Meet Our Newest Additions to the Staff!

on January 18, 2018 Comments Off on Meet Our Newest Additions to the Staff!

Gaby PalmadessaBriefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.

My name is Gaby Palmadessa and I am the Advancement Assistant here at P.S. ARTS. I work with both Development and External Affairs to help out wherever needed. I recently graduated from UCLA with a BA in Art History and a minor in Study of Religion. Prior to transferring into UCLA, I received an AA in Art. Most of my experience revolved around museum work, but after serving as a K-12 Docent at the Getty Center I shifted gears a bit towards art education which led me to P.S. ARTS!

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I just recently checked out Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day by Jennifer lacovelli, seems like it will be an inspiring little read!

What is currently the most played song on your iPod/Spotify/Apple Music account?

I tend to listen to NPR when in my car; however, my Spotify playlist is a confusing variety of music.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?

LACMA and the Hammer Museum will always have a piece of my heart when it comes to viewing art.

Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet for coffee?

That is a tough question! I think it would be amazing to meet with Kevin Beasley, I love listening to him speak about his art processes as well as experiencing it.


Ratri LertluksamipunBriefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.

Hello! I’m Ratri Lertluksamipun, the Associate Director of Event & Corporate Fundraising. My role is to raise funds and awareness about P.S. ARTS’ vital programs. Whether it is sponsoring an installation at our heavily-attended Express Yourself event or trying your hand at creating art through various mediums at the pARTy, your support progresses access to high-quality arts education.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

A stack of half-read magazines is taking up a lot of my nightstand real estate, mostly The New Yorker. I’m finishing Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil Degrasse Tyson and feeling more infinitesimal than my 5’1″ frame.

What is currently the most played song on your Spotify/Pandora/Apple Music account?

My most played on Spotify is Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” and it is always accompanied by my singing along, off-key, alone in traffic.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?

I was born and raised in L.A. but spent most of my adult life in sunny San Diego. Rediscovering L.A. has been a rich and invigorating art and culture experience. My favorite way to take part in art–avoiding traffic–is following multiple L.A.-based museums and artists on Instagram, viewing their Insta-Stories and posts about upcoming events. Thanks to occasional work perks, I’ve had the opportunity to see a few shows at the Geffen Playhouse and found a new appreciation for theatre.

Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet for coffee?

Alexa Chung is my idol. Her impeccable comedic timing and out-of-the-box interview skills shine well beyond her unique fashion sense. We’d laugh and laugh together.


Stephanie McGrathBriefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.

Hi! I’m Stephanie McGrath, the Associate Director of Communications. I am working on increasing awareness of our organization on a local and national level and increasing the visibility of the amazing work everyone at P.S. ARTS is doing to make sure all children have access to high-quality arts education.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

So many books! I recently finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and am now reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Joining book clubs is one of my hobbies.

What is currently the most played song on your iPod/Spotify/Apple Music account?

Podcasts. I have a longer commute, and I spend the bulk of that time listening to podcasts or catching up with my family back in Chicago. The full list is way too long for this post, but my current rotation is: The Daily, Vox’s The Weeds, Reply All, Planet Money, How I Built This, Song Exploder, and Call Your Girlfriend.

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?

I moved to L.A. three years ago, so I feel like I’m still catching up on checking out all the great spots. I’ve been to the Hammer Museum many times and love their programming, but I visited the Getty Center on my first trip to L.A., so that still holds a special place in my heart.

Which famous person, dead or alive, would you like to meet for coffee?

I would be interested in chatting with photographer Diane Arbus. But I’m not sure about meeting for coffee; she was known for her long phone conversations, so I would settle for a phone call where we could talk about anything and everything.

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P.S. ARTSMeet Our Newest Additions to the Staff!

25,000 Reasons to be Thankful

on November 23, 2017 Comments Off on 25,000 Reasons to be Thankful

by Dr. Kristen Paglia

I am thankful for my job. I am happy to say that I feel that way all year, but for the last 10 years at P.S. ARTS I have also enjoyed the specific luxury at Thanksgiving time of sorting through all the different kinds of thankful I get to feel doing this work. Sometimes my gratitude is aimed at being able to make a living at something I care about. Often, I am grateful for the staff, trustees, supporters, and other incredible people I learn from every day. Of course, I am especially grateful for the times I get to be immersed in the joy, curiosity, and artistry of the more than 25,000 children P.S. ARTS serves.

