Arts & Community: Arts and Live/Work Space

Friday, June 16, 3:15 pm - 4:00 pm

We cannot encourage arts-based community development if artists do not have fertile ground from which to grow or if the same ground is being cultivated over and over. Artists are in the never-ending search for creation space which robs them of artistic time. Moreover, in the additional never-ending search for audience, there is fear to go outside the “known” areas of their town. How can we nurture responsible, affordable incorporation of artists into all communities?

This session addresses issues of accessibility, advocacy, capacity, community development, equity/diversity/inclusion, fundraising, grantmaking, leadership, public value, and research.

This session is part of the Inspiring Activation sessions.


Karen DiLossi
Director of Arts in Sacred Places
Partners for Sacred Places
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Karen (BA Washington College and MA Villanova University) has worked as a stage manager, director, and producer. She is the Co-Artistic Director for Madhouse Theater Company. As the Program Director for the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, she produced of the Barrymore Awards and directed them herself twice. Karen taught acting at West Chester and was the stage management consultant at Villanova. As Partners for Sacred Places’ national Director of Arts in Sacred Places, she matches artists/arts organizations who need space with sacred places who have space to share. She has created a training model and a manual of instruction on long-term leases for arts organizations to thrive within the walls of congregations. Karen also led the research report Creating Spaces which elevated the artist space crisis conversation nationwide and in the Spring of 2016 opened The Philadelphia Design Center, the first of its kind in the country.
Alysia Lee
Executive Director
Sister Cities Girlchoir
Baltimore, Maryland

"Alysia Lee is an advocate for creative youth development and a professional Teaching Artist. Ms. Lee is the founder of Sister Cities Girlchoir, the tuition-free, girl empowerment choral academy serving communities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. She was recently awarded for her leadership and commitment to building community through the arts by The Knight Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and The City Council of Philadelphia. Lee is a Sistema Fellow of the New England Conservatory, an initiative launched in partnership with TED. Alysia is also an alum of Peabody Conservatory."
Wendy Hsu
Digital Strategist / Senior Project Coordinator
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Los Angeles, California

Wendy Hsu is a researcher, strategist, and educator who engages with hybrid research and organizing agendas for equality in arts, technology, and civic participation. Currently Hsu is the digital strategist of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, providing research and strategy to redesign data and information paradigms and augment department-wide digital capacity, relevance, and public engagement. Hsu is also the founder of Lab at DCA, a city staff innovation incubator. A former ACLS Public Fellow, Hsu serves on the programming advisory committee for Arts for LA, steering committee for Cultural Research Network, steering advising committee for Social Change Data Commons, and the Society of Ethnomusicology Council. In addition, Hsu leads civic research and arts projects LA Listens and Movable Parts. More: