Week of the Young Child!

Allison Schaub, Advancement Assistant


Since the early 1970s, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has held an annual celebration called Week of the Young Child (WOYC). During this designated week in April, individuals, communities and organizations across the nation join together to assess how we can better meet the needs of our youngest learners (birth – age 8) and their families. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the programs and services that are working to meet these needs.

With that said, Happy WOYC! With each week feeling busier than the next, I decided this was an opportune time to stop for a few moments each day during WOYC and reflect on everything that was happening around the P.S. ARTS office. Here are just a few of my observations…

10:00 AM, Saturday April 11, 2015
Inclusive Arts Day

Students and their families are invited to take part in P.S. ARTS’ Inclusive Arts Day at Grand View Blvd. Elementary School for an afternoon of creativity and fun. With help from adaptive art supplies, students of all abilities could enjoy each activity. This provided a wonderful opportunity for the community to see how an inclusive arts education can help meet the diverse needs of our students.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 1.42.17 PM

For more event pictures, please visit our Flickr album!

2:00 PM, Monday April 13, 2015
Things Get Messy

P.S. ARTS staff happily (yes, happily!) moves our cars from the parking lot in order to create space for an afternoon of painting prep for scenery flats used by the Inside Out Community Art theater program. While street parking in Venice may not be easy, it was well worth it and we can’t wait to see how the primed flats will be transformed for the students’ performances.

9:00 AM, Tuesday April 14, 2015

Held at City Hall, Arts Day LA provides the opportunity for Angelenos to come together to celebrate the arts and culture in our city, and to share with elected officials why the arts matter. Programs Associate, Amy Knutson and Communications Associate, Jacob Campbell attended in support of arts education. Can you spot them? (next to Aloe Blacc!)

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 1.37.19 PM

11:00 AM, Tuesday April 14, 2015
Working It Out From the Inside Out

It was decided one day at a staff meeting that we would learn the Inside Out song all together. Today was the day and there was no better teacher than Artist Leader Rolando Zee, who created dance choreography last year to help remember the lyrics. With Rolando’s enthusiasm, excellent instruction and a little patience, we had a BLAST learning the song. Here’s the proof:

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 1.38.53 PM

4:00 PM, Tuesday April 14, 2015
Family Art Night x2!

Juan de Anza Elementary and Beethoven St. Elementary host Family Art Nights this evening. As of March, we have served 4,300 students and families through our Family Art Nights and other community engagement activities. Check out our Eventbrite page for a list of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.


12:00 PM, Wednesday April 15, 2015
Confluence 2015

Chief Program Officer, Elda Pineda is in Sacramento for Confluence 2015, a statewide convening for arts education. We’re thrilled and filled with pride that Elda is representing P.S. ARTS at the state capitol, and look forward to hearing what she learned from other movers and shakers in California’s arts community.


Elda (third from the right) pictured here with Sofia Klatzker (Arts for LA), Lula Washington (Lula Washington Dance Theater) and Annabel Snider (Legislative Director for Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez)

Our schedules may be jam-packed, but our students make the busy days so worth it! During WOYC, we want to recognize our 20,000 young learners who continue to inspire and energize us each and every day.

For more information of Week of the Young Child, click HERE!

Spotlight on the 2015 LA Modernism Design Committee!

Chelsea Martell, Events Manager


P.S. ARTS’ annual spring fundraiser LA Modernism Opening Night is an exciting event for our organization to showcase how the arts can become a fulfilling and profitable career path. It is an opportunity for our supporters to experience innovation and creativity, while raising money for our nationally recognized arts education programs.

We are so grateful for the support and involvement of our Design Committee, who serve as ambassadors for our mission to improve children’s lives through arts education.  They are firm believers that every child should have the chance to experience art, regardless of circumstance.  As a thank you, we wanted to include a special feature about the designers who are a part of this year’s show, as well as share why arts education is so important to them!

Barondes MorrisElizabeth Barondes and Kelly Morris of Barondes Morris Design
The Barondes Morris Design team creates inviting interiors in a distinctive range of styles. Influenced by Elizabeth’s interest in contemporary architecture and Kelly’s passion for European antiquities, the firm’s unique approach fuses a variety of inspirations to achieve timeless, sophisticated spaces with unexpected twists.

“We feel exposure to the arts is a vital part of any well-rounded curriculum encouraging experimentation, imagination, and self-expression. It is an honor for us to support P.S. ARTS’ mission to improve the lives of children in underserved communities by providing arts education year after year.”

KristenBuckinghamKristen Buckingham
Kristen Buckingham is a Los Angeles based designer that brings a distinctly fresh take to designing interiors, putting tasteful personality back into the home.  Her showroom, KB located in the La Cienega Design Quarter,  is a curated mix of antique and vintage furniture and accessories, textiles, custom lighting, art and Kristen’s own line, KB Bespoke.

