Meet the LA Made Performers - Season 6: 2021 - 22

Academy Museum Tour

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open to the public on September 30, 2021. Join Senior Director of Film Programs Bernardo Rondeau and Film Programmer Kiva Reardon as they discuss the museum’s theater spaces and plans for ongoing and robust film screenings, including retrospectives and thematic series.

Watch the program here.

Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

Kyle T. Mays is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) writer and scholar of US history, urban studies, race relations, and contemporary popular culture. He is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America.

Watch the program here.

All Night Menu

Sam Sweet has written about surfing, music, and Los Angeles for the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the New York Times Magazine. His primary theme is the personality of place and how local subcultures create extraordinary artists. All Night Menu is a book series created by writer and historian Sam Sweet exploring the lost corners and forgotten histories of Los Angeles.

Watch the program here.

AMA with a NASA Scientist

NASA scientist Kim Sandhu, an aerospace engineer with 30+ years of experience working on rocket flight research, will give a virtual tour of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), the world's only flying observatory, then answer any and all of your science questions.

Watch the program here.

Banda las Angelinas

Banda Las Angelinas se formó en marzo de 2018. Son mujeres unidas por su pasión por la música, con el objetivo de llegar a los corazones de mucha gente y ayudar a su comunidad con su talento.

Banda Las Angelinas was formed in March of 2018. They are women united by their passion for music, with the goal of touching many hearts and helping their community with their talent.

Watch the program here.

Bank of Finance

Natalie Finney Mallard is an administrative support specialist for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Finance Division. As an integral member of the finance team, Natalie ensures the efficient operation of the office and helps budget analysts and accountants meet their core objectives.

Watch the program here.

California Native Garden Tour

Flor Mota is an Angeleno who has called this city home her entire life. Her love of plants and nature has led her to pursue a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture. Her garden-style incorporates mostly California Native plants which allow her to create beautiful spaces while also giving back to nature by providing plenty of food and habitat to local pollinating animals.

Watch the program here.

Chef Jet Tila

From battling the legendary Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America, opening Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, and guiding Anthony Bourdain through many markets and restaurants, Chef Jet Tila is internationally celebrated for his culinary expertise. This Emmy, James Beard nominee and best-selling author grew up in the first family of Thai food and then later attended both French and Japanese culinary schools, Jet is a born educator and storyteller. Jet was appointed as the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consulate, the first-ever chef to represent his country’s culture and cuisine.

Watch the program here.

Comida salvadoreña deliciosa

Alicia Maher nació en El Salvador y reside en Los Ángeles. Aprendió a cocinar comida salvadorena auténtica de su abuelita, tía-abuelas, tías y amigas salvadoreñas. Era propietaria de dos panaderías de servicio completo y ha enseñado clases privadas en los últimos cinco años.

Alicia Maher was born in El Salvador and resides in Los Angeles. She learned to cook authentic Salvadoran food from her grandmother, great aunts, aunts, and her Salvadoran friends. She is the former owner of two full-service bakeries and has taught private cooking classes for the last five years.

Watch the program here.

Danny Trejo

Danny Trejo has developed a prolific career in the entertainment industry with a hard-earned and atypical road to success. From years of imprisonment to helping troubled youth battle drug addictions, from acting to producing, and now on to restaurant ventures, Trejo’s name, face, and achievements are well recognized in Hollywood and beyond.

Watch the program here.

History of Disneyland

Chris Nichols is a writer and historian specializing in Southern Californian architecture and culture. He is the author of Walt Disney’s Disneyland and The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister as well as a long-time historic preservationist whose work has been profiled in Smithsonian magazine, Los Angeles Times, and L.A. Weekly. Nichols served on the board of directors of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, and his live appearances, lectures, exhibitions, and tours have enjoyed sell-out crowds. He currently writes Los Angeles magazine’s “Ask Chris” column.

Watch the program here.

Dolphin & Whale Neighbors

Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., is a wildlife scientist, advocate, author, and TED speaker with Terramar Research. Join us as we explore cognition, communication, culture, and conservation of dolphins and whales. And learn about surprising ways in which our abilities to thrive—and even survive—are deeply interconnected with these denizens of the sea

Watch the program here.

