A Bittersweet Farewell to Manuel Prieto, LAMusArt’s Executive Director of Seven Years

Manuel will assume the position of Director of Education at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this September.



It is with great pride (and a bit of heartbreak) that the Los Angeles Music and Art School announces the departure of its fearless leader, Manuel Prieto, who has served the organization as Executive Director since 2015. Prieto will begin his next adventure at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts where he has been named Director of Education, and will oversee the strategic planning and operations of The Wallis' highly regarded GRoW @ The Wallis education and outreach programs.


“I’m thrilled to continue my life’s mission of enriching the lives of both young and young at heart with the performing arts at the Wallis, but the Los Angeles Music and Art School, my home for the last eleven years, will always have a special place in my heart. I must thank the staff, faculty, Board of Directors and our many, many stakeholders for their commitment to this work, support of my vision, and for making such a success of it all, through both abundant and very challenging times. I will forever be indebted to supporters who have walked with me on this creative path. Your commitment to our vision and mission is sincerely appreciated and essential to LAMusArt’s continued collective success,” says Prieto.


Manuel started his journey with LAMusArt as a LA County Arts Commission intern, working his way up as an associate, Deputy Director and finally, Executive Director. During Prieto's seven-year tenure as Executive Director of 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. When Prieto took the position, at just 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.


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.


"Manny has been an incredible champion for arts education at LAMusArt, and, under his leadership, the school has flourished on all levels. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I cannot thank him enough for the commitment and innovation he brought to his role as Executive Director; he leaves the school in a strong position to carry on our mission of providing equitable and affordable access to arts education programs. We know Manny will continue his great work at The Wallis and truly wish him all the best in his new position,” says LAMusArt Board President, Cynthia Pearson.


Manuel will assume his new position at the Wallis on September 1st. The Los Angeles Music and Art School thanks him for his tireless service and singular vision, and wishes him well on this new adventure.