Manuel Prieto (Executive Director) is an artist and an administrator who holds five years’ experience in the field of arts education. Born in the United States but raised in Mexico, Prieto’s creative nature and interest in the arts began from a young age. Today, he is an avid arts patron, who travels far and wide to see theatre, opera, dance, and art gallery productions.
Prieto’s professional arts experience began with his co-founding of Cardinal Theatre Productions (CTP). Seeking to engage a diverse and youthful audience in theatre, CTP presented shows that were relevant in content for college and high school age audiences. It was through CTP that Prieto also began to partake in advocacy efforts for the engagement of local area students in theatre. As part of its outreach initiatives, CTP designated special performances that invited local South Central LA students and their teachers to experience a show.
In 2011, Prieto became a Los Angeles County Arts intern with the Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt), a position in which his desire to further the availability and accessibility of the arts for local students continued. He remained with LAMusArt as a Programs Associate, a role in which his administrative and managerial experience lent itself toward an organizational rebranding, and the expansion and reinvigoration of existing programs. Prieto’s involvement and ties with other local arts organizations also led to the creation of partnerships with the East Los Angeles Performing Arts Center and world-class artists, such Luis Alfaro and Marcelle Gravel.
His proven diligence and innovation led to his appointment as Deputy Director of LAMusArt in 2014. In this new role, he organized and implemented a junior advisory board to increase support and funding for LAMusArt programs. The Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) boasts 17 active members from Los Angeles County, who each bring distinct professional backgrounds and experiences as advocates of the school.
Five years later after his initial involvement as an intern, Prieto has proven his dedication and talent as an administrative leader, and is poised to assume the title of Executive Director of LAMusArt come August 2015. Prieto is honored with the opportunity to lead and promote the East Los Angeles-based LAMusArt as a distinguished and financially sustainable community arts school.
As an artist, Prieto’s design work has been featured in productions for television and theatre that include the E! Network, Center Theatre Group, Cornerstone Theatre Company, El Teatro Campesino, 24 Street Theatre, and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. His fluency in Spanish and competency of Latino/Hispanic culture has allowed him to work with a bilingual and diverse audience. His other involvements in the arts include steering committee member of the Latino Theatre Alliance in Los Angeles and past Board Chair of CTP.
Prieto holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in Non-profit Management from Antioch University.