Amy Muscoplat - Crafts
Amy Muscoplat is the Creative Facilitator and Owner of Joyfestivalindustries.com. She works in multiple ways to create materials that help people raise their joy quotient via DIY gatherings and home celebrations. This includes creating kits, tutorials, and consulting with individuals and groups who wish to do programming and joyful events that involve crafting, connecting, and creating with others. She is a dynamic public presenter and speaker on subjects that include Finding Your Joy; Crafting and Paper Arts Crafts; Vision Boarding, Creating Happiness Rooms, and more. Amy's background is as a children’s librarian, storyteller, programming and event planner, digital literacy and digital citizenship educator for classrooms, as well as a public service librarian. She leads creative crafting and writing workshops around Southern California for both adults and families in public and private settings. Amy holds Master’s degrees in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and in Fine Arts (MFA).
Anyhaus Theatre presents experimental readings of lesser-known though meritorious stage plays in unconventional venues with the aim to make such theater accessible to wider and more diverse populations.
Arianne Edmonds - Black Los Angeles Trailblazer Families
Arianne Edmonds is a Los Angeles native, social impact professional, community archivist and founder of the JL Edmonds Project, an organization committed to preserving the history of Jefferson Lewis Edmonds and the Black west. The cornerstone of her family archive is The Liberator Newspaper, which documents the Black Angeleno community at the turn of the century. She's had the privilege of presenting her family research at the Schomburg Library: Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, The Digital Diaspora Family Reunion and the LA Learn Do Share, a Columbia University global storytelling conference, and Los Angeles City Hall in partnership with the Deputy Mayors Office. In 2017, Arianne, along with her father, Paul Edmonds, secured a partnership with the Los Angeles Public Library to have The Liberator Newspaper digitized and offered to the public for the first time in over a century.
Arianne received her degree in Communications, from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and started her career in educational media at Sesame Workshop. She has over a decade of experience working in the social sector, designing community programming, marketing campaigns, and corporate social responsibility engagements for civic organizations and Fortune 500 companies.
Artisan Food Producers
Los Angeles was a food processing hub back when most of the surrounding counties were agricultural, but now soaring rents and complex regulations imperil those businesses. Can the L.A. area remain a center for gourmet food producers?
Semolina Artisanal Pasta founder Leah Ferrazzani has spent a lifetime working in food, managing neighborhood cafés, and hot Hollywood restaurants, as a side hustle while pursuing her B.A. in Poetry or Master’s in Journalism, and as a writer documenting the makers and farmers she most admired. Semolina is her first foray into the kitchen, a homegrown, organic small batch pasta company that recreates the best dried pastas from Italy, using American grain.Christina Holder is a unique Los Angeles triple-threat—chef, host, entrepreneur. This multi-disciplinary approach has informed her culinary endeavors for more than 25 years. Christina is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, with a BA in Communications & Journalism, a seasoned host and SAG-AFTRA member, Certified Master Food Preserver, SlowFood Preservation Advisor and guest lecturer with Culinary Historians of Southern California and the Pacific Food & Beverage Museum. For her blog and information on upcoming events, visit sleepersgourmet.com.
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.
Benjamin Dickow - Columbia Memorial Space Center
Benjamin Dickow is the President and Executive Director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center, a space museum and science learning center located in Downey, California, that serves as NASA’s official tribute to the astronauts lost during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. The Space Center is on the former NASA site where all of the Apollo spacecraft and Space Shuttle were designed and built.
Mr. Dickow’s work is informed by nearly 25 years of experience in science education. He has served in the education and exhibits departments at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where he managed the Science Center’s educational program development and oversaw the creation of the Big Lab, a 55,000 sq. ft. open-ended, inquiry learning space. Outside of being on a museum staff, he has been the Creative Director at a major Los Angeles museum design firm. Recently, he served as a Director of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, a center of the National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C., where he worked on a nation-wide initiative to promote informal science education.
Brie Wakeland - Preserving and Fermenting Food
Brie Wakeland studied food preservation under the late Chef Ernest Miller, while attending the Slow Food Preservers Los Angeles certified instructor program. Additionally, she attended the Sandor Katz Fermentation Residency Program in Liberty, TN. She is a UCCE Master Gardener, certified yoga instructor, and traditional sign painter. Her life’s work is teaching yoga, food preservation, gardening, and culinary arts lessons to children and adults throughout the L.A. area.
