April 3, 2014

The LA Woman Project: E-R

category: Projects











Jan Williamson is the Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center. She joined 18th Street in 1995 as the General Manager and from 1996 to 2006, she was Co-Executive Director with Clayton Campbell. During her tenure she has led the effort to purchase the 18th Street property, developed 18th Street¹s model Residency Program and Arts Education Program and and is now leading the effort to envision and plan 18th Street¹s new expanded facility. Through 18th Street she consults on professional development for individual artists and small nonprofit arts organizations and the operation of multi-tenant nonprofits. She holds a certification from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders and a Bachelor¹s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is an active member of the Santa Monica City Arts Commission, and serves on Commission¹s Artist Live-Work Task Force. Before coming to 18th Street she was a founding team-member for artist Tom Van Sant’s visionary GeoSphere Project, the first satellite composite map of the Earth free of clouds and a state-of-the-art interactive multimedia program for museums and planetariums. As the GeoSphere’s Director of Operations she oversaw the production and licensing of giant globes and maps for Earth Situation Rooms which were installed in the United States, Brazil, Japan, and Spain. Prior to the GeoSphere Project she served for seven years in the museum field as a preparator and registrar.


LA Woman Documentary:

Jan Williamson – “Working At 18th Street”


More Clips of Jan Williamson from the LA Woman Documentary:

“Executive Directing”

“Art Saving The Wetlands”



Jesse Bliss, Founder and Artistic Director of The Roots and Wings Project (www.therootsandwingsproject.com) is an actress, writer, director, producer, poetess and MC whose works have been produced and performed around the world. Jesse’s writings for the stage include Diamonds,performed at UCLA in collaboration with dance legend Rennie Harris; Roots and Wings, The Play, performed in New York and San Francisco; Between Fingertips performed at Central Juvenile Hall and CASA 0101, and performance appearances at the United Nations on International Women’s Day and the Edinburgh Festival. The full-length play, Tree of Fire had a site-specific Reading @ Lincoln Heights Jail, an excerpt performance at Los Angeles’s Theatre of Note, and a large-scale fundraiser(Ig*nite)at S.P.A.R.C. @ The Old Jail in Venice. IGNITE featured 20 performers, an excerpt performance of the play, and an art gallery exhibition. Jesse has performed leading roles at CASA 0101 including You Don’t Know Me, Hoop Girls, Heart on a Wire and Between Fingertips as well as hosting the CASA 0101 Poetry Slam. She has also performed in The Vagina Monologues and countless other theatrical productions, with extensive work in radio and lead roles in independent film.  Jesse is an Arts Education veteran, with extensive experience writing curriculum and teaching Theater and Creative Writing to underserved and incarcerated youth. She was awarded a Flourish Foundation grant for partnership with J.U.I.C.E. for the Roots and Wings Project Theater Program. Currently Miss Bliss is writing a site-specific play, A Record of Light opening at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles October 2011.

LA Woman Documentary:

Jesse Bliss – “The Mainstrea Is Poison”


More Clips of Jesse Bliss from the LA Woman Documentary:

“Roots and Wings Project”

“Make the People Think and Feel”

“Listen to the Vision”

“Bringing Back the Woman’s Voice”




The youngest woman to be interviewed for the LA Woman project, 17 year-old Jessica Sohn was a high-school student, interested in art, music dance and media.

LA Woman Documentary:

Jessica Sohn – “My Life Is Limitless”


LA Woman Documentary:

Jessica Sohn – “Art As Exploration”





LA Woman Documentary:

Lita Alburquerque – “Art and the Cosmos”


LA Woman Documentary:

Lita Alburquerque – “Art As Language”


More Clips of Lita Alburquerque from the LA Woman Documentary:

“Art Is The Things That Is Remembered”

“I Don’t Know How I Got Here”

“Life and Space and Other Influences”

“The Lineage of Extraordinary Women”




My name is Nana Agyapong, from Ghana Africa, having moved to America from the age of thirteen, I attended high school in Parsippany Hills New Jersey. In high school my interest in performing arts began to grow, I participated in theater shows from my junior and senior year until I got my Diploma in 2002.

After high school I moved to New York City where I began modeling. In between castings, photo shoots and waiting tables I was studying acting as a dedicated student at the HB acting studio with Salem Ludwig for two years. While in New York I was also an active member of the Shea theater group in Harlem. Although Life in New York was hard work, the challenge helped me realize my talents and what I wanted to do with my life.

A passion for filmmaking drove me to Venice Beach California where I continued my career as a working model. In between shoots my passion for film had taken over, I have acted in several shorts and independent films and became inspired to write a feature film script based on my experiences growing up in my native country. Having been a poet since my youngest years in Ghana, I realized my writing abilities through my Stanford Meinsner studies, at the Ruskin Theater. I realized there are so many stories I have been lucky enough to live that I must begin to write it and share them.

Since graduating from University of California Los Angeles in the Film making program, I have been working extensively on short films and developing my film project “ Place in the Shade” in to be produced and shot in Takoradi Ghana. With “A Place In The Shade” I want to use the medium of filmmaking to shed a positive light on the African and black faces from all of Africa’s Diaspora. To give real illumination to our struggles and triumph, richness and poverty. To reveal our tension in being challenged by our lack of water and food, the solidarity in our spirits, ancestors, life and music and the community in our suffering and smiling. I am creating this film “A Place In The Shade” to open a dialogue among African people everywhere, to start by looking within ourselves and build a better community together through education, Democracy strength and Unity.


LA Woman Documentary:

Nana Ghana – “We Have the F#cking Power”


More Clips of Nana Ghana from the LA Woman Documentary:

“Model, Actress, Filmmaker”

“LA Is the F**cking Wild West”

“Director In A Miniskirt”

“Art Is Truth”




Nina Rota is a filmmaker and writer working in documentary, animation, live action, and installation. Her work has been seen at film festivals internationally as well as art galleries and television. Her documentary about early works on video screened at the American Film Institute. Her award winning documentary about genetically engineered food has been seen in 41 countries and 49 states. Her animation has appeared on Channel 4 in England and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Born in London, England, Nina moved to the United States when she was nine years old.




LA Woman Documentary:

Nina Rota – “The smARTer Parts Of Myself”


More Clips of Nina Rota from the LA Woman Documentary:

“The Gender Spectrum”

“Stop Resisting”




Rika Ohara’s mother and grandmother lost their homes three times to air raids during WWII. She came to the U.S. as a painter and studied photography with Czech surrealist Vilem Kriz. She began making performance art works when the “trade war” with Japan was prominent in the American consciousness during the 1980s, finding in the form a way to combine her visual arts and dance training.

When the Paris American Center closed its theater in February 1996 (three months before the scheduled performance of Tokyo Rose),  followed by personnel changes at ICA, the Walker Art Center and The Kitchen — who had all expressed interest in presenting the piece — Ohara converted performance-in-installation piece Shelter into a videodance installation, shooting the dance elements entirely in her 10’ x 13’ living room. The piece was shown in Paris, Monaco, Glasgow, Berlin and Tokyo.

Ohara next embarked on the production of her first feature film, The Heart of No Place, shooting it entirely on Digital8. The film has won the “Best Film” award at the London Independent Film Festival in 2010. Ohara is also a recipient of California Arts Council, California Community Foundation and C.O.L.A. Fellowships.


LA Woman Documentary:

Rika Ohara – “Yoko Ono”


More Clips of Rika Ohara from the LA Woman Documentary:

“Miso Soup”

“I’ve Got Culture!”





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