming/production, marketing, and finance. Ultimately, being an At-Large Member would be an honor. I would ensure that my creative abilities would help fulfill ELA/LA’s mission.
11. Jenny Marlowe:
I am a working actor and playwright with a focus on community activism in the Native American community and the entertainment industry at large. I’m an unapologetic classicist with degrees from Princeton, Kings College London, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (where I studied collaborative and devised theater) – but my social justice work has taken me in unexpected directions. My greatest claim-to-fame to date is the series of viral videos on indigenous issues that I’ve made in collaboration with BuzzFeed. With more than 25 million views, our videos have been featured in a variety of national and international media outlets, shown at multiple large conferences and events, and included in official course curricula at universities all over North America. In the past year, two of my own plays have been produced at regional theaters in the U.S., and I’ve also traveled all over the country performing in works by other writers. Both in my own work and in my position as a member of Actors Equity Association’s national EEO (Diversity) Committee, I am keenly focused on raising awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion, and particularly on creating a platform for Native American artists at the intersection of art and activism. I see social engagement as a central and necessary goal of art-making, and use my work (as well as my online presence) to draw attention to the issues that concern me, while encouraging others to raise their voices. Within Los Angeles, I’ve worked extensively with Native Voices at the Autry, Cornerstone Theater Company, and KCET on community-engaged projects, and am an active participant in Downtown LA Arts District programming. I’m also an advisor and contributor to TRIBE Project (www.tribeproject7.com), working on initiatives including creative workshops for Native youth and the Through My Eyes international indigenous film festival. In applying to the Leadership Council, I bring a few special qualities (in addition to the obvious passion for and commitment to the creative and performing arts): first and foremost, I bring an indigenous perspective. Los Angeles currently has the largest urban Native population in America, and is a city permeated by Native history and culture – and it is essential to include native voices in discussions about the future of the arts in our community. I also bring a wealth of experience in organizing and presenting public events – including festivals, workshops, panel discussions, and performances. I am firmly committed to the networking and cross-pollinating aspect of what we do as artists, and would be thrilled to share my experience and resources with EAL/LA.
12. Celia Mandela:
I am a local L.A. artist and my main medium is theatre with an emphasis in acting. I transferred from Santa Monica College and graduated from USC and currently work for the Geffen Playhouse. I have actively participated or am interested in directing, art activism, writing and producing. I am also a classically trained actress and this past spring I was Mark Antony in an all-female Julius Caesar. In addition, I am a teaching artist and also volunteer with children at a domestic abuse shelter. Most recently, I was a part of a photography installation where we highlighted the lack of diversity and representation in popular contemporary films by re-staging promotional photos with a diverse cast. One of my main goals is to give a voice to marginalized people, specifically women and people of color. I would like to do that by partnering with other creative people to support, re-imagine and envision art and storytelling that lifts up our L.A. community and represents them in a multi-faceted way. Through the leadership council, I want to use my skills to collaborate with other artists so that we can use our strengths to actively engage within in our L.A. communities. I have a strong love for Los Angeles because of my experience of living and working here and my perspective of art activism, with regards to social justice, awareness and healing. I truly believe that my particular experience, training and desires will be seen as a great contribution to the leadership council.
13. Nancy Ma:
Make right my parents' immigration to America and sacrifices for me, or pursue creativity. I didn't have the permission to overlap the two when I was growing up in New York City. I chose the former. Often certain communities of people are not afforded the mindset to pursue the arts because the benefits are not supposedly as tangible. But now that I have spent my time in Los Angeles immersed in the arts both as a performer and as an educator, I see the palpable goodness of creative activities, especially for those who are forced into more survival mentality. I want to work to make sure low-income, people of color and at-rish youth are given the opportunities to enjoy the arts and even think that a creative career is possible. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have taught acting and writing classes at homeless youth centers, volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, Young Storytellers and Reality LA, and organized community outreach for Girls Who Code. Performance and storytelling have changed my life. It would be my privilege to help make sure our next generations can experience the same thing.
