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Open Letter

City Hall, Los Angeles, California, 2018.

I had to speak up because I’m the only one who can tell my story


Open Letter

City Hall, Los Angeles, California, 2018.

I had to speak up because I’m the only one who can tell my story

Activism in L.A.

Los Angeles Conservancy

Show your support for the landmark nomination of The Woman's Building by attending this critical meeting!

In March, the City of L.A.’s Cultural Heritage Commission voted in full support of our Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) nomination for The Woman's Building. On Tuesday, the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee will vote on the nomination. This is a critical step in the nomination process; it is the last step before the nomination goes to the full City Council for a final vote.

Please attend the meeting or email to voice your support!

Meeting Details:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Los Angeles City Hall
Room 350, 3rd floor
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Left to right: Adrian Scott Fine (Los Angeles Conservancy), Carolina Ibarra-Mendoza, Terry Wolverton (The Woman’s Building artist), Maria Karras (The Woman’s Building artist, thanks for the photo!), and L.A. Conservancy member.


I'm Carolina Ibarra-Mendoza, a Los Angeles based Chicana feminist artist, freelance graphic designer, and creative director. 

In 2017, I was one of fifteen women artists who received a fellowship from The Woman’s Building and Metabolic Studio’s Special Projects in Archiving to create new works inspired by the history and legacy of The Woman’s Building. The Madre Tierra Workshop is my contribution: a selfless self-portrait mixed-media workshop grown from the seeds of the Madre Tierra Press (1982) in partnership with Las Fotos Project. The workshop was a great success and was exhibited both at Avenue 50 Studio and at Plaza De La Raza "Viva La Muxer" annual fundraiser for Las Fotos Project. 

In the fall of 2017, I began to work with artist Leslie Labowitz and Suzanne Lacy on the online archive exhibit: AgainstViolence.ART. The website presents the work of ARIADNE, the following is a brief description of the organization:

ARIADNE: A SOCIAL ART NETWORK (1977-82) originated as a conceptual artwork to provide a structure to amplify the political impact of Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz's public performance interventions on violence against women. 

I've highlighted portions of the website that directly prove the valuable role The Woman's Building played in both facilitating and providing collaborators for ARIADNE's performances: 

In Mourning and In Rage - Project Link
Participants preparing for their performance at the Woman's Building, before presenting in front of City Hall. 

Awards Ceremony for participants and media coverage of In Mourning and In Rage, hosted at The Woman's Building.

From Reverence to Rape to Respect - Feminist Art Workers 
"As in other ARIADNE performances, other artists were invited to participate. The Feminist Art Workers created Traffic in Women, a bus tour/performance that brought 25 women from the Woman’s Building and the art community in LA to Las Vegas for a weekend of events."

Incest Awareness Project - AN ART EXHIBIT AT THE WOMAN'S BUILDING, 1979, Bedtime Stories
"The art exhibition by adult women and teenage incest survivors examining the secrecy, the pain, and the victimization of their incest childhoods from the perspective of their healing process. These women know that “stopping the silence about incest stops incest.”

As current Councilmembers, you must uphold the legacy of the Woman's Building by supporting its nomination as a historic Landmark. Throughout the ARIADNE website, Councilmembers and even Mayor Tom Bradley openly endorsed the works created by ARIADNE and the Woman's Building. I sincerely hope you continue the example set by your predecessors by honoring the work and people that formed the Woman's Building - work that helped change contemporary discourse about women's roles in society.  

I.M., Carolina

May 15, 2018


Giving Back

Do work that matters.

Vale la pena.
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Giving Back

Do work that matters.

Vale la pena.
― Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Pro-Bono Work

Las Fotos Project

Photography Mentor for Las Fotos Project

  • Hire Her, 2018 to Present

  • Esta Soy Yo, Fall 2018

    • As a Las Fotos Project mentor I work directly with teenage girls by encouraging their creative and technical execution of photography. The program serves girls from the ages of 11-18, providing them with the tools for critical thinking, visual communication, and media literacy through a series of personal development activities. The innovative program uses therapeutic photography methodology and a project-based learning model. Esta Soy Yo serves approximately 100 students each year through 12-week sessions in the spring and fall.

    • Los Angeles Magazine Review

  • Kindred Book, Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

    • I'm one of the mentors involved in a program about self discovery, intimate memories, family portraiture, and image preservation. At the end of this nine-month program, the young students and I will create a book documenting their experience as they dive into old family images and simultaneously create new memories.

  • Limitless, Fall 2016

    • An intensive program for adolescent girls, ages 14-16, where I encourage girls to use photography, mindfulness, and self-care to improve their mental wellbeing. This program's primary focus is to provide a safe environment to share their story, develop coping skills, and help promote resiliency. It's been incredibly rewarding to actualize my feminist principles through the art of community engagement, self-esteem building, mindfulness, photography, and girl power!

  • Summer of Self-Care, Summer 2016

    • I was able to contribute to the Summer of Self-Care experience where 17 girls spent four weeks reflecting, photographing, journaling and talking about self-care and self-love.

    • I was given the opportunity of teaching the young girls inDesign which was an exciting challenge to explain the program efficiently and comprehensively. The experience of giving an inDesign crash course brought me face-to-face with Albert Einstein's famous quote: "if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

    • Towards the end of the 3-day workshop, I collected the work and created the Summer of Self-Care zine by digitizing their illustrations and incorporating it throughout the aesthetic of the zine.

  • Esta Soy Yo, Spring 2016

Montebello Historical Society (MHS)

creative director | Graphic Designer | Photographer | marketing 

  • Head of Communications, Chairwoman for the MHS, July 2016 - Present

    • As the newly appointed Chairwoman, I manage the social presence of the museum and contribute to the overall growth of the museum through long-term vision planning.

    • Most notably I’m currently spearheading the new Mujeres of the Adobe exhibit. This exhibit will step away from the standard narrative of 19th Century California by re-contextualizing the domestic, intellectual, and moral role women played in early California history. We believe that if we can change the way we look at the past, we can continue to strive for a more positive and uplighting future that values all people equally: because vaqueros (cowboys) weren’t the only strong and brave people in the past!

  • Graphic Designer for The Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe, Historic Site, & Museum

    • I work with the head curator of The Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe as a marketing strategist and community outreach consultant. Since working with them, I've designed a new logo, several promotional flyers, and social assets. My branding solutions make accurate historical references while maintaining a fresh and modern approach to vintage aesthetics.