In this Issue -
2008 Success Stories & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
 
We Tell Stories
is a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.

Location:
5740 York Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Phone:
323.256.2336 
 
Fax:
323.256.3236 
 
Email: 
info@wetellstories.org
 
Online:


Board of Directors

Carl Weintraub, Chairman
 
William Turner, President
 
Gilbert Pacheco, Secretary
 
Dennis Carter

Tanya DeLeon
 
Larry Guzin
 
Jeff Hilger

Staff

Diana Tanaka,
Artistic Director
 
Susan Devlin,
Programs Director
 
Stacy Turner,
Associate Artistic Director
 
Joyce Lee,
Educational Programs Director
 
Candy Danzig,
Director, Staff Development & Master Teacher
 
Betsy Oltmann,
Development Director 
 
Lisa Grissom,
Director of Marketing & Special Events

Jamie Hebert,
Ronalee Par Miyisaki
Administrative Assistants

Company Members

Rico Anderson
Teri Benjamin
Beresford Bennett
Candy Danzig
Gina Fields
Tony Gatto
Keith Gaytan
Carrie Gibson
Maricella Ibarr
Gerald James
Jully Lee
Caryn Andrea Lindsey
Pablo Marz
Brian Meredith
Linda Miller
John Miyasaki
Cadry Nelson
David Nott
Armando Ortega
Deena Rubinson
Pogo Saito
Ova Saopeng
Michelle Simek
Annika Smith
Carla Vega
Carl Weintraub

Teaching Artists
Jesse Bliss
Candy Danzig
Denise Iketani
Gina Fields
Gerald James
Peter Kors
David Lewis
Angela Lloyd
Pablo Marz
Linda Miller
Laura Napoli
Armando Ortega
Michelle Simek
Carl Weintraub

We Tell Stories
is grateful for the support from the following organizations:
 
Corporate Partnership
 
Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
 
 

Funders

Ahmanson Foundation
 
City of Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program Fund with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment
 
City of Los Angeles, Department
of Cultural Affairs


City National Bank
 
Employees Community Fund of Boeing California 

Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Norris Foundation

Ralph Parsons Foundation

Stern Memorial Trust
 
Collaborators

Arts for All  
 
Centennial Plaza Park 
 
Children’s Creative Project
 
Community Arts Resources (CARS)
 
Los Angeles County MTA—Go Metro

Los Angeles Music Center
Education Division 
 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
 
Los Angeles Unified School District, Arts Education Branch
  
North Figueroa Association
 
Old LA Farmers Market

Orange County
Performing Arts Center 
 
Performances to Grow On
 
Festival Plaza de la Raza
 
Community Partners

Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council (HHPNC)
 
North Figueroa Association
 
Councilmember
Ed P. Reyes, District 1
 
Councilmember 
Jose Huizar, District 14

Credits
 
Photos: BSO Photography
WTS Residency Programs off to a Roaring Start

The We Tell Stories 08-09 Residency Program is off to a great start! Since 2004, WTS has been a member of the Arts Community Partnership Network (ACPN), a project of the Arts Education Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District. ACPN coordinates the efforts of arts organizations in supporting dance, music, theatre and visual arts instruction, K-12.  
 
The WTS Residency Program reaches students and teachers throughout the Southland. As Educational Programs Director Joyce Lee says: "From the San Fernando Valley to Carson, this program makes reading and learning fun for children and easy for teachers." 
 
The strength of the WTS Residency Program lies in its skillful integration of our improvisational method of turning stories into plays with Open Court Reading, which is standard curriculum for most LA Unified schools. Teachers take what they learn in WTS workshops and apply the tools to their teaching, allowing students to benefit directly.
 
 
The We Tell Stories Residency Program has many success stories among both new and returning schools. New to the program, 92nd Street Elementary had a productive experience led by Teaching Artist Jesse Bliss. Third grade teacher Ms. Diaz said, "[Jesse] was great at modifying her lesson to accommodate my students."
Jesse returned from her workshops with plenty of pictures of smiling children. (see above!)
 
