About

ArtsMatter draws upon a dynamic catalogue of content provided by top artists and creators to produce high-impact arts education programming for Los Angeles schools.

mission statement

Los Angeles is the world capital of media and entertainment, yet most LA County schools do not prepare students to take on jobs in these industries. ArtsMatter addresses these gaps by creating and sharing educational programming based in media arts to increase exposure and access to career pathways and equip students of color with the skills they need for success in the local creative economy.  

ArtsMatter creates standards-based curriculum and instructional materials to be paired with hands-on Professional Development training for teachers to increase student engagement in schools while building teachers’ capacity to integrate arts learning in their classrooms. Trained teachers then become ambassadors in their larger school communities to activate county-wide impact projects to advance media arts education not only in Los Angeles, but in every city across the country. 

History

The LA Promise Fund launched ArtsMatter in October 2012 to address the need for increased arts opportunities and creativity in LAUSD. At the time, only 2% of elementary school instructional time in LAUSD classrooms was being devoted to the arts.

An city-wide outdoor campaign was created featuring inspiring work by contemporary artists including Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari and Shepard Fairey. It raised $1 million to be distributed to various arts partners, including CalArts, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Music Center, Mattel, and Urban Arts Partnership to bring more of the arts to more students across Los Angeles County.

In 2016, ArtsMatter once again partnered with the Getty through their Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. In collaboration with LAUSD's Arts Education Branch, ArtsMatter created the PST: LA/LA Education Program,available to LA County schools during the 2017-18 Academic Year. It included teacher workshops, student field trips and family days at PST: LA/LA exhibitions, a grant program for teachers to activate their larger school communities in arts-making, and a county-wide Student Arts Contest.

Access to all required arts disciplines

Los Angeles County Students

25%

Los Angeles County Schools

12%

Media arts enrollment in schools

High School Students

12%

Middle School Students

1%

Program Pillars

ArtsMatter draws upon a dynamic catalog of content provided by top creators, media companies, arts organizations, and local museums to produce standards-based arts education programming to support Los Angeles students, teachers, and schools.

Team

ArtsMatter has assembled an exceptional team of staff and project consultants to implement the innovative work of Media ArtsMatter and its other pioneering arts integration programs.

Individuals have been selected for their broad experience in standards-based instruction, arts education, student programming, professional development, teacher coaching, and impactful work throughout LA County schools.

Alex Karas

Program Director

Currently Director of Arts Programs at LAPF, Alex oversees the Media ArtsMatter grant program, its staff, consultants, and teachers. Previously, Alex managed a grant that served over 50,000 LA County students and teachers as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Working with industry partners, Alex has created media arts curricular materials and implemented education programs for LA County teachers and students in media arts. 

Alex has served as a consultant for Davis Publications, training K-12 teachers on visual art curricula and best practices for utilizing digital platforms in the classroom. He previously worked as a program manager at Point Foundation and as a visual arts teacher in Chicago Public Schools. He holds a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Dayton and a M.A. in Teaching and Learning from Roosevelt University.

Christina Korn

Teaching Artist

Christina Korn in an artist and educator with a background in facilitating impactful arts experiences for diverse audiences. As a Teaching Artist with LACMA and the Hammer Museum, Christina creates engaging art lessons for K-12 audiences based on the museum’s exhibitions.

In addition to maintaining her studio practice in painting, Christina is dedicated to promoting arts education in the classroom. She specializes in collaborating with classroom teachers to develop arts integrated curriculum that strengthens students’ academic achievement and social emotional skills.

Star Montana

Teaching Artist

Star Montana is a photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She was born and raised in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, which is predominantly Mexican American and serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Star’s imagery deals with class, social environment, and identity within the personal: her family. Three dots and Tear drops, a long term project with her family that has dealt with fragmented histories, loss, and the hope of the next generation, was on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.

More recently, she has begun to work on her themes within a larger scope of Los Angeles residents via portraiture and video which resulted in her solo show, I Dream of Los Angeles at the Main Museum. Montana received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2013 and her Masters of Fine Art from USC in 2019. 

Ilene Squires

Teaching Artist

Since 2013, Ilene has managed a bi-coastal photography business that primarily serves small businesses, schools and nonprofits in Los Angeles and New York City. A trained educator and Teach For America Alumni (NYC '03), Ilene served on the start-up team of a Harlem charter school and later, its Dean of Students. Returning to her roots in 2009, she began photography training at The International Center of Photography while teaching in a progressive downtown Manhattan school. Her most favored position in her Teaching Artist journey has been as a pre-teen and teen Darkroom Instructor in the South Bronx.

Ilene’s many years in education led her to parlay her creativity and passion into her photography career. Having grown up Jewish and Filipino (Jewpino!), Ilene’s life is full of rich colors and vibrant traditions that she showcases through her work. Her creative process is collaborative and she believes that beauty is far from monolithic.

Tia Thompson

Teaching Artist

Tia Thompson is a photographer and cinematographer. She served as Principal Cinematographer on Just Married, as a PA, Camera Assistant, and Extra on M.I.S.T.E.R., and a PA on Deadwax. Her photography works have been featured and exhibited by: United Photo Industries; Photoville LA; Curator Love; Ashara Ekundayo Gallery; Advocate & Gochis Galleries, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Black Portraiture[s] III - Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures, AcreativeDC, PBS.org, Feminist Artists, Academics, and Activists: Crossing Black Geographies, Matador Network, Historical Society of Washington, D.C., Pleiades Gallery, and East City Art. 

Tia was born and raised in Fort Pierce, FL and currently resides in Los Angeles, serving black and brown kids in South Central. 

Kamella Tate

Principal Investigator

Kamella guides the design, implementation, and management of Media ArtsMatter’s project evaluation. Dr. Tate is owner/principal of Kamella Tate Associates, LLC, a Los Angeles-based firm that provides research, program design, evaluation, and advancement services to nonprofits in the arts, K-12 education, and healthcare. KTA has extensive experience using mixed-methods research and analytics to identify, validate, and measure programmatic processes and effects in the cultural sector. 

The firm’s portfolio includes projects from evaluating K-12 arts education programs to assessing factors that contribute to individual and community valuing of cultural participation. KTA brings a deep knowledge of and relationships in both regional and national arts ecosystems, as well as experience conducting comprehensive evaluations for nonprofit arts grantees and government agencies that include the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Jill Beale

Teaching Artist Coach

Jill Beale is a program director, arts educator, and Emmy-nominated producer. For over a decade, she has been designing and directing arts education programs in New York City and Los Angeles. Jill was the Director of Youth Media Education at BRIC Arts & Media in Brooklyn, where she oversaw media arts residencies in public schools, family programming, curriculum design, and Brooklyn's first-ever youth media festival, Concrete Stories. 

Now in LA, she is an educational consultant and producer, and her most recent projects include creating a documentary series for PBS and producing the city-wide youth film festival at The Academy of Motion Pictures. Jill received a B.A. in Art and Social Change from New York University, and an M.A. in Media Studies and Film from the New School University.