#MarathonMonday | P.S. ARTS Staff

on January 31, 2017 Comments Off on #MarathonMonday | P.S. ARTS Staff

The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, Charity Relay, and LA BIG 5K are less than six weeks away. Follow #MarathonMonday to learn more about our amazing runners and why they are running for Team P.S. ARTS! This week, meet the dedicated P.S. ARTS staff members who have joined our team.

Allison Schaub

Why are you running the LA Marathon, and why did you choose to join Team P.S. ARTS?
I completed my first LA Marathon when I was 16 with Students Run Los Angeles. 10 years later, marathon training feels just as daunting as it did then (if not more on most days), but I’ve found that running with a charity team gives me the motivation needed to get out there. This will be my third time running with Team P.S. ARTS and thanks to the generosity of friends and family, I’ve been able to raise over $2,000 for P.S. ARTS’ programs!

Why do you think it’s important to support arts education in our schools?
Arts education deserves a place during the school day because it provides students with the tools to be successful both in the classroom and in life. Like running, art and creativity build confidence and teach us how to overcome obstacles to keep moving forward.

How are you training for the race?
I’m running a few days a week, taking group fitness classes and trying to stretch every day. Stretching is a constant struggle for me.

 

Clarissa Hampton

Why are you running the LA Big 5K, and why did you choose to join Team P.S. ARTS?
Choosing Team P.S. ARTS was a no-brainer once I convinced myself that I could run a 5K.  My coworkers at P.S. ARTS are the best teammates, and I feel inspired by them and their dedication everyday I come to work.  Running this 5K is another way working for P.S. ARTS has inspired me to challenge my own limitations and get creative about my service to others.

Why do you think it’s important to support arts education in our schools?
I think artist Ana Mendieta most beautifully explained the connection between art, expression, and empathy when she said, “My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that tie me to the universe.”  It is my belief then that when arts programs are eliminated, students are deprived of a means of communicating with others and connecting to the world around them.

How are you training for the race?
Let’s just say I’m really focusing on the carb-loading right now…

Nikki Manibhai

Why are you running the LA Big 5K and why did you choose to join Team P.S. ARTS?
Joining the P.S. ARTS staff in 2016 was turning a new page in the professional chapter of my life. The environment here at P.S. ARTS is welcoming, engaging, empathetic, and fun! So, I wanted to join Team P.S. ARTS and participate in the LA BIG 5K to build camaraderie with my coworkers and fellow P.S. ARTS supporters.

Why do you think it’s important to support arts education in our schools?
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

I believe the arts and arts integration takes education into the third dimension and makes learning a participatory experience. Arts education has the power to increase student achievement, engagement, and motivation while also building creative and critical thinking, collaboration skills and self-confidence. Because the arts are versatile it takes the stresses of standardization away. By supporting arts education in our schools, I support all-inclusive learning that celebrates uniqueness and embraces creativity.

How are you training for the race?
I am getting in the habit of working out and doing some light running about three to four times a week. My main focus is building stamina and being self-aware of progress.

Support AllisonClarissa, Nikki and Team P.S. ARTS!

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P.S. ARTS#MarathonMonday | P.S. ARTS Staff

The New Addition to Our P.S. ARTS Family!

on February 1, 2017 Comments Off on The New Addition to Our P.S. ARTS Family!

Get to know our newest staff member, Guillaume Wateau. Please join us in welcoming our new Associate Finance Director!


Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
My name is Guillaume Wateau, and I am the new Associate Finance Director. In this role I will working toward maintaining the financial health of the organization, focusing on long term sustainability for our amazing programs and keeping high transparency for our donors.

What book is currently on your night stand?
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. The search for the happiest places in the world.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
At the moment it would be Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Passenger.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
The Getty Museum and the Comedy Store.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
It would probably be Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is an important voice for reason, an advocate for Arts and Science and a great educator.

“We spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There’s something wrong there.” 

