Karen Mack is a life long resident of Los Angeles and spent her early years growing up in Compton before moving to the current LA neighborhood of Miracle Mile. She decided to start LA Commons after her work in the civic sector revealed the challenge of building a sense community the city and her deep belief that art has the power to address this challenge. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University where she studied the role of culture in community building and is a former Vice President of Community Partners, LA Commons' fiscal sponsor. She brings her focus on issues of civic engagement and creative placekeeping to her role as an appointed member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.
Community Arts Program Director
Beth Peterson is the LA Commons Director of Community Arts Programs and has organized over 65 public arts projects in 13 neighborhoods successfully involving youth, professional artists, high schools and community partner organizations in diverse neighborhoods. She serves as a Master Puppet and Mask Teaching Artist for the Music Center of Los Angeles County and LA Arts, and as puppet and mask artist at venues and celebrations throughout the region. In addition, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Antioch University teaching approaches to integrating arts into school curriculum for the Masters of Education Program.
Director, Strategy and Operations
Leslie has championed arts and cultural equity as a strategist, teacher, producer and administrative leader in Los Angeles for over 25 years. As Managing Director and ensemble member at Cornerstone Theater Company she produced participatory theater projects with partners in Boyle Heights, Pacoima, Watts and Chinatown, and led a $1.5 million capital campaign for sustainability. At California Institute of the Arts she served on the faculty of the School of Theater, teaching cultural policy and fundraising for the expanded field, and serving as Associate Dean and faculty Co-Director for Equity and Diversity. A founding member of the boards of Watts Village Theater Company and Los Angeles Performance Practice, she serves on the national board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and as an advisor to the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project. She holds an MPA from the Kennedy School and studied as a Mombusho Fellow at Kyoto University.
Community Arts Cultural Organizer
Born and Raised in East Los Angeles, Miranda Ynez is a California native, Arts Management professional and community leader committed to increasing participation in the arts and culture throughout our local Los Angeles communities. Her passion for the arts and culture have helped her advocate the values, insights, and knowledge of communities to help maintain the identity and voice of the neighborhood. She currently works as the Community Arts Cultural Organizer for LA Commons.
Marketing and Development Intern
Maeve recently graduated with a degree in Art History and Religion from St. Olaf College. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is passionate about the intersection arts programing and accessibly, and most recently brought the exhibition Hostile Terrain 94 to her community. She is excited to be part of LA Commons and contribute to the arts in this great city.
Afrika is a proud Ohio native, with a penchant for cowboy boots. She moved to Los Angeles in 2010 for college and completed her B.A. at Occidental College. In addition to her success with dance and songwriting, she is an active team member at LA Commons and is very grateful to be a part of the team.