Dr. Jose Hernandez: Soaring to New Heights

One of four children in a migrant farming family from Mexico, Hernandez, Dr. Jose Hernandez didn't learn English until he was 12 years old. After graduating high school in Stockton, Hernandez enrolled at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and later was awarded a full scholarship to the graduate program at the University of California in Santa Barbara, In 1987, he accepted a full-time job with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he worked on signal and image processing applications in radar imaging, computed tomography, and acoustic imaging. In 2001, Hernández joined the Johnson Space Center and soon became Chief of the Materials and Processes Branch. He was eventually selected as part of the 19th class of astronauts in 2004 after failing the previous 11 times.  In 2006, José completed Astronaut Candidate Training and in 2009, he was a mission specialist on the STS-128 mission on board the Space Shuttle, Discovery.

Elliott Kuhn

Elliott Kuhn is an experienced educator and owner of an urban farm in Panorama City with an interest in spreading awareness about local ecology and helping people become aware of the real cost of food. He is currently researching opportunities to expand educational programming on the farm and become a reliable source of locally grown produce for restaurants, chefs, and community members that care about social and ecological responsibility.

Watch the bees and trees program here.

Eruv - Invisible Jewish Lines

Renée Reizman is an interdisciplinary curator, artist, and writer specializing in social practice and civic engagement. Working within diverse communities, she studies the ways infrastructures shape our culture, policy, and environment. She is currently the 2019 - 2022 Creative Catalyst, an Artist in Residence situated within the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and a professor at Pepperdine University.

Watch the program here.

Father Gregory Boyle

Gregory Boyle, the beloved Jesuit priest and author of the inspirational bestsellers Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir, returns with a call to witness the transformative power of tenderness, rooted in his lifetime of experience counseling gang members in Los Angeles.

Watch the program here.

Film Criticism Beyond the Establishment

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by, the Sundance Institute, and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Variety, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture,, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Gustavo Arellano is author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of its daily news podcast The Times, and has been an essayist and reporter for various publications and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He was formerly editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, and penned the award-winning “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answered any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. Gustavo is the recipient of awards ranging from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for Best Columnist to the Los Angeles Press Club President's Award to an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.” Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one who came to this country in the trunk of a Chevy.

Watch the program here.

Guelaguetza Restaurant + LA Taco

Bricia Lopez was born and raised in Mitla, Oaxaca. Her father founded Guelaguetza in 1994, a Oaxacan restaurant that has become a temple to Oaxacan food and tradition in Los Angeles and the US. She is a partner in Guelaguetza and spearheads all operations alongside her siblings. She also is a co-creator for the podcast, Super Mamás, alongside her sister and co-founder of I Love Michelada.

Javier Cabral was born in East Hollywood and raised in the streets of East L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley. As a teenager, he started one of the first food blogs in Los Angeles, Teenage Glutster. At 16, he published his first paid article about Mexican American holiday food traditions and in 2012, became an official restaurant scout for the late Jonathan Gold. His writing has been featured in over a dozen publications, including Food & Wine, Lucky Peach, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, and Razorcake.

Watch the program here.

Hector Tobar in Conversation With Journalist Alex Cohen

Héctor Tobar is the Los Angeles-born author of five books that have been translated into fifteen languages, including the novels The Tattooed Soldier, The Barbarian Nurseries, and, most recently, The Last Great Road Bum. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he has been the Mexico City and Buenos Aires bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, an op-ed writer for the New York Times, and a contributor to The New Yorker, Harper’s, Smithsonian, and National Geographic.

Alex Cohen is the host of the television show Inside the Issues on Spectrum News 1 SoCal and host of the podcast So Cal in 17. Prior to Spectrum, she spent nearly two decades in public radio working as a host, reporter, and producer with NPR, Marketplace, KPCC, and KQED.

Watch the program here.

History of Black Dance in America

Ron Parker is the director of the Central Avenue Dance Ensemble. A native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles, he is a graduate of U.C.L.A. with a degree in French and Linguistics. Ron is a nationally recognized dance instructor, dance historian, Jazz, Ballroom, and Tap dancer and is the co-founder of the R & B Salsa Network, which taught and promoted the dance in the Black community for several years.

Jane Russell: 100 Year Centennial Anniversary

Christina Rice is the Senior Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection. She is the author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), Mean…Moody…Magnificent! Jane Russell and the Marketing of a Hollywood Legend (University Press of Kentucky, 2021), and multiple issues of the My Little Pony comic book series (IDW Publishing). She lives in North Hollywood with her husband, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and their daughter.

Jim Sherman is a librarian in the Literature & Fiction Department of the Los Angeles Public Library and is adjunct faculty at Glendale Community College. He holds an M.F.A from UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Watch the program here.

Jaime Hernandez (Los Hernandez Bros) in Conversation with Javier Cabra

Jaime Hernandez is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning (Will Eisner Hall of Famer; Harvey, Ignatz, and PEN Award-winner; L.A. Times Book Prize) cartoonist and a lifelong Angeleno. Hernandez is the co-creator of the alternative comic book series Love and Rockets with his brothers Gilbert and Mario.

