Active Cultures is a nonprofit cultural organization that explores the convergence of food and art in contemporary life.
We are a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to the artistic exploration of our global foodways—the attitudes, practices, histories, and rituals around what we consume. Foodways provide a window onto our most fundamental beliefs about cultural expression, equity, environmental sustainability, and ourselves. We believe that by nurturing vital collaborations between artists, food practitioners, and their communities, we can illuminate global foodways and feed experimental artistic practice simultaneously, to build stronger connections of empathy, curiosity, and care among us all.

Our central purpose is to amplify the significant impact that foodways have on the world. We not only commission work by a diverse community of artists and chefs, but also convene a rich network of food workers, scholars, and activists around some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Throughout each program season, we offer food and foodways a rich platform and broad cultural framework, while using food to gather people and make an accessible space for contemporary art and culture. Each of our programs begin with a central collaboration by a cook or an artist (often both), and is enriched by a variety of activities, including performances, workshops, conversations, meals, and projects.

Active Cultures is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Active Cultures collaborators and participants have included Niki Nakayama & Carole Iida-Nakayama, Sarah Hymanson & Sara Kramer, Norma Listman & Saqib Keval, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Candice Lin, Amethyst Ganaway, Reina Gascon-Lopez, Luigi Amara, Ron Finley, Kohshin Finley, Keith Corbin & Gwen Etta, Minh Phan, Sarah Rara, Ray Anthony Barrett, Nancy Stella-Soto, Mecca Vazie Andrews, Spiral Theory Test Kitchen, Shana Lutker, Jessica Wang, David Horvitz, and many others.


Laura Fried
Glenn Kaino
Board of Directors

Glenn Kaino

Sanjay Kumar

Sarah McHale

Mary Wagstaff

Sonya Yu


Anna Cho-Son | Curatorial Assistant

Laura Fried | Director

Frankie Hamersma | Designer

Bianca Morán | Curator of Public Programs

Ashleigh Parsons | Documentarian

General Questions


Identity design and guidelines by Wkshps
Land Acknowledgment

As an organization based in Los Angeles, we live on and benefit from the ancestral and unceded territory of the indigenous groups in the area that comprise our county: the Gabrielino, Tongva, Chumash, and the Fernandeno-Tataviam peoples. Since our activities are shared digitally to the internet, we recognize the legacy of white supremacy and colonization embedded within these technologies, their structures, and ways of thinking they propagate. In order to present our work to you online, we are making use of equipment and high speed internet not always available to many indigenous communities because of settler-colonial racism. Additionally, these technologies—central to the work we do and the conversations we cultivate—leave significant carbon footprints, contributing to climate change that disproportionately affects indigenous peoples locally and globally. As an organization and as individuals, we acknowledge these facts, as well as our shared responsibility to identify our roles in reconciliation and reparations.

Thank you to our sister organizations and especially to Adrienne Wong whose work has guided this land acknowledgement.