Acooba Scott is an accomplished vegan chef, specializing in family and home-style vegan cuisine. Acooba and her husband have raised four children completely vegetarian from birth, and offer classes and workshops in support of a healthy plant-based family lifestyle. Acooba has sustained a plant-based lifestyle for almost 30 years, and is the author of Vegan Sushi: A Step by Step Guide, and the upcoming Vegan Survival Guide. She shares tips, techniques, and delicious recipes to help make plant-based living deliciously sustainable.
Aram Kouyoumdjian wrote his Master’s thesis on William Saroyan’s unpublished Armenian-themed plays. Kouyoumdjian is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Vista Players, hailed as a “boundlessly talented” ensemble that “set the standard by which others were judged”, Sacramento News & Review. He is the winner of Elly Awards both for directing, Three Hotels and writing,The Farewells, and his feature plays and solo pieces have been performed in half a dozen cities, from Los Angeles to London. Kouyoumdjian’s most recent work has included an adaptation of Levon Shant’s Ancient Gods, 2014; Happy Armenians, Los Angeles, 2015; Sacramento, 2016, and iGo On, an open-air, site-specific performance piece in conjunction with the iWitness installation. His forthcoming plays are 49 States and Constantinople.
Richard Foss has been a restaurant critic and food writer for over 30 years, and has taught classes in culinary history and Elizabethan theater at UCLA Extension. He has authored articles for two culinary encyclopedias, as well as books about the histories of rum and of food in flight, from the zeppelin era to the space age.
Ernest Miller is a chef, historian, educator, consultant and speaker who teaches classes in museums, schools, and kitchens throughout Southern California. He is co-leader of Slow Food Los Angeles, a certified sommelier, and former lead instructor for the Master Food Preservers of Los Angeles County. He has been referred to as the Huell Howser of California food.
Charles Perry is an author and food scholar who has presented papers at every annual Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery since 1981, and is a major contributor to The Oxford Companion to Food. His specialty is the cuisine of the Islamic world and he has translated medieval Arabic cookbooks, including the influential 13th-century book of al-Baghdadi, a Baghdad cookery book. He is also an expert on California’s culinary history, having been a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times food section for 18 years, and a veteran of numerous TV and radio appearances.
Dakaboom is a postmodern vaudeville duo from New York and Los Angeles. Long time best friends Ben McLain and Paul Peglar utilize a cappella, looping, stand-up, sketch, crowd interaction, and multiple musical genres to create a world all their own. With over 400 performances to date, Dakaboom has spent the last five years on a national college tour, hosting/headlining several a cappella festivals, sailing as guest performers aboard Princess Cruises, and lending their talents to several special events in Los Angeles, including the Television Academy's 70th Anniversary Gala, the LA Made Series, and annual S.T.A.G.E. AIDS benefit shows.
Ben is a music producer and member of LA-based vocal-electronic project ARORA, featured as Sonos on NBC's The Sing Off, and Paul is a Brooklyn-based musician/performer who was featured as the original pianist in Fox's Glee, and whose song recently received honorable mention in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition.