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P.S. ARTSThe New Addition to Our P.S. ARTS Family!

Welcome our new Project Lead, Darryl King!

on November 17, 2016 Comments Off on Welcome our new Project Lead, Darryl King!

Please join us in welcoming Darryl King, our new Project Lead, Turnaround Arts: California. We asked him a few “get-to-know-you” questions — see what he had to say!


Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
My name is Darryl King, and I am the new Project Lead, Turnaround Arts: California. As Project Lead, I am responsible for the coordination, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of the P.S. ARTS contract with Turnaround Arts: California. I have a background in developing and implementing training and professional development for educators and after-school leaders with multiple organizations that include LA’s BEST, Common Sense Media, and The Center for the Collaborative Classroom. I hold a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in education, along with a multi-subject teaching credential. I am also a visual artist.

What book is currently on your night stand?
The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
“One Step Ahead” by Aretha Franklin.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
St. Elmo Village.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
Malcom X.

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P.S. ARTSWelcome our new Project Lead, Darryl King!

Meet the Newest Faces of the P.S. ARTS team!

on August 31, 2016 Comments Off on Meet the Newest Faces of the P.S. ARTS team!

There are many new faces at P.S. ARTS, please join us in welcoming our new Events Assistant Clarissa, Inside Out Community Arts Program Coordinator KT, Administrative Assistant Nikki, and Program Assistant Oscar!

Clarissa Hampton, Events Assistant

Clarissa Hampton, Events Assistant
Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
Hello, I’m Clarissa and I’m the new Events Assistant here at P.S. ARTS which means I help put together the events that raise money for our programs! I actually have a wide range of responsibilities in this role, including: scaling the packed shelves in storage, “voluntelling” coworkers and friends to work events, and very politely asking people to help fund our programs.

What book is currently on your nightstand?
I’m currently working my way through 1Q84. It’s a beautiful read, and I look forward to finishing it sometime this decade.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
It has to be “Train in Vain” by The Clash. It’s my all-time favorite and my go-to when life/work/traffic is getting the best of me!

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
You could ask me this question one hundred times and I would have a different answer each time! For brevity’s sake, I’m going to say LACE. Not only is the programming unapologetically radical, but it’s also run by some very rad (and smart and forward-thinking and compassionate) women. Disclaimer: I interned at LACE so I might be a little biased.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
North West. No contest. Her style is fire and she’s basically American royalty.

KT Leuterio, Program Coordinator

KT Leuterio, Inside Out Community Arts Program Coordinator
Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
My name is KT Leuterio, and I am the Inside Out Community Arts Program Coordinator. In this position, I help make sure that the Inside Out program is running smoothly at each of the sites. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and studied Film/Media at UC Berkeley. Go Bears!

What book is currently on your nightstand?
I’m about to re-start Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I didn’t finish reading it last time I opened it up, so I’m excited to dig in once again. It was highly recommended by a friend of mine.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
I don’t actually own an iPod… I’m usually listening to the radio in the car or a random Spotify playlist at my desk.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
I just recently visited LACMA for the first time, and it was an incredible afternoon. I visited the Guillermo Del Toro exhibit, as well as “Reigning Men”, which displayed the history of men’s fashion. I didn’t get a chance to see every exhibition in the space, so I plan on visiting again soon.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
Tina Fey. She’s an incredibly talented actor and writer, and a major inspiration for me. I relate to a lot of her work, so it’d be an amazing treat to have coffee with her!

Nikki Manibhai, Administrative Assistant

Nikki Manibhai, Administrative Assistant
Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
Hello! My name is Nikki Manibhai and I come to P.S. ARTS from the museum world. I am excited to start this transition and my new journey as P.S. ARTS’ new Administrative Assistant. As the Admin Assistant I will be maintaining office operations and providing administrative support to senior staff. Other than the office day-to-day, other common responsibilities include human resources-related tasks as well as record-keeping and mailings involving the donor database.  