14. Jalisa Leelee Jackson:
As a playwright, I am interested in telling the stories of the most marginalized people group (mainly black people who identify as she/her) and I need help telling those stories. Being an Emerging Arts Leader will guide me in my grey areas that I may not have known existed about the ins and outs of theatre, areas of growth that will direct my path as a creative. I am simply asking if you would help me tell these untold stories by exposing me to the construction and implementation of the world of art. I will be attending the University of California, Riverside this Fall to further my education in Playwriting in the MFA Program. ELA/LA will help me learn how to execute what I've learned in a professional setting.
15. Reina Imagawa:
I am a Tokyo-born, New York-bred media designer and artist, but first and foremost a creative facilitator driven by interactions with people. My design practice is rooted in my belief that design can uplift and amplify communities in need, and in doing so facilitate meaningful dialogue and connections between people and spaces through the lens of arts and culture. Currently pursuing my MFA in Media Design Practices at ArtCenter College of Design, I find myself wanting to tap into a network of innovators beyond the scope of what design has to offer as a discipline. For instance, during my first year in LA, I have successfully located and collaborated with creative-minded individuals within the civic sector, game-changing leaders in the food and beverage industry, and most recently facilitated a prototyping workshop at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit with a bike group based in South Central LA. My constant, central question –“How can we innovate together across multiple creative worlds?” – has exposed me to many brilliant people and exciting spaces. As I continue to investigate this city, I would love to share my energy and passion for innovation with EAL and become a more influential leader in supporting creative causes and people through expanding my network and resources. My recent interests include representation and appropriation of cultural narratives in media, transformative funding structures, and farming with youth. I would love to gain more experience on how to continuously engage stakeholders on large-scale projects.
16. Natalay Goldstein:
I am a long time arts advocate and a Los Angeles native. I hold an MA in Arts Management from CGU (2016). I grew up in the theatre and play piano and guitar. In the past 6 years I have worked with dance companies, award winning theatre companies, a composer's organization, a film festival, and two major museums as well as educational non profits. My speacialty is marketing and communications but I have experience in every area of arts management. I am interested in connecting with arts leaders in the area to develop leadership programs and networking opportunities and to foster connections between young arts managers working at different organizations in L.A. to promote greater cooperation within the industry. I would also like to take advantage of the professional development opportunity to gain access to learning resources that would otherwise be out of reach. I believe that EALLA is a unique resource and I would love to become more involved on a more committed level.
17. Katherine J. Cooksey:
To the Leadership Council, I offer my time, services, and enthusiasm to aid in their mission and goals of fostering the next generation of arts sector leadership. Born and raised in Los Angeles County, I have immense interest in seeing our arts community advance through the efforts of a team of strong leaders. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Art from California State University of Bakersfield with a minor in marketing. After two years in New York I received my Master of Fine Art from Pratt Institute. My past employment positions includes the Fine Arts Program Coordinator for Pratt Institute’s Career Center, Internship at Gagosian Gallery and the Gallery Assistant for MOKA in Chicago. Currently, I am the Gallery Director for the Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo and am an active member of the LA Art Association. From my work in the community I have received recognition as the Art Star Award recipient from the Ventura County Arts Council and the Business Champion Award from the Oxnard Union High School District. My goal along with networking is to develop professional business practices and programs for artists which I currently am doing on my kjcookseyart youtube channel. I specialize in marketing and event planning and would love the opportunity to be a part of the Leadership Council.
18. Sarin Cemcem:
I am an art history graduate from University of California, Los Angeles and a current graduate student in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco. As an undergrad at UCLA, I was immersed in the museum field. My museum experience began as an intern for the New Media Department at the Fowler Museum. I have worked in Museum Education at the Orange County Museum of Art, leading tours of contemporary art for students of different ages and developed interpretation for gallery experiences. My position as Education Assistant at the OCMA enabled me to strengthen my supervisory skills by managing all education interns ensuring that responsibilities are completed properly and in a timely manner, organizing professional development and providing training on all programs. My position as Coordinator of Education Programs at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts had me overseeing all performance related field trips to the Center. I was also an integral part of the Internship Program, Summer Camps, and Master Classes. My time in San Francisco was spent at contemporary art space, KADIST, where I was communications assistant for their operations, orchestrating and distributing monthly newsletters and e- announcements; managing media lists and ad campaigns, posting program content on the website and external sites; conducting outreach to local schools and press contacts, arranging dates and times for visits and tours; and assisting with supervision of the gallery. In these various positions I worked closely with museum staff, curators, artists, registrars, new media, public engagement, education, and student interns and learned a great deal about the needs to serve internal as well as external constituencies. I am a reliable and hard-working person, passionate about the arts. I will bring a bevy of experience to the Leadership Council and a personality to match!