Darryl Littleton began his comedy career writing sketches for The Tom Joyner Morning Show on CBS Radio. Soon afterwards, he became a regular at the world famous Comedy Store, adopted the stage name, D’Militant, and landed a job as D. L. Hughley’s exclusive writer when he hosted BET’s Comic View. Darryl was promoted to writer/producer, and also penned material for Cedric the Entertainer, Sommore, and Don DC Curry. Darryl’s television credits include Robert Townsend’s WB sitcom,The Parent Hood, Townsend Television for Fox, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central’s Make Me Laugh, Martin Lawrence’s 1st Amendment, Telemundo’s, Loco Comedy Jam, Byron Allen’s Comic’s Unleashed, and ABC’s, America’s Funniest People, where he was the grand prize winner. Darryl toured Europe and Asia as a stand-up comedian entertaining US military troops, released his comedy CD, Am I Lying?!, won the prestigious Bay Area Black Comedy Competition on its 20th Anniversary, worked as a commentator for NPR, and his first published book, Black Comedians on Black Comedy, which is taught at USC and was adapted into the Robert Townsend directed documentary, Why We Laugh, where Darryl served as executive producer. Littleton co-hosted the podcast Tuezdae’s with D’Militant, toured as a public speaker, produced Black & Blue: The Laff Records Collection, and dropped his sophomore album Too Raw for Mainstream, along with publishing five additional books: How to Be Funny: The Essential Comedy Handbook, Forefathers, Pimp Down, Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady, and It’s A Black Thang: Tales of Trickery & Twisted Perception, as well as the satirical graphic novel, 1 Broke Activist: The Adventures of D’Militant - Mein Trump. Darryl Littleton is the associate curator of the Comedy Hall of Fame and is an Emmy nominated writer for his work on the documentary, Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Dave Boatman moved to Los Angeles, California. During his successful career, Dave’s cartoons and illustrations have been used in advertising campaigns, published as features in newspapers, books, and magazines, and distributed via an international greeting card line. As an active member of the International Society of Caricature Artists, and member of the National Cartoonists Society, Dave works as a freelance cartoonist, and also draws caricatures at a variety of events around Southern California. His editorial and panel cartoons can be found in magazines and newspapers across the United States. Dave teaches cartoon classes at libraries, day camps, parks & recs, community centers, and art facilities around Southern California. He has a special, the World of Cartoons assembly program, designed especially for schools.
Sixteen years ago, Master Gardener Emi Carvell was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given 6 months to live. She underwent an experimental surgical procedure that was successful...the only permanent consequence of her illness was the loss of one eye, but her vision remained. While most people would have been content to sit back and enjoy life, she decided to change course and is now a full-time volunteer for several non-profits. She has offered a variety of gardening programs over the past years at many libraries, and now she is happy to be an LA Made partner.
Roberto Amaral began his professional career at age 17, and has since achieved international acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, master teacher, singer, composer and artist. Concert, television, and nightclub performances as either principal dancer or guest artist have taken him worldwide with numerous legendary Flamenco companies, including those of Jose Greco, Ciro, Jose Antonio, Alberto Lorca and Rafael de Cordoba. His performing and/or choreographing credits are numerous and include the Academy Awards, the Tonight Show, musical variety television specials starring David Bowie, Barry Manilow, Julie Andrews and Lynda Carter, and appearances at the world’s leading venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ford Theatre, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and La Scala Opera House. As a singer, songwriter, musician, dancer and founding member of the progressive rock group CARMEN, Roberto and his bandmates made history as the first band to ever combine Flamenco and rock both visually and audibly. His own groundbreaking and career-spanning five Flamenco and classical Spanish dance companies have been the nucleus for which he has trained, nurtured, and presented the brightest Flamenco talent in Southern California for the past 40 years. Roberto Amaral’s accomplishments through the years have rewarded him with multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards from The City of Los Angeles, The Santa Barbara Flamenco Arts Festival, The Spanish Consulate and the Fountain Theatre Foundation.
Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Gloria Arjona is a college Spanish instructor, a researcher, and a singer locally known for her interdisciplinary presentations that combine storytelling, music, and media. Through these interdisciplinary presentations, Dr. Arjona addresses various issues and themes that explore diversity among Latinas. Dr. Arjona has five albums closely related to these presentations: Raíces: The Essence of Latin America, vols. I and 2; The Five Suns of Mexico and its Spanish version, Los cinco soles de México, based on the work of keynote writer, Carlos Fuentes, that delve into the history of Mexico, from the foundation of its Aztec capital, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, to the 1910 Mexican Revolution; and Frida Kahlo: Tree of Hope, 2016, an album that approaches the life and work of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through her journal, her sayings, and the music she quoted in some of her self-portraits.
The Groundlings is an improvisation and sketch comedy theatre that has been entertaining LA audiences for over 40 years. They are a non-profit organization founded by Gary Austin in 1974. A Groundling is one of the 30 company members who write and perform in the theatre’s shows and teach classes at the Groundlings School, which has been the foremost comedy training ground in Hollywood and the springboard for countless careers including Phil Hartman, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, and Melissa McCarthy.
