NextGen10: Philanthropy, Art, & Culture [2016]

This year’s Philanthropy, Art & Culture NextGen 10 are as unique as the creative space they encompass.

October 4, 2016

CSQ is proud to launch a new tradition. For years, the magazine has honored groups of ten leaders under the age of 40 in the fields of sports and entertainment, and innovation and technology. CSQ now presents our debut cohort of young Angelenos doing extraordinary work in the fields of philanthropy, art, and culture. Their accomplishments are impressive and diverse – from connecting military veterans to humanitarian disaster relief projects, to launching an intergenerational group of world leaders, to opening a one-of-a-kind olfactory institute.

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BETTY AVILA, 30

Associate Director, Self Help Graphics & Art

Education B.A. Literature, Pitzer College; M.A. Arts Management, Claremont Graduate University
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects Creating a teen program for a 50-concert series in MacArthur Park and connecting 40+ youth annually to art in their own backyards is a favorite accomplishment.
Big Break Getty Research Institute. I worked for incredible mentors who valued my goal of connecting people to transformative artistic experiences, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Personal Passions Working toward equitable active transportation options in Los Angeles with Multicultural Communities for Mobility. Mobility should be a basic amenity for all, not a privilege.
On the Horizon Excited to pay homage to four decades of SHG serving the community through Dia de los Muertos as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA in 2017.


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CAITLYN CROSBY, 34

Founder & CEO / Singer-Songwriter, The Giving Keys

Education Started at LMU with a Philosophy Major
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects The Giving Keys, which has 65 employees. Oprah’s current SuperSoul 100 List. Worldz Nelson Mandela changemaker award. Started LoveYourFlawz.com with actress Brie Larson. Has been signed to Capitol Records, Atlantic, and Interscope records.
Big Break Acting in commercials and TV shows in elementary school, it was a slow and steady progression. Signed by Babyface at 17. Our first store was Fred Segal so that helped break the brand.
Personal Passions Currently nine-months pregnant so I’m passionate about learning how to be a good mother and taking baby-care classes. Also, just started SaveThatPillow.com based off a song I wrote, to hopefully encourage girls to save themselves for someone who values and cherishes them.
On the Horizon Doing an exclusive deal with Starbucks. Expanding to apparel and lifestyle products. Partnership with The Grove. Airstream Tour with a diversifying product line starting this holiday season.


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HENRY ELKUS, 21

CEO and Chairman, Helena

Education  Yale University
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects Helena (Helena.co), an intergenerational group of world leaders, including generals, hyper-polyglots, nobel laureates, activists, and technologists. Also working to build a “Vertical University” in Eastern Nepal (http://helena.co/vertical-university/).
Big Break At 19, becoming the youngest member of the Wall Street Journal’s “Experts on Small Business” panel, alongside Wharton’s Karl Ulrich and University of Chicago Booth’s James Schrager.
Personal Passions Writing a book on 21st century governance and AI.
On the Horizon Hosting a climate change technology prize in the fall of 2016 with the Boston Consulting Group and others (http://helena.co/prize).


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JAMILLAH JAMES, 35

Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, LA

Education  B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies (Art History and Cultural Studies)
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects Exhibitions and programs at Art + Practice, Los Angeles; Hammer Projects: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Brothers and Sisters, The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Big Break Curatorial fellowship at the Studio Museum in Harlem, which gave access to a number of important artists and the inimitable Thelma Golden, its director, who has been an incredible mentor to me.
Personal Passions Obscure European horror films, record collecting, cooking, midcentury Danish design, seeing live music.
On the Horizon Kickstarting the curatorial program at the ICA LA—plenty to do in the next few months….stay tuned!


