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East LA’s Thought-Provokers

LA has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.  Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around East LA that we hope you will check.

Nikki Luna Paz

I think that I’ve had a curious life so far, with a lot of lessons and struggles, a lot of interesting jobs; I’ve learned from some really interesting people. I’ve had to learn a lot of things the hard way. I’m from New York originally, but I didn’t grow up around a lot of artists. The aftermath of 9/11 in NYC when I was a kid had a profound effect on me. I always had a soft heart and a drive to help people. I was always cause-driven as a teenager. Read more>>

Jamin Reyes

There are many things to attribute for fostering the structural framework of my artistic perceptions. I am grateful for the family of thoughtful artists and musicians that raised me, the academic institutions and jobs that granted my development of a formal practice, the churches and temples (while personally non-religious) that taught me the power and spirituality of art and music, and the warm language of my personal relationships that shared with me their musings. Read more>>

Elana Bowsher

I grew up in the Mission District in San Francisco, California. In the 90’s, the Mission still felt grungy and edgy, full of dark cafes with bad coffee and Italian soda bars, punks with rainbow Mohawks, weird sex cinemas, taquerias, old hippies and lots of color everywhere. I loved it. I’m also lucky to have a family who also cares about art, and every kind, including writing and theater and dance and so on. Read more>>

Kiyana Howard

At the age of ten is when my mom gave me more freedom to dress myself and pick out my own clothes. As I got older and got more into my style, I had to find ways to improvise and make multiple outfits out of one because my parents couldn’t afford to buy new shoes or clothes every paycheck. So in high school, once I ran out of my outfits that I got for the new school year. I started wearing clothes out of my mom’s closet from the 90s and started thrift shopping. Read more>>

Ross Constable

Filmmaking has always been an obsession for me. As a child, I was the shyest kid in the whole world. I cried nearly every day of kindergarten; it took a miracle to get me out of my shell. But when my father bought the family a small DV camera, I took to it immediately. The camera became like a buffer between me and society. Read more>>

Ed Wu

I had dreams of becoming a violinist. I would perform with orchestras around the world and spend hours practicing every day. It never even crossed my mind that I could pursue a career in film until senior year of high school when I was introduced to a club called Video Yearbook. Read more>>

Peter Maffei

I have always loved music, but my real connection for it started when I was ten after my mother passed away from cancer. I started exploring my dad’s classic rock CD collection and I confided in the music, helping me get through emotionally difficult times. I started playing guitar when I was 13. Read more>>

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