Categories: 2019 Season CATALYST, The FORUM, Vanguard Culture Events

2019 THE FORUM – Arts Law: Part Three. Independent Contractor or Employee? A Legal Guide for Artists and Arts Organizations.

THE FORUM: Arts Law. Part Three. Independent Contractor or Employee? A Legal Guide for Artists and Arts Organizations. Navigating through major tax reforms, in effect since 2018. See how they may affect individual artists as well as arts nonprofits and arts-related businesses.

June 4, 2019
Doors Open at 6:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Program begins
$10 online – $15 at the door.


Proper classification of workers has always been a challenge, but a 2018 ruling by the California Supreme Court dramatically changed the law on whether California employers may legally classify workers as independent contractors. This ruling seems directed toward the gig economy, but the court did not expressly limit it to that sector. Bills are being circulated in the state legislature that would affirm or overturn this decision. Please join attorney Sam Mazzeo and Olivia Philips of Wilkinson Mazzeo for a dynamic and engaging presentation on this topic! 

Each workshop in this 3-part “Arts Law” series, organized with the California Lawyers for the Arts, will be comprised of a 35 min presentation followed by 20 min of Q&A with attorneys in a wide range of topics including Branding and Trademarks/ Copyright and Intellectual Property / How to set up your organization as a nonprofit, LLC, etc., and changes in tax laws that affect creative industries.

PART ONE: December 3, 2018: Trademark and Branding for Creative Artists with Neil A. Salyards, J.D.
PART TWO: February 25, 2019 – The Art of Deduction with T. JESÚS OBA, EA, CPA.


Sam Mazzeo got his start in litigation before diving into the social impact world as legal counsel at Invisible Children after the organization released the most viral video in history (KONY 2012). He currently spends his time sending gifs to clients in between filing trademarks and drafting contracts. He has also served on some legit local boards like TEDxSanDiego and Think Dignity. Fun fact: he learned to do a standing backflip for a teen wolf costume.

Olivia Phillips: After interning with a number of local nonprofits throughout law school, Liv started her journey with Wilkmazz in 2017. Today she heads up the firm’s labor & employment practice and helps out anywhere else she’s needed. When she’s not drafting agreements and employee handbooks, she’s usually cooking with friends and family, enjoying nature, or pondering what her dog could be thinking about.

Presented by Vanguard Culture, The FORUM is a professional development series for creatives from the visual, performing and culinary arts. From workshops, to lectures, to panel discussions and meaningful networking, this series provides industry professionals with the tools, resources, and opportunities to become better at their craft and to make a living doing the thing they love.

This program was made possible thanks to our generous Professional Development Sponsor Jack Lampl.

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.