Masters of ragtime, Dixieland blues, and early swing, the California Feetwarmers are renowned for an earthy depth of character that sets them apart from others who have followed that throwback path to New Orleans, circa 1920. Their boisterous on-stage antics are solidly underpinned by playing that is as close to the source as it can be. This is the band that Kebʼ Moʼ sought out to provide an air of authenticity when he recorded his latest album, BluesAmericana. The collaboration won them a Grammy nomination in the Best American Roots Performance category. Last year, they played to 1,000 revelers when they sold out Glasgowʼs Old Fruitmarket during the cityʼs Celtic Connections Festival. When Kebʼ Moʼ grabbed them to provide the right feel for the track that has won them so much attention, he did so because he wanted it to be “a joyous thing—a party,” he told The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview, now couldnʼt we all do with a bit of that in our lives right now!
California Step Association
The California Step Association (CSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and entertaining youth and the general public on the performance dance art of step. Founded in 2011 by educator, writer, and choreographer, Tammy Artis Johnson, CSA has a mission that not only includes the preservation of the step dance art form but also includes the promotion of health and fitness and encouragement for K-12 youth to attend college, where stepping is traditionally performed. CSA supports the efforts of California steppers, coaches, and teams through scholarship and grant opportunities, award recognitions, and enrichment workshops. In addition, CSA provides community outreach through its professional step team, the CSA All-Stars, who have been featured nationally on American Idol—Idols Across America, Fox 11's Kris Jenner Show, and Lifetime Networks' Girlfriend Intervention. The team has also delivered half-time game performances for the Los Angeles Sparks and Golden State Warriors as well as participatory workshops in partnership with Nike, Ford Theatres, and a host of California schools and community organizations.
Cleary Irish Dance Company
In 1988, Margaret Cleary A.D.C.R.G. introduced Irish Dance classes for adults at St. Ambrose Parish Hall in West Hollywood. The adult group was aptly known as The St. Ambrose Ceili Dancers and grew to be a reputable Irish organization within the Southern California community. They have attained six National titles for ceili dancing.
In 1993, Margaret added classes for children. Classes are now offered for students of all ages and levels. They study the traditional art form of Irish dance (reels, jigs, and hornpipes) in both soft and hard shoes. Members of the group qualify every year to represent the Western U.S. region at the World Championships held annually at Easter in Ireland. Dancers perform regularly at events throughout the Southland and have appeared many times on local and national television as well as Irish TV (RTE). Cleary Irish Dance is proud to perpetuate the traditions and culture of Ireland in Los Angeles.
The Colburn School
The Colburn School comprises four academic units united by a single philosophy, that all who desire to study music and dance should have access to top-level training. The degree-granting Conservatory of Music, the Community School of Performing Arts, the Music Academy for pre-college musicians, and the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute provide performing-arts training to over 2,000 students from the Los Angeles area and around the world. The renowned teachers, performers, and scholars that make up Colburn’s dedicated faculty serve as invaluable mentors to guide students’ artistic development.
Founded in 1950 by the University of Southern California, the Community School of Performing Arts provides classes taught by highly skilled instructors in instrumental and vocal music, drama, and early childhood arts education to students of all ages and skill levels. A member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Community School is committed to ensuring community-wide access to quality arts instruction. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the Community School offers private lessons, group instruction, and ensemble experiences for all ages from 7-month-old babies to adults.
Dan Bigelow - Basic Principles of Animation
Dan Bigelow has worked as a creative pro for over 25 years on music videos, arcade games, editorial illustrations, indie films, mobile games, comic books, online college courses, album art, book covers, and cutting-edge TV shows. Along the way, he's painted and drawn his way onto gallery walls across the United States, and picked up a few awards for his work animating and directing.
Born in upstate New York to a minister and a singer/songwriter, Dan grew up all over the country, landing in Chicago, where he attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated in 1993 with a BFA in Film/Video. In 2006 he moved to Hollywood to work on Adult Swim's Metalocalypse. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Ronnie, and their dogs, Rascal and Prisma.