19. Nina Rose Carlin:
My background in Los Angeles arts is grounded in theatre. I formerly assisted with development and marketing at Circle X Theatre Co. I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in Hollywood Fringe Festival plays- entitled When I Was Sacred and Black Widow Laughs. I've curated showcases for female playwrights, and currently work in marketing and social media at an advertising agency. It is my intention to create an immersive theatre company that focuses on provocative work developed by women.
20. Danice Cabanela:
"Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war." - MLK Not only do I believe in the art that the artist creates, but also the social and political powers they have to raise awareness, self-empowerment and hope in others. This is a challenging world as it is, what can we do TOGETHER to effectively change it? As Director of Programming for Artists in Office, I believe that empowering artists and folks who to get involved in leadership positions is one way to affect change, and it's in the things we do every day, the things we say every day that will make the difference. I attended a very special event last Friday with astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, one of my favorite thought leaders. Someone asked him what advice he would give the current generation of scientists. His response was spectacular. He said (essentially ;), people think that the news has lied to the public now more than ever. No. His generation growing up was lied to. Now we have the internet and more at our fingertips. We have forums and groups to organize. We have faster ways of communicating. When it comes to truth we can find it, we can spread it! And he said he CAN'T WAIT for the new generation to TAKE OVER and become senators, members of congress and other leaders to lead this world. With sparks in my eyes and heart, I said YES WE WILL! #LetsGoLA
21. Michaela Bulkey
After spending three months in London seeing some of the most amazing theatre, I realized that watching spectacular productions was not why I loved theatre, I was passionate about working in a team of creatives in order to tell a story and create change. I have recently graduated as a theatre major, with my senior project emphasizing the importance of community based theatre activism. The project focused on empowering artists in the community through helping them have resources to perform and create. With EAL/LA I am hoping to continue my passion for empowering artists on a larger scale. This fall I will be getting a masters in Leadership and Management with a concentration in Nonprofit, but it is important that I stay connected to the arts. Los Angeles theatre has a vibrancy that is hard to compete with. The 99 seat theatre community and the Hollywood Fringe Festival helped me develop as a stage manager, MainStreet Theatre Company opened up the world of theatre administration to me, and my internship with Center Theatre Group connected me with the professional development I needed. Through working with Emerging Arts Leaders of Los Angeles I can continue to develop my skills in event planning, collaboration, and coordinating, and also give back to the community of artists that pushed me to find my passion in Arts Leadership. It is more important than ever to continuously cultivate the new generation of artists and artistic leaders.
22. Kahla Brown:
It is my mission to provide an artistic platform for those who are unheard, unseen, or unknown. I will work within the community to empower artists, and outside the community to engage and improve the lives of our audiences. There has not been a time in my life when I was not supported and fueled by the artistic community. However, its centrality to my life became most clear immediately following my graduation from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I became deeply involved in the devised theatre world there, and thrived being surrounded by constant creation and the fearless manner in which people shared their work. When I moved home to Austin, I saw there was an as-yet untapped potential for this sort of environment. I founded Litmus Night, a monthly event for people to present works and works-in-progress of any medium. The community was incredibly supportive, and together we built a safe-space where anyone felt comfortable to come and be vulnerable. Especially moving were those who did not identify as artists, yet still attended every month. Most eventually worked up the courage to share, and their work often had the greatest impact on the audience. Now, five months after I relocated to LA, Litmus Night lives on in Austin. As a member of the Leadership Council, I will cultivate similar spaces for sharing, in addition to creating opportunities for artists to teach and mentor others in Los Angeles.