Speakers

LIVE speakers and performers scheduled to appear at TEDxSAArtistsVillage include (other guest speakers and musical performances still to be announced) – –

Brianna Karp, Author – The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness

Brianna Karp was born on March 6, 1985 and was raised in Orange County, California. To outsiders Brianna’s life appeared normal, but at home it was anything but.  Brianna endured constant mistreatment from her parents: molested by her father at the age of two and abused by her mother until a late teen. She got her first job at age ten, a legal work permit at age
twelve, and supported her mother and younger sister by working multiple jobs
from age twelve to eighteen, when she left home.  A few years later, her life seemed to be turning around when she landed an Executive Assistant position earning $50,000 a year, but everything changed drastically in 2008 when she was laid off due to
recessionary cutbacks.

With no safety net and unable to live with family and friends, Brianna eventually began living in a trailer at a Walmart parking lot.  While searching for permanent employment, Brianna decided to write about her homeless experiences and started the blog TheGirlsGuidetoHomelessness. As the popularity of her blog increased, her life took a downward spiral, and Brianna was soon faced with insurmountable challenges.

Today, Brianna is a Marketing Assistant for the South Coast Repertory and is seeking a permanent residence. She is also the co-founder of World Homeless Day, a spokesperson for the homeless, and a passionate advocate for the issues of homelessness.

Mildred Inez Lewis, Assistant Professor, English – Chapman University and Co-owner, The Fox Lewis Project

Mildred Inez Lewis began her career as a theater director at the Actors Studio in New York. Since earning her MFA in
film and television at UCLA, her screenplays and plays have been produced and
screened internationally. Mildred taught at Chapman University’s Dodge College
of Film Media Arts from 2000 to 2010. In 2010, she began teaching film and
digital humanities in Chapman’s English Department. This year, she will serve
as a University Faculty Mentor. In 2009, she co-founded the Fox Lewis Project,
a production company. In 2011, the Project produced viral content for HBO’s True Blood and projects for corporate clients including mUrgent and IM=X Pilates. She has served as a juror for the CINE Golden Eagle (short subject) and Eastman Kodak’s International Film Competition. From 2006 to 2008, she served on the advisory board for
filmyourissue.com. She has also been a board member of the University Film and
Video Association.

Kelly Thornton Smith, Founder and Chair of the Board – The Center for Living Peace

Kelly Thornton Smith says “Good Happens”.  The  Center for Living Peace encourages children and adults through classes
and programs to “Be the Change they wish to see in the world”. The Center’s holistic four pillar approach acknowledges that peace can be lived and experienced in all aspects of our daily lives.

In  partnership with UCI, the Center for Living Peace also sponsors Living Peace, a series of conversations with international leaders committed to  making the world a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate place. The
Living Peace Series encourages their guests to take action. Past speakers have included Charlize Theron, Sir Richard Branson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Kelly is also an active philanthropist in Orange County and beyond, most notably as a member of the Orange County Community Foundation Board of Directors and the
Foundation Board, Orange County High School for the Arts. She is also on  the Western Regional Advisory Board of Jumpstart and has played an active role in their well-known Read for the Record event.

Laurie Hassold, Multi-Media Artist & Educator

Laurie Hassold, multi media artist and educator (born in Louisville, KY) has spent most of her life in SoCal. She  teaches sculpture, drawing and 3D design at Orange Coast College, Irvine  Valley College and Santa Ana College, respectively.  Recent solo exhibitions  include Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica and  Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana.  Her work was featured in the “Art Shack” show at Laguna Beach Art Museum in 2010, and will part of the “Extreme Materials II” exhibition this fall at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York.  In 2007, Hassold was delegate speaker and exhibiting artist for the symposium “Confronting Mortality with Art and Science” in Antwerp, Belgium.

Many of the dichotomous themes Hassold works with today can be traced back to a
childhood spent hanging around her father’s medical office.  Looking at her own blood under the microscope was her earliest experience with the disparity between outside/inside and mind/body.  At age 11, she observed her father assist on a complete hysterectomy and was allowed to feel the reproductive organs as they were removed from the patient’s body.  These visceral experiences of the body’s internal structures were in stark contrast with the 1960’s velvet flocked wallpaper and crystal chandeliers of
her mother’s house.  As a result, the tension between mind/body, life/death, inside/outside and beauty/repulsion have become the aesthetic foundation for much of the work Hassold does today.

Lisa Bloom, Trial Lawyer, Author – Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

Lisa Bloom is host of her own national live daily talk show on Court TV for eight years, Lisa is now a regular legal analyst on CBS News, CNN and HLN, appearing frequently on The Early Show, The Insider, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, The Situation Room, The Joy Behar Show, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and many other shows. In addition, Lisa runs a prominent Los Angeles based general practice law firm, TheBloomFirm.com, representing celebrity clients and ordinary people seeking justice in their lives.

A popular award-winning speaker to business, student and women’s audiences, Lisa has been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Rachael Ray, Montel Williams, Julie Chen, Harry Smith, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson,Tony Danza, Star Jones, Anderson Cooper and many others in the United States, England, Ireland, Australia and throughout the English-speaking world. Lisa’s first book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, published by Vanguard Books in the summer of 2011, became an instant New York Times bestseller and a favorite of critics.

Amber Kandarian, Founder  – DocuThesis Inc. & SexyKnowledge.com

Amber Kandarian invented
DocuThesis – the first hybrid short form documentary/research
thesis which gives voice to researchers in academia and business.  A visual arts veteran since her teens, Kandarian released her first feature film RESPECT THE DOC at age 21. As a respected documentary film-maker, she’s been a visiting lecturer at many universities and institutes in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Armenia including the Sydney Film Institute and CSUF.