DJ Hapa - DJ 101
Recently dubbed “The DJ Coach,” HAPA has found a way to blend his 20+ years of experience as a DJ with his passion for teaching, to deliver informative and digestible concepts in the classroom. His degree in Sociology (UCLA ‘03) and his ever-growing diverse list of accolades make him a tremendous asset as a mentor and coach. HAPA prides himself on being at the cutting edge of music, education, and technology and is well versed and certified in practically every major hardware or software brand that is in the DJ space. Since 2004, HAPA has helped build Scratch DJ Academy and their various locations throughout the U.S. into the world's leader in DJ education that it is today.
Elliot Kuhn - Learn to Grow Your Own Food
Cottonwood Urban Farm (CUF), run by urban farmer and educator Elliot Kuhn, is situated on 1.5 acres in the San Fernando Valley, and is dedicated to the cross-section of food, community, and education. The farm highlights the diversity of produce that can be grown in the Mediterranean climate of Los Angeles and seeks to demonstrate holistic approaches to sustainable agriculture through integration of livestock, pollinators, composting, and other organic practices. CUF is a venue for collaboration for all interested or working in fields connected to food production and sustainability.
Emmy Lam - Salsa Dance
Emmy Lam is a multifaceted and talented performer and teacher. She has been dancing Salsa for over 15 years and has performed at the L.A. Salsa Congress and at numerous other events. Ms. Lam has been teaching in Southern California for over a decade and enjoys sharing her passion with others. Besides her love for Salsa dancing, she also offers other fun and educational programs such as Chinese Calligraphy, Origami, and various art and craft programs.
Felice Picano - Coming to Hollywood
Felice Picano was called to Hollywood in 1977 to work for Cary Grant’s Brut Productions in film. He returned in the mid-80s to work with director Frank Perry (Mommy Dearest). Picano was openly gay and was befriended by Hollywood actors and writers, many of them closeted. Researching his 2013 book, 20th Century Unlimited, set in the 1930’s L.A., Picano discovered many vintage photos and studio promotional images showing how gay Hollywood really was. This PowerPoint presentation talk is based on those images as well as what he was told and learned first-hand. He will also read short selections from that book and from his new roman à clef, Justify My Sins, about his three decades of experiences as a gay man in The Biz. “Coming to Hollywood” is a fun, informative, illuminating look at Hollywood from an LGBT angle.
The Folk Experience
Cindy Paley has delighted Jewish communities across the country with her spirit and rich repertoire of Jewish music. As a Cantorial Soloist, Cindy is the soul of Lev Eisha and the Valley Beth Shalom N’shama Minyan, both creative Shabbat women’s services in Los Angeles. She has also served as the High Holiday Cantorial Soloist at numerous synagogues in California, Arizona and Washington. As a performer, she invites audiences to experience her beautiful renditions of Yiddish folk songs, Ladino love songs, and exuberant melodies of modern Israel, as featured on her Yavo Shalom, Zing Along, and Koleet CDs. Cindy’s Jewish holiday CDs (Chanukah, A Singing Seder, Shabbat and Celebrate with Cindy) are well known by teachers and families across America.
Ed Labowitz and Mike Sirota are part of another trio, The Folk Collection, which has performed for the last 15 years throughout the country, singing the classic songs of the folk era. When not singing with that group or The Folk Experience, Mike is the Cantor at Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina and a permit expediter in the Los Angeles area. As a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer, Ed represented many of the folk groups of the 1960s, including The Kingston Trio and The Limeliters, with whom he jams from time-to-time. Ed lives to perform, and loves it when the audience sings along.
French General Craft Programs
French General is a workshop located in Frogtown on the east side of Los Angeles. They teach everything from jewelry making to indigo dyeing in their studio. They also feature their collections of fabric, embroidery kits, and vintage finds in their retail shop, which is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Impro Theatre creates completely improvised, full-length plays in the styles of the world’s greatest playwrights, authors, and composers. With no pre-planning or prepared scenarios, the performers combine verbal dexterity and robust physicality to bring character and plot to life in an instant, making each Impro Theatre show unique and unlike any other theatrical experience.
