Arts, Culture, and Humanities

La Senora Research Institute Inc.

La Senora reconnects our community to its history via interactive, historically accurate, intriguing educational programs.

aka La Senora   |   austin, TX   |  www.lasenora.org

Mission

La Senora reconnects our community to its history via interactive, historically accurate educational programs.. The cultural changes each era brought to one small Mexican Rancho "Unfold in decades" from Rancho stories to a hacienda which became the artistic and social mecca ex-pat Salons for which Santa Monica Canyon became famous. Winner of the California Governor's Award for Cultural Heritage Preservation, our programs reach low income and minorities using collaborative resources of the diverse “historic community”. Distinguished scholars bring Indigenous cultural history to the 1840s Rancho Cemetery; offering Archeology, and Restoration programs. The Hacienda’s music salon our chamber music and serves for talks on Anita Loos' 1930's - WWII years Salons .

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Patricia Nettleship

Historian - Rancho Descendant

Ernest Marquez

Main address

Summer Office & Mail: 560 E. Channel Road santa monica, ca 90402 November-April Research Office: 6449 Spanish Oaks Club Drive

austin, TX 78738 USA

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Formerly known as

Not Applicable

EIN

20-3976728

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Anthropology, Sociology (V21)

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

When you survey the topics being funded, you almost never see "history". We can't even choose 'history' as our field of effort. That's a shame. History is where we came from and colors where we will be going. We work on building an appreciation for the enjoyment of history from several angles. With the 4th and 10th graders, we augment their academic instruction. With adults we capture attention to history using some of the 'show business' taken from the three famous motion picture residents of the hacienda. And we let our music history programs speak for themselves.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Exploration, Settlement, and Mexican Independence Programs

La Senora's Historic message is delivered via its historic lecture series,. Lectures cover diverse topics to educate about the different cultures of the decades. In this program we focus on the 1750s-1850s where we address . Portola's Expedition, Junipero Serra, The Presidios, The first settlers of Pueblo de Los Angeles, Independence and the Mexican Rancho era, California's statehood and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Budget
$4,000

Students from several schools,( including an inner city predominately minority underprivileged economic strata) are introduced to the history of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica by the Historian who is the great grandson of the land grantees.  They work in the 1840s historically designated Rancho Cemetery with state of the art ground penetrating radar equipment, learning about archeology and non invasive investigations techniques to explore burials of human remains and discover artifacts of bygone eras.  The Cotsen Institute of Archeology and the Getty graduate Conservation Program assist along with the expertise of the GeoArcheological Laboratory and USC, all of whom donate their time and equipment for the children's benefit.

Population(s) Served
Adults
K-12 (5-19 years)
Budget
$5,000

By 2006 when La Senora assumed responsibility for preservation of the historically designated Pascual Marquez Family Cemetery, where the members of the land grant families are buried, the Cemetery had fallen into disrepair, markers were missing from graves, arbors had collapsed and the water line had been disconnected.  In addition there was litigation running on the easement to the property through a parcel known only as Lot 30 that stands between The cemetery's adobe wall and San Lorenzo Street.

Population(s) Served
Families
Budget
$5,000

La Senora is a member of the LosAngelesAsSubject Archives Board.  This program originally conceived by the Getty, researched and delegated to the Huntington to produce, was later delegated to the LAAS Board with USC conducting the annual Archives exhibition.

Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified
Budget
$1,000

La Senora has developed a mesh of interconnecting alliances and collaborations with other local institutions such as the Getty, Getty Villa, LACMA, Autry, Heritage Museum, Will Rogers and Adamson House museums.  Programs are mutually developed for La Senora to bring small groups of no more than 15 people, led by the Curator of the exhibit at the institution we are visiting.  Whether it's Dr. Pohl articulating the specifics of recent Aztec sculptures, or the Ranger who's spent 18 years studying Will Rogers memorabilia, the views are 'insider' looks at the Exhibitions.  These small group tours have become one of our most popular programs for offsites.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Budget
$1,000

Our Music Salon, seating 70, is used for 17th-20 centure classical music(including classical tango) and 1930s Era Jazz of the Canyon's Salon Era. We also do on and offsite concert programming for our Youth Concert Series

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adolescents (13-19 years)
Budget
$10,000

In collaboration with a research program at UCLA's Department of Hispanic Health and Culture, our educational program provides lectures disclosing the surprising fact that Cinco de Mayo was not created as a Mexican Holiday, but rather as a California Holiday started in October 1863 with a goal of raising support for the North against the South and the Mexican government against the French to avoid the advent of slavery coming to Southern California. Each year we've been progressing through those Civil War years unveiling the unknown role of California's economic contribution to the Union prevailing.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Budget
$2,500

