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Beverly Hills’ The Wallis Names Manuel Prieto Director of Education

Beverly Hills’ The Wallis Names Manuel Prieto Director of Education, an innovative leader and tireless champion of equitable arts education.

Manuel “Manny” Prieto, an innovative leader and tireless champion of equitable arts education, has been named Director of Education of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, announced Executive Director and CEO Rachel Fine.

Manny Prieto oversees for The Wallis

Prieto, a resident of Los Angeles who assumes the post on September 1, 2022, will oversee the strategic planning and operations of The Wallis’ highly regarded GRoW @ The Wallis education and outreach programs, which serve a broad and diverse sector of the community.

He will collaborate with Fine and the organization’s artistic staff and Board of Directors to ensure the education department programs and initiatives align with the mission, vision, and core values of The Wallis.

Manny Prieto’s passion for music and art

A committed and enthusiastic advocate for the arts, Prieto most recently served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt), a non-profit arts education institution in East Los Angeles with a 77-year history of making arts education a tangible reality for thousands of underserved youth in the community.

In that role, he has worked to recontextualize and combat the often outdated standards of fine and performing arts so that a new, diverse, and more modern cohort of students can experience the enrichment that creativity offers.

Prieto succeeds Mark Slavkin, The Wallis’ first Director of Education, who led the department for and retired after seven years, building a successful and admired program emulated by other institutions.


“Manny Prieto is a dedicated arts education pioneer and advocate,” says Fine.

“A visionary and community-focused trailblazer,

he is dedicated to ensuring arts education and outreach programs remain indispensable in our complicated and evolving world.

On behalf of The Wallis’ Board of Directors and staff, we welcome Manny enthusiastically to our senior management team. Under his strategic guidance, The Wallis will continue to prioritize its education department to serve the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles communities with forward-thinking educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity and needs of our great cities.”


“I am tremendously excited to join The Wallis as Director of Education,” says Prieto. “The Wallis is unwavering in its commitment to providing opportunities for audiences of all abilities, ages, and interests so they never stop learning and engaging in the performing arts – a guiding tenet of my life’s work thus far. The arts are where we create community, heal our divides, discover and embrace our visions, voices, and power to be creative agents of change, and foster a safe space to thrive. In my new capacity with The Wallis, I look forward to applying my expertise and belief in the power of the arts to facilitate an environment that encourages the community to think like artists and experience collective success as creative people.”


About Manny Prieto

During Prieto’s eight-year tenure with LAMusArt, he helped make the arts — and their benefits –a day-to-day experience for young students in East Los Angeles. He effectively strengthened the organization’s infrastructure by broadening board involvement, expanding program offerings and scholarship opportunities, upgrading working conditions and renovating work spaces, adopting a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, doubling the organization’s budget to over $1 million, creating an organization-wide curriculum framework, and implementing community building among staff and faculty. Prieto is proud of the organization’s mission and is also proud to reinvest in the East LA community as a means to bring forth its vibrant creative potential. When Prieto took the position of Executive Director, at a mere 25 years old, he had a vision for LAMusArt as a hub for accessible and safe collaboration, expression, and instruction so that students could see viable examples of what the arts can bring to their lives. His vision didn’t come without risks – he expanded free programming, pushed students toward challenging repertoire, and invited audience members to explore art forms unfamiliar to them. During his tenure, the community experienced considerable growth and transformation.


Prior to joining LAMusArt, Prieto worked in the education department at Center Theatre Group (CTG) coordinating accessibility programs at the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre and implemented bilingual curriculum for their education department initiative “The Shop: Theatre In Your Everyday Life.” He has worked as an educator at CTG and P.S. Arts, among other Los Angeles institutions, leading discourse on pedagogical strategy, artistic curricula, and theatrical design. As a designer, Prieto has worked on productions for E! Network, CTG, Pasadena Playhouse, Cornerstone Theatre, El Teatro Campesino, 24th Street Theater, and LATC.