In Southern California, Impro has performed sold-out shows at South Coast Repertory, The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, North Coast Repertory in San Diego, Falcon Theater in Burbank, and The Pasadena Playhouse, as well as venues around the world including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, The Athenaeum Theater in Chicago, The Melbourne Fringe in Australia and Theatre Adyar in Paris. Impro Theatre’s Main Company has received multiple Critics’ Picks in the Los Angeles Times, Back Stage West and L.A. Weekly, and many shows have been Ovation Recommended.
Interact Theatre Company
Interact Theatre Company is one of the most celebrated and esteemed theatre companies in Los Angeles. Beginning in 1990 under the inspiration of actor Barry Heins and 15 of his New York actor friends, the company is now comprised of over 60 actors, directors, writers, and designers, and has garnered 82 awards and 150 nominations for outstanding achievement. The Los Angeles Times praised the company as “One of L.A.’s true theatre successes," and NoHo News called Interact “A company of hard-hitting professionals with a rare and undeniable combination of heart and expertise." For 25 years, Interact was based in the NoHo Arts District but now makes its home downtown, working in-residence at The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. For information about the company's productions, Monday Night Play Readings Series, Play Development Lab, UCLA School of Law Staged Readings, and InterPLAY, their highly lauded summer theater workshop for underserved youth, please visit their website.
Janet Klein and Her Parlour Boys
The enchanting and effervescent chanteuse Janet Klein performs obscure, naughty, and lovely tunes from the 1910s, 20s and 30s. Joined by some of her L.A. based band members, The Parlor Boys, you’ll be treated to spirited and inspired renditions of Tin Pan Alley, early hot jazz, vaudeville and Yiddish novelty tunes, ragtime and other rare and rustic gems. Janet Klein has been performing her special brand of song fare since 1996. Her own unique vocal style reflects the old fashioned sweetness and titillating charm of bygone singers like Ruth Etting, Josephine Baker, Lil Armstrong, and Mae West. Born in California, Klein has always felt a strong affinity to the music and culture of the early twentieth century. In addition to being a classically trained pianist, she also plays a mean ukulele and has a voice as sweet as a robin’s song on a sunny, spring morning. Be sure to take a peek at her ukulele as it is a one-of-a-kind instrument beautifully adorned with cherry blossoms.
Josh Nelson - The Sky Remains
Born and raised in Southern California, pianist-composer-bandleader Josh Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz and toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole. He taught music at Soka University and more recently at Cal State University Northridge. In 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
After issuing several well-received albums, Nelson introduced his Discovery Project, an immersive multi-media presentation combining video, performance art, light, and art installations with his original music. The sci-fi influenced Discoveries in 2011 was followed with another ambitious Discovery Project in 2015’s Exploring Mars, which wedded evocative musical themes to spectacular NASA/JPL video footage of the Red Planet. Nelson’s latest, 2017’s The Sky Remains, is his love letter to Los Angeles. The third in his Discovery Project series, it unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about the composer’s hometown.
Korean Classical Music & Dance Company
As a child, Donald Dongsuk Kim, Director of the Korean Classical Music & Dance Company, had a vision of dancing and playing the traditional music of his heritage. Born in Seoul, Korea, he began his formal studies at the age of 12 and was eventually invited to join a government-sponsored troupe that performed the traditional music and dance. Achieving his dream—and more—Kim has also held numerous positions in Korean traditional music society, including founder of the Korean Classical Music & Dance Company, Director of the Korean Classical Music Institute of America, and Director of the Korean Ethnic Heritage Group. Since the early 1970s, he has toured for all the major arts educational organizations in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and San Diego counties. His credits are numerous, as well as his awards. These include: Durfee Master Musician award; lifetime achievement awards from the Department of Culture, Republic of Korea, and the Professional Artists in Schools Awards (PASA); and Best Artist from the California Arts Council. He holds a B.A. from Seoul National University, an M.A. from Hope International University, and a Ph.D. from C.S. University. He recently retired from a 20-year teaching career at the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology.
Leyna Lightman - Heritage Grains
Leyna Lightman attended Smith College in Northampton, MA. She began her career as a public radio producer but left the newsroom for the museum world in order to design educational experiences for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Leyna was also a founding staff member at The Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Leyna now curates independent projects in Los Angeles and collaborates with partners like The Getty Museum, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Big City Forum, Palm Springs Art Museum, Otis School of Art and Design, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, brilliant local artists, and more.
