The Arts Commission fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County. The Commission provides leadership in cultural services for the County, including information and resources for the community, artists, educators, arts organizations and municipalities.
As Grants Associate and Grants Manager, I managed countywide grant programs of over 4 million dollars and spearheaded special initiatives serving the creative sector of Los Angeles. The grants programs support a diverse range of non-profit arts organizations throughout Los Angeles County through organizational support and structural trainings and seminars. The support provided by the Arts Commission allowed organizations to weather difficult financial times, to grow and expand when their audiences demanded it, and fostered a diverse cultural landscape across all of Los Angeles.
Freewaves creates public media art events that bring diverse audiences and independent media artists together in dialogue on current issues. Freewaves promotes innovative and people-centered cultural engagement through project-specific platforms – multiple, scalable, online, at established and nontraditional venues.
In 2011 I worked as project coordinator and researcher for Out The Window, a public media arts project showcasing art videos on Los Angeles city buses. In this role I was the lead ethnographic and policy researcher for an impact-analysis. My duties included conducting city-wide surveys, ethnographic research, and analysis to evaluate the impact of the project on commuters. I also coordinated public outreach, grant seeking and writing, review and selection of submitted videos, and managing of the online publicity campaign. I co-authored a successful grant application that funded the second phase of the project.I am shown in the photo above, right hand side, interviewing a rider on her impressions of the video art she has seen on her daily commute.
In the Coachella Valley a lack of affordable housing has led to more than 120 un-permitted mobile home parks serving as this community's primary means of low-income housing. These parks are in varying degrees of degradation, but all face poor access to sanitation, water, nutritious food, public transportation and electricity.
As Project Lead in February-April of 2011 I was responsible for Phase I of the St Anthony project. My role as project lead included grant writing, community organizing, leading and overseeing design workshops and design charrettes in Spanish, leading community workshops, and managing partnerships with local non-profits and community organizations. I co-authored a successful grant application for the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative that allowed for phase 2 to move forward.
In February 2011, I worked for KDI to conduct several community workshops at St. Anthony to understand the community's most pressing needs - residents identified three: improved access to affordable food, a central gathering space to facilitate community organization and education and a safe, climate-appropriate recreation area for youth.
In March and April, 2011 we held youth art and gardening days to engage residents and introduce the possibilities for a Productive Public Space. Throughout that year KDI worked with community members in a number of design charrettes to establish components for a Productive Public Space that would provide solutions for identified community needs.
Housing and Urban Development, Multifamily Housing 2010-2011
As a recipient of the 2010 Presidential Management Fellowship, I accepted a position as Project Manager for the Los Angeles field office in Multifamily Housing, specializing in homeless and low-income housing, transit-oriented development, residential solar power, and green retrofitting in the Los Angeles basin. I was a grant reviewer for the Office of Sustainable Communities’ Regional Planning Grant.
During my time with HUD I co-authored various publications and training materials on sustainable housing that were distributed to HUD offices nationwide. I also launched an ongoing lecture series for HUD staff about best practices in sustainable housing and LEED certification.
Bearing the Presidential moniker, the PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and has gone through many changes over the years. The Program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a more narrow focus - developing a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.
Co-authored a policy analysis report for Mediators Beyond Borders founder Ken Cloke on the structure of the international legal system and its respective bodies entitled Navigating a Fragmented System: Finding Mediation’s Place in International Environmental Dispute Resolution. The report evaluated the legal framework for resolving international environmental disputes through an analysis of dispute resolution provisions in multilateral environmental agreements and interviews with experts in the field of international environmental law.
In 2010 I became a certified Mediation through Mediators Beyond Borders, completing an intensive course taught by the illustrious Anna Spain Bradley. I had the opportunity to learn the foundations of effective mediation through the lens of someone with a life-long career in international law and conflict resolution. My mediation training is something I try to bring to each project and problem I am presented with.
Public Policy Researcher, Ethnographic Researcher
Los Angeles and Orange County, CA (2010)
Conducted ethnographic research for the UCLA Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. The interviews took place over three months in Orange County and examined views on immigration, white privilege, racism against Latinos, Latino immigrant incorporation and structural inequalities.
This project required me to go "under cover": my father is Mexican-American and my roots are Chicana. However, I do not look Chicana and I kept my heritage undercover as I was conducting these interviews, over twenty hours of them, and maintained a level of equilibrium and positive encouragement so that the interviews could be as honest as possible.
It also gave me a very real, and unsettling, insight into the nature of white rage, white privilege and racism in America. It also meant that I was truly concerned about Trump's presidential run long before election day came- because I knew first-hand how appealing his message was to many upper-class white republicans.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy, Applied Policy Project, Summer of 2009
As part of my UCLA Master's program in Public Policy, I spent three months as Women for Women's graduate student Public Policy Analyst. In this role I authored W4W’s annual report on Afghanistan; conducted research, analysis, and legislative tracking for Policy Analyst department; and wrote media briefs for meetings with U.S. officials, including Ambassador-at- Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.
Founded and managed a community-based art gallery in Buenos Aires. The gallery was featured in major Argentine newspapers such as Clarin and Pagina12, as well as in British Airways Magazine.