I was honored to provide artwork to Vidiots Foundation and Film Powered for their screening of Catherine Hardwicke's Lords of Dogtown at The Theatre at Ace Hotel DTLA last week. Jen McGowan, founder of Film Powered, describes her organization as: "...a skill-sharing site for professional women in the entertainment industry created to increase the skills & contacts of women in the industry, strengthening our community." Together with teachers and guest speakers, Film Powered provides energetic spaces to share ideas, sharpen skills and discuss important films that raise the profile of working women in Hollywood.
I've been a long-time admirer of Hardwicke's work, particularly the clarity of Thirteen (2003), a semi-autobiographical portrait of "Tracy" (Evan Rachel Wood), a 13-year-old girl struggling to find her mooring amidst the snares of peer pressure and rudderless adults in Los Angeles. Lords of Dogtown, her kinetic portrait of LA skateboarding culture in the early 1970s, was the film that brought together the women of Film Powered and Vidiots, and reminded me of the importance of community engagement through art, and its greatest gift it can bestow those who participate: empowerment.
This week, if you can, I encourage you to find a public space where such stories are being shared with those who value their places in our society. Live music, comedy, theatre, film, spoken word, wherever you can find voices expressing themselves, seek them out. Stories are fragile things when left alone, but they're strengthened by those who gather and listen, and more still, by those brave enough to share them.