Most of Leyna’s programs are co-created with communities and stakeholders and include themes like transit, the human senses, the natural world, food, and social justice. Sustainable food systems are especially important to Leyna and she has deep, meaningful ties to a wide swath of farmers and food producers in California. In particular, Leyna co-founded the California Grain Campaign, which seeks to foster the growth and success of the small-scale heritage grain economy across the state.
Liberate Hollywood is a healing, sacred, and safe space designed to liberate individuals, communities, and the world! A place of strong community where we UNITE as one divine humanity to heal, to love, to transform, to vibe, to energize, to educate, to learn, to create, to be inspired, to be intellectually stimulated, to start great conversations, to rediscover our passions, to share, and to enjoy.
The Little Knittery - Learn to Knit
The Learn to Knit class is brought to you by L.A.'s own Best Yarn Shop (LA Weekly's 2014 Best of LA issue), The Little Knittery, which became famous worldwide when owner Kat Coyle and customer/friends Jayna Zweiman and Krista Suh came up with the pink, cat-eared Pussyhat Project. The Little Knittery is a cozy neighborhood yarn shop with a beautifully curated selection of the softest fibers, emphasizing fair trade practices, sustainable source materials, and domestically produced yarns and notions. They offer classes, events, and workshops where you can achieve your knitting and crochet dreams! The instructor for this class is Makiko Ushiyama from The Little Knittery.
Locatora Radio - Podcasting 101
Locatora Radio is a Radiophonic Novela hosted by Diosa and Mala, also known as Las Mamis of Myth & Bullshit. Like most millennial love stories, Diosa and Mala met on the internet. When fate brought the two L.A. locals together in real life, Diosa and Mala decided to combine their powers to become Las Mamis of Myth & Bullshit. Together, they conceptualized Locatora Radio, a Radiophonic Novela that celebrates the experiences, brilliance, creativity, and legacies of femmes and womxn of color. Entering their third year of podcasting, Locatora has become synonymous with discussions of femme tech, femme defense, and loca epistemologies. Locatora Radio moves beyond the confines of a studio space and connects with their listeners and community through workshops and community events. Event planners and femcees in their own right, Las Locatoras incorporate the party as politic into their praxis. Keep up with Diosa and Mala as they discuss the layers and levels of femmeness and race, mental health, trauma, gender experience, sexuality, and oppression.
An international pianist and recording artist, Makiko Hirata, has been calling herself the “On-Call Musical Doctor” since attaining her D.M.A. from Rice University. She is on a mission to promote music and musicians as healing agents in this world. As a consultant to Houston Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine, she collaborates with neuroscientists to study the benefit of music. Believing in the power of music to encourage empathy, reminding us how what we share is greater than our differences, she is a Scott M. Johnson Fellow to the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program. She is currently authoring a book on her triumph over a 15-year battle against stage fright, stereotypes, and sexual harassment as a young Japanese pianist navigating the classical music industry.
She has given recitals, lectures, concerto performances, and outreach concerts in North and South America, Europe, and her native Japan in venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress, and Oji Hall. She has performed with distinguished groups and musicians such as the Jupiter Symphony Orchestra in NYC, the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leon Fleisher, and clarinetist David Krakauer. Passionate about sharing music not just through performances, she has also taught at New York University, Colburn Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and Lone Star College, and given lectures at Emeritus College, and for Los Angeles Public Library’s Lecture Series.
Margie Yang - Chinese Tea Ceremony
Margie Yang has been running tea houses in Taipei for nearly 30 years, and she is passionate about researching the Chinese tea culture in Taiwan. Ms. Yang was awarded the "China International Senior Tea Artist and Lecturer License" by the China Tea Art Association.
Mary Mallory - Hooray for Hollywoodland!/ Lost L.A.
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 photo archivist. She serves on the board of Hollywood Heritage and the Cultural Affairs Committee for the Studio City Neighborhood Council.
Miri Koral - The Art of Yiddish
Miri Koral has a passion for Yiddish, which she has been exercising for over 20 years as an educator, international speaker, published poet and translator, and producer. She is the Continuing Lecturer in Yiddish at UCLA and is the Founding Director of the California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language, which has since 1999 enriched our community with the best possible programming about a rich and threatened heritage.
