Panel with John Malpede & Joe Lambert

History Visible
Storywork in Art, Performance, and Digital Media
January 26, 2012, 7 – 9 pm
Main Auditorium of the Santa Monica Library
601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica

Featuring three long time leaders in the field of community arts, Joe Lambert, founder of the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS); Judy Baca, founder of Social Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), and John Malpede, founder of Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD).

Prior to the panel discussion, there will also be a presentation of a series of digital stories produced in association with the Center for Digital Storytelling. The event is free to the public and is presented by the Center for Digital Storytelling and co-sponsored by Vidiots, Santa Monica’s homegrown video rental and community media center.

The event is being held to assist with an effort to create a re-vitalized presence for the Center for Digital Storytelling in Los Angeles. CDS operates field offices across the US and Canada, and is working with local community members to bring their services to Santa Monica and the westside of Greater Los Angeles. CDS provides a broad range of training, media production and consulting services for projects with non-profit and civic organizations in education, social services, public health, environment and human rights.

CDS will sponsor a workshop for the general public on April 12-14, 2012 at Vidiots as part of this effort. Long time CDS associates Gayle Nicholls-Ali and Rasheed Ali will present a series of sample stories to open the event to introduce our work and how it has developed.

Contact for general information on the event. For press inquiries, contact Patty Meyer.

For more than 30 years all three have worked in theater, visual arts and media to engage local communities in making their stories visible to a larger public. Joe Lambert has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area’s theater and arts scene from the early 80s as a producer, writer, educator and activist. Over the last two decades he developed a media education philosophy and methodology, Digital Storytelling, that is practiced across the country, and throughout the world.

For forty years, Professor Baca has garnered vast international recognition for her work as a muralist and educator, having led the creation of the most famous mural in the US, the Great Wall of Los Angeles. She has remained at the center of the ongoing controversies in Los Angeles and around the country about the role of community-based public art.

John Malpede, in founding the LAPD in 1985, made a commitment to engage the homeless and poor residents of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles by providing a way for engaging residents in the creation and sharing of their stories. Dozens of productions and events in Los Angeles, as well as a large number of collaborative projects with artists across the US, Europe and Latin America, has made Malpede and LAPD’s efforts legendary in the community arts field.

All three of these leaders, have dedicated themselves to processes of putting the tools of neighborhood and grassroots expression in the hands of neighborhood members. Together they have spent a century of effort in insuring that these stories will supplant the negative and destructive stories told by mainstream media about those communities.

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