"Ideas Worth Spreading" at TEDxCulverCity
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Greg Thompson - Master of Ceremonies
Greg Thompson is an award-winning theatre and film artist and educator. He is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the Screen Actor’s Guild. Mr. Thompson served as the Resident Director and Choreographer for the Atlanta Lyric Theatre for ten seasons and has enjoyed a long-standing relationship – 15 years – with The Springer Opera House (The State Theatre of Georgia) as a director, choreographer and performer. During his four year tenure with Very Special Arts he co-developed and taught numerous courses of study in therapeutic dance and drama including the New Visions Ballet Curriculum for the blind.
Artist / Historian on the topic of Historic Artist’s Materials & Techniques
Putting the “art” back into “ART”
Semi precious stones ground finely into powders, colorful rare earths, gossamer leaves of hammered gold and silver, these are the materials used by painters in the past; these are the materials that draw us into museums to gaze in awe at their works today. Artist Sylvana Barrett has made a career of searching out these sumptuous materials, of learning to use them through historic treatises left by the artists themselves and producing original works with them.
Julie Lugo Cerra – Author / Culver City Historian*
Living History through Painless Education
Julie Lugo Cerra is a 6th generation Californian who values people and their stories. A self-employed consultant, Cerra specializes in community/government relations, local history and education. Julie just completed her 5th book, an anthology of her work on local history. As the council-appointed Culver City historian, (1996), she enjoys working with researchers, from third graders through grad students to senior citizens, with a special fondness for “Living History.”
Dr. Edwin Gerard – Admissions* Director, Lycée Français of Los Angeles
Citizens of the World: The Multilingual Child and Adult
Dr. Gerard was born in Los Angeles into a four-generation household who spoke several languages daily. His parents spoke five each, his grandparents and great-grandmother spoke six. By the time he was five, he was fluent in English, and his Roman grandmother insisted that, in addition to French and Armenian, he should also learn Italian. Along the way he informally picked up Spanish as well. Once in High School, he naturally chose the one language no one else in his family could speak: German; that way he would have his own “secret” language. At UCLA, he majored in French. He received an MA in French Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to Paris to earn a doctorate at the Sorbonne.
Since that time, he’s lived between France and the US, hoping to impart the genius of the French language to English-speakers, and the genius of English to the French. Besides his work at Le Lycée, he’s served on the faculty at USC, UCLA extension, and University of Paris 8. His languages have allowed him to live and teach in many countries, the US, France, Italy, India, and Tunisia. He’s felt at home everywhere. He is currently teaching French and is proud to serve as Admissions Director at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles.
Robert Grad – Musician / Visual Artist*
Finally Using My Own Eyes
Robert Grad is a musician and visual artist, forever finding new ways to express what’s in his mind and heart. He had his first record deal with RCA Records fresh out of high school, as bass player and songwriter for the band, Kik Tracee. Grad toured the country with Kik Tracee, playing shows with Bon Jovi, Joe Walsh and others. After Kik Tracee, Grad formed Superfine, which gained an international following when they were featured on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show and soundtrack. He recently released his first solo CD, “No Apologies,” and his original songs have been featured on TV shows worldwide.
As his career developed, Grad felt he wanted to manifest his creativity in other ways, free from the constrictions of the music business, so he began painting and getting more deeply involved with photography. Soon he started experimenting and blending both mediums into visual works which expressed his exploration into how we constantly grow and change and move through life.
Clara Lisa Kabbaz – President, Lycée Français of Los Angeles
Parenting, and the Relationship with your Child’s Teachers and School
Clara-Lisa Kabbaz was born in Manhattan, New York on May 8, 1961. Her parents taught at the Lycée de New York. She moved to Los Angeles in 1964 where her parents founded Le Lycée Francais de Los Angeles, a private independent not-for-profit school. Clara-Lisa attended the school from preschool through the 12th grade and graduated from the rigorous French Language section in 1979. She attended the University of Southern California and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Cinema and Television. While working at the school full time as her father’s assistant she attended the University of West Los Angeles Law School and passed the California Bar Exam in 1992. She met her husband Gabor Szabo in Law School and managed to have two children during her education there and still graduate on time! Sadly, her parents passed away in 2000 and 2004 and she has been heading the school since 2000. She is passionate about her job and loves the school and its students. She is the mother of three and in her more than 30 years working at Le Lycée coupled with growing up at the school she is well versed in all parent/teacher issues and how they influence her students.