The California Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language, (CIYCL) engages the best experts and creative talents and invites people of all ages to sample (in a bilingual and hence accessible format) the riches of Yiddish culture—its abundant sounds, wisdom, and written works; its ironic humor and profound passions. Since 1999 CIYCL has reached thousands with innovative programs designed to inform, stimulate, and inspire in order to safeguard this threatened vast and precious legacy.
Mitzi Manna Yiddish Drag Queen
Mitzi Manna, international star of the Yiddish stage, has appeared in basements everywhere from Berlin and Bucharest to the Bronx and back. She is thrilled to at last be telling her tale for Tinseltown. Mitzi sings and recites songs and poems written for and about her in her beloved Mame-loshn, but she also spills all the tea from her long and checkered career in whatever language the audience understands best––including ASL, Pig Latin, and the International Language of Love. Described by the National Enquirer as “an unstoppable force of nature” and by the Times of Israel as “a cheap date,” Mitzi Manna will leave you wanting more. Or less. More or less.
Monica Sarin - Bollywood Dance
Born and raised in Mumbai, Monica spent 21 years in England and came to the U.S. three years ago. She has been teaching and performing Bollywood Dance for the last 17 years, offering classes all over Los Angeles under the name DanceBollywoodDance group. Her motto is very simple: ABCD (Any Body Can Dance!) and she has been recognized in the community for helping to support charity events and fundraisers. She believes that music has no language and that it can touch many hearts through expressive dancing.
Raze the Space - Short Play Festival/ Mask Making Workshop
Raze the Space is an international theater ensemble based in Los Angeles dedicated to producing cutting-edge contemporary and classical theater with a global focus and community impact. The ensemble is committed to reshaping the theatrical landscape with daring work that excites and challenges audiences, redefining expectations of what theater is and can be.
Dedicated to a story-telling process that is bold, inventive, and inherently theatrical, the ensemble aims to provide world-class theater for global audiences; an agenda reflected in the diversity of international theater artists and collaborators who work with them.
Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, television writer, and the author of many bestselling novels and nonfiction books. Born and raised in Evanston, IL, he studied writing under the noted authors Geoffrey Wolff and Robert Stone at Princeton University, before becoming a journalist in New York, where he wrote for a host of national magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, New York Magazine, New York Newsday, Town and Country, Travel and Leisure, Parade, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, etc. His television credits include such popular shows as Charmed, Sliders, Early Edition, and Poltergeist: The Legacy. His historical thrillers, which have been translated into seventeen languages, include Blood and Ice, The Medusa Amulet, The Jekyll Revelation, The Romanov Cross, and The Einstein Prophecy, which held the top spot in the Amazon Kindle store for several weeks running. His most recent supernatural tale, The Night Crossing, features Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, as its hero. A longstanding member of the Writers Guild, he has also taught and lectured at many colleges and universities, including the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and Claremont McKenna College, where he served as the Visiting Lecturer in Literature. Today, he is at work on a new novel set during the First World War, from his home base in Santa Monica.
Ronobir Lahiri - Sitar and Tabla Music
Using elements of raga and tala theory, Ronobir Lahiri has explored the tension between computer generated music and human emotion. By overlaying traditional Indian ragas onto ambient, house, techno, and club tracks, Ronobir creates a sound environment both intense yet soothing, joyful yet profound, uplifting yet understated. This highly rhythmic and energetic music resonates particularly well with diverse audiences.
Rosanna Tavarez - LA DANSA DANSA
Rosanna Tavarez has a diverse background as a performer/entertainer and has had the honor of working with Marina Ambramovic, Ryan Heffington, Travis Payne, Tony Michaels, and Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide. She also toured with N’SYNC and Jessica Simpson as one-fifth of the girl group Eden’s Crush and covered the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows, as a television personality for FOX, E!, TVGuide Network, and Telemundo/NBC.
She was selected to attend the Countertechnique Teacher Training program in 2016, and is now one of seven certified American Countertechnique Teachers. She is on faculty at Studio School and CalState L.A. and guest teaches throughout the U.S. Her work has been presented by REDCAT, L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs, Highways Performance Space, Breaking Ground Dance Festival, LA Dance Festival, and Sarasota Contemporary Dance and supported by an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, UCLA Hothouse Residency, and Show Box LA.
