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Inspiring East LA Stories

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of East LA’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble-rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out East LA’s rising stars below.

Kiran Deol, Ali Hart and Becca Rufer

We arrived on Earth as two fully-formed human women and one comedian: the trio behind Peacock, a new weekly comedy show at Club Tee Gee in Atwater Village. You could say our story began in 2015 when producer Ali Hart and comedian Kiran Deol met and began collaborating on humorous documentary projects. Read more>>

Zachary Webber

I moved to LA after college, after a stint living at home working at bars and restaurants, being reminded of why I hated where I was from. I was in a movie some friends made which we shot in LA, and it forced me out of the rut of being in Arlington. I pushed myself to move. Read more>>

Deana Vera

Since I’ve begun deejaying, I have opened for artists such as Nicole Moudaber, Tale of Us, Eli & Fur, Oliver Heldens, Green Velvet, Victor Calderone, and many other renowned acts, leading to my recent set at the Elrow Festival at Avant Gardner in Brooklyn. I’ve been playing more and more on the east coast, west coast and South America. Read more>>

Vincent Rivera

I have always found myself being involved with clothing or starting a company throughout multiple stages of my life. I remember an old friend coming to me and asking him to be in his brand way back in the sixth grade. So it started young. From there, I was in two others, which did not amount to anything. Still, the reoccurrences stuck with me ever since. Read more>>

Tomas Culver

In the summer of 2015, I packed all the belongings I could fit into my Honda Fit and drove across the country with my brother to start a new life in LA. When I arrived, I had a lot of lofty dreams and ambitions – one of which was to find a studio to practice my ceramics in. I took several classes at a variety of different studios in LA, honing in my skills and my vision. Read more>>

Ivan Aguirre

After a year of being out of College, I got my first full-time job in the Animation Industry in LA as a background designer in Hollywood. It was a great first job. Since then I have been working in Animation for the past nine years and have been lucky to work on some critically acclaimed projects such as “Rick and Morty” and the “Mickey Mouse Shorts” for Disney. Read more>>

Betsy Bauer

I don’t even think I was five years old when I started telling grown-ups that I wanted to be an animator when I grew up. I thankfully have very supportive parents who encouraged me to develop my drawing abilities and sought out a good art school when the time came. Read more>>

Stephanie Contreras

While attending ArtCenter College of Design I discovered my love for food photography and how I love to put my own sense of humor and giving a narrative through just food or still life. There, I started a series called Famous Food in Cinema where I photographed food as being a huge part of a film scene or title. Read more>>

Cynthia Brando

I moved to Los Angeles in late 2013 to pursue a music career in my late 30’s, but I have been doing music most of my life, though not much in the public. Although I always had day jobs in fields very much the opposite of anything music related-I always told people I was a musician first. I don’t feel that I was born a musician, but I wanted to be one and had to work at it constantly before I was even half decent. Read more>>

Shawn Mandoli

We started our worship gatherings in The Alexandria Hotel on 5th and Spring in June of 2012. This was before it was renovated, so the rent was cheap and the environment was interesting at times. Pigeons lived in the ceiling so they’d fly into our services through big holes in the ceiling. We had to clean the messes every Sunday from the parties the night before. Read more>>

Amber Shay

I grew up loving music. It quickly became a part of my life. I would walk home after school and turn on MTV. I was inspired by smashing pumpkins, nirvana, hole, the wipers, Stevie Nicks, garbage, and Veruca Salt. I knew I had to learn to play. My life has never been the same since. Read more>>

Lexie Tiongson

Being immersed in a culture of music and art really inspired me. So, I remember packing my bags in 2008 and being dropped off by parents at my dorm. All of it was a blur, but there were a lot of distractions during those first three years. I almost lost my love for writing in the process but was too close to finishing to change what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Vincent Wijaya

For me, I wasn’t afraid to chart my own course. After all, I believed in a sovereign God that loves me and cares for me. Even the obstacle and my bad decisions could be used for my good. And through the hardships, I had friends who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Read more>>

Maggie SanFilippo

My grandpa used to be a billboard painter, which I’ve always thought is pretty cool. I started off working in wardrobe for commercials and TV as well as having a business restoring Mid Century furniture and selling at local flea markets. In the past few years, I started to work on my art more seriously and have been getting a great response from it. Read more>>

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