If you're not familiar with Jaime Hernandez's work, check out this essay by librarian Anita Martinez, and booklist of the library's holdings; we have tons of Love and Rockets titles to choose from.

Watch the program here.

Life on a String

Enjoy this guided overview of the library's latest exhibit Life on a String: The Yale Puppeteers and the Turnabout Theatre. Christina Rice, Senior Librarian of the library's photo collection and curator of the exhibit, will provide background on the exhibition and collection, and how three puppeteers from Michigan started a theater using discarded street car seats, helped spark the career of an African American folk singer, and performed alongside the Bride of Frankenstein.

Watch the program here.

Macheen Tacos

Raised in Compton, Jonathan Perez was on his way to becoming a professional skateboarder when a car accident at 17 changed his life’s course. Perez enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. After getting his diploma, he cooked with classic French techniques at the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills and L'Epicerie Market in Culver City. He had graduated from fast food and chain restaurants, but then he decided to do something that really manifested his future as L.A.'s breakfast-burrito sensation. He got a job at IHOP because he wanted to learn how to cook eggs perfectly.

Watch the program here.

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. She has performed some of the most iconic classical ballet roles, including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Juliet in Romeo & Juliet; Giselle; Manon; Coppelia; Kitri in Don Quixote; and Firebird, to name a few.

The bestselling author of Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy and Ballerina Body, as well as an award-winning children’s picture book, Firebird, she is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2015, Misty was named to Time magazine’s 100 list and Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year,” and received a Black Girls Rock! Award in 2013. She lives in New York City.

Phenakite Restaurant and the Art of Menu Creation

Chef Minh Phan is a proud Angeleno who has been cooking professionally for almost two decades, creating and tinkering her entire life. She currently helms two critically-acclaimed Modern Californian restaurants Phenakite at Second Home Los Angeles and porridge + puffs.

Watch the program here.

Rethinking Wines - A Culture of Flavor and Feel

Elaine Chukan Brown serves as a writer, speaker, educator, and illustrator of wine. In 2021, The Hue Society named her a Legend in Wine Education. Previously, Elaine served as a Tomlinson Fellow at McGill University, where she did doctoral work in philosophy specializing in race and racism. She was raised in Alaska and began commercial fishing for salmon at the age of 9. Currently, she lives in California.

Watch the program here.

Rise: Pop History of Asian America

Jeff Yang has been observing, exploring, and writing about the Asian American community for over thirty years. He launched one of the first Asian American national magazines, A. Magazine, in the late ‘Nineties and early 2000s, and now writes frequently for CNN, Quartz, Slate, and elsewhere. He has written/edited three books—Jackie Chan’s New York Times bestselling memoir I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action; Once Upon a Time in China, a history of the cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Mainland; and Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Phil Yu is the founder and editor of the popular Asian American news and culture blog, Angry Asian Man, which has had a devoted following since 2001. His commentary has been featured and quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Philip Wang is the co-founder of the hugely influential production company Wong Fu Productions. Since the mid-2000s, his creative work has garnered over 3 million subscribers and half a billion views online, as well as recognition from NPR and CNN for its impact on Asian American representation. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Watch the program here.

Saving Bees with Byron Levy

Beekeeper Byron Levy invites you into his apiary where you’ll get to experience a close-up hive inspection. Dip your mind into one of the most complex and evolved insect colonies on our planet and learn the basics of what beekeepers are looking for during inspections.

Watch the program here.

A Shady Divide

In sunny Los Angeles, a lack of tree cover in low-income areas has left many residents especially vulnerable to rising heat. It's a legacy of the city's design as well as its history of racist policies. Journalist Alejandra Borunda documented this, "Shady Divide," in a cover story for National Geographic and will talk about the history that led to shade inequity across the city, the heat-related dangers arising from a lack of tree canopies in poorer areas, and some of the ways people are trying to fix the problem.

Watch the program here.

Silverlake Conservatory of Music

Founded in 2001, the Silverlake Conservatory of Music provides scholarships to children whose families would otherwise be unable to afford music lessons. Through a variety of sources, including personal contributions, corporate contributions, musical instrument donations, and in-house fundraising activities, the Conservatory has maintained a strong roster of talented and committed future musicians.

Watch the program here.