Self Help Graphics & Art
Founded in 1970 in the heart of East Los Angeles, Self Help Graphics & Art is dedicated to the production, interpretation, and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latina/o artists. Our multi-disciplinary, inter-generational programs promote artistic excellence and empower our community by providing access to space, tools, training and capital.
Barrio Mobile Art Studio: Self Help Graphics & Art Barrio Mobile Art Studio (BMAS) serves our mission to nurture emerging artists and present Latino art to a broad audience, and address the vast demographic that is Los Angeles, while also expanding our audiences and community beyond the East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights communities.
Shane Baker - Mina Bern: Last of Yiddish Divas
Shane Baker is the best-loved Episcopalian on the Yiddish stage today. He recently starred with the New Yiddish Rep in Sholem Asch's 1907 Yiddish tale of lesbian lust, prostitutes and panderers God of Vengeance in New York and playing Vladimir in his own Yiddish translation of Waiting for Godot. The New York Times pronounced Baker’s Godot translation “even more depressing than Beckett’s original.” His Yiddish performances have taken him to venues from Stockholm to Santa Monica, from Montreal to Melbourne, and always one step ahead of the sheriff. Baker also serves as Executive Director of the Congress for Jewish Culture, a Yiddish cultural organization based in New York.
Storychicks - "Starstruck: Your Name in Lights!"
Story Chicks bring to life their own true tales of childhood, adapting memoir, creative writing and poetry to the stage, allowing audiences to revisit their own personal experiences, remembering stories of their own. In “Starstruck: Your Name in Lights!” these two engaging performers take audiences back to their dreams of performing onstage, from dancing on Daddy's toes in the living room, to the total embarrassment of Jr. High performances, and finally to storming Hollywood itself ... with stars in their eyes!
Terri Martin Lujan and C.E. Jordan both have extensive backgrounds in dance and writing, performing in musicals and modern dance for many years, and currently publishing their poems and essays in various journals throughout the country. Also being teachers, designers, directors and choreographers, Story Chicks, created in 2013, bring it all to the stage, enacting their fondest memories and funniest stories to the delight of audiences of all ages.
Strong Words began in 2011 at the legendary Body Builders Gym in Silver Lake 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. Last year, Strong Words expanded, adding quarterly shows in Palm Springs. The event is curated by Larry Dean Harris and Michael Hirabayashi.
Suzanne Ciani - Quadraphonic Sound Concert
Suzanne Ciani is a five-time Grammy-award-nominated composer, an electronic music pioneer, and neo-classical recording artist whose work has been featured in countless commercials, video games, and feature films. Over the course of her 30+-year career, she's released 16 solo albums, including Seven Waves, The Velocity of Love, and most recently her comeback quadraphonic Buchla modular synth performance recording “LIVE Quadraphonic." She's been recognized as Keyboard Magazine's "New Age Keyboardist of the Year," provided the voice and sounds for Bally's groundbreaking "Xenon" pinball machine, created Coca-Cola’s pop-and-pour sound, designed Atari’s sound logo, played concerts all over the globe, and carved out a niche as one of the most creatively successful female composers in the world. “A Life in Waves,” a documentary about Ciani’s life and work, debuted at SXSW and is available to watch on all digital platforms.
theatre dybbuk offers exciting, utterly singular, live experiences through the creation of provocative new works that blend physical theater with dance, poetry, and music, all while exploring the rich history of Jewish thought. 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 theater of cave... a dance for lilith, to the life-affirming, music-rich festival piece, assemble: modern spin | ancient celebration, to the timely investigation of immigration and marginalization, exagoge, are challenging and beautiful to behold.
Theatricum Botanicum - Living History
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum is a professional theater nestled in the community of Topanga Canyon. Since 1978 Theatricum has been sharing classical theater performances and education programs with the greater Los Angeles community through its Repertory, Academy of the Classics, and School Programs.
Todd Murry - CROON
Declared “The Real Deal” and “Impeccable” by Stephen Holden of the New York Times, and hailed “the best male vocalist living today” by Paul Richards of WHLI, NEW YORK Radio’s “The Morning Show,” Todd Murray’s smooth bass-baritone has been heard from Japan to Switzerland and in clubs and artist series all over the USA.
