Meet Hannah Dominica Chua (they/she), Operations and Research Associate at LA Commons! Hannah was born in Quezon City, Philippines, and raised in North County San Diego! They have been working at LA Commons since July 2021.
What brought you to LA Commons?
I was the Operations and Special Projects Intern for the 2021 cycle of the LA County Arts Internship Program. After my internship ended, I continued to work in the Operations team while I finished my last year of college. When I graduated, I transitioned into my current full-time position.
What has been your favorite part about working at LA Commons?
There are so many!! If I had to boil it down to only one, though, I would say it's the people! Working at LA Commons has introduced me to incredible change-makers who have shown me how to infuse love and care in every aspect of the work that we do. I am continuously inspired by folks in the LA Commons community.
As someone who moved to LA recently for school, I'm also very grateful that I was able to learn about the rich histories of different LA neighborhoods directly from the culture-bearers in each neighborhood LA Commons engages. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about LA so intimately – and in such a people/community-oriented manner.
LA Commons mission is to "engage communities in the creation o
f public art that tells their unique stories and serves as the basis for dialogue, interaction, and a shared understanding of Los Angeles."
What meaning does this statement have for you personally?
The LA Commons mission statement is what prompted me to apply to work here! I really resonate with the mission! I come from an Ethnic Studies background where the foundation of knowledge creation stems from the stories and lived experiences of historically marginalized communities. Growing up as a young Pilipinx immigrant in a predominantly white neighborhood, I had no opportunities to explore a
nd learn about my cultural identity and history outside of my family home. I grew up feeling isolated, confused, and ashamed of all the things that made me different. It wasn’t until I started taking Ethnic Studies classes in college and learning about the stories of other Pilipinx Americans that I began to feel a sense of acceptance and safety within my cultural identity. Because of this newfound understanding of both my personal history and the collective history of Pilipinxs in America, I was empowered to be a more active community member and organizer. Being in a community with other people – sharing our joys, hardships, and unique perspectives – allows us to care for our generational wounds while co-creating the world we’d like to live in. Public art acts as a critical vehicle to make these often invisibilized community (hi)stories accessible to a wider audience
Do you do anything outside of work? If so, please describe!
Kinda? I just completed my undergrad in July of 2022. I'm in my post-grad purgatory era lol. I'm exploring long forgotten hobbies, revisiting relationships that were strained by my busy student schedule, and just in general getting to know myself outside of the things that I produce or labor towards. I'm focusing on learning how to be a more proactive and responsible community member of LA.
Recently, I joined GABRIELA Los Angeles, a grassroots organization dedicated to serving Pilipinx women and gender non-conforming folx. I'm really excited to get back to organizing with the Pilipinx community - this time outside of UCLA! I started a new sketchbook and am trying to reignite my love for drawing and painting. I recently learned how to crochet and I'm getting more invested in vintage/second-hand clothing! I'm also going to many, many concerts!
Where's your favorite spot in LA? Why?
My favorite thing to do in LA is go to concerts and other music-based events. The Lodge Room and 1720 Warehouse are my favorite venues out of all the ones I've been to so far.
What are you listening to/watching/reading right now?
My current rotation: Sade - whole discography; Zild - Medisina album; SZA - SOS album
Currently watching: Abbot Elementary Season 2
Currently reading: "Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen" by Jose Antonio Vargas
We’re so happy to have Hannah on the LA Commons team. Look out for future upcoming staff spotlights to meet our other team members!