Bios

Karen Mack, Executive Director
Karen Mack is founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, an organization dedicated to promoting Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods through locally based, interactive, artistic and cultural programming. Ms. Mack received her Master in Public Administration from Harvard University and is a former Vice President of Community Partners. Ms. Mack is currently president of the board of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative and an appointed member of the City’s Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.

Beth Peterson, Community Arts Program Director
Beth Peterson has worked for many years organizing and conducting community art projects, residencies and workshops in schools and communities first in Minnesota, and then throughout the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. As the Associate Artistic Director and Interim Artistic Director of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota she created puppet shows, pageants and parades with communities and developed programs such as the Art Bus in which teens were paid through summer youth employment to write, design build and tour shows in the summer with giant puppets, masks and stilts. In Los Angeles she is the LA Commons Director of Community Arts Programs and has organized over forty public arts projects in eleven neighborhoods involving youth, professional artists, High Schools and community partner organizations. She also serves as a Master Puppet and Mask Teaching Artist for the Music Center of Los Angeles County, where she is currently involved as an arts mentor to five teacher teams in Culver City and is an adjunct faculty at Antioch University teaching approaches to integrating arts into school curriculums. Ms. Peterson brings extensive experience in arts organizing and mentorship and a commitment to the power of arts in the life of individuals and in the revitalization of community.