June 22, 2017 12pm MDT / 2pm EDT
Sofia Klatzker 
Executive Director, Arts for LA 

Sofia Klatzker was named the executive director of Arts for LA in April 2015, bringing with her over 15 years of experience in arts policy, arts education, and grantmaking programs. Through Arts for LA, she plays a pivotal role ensuring the greater Los Angeles region is one in which government, education, business, and residents value, support, and fully integrate the arts–in all their diversity–into the fabric of civic life. Prior to Arts for LA, Klatzker led several successful initiatives within the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. She oversaw the county’s grant-making and professional development programs, serving close to 400 organizations and overseeing a budget of $5.4 million. She was instrumental in establishing LA County’s Arts for All program, a county-wide collaboration working to create vibrant classrooms and now working in 61 LA County school districts. Klatzker currently serves on the boards of California Arts Advocates and Californians for the Arts and sits on the California Alliance for Arts Education’s Policy Council. She received her bachelor’s degree in electronic music composition from Oberlin Conservatory and a master’s degree in arts administration from Goucher College.

Ben Allen 
California State Senator 

California State Senator Ben Allen was elected in 2014 to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County. Allen serves as chair of the Senate Education Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts.  He is a member of the Senate Committees on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Natural Resources and Water, and Transportation and Housing; co-chairs the Environmental Caucus and is vice-chair of the Jewish Caucus. As chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, Allen authored successful legislation that reinstated teaching credentials for theatre and dance educators. Allen is fighting for increased access to the arts in schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, and is working to keep entertainment industry jobs in California. Prior to his election, Allen was a lecturer at UCLA’s Law School. Allen has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, and a juris doctorate from UC Berkeley. 
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