Here’s how you navigate the schedule! Click the day of the week to view the agenda for the day and read the descriptions for each session.
All Friday and Saturday sessions will take place in the Sheraton Grand ballroom and breakout rooms.
Join your fellow Convening attendees for a cultural walking tour and experience the rich tapestry of neighborhoods that make up Los Angeles—one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world.
Take your pick from the Downtown Arts District, Boyle Heights, Olvera Street/Chinatown, Downtown LA, and Little Tokyo!
Hosted by the Levitt Foundation, each walking tour will highlight the historical and cultural significance of the featured neighborhood. You will need to walk or rideshare to the starting point of your selected tour. You will be able to select your tour prior to the Convening or upon your arrival in Los Angeles; please note the tour arrival time listed in your RSVP.
Sheraton Grand Los Angeles
Connect with your Levitt peers from across the country at our welcome reception, taking place on the Sheraton Grand’s outdoor terrace where you’ll enjoy delectable bites and libations, while taking in the scenic views of LA’s downtown skyline set to the sounds of DJ Ari-4Rari.
The Levitt Foundation has set the stage for its next chapter as a spend-down foundation, recognizing that investments made today in building community through music will have exponential impact for generations to come, creating a more equitable, healthy, and thriving future for all. At the core of Levitt’s funding philosophy is a commitment to investing in public spaces as platforms for community building and celebrating our shared humanity.
Sharon will speak to the power of public spaces as a community’s greatest asset and equalizer, fostering a sense of belonging for people of all ages and backgrounds, and how arts investments in public spaces, in particular live music, is strengthening the social fabric of our country. Sharon will also share exciting updates on strategic planning for the spend-down and how the ideas, insights, and experiences of the Levitt network are shaping the next two decades.
Many cultural organizations have used the past two+ years to explore new program models, anti-racist commitments, and community partnerships. How can we use the lessons learned—and the crises confronted—to build a more joyful, inclusive, and sustainable future? Nina Simon, best-selling author of The Art of Relevance, will share inspiring examples and concrete models for lasting change.
Oppressive, inequitable, and unequal systems are by design; therefore, we can redesign them. In this session, we will be guided through an innovative framework that will build consciousness regarding our role in working with communities, including ways to invite diverse co-creators to the table with different perspectives, values, experiences, and expertise to redesign existing systems.
Equity-Centered Community Design (ECCD) is a creative problem-solving framework developed by Creative Reaction Lab that supports the development of equity-centered approaches to dismantle oppressive systems. The framework addresses power dynamics and co-creating with the community to achieve sustained community health, economic opportunities, and social and cultural solidarity. As Levitt venues and concert sites are positioned to catalyze positive change in communities, we will discuss how this framework focuses on a community’s culture and needs, and identify tools to help dismantle systemic oppression to create a future with equity for all.
Intended for those in the beginning stages of learning Equity-Centered Community Design, this session will introduce each piece of the framework + Creative Reaction Lab’s Redesigners for Justice movement, promoting a sustainable shift in mindset.
An unequivocal musical prodigy, singer-saxophonist-songwriter-composer and band leader, Grace Kelly has rocked the jazz world with sold-out concerts, 14 acclaimed albums and a resume that includes performing at the Hollywood Bowl and as part of the house band for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”—all before reaching her mid-twenties. In addition to being a phenomenal performer, Grace is passionate about music education and she’ll share her experiences teaching thousands of students to become more confident performers as co-founder of Saxy School, an innovative online saxophone school.
Forging partnerships with local groups offers opportunities to deepen community engagement, advance shared priorities and accelerate ecosystem-level change. Learn how two Levitt communities, Levitt AMP Ocala in Florida and Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury in Vermont, are strengthening their social and economic ecosystems through intentional partnerships and co-creation, including facilitating collaborations with once siloed cultural groups to provide platforms and create visibility for new festivals and programming; to leveraging pop-up concerts to inspire coordination, driving economic activity downtown while also connecting with new audiences.
Dr. Dwanette Jackson-Dilworth
Learn how to assess your surroundings and mitigate risk through the eyes of a nationally-recognized security expert. This session is designed to teach the Levitt community how to identify potential threats and dangers in public settings like parks and plazas, including active shooter preparedness and response. Take away best practices, tools, and insights that will allow you to be more in tune with your environment, so you can better prepare yourself and your team for potential emergency situations.
