Inner-City Arts, Co-Founder
Bob Bates has been a professional artist for thirty years and has taught art throughout the country, including at the University of Miami in Florida. While working with kids on Skid Row in Los Angeles, Bob had a spiritual vision: to create an art space where at-risk children could explore their creativity, learn and grow. Joining forces with businessman and entrepreneur Irv Jaeger, Bob realized his vision when Inner-City Arts opened its doors to 60 children in 1989. As Inner-City Arts Artistic Director, Bob still brings vision, passion and dedication to his work with children, teachers and families, and is regularly invited to lead workshops in Los Angeles, throughout the country and internationally. Bob's creative journey as an artist, musician, inventor and educator is ongoing. His love of creativity is deeply linked to the mystery of life itself, and has guided him in all aspects of his explorations and interactions with children, teenagers and adults. Bob received a BA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the University of Cincinnati.
Nirvan Mullick is an award winning filmaker, social-entrepreneur, and partner at Interconnected, an LA based creative agency. Nirvan is the director of Caine's Arcade, an 11 minute short film about a 9 year old boy's cardboard arcade. Caine's Arcade became an instant viral phenomenon, inspiring millions of kids, parents, and educators around the world. Building on the momentum of the short-film, Nirvan founded a non-profit called the Imagination Foundation to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids. The Imagination Foundation recently produced the first annual Global Cardboard Challenge, coordinating over 270 Cardboard Challenge events in 40 countries, culminating in a Global Day of Play that celebrated the creativity and imagination of kids around the world. Nirvan studied experimental animation at CalArts, serves on the board of CicLAvia, and tends to a small vegetable garden in downtown Los Angeles.
Nirvan is on twitter @nirvan
www.nirvan.com / www.cainesarcade.com
SQUAD (Students Quest to Unite, Advance and Develop)
She is 17 years old and began engaging in community work and advocacy when she was 14. She grew up in urban blighted communities known as Pico Union and MacArthur/ Westlake Area. With a group of friends launched a youth led non-profit organization known as Student Quest to Unite, Advance, and Develop (SQUAD). We are a youth to youth resource and referral agency. Their first project was in Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP) organization. They constructed a Haunted House for the MacArthur/West Lake community. The organization is leading this event and they organized have over 50 volunteers of the community to help make an affordable fun event and create a safe community.
Citlali Vasquez-Ramos is a southern California native and a first generation 4-year college graduate. She received her B.S. in Sociology from Santa Clara University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology and school counseling credential from the University of San Francisco. Citlali was selected as a UC Berkeley Fisher Fellow and USF TEAMS/Americorps member, focusing on multicultural education and college readiness. For the past eight years Citlali has worked in college access, sending over 400 first generation college students to 4-year and 2-year colleges. Citlali worked as a graduate research assistant with Santa Clara University and will be presenting at the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc. in March 2012 regarding research on first generation college students' engagement in academic and co-curricular activities. This past summer Citlali was selected as an Education Pioneers Fellow where she developed a strategic growth plan for Education Pioneers. Currently, Citlali is the Director of Community Programs at Iridescent, LA Studio, where she is working to engage parents as leaders and empower families with STEM educational programming. Her passion for social justice and equality is the driving force behind her work with students and families throughout the educational pipeline.
I was born and have grown up in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood where mariachis are the emblematic representation. I am an only child to two wonderful parents who have made me feel very honored by my Mexican roots.
At the young age of eight while attending Euclid Avenue Elementary School in East Los Angeles I discovered my passion for music. Then, with the help of my supportive parents I began taking violin, guitar, and piano and choir lessons. While at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School she decided to specialize in violin as a musical instrument but in the process; I discovered my most powerful instrument that I have had in me, which is my own singing voice. Occasionally I am invited to sing the Star Spangled Banner as well as Spanish songs at community and political events. I am also a proud violinist and lead singer in the Mariachi Youth Ensemble of Plaza de la Raza ages 9 through 18. Finally, my lifelong commitment is to continue to serve my community and help others while using music as a beacon of hope just like my most revered singer and mentor- the late Mexican Charro Antonio Aguilar from Zacatecas, Mexico. In the future my most cherished dream is to be a part of the all female mariachi ensemble Reyna de Los Angeles. Thanks to the well-inherited roots of my parents I have accomplished so many of my life long goals. Some in which are being part of an award winning mariachi group and recording my first CD as a solo singer that is entitled “Olvidame Tu”.
Maia Mayor started writing poetry as a student at CHAMPS Charter HS, and later heard about Get Lit through her teacher, Brad Koepenick. Since becoming a Get Lit Player, Maia has been featured twice on KPFK, and has performed for over 10,000 students at high schools all over Los Angeles County as well as numerous venues including The Actors Gang, the Wiltern Theater, the Skirball Center, and USC, where she demonstrated response poems for California Poet Laureate Carol Muske-Dukes and her students. Through her involvement in the program, Maia was able to travel to San Francisco to compete in Brave New Voices, a national slam poetry competition, where her team placed 15th nation-wide. Maia will be attending Santa Monica College in the Spring while she continues her work with Get Lit as a poet and performer.
The Bungalows Collective are a group of people from the East side Cafe determined to restore and renovate 8-unit abandoned Bungalows, and to adapt its current use to a neighborhood community Arts space. The collective serves the interests of the community, promoting the skills of local residents, and stay grounded in self-sustainablity and self-determination.
I am 19 years old and I live in what people call the heart of L.A - South Central. I am a student of the Tender Greens Sustainable Life Project where I am learning the art and craft of cooking.The goal of Tender Greens Sustainable Life Project (SLP) is to use food at all of its stages of production to transform individuals and communities.