Where we work

Accreditations

American Association of Museums 2008

Charity Navigator 2010

National Association for Interpretation 2010

Awards

Governor's Award for Historic Preservation -Research & Education 2009

State of California - Governor's Office

Affiliations & memberships

American Association for State and Local History 2009

American Association of Museums - Member 2010

National Endowment for the Arts 2005

National Trust For Historic Preservation 2005

National Public Radio 2005

Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network 2011

Junior Achievement Worldwide 1979

Smithsonian Museum - Affiliate 1979

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Provide a readily available source of accurate historical information on the topics we cover. Provide an intimate Chamber Music venue for the Westside, sharing the Hacienda's acoustically perfect Music Salon with LA's vibrant young classical performers and audiences. Introduce the Mexican opera tenor, Jose Mojica, who built the hacienda to showcase his talent Allow visitors to experience "The SM Canyon Salon Era" with its artistic, intellectual, scientific components hostessed by screenwriter Anita Loos from the 1930s - WW II Introduce the "Golden Age of Cinema" dipping back to 1913 when Thomas Ince filmed the first Western ever shot West of Chicago (or even outside) on Rancho land; Anita Loos' roots from Griffith's Birth of a Nation to Collette's Gigi; Lyle Wheeler (Selznick's art director) whose films earned him 37 Oscar Nominations. La Senora's 'Screening Room' seats 60 and is also used for our historic lecture and K-University education programs.

Education: Our programs won the Governor's Award demonstrating excellence, innovation,and broad based integration of materials. Classical Music Venue: Collaborate with established musical venues to build our own audiences and use our Colburn Foundation seed money grant to produce exceptional programming. The SM Canyon Salon Era is such a fascinating period, and our Hacienda was one of its site. It's not difficult to drawn visitors to one of these presentations. The Film Series fill quickly. We have rich background resources from the relatives of those makers about the making of the films.

We started with critical assets that would otherwise have taken years to acquire. These allowed us to quickly achieve goal plateaus. Our Historian brought 50 years in the field of local history, his knowledge, relationships and collections of materials, and we are sited, at no cost, in an historic hacienda and botanical garden The management of our organization was undertaken not by a ‘history buff’ but by a full time volunteer professional CEO with decades of experience in managing start up entrepreneurial organizations. We run a ‘working board’ organization with each Director being fully responsible for a segment of the management of the institute. l We recruit volunteers in each area of focus and Academic Fellows of world-class educators in the fields in which we are engaged. We partner with every historic society, and most classical music organizations in our region. We spread our own influence and gain a large measure of the influence of others by collaboration.

By subscribing to Guidestar and a number of other eminent non profit advisory organizations, we keep abreast of the latest thinking in evaluating our achievements and noting the areas where we need to try harder or try differently as we keep refining our educational objectives. We have not found our visitors reticent about telling us what they like, how they like it and what they wish we'd do differently. Our Directors are from within our local community and they hear feedback that is indirect, from their friends, from the organizations to which they belong and from people who've spoken to their contacts. It is a good 'listening post' approach allowing us to maintain focus as we consistently strive to improve our impact.

Accomplishments: 1- We've been instrumental in 'bonding' collaboratives in a field in which there formerly existed some competition but more apathy; 2- Our educational programs have been lauded by individuals and schools and have won awards; 3- we've formed successful long term mutually supportive relationships with major institutions including the Autry, the Getty, the Huntington, the Cotsen Institute and numerous smaller organizations; 4- We secured cultural heritage designation for the land in front of the historic cemetery, negotiated for the purchase of that land and turned it into a native garden ensuring access in perpetuity to the cemetery; Have not yet accomplished: Finding a practical, cost effective way to have our organization retain the use of the Mojica Hacienda after its initial fifteen years gift of use is over.

Financials

La Senora Research Institute Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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La Senora Research Institute Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/10/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Patricia Nettleship

No Affiliation

Term: 2006 - 2020


Board co-chair

Ray Dean Mize

LPL

Term: 2011 - 2020

Patricia Nettleship

Retired - Volunteer

Warren Dillard

Retired - Volunteer

Ernest Marquez

Retired - Volunteer

Ray Dean Mize

LPL Financial

Colleen McAndrews - Wood

Retired - Volunteer

Joan Graves

No Affiliation

Carol Rosenblum

County of LA

Anthony Mohr

LA Superior Court Judge

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Keywords

History, Archeology, Research, Music and Film Education