Learn techniques to heighten your overall levels of awareness and diffuse tense situations through communications and empathy, without compromising your compliance standards to create a safe environment for all. As professionals and community leaders who work with the public, knowing how to leverage resources, build a safety and security organization culture, and being trained on how to handle a range of emergencies and extreme situations can better protect your team and the community you serve.
Join your Levitt peers for a Los Angeles culinary experience. Groups of 10-20 will dine at each restaurant with cuisines reflecting the global diversity of LA—from Mexican, Korean, and French to Chinese, Italian, and standard American fare—among other delicious options.
Get ready to be energized for the day with an opening activity led by Christopher Ramirez.
Free concerts in public spaces serve a special role in society, often bringing together people of various racial, gender, socioeconomic, educational, and religious backgrounds, amongst others. As such, outdoor music venues and concert sites have the potential to reinforce or reduce bias.
Reinforcement can happen if venues market artists and events to certain demographic groups based upon stereotypes about that demographic or the “types” of people that may like a particular artist or genre. Bias reduction can occur when audience members stand next to, interact with, and share a positive, sometimes euphoric, experience with people who differ demographically. Dr. Marks will explain the concept of implicit bias and its implications for music series taking place in public space.
Broadly speaking, group-based bias involves varying degrees of stereotyping (exaggerated mental association of a group and a trait), prejudice (dis/liking others), and/or discrimination (unequal treatment of others) that occur above or below conscious awareness. Scholars have labeled the subconscious form of group-based bias implicit or unconscious bias. Implicit bias is primarily seen as an attitude or stereotype held about social groups below conscious awareness. Implicit bias has become very important to understand given the decreased frequency of Americans to freely and openly express negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors regarding other racial groups. Implicit bias is everywhere and can affect anyone. We all have implicit bias. The impact of our implicit bias on others, however, significantly depends on our social and professional roles in society. Bias held by educators, police officers, physicians, prosecutors, and criminal court judges can significantly affect the life outcomes of large segments of society. This session will provide insights into breaking societal biases to counter injustice and inequities that occur intentionally, or unintentionally.
All are encouraged to take this time to relax and rejuvenate. Join Jessica for a guided meditation session or Luna for a sound bath experience.
Join Jessica Natalia for a rejuvenating meditation session to release stress, energize your intuition, and connect to ancestral knowledge. Meditation is a universal tool for personal and collective well-being. You will learn breathing and gentle movement techniques to balance your nervous system to experience peace and mental clarity.
Join Luna for a relaxing sonic meditation experience incorporating sound bowls for an easeful and empowering sound bath. Sound healing is a form of alchemy or transformation that calms brain waves in safe and gentle ways. This session will support peace, relaxation and connection for a moment to pause and enjoy nature and sound.
Join your Levitt peers for a breakout session based on your affinity group—Levitt AMP grantees; Friends of Levitt board members; Friends of Levitt executive directors; and Friends of Levitt staff—to further explore key topics and share insights and experiences. Offering the opportunity to learn from your Levitt peers from across the country, these breakouts will also spark conversations around future collaborations and resources for the national network of Levitt venues and Levitt AMP sites.
Rooted in the Lakota tradition of storytelling and sharing songs, multi-genre music artist Frank Waln will share stories and works inspired by his upbringing on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and his life as a Native artist finding success in a world shaped by settler colonialism. Frank will discuss ways we can collaborate with Indigenous communities to decolonize our work and strengthen our relationships to the land we occupy.
Many of us have participated in land acknowledgements—a traditional custom that dates back centuries in many Native nations and communities; today used by Native Peoples and non-Natives to recognize Indigenous Peoples who are the original stewards of the lands on which we now live. This session will discuss going beyond land acknowledgments to building authentic relationships with Native nations in our own communities. Hear from panelists on how they are leveraging their Levitt venues to begin conversations, develop relationships, and plan impactful programming in partnership with the Indigenous nations in their regions.
Sarah Bad Warrior-Vrooman
Candela La Brea
Get ready to experience authentic Mexican cuisine with an LA flair, with LA’s own all-female salsa group Las Chikas and multicultural dance company, Ocandeniye, at Candela La Brea, a historic family-owned venue steeped in 1920s Hollywood glamour!