“I think the arts are one of the most important subject fields for young people.  Whether it be drama, dance, music, or visual arts, I think that it is important for young people to know different ways of expressing themselves creatively and emotionally.”

burnhamBetsy Burnham of Burnham Design
Betsy Burnham and Max Humphrey of Burnham Design marry the classic with the unexpected in fresh compositions of texture, color, pattern and wit to create distinguished interiors that simultaneously showcase the design firm’s clear aesthetic vision and their client’s own personal taste.  Bringing a traditional east coast pedigree, a savvy eye for color and an adventurous sense of style, Burnham Design curates interiors that are sophisticated, livable, timeless, and always personalized to their clients and their lives. They’ve become known for a style that’s a little bit country club, and a little bit rock & roll.

“Art is an essential part of a well-rounded education.  When you engage kids creatively, you spark new ways for them to look at the world around them.  Art not only enriches their lives but also encourages freedom of expression and individuality.  P.S. ARTS brings art to kids who would not have had this opportunity, which is simply invaluable.”

Jamie BushJamie Bush of Jamie Bush & Co.
Widely admired for his relevant and keen understanding of architecture and design, Jamie approaches each new commission with a discerning and insightful point of view. Growing up in a family of renowned designers, photographers, and artists in New York propelled him to study architecture and design in New Orleans and in Italy.  After receiving his Masters in Architecture from Tulane University, Jamie headed west to practice architecture in Los Angeles and founded his own interior design firm in 2002.

He is recognized for his ability to mix period and contemporary furnishings with a fresh and discriminating eye.  Layering rich colors and textures with exotic and organic elements transforms each of his spaces into an inviting, modern, and unexpected environment.  Jamie’s highly regarded designs have been featured in over 40 publications worldwide including Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Casa Vogue, Dwell, Los Angeles Times, as well as several coffee table books.

“The arts in early education are VITALLY important, more now than ever.  I can’t imagine going to school today without the opportunity to get lost and ‘make things’ in art class. Young artistic minds require a nurturing, creative outlet; we have to support P.S. ARTS for making arts education their number one priority in Los Angeles.”

Melanie-Charlton-200x300Melanie Charlton of Clos-ette
CEO and Creative Director Melanie Charlton is considered the founding mother of high-end custom closets.  Since launching Clos-ette almost 14 years ago, she has worked with over 500 clients worldwide to design, build, and organize the most beautiful bespoke closets around.  To her, closets and their accessories aren’t just a place to park your wardrobe.  They’re her life’s work.

“The simplest answer for me is: art is good for you.  It is good for transforming individuals, communities, and economies.  Every person we encounter, every day, whether family or stranger, has a story worth sharing and those expressions in paint or words or music are our legacy. I support P.S. ARTS because their organization helps ensure our heritage is rich in voice.”

Elizabeth DinkelElizabeth Dinkel of Elizabeth Dinkel Design Associates
Elizabeth Dinkel is recognized by House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Interiors, Veranda and California Homes as one of America’s leading interior designers. Her classic signature style is described as timeless yet modern and unexpected.  With her creative use of color and her eclectic mix of new and old, she has risen to the top of her field. Established in 2001, Elizabeth Dinkel Design Associates is a full service design firm specializing in high end-residential projects.  Elizabeth’s clients value her attention to detail, her enthusiastic energy and her deep understanding of their lifestyle and needs.

“I’ve always been a big proponent of supporting the arts.  To me, the arts are the truest expression of the self.  I love that P.S. ARTS encourages and nurtures this exploration.”

PeterDunhamPeter Dunham of Peter Dunham Textiles
Celebrating its 15th year in Los Angeles, Peter Dunham’s projects and products have been recognized in numerous publications. Peter’s style was described by the LA Times as “Merchant Ivory Moderne” and by the Wall Street journal as “Restraint with a kick”.  Combining an eclectic European sensibility and American sense of style and comfort, Peter and his team are known for creating welcoming interiors in both traditional and modernist projects.

Hollywood at Home, Peter’s showroom has just moved to a new 4500 SF location in the heart of the La Cienega Design Quarter.  It offers an eclectic mix of Peter’s furniture collection and textiles, along with lighting, bedding, accessories, hand printed textiles, cushions, artworks, and  a fast-moving selection of  vintage items collected on his many travels.

Peter Dunham Textiles has just added a collection of performance prints to complement its collection of linen prints.

“No one disputes the roles that art plays in pushing us forward as a civilization. What is perhaps forgotten is the formative effect of arts education on countless generations of students. Students are well-rounded, productive, creative, and intelligent humans beings as a result of exposure to an arts education.”

Annette-Headshot 09.10.09Annette English of Annette English and Associates
Annette English is celebrated for the bold, original and immaculately appointed residential and commercial interiors she creates for discerning clientele.  Annette’s firm, Annette English and Associates, has enjoyed a sterling 18+ year reputation as the go-to design house for the business world and Hollywood elite. Known for creating elegant, comfortable designs that expertly channel her clients’ desires, Annette’s achievements can be seen in a variety of homes and businesses from those of film and music stars to high-ranking CEOs to political and cultural leaders—all of whom luxuriate in Annette’s innate ability to manage every aspect of even intensely complex projects.