What book is currently on your nightstand?
As a former Harry Potter fanatic, I just had to know how the story truly ends. So, I am currently nearing the end of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
There isn’t necessarily a single song, but rather an album. I’ve been recently listening to Frank Ocean’s Blond(e) on repeat.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
Hmm, that is a great question. I would have to say the theater. Although we aren’t New York, Los Angeles has some great playhouses. I enjoy both musicals and plays – the songs, the drama, the visuals and fanciness of it all make for a great fun-filled, and art-filled, night out. I can’t wait for Hamilton to arrive in August 2017!

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
I would love to meet Ellen DeGeneres! She has a great heart, funny, intelligent, and incredibly genuine. I would love to play Ellen in your ear with her at a Starbucks 🙂

Oscar Navarrete, Program Assistant

Oscar Navarrete, Program Assistant
Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
My name is Oscar Navarrete, and I’m the new Program Assistant at P.S. ARTS. My responsibilities include supporting our wonderful Teaching Artists, as well as our Program Team. I’ll also be organizing for our Family Art Night events, which I’m most excited about!

What book is currently on your nightstand?
I’ve taken a break from more traditional books since I graduated from university, but I’ve recently started rebuilding my graphic novel collection. The Black Panther is one of my favorite series at the moment because of its socio-political commentary. The Vision series is a really good read also.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
I haven’t exactly checked, but I’m almost positive it’s something by Kendrick Lamar. He’s one of my favorite artists at the moment. “Untitled #2” might be the song I’ve played the most.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
My favorite art is that which is most accessible. I find most of it out in the streets. I’ve grown up and currently live in Koreatown, right by the Downtown area, which is saturated with all kinds of street art. Some of it is violent, some of it is righteous, and some of it is right in between, but it’s fascinating to dwell on the stories behind each piece.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
Man, I don’t drink coffee, but if I could talk to Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN in Mexico I’d definitely buy us a cup or two. This is a tough question; Keith Haring would be a close second.

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P.S. ARTSMeet the Newest Faces of the P.S. ARTS team!

Meet Our Summer Interns!

on July 8, 2016 Comments Off on Meet Our Summer Interns!

IMG_3585

Vanessa Chung, Education & Media Intern (through the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program)

Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
Hello! I’m Vanessa and I am currently the Education and Media Intern at P.S. Arts. I started two days after I graduated from UCLA, where I majored in Art and minored in Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE).

What book is currently on your nightstand?
I recently finished reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and have been rereading Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan. I highly recommend both.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
My iTunes “Top 25 Most Played” playlist says I’ve listened to “(There Is) No Greater Love” by Amy Winehouse 58 times. I just played it while answering this question, so I guess it’s 59 times!

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
The Museum of Contemporary Art is quickly becoming a favorite; I think Helen Molesworth has been doing some great things for the Los Angeles art scene. I’ve really enjoyed what she did with both spaces for “The Art of Our Time” and “Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA.” MOCA’s public programs are also great to check out.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
I once had a dream that I became best friends with Drake. I can’t really say that I’m his number one fan, but I woke up from the dream feeling super happy and relaxed, so I’d like to see if I feel that way if I meet him for coffee.

“Every arts education program I have worked with or observed has brought something completely innovative to its community. I believe that exposure to art-making can benefit a student’s academic and personal affairs; these benefits are not exclusive to those who identify as artists and allow opportunities for a variety of students to learn lifelong skills for every facet of their lives. Personally, through the great artists and art educators in my life, I have gained the confidence to have my voice heard in unfamiliar spaces. I’ve often wondered how I fit into the world as an artist, an educator, a woman, and as a person of color. The arts in the various learning spaces I have been a part of has allowed me to fine-tune each of these parts of myself and hold my ground in challenging situations.”

Yuliza Parra, Program Intern (through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s (LACAC) Arts Internship Program)

Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
I am currently a student at the University of California, Merced and I am working on my Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, and I hope to someday go into education. I am the Program Intern at P.S. ARTS through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. I help the Events and Programs departments and make sure everything runs smoothly.

