Aaron Paley


Aaron Paley is the President and co-founder of Community Arts Resources (CARS), co-founder and Executive Director of CicLAvia (the nation's largest car-free event) as well as the founder and board chair of Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, the largest organization devoted to Yiddish culture west of the Hudson.  

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.

Email: aaron@carsla.net 

Katie Bergin

Executive Director

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.

Email: katie@carsla.net 

Tamara O'Connor

Vice President

Since joining the firm in 2002, Tamara O’Connor has worked on a number of the firm's consulting projects, including the Hollywood Arts Retention Project for the CRA/LA, Historic Greystone: A Vision for Its Rebirth for Beverly Hills, the comprehensive vision and art plan of Playa Vista’s Bandshell Art Plan, Redlands' Mission Gables Facility Study, and the City of Calgary's International Music Festival. She has also spearheaded multiple events at the company, including two Nextbook Festivals, and multiple years of the LA County Arts Commission Internship Program.
Additionally, O’Connor assists in the firm’s business development arena, forging strategic alliances with non-profits, government planning agencies, developers, specialists in sponsorship, and interactive online social networking agencies. O’Connor also manages business operations of the firm, including all human resources issues, liability and worker’s comp insurance, hot costs, budgets and projections.
Prior to her work at Community Arts Resources, O’Connor produced non-fiction television. Her work entailed shooting in more than eighteen countries worldwide. O’Connor remains an active member of the Producers Guild and recently became a member of the PGA's New Media Council. As a native Angeleno, O’Connor has lifelong knowledge of the Los Angeles area and community. She is a graduate of UC San Diego.

Amanda Berman

Director of Community Development & Planning

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 the Metro Gold Line Eastside Access project in East LA; Michigan Avenue Neighborhod Greenway in Santa Monica; Chinatown Summer Nights; CicLAvia; a study of local nonprofits regarding their potential use of the new Grand 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 is also a Co-Founder of CicLAvia and continues to act as a strategic advisor to the organization, working with Aaron Paley, the organization’s executive director, to define implementation strategies for achieving the non-profit’s short and long term goals.

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.

Email: amanda@carsla.net

Rachel Burke

Director of Production

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 CicLAvia and the Getty Villa Festivals to the impressive 2010 and 2013 GLOW events in Santa Monica.

As CicLAvia’s Director of Production, Burke is responsible for implementing all event logistics before, during and after each CicLAvia event. She works closely with city departments to ensure a successful and safe CicLAvia event. Additionally, she helps to oversee CicLAvia’s on-the-ground community engagement strategy, ensuring that the community’s input is reflected in CicLAvia’s event plans. Burke also works with community partners to produce day-of programs for each event.

With a firm grasp on LA’s contemporary food culture, Burke’s culinary sensibilities have helped to make CARS events such as CicLAvia and Chinatown Summer Nights a huge success.

Burke holds a degree in political science and art history from UC Berkeley.

Email: rachel@carsla.net

Midori Mizuhara

Planning & Urban Design Associate

Midori Mizuhara is a multi-disciplinary designer whose professional work spans architecture, urban design, and planning. She has worked at several LA based architecture and planning firms since 2005. As an architectural and urban designer with a strong community outreach focus, she has designed affordable housing in New Orleans, co-curated and managed Little Tokyo Design Week: Future City, (a contemporary public design festival in Downtown Los Angeles in 2011), and worked on a number of strategic master planning projects for municipalities and public institutions. In her role as Planning and Urban Design Associate at CARS, she continues to work on a variety of planning, urban design and community development projects.

Midori holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Email: midori@carsla.net

Annette Lanzarotta

Associate Producer

As Community Arts Resources’ Associate Producer, Annette Lanzarotta provides planning and on-site logistical support to each of CARS’ productions. For CicLAvia, Lanzarotta assists in all elements of pre-event production and day-of Hub activity. She also coordinates the design and production of CicLAvia merchandise and runs the online store. Her enthusiasm and attention to detail make her an incredible asset to the CARS team.

Prior to joining CARS, Lanzarotta worked on ABC's “Private Practice” for two years and 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.

Email: annette@carsla.net

Mariana Perez-Seda

Event Production Assistant

Mariana Perez-Seda is one of the newest members to join the Community Arts Resources staff. As CARS’ Event Production Assistant, she provides support with all production-related matters for each CARS event. Whether assisting in the areas of community outreach, vendor and artist relations, programming, or event-day management, Perez-Seda is a critical member of the CARS production department.

In her previous job, Perez-Seda worked as an Event Production Assistant for the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Public Affairs Department. In this position, she worked on an array of events, including the Graduate Student and Alumni Brunch, M{2E} Speaker Series, Nike Sports and Social Change Speaker Series and the Annenberg Commencement Ceremony. As a lifelong resident of Southern California, she loves all that Los Angeles has to offer and looks forward to her continued work with the CARS family. Perez-Seda holds a BA in Communication from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Email: mariana@carsla.net

Malia Schilling

Event Production Assistant

In her role at CARS, Malia Schilling is CicLAvia’s Event Production Assistant. In this capacity, she supports the Director of Production in all CicLAvia production and outreach related matters, including route development, city department coordination, on-the-ground notifications, hub programming, merchandise and day-of event staffing.

Prior to joining CARS, Schilling worked at USC's radio station KXSC on a variety of events, including promotion and production of monthly concerts and a yearly music festival. Schilling also interned with Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, assisting with booking and artist relations for the annual Eagle Rock Music Festival.

Schilling is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Email: malia@ciclavia.org

Mary Hunter

Executive Assistant to the President

Mary Hunter is Mr. Paley’s Executive Assistant. In this capacity, she maintains his schedule, helps to manage his correspondence, and provides general assistance to the organization when needed. Hunter is also charged with developing more efficient organizational processes to maximize internal workflow.

Hunter recently graduated from Claremont Graduate University with an MBA and MA in Arts Management. During her time at CGU she worked as an Admissions Assistant, and completed consulting projects with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Craft and Folk Art Museum. Hunter also held positions at the Sylvia White Gallery and First Fridays in Ventura. Upon graduation from CGU, Hunter was honored with the Student of the Year Leadership Award.

Email: mary@carsla.net

Regina Joy Alcazar

Community Development & Planning Assistant

Starting off as an intern for CARS in January 2014, to her current role of assisting the Director of Community Development & Planning, Regina Joy Alcazar provides support for many of CARS’ projects. From conducting preliminary research of stakeholders and interest groups, implementing a business engagement strategy for an open streets event, securing media buys, managing an event’s online registration and email newsletters, to drafting flyers, programs and other publications, Alcazar’s diverse role at CARS has made her an essential part of the team.

With background experience in administration from her days at the American Lung Association and the USC Alumni Association, Alcazar’s acquired skills have allowed her to also provide organizational support for the CARS office. 

Alcazar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Policy, Planning and Development, with an emphasis in Sustainable Planning, from the University of Southern California. 

Email: regina@carsla.net