“Arts education is a vital part of a well-rounded education.  No child should be denied the joy that comes from expressing themselves through art.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance and support I received in school and I wouldn’t want any child to go without that experience. That is why I support P.S. ARTS  and all of the great work they do. “

LeuraFineLeura Fine, CEO of Laurel & Wolf
Leura Fine is a professional interior designer turned entrepreneur. After working as the senior designer for one of the world’s top interior design firms (Architectural Digest Top 100, International Interior Designer of the Year, and as seen on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators”), Leura launched her own interior design business, Leura Fine Interiors (also featured on HGTV). Frustrated by the archaic business model of the interior design world, Leura decided it was time to democratize the industry by establishing a better way for clients and designers to get connected and work together.

Laurel & Wolf was born from this idea and makes interior design easy and affordable to all. Through a marketplace platform, Laurel and Wolf offers customers designs for their space from professional interior designers for a flat fee. Leura believes in the power of great design and how it can transform the way you work, live, and love.

“I learned from my art teachers that there was no such thing as a mistake; only the opportunity to create something new and unique out of something that may not have been originally planned. As an entrepreneur and CEO, the skills I developed in the arts classroom are what guide me everyday in leading my team, developing creative new strategies, speaking publicly or presenting to potential partners, and having the dedication and strength to persevere through the rough times. I firmly believe that arts education is the foundation for success in all career paths.”

OLIVER-M-FURTH-PORTRAIT-high-res-1-191x300Oliver M. Furth
Native Los Angeleno and fourth generation Californian, Interior Designer Oliver M. Furth is a fixture in his city’s design and cultural communities.  In addition to his design practice, Furth consults for The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and is the Chair of their Decorative Arts and Design Council.  Furth’s design projects and philanthropic work for the design community have received accolades from across his field, including in The Wall Street Journal, Elle Décor, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and C Magazine.

“Art is what pushes society forward.  What better place to start pushing than with the youth in our community?”

TripHaenischTrip Haenisch of Trip Haenisch & Associates
Possessing an extraordinary eye for detail and unwavering commitment to style, Trip Haenisch is an award-winning interior designer.  Renowned for combining refined creativity with the unexpected, Trip’s signature design aesthetic consists of sophisticated, collected spaces with a laid-back twist that embodies quintessential California living.

“I believe everything begins with education. Arts education is especially important because it gives people an outlet for creativity, self-expression, and communication.  The arts have become greatly undervalued in recent years, so it’s really important that we support this area of study.”

JulietteHeadShotJuliette Hohnen
One of the top brokers in LA and a top 10 agent at Hilton and Hyland, Juliette Hohnen has parlayed her relationships internationally, on both coasts and in the entertainment business into an unstoppable and unique real estate selling machine. Whether you want to sell or buy, Juliette has the ability to create new and interesting ways of marketing properties throughout the Southland.

“Education is everything. My mother was a teacher and  I’m a trained Montessori teacher. Not everyone has the option to go to private school or vocational school so we need to make sure our public schools have the arts. Children learn better if they have a creative outlet!”

IMG_6100Carey Hotchkis & Tara Kuhnert of Be A Tall Poppy
Owner, Carey Hotchkis has been a westside Floral Designer to the stars for the past 12 years. Carey’s Floral Designs have been featured in many Magazines, including InStyle & Architectural Digest, and have graced the tables of events as exclusive as the Oscar after parties & the Los Angeles Modernism Show.

In support of the Downtown LA Renaissance, Carey has opened a new space for her Floral Design Studio, Be A Tall Poppy and Art Gallery, the Hotchkis Kuhnert Gallery, with her partner, Tara Kuhnert, in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. The Hotchkis Kuhnert Gallery is a legacy, established in 1963 as Kuhnert’s Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. The owners’ daughter, Tara Kuhnert along with her partner, Carey Hotchkis will carry on the family tradition in DTLA.

The meaning behind the name Be A Tall Poppy: be your best you –  empowerment through art + style.

“The arts represent the foundation for our society and by providing arts education, P.S. ARTS plays a vital role in turning today’s children into tomorrow’s leaders.”

Kerry-JoyceKerry Joyce of Kerry Joyce Textiles
Celebrated as one of today’s preeminent designers, Los Angeles based Kerry Joyce embodies a passion for timeless design, attention to detail and impeccable execution which has earned him a broad array of honors that includes an Emmy for set decoration and spots on a host of nationally esteemed best design lists.  Joyce’s unique point of view marries clean lines and graceful, understated colors and textures with comfort, warmth, and elegance without undue formality. As principal of his namesake, full service design studio Kerry Joyce Associates, which has offices in Los Angeles and Connecticut, Joyce offers a comprehensive approach to design, showcasing his talent for architecture, interior design, product design, artistic direction and consulting for his sophisticated clientele.