What book is currently on your nightstand?
The book that I am going to start soon is 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It’s a long read so I’m very excited to get invested into this story since it will take a longer time to finish.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
It hasn’t been one specific song, but an album. I’ve been listening to Beach House’s “Beach House.” It always puts me at ease during the summer and reminds me a lot of warm summer nights spent with my friends while growing up.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
North East Los Angeles, because that is where I was born and raised! The murals alongside liquor stores and the large loopy hills are the two things I always look forward to when coming home because they both seem to be hidden gems that many people overlook or don’t give much attention to. The murals have been there since I was a little girl and always make me feel safe, and the sunsets from the hills during the summer are by far some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
If I had the ability to have coffee with any person dead or alive I would have to choose Sandra Cisneros. She is an amazing author and one of the first people who I felt I was able to relate to. Her book, The House On Mango Street was the first one I read for my high school English class and since then I always felt a deep connection with the words printed on those sheets and gave me an idea as to what I hope to achieve in life. I feel like she and I would have an amazing conversation about our views on education and our experiences on being first generation students from similar upbringing.

“Arts Education is important to me because it allows kids to realize that they’re important in this world. Everyone needs a support system who loves and cares about them and sometimes that support system is a team of educators who helps these kids finish school and become whatever it is that they want to become. It is a way to allow kids to invest their time and have them feel heard when their voices are too soft. Many people underestimate the arts and assume that it is only for those who are skilled, but it is for everyone who needs to be heard. Too many kids fall into a cycle of violence or feel unimportant, and seek to fulfill that needed attention through people who are not there for their best interest. If we had more theater, visual art, dance, and music classes we’d have more kids on a stage being recognized by their community, rather than kids in the streets causing harm to themselves. It is more than just being able to recite Shakespeare or hold a violin correctly. It allows students to communicate effectively, increase literacy, understand their emotions, and become more well rounded individuals. Art should not be a privilege in public school, but a right due to the large impact it has on every community.”

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P.S. ARTSMeet Our Summer Interns!

#SuperStaff Feature: Global Inheritance

on June 1, 2016 Comments Off on #SuperStaff Feature: Global Inheritance

Our team works tirelessly to improve children’s lives through arts education, but they also volunteer their time and talents to furthering the missions of other amazing organizations. Follow our monthly #SuperStaff feature to learn more about the causes that our staff members give back to! While we’re sad that our time with Marketing & Communications Intern Danny Gonzalez has come to an end, we’re happy to share his volunteer experience at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival where he helped create space for arts and sustainability education with Global Inheritance.


By Marketing & Communications Intern Danny Gonzalez

As my first internship, I was a little nervous to tell the P.S. ARTS team that I was going to miss a day of work for a volunteer opportunity with another nonprofit that had invited me to the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Fortunately, P.S. ARTS encourages their team’s growth and involvement with outside organizations. My passion is ensuring that future generations are filled with brilliant artists and have a beautiful green planet to thrive on. So, when I found out that another nonprofit was using art as an innovative way to educate people about sustainability — I knew I had to get involved!

Global Inheritance is the sustainability partner of impactful events such as Coachella, Stagecoach, Beyond Wonderland, and UCLA’s JazzReggae Festival. At Coachella, they host a contest every year in which artists submit miniature recycling bins painted with unique design of their own artistic expression. Global Inheritance then chooses their favorites, requests a full-sized version, and gives the winners a free ticket to the festival! It’s a fun and engaging way of creating an intersection between sustainability and art that is accessible to a large population of young people. Another project Global Inheritance takes on is called “The Trashed Recycling Store” which trades bottles and cans found throughout the festival venue for great prizes including Ferris Wheel tickets, vintage Coachella T-shirts, and VIP upgrades! The store also has a great initiative that encourages festival-goers to trade-in 10 cans or bottles for an ice-cold water — in the 98-degree heat this can be a lifesaver! This year, Global Inheritance also installed large seesaws that visitors rode to generate enough energy to charge their phones; this gave participants a tangible understanding of the amount of effort required to power up a device they use daily.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.26.24 AM

