Our Team

Kathy Gallegos
Founding Executive & Artistic Director

“From 2000 to the present, I have been the Founding Executive and Artistic Director of Avenue 50 Studio,
Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts presentation organization located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park. Previous to the Avenue 50 Studio, I had a successful career as a legal secretary with Stutman, Treister & Glatt, a bankruptcy law firm. I was also an exhibiting artist. In 1986, along with muralists Barbara Carrasco, Yreina Cervantez and Francisco Letelier, I painted a mural at the Plaza De las Madres in Managua, Nicaragua. In 1995-96, I lived in Honduras spending the year painting and teaching myself B&W photographic darkroom techniques. In 1996, I was asked by artist Leo Limon to teach photography to teens at the Aztlan Cultural Arts Center at the old Lincoln Heights Jail. I also operated their gift shop and organized exhibitions. I founded the Avenue 50 Studio in order to give artists a venue where their voice could be heard. In October of 2014, I was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to sit as a Council member on the Board of the California Arts Council. In 2017, we received an award from World Learning to produce an international art exchange with Athar Lina Initiate in Cairo, Egypt to take place in 2018.”

Lisbeth Coiman
La Palabra Poetry Coordinator

Lisbeth Coiman is a bilingual author born in Venezuela. She earned her BA in Modern Languages at Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, and her Masters in Education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Her first book, I Asked the Blue Heron: A Memoir (2017) explores the intersection between immigration and mental health. Her bilingual poetry collection, Uprising / Alzamiento (FLP, 2021) alerts us about the fragility of our democracy. Her work has been featured in online publications: Acentos Review, The Citron Review, The Coachella Review, The Journal of Natural Wonder, La Bloga, Entropy Lady/Liberty/Lit, Nailed, Hip Mama Magazine, Rabid Oaks, Cultural Weekly, and Resonancias Literarias, and in print media: LA Parent, Spectrum v.16, The Altadena Literary Review, and Accolades: A Women Who Submit Anthology. An avid reader and committed literary citizen, Coiman writes reviews for the New York Journal of Books. A member of Women Who Submit and the host La Palabra reading series, Coiman lives and works in Los Angeles.

A Thank You to Our Past Team Members:

  • Jessica Ceballos y Campbell, Literary Programming Curator
  • Angelina Sáenz, La Palabra Poetry Coordinator
  • Hataya Tubtim, Grants Writer
  • Jade Puga, California Arts Council Arts Administrator of Color Fellow
  • Nica Aquino, Digital Content Creator
  • Elise Viapiano, Pasadena Unified School District Intern
  • Sara Aceves, Administrative Assistant
  • Kassidy Penso, Social Media, Marketing, and Administrative Assistant
  • Naza Zaman-Zade, Administrative Assistant
  • Roni De Leon, Administrative Assistant
  • Alvaro D. Marquez, Administrative Assistant
  • Peter Woods, Administrative Assistant
  • Jessica Rocha, Administrative Assistant
  • Abdiel Lopez, Administrative Assistant
  • Christian Espinoza, handyman, valet
  • Lea Chavez, food handler
  • Marcelo Morga, Security, valet
  • Garrett Richardson, Occidental College Intern
  • Maggie Smart-McCabe, Occidental College Intern
  • Jacki Jackman, Occidental College Intern
  • Nina Barnett, Occidental College Intern