“P.S. ARTS provides a pivotal platform for our community’s children to engage in and develop an essential life skill: creative thought. As Coco Chanel proclaimed, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

molly luetkemeyer headshotMolly Luetkemeyer of M. Design Interiors, Inc.
Molly Luetkemeyer founded M. Design Interiors in 2001. Inspired by a range of sources from modern and contemporary art to nature, fashion and vintage design books, Luetkemeyer has developed a signature style that is fresh, expressive and sophisticated. She takes a unique approach to each project, combining her personal inspiration with a thorough understanding of each client’s wants and needs. Her client roster includes Hollywood A-listers, entertainment business insiders, captains of industry and stylish people from all walks of life who are looking for an injection of color, creativity, art and vision in their space. Luetkemeyer’s cosmopolitan bohemian style has earned her a place on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of 25 Most Influential Interior Designers in LA and on House Beautiful’s list of Top 100 Designers in America four years running. Her work has been profiled in numerous publications including InStyle, Angeleno, The Los Angeles Times, and California Home + Design. Additionally, Luetkemeyer previously lent her design savvy and energetic personality to TLC’s hit series Clean Sweep as one of its three regular designers.

“P.S. ARTS is providing a critical, missing piece of the education puzzle. Reading, writing and arithmetic are all important, but without adding the essential element of creative thinking, the “3 Rs” lack magic and possibility. Painting, dance, theater and music all tune kids into their imagination and help to add color and depth to all areas of study. I want to live in a world where our children can see beyond mere facts and figures to create a more beautiful, thoughtful and equitable world. Arts education is crucial for that to happen.”

Alex Mason headshotAlex Mason of Ferrick Mason
Alex K. Mason and Brian Ferrick established the Los Angeles-based home interior textile collection Ferrick Mason in 2008.  Ferrick Mason is based on the original artwork of Alex K. Mason, whose paintings have been placed in hotels from the Four Seasons in Mexico City to the Atlantis in Dubai. Ferrick Mason is sold throughout the United States and in London, Singapore, Germany, and New Zealand.  Ferrick Mason designs appear in House Beautiful, Town & Country, World of Interiors, Luxe Magazine, and many other magazines.

“Visual and performing arts should be an integral part of every child’s education.  I fell in love with art in elementary school, and it is the one subject that kept me truly engaged.  I can’t imagine my educational experience without the arts.  P.S. ARTS means that no matter what your social economic background is, you have a chance to express yourself, explore the arts, and maybe even become an artist!

Andrea MichaelsonAndrea Michaelson
Andrea Michaelson traveled extensively as a child and later as a designer, perfecting fluency in both French and Italian and cultivating a deep love of European history and its fine art, design and architecture, which has had an immense influence on her work. Michaelson attended the U.S.C. School of Architecture and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Design from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her background in architecture is pervasive in all projects that bear the AMD name as is a refined design aesthetic and ingenuity in mixing periods and cultures that appeals to her recurring stable of clients.

Michaelson’s great love of education fuels her work as an active volunteer educator and she has practiced visual literacy as an award-winning art consultant for curriculum development at the UCLA Lab School and other schools in Los Angeles.

“Art education should encompass not only art history, but nurture creative thinking. It should give students exposure to diverse materials and mediums, but mostly opportunities to explore them without convention. I support P.S. ARTS because their mission to make art in education a priority is essential to fostering the creative process in the youth.”

Todd Nickey Amy Kehoe by Chris Patey October 2014 ReducedTodd Nickey and Amy Kehoe of Nickey Kehoe
Nickey Kehoe is the collaboration between designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe. Together the Los Angeles based team lays claim to a versatile design studio and busy retail shop which houses their growing NK furniture collection alongside vintage furnishings and accessories sourced from around the world.

Todd’s background is in retail design with experience at Ralph Lauren and Theory while Amy stems from the hospitality world at Starwood Hotels. They were introduced by mutual friends in New York in 1999 and quickly became close friends. The duo relocated to Los Angeles separately but reunited to launch their namesake firm in 2004. Their aesthetic has been shaped by a diverse range of experiences and is defined by a warmth and friendliness, a tangible element in their approachable yet informed designs. Ultimately, they pride themselves on not being the writers of the story, but rather the editors – each space defined by its owners’ individual perspective remaining both imaginative and curated, intuitive and artful.

“To quote Elbert Hubbard, ‘Art is not a thing; it is a way.’ Art opens a world many children don’t have access to, enriching and developing young minds and future artists. Whether music or painting or dance, art complements the math and sciences by strengthening these skills in creative and tangible ways. How better to help develop successful individuals than by supporting a program that fosters the passion for creating, making, and inspiring?”

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 5.30.41 PMDebra Parr of Amazing Grace Design
Amazing Grace Design is a thriving interior design studio in sunny Santa Monica, CA. With her hand in both interior design and event planning, Debra Parr’s design sensibility has deepened further by way of events. Many clients seek her out after an inspiring event to create magic in their home as well, and vice versa. Deb’s decorating instincts are quick and true. She knows where to source the best items for the home or office, and is gifted in her ability to intuit a client’s needs. She creates living spaces that are absolutely to-the moment in style but timeless in design. Deb makes all of the spaces she designs reflect a personality, whether you are sprucing up an existing room or designing an entire home.

“Art gives children a canvas to communicate their imagination. It gives us an opportunity to express more than the outward appearance of things. It reflects society’s soul. It nourishes our cultural roots.”