Susan Albert Loewenberg – Founder & Producing Director, L.A Theatre Works
How Theatre Can Change Your Life
Susan Albert Loewenberg is founder and Producing Director of L.A. Theatre Works, a non-profit media arts and theatre organization. Ms. Loewenberg has produced award-winning radio dramas, plays and films in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London. Under her supervision, LATW has created the largest library of plays on audio in the world, garnering numerous awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Writers Guild, The American Library Association, Publishers’ Weekly and others. Ms. Loewenberg also serves as host and is the Executive Producer of LATW’s nationally distributed syndicated radio series L.A. Theatre Works broadcast on NPR stations nationwide and in China daily on The Radio Beijing Network.
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she has served on innumerable boards and panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, The Fund for Independence in Journalism in Washington D.C.; and was co-chair of the League of Producers and Theatres of Greater Los Angeles. From 1996-2002, Ms. Loewenberg served during the Clinton administration on the Board of Directors for Federal Prison Industries, a presidential appointment, and served for several years as a member of the regional panel of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Center for Public Integrity, and a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC. Ms. Loewenberg is the author of a number of articles that have appeared in American Theatre Magazine_, _The Los Angeles Times and various professional journals.
Terry McCarthy – President & CEO, Los Angeles World Affairs Council
Owning the War
Terry McCarthy has run the Los Angeles World Affairs Council since July 2012, bringing speakers on international affairs to Los Angeles. Prior to that, he traveled the world for television and print media for 27 years, covering politics, business, military, social and environmental issues across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has managed bureaus in the US and overseas, and set up two bureaus in war zones. He speaks six languages, has won four Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award.
As a television correspondent for CBS News and ABC News, McCarthy covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Arab Spring uprising in Tahrir Square in Cairo. As a print journalist for TIME magazine and the London Independent newspaper, he reported extensively from Asia, where he lived for 11 years in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai.
Paul McGlothlin – Filmmaker / Educator
Raiders of the Vast Wasteland: The Battle for Programming in the Public Interest
Paul McGlothlin is a filmmaker, visual artist, and a pioneer in using film, media, and visual arts to help improve public education and promote diversity in inner-city schools. He earned an M.F.A. from New York University’s acclaimed graduate film program and a teaching credential through The University of Chicago’s Urban Education Program. He has has worked with non-profit organizations such as, InnerCity Filmmakers and The Writer’s Guild Literacy Program, to help give disadvantaged students career opportunities in the entertainment industry. He has also helped to raise more than ten million dollars to establish several film and media based academies in schools throughout Los Angeles that put filmmaking and digital media tools into the hands of inner-city students.
Mike Romey – Head of Pipeline, Zoic Studios *
Navigating a Sea of Green: VFX Visualization in Real-Time*
As head of the pipeline department at Zoic, Mike is responsible for keeping all aspects of the studio’s pipeline running smoothly. He oversees custom pipeline processes that span a very broad spectrum of facility management, visual effects, and production disciplines. He programs, supervises and oversees custom tool development that assists the facility in accounting, bidding, scheduling, production, rendering, actualizing and reviewing. This in turn provides management with sophisticated reporting tools to track and audit workflow productivity across Zoic’s multiple locations and disciplines.
Frederick & Laurie Samitaur Smith – Owners & Founders of Samitaur Constructs
The Vision of Conjunctive Points
Since the mid-1980’s Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith have been developing the Conjunctive Points urban redevelopment project in Los Angeles and Culver City, California. Internationally recognized as a unique urban experiment in the fusion of art, architecture, and technology, Conjunctive Points has received numerous awards and extensive worldwide press coverage. Over the years, Samitaur has attracted a prestigious tenant roster that includes Nike, Ogilvy, Sony Pictures, WPP, Comedy Central, The Tennis Channel and Red Bull, among many others.
Since the beginning of their work in urban development and construction in the 1970’s, the Smiths have always had a strong sense of responsibility to protect the physical structures – frequently built of no-longer available materials – that came into their hands. Although most developers typically raze old buildings to make way for new, the Smiths have instead been committed to preserving what is significant in these older structures, and if necessary have taken additional steps (and incurred additional expenditures) to maintain or restore these important elements from the past, while weaving them into the exciting modern architecture for which Samitaur has become famous.
Sabra Williams - Director of Outreach & of The Prison Project at The Actors’ Gang
Behind the Mask: Reducing Recidivism and Transforming Lives
Sabra Williams** **has received international acclaim for her work as an artist and Founder of The Actors’ Gang Prison Project. After establishing a body of work as an actress and television presenter in the United Kingdom and internationally, Sabra became an “alien of exceptional ability” upon her arrival to Los Angeles in 2002. In 2004 she was honored with an invitation to serve as a company member of The Actors’ Gang (Tim Robbins, Artistic Director). Since then she has performed leading roles in many plays at the Los Angeles theater and on company tours around the United States. Sabra’s film and television credits include Mission Impossible 3, “Injustice,” and “Three Rivers.”