August 21, 2023

ArtCenter Stands with LGBTQ+ Community and Encourages All to Speak Out Against Acts of Hate

It is with great sadness that I share news about a member of our community who died as the result of an apparent senseless act of violence.

Laura Ann “Lauri” Carleton, a designer and owner of two clothing stores in Southern California, was allegedly killed by a gunman who shot her after confronting her and making disparaging remarks about a rainbow Pride flag outside of her business. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and anyone affected by this tragedy.

The allegations that this horrendous crime was in response to celebrating Pride implies an unsettling link to the anti-LGBTQ+ hate that continues to plague our society. This hate is destructive and has no place in our community.

Lauri took drawing classes at ArtCenter before launching her businesses, and was steadfast in her commitment to the equitable values we hold dear as an institution. She demonstrated these values as the owner of two Mag.pi boutiques and as a pillar in the respective communities of Lake Arrowhead and Studio City. We honor the work she did to offer aid and resources to local community members in need, along with her ongoing support for the LGBTQ+ community.

We believe an array of life experiences, ethnicities, cultures and belief systems are essential to a vibrant College and society, and that as responsible global citizens we thrive within a community rich with diverse people and perspectives.

We stand with the LGBTQ+ community and allies as we mourn the loss of Lauri’s life and speak out against all acts of hate.

If you are in need of solace and support, please avail yourself of college resources, including our Student Assistance Program (SAP) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP), to consult with a mental health counselor. Please check in on the well-being of friends and colleagues, and support those in our community who may be feeling hurt or angry.

I encourage you to reach out for help as we process this tragic incident.

In support,

Karen Hofmann
ArtCenter College of Design

US flag and Progress Pride Flag