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EMPOWER: Students, Arts, and Activism

September 16, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

A Workshop, Mixer, and Catalyst for All USC Students
An Arts in Action Event

Snacks and lunch will be served.

Admission is free and open to current USC students. Reservations required.


Civic engagement, the unsheltered and unhoused, climate change, mass incarceration, educational inequity, and more—what is your passion and how can you address it through the arts?

Arts in Action invites USC students to join an informative, interactive, and inspiring workshop, mixer, and catalyst designed to help participants create change through the arts. Leading artists and activists will give short talks, and empower students through hand-on activities.

Participants will include:
Laura Karlin, Movement Activist and Founder and Artistic Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre
Carene Rose Mekertichyan, Artist and Co-Founder of Yerazad, Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co., Director of Programs at Support Black Theatre
Rosalie Elena Rodriguez, Third-Generation Mariachi Musician and GRAMMY Winner
Joey Terrill, Formative Figure in the Los Angeles–Based Chicano Art Movement and AIDS Cultural Activism

Don’t miss this interactive and fun opportunity to join forces with like-minded students, artists, and activists; discover arts and activism opportunities on the USC campus and in the community; and learn about Arts in Action’s funding process to make art-based activism ideas a reality.

Supplies will be provided, and artists, activists, and collaborators of all levels and backgrounds are welcome.



Laura Karlin
(she/her) is a teacher, choreographer, movement activist, and the founder and artistic director of Invertigo Dance Theatre. She launched the company in 2007 to create art and build community through wild-bodied and theatrical dance performances and their Dancing Through Parkinson’s, Invert/ED education, and Communities in/Motion programming. Laura is also a lifelong queer activist and reproductive justice activist with experience in clinic defense and grassroots practical support networks.

Carene Rose Mekertichyan is an artist, organizer, educator, and proud Angelena. As a Black Armenian woman, she is drawn to storytelling that centers marginalized narratives and believes true art exists to create empathy and social change. She is the co-founder of Yerazad, an organization centered on coalition building and transnational solidarity, serves as the Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co., and is director of programs at Support Black Theatre and teaching artist with the Unusual Suspects and Creative Acts.

Rosalie Elena Rodriguez is a third-generation mariachi musician and GRAMMY winner from Central California’s San Joaquin Valley. Currently studying Nutritional Science at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, her mission is to create safe spaces for growth and healing with the hope of inspiring confidence in vulnerable and overlooked populations––specifically within LGBTQ/BIPOC and undocumented communities––to engage in healthy lifestyles.

Artist Joey Terrill is a formative figure in the Los Angeles based Chicano art movement and AIDS cultural activism. He is a former board member of VIVA!, the first gay and lesbian Latino arts organization in L.A.; volunteer with the Stop AIDS Quarantine Committee; and director of global advocacy and partnerships at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Now a full-time artist, Terrill’s work is considered to be pioneering explorations of Queer/Latinx identity and has been acquired by collectors and major museums in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Presented by USC Arts in Action, part of USC Visions and Voices.


September 16, 2022
10:00 am - 2:00 pm


USC Fisher Museum of Art (HAR)