PST: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Supported by grants from the Getty Foundation, the LA Promise Fund and LAUSD have created a portfolio of programming for students and teachers that complements the initiative, including professional development sessions for teachers, sponsored field trips and family days, and student scholarship prizes through the #ArtsMatter Student Challenge artmaking contest.
The teacher launch event was a celebration of Latin American and Latino art, culture, food, music, and dance. Teachers and administrators, politicians, and artists all converged on the beautiful gardens at LA Plaza in downtown LA. They were greeted with mole and chips from Gueleguetza, micheladas courtesy of the MicheMobil, paletas from Mateo’s, music spun by Josh Kun, dance performed by Contra-Tiempo, and the spoken word of Manual Arts high school student Favio Lovos.
They also had a chance to hear from leaders in their fields: Joan Weinstein, deputy director of The Getty Foundation; Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles & current candidate for governor; Barbara Carrasco, PST:LA/LA-featured artist and muralist; Richard Montoya, Culture Clash; and Veronica Melvin, CEO and president of the LA Promise Fund.
The messages of the night included the vast contributions Latin Americans and Latinos have made to a city like LA, the power of art to liberate individuals, and the importance of art in education – its ability to enhance academic performance and boost graduation rates.
Teachers left with the PST: LA/LA curriculum on bright pink flash drives and the knowledge that they are part of a larger community committed to bringing art to students across LA County.