Internationally renowned flutist Hubert Laws is one of the few classical artists who has also mastered jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues genres; moving effortlessly from one repertory to another. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, with the orchestras of Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Amsterdam, Japan, Detroit, and with the Stanford String Quartet. He has given annual performances at Carnegie Hall, and has performed sold-out shows in the Hollywood Bowl with fellow flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and was a member of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. In addition, he has appeared at the Montreux, Playboy, and Kool Jazz festivals; he performed with the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982 and with the Detroit Symphony in 1994. His recordings have won three Grammy nominations.
Mr. Laws has been involved in unique projects such as collaborations with Quincy Jones, Bob James, and Claude Bolling for Neil Simon’s comedy California Suite, a collaboration with Earl Klugh and Pat Williams on the music for How to Beat the High Cost of Living; and film scores for The Wiz, Color Purple, A Hero Ain’t Nothing but a Sandwich, and Spot Marks the X.
Recording session work also remains a staple of Hubert Laws’ schedule, and includes collaborations and recordings with such artists as Quincy Jones, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Freddie Hubbard, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Sergio Mendes, Carly Simon, Clark Terry, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.
Hula O Hoaloha was established in 2009 with the mission to maintain and perpetuate Hawaiian traditions, culture, and language through the teachings of Hawaiian dance and music. Kumu Hula, Maile Frauchiger, is a former student and alaka'i of Auntie Noelani McIntosh. With her former Kumu’s encouragement, guidance, and mentorship, Maile embraced and now passes on the same style and philosophy as it was taught to her: that of preserving the Hula styles of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Hula O Hoaloha is based in the Silverlake/Atwater Community in Los Angeles.
Kumu Maile Frauchiger is an award-winning hula dancer, placing in the 2002 E Hula Mau Competitions in Long Beach. She continues her training by attending workshops throughout California and Hawaii with various Kumu Hula to include: Etua Lopes, Patrick Makuakane, Derek Kia’anina Nu’uhiwa, and many others. Maile has a unique way of teaching that merges her extensive experience as a professional dancer with her passion to keep the Hawaiian traditions, culture and language alive. Maile is a retired dance teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District - Arts Education Department and received an Honorable Mention at the 2002 Bravo Awards, which honors Top Arts Educators.
Karen Goodman is an LA teacher, Yiddish dance scholar, filmmaker, and critically acclaimed modern dancer/choreographer. She produced/directed/wrote the documentary "Come Let Us Dance" on Yiddish folk dance and has written biographies on Bella Lewitzky and Margalit Oved for Encyclopaedia Judaica, and on Benjamin Zemach for USC’s journal, Experiment. Goodman also speaks on the intersection of Jewish identity and modern dance. Honors include an NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship. She has choreographed 40 works, 5 full-length solos, and danced with post-modern master Rudy Perez in NY and LA. She taught at her studio, Danceworks, on Melrose Ave. for 21 years, as well as at LA County High School for the Arts, CalArts, Caltech, LMU. and SMC. She has an MA in Dance from UCLA.
Guru Sushma Mohan, artistic director of Soorya Arts Academy, is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and musician. She performs "Bharatanatyam", a 2,000-year-old traditional performing art, originating in the Hindu temples of South India. Known for its exquisite technique, vivid facial expressions, and intricate rhythmic patterns, this dance form presents stories of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Having learned from various gurus in India for more than two decades, Sushma has performed at acclaimed festivals in the U.S. and India. Mohan has choreographed and worked as an associate choreographer for numerous dance productions that have been presented at prestigious dance festivals in India, France, Holland, and USA. She has been honored by the state of New Jersey for her artistic contributions and has been an invited guest lecturer at the Rutgers University Dance Department. Mohan has also performed in India at the World famous Mysore Dasara Festival, Iskcon Cultural Fest Bangalore, Tirumala Tirupathi temples, and many national-level dance festivals
Kathleen Rubin is a singer, teacher, coach, actor, and director who created It’s Just My Life in 2010. A former opera singer, she has taught and coached singers of all ages for many years. More recently, she has discovered her love of directing and has directed several world premiere productions of new plays here in Los Angeles including, Did You Do Your Homework?Cannibals, Addition By Subtraction, and Happy Face Sad Face. Her greatest joy is working with the women of It’s Just My Life, a first-person storytelling experience in which real women share their real life stories. She offers an It’s Just My Life workshop, in which new stories are developed to be incorporated into the show. She continues to teach, coach, direct, and even sing on occasion.
