About us

Who we are

Adopt the Arts launched in the spring of 2012, just as the school board was about to eliminate the entire budget for arts education in all of its 335 elementary schools.

ATA officially launched in the fall of 2012 by adopting a Title One elementary school and donating 1000 instruments to LAUSD schools. Adopt The Arts is dedicated to providing art and music classes to K-5th grade students during the school day, raising awareness about the funding for art education across the country, and building partnerships to ensure that all students have a well-rounded education regardless of where they live or go to school.

Adopt the Arts has created an exclusive core curriculum, designed for seamless integration into the school day. This program offers comprehensive music education, prioritizing the enhancement of students’ mental health and well-being.

Board of Directors & Staff

Matt Sorum - Co-Executive Director and Founder

Matt was born in Long Beach, California in the rock n’ roll heyday of the 1960s. After watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show he became entranced by Ringo Starr and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a drummer. The Beatles opened the door to Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and the Doors. At 14-years-old Matt was wailing with his band The Prophecy alongside the likes of Van Halen and Devo at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go and Crazy Horse West. Over the next few years, Sorum honed his chops in numerous session gigs with artists such as Shaun Cassidy, Belinda Carlisle, and King Solomon Burke, solidifying his reputation as a go-to studio drummer. Matt then joined the Cult, touring with Metallica and Aerosmith. In the summer of 1990 Duff McKagan and Slash of Guns N’ Roses caught the tour-ending gig of that tour and were blown away by Sorum, inviting him to join GN’R. After ten years with the band Matt turned his talents to behind the board, working with numerous artists and writing six movie soundtracks under the banner of Orange Curtain Records. Upon finishing a two year run with the Cult, Sorum, McKagan and Slash founded Velvet Revolver with Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots.

A Grammy Award winning musician and Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Sorum has made an everlasting impact on the world of music. Sorum continues to produce, make music, and tour with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and other musicians. Matt now devotes considerable time and energy to his philanthropic interests, and is especially dedicated to fulfilling his role as Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of Adopt the Arts.

Matt Sorum
Jane Lynch - Adopt the Arts Co-Founder and Board Secretary

Jane Lynch is the two-time Emmy winning host of Hollywood Game Night and an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester on Glee. She currently appears in on Amazon’s The Amazing Miss Maisel garnering her an Emmy win for her portrayal of Sophie Lennon. Lynch’s film credits include Wreck It Ralph I and II, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, Role Models, Julie & Julia, A Mighty Wind, Best In Show, and For Your Consideration.

She made her Broadway debut in the 2013 production of Annie, and soon thereafter embarked on a live concert tour, Two Lost Souls with Kate Flannery. Their Billboard Top 10 holiday album, A Swingin’ Little Christmas is available from iTunes, Amazon and other outlets.

Laurie Baker - Co-Executive Director

Laurie has spent many years passionately committed to supporting nonprofit organizations. She currently serves as the executive director of Raven Drum Foundation, founded by Def Leppard’s Rick Allen and his wife Lauren Monroe. She is also primarily responsible for securing sponsorships for Los Angeles Fleet Week and ongoing special projects for the LA Fleet Week Foundation.

Her consulting clients have included Global Genes, with a mission to connect, empower and inspire the rare disease community and NS2 Serves, offering training and employment opportunities placing veterans in high-tech careers. In addition, she assisted with the development of the Discovery Channel series, Undercover Billionaire.

At the helm of the Infinite Hero Foundation from 2013-2018, her pioneering role as executive director included identifying and supporting organizations that provide adaptive technology, community integration, mental and brain health care to foster collaborative innovation and affect positive change for veterans and families in need. 

Laurie also served as the Director of Corporate Communications for Forbes Media, LLC. She was primarily responsible for internal and external communications for the leading business publication and alternate titles. She also managed publicity and business development opportunities for domestic and international Forbes C-level management conferences, the Forbes properties and a world-renowned art and historical memorabilia collection. 

After departing Forbes, Laurie spent several years as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Marc Ecko Enterprises, a global fashion and media company.

Linda Kaye-Crowder - Treasurer/CFO
Linda Kaye-Crowder holds a BS in Theater, an MA in Education, and an MS in Education Administration. As a dedicated advocate for arts in education, she takes pride in Rosewood STEM Magnet, her school, being the pilot school for Adopt the Arts. Rosewood is certified in STEAM education, offering students a rich array of opportunities in vocal, instrumental, visual arts, and performing arts.
Linda Kaye-Crowder - Treasurer:CFO​
Jill Black - President/CEO

Jill Black Zalben is a partner and Investor in her family’s commercial real estate business, Black Equities. She is also a Director of The Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation.

After Graduating from The American University in Washington, D.C. Jill moved back to Los
Angeles to start Black Ink, a Public Relations Company. She has two children, Zach and Torie
Zalben. After raising her family, she began her career in commercial real estate and working
with several philanthropic organizations.

Jill is inspired to make a difference in the world. It is important to be a role model. With a
positive attitude, kindness and inspiring others, we can change the world.
Jill is a member of the following non-profit Boards:

  • Adopt the Arts
  • Cedars Sinai Board of Governors
  • Temple of the Arts (Saban Theater)
  • The David Lynch Foundation
  • The Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA)
  • Delos WELL Living Advisory Board
  • UCLA Health System Hospital Board
  • UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

I hope to continue my work in philanthropy to inspire our youth to make better choices in their
lives and broaden their perspective of the world.

Jill Black - President:CEO