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CLINT MISAMORE, 31

Co-founder, GoGood

Education M.A., International Relations
Residence Santa Monica
Notable Projects Milken Institute; GlobalGiving; Nexus Global Youth Summit; Startup Impact Day; Y-Generation Against Poverty; Sanejo.
Big Break Co-founded Y-Generation Against Poverty in 2008. We lead projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This was my first real exposure to international development and the experience inspired me to go back to school and dedicate my life to social impact.
Personal Passions Traveling, reading, yoga, anything outdoors, spending time with friends and family.
On the Horizon We are planning to mobilize a global community of givers in 2017 who #GIVEABUCK to help solve our global challenges.


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SHAUNA NEP, 29

Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Fundamental

Education Masters in Bioethics from New York University
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects Managing several philanthropists’ multi-million-dollar grantmaking portfolios and their investments in social innovators and nonprofits; building the LA2050 brand and project; brokering the placement of the first Civic Innovation Fellow in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office.
Big Break Launching LA2050, a multi-million-dollar initiative out of the Goldhirsh Foundation to build and create the future of Los Angeles and securing more than one million dollars in follow-on funding from other Los Angeles-area foundations to support LA2050 projects.
Personal Passions Biking; LA stair walks; graphic design; photography
On the Horizon Building a smart, philanthropic strategy to increase opportunity, access to the arts and economic mobility in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.


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AJAY RAVI, 31

General Manager, dublab

Education B.A. English, UC Irvine
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects I wrote and am managing the first NEA Grant that our organization has received. If you don’t know us: dublab is a nonprofit, online radio station dedicated to the growth of music, arts, and culture. We have been broadcasting from Los Angeles since 1999; our programming has expanded to include art exhibits, films, events, record releases and affiliate stations in Germany (dublab.de), Japan (dublab.jp), and Spain (dublab.es).
Big Break My big break was really about timing, as is usually the case.
Personal Passions Hiking, making music, writing fiction and poetry.
On the Horizon Our station will soon be entering a new medium, which we’re close to announcing!


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RACHEL SUMEKH, 24

Founder and CEO, Swipe Out Hunger

Education  B.A. from UCLA
Residence Echo Park
Notable Projects Founded Swipe Out Hunger– Has served 1.2 million meals by allowing university students to donate their meal points. Recognized by White House, NY Times.
Big Break When I decided that at 21, I was capable of taking on the CEO role. There are no big breaks– just hustle that pays off.
Personal Passions  Boxing, jogging around Echo Park Lake, coffee with inspiring people, cooking Persian food.
On the Horizon Ending hunger amongst college students…and maybe business school.


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SASKIA WILSON-BROWN, 37

Director, Founder, The Institute for Art and Olfaction

Education M.A. Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College, London. B.A. Fine Art, UC Berkeley
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects A Trip to Japan in Sixteen Minutes, Revisited’ at Hammer Museum. ‘Scent of Mystery,’ scented film screenings in three countries. The Art and Olfaction Awards, ongoing, various locations.
Big Break Leaving my ‘real’ job and starting The Institute for Art and Olfaction. It was mainly a shift in expectation: Emancipating myself from the expectation of someone else filling my professional needs and goals.
Personal Passions Traveling, learning languages, editing videos, drawing, and practicing the violin.
On the Horizon I’m taking the Art and Olfaction Awards to Cuba in 2017. I’m also in the process of developing a project where we will translate location data from the International Space Station into a large-scale installation that emits location-triggered scents — so you can smell where the ISS is in the sky.


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JAKE WOOD, 33

CEO and Co-founder, Team Rubicon

Education B.S. Business and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Residence Los Angeles
Notable Projects Marine Scout Sniper, briefed President Obama and met Presidents Bush and Clinton to discuss veterans issues and disaster response, published  Take Command, a book on leadership.
Big Break Team Rubicon’s response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 proved veterans had the skills/experiences to be extremely effective disaster responders.
Personal Passions Spending time with wife Indra Petersons and dog Remington, traveling, following Wisconsin and Packers football, writing.
On the Horizon Growing Team Rubicon into a world-class organization. Over 40,000 veterans and first responders have registered as volunteers with TR, focusing on building training opportunities and capacity.

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