Conversations on Patronage: Re-Imagining the Community through the Arts

Presented by Destination Crenshaw

14 Feb 2020
12:00pm - 1:00pm
The Sherry Lansing Theater at Paramount Pictures Studio
5555 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

This panel will discuss how government, philanthropy and the art world are coming together to re-imagine a community from within by supporting the community’s vision. Destination Crenshaw is a 1.3-mile unapologetically Black outdoor people's museum.  It will flank the street-level portion of the Crenshaw/LAX train line currently under construction.  Destination Crenshaw was conceived by the largest Black community in the West Coast as a counterbalancing force against gentrification, particularly the cultural erasure that often comes with it. The museum takes form as 10 pocket parks, 822+ new trees, 30,000 square feet of new greenscaping, and public art works and exhibitions, and miles of culturally-stamped infrastructure.  Destination Crenshaw breaks ground on February 29, 2020.

Miki Woodard is the Head of Good Robot at Bad Robot Productions. In this role, she oversees employee engagement, corporate culture and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Additionally, Miki serves as the Senior Advisor to the Katie McGrath and JJ Abrams Family Foundation. Miki brings expertise in corporate citizenship, advocacy & messaging, entertainment strategy, employee engagement and digital marketing. She is a leader who utilizes an extensive network of relationships in entertainment, government, and the nonprofit sectors to develop creative campaigns for high-profile individuals and Fortune 500 corporations connecting them to the issues they support.  

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is a member of the LA City Council where he represents District 8. Harris-Dawson was born and raised in South Los Angeles and is a lifelong community organizer. He is spearheading Destination Crenshaw, an open-air museum that will engrave the heart and soul of South LA onto one of the most iconic streets in this city, this state and this country. The museum is being built hand-in-hand with community advocates, artists, and the next generation to create a vibrant public space that will proudly display the significant contributions of Black Los Angeles.

Joy Simmons is an avid African American art collector and advocate, who has deeply influenced the cultural landscape, especially in her hometown of Los Angeles. An abiding commitment to community service and cultivating new artists and their work, has guided her leadership cultural organizations throughout the City, including service as Chair of the Santa Monica
Museum of Art, LA><ART, Friends of the California African American Museum, Venice Arts, and The Mistake Room.  She is also an active supporter of her alma mater, Stanford University, and was a founding member of the Stanford Black Alumni of Southern California, and former member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Lifelong Angeleno and a proud graduate of Crenshaw High School, Simmons’ work with Destination Crenshaw brings together her love for culture and community.

Larry Earl is a Leimert Park resident and owner of 1619 Exhibits, a dynamic arts firm that specializes in designing distinct exhibitions, providing expert archival solutions, producing engaging public programming, and activating public spaces with vibrant civic art installations. He also serves as Sr. Curator for The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection. With well over two decades of experience in museums and the field of cultural arts, Earl has been associated with some of our nation’s preeminent cultural institutions. Prior to founding 1619 Exhibits, Earl served as Executive Director of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum located in Culver City, CA and was the Founding Executive Director of the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC). Earl also worked as: Manager of Planning & Administration for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Director of Education & Public Programs at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan; Associate Director of Reinterpretation at Historic Valley in Tarrytown, New York; and served on the Westchester County African American Advisory Board.

Marsha Bonner joined the Annenberg Foundation in September 2015 and has over 39 years of grantmaking experience. At the Annenberg Foundation, she is responsible for oversight of Programs, Grants Administration, the Alchemy program - a capacity building and training initiative, and the new impact investing and PRI program. Her professional experience includes executive positions at some of the nation’s top foundations. She served as the Director of Grantmaking and Evaluation at the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle, WA; Vice President for Programs at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, CA; Associate Director and Program Officer at the Aaron Diamond Foundation in New York City; and Executive Director of the North Star Fund in New York City. Her organizing experience includes high school activism in Augusta, GA; college organizing at Princeton University in divestment and anti-apartheid campaigns; anti-apartheid bank loan campaigns in New York City with the Committee to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa and for the American Committee on Africa; and community organizing in Harlem, NY, with the Black New York Action Committee. In addition, she has been a philanthropic activist for almost 40 years, believing firmly in the importance of supporting communities and movements with financial support and technical assistance. A graduate of Princeton University, she has served on the board or as a member of more than 20 philanthropic organizations representing a wide range of needs in the community, from legal defense and social justice to AIDS funds, art councils and more. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Southern California Grantmakers and a member of the Board of Directors for Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation in San Rafael, CA. 

Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis for this event.