These moments occur when all the moments of everyday gratitude converge at once and I am filled with the kind of optimism and energy that compels me to – just as P.S. ARTS programs encourage children to – dream bigger, work harder, and take better care of this earth and its people.

Like I said, I am thankful in some way for my job all year round, but a few weeks ago when NBC Give and actor Aldis Hodge visited P.S. ARTS’ program at Martin Luther King Elementary in Compton, I got to have what I call a “moment of true wellbeing.” These moments occur when all the moments of everyday gratitude converge at once and I am filled with the kind of optimism and energy that compels me to – just as P.S. ARTS programs encourage children to – dream bigger, work harder, and take better care of this earth and its people.

The day of the shoot, I got to see dozens of third graders throw themselves into a science lesson with total abandon through dance! Watching them barely able to contain their excitement and creativity as they enacted the “bee dance” and explored national science standards with our nonprofit partner, P.S. Science, was beyond gratifying. The children got to spend time with the incredible Aldis Hodge, who could not have been a better role model for scholastic enthusiasm, artistic inspiration, humor, and kindness. I also loved that the students got to see just how many people it takes to film a TV show and get a window into the broad range of career opportunities that exist in the arts. Moreover, P.S. ARTS was presented with a $25,000 gift from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation so that we can continue to provide arts in underserved public schools! It was the kind of day that will get me through those, inevitable, not so easy days. For this, I am so thankful.

I hope you enjoy watching P.S. ARTS’ episode of NBC Give with Aldis Hodge, and that it gives you a moment of wellbeing on this Thanksgiving day, too.

This Giving Tuesday, November 28, consider supporting P.S. ARTS by donating through our Facebook page and unlock the matching gift provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. psarts.org/facebook
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P.S. ARTS25,000 Reasons to be Thankful

P.S. ARTS Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

on March 8, 2017 Comments Off on P.S. ARTS Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

Equity and excellence are among P.S. ARTS’ core values. I mention both today – a day celebrating social, economic, cultural, and political achievement for women – because excellence cannot exist without equity. In order to provide a high quality education and opportunities for college and career success for all children, we must activate the full range of our human resources, experiences, and gifts. P.S. ARTS honors and celebrates the presence of women, men, and the broad spectrum of human diversity in our service ranks, the arts, and education.

With this spirit in mind, and in honor of International Women’s Day, our staff and faculty recognize some of their favorite female artists and celebrate their achievements.

-Kristen Paglia, P.S. ARTS CEO


Name: Clarissa Hampton
Position: Events Coordinator
Favorite Female Artist: Andrea Bowers

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally? 
I had the privilege of hearing Andrea Bowers speak at my university a couple years ago, and I was so inspired by the passion that she exudes not only through her work, but in discussing her own inspirations and process.  She spoke about what being an “artivist” means to her, how that influences the subjects she chooses, and how it motivates her to keep working.  Her commitment to bringing to light the dark injustices that are often neglected by the mainstream media is admirable and her dedication to these subjects inspires me to always pursue truth and fight for what’s right in all that I do.


Name: Elda Pineda
Position: Deputy Director
(One) Favorite Female Artist: Lucille Ball

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally? 
As a former actress, I love Lucy because she was a trailblazer for all women in comedy. She was the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio, the first pregnant actress to be pregnant on camera and was 1/2 of the first interracial couple on TV. She was also 40 years old when she starred in “I Love Lucy”…40 years old! As a woman who is also in her forties, I appreciate her unwavering conviction that age is not a limitation, that she was in control of her destiny and that her “weirdness” was also her greatest asset. Her portrayal of a woman struggling against gender roles (albeit a humorous look) was quite subversive for the time. Professionally, she inspired me to think beyond the limitations I assume I have and to take charge of my own future.


Name: Gaby Hernandez
Position: Program Coordinator
Favorite Female Artist: Shirin Neshat

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally?
I admire Shirin Neshat for her feminist art that challenges stereotypes and fearlessly confronts issues of gender and identity. Her work, primarily film and photography, is informed by her experience as an Iranian born woman living in the United States. It is deeply personal and inextricable from politics, and yet significant for us all.


