Lynn Warshafsky

Founder and Executive Director

Lynn conceived and created Venice Arts' award-winning arts education and mentoring programs for Los Angeles-area youth; initiated its program of exhibitions and film screenings for adults; and has led the vision for its participant-produced documentary media initiatives locally and internationally, including capacity building programs for nonprofit organizations, NGOs, and Foundations. Lynn is especially interested in designing strategies that integrate creative development, arts engagement, and storytelling into public health, systems change, and community development strategies.  

In 2007, together with Jim Hubbard, Dr. Neal Baer, and the University of Southern California's (USC) former Dean, Geoffrey Cowan, Lynn co-founded the Institute for Photographic Empowerment at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, launching the first-ever Minor in the field. A Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School (2008-09), from 2000–04 she also held a Faculty appointment at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where, from 1990 to 2004, she was a consultant and trainer for the UCLA School of Medicine's Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

In 2018, Lynn received the Inspiring Leader Award, from the Center for Nonprofit Management and, in 2014, was given the Milestone Certificate of Appreciation, awarded to only seven arts leaders nationwide by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. In 2003, she received a Fellowship from Stanford University for the Graduate School of Business' program Nonprofit Leaders: Arts and, in 2002, was selected as one of 10 arts leaders, countywide, for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Arts Leadership Initiative. She has been an invited lecturer on visual communication, participatory media, and social change at, among other institutions, Stanford University, UCLA, USC, Colorado College, and the Aspen Institute’s Convening on Culture and the Arts (Paris).

Lynn is a Board Officer (Secretary) of the Social Change Institute, a member of the Youth Media Steering Committee of NAMAC (National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture), the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and the California Alliance for Arts Education.

In addition to her work work at Vence Arts,  Lynn has been an organization development consultant for more than 25 years, consulting to arts and human service organizations, foundations, academic institutions, and governmental agencies. She studied photography as an undergraduate student and at the Los Angeles Women’s Building, where she also taught. She received her Master's degree in Psychology in 1982 and has held a license in the State of California since 1985. She is the mom to a teenage daughter, Sofie.

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