Lindsay PenningtonLindsay Pennington of Lindsay Pennington Inc.
Lindsay Pennington, a Los Angeles-based decorator, was born and raised in the South.  She moved to California nearly a decade ago, where she began cultivating her particular brand of classically designed and comfortable spaces.  A former corporate lawyer, Lindsay provides her clients the highest levels of attention to detail and professionalism.  Her creative blend of colors, textures, finishes, and details attract a clientele ranging from Los Angeles to New York City.

“Arts education is critical for young minds to build confidence in their ability to express a unique point of view.  Being comfortable with openly sharing your artistic and creative perspective is necessary for success in so many fields, from architecture, fashion, and interior design to technology, filmmaking, and entrepreneurial business.  More importantly, arts education sets the foundation for children to manifest their individuality anywhere and everywhere.  I’m proud to support P.S. ARTS in their important mission to provide all children with access to high-quality arts instruction.”

KarenPutmanKaren Putman of P2 Design
As a native to Southern California and having been involved in the field of architecture for over 30 years, Karen Putman draws inspiration from her diverse clientele and world travels to create the quintessential custom home.  Her approach to architecture and design is both practical and passionate, with a strong emphasis on collaboration.  Successful design is a collaborative effort that combines form, function, space, light and flow to enhance daily activities and create positive living environments.

“Arts education is essential in child development. It is a means for young minds to blossom and express themselves freely in many different forms. It teaches one to think outside the box, expand their horizons, seek new possibilities, communicate, and create.  Every child should have the privilege of this great opportunity!”

Nicky RisingNicky Rising of Nicky Rising Ltd
Since opening her Melrose Ave boutique in 2011, Nicky has brought together a beautifully curated collection of unique textiles, furniture, lighting and wallpapers for the LA design community.

Nicky’s design aesthetic is apparent the moment you walk through the doors of the chic and charming shop. Influenced by spending her formative years in North and West Africa, England, and France, Nicky Rising Ltd. offers a mix of vintage fabrics and accessories from India, Eastern Europe, and Africa, as well as fresh printed linens, classic Chinoiserie, and American made home furnishings.

“I believe access to arts education at an early age is vital. It is no less important than learning to read or write. Every child should have access to art; learning to develop your imagination is not for the precious few. As art classes disappear in schools, it is imperative that we support programs like P.S. ARTS.”

jaime headJaime Rummerfield of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design
With a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University’s prestigious College of Architecture, Jaime Rummerfield has a signature California sensibility that is comprised of classic design training mixed with a fashion forward design approach. Jaime is touted as one of the nation’s top young Interior Designers by Traditional Home, Town & Country and House Beautiful magazines.

Her creative eye is second to none in focusing on the science behind color, texture, balance, proportion and scale that is applied to creating memorable and pleasing spaces.  Much of her passion and inspiration is derived from the theatrics of Hollywood, not just because of W & R’s A-list clientele, but even more so the glamour of the silver screen and the romantic bygone eras of film.

“Art and Art History were my most favorite subjects in school. Who is to say that it is not important in a learning environment? In my opinion, art is just as relevant in education as math or science.  Art inspires us on so many levels and is a wonderful outlet of expression. Let’s work hard to keep art in schools and continue to make this world a beautiful place.”

windsorWindsor Smith of Windsor Smith Home
Windsor Smith is an internationally celebrated, Los Angeles-based interior designer known for her innovative approach and bold vision. Author of Homefront: Design for Modern Living (Rizzoli, 2015) she defines her signature layering style – bringing together the classic with the unexpected – as a reflection of her desire to help families live fuller, more connected lives through design.

“I am such a strong supporter of P.S. ARTS’ mission. Nothing is more important than creating opportunities to channel the dreams, curiosities, and aspirations of children into art and creativity. These themes have played such an important role in my own life and work; we need to make them true for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity or resources to grow through involvement in the arts.“

kathy with let it go high resKathy Taslitz of Kathy Taslitz Studio
Kathy Taslitz is an internationally collected artist working out of her downtown LA studio. Her monumental sculptures have been commissioned for Universities, a new Los Angeles County Public Library and for private collectors. Her work reflects the symbiosis between nature and humanity and contemplates how the two coexist.

“We need arts education in all schools to foster the creative spirit within every child. I decided to get involved with P.S. ARTS when I relocated to Los Angeles and saw how they were helping to fulfill this need.”

ShannonTimmsShannon Timms of Shannon Timms Art Advisory
For over twelve years, Shannon has served as the West Coast Sales Director for ARTFORUM, a position that keeps her incredibly attuned to the contemporary art market. She has been advising private collectors in Los Angeles, New York, London and in her hometown of Norfolk, Virginia since 2005. Her long-standing relationships with artists and leading gallerists from around the globe make Shannon’s access to artworks unique and keep her private clients well-informed collectors.

