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Thought-Provokers from the Valley

LA has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around the Valley that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Keenan The First

I was always trying to do both passions, but football had always taken precedence because of its inevitable expiration date. In 2014, I moved to Los Angeles, trying to figure out how to re-build my identity in a music career, with an English degree in my pocket. Read more>>

Amanda Cohen

I was fascinated with standup comedy before I knew what it was called. I remember seeing a man on TV who just stood onstage alone and made the audience laugh. How amazing! I later learned it was George Carlin on Saturday Night Live, and Carlin became a major influence. My dad had a lot of comedy albums that we listened to over and over. My parents had bonded over Lenny Bruce. Read more>>

Peter Pardini

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the same cinematographer, John Honoré since 2007. John and I have shot several shorts and features, and most of the time, it’s been a crew of less than 5 (even on the Chicago documentary), and it’s really taught me how to do almost everything on set. Read more>>

Natalie Arriola

This meant that my photography practice grew in fits and spurts. It’s difficult to earnestly pursue anything when your entire life revolves around when you’ll be able to have your next drink. Read more>>

Cassie Boettcher

I grew up in a conservative area, where a lot of people are set on one way to do life: get married, get a job, pop out babies. They don’t bash other things. They just don’t get it. It was hard, discouraging, and I often felt like an outsider whenever I talked about my creative goals. Read more>>

Taylor Cardace

While a member of Thespian Troupe #143, I was quite active on my High School theater scene but was never given the lead or any real opportunities. My greatest accomplishment was winning “Best Ensemble Member” during Senior Arts Awards Night. Read more>>

Amy Watkins

Almost a decade later, it was actually heartbreak that steered me back to my creative roots. After years of accommodating and adapting myself to someone else’s needs, I suddenly found myself on my own, wondering what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Karma McCain

I knew I wanted to overcome BDD; I just didn’t know how. I would do my best to wear clothes that revealed a little more and then a little more, but I never got past a v-neck shirt and a skirt that hit mid-calf… and the occasional times that I needed to wear a swimsuit, I would just “fake it” that I was self-confident when actually I was mortified. Read more>>

Matthew Bajda

I try to photograph or make other art around what I see or am interested in rather than as a way to make money. I also take photos because it makes me feel like I’m an actual part of history. I sometimes would love a cloak of invisibility so I can capture candid life without being an influencing factor in what I photograph. Read more>>

Cesar Alan

My parents were cool but split when I was 11 and shortly after I picked up the guitar at 14 and never put it down. I took a few lessons but then started teaching myself & soon after I was playing in punk rock bands in garages and backyard parties in High School. Read more>>

Matt Battle

I quickly began experimenting and recording my own songs and ideas at home. That was pretty much the beginning of everything. I’ve been writing, performing, producing and recording music ever since. Read more>>

Will DaRosa

I am always chatting with the director about their vision and how to handle each shot and production issue that arises on the shoot day. I’m also constantly communicating with my gaffer, key grip, 1st AC, Steadicam Operator, etc., to put all the pieces in place to capture the next set up. Read more>>

Mick Cassidy

The only thing I had going for me was drawing, but I was very unfocused and unclear about how that was somehow going to translate into a viable career. It’s important to provide some context here: Ireland in the 1980s was a very dour environment. Read more>>

David Aguirre

The name a node to my favorite band- Rage Against the Machine, who I passionately attribute to the reason why I chose to pursue a college education and then go into teaching. Although I no longer teach, I will always see myself as an educator. Read more>>

Camille McLucas

Through acting workshop led by Choice Skinner (special thanks to Brandon Sanders for the recommendation.) Since joining the class, I have grown so much as an actress, and I’m excited for the road ahead. Read more>>

Brandon Moten

When I look at everything, I create I notice a theme and that’s diversity. I hope people take away what I put out and see that even though we might be different, there are always things we can relate with one another on. Read more>>

Ferdinand Metz

I continued working in the Movie industry as a Visual Effects technician, Prop maker and Lighting Artist. I then started a special effects lighting company and worked on films like Starship Troopers and Alien Resurrection. Read more>>

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