I was proud to work with Global Inheritance because I they brought environmental education to a population that may not regularly be concerned with sustainability in a creative and accessible way. Not only did their efforts keep the venue clean, Global Inheritance provided a space for individuals to flex their creative minds and design beautiful works of art. Even with the blistering desert heat, rowdy crowds, and EDM overloads, I loved every minute of my time volunteering at Coachella!

To learn more about Global Inheritance, visit globalinheritance.org

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P.S. ARTS#SuperStaff Feature: Global Inheritance

Digital Inclusion & Automated Arts Advocacy

on April 15, 2016 Comments Off on Digital Inclusion & Automated Arts Advocacy

Communications Associate Jacob Campbell recently attended the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference, the nonprofit sector’s signature technology event hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network. Head to our blog for big-picture ideas around inclusion in both the tech and arts education spaces as well as some awesome (and free!) tools for becoming a more productive and connected arts advocate.


By Communication Associate Jacob Campbell

As a first-timer at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC), I was a bit overwhelmed. There were so many booths and breakout sessions to choose from, and I wished I could be in two places at once! I wanted to soak up as much as I could to share with our administrative staff, our faculty of Teaching Artists, and the broader network of arts advocates who support our cause. At such a tech-focused convening, I worried that there wouldn’t be too much crossover with our work at P.S. ARTS, but during the second plenary session, Martin Wolske from the Center for Digital Inclusion at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said something that really resonated with me:

“Technology alone doesn’t create digital inclusion just as paint alone doesn’t create a piece of art.” [TWEET]

Wolske and the rest of the morning’s speakers highlighted the idea that organizations need to shift the culture of thinking from simply providing access to resources, to embedding our services as tools for change and being flexible to meet the needs of the communities we serve. In that paradigm, adoption and participation — in technology, in the arts, in education, and so on — become the true metrics of success.

This sentiment also reminded me of former Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Rachel Goslins’ recent TED Talk, “The Arts Are Not a Flower,” in which she positions the arts as a tool (a wrench) that can be used to address some of the most pressing issues facing our nation’s public education system.

 

It’s not enough for us to give our communities a box of proverbial puzzle pieces; we need to support them in connecting the dots and filling in the gaps to reveal the bigger picture and our larger goals.


What’s clear is that new technology and the arts are both tools that, when implemented thoughtfully, can make a lasting impact on communities. Equally as clear is our need as service providers to focus not only on quality and delivery, but also adoption and integration. This is quite a feat, and working towards this goal may seem daunting considering the many hats those of us in the nonprofit sector wear on a given day. Luckily, I walked away from 16NTC with a host of new communications, automation, and advocacy tools that I’m eager to test-drive and happy share with my fellow jugglers! We all want to streamline our day-to-day tasks in order to free up more time to focus on advancing the causes we care about most, and (hopefully) some of these tools will allow you to do just that. I’m not an expert (or a spokesperson), but I’d love to hear if any of these resources make an impact on your workflow!

Communication

Slack
Looking for a better way to easily message to your entire team? Do you manage various groups such as volunteers, Teaching Artists, and Curriculum Specialists? Slack is a great way to “Be Less Busy” and create separate messaging channels for each of your teams.

Calendly
Tired of playing email tag when trying to set up a meeting or phone call? Wouldn’t it be great if people could look at your availability and schedule a meeting with you accordingly? Now they can with Calendly! Pro tip: add a “Schedule a Meeting With Me” link to your email signature.

Automation

IFTTT (If This, Then That)
Ever feel like you’re repeating work in multiple places? Are you switching between social media platforms, Google Docs, email builders, and your organization’s database? If you’re interested in “Recipes” that trigger actions between various platforms, IFTTT will rock your world. If you want to get super fancy, try this recipe — IF we receive an online donation, THEN play our celebratory Spotify playlist!

