And the winner is….

Mario DavilaMario Davila is a dedicated and passionate arts educator, Director of LA’s BEST After School Arts Program, the founder of LAartlab, a contributor to many community arts programs, and the recipient of the Abramson-Muscarolas Scholarship in Nonprofit Management.

The scholarship was made possible by a generous gift from AULA Board of Trustee member Grant Abramson and his wife Miriam Muscarolas. They established the Grant Abramson and Miriam Muscarolas Scholarship Fund at AULA in 2012 to support graduate management education for students of diverse backgrounds who show leadership promise.

“We are so pleased to have met Mario and have developed a deeper appreciation of how he can leverage his newly acquired knowledge from the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management program in both his current work and his future endeavors,” said Abramson and Muscarolas. “We were deeply impressed with his passion for his role at LA’s BEST and LAartlab. His articulation of the importance of a solid business foundation to support the mission and vision of his non-profit work is extremely gratifying. Mario is an exceptional ambassador for the MANM program with his spirit of creativity, his ability to articulate the range of ideas that keep him ticking, his engagement of others and his seemingly boundless energy to try and do even more for our communities. We are proud that he is the first recipient of our scholarship.”

Mario Davila has been the Director of the LA’s BEST After School Arts Program (ASAP) since 2004. He is responsible for development and operation of  ASAP, an LA’s BEST program which serves over 28,000 children in grades K-6 at 194 LA’s BEST public elementary school sites located throughout the city of Los Angeles. The LA’s BEST arts education department provides hand-on visual art, music, dance, and drama classes to children enrolled in LA’s BEST facilitated by artist-educators.

“This wonderful scholarship comes with a responsibility to make the most of this opportunity and use what I learn to better serve nonprofit organizations,” says Davila. “I feel my calling is to support, and advocate for, increased access to quality arts education programming. I believe that everyone is an artist and providing access to these programs will make for a more creative, healthy, and fulfilled society.”