2019 LACDAC Arts Summit

on July 18, 2019

by Stephanie Xu, Design and Media Intern

This summer, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Arts Summit, hosted by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (LACDAC), whose mission is to support and advance arts, culture, and creativity in L.A. They provide leadership, support, and services to organizations and civic art collections as well as help create access to creative pathways and programs, all in commitment to their goal of fostering access to the arts, and to the County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative.

What I appreciated the most was how, while the three professionals we spoke with were all so incredibly talented and had achieved so much in their careers, their experiences were marked by the importance of community, work balance, and self-care.

I had a really great time at the summit! I got to meet and build relationships with fellow interns, hear from the experience of professionals, and visit significant art sites in downtown L.A. Our day included an orientation filled with speeches from some of the leaders of the LACDAC, who shared about the purpose of the summit and our internships. This was followed by two workshops of our choosing to hear about the experiences of past interns. The rest of the afternoon was spent touring Grand Performances, the Broad, and Colburn School. At each location, we were able to enjoy either an art performance or view an exhibition. I especially enjoyed Grand Performances, at which two artists performed powerful spoken word pieces about immigration, love, and family.
2019 LACDAC Arts Summit attendees

Her encouragement was that it is okay to be where you are at and to take care of yourself first. She left us with her personal experience that opportunities had continued to come into her life, and it was and is okay to go at her own pace.

My favorite part of the intern summit was attending the workshops, particularly the first one I attended. “What happens next” was geared for those wondering what a future career in the arts could look like and how our internships could affect those careers. What I appreciated the most was how, while the three professionals we spoke with were all so incredibly talented and had achieved so much in their careers, their experiences were marked by the importance of community, work balance, and self-care. Towards the end of the panel, Camille Schenkkan, Next Generation Initiatives Director of Center Theater Group, shared about her experience with struggling with mental health issues during her internship and how she was not able to do all the ‘right’ things she had hoped to do as an intern. Her encouragement was that it is okay to be where you are at and to take care of yourself first. She left us with her personal experience that opportunities had continued to come into her life, and it was and is okay to go at her own pace.

I’m really glad that I got to attend this summit! It was a very full day, but I’m so grateful for the stories and wisdom I heard, new friendships I made, and the overall experience of learning about the L.A. art community and history.


Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your experience at the 2019 LACDAC Arts Summit! Read more stories from past arts summits here.

Stephanie McGrath2019 LACDAC Arts Summit