About/Bio

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Trinidad Ruiz is a Chicano, avid cyclist, visual artist, community organizer, educator, programmer, and collaborator working at the intersection of creativity, community building and tenant activism.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Housing is a Human Right
January 2020 – December 2020
Campaign Organizer

• Connected and managed relationships with housing justice organizations (with a large tenant base) from across Southern California, including Sacramento, to help with Proposition 21.
• Lobbied and worked with local and state politicians on housing issues.
• Created new and unique online tool kits for public outreach, given COVID-19.
• Brought in new endorsements from tenant rights organizations.
• Deep knowledge of housing policy.

Fulcrum Arts
January 2019 – December 2019
Program Manager

• Managed Emerge Projects fiscal sponsorship program, consisting of 97 artist projects earning a collective income of $2 million.
• Managed branding and created content for Fulcrum Arts social media platforms.
• Maintained a cultural partnership with The Ford Theater.
• Developed and implemented a grassroots fundraising approach customized to the needs of each Emerge Project. 

Side Street Project
May 2017 – Jan 2019
Communications Manager

• Oversaw all communications, social media, and press, including the development and implementation of a new website.
• Established and created branding for the various programs offered by Side Street Projects, which was used to leverage grants and donations.
• Collaborated with artists-in-residence to market their projects to the public.

The grantLOVE Project
February 2015 – January 2021
Project Manager, EMERGE Project: Love House

• Oversaw a collaboration that brought together architects, artist Alexandra Grant, designers, and a homeowner to realize a public/private art project called the Love House.
• As manager of the collaboration, I helped reconcile creative input from the collaborators, ensured that the scope of work was within budget, and navigated and codified a complex public/private project that encompassed issues of design, architecture, insurance, and questions regarding trademark and ownership.
• I worked with Fulcrum Arts, the fiscal sponsor, to ensure that all aspects of the project were compliant with IRS laws and regulations.

People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER) Los Angeles, CA
Union de Vecinos
July 2015 – February 2019
Director of Storytelling & Sustainability

• Launched a fundraising program and created supporting infrastructure to grow individual support in 1 year as much as 300%.
• Managed all social media, press, and developed a new website.
• As Organizer, I helped build tenant power in Venice, and at Mar Vista Gardens and San Fernando Gardens Public Housing.
• Worked directly with HACLA (Housing Authority for the County of LA), on a range of hearings, appeals and requests for reasonable accommodations on behalf of tenants.
• Established working relationships with local, state, and national representatives such as Councilmember Mike Bonin, US Representative Karen Bass, and Supervisor Hilda Solis and their staff on issues of housing.
• I helped developed strategic collaborations with other non profits for coalition building on campaigns that ranged from housing to immigrant rights.

Watts House Project, Los Angeles, CA
June 2009 – January 2015
Programs Director

• Directed and managed a unique project that focused on community revitalization through a partnership between artists and residents in Watts.
• Implemented a 3D technology application with Verold, Inc, called Virtual Redevelopment Project to imagine improvements to homes and the neighborhood.
• Managed the redesign of a new website in 2011.
• Developed community programming used to leverage nearly $400,000 in grant funding.
• Cultivated dozens of partnerships to bring resources to the community, including USC, LACMA, Otis College, Office of Community Beautification for Los Angeles, Markham Middle School, Architecture for Humanity, SWA Architecture, United States Artists, and Imani Energy to name a few.

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA 

January 2007 – June 2009
Public Programs Coordinator

• Developed, managed, and implemented public programs in partnership with Department Chairs.
• Worked closely with the Communications Department to create compelling brand and logo design for printed and online media of Otis Speaks series.
• Cultivated partnerships with institutions such as the Fellows of Contemporary Art, The Skirball Cultural Center, The Jewish Federation, Hammer Museum, MOCA, KCET, and Santa Monica Museum of Art among others.
• Created and maintained a centralized calendar for scheduling and coordinating an intense event schedule.
• Managed a 12-week artist residency as part of a yearly gift from the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation, including locating appropriate housing, supplies, work/studio space and
transportation.

UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
September 2004 – December 2006
Education Assistant

• Coordinated nearly 200 public programs with a regular attendance of over 300 people, and as many 4,000.
• Managed, trained, and supervised dozens of educators and volunteers, and developed a council of UCLA students to increase Museum visibility and presence on the UCLA campus.
• Served as liaison to visiting artists, writers, performers, professors, actors and other talent.
• Supervised and developed art projects for outreach group Angel’s Flight, a place for homeless and runaway teens. Developed and provided tours of exhibitions to diverse audiences.

ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

LOS ANGELES TENANTS UNION
VyBe Local (Vermont y Beverly), Co-founder
December 2015 – Current
Organizer

The LA Tenants Union is a diverse, tenant-led movement fighting for the human right to housing for all. We demand safe, affordable housing and universal rent control. We organize against landlord harassment, mass evictions, and displacement. We mobilize for the repeal of the Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins Act. LATU’s mission is to strengthen tenants’ political power through education, advocacy, and direct action.

As an organizer, I helped co-found a local called VyBe for the areas of Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Koreatown, East Hollywood, Historic Filipinotown, and Westlake. I led tenants’ rights workshops, outreach, ran campaigns, drafted press releases, engaged local government to fix housing issues, press spokesman, and helped develop community leaders.

SIDE STREET PROJECTS
January 2020 – Current
Board of Directors, Secretary

Side Street Projects is an entirely mobile artist-run organization. SSP connect professional artists directly to communities. Our community-centered programming promotes socially engaged artist projects, youth education, and artist workshops with the goal of facilitating dialogue and creative problem solving through collaboration and hands-on art-making.

EDUCATION

University of California, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Chicano/a Studies, June 2004

 Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa
Associate of Arts in Studio Art,  June 1999

AWARDS AND FELLOWSHIPS

AIA Merit Award, Next LA Category, Villegas house (2013)
The winning designs for the Villegas house were submitted by the Bureau for Architecture and Design, one of two partners I selected, hired and collaborated with to development the designs for a new front bench at the Villegas house.

Grantsmanship Center, Grantsmanship Fellow (2012)
The Granstmanship Center was founded in 1972 by Norton J. Kiritz to offer training to nonprofit and government agencies. I participated in a week-long program at the Center to strategize and develop programs, and write cogent and compelling grant proposals.

Rockwood Leadership Institute, Arts & Culture Fellowship (2012)
Founded in 2000, nationally recognized Rockwood Leadership Institute specializes in delivering the best practices and methodologies in leadership development.  I am one of only 4,500 leaders invited from thousands of organizations in the US and around the world over the past 14 years to participate in an intensive two week retreat and training called the Art of Leadership.

PRESENTATIONS, PANEL DISCUSSIONS

Empowering la Comunidad: Gentrification Town Hall, AHF + Housing is a Human Right, (Cal State LA) Los Angeles, CA, October 26, 2019

A Renter’s World: A Call for a City-wide Rent Strike, CalState University of San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, April 25, 2019

Housing Rights and Panel Presentation, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles, CA, October 2, 2018

Homelessness – a conversation determined by you, KPCC, Los Angeles, September 6, 2018

Guidebook to Alternative Nows, panel discussion, The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, June 28, 2012

Artist-driven Development, City Share Lecture Series, Glass House Collective, Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 9, 2012

EXHIBITIONS:

Group Exhibitions

June 2013
Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica

June 2011
Debating Through the Arts: Exhibition and Performance 3, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica

May 2011
A New Day – Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fundraiser, Bellrock Media, Inc., Santa Monica

December 2010
I Have a Light, Collaborative projectS1F Gallery, Los Angeles