Janiva Magness is a 2016 Grammy nominee, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, 7x Blues Music Award winner, 27x nominee, and 2015 Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year. Amazing!
Anyone who has ever heard Janiva Magness sing, live or on any the baker’s dozen of releases she has put out since coming on the scene 26 years ago, can immediately divine that this is a strong, resilient, commanding woman in masterful control of her voice and her destiny, if not always her heart. In the space between the notes you can hear a performer who has survived a difficult life by anyone’s measure to become one of the top blues vocalists of her generation, only the second woman, after blues legend Koko Taylor, to win the Blues Music Awards’ coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award.
After Janiva Magness added a 2016 Grammy nomination to her 26 Blues Music Award nominations — with seven wins, including Entertainer of the Year — she might have taken at least a short rest on her laurels. Instead, one of the preeminent voices in contemporary American roots music has raised the bar for herself. Magness’ 14th album, Love Is an Army, due out February 23, is a brilliantly crafted bridge between the past and present, blending the echoes of classic soul and Americana music with timeless themes of love and the very contemporary sound of protest.
A seven-time Blues Music Award winner whose titles routinely appear on the Billboard blues chart, Magness has more than earned her right to sing the blues. Her life story comes straight out of a blues song. As she recounts in her soon-to-be-published memoir, she was born in Detroit, and among the fondest memories of her childhood were the sounds of her father’s blues and country record collection.
Childhood was short lived for Magness, however; as an adolescent she lost both parents to suicide. She spent the next several years bouncing around the foster care system, a traumatic experience that inspired her adult advocacy involvement with a variety of foster care programs. As a young woman, her life was seemingly spiraling out of control. She was saved one night in Minneapolis when, underage, she snuck into a show by bluesman Otis Rush. She started down the path of a music career, working as a recording engineer before being coaxed out in front of a microphone as a backup singer, and finally forming her own group in Arizona.
“Getting a Grammy nomination was a dream,” Magness offers, “I never thought I’d be a Grammy-nominated artist...and I hope it helps somebody else to be as inspired and empowered as I was.”
Kazan Taiko is the one and only Japanese taiko drumming ensemble at the University of Southern California. Founded in 2002 by Bryan Yamami, Bridge Mei, and Koichi Sanchez, Kazan Taiko derives its name from the Japanese word for Volcano, 火山, an explosive force that inspires them and characterizes their playing style. Kazan's formation is a testament to the growing popularity of Taiko in both the collegiate circuit and North America as a whole. Their goal is to provide a place to learn about the tradition of Taiko while allowing members to express themselves through rhythm and movement with traditional and modern influences of dance, music, and culture.
Larry Vanderveen was born in Mill Valley, California, a small town across the bay from San Francisco and currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. His career has consisted of a combination of things, mainly focused in broadcasting but with detours into television, acting, and writing. A television celebrity interview show he created and hosted called TheTurning Point was the indirect genesis for the creation of his Meeting F. Scott Fitzgerald, one-man show. The Turning Point show found the key event in the guest’s life that led him or her to a career in show business. Vanderveen’s fascination with the special turning points we all have, connected with his special interest in the life and work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, led to the creation of his unique show titled Meeting F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Andreas Mitisek is the Artistic Director of Long Beach Opera and the driving force behind every new LBO concept and production. He creates the vision for each production and reaches out to artists to shape each work. He is conductor, stage director and designer of many LBO productions. His site-specific productions in parking garages, swimming pools, night clubs, warehouses and the Port of Los Angeles have become a successful hallmark of LBO.
