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Story Symposium: Los Angeles Women: A Record of Experience

On May 19, 2007 the Studio will host a Story Symposium at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. This event is intended to be a broader conversation between scholars, experts, students, and the general public regarding the role of women in Southern California history. In honor of Mother's Day (the previous Sunday), those who bring their mom or daughter to the Story Symposium will receive a flower while supplies last. The event begins at 12:00 pm and includes a reception. The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy is located at 111 N. Central Avenue in Little Tokyo. This event is free but reservations are recommended. To reserve your space, contact the Studio by calling 213 - 229 - 8890 or e-mailing

The Story Symposium for Los Angeles Women: A Record of Experience will include a special reading by Susan Suntree, two moderated panels, and presentations by historian Lois Banner, photographer at large Victoria Bernal, art therapist Lucia Capacchione, political scientist Regina Freer, photographer Gloria Lin, historian Peter La Chapelle, photographer at large Gloria Lin, historian Vicki Ruiz, and artist Linda Vallejo.   Among other subjects, the Story Symposium will cover Charlotta Amanda Bass, Sister Karen Boccalero, Sister Mary Corita Kent, Marilyn Monroe, Womanhouse (1972), and the myth and representation of LA women over time.

When: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday May, 19, 2007
Where: National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Directions (PDF)

Schedule of Events

12:00 p.m.  
"Los Angeles Women: Family, Work, Love, Spirit:"
Performance by Susan Suntree

12:30 - 2:00          
"Southern California Women: Traditions of Social Justice"
Lucia Capacchione on Sister Mary Corita Kent
Regina Freer on Charlotte Amanda Bass
Vicki Ruiz on Luisa Moreno
Linda Vallejo on Sister Karen Boccalero
Q & A by Sharon Sekhon & the Audience

2:00 - 2:30 RECEPTION

2:30 - 4:00
"L.A. Women:" Unraveling Myths and Public Paradigms
Lois Banner on Marilyn Monroe
Pete La Chappelle on Country Music & the Negotiation Domesticity in      Cold War Los Angeles
Victoria Bernal on photographing "LA Women"
My Neighborhood by Gloria Lin
Q & A by Sharon Sekhon & the Audience

4:00 Womanhouse 1972, 2007, and Beyond: Girl House
Honoring LA Women & Girls

4:30 - 5:00 RECEPTION


Lois Banner is an American feminist author. She received her Ph.D. at Columbia University. She is the author of the textbook Women in Modern America: A Brief History , which is commonly used in introductory Women's Studies college classes. Her published works include: American Beauty published by Alfred Knopf; Elizabeth Cady Stanton: A Radical for Women's Rights by Addison-Wesley Publishers; Finding Fran: History and Memory in the Lives of Two Women published by Columbia University Press; In Full Flower: Aging Women, Power, and Sexuality published by Alfred Knopf; Intertwined Lives : Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle published by Alfred Knopf. Currently, she is a History professor at the University of Southern California.

Victoria Bernal has worked extensively on Los Angeles-centered projects that integrate history, culture, and community. In her free time, Victoria is an amateur photographer whose work captures her interests and vast knowledge of Southern California. To see more of her photography, visit

Lucia Capacchione b ridged psychology and art a pioneer in art therapy. Capacchione is a best selling author of 13 self-help books and leads international workshops to aid individuals in self-actualization. In 1991 Capacchione made "inner child" a household term with the publication Recovery of Your Inner Child. Before her career as an art therapist, Capacchione attended high school and college at Immaculate Heart of Mary and studied with Sister Mary Corita Kent. Capacchione introduced Montessori educational methods to Los Angeles and headed one of the first Head Start Chapters in Los Angeles County. Capacchione continues to practice in Cambria, California.

Regina Freer is a political scientist whose research and teaching interests include race and politics, demographic change, urban politics, and the intersection of all three in Los Angeles in particular. She is a co-author of The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City , a work that examines connections between historical and contemporary progressive social justice organizing in Los Angeles. She authored "L.A. Race Woman: Charlotta Bass and the Complexities of Black Political Development in Los Angeles" in the September 2004 issue of American Quarterly and "Black Korean Conflict," a chapter in the edited volume The Los Angeles Riots . Recently, she has been a commentator on politics and elections on KPFK radio and on KTTV television.

Peter La Chapelle is an historian and author of Proud to Be an Okie Cultural Politics, Country Music, and Migration to Southern California just published this spring by the University of California Press. He has written articles for A Boy Named Sue: Gender and Country Music , Moving Stories: Migration and the American West, 1850-2000 , and Dress: The Annual Journal of the Costume Society of America (2001). He is an Assistant Professor of History at Nevada State College at Henderson.

Vicki Ruiz is an historian and author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth Century America ; Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950 ; and Las obreras: Chicana Politics of Work and Family . She is co-editor of Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women's History among other publications. Her current work is on Luisa Moreno. She is a Professor of History at the University of California Irvine.

Susan Suntree is a writer, performer, and teacher whose work investigates the dynamics of science, art, and spiritual philosophies as they engage contemporary life. She has presented her poetry and performances nationally and internationally, and has published books of poetry, biography, and translation, as well as essays, reviews, and book chapters. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Flux. Her recent one-woman performance and forthcoming book, Sacred Sites/Los Angeles, explores the prehistory and sacred geography of Los Angeles, where she lives. An environmental activist and a long-time Zen student, she currently teaches at East Los Angeles College.

Linda Vallejo is an artist whose work uses mixed media, painting, and sculpture. Linda Vallejo, born in Los Angeles in 1951 and attended elementary school in East Los Angeles and Sacramento, middle and high school in Montgomery, Alabama, in the early 1960's, and completed high school in Madrid, Spain, in 1969. Linda received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Whittier College in 1973, completed undergraduate studies in lithography from the University of Madrid, Spain, and received a Master of Fine Arts from Cal State University, Long Beach, in 1978. Vallejo joined Sister Karen Boccalero at Self-Help Graphics in the early 1970s as one of its first art instructors. Selected Exhibitions include A Prayer for the Earth , Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, 2006; Tigers and Jaguars , Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA 2006; A History of Conflict - A Future of Hope , Frazier Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, 2004; HOPE, In the Midst of War, Death and Destruction, Tropico Nopal , 2004; East of the River: Chicano Art Collectors Anonymous , Santa Monica Museum, CA, 2000; Los Cielos One Woman Show , SPARC, Los Angeles, 2000.

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