Two Mamacitas Tamale Making

Perla is a chef, artist, and educator. She is the owner of Two Mamacitas Pop-Up Kitchen, an Oakland-based catering company specializing in Latin American and Caribbean Cuisine using local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. Perla is inspired by Mother Nature's color palette, intelligence, and resilience. She believes that using plants to heal is a revolutionary act. (She loves revolutionary acts!) She loves harnessing the healing power of plants in her cooking, artwork, and daily life.

Watch the program here.

An Afternoon with TC Boyle

T.C. Boyle is an American novelist and short-story writer. Since the mid-1970s, he has published seventeen novels and twelve collections of short stories. He's recently been the recipient of the Mark Twain Voice in American Literature Award, the Henry David Thoreau Award, and the Jonathan Swift Prize for satire. He is a Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Southern California and lives in Santa Barbara.

Karen Pickard-Four has been with the Los Angeles Public Library for over 14 years. She has served as a Young Adult librarian, Senior Librarian, and for the past 5 years as the Principal Librarian for the East Valley Region. Currently, she is interim Principal II for the Library Experience Office.

Watch the program here.

theatre dybbuk

Aaron Henne is the Artistic Director of theatre dybbuk, an arts and education organization whose work illuminates universal human experience from a Jewish perspective. He has served as a professional mentor at Otis College of Art and Design and as faculty for the Wexner Heritage Program, as well as for Georgetown University.

Watch the performance here.

Vane Million Kuhn

Vane Millon Kuhn is an LA transplant by way of Miami, Fl where she grew up immersed in her Colombian/German heritage. Her passion for food, community and cooking has led to the creation of the 501-c3 non-profit, BehindTheBeet, where she cultivates workshops and experiences from the garden to the kitchen, aimed at inspiring and empowering individuals. She currently helps facilitate the programming at Cottonwood Urban Farm, where she and her husband Elliott are building a community hub for environmental education.

Watch the Cooking With Greens program here.

Watch the Cooking Fresh Baby Food program here.

Vendedores en Accion / Vendors in Action

Álvaro Parra es un documentalista y dj afincado en Los Ángeles. Álvaro está trabajando actualmente en una serie documental llamada Sonidero Metrópolis, una mirada cercana a la cultura de los sistemas de sonido mexicanos en los Estados Unidos. Sus proyectos anteriores incluyen ASCO: No Movies, un documental sobre el influyente colectivo de arte del este de Los Ángeles ASCO, encargado por el Museo de Nottingham, Inglaterra. En 2014 recibió un Emmy por su trabajo como productor en el episodio de Artbound de KCET "Mexicali Rose". Su trabajo busca abordar temas de la vida urbana, enclaves de migrantes, comunidades musicales y el impacto de internet en las diásporas de Los Ángeles. Tiene una Maestría en Bellas Artes de la Escuela de Artes Cinematográficas de USC.

Alvaro Parra is a documentary filmmaker and deejay based in Los Angeles. Alvaro is currently working on a documentary series called Sonidero Metrópolis, a close look at Mexican sound system culture in the United States. His previous works include ASCO: No Movies, a documentary on the influential East L.A. art collective ASCO, commissioned by the Museum of Nottingham, England. In 2014 he was awarded an Emmy for his work as a producer on KCET’s Artbound episode “Mexicali Rose.” His work seeks to address themes of urban life, migrant enclaves, musical communities, and the impact of the internet on L.A.’s diasporas. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Watch the program here.

Women in Skateboarding: Past, Present and Future

Cindy Whitehead is one of the first female pro skaters, and today she runs Girl Is Not A 4 Letter Word, a non-profit dedicated to creating opportunities for women in skateboarding.
Alex White was a sponsored skater, and now works for one of the biggest and most-respected conglomerates in skateboarding: NHS.
Briana King is a savant of the contemporary era and one of the most-recognized skateboarders on the planet today.
Monica Torres is a pro skater and Brazilian transplant who won the first ever Women’s Battle At The Berrics–a widely celebrated contest of the skateboard industry’s best talent.

Watch the program here.

Yiddish Songs

Harriet Bennish is a vocalist whose credits include roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Working, Most Happy Fella, and The Secret Garden. In addition to her performance and teaching schedule, Harriet was a featured soloist with the Long Beach Klezmer Band.

Watch the program here.

Yuri Kochiyama Centennial

Angela Romero is a local historian who has spent over ten years studying the history and culture of San Pedro, CA, a harbor community within the City of Los Angeles. She continues to explore and has kept the conversation going for over a decade through walking tours, a monthly column in San Pedro Today magazine, podcasts, and her latest endeavor, the San Pedro Heritage Museum.

Watch the performance here.

Performers 2020-21

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