Glenna Avila is an artist, educator, and arts administrator, dedicated to the arts, young people, and communities. She is currently the Wallis Annenberg Director of the California Institute of the Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program and has served in this position since 1991. The CAP program is a co-curricular program of the college and encompasses 55 distinct youth arts education programs located in 60 diverse neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County in partnership with 45 public schools, community-based organizations and social service agencies; employing 60 CalArts faculty artists, 50 CalArts alumni artists, and 300 CalArts student artists as instructors; and creating innovative, in-depth arts education programs for 10,000 youth ages 6-18 annually. In 2004, the CAP program received the Coming Up Taller Award, the highest national honor for youth arts education programs.
Before coming to CalArts, she held a variety of positions with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, including Director of the Los Angeles Murals Program, Director of the McGroarty Art Center, and Director of the Los Angeles Photography Center. For thirteen years she was a Supervisor in the Summer Youth Employment Program through the U.S. Department of Labor, teaching and providing hundreds of jobs in the arts for low-income youth ages 14-21. She has painted over 75 community murals throughout Los Angeles, the majority of which are collaborations with youth and their communities, and has exhibited her work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum, Laguna Art Museum, among others. She was one of 10 artists commissioned by the Olympic Organizing Committee to paint a mural on the freeway in downtown Los Angeles for the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival entitled “L.A. Freeway Kids,” a tribute to the youth of Los Angeles.