Prieto earned a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California in Theater Design and a M.A. in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University. He was co-chair of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council, a member of the steering committee of the Latinx Theatre Alliance-LA and a former LACDAC internship program participant and peer mentor. He brings his background and perspective as a student of design and an arts educator to his role as a leader and works for the communities he himself recognizes from childhood – communities with abundant artistic potential and very few resources. He has remained an authentic and steadfast captain through many evolutions and challenges in the arts landscape, never losing sight of a greater sense of purpose.


About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and international artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences. The campus, located in the heart of Beverly Hills, CA, is committed to robust and distinctive presentations and education programs curated with both creativity and social impact in mind. Distinguished by its eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis has produced and presented more than 350 theater, dance, music, film, cabaret, conversation, and family entertainment programs since its doors opened in October 2013. Hailed as “au courant” (LaLa Magazine), The Wallis was lauded by Culture Vulture, which proclaims, “If you love expecting the unexpected in the performing arts, you have to love The Wallis.” Its programming has been nominated for 79 Ovation Awards and nine L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards. The campus itself, a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, celebrating the classic and the modern, has garnered six architectural awards. Designed by acclaimed architect Zoltan E. Pali (SPF:architects), the restored building features the original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places), which serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and includes the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater; the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater; an inviting open-air plaza for family, community and other performances; and GRoW @ The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education, where learning opportunities for all ages and backgrounds abound. Together, these elements embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is led by Chairman of the Board Michael Nemeroff and Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer Rachel Fine.


For more information about The Wallis, please visit:

Mash Gallery Grand Opening A Huge Success… Brings out the best of the LA Arts Scene

Gallery owner, stunning Haleh Mashian Mash Gallery Grand Opening A Huge Success… Brings out the best of the LA Arts Scene

Mash Gallery successfully opened it’s new location doors this past weekend and hundreds of the Los Angeles art community were on hand to admire the stunning collection of works on display at the new ‘Formless Form’ exhibit.

Haleh Mashian’s Opening Night at Mash Gallery

The much anticipated red carpet event was the place to be with crowds spilling out onto La Cienega Blvd for the duration of the four hour event.



Gallery owner, the stunning Haleh Mashian was the Queen Bee of the event and certainly looked like it in her flowing, striking silver long dress.

Haleh Mashian was the Queen Bee of the event

The exhibit has unique and striking pieces by several artists all single-handedly chosen by Mashian, who has been an expressionist painter herself for over twenty years. She works in mixed media and has exhibited recently at the Torrance museum of art alongside many renowned artists.

Mash Gallery owner - renowned artist Haleh Mashian

Mash Gallery owner – renowned artist Haleh Mashian

Not only a prolific artist, Mashian is a keen supporter of the art community and has a deep passion for her fellow artists and the wonderful exhibits she is respected for. Her sense of pride for the other participating artists is undeniably on display at every exhibition she produces. She clearly has an exceptionally trained eye for placing artists side by side and creating a moving, emotional  and enjoyable experience.

Mashian said after the show:

“I’m so honored and blessed to be able to continuously bring the Los Angeles art community together and celebrate what matters the most in our lives, creativity, bliss and community…

…I am proud to say we did that again with the Formless Form exhibit. I am grateful for the artists and for my team at Mash Gallery for helping to put this together. We are extremely excited about being a part of this wonderful art community on La Cienega Blvd. I am beyond excited about our new location and of course,  the new exhibit.”

Related:  Haleh Mashian returns with A GOGO II exhibit which debuted at W Hotel Hollywood in conjunction with Frieze LA

Also on hand for the special event was Lisa Schulte – an American artist, also known as “The Neon Queen”, who is best known for her work in expressive neon sculpture. Schulte started bending neon in the early 1980s, creating custom neon signs and neon prop rentals to the entertainment industry under her Los Angeles-based neon studio, Nights of Neon. Her striking pieces were definitely a favorite.

A who’s who of the LA  art scene was in attendance…

…including Renowned art critic Edward Goldman as was art curator Peter Frank. Both clearly were very impressed with the exhibit and mingled with the artists and guests.

