Wed, May 26|
Let's Build Something New: A Panel
This panel of incredible and inspiring individuals focuses on the exciting and exhausting parts of building something game changing for the betterment of the entertainment industry.
Time & Location
May 26, 2021, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PDT
About the event
Our Moderator is Celia Mandela Rivera and our panelists are:
- Ann James (Founder of Intimacy Directors of Color)
- Claudia de Vasco (Head of Division of Cultural Integrity at Brickhouse Talent)
- Gabby Jackson (Founder and Director of The Joy-Jackson Initiative)
- Julie Ouellette (Managing Director of The Joy-Jackson Initiative)
Ann James has an extensive career in theatre education, stage direction and conflict resolution in corporate and artistic environments. As an internationally certified educator she has had the opportunity to teach theatre on 4 continents. Ms. James has been featured as moderator in "Intimacy and Covid-19" with Theatre Communications Group and HowlRound, "Intimacy and Theatre Practice" with The Los Angeles Theatre Alliance, "How Intimacy Impacts the work of Artistic Directors" with The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, and "Intimacy and the Pandemic" with Lincoln Center Director's Lab West. She is a published author on HowlRound, and has been a featured Intimacy Specialist on many other theatre affiliated panels during Covid-19. Ann is devoted to making both stage and screen safer places for Black, Indigenous and People of Color to practice their craft. Her company, Intimacy Coordinators of Color has had consultancy relationships with Actor's Equity, ArtsEquity, Theatre Communications Group, and TimesUp. Ms. James is currently a long-term educator in Anti-Racist University Theater Leadership Models for East Los Angeles College, and is currently an institutional intimacy consultant with A.R.T./New York. To that end, Ms. James is pursuing America's first MFA in Performance Pedagogy with emphasis in Intimacy Direction for People of Color at Loyola Marymount University.
Claudia de Vasco is the Head of Cultural Integrity at BrickHouse Talent, a new division representing Hollywood accent and dialect coaches, cultural consultants, narrative translators, and introducing Culture and Inclusivity Coordinators as a new role in the industry, to support inclusion and diversity efforts. Previously she was a Dialect Coach for over 15 years, coaching theatre and TV/Film. She’s coached actors such as Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, John Malkovich, America Ferrera, Liam Hemsworth, Alicia Braga, Raquel Welch, Kit Harrington, among others. She is the former Head of Speech at the Stella Adler Academy in LA. She has been a guest speaker and/or director at University of Texas, CalState Northridge, USC, and SAG/AFTRA. Claudia has also had a career as a TV/film actress (Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin), Stage actress (San Diego Rep, Independent Shakespeare, MixedBlood, Disneyland Parks), theatre director and producer, and arts activist & leader. She is a current member of The Kilroys, and serves as the Managing Director of Emerging Arts Leaders/Los Angeles - a non-profit inspiring and mentoring the next generation of arts sector leaders. Claudia has had a parallel career in Government and Politics, having organized two political campaigns, including Obama for America in PA, and has served as an elected leader on her local Neighborhood Council. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program, and served as her college’s Valedictorian. She is the recipient of the Playwright’s Center Jerome Foundation Many Voices Fellowship in 2005. Claudia is a proud Tejana, daughter of Mexican Immigrants, mother of two, and wife. On her spare time she sings and plays her ukulele, practices calligraphy, and makes pottery.
Gabrielle Jackson is a Los Angeles-based actress, singer, poet, and activist. She is the founder and director of the Joy-Jackson Initiative, a non-profit organization creating actionable tools to build systemic equity in the arts. Her performing credits include: Nala in Disney’s Tale of the Lion King, Celie in The Color Purple, Angela in Parade, Nehebka in Aida and Ti Moune u/s in Once on this Island. In addition, Gabrielle writes and produces her own children’s show called “Hey, Miss Gabby!” which fosters anti-racism in young kids through fun, accessible characters. Gabrielle is dedicated to work that centers and redefines Black narratives, and creates equitable artistic expressionfor all. She is a graduate of Saddleback College Applied Vocal Program: Classical emphasis.
Julie Ouellette (she/they) is an artist and activist fighting for authentic representation, radical accessibility, and systemic racial equity in the entertainment industry. She is the Producing Artistic Director for The Commons, a Los Angeles based production company dedicated to empowering LGBTQ+ artists, and the founder of The Los Angeles Queer New Works Festival.
Julie also serves as the Managing Director for The Joy-Jackson Initiative, working to build systemic equity for BIPOC people in the entertainment industry by providing arts leaders with tools for institutional self-reflection and
the guidance necessary to create and implement change.
Recently, Julie’s work as a producer and fundraiser for Victory Fund led to victories for more than 150 LGBTQ+ candidates in 2020 — including historic victories for candidates like Mauree Turner, Sarah McBride, Michele Rayner,
and many more. She is currently working with Deaf West Theatre alongside GLAD to create accessible materials to spread information and awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine to the Deaf community.