Jamie Chamberlin is recognized for her versatility as both a singer and actress. Recently, ArtslnLA hailed her role debut as Cunegonde in Long Beach Opera's Candide as "jaw dropping." In 2015 Jamie starred as Marilyn Monroe in the US Premiere of Gavin Bryars' Marilyn Forever, also with LBO. In 2017 Jamie sang the role of Hazel George in the US Premiere of Phillip Glass' The Perfect American at LBO and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Pacific Opera Project. She returned to LBO as the Foreign Woman in The Consul, starring Patricia Racette, and in 2018, will perform Dora in The Invention of Morel, a new opera by Stewart Copeland of the legendary rock band the Police. A gifted interpreter of new music, Chamberlin made her professional debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she sang the soprano solo in the World Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing during the inaugural season of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Chamberlin can be heard during the epic water ballet scene in the 2016 Coen Brothers film Hail,Caesar!, for which she was hand-picked by prolific film score composer, Carter Burwell.
Tenor Nathan Granner is a renowned solo and collaborative artist. He premiered the role of Dr. Morel in the Long Beach Opera/Chicago Opera Theater commission and co-production The Invention of Morel, by Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the band The Police, and now a classical composer. In the past year he performed Triquet in Eugene Onegin with Spoleto Festival USA, Curly in Oklahoma! with Ash Lawn Opera, Edgaro in Pacific Opera Project's Lucia di Lammermoor with Jamie Chamberlin, and The Magician in Menotti's The Consul with Long Beach Opera featuring Patricia Racette. He was also featured in the climactic scene of the award-winning independent film, Counter-Clockwise, directed by George Moïse. Mr. Granner has performed with Lyric Opera Kansas City, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Wolf Trap, and Glimmerglass Opera. He is a founding member of The American Tenors, whose Sony Masterworks album reached the top five in the classical crossover charts.
Master Conguero and vocalist Louie Cruz Beltran is an entertainer at heart who blends fiery Afro Cuban rhythms with Latin jazz, jazz, pop and R&B influences. Louie is a popular attraction at venues from the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl to world class jazz clubs, festivals, major corporate events and private functions. His solo show, Reading, Roots and Rhythm, is a fun, interactive and informative presentation that has become popular throughout the Los Angeles County Library system. Louie is pleased to bring his talented five piece ensemble to the Taper Auditorium to thrill and entertain with fiery percussion, soaring vocals, and as always, Louie’s innate ability to tell a story and connect to audiences with humor and solid musicianship.
Makers Mess is a place for people to make messes or masterpieces while discovering and perfecting their artistic talents. They are an art studio located in Silver Lake that offers art and design classes for kids and adults. They also host rad events and pop-up workshops. Brandy Lewis is Executive Director.
Involved with the Graffiti Art movement since 1987, Man One began his artistic journey on the streets of Los Angeles, tagging and leaving his trademark of bold, colorful aerosol strokes as he searched for his artistic purpose. After completing his B.A. degree in Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University, his newly inspired passion began to change the way the world interpreted graffiti and urban art.
Man One set out to make a name for himself and strengthen the real meaning behind the art movement. It only took the first few commissioned murals to allow Man One to realize that his art could transcend beyond the streets and into the world of art and commerce. His bright and colorful murals made their way into the underground urban art movement pioneering the evolution of graffiti as an art form, not a negative statement of culture. Today, his artwork now reaches internationally, having been featured in venues throughout the world. To date, his artwork has been showcased in over 50 group exhibitions domestically and internationally, numerous solo exhibits, and displayed at several museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Man One’s first picture book,Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, is currently receiving national awards and accolades for his colorful and original illustration work.
Hollywood historian Mary Mallory is a writer on L.A. history for the blog LA Daily Mirror, the author of three books, Hollywoodland, Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays, and Hollywood at Play, and a photograph archivist. She serves on the board of Hollywood Heritage and the Cultural Affairs Committee for the Studio City Neighborhood Council.
Margaret (Meg) Russett is Professor of English at the University of Southern California, and has also taught as a Fulbright Fellow at Bogazici University in Istanbul. She is the award-winning author of two books and many essays, and has appeared in History Channel documentaries.
Mostly Kosher, the acclaimed Indie Klezmer band, radically reconstructs Judaic and American cultural musical roots through ravenous klezmer beats and arresting Yiddish refrains. Mostly Kosher is a musical feast that explodes into a global food-fight of Jazz, Latin, Rock, Hip Hop, and Folk. Led by Leeav Sofer, one of Jewish Journal’s "30 under 30" most-accomplished professionals in the Los Angeles Jewish diaspora, Mostly Kosher is comprised of some of the most highly regarded Los Angeles musicians: violinist Janice Mautner Markham, drummer Eric Hagstrom, bassist Adam Levy, accordion/trumpet Mike Bolger, trombonist Mike King, and on guitar, Will Brahm.
