The Arts and Enterprise Foundation (AEF) is a nonprofit public benefit committed to supporting the inclusion of arts and enterprise education in Los Angeles charter schools.

We know that integrating the arts in school curricula can have multiple positive outcomes for students. Research shows that access to the arts boosts academic attainment in core STEM subjects, as well as improves indicators of overall student well-being. This positive effect is more significant among low income students. Students from low socio-economic backgrounds with access to the arts are more likely to graduate, attend and finish college, and register to vote than comparable student groups with no access to arts education.

AEF also celebrates that we live in Los Angeles, one of the most prolific creative economies in the world. This industry can seem a world apart to some students, despite living in the heart of the arts district of Los Angeles. AEF partners with charter schools in under-served communities in Los Angeles to provide grants and scholarships, empowering students to engage with the expansive Los Angeles creative economy and explore the vast opportunities that this unique region presents to them.

School Partnerships; LAAAE

Initially, AEF is developing a flagship/pilot partnership with the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise (LAAAE). LAAAE is a Title 1 public charter school serving grades six through twelve, established in 2005 by AEF Founder Moctesuma Esparza. During a time in which the arts were being cut from public schools, Esparza envisioned a public charter school as an option for students whose dreams and talents needed to be nurtured and developed. 

LAAAE’s mission is to prepare students for leadership in the arts and business, where creativity, academic knowledge and financial literacy are essential for success. The school’s vision is to develop a generation of diverse, educated, compassionate leaders in the arts and business by providing a dynamic, innovative education that integrates the four lenses of learning: Academics, Arts, Enterprise, and Personal Growth.

Serving the west downtown Los Angeles community, over 99% of LAAAE students qualify for free or reduced price meals, 99% of the students are from minority backgrounds and 89% of the students are or have previously been classified as English learners. Through comprehensive student support, diverse curricula and partnerships with external organizations, LAAAE provides holistic academic and non-academic services to students and families.

For more information about LAAAE, visit their website at