His latest show “CROON” garnered much praise (“I felt privileged to listen,” Rex Reed of the NY Observer) including “Best Male Cabaret Show CROON 2015” and “Best Male Vocalist 2015” by BroadwayWorld.com, and most recently awarded “The Margaret Whiting Award” at the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention in 2016.
Mr. Murray has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s—When I Sing Low, Stardust and Swing, Croon—all of which are available on iTunes and his website. His musical theater career has taken him from Off-Broadway to a Broadway Tour of The Secret Garden, regional houses as well as universities, and concert series. Todd’s “trembling sensitivity” (NY Times) is why he is often called “the songwriter’s dream” (Cabaret Scenes). He has been nominated three times by the MAC organization including “Best New Song” for “And I’m Leaving Today,” which he penned along with well-known accompanist and writer Alex Rybeck.
He has two new Christmas songs that he wrote and performed to be released nationally this year. Watch for “I’m Gettin’ Into The Swing of Christmas” and “Let’s Hear It For Santa Claus.” Mr. Murray can also be seen on the symphony stage singing The American Songbook, or with a big band in Los Angeles.
Top Shelf Vocal
Top Shelf Vocal is an award-winning, semi-professional a cappella choir in Los Angeles, California. Top Shelf members are from all different career fields brought together by a love for vocal music and performance. As a group, Top Shelf performs regularly around the Greater LA Area and continues to develop a diverse repertoire of off-the-beaten-path pop a cappella.
Trina Calderon - Master Gardener: Cook, Grow, Sell
Native Angeleno Trina Calderon became a UC Master Gardener in 2012 to teach organic gardening throughout Southern California. She has taught at local libraries, community gardens, and in schools, hoping to inspire others to learn how easy it is to grow food and eat seasonal garden-to-table meals.
Viver Brasil, a Los Angeles-based company founded in 1997 under the artistic direction of Linda Yudin and Luiz Badaró, honors Brazil’s African legacy through bold contemporary dance theatre that increases awareness of the rich history and culture from which Afro-Brazilian dance and music emerged. Through performances, arts education, community engagement, and cultural exchange between Los Angeles County and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, the company establish a portal through which communities experience and share the beautiful, mythic, and vibrant stories of Afro-Brazilian culture. Viver Brasil has toured throughout the United States, South Africa, Mexico, and Canada. Dedication to rigorous research, continuous dialogue with living masters of Bahian culture, and the vitality of the company’s most creative voices as choreographers and musicians and composers fuels and empowers Viver Brasil’s dynamic and powerful artistry as it addresses 21st-century African Diasporic issues of art and humanity, race, equity, memory, resistance, and resilience.
Yukiko Ann Kovacs - Japanese Tea Ceremony
Yukiko Ann Kovacs is Japanese-American and was born and raised in Boyle Heights. She married and then raised four children. In 2002, she began weekly tea lessons with her daughter, Tracy. The two of them received the title of “Sensei” after 10 years of study.
Zachary Bernstein (Writer/Composer) is a writer, songwriter, and company member at Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles. There, he composed original music for the shows Past Time, The Mother Ship, and the late-night show, Serial Killers. He also composed music for Lamprey: Weekend of Vengeance, winner of “Best Comedy” at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. He also records and performs solo as The Bicycats, including his latest album release, Don’t Be Surprised When You See Us Bears. Disasteroid! is his first musical, originally performed in 2012 at the Underground Theater, but produced many years later after a vigorous workshop process at Sacred Fools Theater and remounted soon after at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for “Best Musical” and “Outstanding Songwriting.”
Zero-Waste Crafts with Rewilder
Rewilder is an L.A.-based eco-fashion company using salvage post-industrial, non-recyclable materials to design zero-waste product that has minimum environmental impact with maximum style. Rewilder was founded by Jennifer Silbert and Lisa Siedlecki in 2014 with a mission to make “zero waste originals”—better bags with a micro-footprint that breaks from the normal fashion life-cycle. Instead of buying new material, they take 100% salvaged, high-performance materials from other industries. They then clean, cut, and sew everything in California so they’re not using up fossil fuels and transportation dollars. They don’t make trash; they make treasure.