Aaron Paley is the President and co-founder of Community Arts Resources (CARS), as well as the founder and board chair of Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, the largest organization devoted to Yiddish culture west of the Hudson and the producer of the biggest Yiddish festival in the nation.
A Los Angeles native, Paley has 30 years of experience in production, administration and planning for the arts. Paley is a recipient of the 2008 Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellowship, which allowed him to focus on the utilization of public space in Los Angeles. He and business partner Katie Bergin, for their work with Community Arts Resources, are the recipients of the 2010 Cornerstone Theater Company's Bridge Award. Paley is also a member of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC.
Paley’s training in and passion for urban planning and architecture have serendipitously combined in his endeavors in the arts. The result: a body of work championing public space and the performing arts as catalysts for a stronger civic fabric, the reuse of historic structures, and the integration of artists and arts organizations in people’s daily lives.
Paley’s vision for Los Angeles gave form to the public performance series Grand Performances at California Plaza, the programming vision for the new 16-acre $56 million redevelopment of Civic Park (part of the historic and ambitious Grand Avenue redevelopment scheme), the plan for the reuse of the historic Broadway Movie Palaces and the blueprint for the under-construction Plaza de Cultura y Arte off Olvera Street. He also created and directed the seminal 1987 Los Angeles Fringe Festival (the first in the U.S.).
Paley is currently spearheading the creation of CicLAvía – a new project to create temporary public space from city streets for Angelenos to walk, bike, socialize and celebrate. He received a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley and an M.B.A. in Non-Profit Arts Management from UCLA. Paley is fluent in French and conversant in both Spanish and Yiddish.
Katie Bergin is the Executive Director and co-founder of Community Arts Resources (CARS), and is one of Southern California’s most innovative developers of cultural programming, as well as one of its key arts producers.
Bergin has co-created and directed the production of all CARS festivals, including most recently GLOW for the City of Santa Monica (150,000 attendees), CicLAvia (100,000 attendees), the Family Festivals for the Getty Museum (over a 100 festivals since 1995), the Festival for Families (celebrating the Music Center's 30th Anniversary), and the annual Santa Monica Festival (since 1992). She directed the opening festivals for the Getty Center and Villa, the Japanese American National Museum and the Skirball Cultural Center. Bergin is responsible for establishing and curating CARS’ extensive family and interactive arts programming, including workshop and curriculum development. Bergin curated and produced for the “Friday Night at the Getty” performance series for 10 years, bringing world-class talent to a prime Los Angeles venue.
A fourth generation Californian (her grandfather founded the iconic and eponymous Tom Bergin’s Horseshoe Tavern in 1936), Bergin has more than 30 years of experience in the arts and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USC. From 1981-94, she worked on the Craft and Folk Art Museum's Festival of Masks, L.A.'s archetypal multi-cultural celebration. Bergin and Aaron Paley, for their work with Community Arts Resources, are the recipients of the 2010 Cornerstone Theater Company's Bridge Award.
Amanda Berman holds a Masters in Public Art Studies and Urban Planning from the University of Southern California. Since joining CARS in January 2007, Berman has worked on a number of cultural and community development projects, including Chinatown Summer Nights; CicLAvia; a study of local nonprofits regarding their potential use of the new Civic Park in downtown Los Angeles; a facilities study for the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles; and a proposal for the execution of a series of temporary public art projects through the City of LA’s artist development fee.
Berman honed her cultural planning skills in the summer of 2007 when she was hired by the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). There, she was charged with drafting a public art plan for the Alchemist Properties Philanthropic Center for the Arts in downtown Los Angeles. She simultaneously worked with the Community Development Department of the City of Henderson, Nevada, where she created preliminary guidelines for a public art plan related to the development of a bus rapid transit line.
Prior to returning to school, Berman worked at Participant Productions as a social action campaign manager. In this capacity, she helped create social action campaigns around such films as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and “Murderball.” These issue-driven campaigns lived online and through live social action events.
As a native Angeleno, lead producer Rachel Burke brings a rich understanding of Los Angeles’ plentiful offerings to each event Community Arts Resources produces. From her time as an intern at the company to her current role, Burke has left her mark on CARS productions as the lead producer for events that range in size from the Getty Villa Festivals to the impressive 2010 GLOW in Santa Monica. With a firm grasp on LA’s contemporary food culture, Burke’s culinary sensibilities have helped to make CARS events such as Chinatown Summer Nights a huge success.
Burke holds a degree in political science and art history from UC Berkeley.
Annette Lanzarotta has extensive experience working as an event producer in Los Angeles. After working for ABC's “Private Practice” for two years, Lanzarotta helped produce high profile events like the ELLE Women in Hollywood awards and the HBO “Boardwalk Empire” premiere party as an assistant coordinator for Caravents. Inc.
Lanzarotta is now excited to be CARS’ newest staff member and to explore her Angeleno (and Fillipino-American) roots in a very different capacity: by working closely with LA’s diverse communities and cultures.