Regarding the quick approaching Black History Month, I wanted to focus on the people behind the scenes who are called to arms to be of untiring service. Such is the case of Attorney, Alma Robinson who started out as a “California Lawyers for the Arts” intern in the ‘70s. Robinson now fulfills dual role as CLA’s executive director and as its legal representative.
One might imagine as a little girl growing up, and more so as a child of color, that her desire might have been to become a doctor, a nurse or even President of the United States. In this child’s case, Robinson grew up to become the San Francisco-based California Lawyers of the Arts Association’s leader.
The graduate of Middlebury College and Stanford Law School has lectured at both Stanford and San Francisco State University. Robinson’s broad knowledge of state budgets and the politics of art give her the necessary background to oversee CLA’s flagship legal referral and education advocacy, as well as its alternative dispute resolution programs.
CLA’s, Arts Resolution Services, is a cleverly styled inter-state mediation program. However, Robinson is no stranger to heavy workloads and distinctively stands at the forefront of arts organizations and groundbreaking initiatives. Currently Robinson’s arts program became an immediate need for adults and youth who have skills and training, but are lacking proper work environments to make use of said skills. In addition, the program offers to pay for people to refine their skills, something considered groundbreaking.
Robinson’s new baby, the Arts and Environmental Initiatives, was setup to discover and initiate channels for the arts to raise the awareness and profiles on issues such as global warming. Also, the Arts-in-Corrections Project made use of Robinson’s clear-cut and innovative ideas for change in how artist are perceived in the state correction system. In particular, Robinson’s efforts through Arts-in-Corrections Project secured a historical collaborative partnership with other advocates achieving a state corrections $2.5 million contract last year to establish assertive and engaging ways for prisoners with artistic skills to continue developing their talents.
Robinson is a bit of an artist herself; her cable broadcast produced three symposiums on California Arts and Healthy Communities, which ran throughout California as well as Paris, France, and Havana, Cuba. These places echo her name, as she is the recognized and a well-respected authority of CLA’s educational programs there.
Robinson’s operational mode makes her privy to state budget reviews, thus her praise of California Governor Jerry Brown was admirable. As Robinson stated,
“Our former governor left the States’ budget pretty much in shambles,” Robinson stated. “I can do nothing but say good about our Governor Jerry Brown, who has pulled our state out of financial crises and done a lot for the arts and its programs.”
The California Lawyers for the Arts Association has grown tremendously under the direction of Robinson and her innovative programs. The 1974 founded, non-profit organization provides artists with lawyer referrals, educational programs, publications, dispute resolution services, and a resource library to people in the creative arts and arts organizations. CLA is a forerunner in providing support to the creative arts community and its residents. CLA instills good will and benefit to art communities throughout California.
For more information on California Lawyers for the Arts and Attorney, Alma Robinson visit: www.calawyersforthearts.org or call (888) 775-8995.