“Not all children learn in the same manner or excel in the same skills. The arts have been pushed aside year after year, but the development and encouragement of these skills are crucial to many children as oftentimes they are the primary means by which students are truly able to focus, to engage, and through which they are allowed to express themselves, to finally be seen, and eventually to succeed. The P.S. ARTS curriculum and strategy set the standard for exemplary arts education.”

nathan turnerNathan Turner
Nathan Turner is a renowned interior designer and shop owner.  He successfully merged his greatest passions of design, food, and travel into his eponymous shop off Melrose Ave.  Nathan Turner’s shop has become a faithful go-to-source for the country’s leading interior designers, as well as some of the most stylish individuals from coast to coast.

“I support P.S. ARTS because they recognize the importance of a creative education within the school system.”

Jonathan Winslow DesignJonathan Winslow of Jonathan Winslow Designs
Jonathan Winslow Design is an established national residential interior design firm with completed projects across Greater Los Angeles, New York, and Texas.

“Exposing children to arts education promotes personal creativity and confidence which are then carried throughout their life.”


LA Modernism Opening Night will take place on Friday, April 24th at 3Labs in Culver City and will feature some exciting new additions: The Collectors’ VIP Lounge (open throughout the entire event with additional food, signature cocktails, and entertainment) and a Silent Auction in partnership with Marc Phillips Decorative Rugs and Paddle8 featuring 10 pieces designed by renowned artists including Nathalie Doughe, Shepard Fairey, Tracy Hiner, Alex K. Mason, Tanya Nolan, RETNA, Kenny Scharf, Cole Sternberg, and one P.S. ARTS student. All proceeds will benefit P.S. ARTS and the 20,000 students we serve each week . Purchase tickets HERE!

We would like to thank the additional members of our Design Committee including: Ron Woodson & Jaime Rummerfield, Ron Udall, Carrie Carr, Steven Volpe, Irene Neuwirth, David Netto, Alison Blumenfeld, William Hefner, Pamela Shamshiri, Alexandra & Michael Misczynski, Holly Purcell, and Molly Isaksen.

Meet the Newest Members of the P.S. ARTS Team!

Please join us in welcoming our new Education & Programs Assistant, Gaby and our Advancement and Events Assistant, Mariel!

gabyGabriela Hernandez, Education & Programs Assistant

Q. Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
A. I recently graduated from UCLA where I studied Art History. I am very excited to be working as the Education & Programs Assistant at P.S. ARTS.

Q. What book is currently on your nightstand?
A. I just finished reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and loved it. I haven’t decided what’s next. I have a long list of books I’m dying to read! I’m thinking maybe Anna Karenina.

Q. What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
A. “Style” by Taylor Swift. I’m obsessed with that song right now. I’ve also been listening to the new Bjork album a lot. It’s a total heartbreak album, and all I can think when I listen to it is: “How could somebody hurt Bjork like this?!”

Q. Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
A. It’s so hard to pick just one! The Getty Villa holds a special place in my heart because I interned there last summer. I also love the LA Philharmonic, although I don’t get to see performances very often.

Q. What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
A. Eleanor Roosevelt, David Bowie, or Rupaul.

marielMariel Lacson, Advancement & Events Assistant

Q. Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
A. My name is Mariel Lacson, and I am the Advancement & Events Assistant at P.S. ARTS! I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Art and Architectural History in 2014, and was the Curatorial and Registration Intern at the art museum on campus. I support the development team and help coordinate the exciting events at P.S. ARTS.

Q. What book is currently on your nightstand?
A. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, I read it whenever I want to feel some “you go girl” inspiration.

Q. What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
A. “I’m Callin’” by Tennis, but I can play “Riptide” by Vance Joy over and over again.

Q. Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
A. Little Tokyo/The Arts District! Every building is covered with an eclectic mix of street art, and it’s strange to see a wall not covered in stickers or graffiti. I also really like spinning the giant OOMO Cube outside of the Japanese American National Museum.

Q. What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
A. Vincent Van Gogh, just to reassure him that everything is going to turn out okay in the end. Also to give him some food, because as a starving artist he’s probably very hungry.

P.S. ARTS Student Inspires LA Modernism Invitation Design!

Jacob Campbell, Operations Assistant


Event season is a busy time at P.S. ARTS! To be fair – it’s ALWAYS busy at P.S. ARTS – but as we wrap up the LA Marathon and dive into LA Modernism Opening Night Party planning, it’s easy to feel a little lost in the hustle and bustle.  I recently met a second grade student named Derick who helped remind me why I do what I do and what a privilege it is to be part of this organization.

As the Communications Associate, I spend a lot of time at my desk writing, editing, and designing materials about our programs and the 20,000 students we serve, but nothing is as powerful as the time I get to spend on-site with them. Long before I was worrying about meeting printing deadlines and proofing for typographic consistency, Derick sat in a P.S. ARTS classroom with Teaching Artist June Edmonds studying the elements of art that would inform his Paul Klee-inspired piece, which would later become the starting point for this year’s LA Modernism invitation.

IMG_3117 copyI first saw Derick’s project in an email from June Edmonds and was instantly drawn to the vibrant colors and geometric shapes.  The clean lines and architectural forms really lent themselves to an event featuring over 40 premier national and international exhibitors presenting furniture, decorative and fine arts representing all design movements of the 20th and 21st centuries.