Zapier
If IFTTT isn’t powerful enough for your workload or lacks a key integration you need to make your life easier, check out Zapier. Zapier connects the apps you use most — you can even create multi-step actions!

Advocacy

Thunderclap
There is strength in numbers. What if you could schedule a moment for your online followers to post about the same thing at the same time? If you’re trying to get someone’s attention or spread the word about an important issue, Thunderclap may be the tool for you.

M+R Toolshed
Looking for tips and tricks to improve your performance on social media? Trying to find the best influencers for your next online campaign? Not sure how to create an action plan from all your online data? M+R has you covered!


A big thank you to the Nonprofit Technology Network for hosting 16NTC. I’m looking forward to next year’s convening in Washington, DC! Be sure to save the date for 17NTC: March 23-25, 2017. Learn more at www.nten.org/ntc

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P.S. ARTSDigital Inclusion & Automated Arts Advocacy

#SuperStaff Feature: Girls Leadership

on March 25, 2016 Comments Off on #SuperStaff Feature: Girls Leadership

Our team works tirelessly to improve children’s lives through arts education, but they also volunteer their time and talents to furthering the missions of other amazing organizations. Follow our monthly #SuperStaff feature to learn more about the causes that our staff members give back to! This March, check out Program Manager Sylvia Hathaway Chavez’s work with Girls Leadership.


By Program Manager Sylvia Hathaway Chavez

One of the great benefits of working at P.S. ARTS is the organization’s support of its employees’ artistic and professional development. So, while serving as a Program Manager in our South Bay region and with the Inside Out Community Arts Program, I’ve also been able to stay connected to a nonprofit organization that has been close to my heart for many years called Girl’s Leadership (GL). My work with GL allows me to keep my teaching skills sharp while working with a cause I care deeply about — support and education for women and girls.

The mission of GL is to “teach girls to know who they are, what they believe, and how to express it, empowering them to create change in their world.” The work is based on using social and emotional learning (SEL), theater games, and role play to teach young girls how personal leadership in their own lives can translate to leadership skills in the world. One of the GL programs I teach is the Parent and Daughter Workshop, where girls bring a parent to each workshop to help reinforce skills like asking for what they need, saying how they feel, and apologizing when they have done something wrong. In these workshops we role play how to have difficult conversations with our friends, using parents as “the other girl” in the conflict, so that the girls will be more prepared as conflicts arise in their daily lives.

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Growing up, I was a pretty shy kid. While I was able to transform into my confident self onstage in theater, music, and dance performances, I struggled to speak out or stand up for myself in my daily life. Now, as an educator with Girls Leadership, I see those same qualities I had as a kid in so many of my young students: girls who are afraid to use their voices, who are ashamed of their uniqueness, and who don’t see themselves as leaders in their own lives (let alone in the world around them). So, I’m honored to be able to deliver this curriculum, which includes lessons I believe are vital to any future leader’s success and that I regularly apply in my own personal and professional life today.

GL is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with satellite locations in New Jersey and Colorado. However, it’s an exciting time for the organization as they are currently expanding to Los Angeles County and Orange County. There are already upcoming Parent Daughter workshops in Burbank, Encino (taught by yours truly), and Newport Beach, with more on the way. If you’re interested in learning more about workshops, summer camps, or to browse their many resources for parents of girls, check out their website at www.girlsleadership.org.

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P.S. ARTS#SuperStaff Feature: Girls Leadership

#SuperStaff Feature: NKLA

on February 29, 2016 Comments Off on #SuperStaff Feature: NKLA

Our team works tirelessly to improve children’s lives through arts education, but they also volunteer their time and talents to furthering the missions of other amazing organizations. Follow our monthly #SuperStaff feature to learn more about the causes that our staff members give back to! This February, check out Programs Associate Amy Knutson’s work with NKLA.


