In my communications roles, I have overseen copywriting and editorial for Women In Film Los Angeles, Los Angeles Zoo publications Zoo View, Zooscape, All Creatures, and various student and alumni publications for Claremont McKenna College.
TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT!
Tonight, Women In Film is holding our biggest fundraiser of the year, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. This is my first year on the WIF team, and I’ve been impressed time and time again by the passion and dedication of our staff and Board, Members, and supporters. At the Gala, I’m looking forward to witnessing a celebration of so many efforts to create a better industry that tells stories enjoyed by people all around the world.
When I was in college pursuing a degree in Film Studies, I got to watch and research the work of so many great auteurs, but I don’t think my professors ever featured a woman creator in their coursework. In the early years of my career working as a studio assistant, I got to be a part of moviemaking—a dream come true—but the feeling persisted that I wasn’t seeing myself represented onscreen or behind-the-scenes as much as I should.
DEVELOPING A NEW BREW, GORILLA-STYLE
On the morning of June 30, a small crowd gathered in front of the Campo Gorilla Reserve at the Los Angeles Zoo, waiting with bated breath. Animal Keeper Tania Prebble had laid out a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables, any of which could be used as an ingredient in a special L.A. Zoo Brew. Soon, Hasani the western lowland gorilla would make his way into the exhibit from his nighttime quarters and pick his favorites, which would serve as the basis for the unique beer’s recipe.
NEW IN THE ZOO: BINTURONGS
Visitors to the Los Angeles Zoo now have a chance to observe one of the planet's more unusual creatures––the binturong. Sometimes called "bearcats," binturongs are neither bears nor cats. They belong to the family Viverridae, which also includes many species of civet.
A pair of binturong arrived at the Zoo in November. They occupy a roundhouse near the hippopotamus exhibit, between the East African crowned cranes and the African crowned eagle. You may smell these animals before you see them. Among the binturongs' unique adaptations is the uncanny similarity between the odor emitted by their scent glands and the smell of buttered popcorn!
REFLECTING ON THE 91ST ACADEMY AWARDS
This past weekend’s Academy Awards made headlines for celebrating the most female nominees in the event’s history, and for recognizing the talent of diverse women in front of and behind the camera.
Before Sunday night, only one black woman had ever won an Oscar in a non-acting category, when Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… What a Feeling” won top honors for Best Original Song. 35 years later, costume designer Ruth E. Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler joined her ranks for their work on BLACK PANTHER. In Carter’s words, “this has been a long time coming.”
I was honored to be a participant in the third annual Zoohackathon, where a diverse group of developers, designers, and thinkers gathered to address the wildlife trafficking crisis. My team built Remote Ranger, a STEM education tool, from the ground up. By teaching simple robotics engineering to school children, our project would connect young people in parts of the world not directly affected by wildlife trafficking with the anti-poaching rangers and their communities in situ.
LAUGHS FOR GIRAFFES
The second annual Laughs for Giraffes fundraiser took place at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank on Sunday, July 9. Organized by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, the revelers who gathered raised $2,500 for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, and had a great time doing so.
THE MAKING OF #TEDTALKGORILLA
On June 20, the Dallas Zoo uploaded a video of their western lowland gorilla Zola “breakdancing” in a kiddie pool as an opportunity to educate the public about the role of enrichment at zoos. As it turned out, Zola’s enthusiastic dancing and the attention it garnered was just a warm-up for the trending topic that would blow up just a few days later, with the Los Angeles Zoo’s western lowland gorilla Kelly at the center.
EXPLORE: THREATENED SPECIES
Just by being a member of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, you’re supporting efforts to save endangered and threatened species around the globe. Your hometown zoo is a conservation leader that commits expertise, technology, and funds to help save species every day—like the ones you’ll see if you follow this pathway through the Zoo. As you enjoy this tour, know that your contribution to this important work is greatly appreciated, and take the time to think about additional ways you can help wildlife and the planet.
EXPLORE: BAJA CALIFORNIA
Inspired by this month's feature story about the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP), this self-guided tour around the Zoo will take you to visit the animals whose wild populations are native to the Baja California peninsula. Separated from the mainland of Mexico by the Gulf of California and the Colorado River, the peninsula boasts gorgeous coastline, rugged mountain ranges, and rocky desert. Next time you visit the Zoo, follow this roadmap to spot the diverse community of animals and plants that originate in this unique biome.