Category Archives: CULTURE + HAPPENINGS

Culture Files: LA’s Department of Cultural Affairs Announces Cultural Grant Guidelines

August 2, 2021

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) released its 2022-23 Cultural Grants Program Guidelines for nonprofit organizations and festival producers seeking grant support for free and/or low cost cultural events to take place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
Guidelines and instructions for DCA’s 2022-2023 Cultural Grants Program can be found online at: Friday, August 27, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for online submission of application materials.
“Our Cultural Grants Program supports creative projects that reflect the core values of the Department of Cultural Affairs: inclusion, diversity, equity, excellence, and access,” said Danielle Brazell, DCA’s General Manager. “Through these vital partnerships with local organizations, we deliver world-class arts and cultural experiences throughout the year that activate and engage our residents and visitors in neighborhoods all across Los Angeles.”
“DCA’s grant guidelines contain incremental changes to increase the City’s alignment with contemporary topics regarding social justice, with one category name-change, and a stratification of the ‘Outdoor Festivals/Parades’ category into three sizes. New instructions welcome applicants to present their authentic values toward fostering inclusion, diversity, equity, excellence, and access. This can be demonstrated by showcasing specific workers and/or themes within project-proposals,” said Joe Smoke, DCA’s Grants Administration Division Director. “Please carefully read the educational introduction and online instructions written by DCA’s expert Grants staff, and enroll in a webinar or workshop in order to feel wholly prepared to enter this ‘open call’ system which will result in a spectrum of the most competitive proposals being funded.”
All proposed cultural activities should be easily accessible for targeted communities or general audiences of City of Los Angeles residents, visitors, and/or tourists. Eligibility and scoring are described for proposals in various art discipline(s), with a special emphasis this year (DCA’s odd-numbered year cycle) on projects in: Culture/History, Design/Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Outdoor Festivals/Parades, Traditional/Folk Arts, and Field Advocacy and Sector Learning (FASL).
With this Request for Proposals (RFP), DCA is seeking to invest in a variety of expertly produced, uniquely disbursed, and socially relevant projects that: may take the form of participatory workshops and/or engaged demonstrations; include full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional jobs for artists and art-event coordinators; and have both broad marketing and measurable impacts.
The proposed projects should be aligned with the applicant’s mission, history, and a defined public purpose. Project budgets should be estimated as public/private partnerships for which applicants should forecast matching funds of at least 1:1. Examples of eligible projects include: arts business/networking activities; culture/history presentations; dance concerts or classes; design/visual art exhibitions or museum projects; literature or publishing projects; media activities or presentations; music concerts or classes; outdoor festivals or parades in one public street or public area over one day or one weekend; theatrical workshops or productions; traditional/folk arts activities or presentations; and/or multi-disciplinary arts activities.
A series of free online webinars and in-person workshops are available to provide assistance to potential applicants. Webinar space is limited to 30 participants per webinar, and RSVPs are required at least two business days in advance. The calendar of webinars and workshops, and instructions to register may be found below and at:
Friday, August 6, 2021 (Virtual Meet-and-Greet with DCA Grants Staff)
(Recommended for new applicants to discuss organization and project eligibility.)
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 12, 2021 (Webinar)
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 (In-Person Workshop with the Grants Director)
(Recommended for new applicants or new staff at returning organizations.)
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sun Valley Youth Arts Center on the Rear Patio

Saturday, August 21, 2021
Online Webinar
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information, please contact DCA’s Grants Administration Division at We are still telecommuting, so please expect emailed questions and inquiries to be returned in approximately 48 hours.
In addition to the release of the new Cultural Grants Program RFP, DCA is also inviting arts managers, cultural events producers, arts experts, and cultural business financial managers to participate in the grant review process through an Open Call for Panelists. If selected, eligible individuals may be invited to serve as a part of one democratic team who would determine a set of grant-funding priorities for DCA. For more information about how to nominate yourself as a potential grant-reviewer, please visit:

Wanna know my secret sauce to success? 

July 1, 2021

I am sooooo(ooooo) excited to share this!

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have the Midas touch (whatever that is!)?

Better timing, luck, or the “know how” to get what they want, when they want it but not you.

I get it.

But here’s something to remember: Even the best of the best tripped, fell, and failed.

From 14-time New York Times Bestselling authors to NFL players, to DJs, Disruptors, Artists, and Actors.

More than once.

How do I know? Because I have been there. And I have finally figured out how to recover from debilitating, energy-sucking, thoughts and blocks.