By Programs Associate Amy Knutson

Part of my role as Programs Associate at P.S. ARTS is coordinating our in-class and community event volunteers (Shout out to our volunteer team! We’re so thankful for you!). This past year, in researching best practices for volunteer programs, I stumbled upon No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) and was immediately drawn to their mission of establishing Los Angeles as a no-kill city for pets. NKLA is an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society in partnership with over 105 different LA animal rescue groups and organizations who are dedicated to bringing the number of animals killed in shelters to zero. Since launching NKLA in 2012, the number of pets being killed in LA city shelters has decreased by 56%, which is astounding. Once I started learning more about their initiative and volunteer program, I knew I had to get involved.

 

I’ve been really inspired by how NKLA relies on volunteers not only to be advocates for their mission, but also to help out with their daily operations. The shelter is composed of up to 100 different cats and dogs rescued by a number of different organizations who rotate their animals into NKLA’s center in hopes of them being adopted quickly. As a volunteer with NKLA, I work at the Adoption Center in West Los Angeles doing anything from playing with (or as their staff say “socializing with”) dogs and cats, folding clean laundry, washing toys and Kongs, or answering guests’ questions about the adoption process during open hours. Knowing that the time I spend working with these animals is helping them get adopted into a new home, and that — as a volunteer — I am actually contributing in a tangible way, has been such a powerful realization. I love NKLA and their work, and I strongly encourage you to check them out!

Meet one of my favorite new furry friends, Sir Charlie!

 

Learn more about No-Kill LA at nkla.org

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P.S. ARTS#SuperStaff Feature: NKLA

#SuperStaff Feature: Young Creatives Society

on January 29, 2016 Comments Off on #SuperStaff Feature: Young Creatives Society

This year, we’re launching a monthly #SuperStaff feature. Our team works tirelessly to improve children’s lives through arts education, but they also volunteer their time and talents to furthering the missions of other amazing organizations. This January, check out Communications Associate Jacob Campbell’s work with the Young Creatives Society, a new initiative of Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc.


By Communications Associate Jacob Campbell

P.S. ARTS’ mission to improve the lives of children through arts education is near and dear to my heart, and (as I’m sure many nonprofit professionals will agree) having a deep connection with your organization’s mission is what pushes you through challenges and amplifies successes. Equally as important (and often harder to find) is balance; taking time to connect personally with people and causes outside of your day-to-day work helps paint a broader picture of your role in creating positive change.

I live in Long Beach, and my commute to and from Venice often makes it hard to feel connected to my own community. Recently, I came across an event on social media hosted by the Young Creatives Society, and it seemed like exactly what I was looking for — part networking, part creative community building.

I walked into the Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc. (ASD) headquarters (right across the street from my college apartment — who knew!) and was immediately greeted with smiling faces, a cheese platter, and red wine. These are my people.

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I began introducing myself to the artsy folks in the room, and I quickly learned a lot about ASD from Founder and CEO Helen Dolas. For nearly 30 years, ASD has been providing lifelong learning, community service, and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people of all ages with disabilities. Their core value of inclusion and their motto Love Before Learning really resonated with me and set the stage for an engaging evening of conversation while painting and playing REMO drums.

Later, I spoke with ASD Director of Development Megan Hanks who told me the Young Creatives Society was created to “work towards organizational sustainability by building a core volunteer base” and that her team “recognized the potential of young supporters and wanted to offer them a new way to connect with like-minded peers, collaborate, and give back to the community.”

I’m a firm believer (with a fair amount of social anxiety) that the easiest way to make connections with people is through the creative process. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but learning a group dance, drumming in a circle, or even just sharing a tray of paint is a great way to break the ice! I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this new initiative, and I’m looking forward to getting more involved with the Young Creatives Society.

Interested in joining the Young Creatives Society? Follow them for updates on their next event!

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P.S. ARTS#SuperStaff Feature: Young Creatives Society