It’s common for me to get caught up in the design process and tune out everything else around me, but as I got closer to finishing the invitation, I decided to set aside a few hours to get away from my computer screen and drive to FDR Elementary School in the Lawndale Elementary School District to meet Derick, thank him for his hard work, and see if he had any last minute suggestions; I’m so glad I did!

I walked into Ms. Rho’s second grade classroom at FDR as P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist June Edmonds was leading a lesson on warm and cool colors.  Once she sent the kids to work, June pointed out Derick to me and I watched as he led his table group in carefully separating a tub of oil pastels into cool blues and greens and warm pinks and oranges. June and I pulled Derick aside so I could introduce myself and show him the invitation; I watched his eyes light up when he realized what he was looking at! I asked if he remembered working on this project and he immediately began explaining his process of making it. He even pointed to his favorite section of the piece where he used the colors of the Mexican flag. I told him a little bit about the event and all the different kinds of artists that would be there; I told him that the invitations would be printed on a giant press bigger than his classroom and that we would send them out to 2,500 people! I asked him if he thought I should adjust anything and he told me that he liked how I changed the colors and added a “cool” teal to the background.


Once I wrapped up my conversation with Derick, I had a minute to chat with Ms. Rho who said, “Derick is a great student who loves to learn new things. Thanks to our amazing art teacher, Ms. Edmonds, he has developed into quite an artist. Ms. Edmonds is patient and has a great rapport with every student. She is knowledgeable, and we are so grateful to have her as our art teacher. Thank you P.S. ARTS for bringing the arts to our school!”

IMG_7138_2 copyAs I drove back to the office, all the little details and deadlines cleared away, and I felt honored to be a part of the powerful work P.S. ARTS is doing. In that moment, I got a taste of the “magic moments” our Teaching Artists experience every day in the classroom. I saw a sense of pride on a child’s face as he was recognized and celebrated for his creative ideas. That single piece of 11×17 paper layered with colored construction paper suddenly became a symbol of all the ways the arts classroom can provide opportunities for success.  We aren’t just teaching kids how to make art; we are teaching them that their ideas matter – that their work is important, valued and worthy of being displayed – so that they have the confidence to imagine the world they want to see and the tools to begin creating it.

Finishing up the invitation became much easier with Derick’s blessing, and I was especially excited to seal and send the finished version to him and his family – We’re looking forward to seeing them at 3LABS on April 24th!

Here is a short video of Derick explaining the process of creating his Paul Klee-inspired piece. (Please excuse the background noise – I started filming right as recess began!)

For more event information, visit psarts.org/modernism2015

How Do We Build A Healthy Community?

Our students at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School are hard at work preparing for their performance this weekend! Join us Saturday, March 21st, 6pm at Dymally High School for two original student plays that explore the question, “How do we build a healthy community?” Artist Leader Jennifer Browne shares her experience working on this project:

In my many years as an Artist Leader with Inside Out Community Arts, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of different environments with youth facing all kinds of challenges – physical, emotional, and environmental. Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School presented a whole new set of opportunities and challenges.

On our first day of recruitment, we set up a table in the quad to tell the students about our program. During that 30-minute lunch break, there were three fistfights. Each time, dozens of students raced to the fray, cheering the fighters on. It was clear to us that the culture at this school was in crisis. A small group of students hung out around our table. They wanted to know what we had to offer and clearly wanted to be part of something different. Given the amount of stress and chaos in their day-to-day environment, we knew that our programming could present an excellent chance for our students to express themselves and build community in a safe, structured, creative environment.

During our first two months at Bret Harte we dealt with a revolving door of students. They showed up one day, disappeared for a few days and then would return – or not. Every week our amazing team of Artist Leaders, Artist Leader Interns, and two LAPD officers came together to lead a two-hour structured workshop for a challenging group of students – many of whom had short attention spans and a mistrust of adults (and in some cases, each other).


At the midway point in our session, we began the process of play creation. Two groups of students brainstormed to identify what issue they wanted to create a play around. One group chose to explore themes of bullying and animal abuse. The other group chose to look at the positive and negative impacts of the entertainment industry. At this point in our process, ownership shifts to the students – it is on them to create their story and their characters. It was also at this point that a core group of students began to fully commit to the program.

A few weeks later, we took our students on a picnic to Kenneth Hahn Park and then to see a professional play – Culture Clash’s “Chavez Ravine.” While we were at the park, I saw a shift. Outside their usual environment, the kids respected the boundaries we laid out, participated fully in structured activities, and in their free time, explored nature, ate lunch and played together, as a community.


Camille Ameen, the co-founder of IOCA, taught me something that has helped carry me through difficult moments at Bret Harte. At many of our teaching sites, the majority of the students go through a clear and powerful transformation as a result of their participation in our process. At other sites, the transformation is not as obvious. In those cases, we must look for the small changes – a student who finally projects their voice on stage, a student who fully participates for one day, a child showing empathy towards another individual.