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The exhibit also has pieces by Lerone Wilson – A sculptor and painter living and working in New York, Lerone Wilson’s primary medium is beeswax, the oldest form of painting, used by the ancient Kemetic people to create art, among other things. His sculpted encaustic paintings explore the complexities of the historical and cultural inferences of spirituality, history and identity.

Kenny Nguyen  – “My work explores the concept of cultural identity, integration, and displacement. My studio practice is influenced by Vietnamese cultural heritage and background in fashion design. I use silk, a cultural-rich material, as a metaphor for my personal identity.”

Ian Rayer-Smith – “In a world preoccupied with technology, there is something remarkable about painting. It connects us back to man’s earliest and most elemental forms of self expression. I am not interested in painting something that already exists. My pressing urge is to use paint to explore new forms which will ultimately carry emotional weight. I try not to recreate an image. Instead, I may use it as a reference point by which to move from one painting to the next.”

Frank Hyder – Frank Hyder has participated in more than 200 group shows and over 100 solo exhibitions throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe, including 10 individual exhibitions in New York City.  Solo museum exhibitions in Venezuela at the Museum of Modern Art Caracas, Museo Jacobo Borges, Museum of Modern Art Zulia, Museo Universidad de Los Andes and Museum of Modern Art Coro.  Other solo museum exhibitions:  Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Carnegie Museum CA, La Salle Museum of Art, National Museum of Catholic Art and History and The Noyes Museum.  He is one of ten artists whose heroic inflatables formed the “Giants in the City” exhibition in Miami during Art Basel Miami.


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Chase Langford – Chase Langford has invented Geographic Expressionism, a distinctive visual language that is grounded in the natural and built environment while embarking into uncharted territory. His impactful work recalls maps and aerial photography of sea coasts, mountains, farmland and cities through a calculated execution and refined draftsmanship.

Bryan Ricci – Bryan Ricci is an award-winning artist based in the United States whose paintings have been exhibited both nationally and in Australia. He cites the emphasis on color theory as being the constant element in his works throughout his career. For Ricci, “color is the most powerful aspect of painting”. Employing raw pigments, acrylics, and resin, as well as other materials such as sand, he incorporates texture into his pieces in order to “push past the image”.

Bruce MacDonald -grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, with farms, cornfields, and barns edging his world. His art subjects range from flamenco dancers and castles in Spain, ancient churches in England, and most recently, 12th Century barns in France—and once even, a good looking dog owned by a restaurateur in New York City; the painting still hangs over his bar in the East village. The source of his art bubbles up from a deep wellspring of life—Bruce – “not always beautiful but always, always interesting.”

Anthony Liggins – Inspired by the artist’s background in fashion design, Le Smoking sculptures represent the layers of meaning we find in life and the infinite and unknown places each path and choice can lead to. Each sculpture is meticulously handcrafted with 300 or more small pieces of exotic wood sustainably cultivated in South America, giving new life and purpose to one of Mother Earth’s greatest resources.


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Aman Shekarchi – Aman’s art is a unique representation of how art can create the bridge to protection to the spiritual world. As a child, Aman was fascinated with the unknown and found that his paintbrush was the key to tapping into his visions. Aman began painting at a very young age. His paintings are unlike any other paintings ever seen before. Aman’s paintings represent Middle Eastern, Egyptian, and Indian history through his uncanny talent of creating sculptures on canvas. Every painting Aman has created tells a story about the fortification of the spiritual realm that creates the path to live a full and prosperous life.

Alberto Sanchez – “I work with both urban settings and the natural world. Landscapes balance and complete me. The challenge I set myself in my work is to broaden the sense of these landscapes. Pursuing these ideas continues to inspire me every day. Painting the image brings the work a level of un-realism. The colors I use embody the energy and feelings of the place I have visited and photographed.”


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Be sure to check out the ‘Formless Form’ exhibit at the new Mash Gallery location.

812N La Cienega Blvd;

Los Angeles

CA 90069

To learn more about Mash Gallery-

 go to


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