Aaron Paley is the President and co-founder of Community Arts Resources (CARS), as well as the founder and board chair of Yiddishkayt Los Angeles, the largest organization devoted to Yiddish culture west of the Hudson and the producer of the biggest Yiddish festival in the nation.
A Los Angeles native, Paley has 30 years of experience in production, administration and planning for the arts. Paley is a recipient of the 2008 Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellowship, which allowed him to focus on the utilization of public space in Los Angeles. He and business partner Katie Bergin, for their work with Community Arts Resources, are the recipients of the 2010 Cornerstone Theater Company's Groundbreaker Award. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC.
Paley’s training in and passion for urban planning and architecture have serendipitously combined in his endeavors in the arts. The result: a body of work championing public space and the performing arts as catalysts for a stronger civic fabric, the reuse of historic structures, and the integration of artists and arts organizations in people’s daily lives.
Paley’s vision for Los Angeles gave form to the public performance series Grand Performances at California Plaza, the programming vision for the new 16-acre $56 million redevelopment of Civic Park (part of the historic and ambitious Grand Avenue redevelopment scheme), the plan for the reuse of the historic Broadway Movie Palaces and the blueprint for the under-construction Plaza de Cultura y Arte off Olvera Street. He also created and directed the seminal 1987 Los Angeles Fringe Festival (the first in the U.S.).
Paley is currently spearheading the creation of CicLAvia, a new project to create temporary public space from city streets for Angelenos to walk, bike, socialize and celebrate. He received a B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley and an M.B.A. in Non-Profit Arts Management from UCLA. Paley is fluent in French and conversant in both Spanish and Yiddish.