In the past few weeks I have observed wonderful changes in our community. All of the students make eye contact now – a sign of respect and safety. The students are exercising positive peer pressure with each other. Our attendance is consistent, and the students arrive ready to participate fully. The students have formed their IOCA community. They treat each other with care and respect; they are opening up to us – sharing their stories. Some of their family members are doing so as well during our weekly phone calls home.

Next weekend the students have their final performance. Three weeks ago all of us – Artist Leaders and students – had serious doubts. Last weekend we had a painting/rehearsal day where the students presented some of their work to each other. They did it with pride and supported each other through the process. We left confident that we will be ready to take the stage this Saturday!

bharteflatsP.S.ARTS’ Inside Out Community Arts program at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School provides core support to middle school students while giving them the tools, confidence, and inspiration to make a positive difference in their south LA community through the arts.

This pilot program, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department Southeast Division and funded by The California Endowment, aims to increase awareness to key leaders in the police department and juvenile justice system about innovative diversion programs that instill community involvement through positive, productive, and creative alternatives for youth.

A Letter to Team P.S. ARTS

Dr. Kristen Paglia, Executive Director of Education & Programs

BY DR. Kristen Paglia, ChiEf Executive Officer

Dear Team P.S. ARTS,

Jacob Campbell, P.S. ARTS Communications Associate, asked me if I would write a letter to our LA Marathon and LA Big 5K runners, walkers and supporters. He said he’d like to have it by the end of the day (to be fair, he actually asked me to do it over a week ago, but whatever, here we are). I was not feeling well today. I have some kind of a viral thing and a fever, so that’s part of it, but I was also feeling generally discouraged and sorry for myself. I spent a good twenty minutes this morning listing all the reasons everyone should be nicer to me:  I’m sick. I work a lot. My husband works a lot. I don’t have enough time with my kids. My parents are getting older. You get it. I know you get it, because when I started listing it all out in my head, I realized pretty quickly I am describing… well, most of the people I know. Right after that humbling epiphany, it occurred to me that I was also describing the luckiest people I know, myself included. I said my list to myself again. I’m sick, which is annoying because I am usually healthy. I work a lot because I have a job I love and want to succeed at. My husband works a lot because he has a job he loves and wants to succeed at. I don’t have enough time to spend with my kids who are really great people to be around. My parents are getting older but they are still here for my kids to get to know and learn from.

I thought back to the recent P.S. ARTS Board of Trustees retreat. Our founder, Dr. Paul Cummins, was there to kick the day off. Dr. Cummins is a tireless world-mover, and, as I said at the retreat, an inspiration to me personally. He told us the P.S. ARTS origin story. It was a night he wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t want to go to a reception for new students at the school where he was Headmaster. His wife told him he couldn’t let the kids down, so Dr. Cummins pulled himself together and went. That was the night he met musician and philanthropist Herb Alpert, told him about the sad state of arts education in public schools, and started a philanthropic partnership that would eventually become the P.S. ARTS of today providing arts education to 20,000 students every single week. The moral of the story, said Dr. Cummins, is “Show up!”

So, I channeled my inner world-mover and opened up my computer to re-read what I had written on my marathon fundraising page way back when the idea of walking a marathon didn’t seem as crazy:

I said no to doing the LA Marathon a dozen times before I said yes. I was (and am) terrified that I won’t be able to make it, that I’ll be embarrassed, or that I will let down the kids I am trying to do right by. When I actually admitted that to myself, I realized that taking on challenges and forging ahead in spite of doubt is exactly what we at P.S. ARTS ask our students to do every single day — so, it’s my turn to (literally) walk my talk. I plan on walking the entire 26 miles alongside my husband and dear friends as a way of showing P.S. ARTS’ 20,000 young people that if you set your sights high, work hard, believe, lean on your friends (and be there when they need to lean back), you will succeed.  

Sigh. Okay, okay! I get it, Universe. We ask these kids to show up, put themselves out there, and muster up confidence, positivity, and creativity every day. I encourage them to do these things, when they are hard for me, and I am, as we’ve established, one of the lucky ones! Sure, I have stress like we all have stress, but I have stress from my safe home in my safe neighborhood. I have stress with enough to eat everyday, reliable family and friends around me, and a body that does, at least, most of what I want it to do. A lot of the kids P.S. ARTS serves don’t have those things. A heartbreaking number don’t have them. So, no more feeling sorry for myself; I put on my shoes and I started walking. I walked ten miles, sweated the fever out (I hope), cleared my head, and, most important, I reminded myself of the whole reason I agreed to do this thing in the first place! That is, when I feel even a fraction of the grit and grace it takes for the students from the communities we serve to get to school every day, work hard, imagine, create, and do all the things we ask them to do in our arts classes — I know I can’t let anything stand in the way of doing my part to be sure they have those classes to go to. My part is the easier one by far. One foot in front of the other, I will finish this marathon alongside all of the other world-movers supporting P.S. ARTS and, together, we will make sure our kids are never without the opportunity and tools to make it to whatever finish line they can dream up.

To support Team P.S. ARTS, click HERE