SoCal Grantmakers, the LA Arts Funders Group, the Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture invite you to a special convening on the state of arts education and opportunities for philanthropy. The past two decades have brought dramatic changes in public education, arts and culture, youth development, and the creative industries that drive our region’s economy. Yet unchanged are the many benefits of arts for youth—on education, social-emotional wellbeing, cultural identity, civic engagement, creative career pathways, and more.
Together, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Arts Ed Collective, we will unpack recent developments, uplift lessons learned from 20 years of progress, and home in on philanthropy’s role in ensuring all young people, especially those historically excluded, have access to the arts in schools, in communities, and across government systems, as a core part of their growth and development and as preparation for their future contributions to the vibrancy of our region.
CEO, Heart of Los Angeles
Originally working at HOLA from 1993 to 1995, Tony became a teacher, Athletics Director and had a career in the sports business before returning and becoming the Executive Director in 2006. Since then, Tony has led the sustainable growth of the organization’s operating budget from $2.3 million to more than $7 million annually, reaching 74% more underserved young people with high quality programs and wraparound supports. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards to include the 2012 LA Business Journal Leadership Award, Bank of America's Local Hero award and he was named to Town & Country's Top 50 Philanthropists list in 2015. In 2017, he was awarded statewide by the James Irvine Foundation for Leadership Innovation.
Tony holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University, an MS from the University of Tennessee, and was a Stanford University Fellow in the Business School's Social Innovation Program for Non-Profit Leaders. Since then, he served on an Advisory Board for Scripps College and was also President of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at the University of Tennessee. For his exemplary service, Tony has been named as a Distinguished Alumni by both Loyola Marymount University and the University of Tennessee. Tony served on the Leadership Council for L.A.'s Promise Zone and is an appointed Commissioner of the California Senate Rules Committee as one of twelve Commissioners working at the state level to provide information and advice to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Secretary for Education, and the State Board of Education regarding state and federal policy and funding issues affecting before and after school programs. Tony is dedicated to promoting legislative and administrative policies, both state and federal, that enhance the quality and accessibility of after-school programs in California as a CA3 Advocacy Steering Committee member and he is also the Advisory Board Chair for LA's very first after school Intermediary, Expand LA.
Executive Director, Angell Foundation
Angel Roberson Daniels is Executive Director of Angell Foundation. In her role, she guides the Foundation’s strategic direction and stewards thoughtful collaboration with external partners. Throughout her career, she has worked with foundations and community-based organizations to design and evaluate initiatives that produce positive outcomes for underserved and under-resourced communities. Prior to joining the Angell Foundation, Angel spent six years at First 5 LA where she lead organizational strategic planning efforts and was instrumental in the allocation of over $800 million in investments designed to benefit young children and their families. As an evaluator with the UCLA Technical Assistance Group, she facilitated assessment and planning efforts for local public health agencies and worked on issues stemming from the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS to tobacco control. Angel has a profound commitment to community service and supporting the personal and professional development of transformational leaders. She serves on the Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, Boston Opportunity Agenda, the African American Board Leadership Institute and LeadersUp. She also chairs the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective and is a facilitator for the Southern California Grantmakers’ Emerging Leaders Program.
Division Director, Arts Education and Youth Development, LA County Department of Arts and Culture
Denise Grande works alongside local, state, and national colleagues to create systemic change through arts-based youth development. In directing the Arts Ed Collective, she helps lead a coalition that includes over 100 arts organizations and 74 school districts. Previously, Denise was Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships for the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center. There, she oversaw arts education programs that impacted over 250 schools across seven states. During her 20 years at The Music Center, she played a leadership role in arts education program design, implementation, research, and evaluation. Denise received her BA from UCLA in dance and was a Coro Fellow through the California Arts Council’s Arts Leadership Fellow Program.
Executive Director, Arts for Healing and Justice Network
Elida is a Southern California native, she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications and Spanish from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s of Public Health, with a concentration in Community Health Sciences, from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Prior to working with the Arts for Healing and Justice Network she worked as a research assistant for the UCLA Department of Medicine on the RISE project, which examined adolescent risky behavior. Currently, Elida serves as the Executive Director of the Arts for Healing and Justice Network overseeing program evaluations, the creation of a shared theory of practice, on-going trainings for members and county agencies, in addition to managing daily operations. Elida was also selected as a 2016-2017 Arts for LA Activate fellow, completing the Arts Education track. Her passion lies in helping and advocating for underrepresented and vulnerable populations.
Program Director, Performing Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Emiko Ono is the Director of the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Since 2018, she has led the foundation’s team responsible for grantmaking to sustain artistic expression and encourage public engagement in the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Emiko joined the Hewlett Foundation in 2011. Previously, she served as the director of grants and professional development at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Arts Council for Long Beach, where she held the same title. She also managed docent and education programs, and helped establish a multi-disciplinary arts partnership program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
In addition to her knowledge of the Bay Area arts community, she is recognized for the her work on cross-generational leadership in the arts, described in a 2016 report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward. As a member of the foundation’s Building an Inclusive Culture working group, she helped lead an internal review of the foundation’s approach to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
She currently serves on the advisory council for Fund the People, which works to ensure funders invest in a well-supported, diverse, and sustainable nonprofit workforce. Emiko holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Director, LA County Department of Arts and Culture
Kristin McDonald Sakoda Esq. is Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, a local arts agency with a mission of advancing arts, culture, and creativity throughout the largest county in the U.S. The Department of Arts and Culture provides grants and technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations; runs the largest arts internship program in the nation; coordinates countywide public-private arts education initiatives; increases access to creative career pathways; commissions civic artwork; supports free community programs; implements the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative; and advances cross-sector cultural strategies to address civic issues. Appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Ms. Sakoda previously served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and led the organization during its historic transition into the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.
Ms. Sakoda is an arts executive, attorney, and performing artist with over 25 years in the field. She has appeared as a speaker around the world and performed on national and international stages including with dance and social justice company Urban Bush Women and in musicals Rent and Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Prior to her work at the Department, she previously served in leadership roles at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs overseeing a portfolio of strategic, programmatic, policy, legislative, and funding programs with a $200m annual budget, and was instrumental in advancing diversity and inclusion; public art; creative aging; cultural facilities and affordable workspace for artists. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law with honors in Entertainment Law and B.A. from Stanford University with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity and a secondary major in Feminist Studies. She is a Board member of Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of public and private arts funders in the U.S.