Name: Goreti da Silva
Position: Artist Leader, Inside Out Community Arts
Favorite Female Artist: Carol Burnett

THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, Carol Burnett, 1967-78

What about this female artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally?
She was the first comedic actress I saw on TV. Family time was spent watching The Carol Burnett Show and laughing out loud. I was inspired by the fact that she played female characters that weren’t beautiful; she made me want to do the same thing: make people laugh.


Name: Heather Lowe
Position: Teaching Artist
Favorite Female Artist: Helen Lundeberggm_323045ex1_d

What about this female artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally?
My work has been influenced by many great women artists including Bridget Riley, Berthe Morisot, Claire Falkenstein, and Mary Cassatt. I chose Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) because her mastery of California light can be matched by no one. Her compositions are always surprising and subtle. Her oeuvre is so broad, covering figurative art, conceptual art, surrealism, and abstract art. Lundeberg was a woman of both integrity and humility. She was also an art activist, completing the manifesto of the Post-Surrealist group in the 1930’s. Although she was sometimes overshadowed by her husband’s (Lorser Feitelson) reputation, she has recently received much more museum exposure.The Laguna Museum the first comprehensive exhibition of her work, which will be on display until May 2016. In an interview conducted by Jan Butterfield, Lundeberg said, “I want the painting, as a whole, to have a subjective entity. It has to have some magic for me. Sometimes it works for other people. I’m not interested in merely a fine, formal visual arrangement. I want something more to happen.”My own work goes through many transformations and her work has inspired me at every stage. Her use of color and beautiful formal structures are qualities I often refer to when I am working out a composition. Her point of view is always subjective, which is a rare quality in what is now termed “hard-edge” abstraction.


Name: Jen Leitch
Position: Advancement Director
Favorite Female Artist: Suzanne Lacy

suzanne_lacy

What about this female artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally?
Throughout her career, Suzanne Lacy has actively collaborated with other artists, the media, and the local communities in which she works to make productive commentary on social and political issues. Lacy is able to build community through her artistic process, and as a nonprofit practitioner, her commitment to relationships and collectivity is a good reminder of the power and impact we have when we work together.


Name: Lui Sanchez
Position: Program Director
(One) Favorite Female Artist: Ana Mendieta – Cuban American sculptor, painter, video and performance artist

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally? 
I’m inspired by her earth/body sculptures and how she focused on spiritual and physical connections with the Earth. I loved the simplicity of her being out in nature and creating works with mud, sand, grass, twigs, and leaves with the complexity of themes on feminism, violence, life, death, place, belonging, and the body. I appreciate her focused essence that art is you and you are the art: you don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on materials, and you don’t have to go out and make product for others to buy, outside of your self.


Name: Oscar Navarrete
Position: Program Assistant
Favorite Female Artist: Rigoberta Menchu

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally? 
Rigoberta Menchu has dedicated her life to becoming a human rights activist for the native people of Guatemala. She was the first woman of indigenous descent to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her beautiful poetry and her persistence in using her words and her voice despite persecution inspire me to embrace my own.


Name: Sylvia Hathaway Chavez
Position: Program Manager
Favorite Female Artist: Josephine Baker, Activist / Dancer / Singer / Actress / Spy

What about this artist’s work, life, and/or career inspire(s) you personally and professionally? 
Josephine Baker was a fearless artist who made decisions about her life and her art in a time when women, especially women of color, had little agency to do so. She was a jazz-age darling who spent most of her career living in Paris, as her home country of the United States was riddled with racists who violently protested a woman of color appearing onstage.

Aside from being a legendary performer and crossing genres and racial boundaries, she was also a life-long political and civil rights activist. During the Nazi occupation of France she volunteered with the Red Cross, and worked covertly for the French Resistance. When returning the the United States to tour in the 1950’s, she confronted racism head on by writing clauses into her contract that audiences must be racially mixed, effectively ending segregation in jazz night clubs. She also famously stood with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the March on Washington.

What inspires me so much about the life and work of Josephine Baker is her innate understanding that her privilege and responsibility as an artist was to shine a light on injustice and fight it through her art. And she never backed down from the good fight.

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P.S. ARTSP.S. ARTS Celebrates International Women’s Day 2017

#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.

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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