Two LA’s BEST students are finalists in Mayor Villaraigosa’s city-wide art contest celebrating African American Heritage Month

February 29, 2012

Two LA’s BEST students were chosen as finalists in the 2012 African American Heritage Month Poster Competition and participated in an awards ceremony with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the California African American Museum on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.  The competition, which is presented by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Wells Fargo and the African American Heritage Month Committee asks students to artistically depict an African American inventor.  The city-wide contest of K-12 students resulted in 1,300 entries, of which 24 finalists were chosen.  Nayely Portillo of Oxnard St. Elementary and Eric Santiago of Hobart Blvd. Elementary each completed their artwork as part of the LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program at their respective schools.  While budgets for arts education during the regular school day are being slashed, arts programs promoting creativity are integral components of the LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program. Nayely, a third grader, won first place in her division for her depiction of George Alcorn, inventor of the imaging X-ray spectrometer.  Eric, a fourth grader, placed third in his division for his piece recognizing Garrett Morgan, inventor of the stoplight.  Each finalist received a plaque and ‘fist bump’ from Mayor Villaraigosa as well as a gift bag filled with art supplies and an easel.

About LA’s BEST:

LA's BEST - Better Educated Students for Tomorrow - is a nationally recognized after school education, enrichment and recreation program serving more than 28,000 children with the greatest needs and fewest resources throughout the City of Los Angeles. LA's BEST After School Enrichment Program provides a safe haven for children ages 5 to 12 at 186 elementary school sites each day during the critical hours after school — at no cost to parents. Established in 1988, LA's BEST is a partnership including the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the private sector. LA’s BEST is part of Beyond the Bell, whose mission is to ensure that all children and youth in LAUSD have access to high quality, safe and supervised academic, enrichment, and recreation programs that inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day. For more information, please visit