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We'll meet again. Don't know where, don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

Looking back on an exciting first year and more to do
in 2022.

Summer NOMA Partnership:
A New Hope

Just a year ago – when the LA Lighting Speakers Bureau was just a twinkle in their eyes – Lauren Dandridge and Kate Furst connected with the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCal NOMA). They started a conversation that would lead to the first-ever inclusion of a lighting module at the NOMA Project Pipeline Summer Camp for middle- and high-school students. Lauren and Kate spent much of the spring fundraising and planning the camp curriculum, supporting different strategies along the way. The camp’s theme was Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), and the campers designed and created architectural models for exhibit spaces at a “new Hollywood museum” with a Star Wars–inspired flavor.

The team landed on an engaging, 1-hour virtual presentation by Lauren. She described what architectural lighting is and what lighting designers do. She used brilliant architectural lighting project photos from around the world, and described some of the many paths to a career in architectural lighting.  

For homework, every camper received a battery-powered point-source light fixture donated Gantom and a swatch book from Rosco. The campers’ experiments included finding objects around the house and lighting them from different angles and with different colors. Lauren also tried out different ways to light the architectural models, and some of the kids experimented with how light, shadow, and color might affect the museum experience.

Through this partnership, LALSB was able to reach a group of middle- and high-school students that had no prior experience in really understanding architectural lighting and its impact. SoCal NOMA was so happy with our volunteers, the curriculum, and the financial support from the lighting industry. They are excited to have us back next summer. Show some love to the lighting manufacturers, firms, and individuals who donated funds to the SoCal NOMA summer camp. These are the ones we know about; if there are more, let us know:   Next summer we’re hoping to be in-person so we can demo IRL and help the students go more in depth, with more types of fixtures and fully engage with the magic of the medium. Look for upcoming volunteer opportunities and requests for donations (both cash and equipment) to support this super-successful LALSB alliance. Remember, this camp is open to any teens that might be interested, so keep an eye out for those kids, as well.

This year we had the great pleasure of adding lighting design to our programming for the first time.… In came the wonderful expertise of our two resident lighting specialists Kate Furst and Lauren Dandridge. They created an amazing supportive lighting program that introduced the campers to lighting and its importance in our everyday lives and in their projects.
With a series of activities and assignments that included lighting samples and at-home lighting adventures, the lighting programming of our camp was highly received by the campers and featured in our Digital XXPO….

Lighting Design will have a permanent place in our programming going forward as we continue our efforts and mission of exposing youth to the built environment.

—Eletrice Harris, Vice President of SoCal NOMA

HS Events Rolled Out Last Fall

A picture containing indoor, laser, blurDescription automatically generatedLALSB Steering Committee volunteers Jess Baker and Holly Ratafia dove right into the school year, developing our first two afterschool presentations at South East High School in South Gate; in partnership with ACES Pathway Program and Emerald Cities Collaborative. At the first presentation in September, 25 students had great fun manipulating different materials and then exploring the effects of color mixing with a little physics and lighting terminology thrown in. Holly quickly discovered that hands-on is the way to reach high schoolers.

In October the volunteers used small light fixtures loaned by Gantom and some striplights to explore lighting angles, color, and the incidence of light on different objects. There was tons of prep involved, but this model showed huge potential to engage the students. They left seeing architectural lighting as perceptive, creative, and borderline cool.

A November presentation at Ben Franklin Senior High School in Highland Park was organized with the ACE Mentor Program and the Franklin afterschool program run by UCLA. This event was actually cool, thanks mostly to a larger team of LALSB volunteers – Tina Aghassian, Lupita Legaspi Castellanos, Alex Schlemer, and Holly Ratafia – and fewer students. This team did a short PowerPoint that included the LAX custom streetlighting project by HLB Lighting Design and then launched the hands-on fun.

The kids sculpted and arranged different objects and materials to experiment with point sources, gels, and striplights. They constructed small “exhibits” and then looked at lighting angles, shadows, transmissivity, distribution, and how they changed the appearance. The volunteer team also took the time to talk about their unique paths to their careers and handed out a takeaway flyer with a brief on colleges and careers in lighting plus a QR code leading to the LALSB resources page.

The Franklin students were fully engaged, and we got rave reviews from the partner orgs at the school. That event definitely made lighting an exciting career to consider.
 

What's New to Do in 2022?

LALSB is excited to connect more lighting industry pros with more high schools in early 2022. The partnerships with ACES Pathway Program and ACE Mentors (special thanks to Michael Chang and Amanda Shade) are valued, and those relationships are strengthening. LALSB is currently looking to assemble a portable kit of donated lights and materials. If any lighting pros wish to step forward with promising connections, small DMX sliders are a priority. Contact LALSB@gmail.org.

LALSB’s college and university connections are also beginning to solidify, thanks to outreach by core volunteers. Cal Poly's Theater Dept. and the Interior Design Program at Cal State Long Beach are likely our first stops. We’re hoping these will be slightly less… fun, and more of a lecture-based format.

This is our opportunity to help young people see lighting as a rewarding (and slightly magical) career path.

Still Seeking Volunteer Speakers

If you've not yet signed up to speak to high-school and college students, please do! It's incredibly rewarding to see a young person looking up for the first time to consider whether their lighting is good, acceptable, or bruh!

We’re gathering materials to get you started and resources to leave behind. You just be you, and share your passion for all things lighting.

Questions? Ping the Steering Committee at LALightingSpeakersBureau@gmail.com.
 

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