Mostly Kosher is a fixture at renowned Los Angeles stages such as the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre and Skirball Cultural Center, while also having graced the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a live television broadcast to over half a million viewers. Most recently, Mostly Kosher had the honor of being the first Jewish music ensemble at the Disney parks and performed a 2-month residency at Disney California Adventure, featured in the Festival of Holidays. Mostly Kosher was credited for “stealing the Festival of Holidays Show” by the acclaimed Fresh Baked Disney podcast, and they are thrilled to be returning to the California Adventure Park for another season. This year, Mostly Kosher also added Epcot Center in Florida to their list of holiday performance venues.
Their self-titled debut album has won international acclaim through recognition by World Music Network, Songlines Magazine, and BBC radio. Mostly Kosher’s first track, “Ikh Hob Dikh Tsufil Lib” (I Love You Much Too Much), was recognized as one of World Music Network’s Top 6 Songs of 2014. Mostly Kosher’s music videos have been garnering accolades on the film festival circuit, receiving two nominations at the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema and Best Music Video at the Glendale International Film Festival.
Mona Laru's mission is to inspire individuals to live their authentic power by aligning to the true meaning and potential of who they are through plant-based meals, movement, and meditation. She encourages individuals to think outside the box to discover, create, live, and take responsibility for happiness. She works with Fortune 500 companies in New York City and Los Angeles to promote healthy workplace environments. Mona's career started in the pharmaceutical marketing industry, and she now educates corporations and leads national workshops to help employers and employees find the optimal route to a healthier workplace and a happier personal journey.
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles-based company, has a heart for the Armenian culture. Artistic Director Natasha Middleton created several ballets to the music of Armenian composers such as Aram Khachaturian and will offer selections from his ballet "Gayane," with the popular Saber Dance, as well as his haunting Masquerade ballet. The music of contemporary composer A. Babadjanian will also be danced to. This critically acclaimed company is noted for their exciting performances of both traditional and contemporary dance.
A member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 36 years, Paul Stein has brought his musical experience into many educational and chamber music venues. He created the Chamber Music Express ensemble in 1985 to introduce classical music to audiences at schools and libraries. His stories for those programs include Galileo’s Metronome, The Magical, Musical Mini-Mall, and The Voyage of the Viola. Mr. Stein is the Artistic Director of the Classical Kaleidoscope chamber music series at the Arcadia Library, which is now in its 13th season. It has presented music from many lands, including China and Africa. He now performs regularly at the Agoura Hills Library. He was also the director of the chamber music series for five years at the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center. He has performed the cycle of the ten Beethoven Violin and Piano Sonatas with Jocelyn Chang, and the cycle of Reger and Delius sonatas with Leo Marcus. He has been a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Glendale and Pasadena Community Orchestras, the Rio Hondo Symphony, and the Crown City Symphony. He teaches violin and viola, from beginners through advanced, at his home studio. He has also been on the faculty at the University of La Verne, Pasadena City College, and Glendale College. His articles about the relationship between music and the mind have been featured in Strings Magazine, the American String Teacher, and the California Music Journal.
Priti Aggarwal, the primary artist at Pretty Henna, is a self-trained henna artist. She started doing henna professionally when she only 12 years old, and it’s the passion for this ancient art that drives her. She wants everyone to enjoy the experience of getting henna in a safe manner, and prepares her own custom paste to ensure that. Her extensive experience enables Priti to do both trendy and traditional designs with equal ease and speed.
This pioneering Outfest documentary follows one of Los Angeles’ bravest and youngest trans rights activists, Zoey Luna, just after winning a case against her school district for discrimination, as she begins hormone treatments, and publicly advocates for change with her mother and sister always by her side.
