“Differences must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.”– Audre Lorde
After six incredible years leading the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) Creative Youth programs, I’m excited to announce that I am leaving to pursue an opportunity with the Visionary Justice StoryLab – a collective of interdisciplinary artists, media makers, and cultural workers evolving story, media, and performance based racial and healing justice practices for communities of color and the organizations that serve them – and take personal time for myself to reconnect with my own creativity and artistic practice.
Youth Arts Manager position open at ARTS
ARTS Creative Youth programs have grown significantly in the past six years and continue to deepen our impact through school-based arts education investments and a continuum of Creative Youth Development and career-connected learning opportunities. I’ve been proud to be part of a fierce team of collaborators that includes teaching artists and community arts organizations, City and Seattle Public Schools staff who work in partnership to advance education justice and prioritize the arts as central to achieving racially equitable and justice-based outcomes.
Now in over half of Seattle Public Schools, The Creative Advantage, our citywide initiative, is committed to realizing equity in arts education for all Seattle students. Driven by a public-private partnership, this initiative works through a collective impact framework that includes the district, ARTS, Seattle Foundation, and the broader arts community. To learn more please check out this article on The Creative Advantage in Seattle Foundation’s Heart and Science Magazine spring 2019 issue by Naomi Ishisaka.
The leadership of our young people, Black and indigenous and POC communities is essential to these ongoing efforts – to fully realize local education equity initiatives like The Creative Advantage and to build a just future rooted in culture, collective power, the imagination, and love.
In an era of persistent and growing economic, climate and racial injustice, I’m continually inspired by the boldness and creativity of young organizers and activists – many of whom are artists – and the collective struggle for liberation that relies upon intergenerational and collaborative leadership. I’m grateful to have been a part of this effort with the Office of Arts & Culture, and excited for its continued work in and with community.
With deep gratitude,
Elaine Simons says
Lara it has been a pleasure working with you over the years ensuring our under represented youth have access to the arts. I am excited to follow you and partake in your where ever your journey takes you.
Thanks for your stewardship and passion over the years.
Very interesting woman, I think that she does right things, if world will have more people like she it will be better!
Richard W. Payne says
CONGRATULATIONS Lara. Love you cousin.