It’s why I am joining the Secret Sauce Summit in partnership with Handel Group & Inner.U! 

I am joining 21 Experts to share our secrets, trips, falls & fails!

Yes! I will not only spill my secrets but my secret sauce to success as well!

You coming?

Reserve your spot today for The Secret Sauce Summit event to hack into your life, face your fears, and (finally!) find what you’re looking for. We go live on July 12th.

Here are the details: 

✔️ 21 Featured Experts

✔️ 2 Weeks of FREE Interviews

✔️ Delivered to your inbox

✔️ July 12-25th

✔️ Replays available

CLICK HERE to grab your free spot now!

P.S. This event was specifically created with YOU in mind. Take advantage of this special opportunity NOW! Secure your spot: HERE!!


Let’s Get Out There! Summer Fun For The Whole Fam

June 10, 2021

Summer 2021 is looking a lot different from last year. Who cannot wait to get out there? As a family, we’ve already shared two super fun experiences. My kids,11 and 15, had a blast doing both of these things perfect day outings.

We are huge Legoland fans. Yes, even my teen loves the nostalgic fun of it all. They replaced the Lego Friends area with a new LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD extravaganza with new rides and attractions based on the Lego Movie.  The day was a blast. Clean as a whistle and Covid protocol all the way.

We went nuts for the Triple Decker Flying couch ride.  The Unikitty Disco Drop was hilarious and cute.

Next up we hit our favorite 60 Out Escape Room. We missed heading to our favorite summer activity to get us out of the heat, off our devices and using our brains and were thrilled when 60 Out was back up and running. We did the Jumanji room – hard as heck – with my son and a bunch of his friends and it was the best ever. We even went back last night to try Alice And Wonderland. Our goal is to do one room a week all summer! It’s truly the most wholesome and hilarious family fun. Excellent bonding time, communication skills mastery and fantastic for brain health to work immersive puzzle games like this.  60 Out Escape rooms are all over town from DTLA to Hollywood. Each has different games so be sure to study what is happening at each location!


April 30, 2021

The Pioneering Works of a Leading Figure in Contemporary Art Photography is now on Display at Galerie XII’s New Santa Monica Gallery

Galerie XII Los Angeles ( recently debuted a solo exhibition of Mona Kuhn: Works, a stunning career retrospective of one of the most respected and widely exhibited contemporary art photographers at work in the world today. The exhibition, which runs through May 29, 2021, coincides with the launch of Mona Kuhn’s first monograph, “Works”  (Thames&Hudson), an essential volume for anyone with an interest in the human form in contemporary art, which was just released in the US. The reader is provided with invaluable insights into Kuhn’s creative process and the ways in which she works with her subjects and settings, and achieves the visual signature of her imagery.

The solo exhibition, showcasing her distinct aesthetic is at their new gallery location at Bergamot Station Arts Center (2525 Michigan Ave. Suite B2, Santa Monica, CA 90404), which features four exhibition spaces and is open during COVID for limited-capacity viewings and private appointments.

Founded by Valerie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing, the daughter of former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Galerie XII LA’s curatorial goal is to showcase the pioneering works of photographic artists from Europe and Asia – many of whom have not shown their work on the West Coast before – to the Los Angeles community. Valerie-Anne says,

 “We have been talking about an exhibition for Mona in LA for some time and now seems like the perfect moment. In conjunction with the publication of the magnificent book produced by Thames & Hudson, we are showing images spanning her career. In this very strange year when most of us have been going through difficult times, Kuhn’s works bring us a moment of balance, a sense of freedom and joy in contemplating beauty for which I cannot thank her enough.”

Mona Kuhn (b.1969, Brazil) lives and works in Los Angeles and is currently an independent scholar at the Getty Research Institute. Her work is included in major institutions around the world. Her previous series-based monographs include Mona Kuhn: Photographs, Bordeaux Series, Native, Private, Evidence, She Disappeared into Complete Silence (all by Steidl), Bushes and Succulents (by Stanley/Barker) and Study (by TBW books).

Chronicling a quarter century of work, the exhibition is Kuhn’s first retrospective with an underlying theme of humanity’s longing for spiritual connection and solidarity. “Works”  features images from throughout Kuhn’s career, including some of the best works from each of her series along with previously unseen work, all of which triumphantly explore her unique expression of the strength and beauty of the female spirit.