Thirteen-year-old Zoey wants nothing more than to simply go to school, learn, and have fun with her friends in Downey, CA. Unfortunately, ignorance and intolerance have not always made this easy. With the help of her mother Ofelia, her older sister Leticia, and the ACLU, Zoey fought school officials for her right to self-identify in school. Even in the face of bullying and endless teasing from both school officials and students, Zoey determinedly continues to live her life as she is, and tells her story in the hopes of helping others persevere in living their authentic life.
Strong Words began in 2011 at the legendary Body Builders Gym in Silver Lake, CA, when three writers came together to share their stories in a public forum. The response was immediate, and the salon-style event grew to include music, visual art, and ... most of all ... a spirit of community. Strong Words moved to nearby Atwater Village in 2016, in a glorious new outdoor venue where adventurous audiences are embracing the chance to listen and participate, to laugh and cry, and absorb new ideas in real time. The event is curated by Larry Dean Harris and Michael Hirabayashi.
Following the tragic accidental death of her five-year-old son, Susan’s world collapsed. Her loss snapped the final tether of resilience burdened by a past of pain and trauma. She descended into an emotional abyss of darkness and despair, yet was not offered the resources needed to heal. Without support, she turned to drugs and alcohol, which led to nearly 20 years revolving through cycles of incarceration. Drawing on her personal experiences, she founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (ANWOL) in 1998, dedicating her life to helping others break the cycle of incarceration. ANWOL provides resources such as housing, case management, employment, legal services, leadership development, and community organizing on behalf of, and with, people who struggle to rebuild their lives after incarceration. Susan’s memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton, was released in May of 2017.
Theatre 40 is a small, professional theatre company that has been located in Beverly Hills, on the grounds of the Beverly Hills High School, for over 50 years! Director Melanie MacQueen, who directed the current Theatre 40 show Engaging Shaw, about the courtship of G.B. Shaw, and the actor Daniel Leslie also appear in Theatre 40's off-site, long-running production of The Manor, which takes place within the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. LeeAnne Rowe and Dean Wood are talented members of the Theatre 40 Company. All of them are excited to bring you a Staged Reading of these comedic, Chekov gems.
theatre dybbuk offers exciting, utterly singular, live experiences through the creation of provocative new works that blend physical theatre with dance, poetry, and music, while exploring the rich world of Jewish folklore, rituals, and history. With an in-depth development process that can range from months to two years, the company crafts each piece with a cast of dedicated professional actors, designers, musicians, and scholars. The resulting works, from the dark and visceral dance theatre of cave ... a dance for Lilith, to the life-affirming, music-rich festival piece, assemble: modern spin | ancient celebration, are challenging and beautiful to behold.
Travis started folding at around four or five years old, and has accumulated over a quarter century of experience since then. Now he has taught classes, designed original pieces for groups as big as major film studios, had articles published on a major origami news page, and presented at one of the biggest origami conferences in the world.
Outside of folding, Travis is a fan of puzzles and stories of all kinds. He graduated from St. John’s College with a double major in Literature and The History of Mathematics and Laboratory Sciences and a double minor in Philosophy and Language, and is enrolled for a Masters of Family Therapy at Antioch University.
The Urban Voices Choir is composed of artists and performers from the Skid Row neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles. Throughout the year, they share music and its healing power with many individuals and audiences inside and outside the neighborhood of Skid Row. Founded by a Colburn School teaching artist, Leeav Sofer, recognized for his accomplishments by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal’s "30 under 30" list, directs the choir and Urban Voices program. His co-founder, Christopher Mack, AKA, The Urban Sage, is a Community Outreach Coordinator who has walked the streets of Skid Row for Wesley Health Centers for 14 years. Kate Richards Geller, a Music Therapy Consultant, advises the project and offers her skills as acting Associate Director.
The Urban Voices Project has found recognition on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered in 2014. Urban Voices Project has had the privilege to collaborate with many partners, including Street Symphony and their annual Messiah Project, singing shoulder-to-shoulder with Los Angeles Master Chorale singers, accompanied by Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians. The choir has been featured guests at multiple discussion panels, government inaugurations, gala events, and international community healthcare conferences. They have sung on stages from Skid Row’s streets to venues such as Los Angeles’ Ace Hotel Theater. Notably, the choir enjoys an annual Christmas caroling on the streets of Skid Row with guest star Mr. Dick Van Dyke.