With a UCI Studio Art degree, she embarked on a decade long journey to the far corners of the world.  She became Armenia’s first professional female DJ, later starting her own radio program on HYE FM in Yerevan, Armenia. A year later, she toured Georgia,Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain in her role as Armenia’s first female DJ: DJ Ambrosian and DJ AmberK. In 2005 Kandarian traveled to New Zealand to edit TVNZ’s The Rookie and Saturday Disney on Studio Two with Taylormade Media.  In 2006 Kandarian assisted in the BBC production of ‘A Story of War and Peace,’ about Armenia.  At this time, she also exhibited a series of contemporary artvideo pieces at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA/NPAK).Returning to her academic roots, Kandarian became frustrated by the reclusive and arid manner in which our society isolates knowledge and academics.  Convinced that the documentary lens could make true knowledge sexy and attractive to popular culture, Kandarian developed DocuThesis.  Her mission is to support academia by translating the best theses from university into accessible videos the public can understand,
learn from.
Lindon A. Crow, Personal Growth Coach
Lindon A. Crow grew up in San Clemente and San Luis Obispo.  He is currently part of a small but strong personal development organization
called Productive Learning & Leisure where he lives out his passion of learning the power of the mind.  His background in Psychology and Religious Studies aids him in his pursuit to understand himself
completely.  Realizing this is a lifelong mission, he has now dedicated his life and career to continually becoming more aware of the belief systems that each unique individual functions out of.  Lindon believes that the right choice is always present to us, the problem is many times it is clouded with false beliefs and unjustified assumptions.  Through
gaining this understanding of where these thoughts come from, an awareness of how they function in the present and a vision of what a more prosperous life would look like, Lindon is well on his way to help himself and others lead an extraordinary life.
Kohl Crecelius, CEO & Co-Founder, Krochet Kids intl.
Kohl and his team of close friends are on a journey to revolutionize what it
means to do business and do good.  In 2007 they founded Krochet Kids intl.
(KKi) – a non-profit lifestyle brand focused on empowering communities
and engaging customers to make a sustainable impact on global poverty.
KKi is a leader in producing and selling products made in Africa.  They
employ over 120 people in Northern Uganda through the production of
their headwear and fashion accessories, and have recently started a new  program in Peru.  Now spanning three continents, their work connects
the producer with the customer through a hand-signed label that accompanies every product.
Yes,  Kohl does crochet.  He also has a variety of other interests that keep him grounded, including surfing, skateboarding, and blogging. You can normally find him wearing a KKi beanie and occasionally sporting a mustache.
Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Board, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
Growing up in Newport Beach in the 1960s and ‘70s, Craig Kausen had the most typical of SoCal childhoods; lots of outdoor activities, swimming, body-surfing,  horse-back riding.  However, his formative years were unusual in many other ways; the grandson of Academy Award-winning animation director and creator, Chuck Jones, Kausen was the middle child of Jones’ only child, Linda, who (with her father) is credited with launching the animation art industry in the late 1970s.

With a UCLA computer engineering degree, in 1985, Kausen began working for Hughes Aircraft developing embedded multi-processor computer systems for Navy display systems.  In early 1991, he joined his mother (and brother Todd,) at Linda Jones Enterprises, Inc. Kausen’s creative foresight, engineering experience, entrepreneurial and competitive spirit have significantly impacted the success of not only the Chuck Jones Galleries (Tustin, San Diego, Santa Fe) but with the retirement of Linda Jones in 2002, he became President, recently CEO, where his expertise has positioned the corporation for future success.  His visionary outlook and his earnest humility have made him one of the art industry’s leading business talents.

Kausen also serves as Chairman of the Board, the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity.  Founded in 1999 by Chuck Jones, the Center promotes creativity, especially in children but open to all, utilizing the films, writings and art of the legendary artist, Chuck Jones.

Jeff Lebow, Co-Founder, The Harvest Club of Orange County

Jeff Lebow, born in New York, raised and educated in Southern California, now lives with his wife, Fran, in Huntington Beach, California. Jeff’s journey has taken
him from middle class kid, to UCLA graduate, to political activist, to
preschool teacher, to communal living, to food coop founder, to snack food entrepreneur, to energy efficiency consultant, to economic development practitioner, to founder of The Huntington Beach Employment Council, to co-founder, The Harvest Club of Orange County.

Jeff believes that our ability to cope with significant future challenges will be
best met through community solutions. The Harvest Club, founded in 2008, is
connected to an emerging food evolution.  Food is basic to life and our survival. The
Harvest Club redistributes excess food, grown by homeowners, to Orange County
residents who are food dependent.  Jeff will discuss how through food, community is built.

Gregorio Luke, Impresario – Mural Under the Stars

Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture. Mr. Luke has presented over 1,000 lectures in museums and universities throughout Mexico,
Europe and the United States in institutions such as the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and Universities such as Harvard, Columbia, UNAM and Georgetown, among others.

He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach,
former Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles and the First
Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C.

In 1995, Luke was honored with the Irving Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of
the Library of Congress. In 2005, The Ebell Club of Los Angeles honored him
with a Life-time Achievement Award. In 2006, Luke received the El Angel Award
by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and in 2007 he was recognized by CATE
(California Association of Teacher’s in English) for promoting literacy in
public schools. And, in 2008 he received the Local Hero Award of KCET.

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