Kuhn discovered the power of photography as a young girl in Brazil after she received a Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera for her 12th birthday. She was drawn to figurative work, particularly painters using figurative photography to explore compelling topics and it wasn’t long before she embarked on her first study of the body. Mona Kuhn has since become best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form. She is renowned for developing close relationships with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable intimacy. Her use of playful visual strategies reveals glimpses into the psyche as it is expressed through the human form, ultimately reinterpreting the nude in the canon of contemporary art.

Galerie XII Los Angeles located at Bergamot Arts Center (Suite #B2) and is open to visit Wednesday through Saturday from 11 pm to 5 pm or by appointment: (424) 252 9004

Forever 21 Celebrates Black History Month

February 5, 2021

This is Forever21’s first-ever collection celebrating BHM!

Designer and photographer, Ashley Sky Walker (of Leimert Park Threads) and illustrator and designer, Stormy Nesbit whose work was featured in an op-ed written by our VP, Kamala Harris – who are both launching limited edition capsule collections this Thursday, February 4th with Forever 21 in celebration of Black History Month.

“This partnership and Forever21 created a space for black creatives like myself to really have a hands on approach from start-to-finish. F21 allowed me to be fully immersed, and to create from my heart, and present my most authentic self without any reservations – so my excitement is an understatement, I’m ecstatic to have my work in a Black History Month capsule. This has shown me that there really is no limit to my art,” says Stormy.

Forever21’s first-ever partnership collection celebrating Black History Month, is a collaboration with three up-and-coming artists and creators, Ashley Sky Walker, Stormy Nesbit and Henry Jones.

Each collection showcases the range of beauty and power of artistic expression. A portion of proceeds from the collections will be shared with the artists, as well as donations made to charity partners including Sole Folks, Tec Leimert and Project Level.

Celebrating artistry and community, the capsule collections will launch online at and select retail locations!

Stormy Nesbit’s Collection

Stormy draws inspiration from the people she’s surrounded with, her environment and God. She’s able to source feelings and emotions that she picks up on when she is surrounded by the people she loves and translates that in each of her pieces. Every single piece was secretly inspired by someone she personally knows and loves – Stormy says, “they might recognize it, they might not.”

Her art collections represent people of color, specifically women in the highest form. Representation matters and Stormy wants to be able to reach her community in the largest scale possible and remind them that they are seen. Stormy has learned her best work comes from her heart, and not what people expect; her best work is created at night while she plays Maverick City music and designs that she feels.

Ashley Sky Walker’s Collection

Much of Ashley’s inspiration for his F21 capsule came from within; he looked into archives of his photography and paintings over the years and was able to spot consistencies reflecting Black life. By showcasing moments of joy, rebellion and magic through his work, he realized that was the collection he needed to design – celebrating Black History through the lens of his camera and paintbrush.

“When F21 reached out and asked me to be a part of their Black History Month campaign, it felt amazing and honestly validating. I had a quick stint with the company back in 2016 to shoot their e-comm and was let go after a few months, which ultimately led me to launch Leimert Park Threads. The studio where we photographed the campaign shoot was the same studio where I was told would be my last day…I could not have planned this journey any more than the universe did. It was an unreal full circle moment!” says Ashley.


Stormy Nesbit is a Phoenix-based illustrator and designer with roots in the Midwest whose works primarily expresses the beauty and strength of America’s Black communities, with a focus on the women within them. Her brown-skinned characters echo the pride she has for her community, and the modern aesthetic provides a new take on the elegance in melanin. Stormy’s work has been featured in campaigns by national brands and in several publications, including an illustration created to run with an article written by Vice President Kamala Harris (linked in the intro paragraph).

Ashley Sky Walker started his career as a photographer the second he got his first camera, beginning to see work in a different light and experience. Being raised in South Central Los Angeles, Walker learned the importance of respect and patience when dealing with the ebb and flow of life. After studying at Howard University, Walker lived in New York City for over a decade which allowed him to work with brands like DVF, NIKE and VIBE Magazine and show off his raw but elegant photography style.

Walker eventually returned to Los Angeles with a new venture in mind and Leimert Park Threads was born in 2017 – a unisex clothing brand motivated by the struggle to bring awareness to black, brown, and colored life. Designed by Walker himself, he aims to create original streetwear pieces that are empowering and a tribute to cultural movements of the past. The brand first launched with the COLORED Collection, a line meant for every race, gender and creed standing for unity and equal rights for all and has been worn by celebrities like Issa Rae, Beyonce, and Chadwick Boseman.