Long-term relationships are strengthened as many schools request the WTS Residency Program annually. Teaching Artist Linda Miller recently completed her third year at Franklin Elementary. All the teachers who participated in Linda's workshops expressed that her teaching was “Awesome." According to Linda, the feeling is mutual, “It’s as enriching for us as it is for the teachers and students. It’s awesome for everyone!”
 
To schedule a residency at your school,
contact Educational Programs Director Joyce Lee at joyce@wetellstories.org!
 
'Tis the Season:
Consider WTS in your year-end giving!
 
To donate, click on this link:
 
The difficult economy affects us all. If you are able to make a charitable donation this year, please consider making a donation to We Tell Stories. Any amount will help inspire creativity and enhance literacy among countless children throughout Southern California.
 
Your donation supports the art of storytelling and our arts education programs: assembly performances, student workshops,
professional development & more.
 
You can also donate by making an in-kind donation!
 We are collecting items for a 2009 Garage/Rummage Sale.
 Get your year-end tax deduction with an in-kind donation
of furniture, electronics, gently used or vintage clothing,
jewelry or accessories.
 
Call Jamie @ WTS: 323-256-2336 by December 31st!
 
All donations are tax-deductible.
5740 York Boulevard • Los Angeles CA 90042

An evening of spooky stories, food & wine
at Firefly Bistro!
 
On October 6th, WTS put together our first formal fundraising event at South Pasadena's Firefly Bistro, owned by WTS founder Carl Weintraub.
 
The Haunted Harvest Evening kicked off the autumn season with three wonderfully spooky stories by the famed WTS troupe. Chef-owners Paul Rosenbluh & Monique King created delicious seasonal food & wine pairings, while the slack-key music of Jim "Kimo" West provided a warm ambiance to the entire event. Guests mingled while bidding on an array of Silent Auction items—many donated by Northeast LA merchants. A Live Auction also added to the excitement. One of the evening’s highlights was Carl Weintraub's performance of Edgar Allen Poe's classic Halloween story The Tell-Tale Heart.
 
Special thanks to the Firefly staff, and especially to ALL of our donors for their collective efforts in making our event a success. We hope to see you at the next one!
 
Halloween Fun at 3rd Annual
Haunted Harvest Storytelling Fest!

The Tuesday before Halloween is fast becoming a hallowed tradition at the Old LA Farmer's Market in Highland Park! On October 28th, We Tell Stories partnered with the North Figueroa Association once again to put together a fun-filled festival for adults and kids alike.
 
Featured Guest Artists  were The Alley Cats, America's premiere 50's a cappella doo-wop group. Kids and parents danced along, while they enjoyed the warm atmosphere of the Market. WTS performed three stories: Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, Macario by B. Traven, and Gifts of Love, a Korean folktale. Other highlights included a Costume Contest, Frankenstein of Gumplestiltskin, and the Latin music of Estani.
 
Special thanks to Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, Figueroa Produce, and ALL of our local contributors. The festival is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs
 
Mark your calendars for October 27th, 2009!
WTS can perform at your school, library, or special event.
Contact Susan Devlin to book a show for 2009! susan@wetellstories.org
  Some discounts available!


2008 Culver City Julian Dixon Library
Residency Re-Cap!

In 2008, We Tell Stories completed another fun-filled Residency at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library. For the year-long program of events, WTS performed shows that drew upon the cultures of Mexico, West Africa and China.
 
For the Summer Reading Program, WTS performed eight shows. The theme for the SRP was "Catch the Reading Bug"--and hundreds of kids did just that! WTS created two new stories from Africa specifically for this Program. According to Artistic Director Diana Tanaka, "WTS and the Summer Reading Program are a perfect match.  Children’s Librarian, Joan Mead, displays the books that contain stories we perform, and the children check them all out immediately after our performance.  It’s theatre and literacy in action!"
 
WTS also presented three Fiesta La Ballona story-plays in August, to celebrate the heritage of Culver City, as well as a Halloween and a Holiday show.
 
These free performances were made possible in part by a grant from the Culver City Arts in Public Places Fund, with support from the Sony Pictures Entertainment Platinum Sponsorship.
 
WTS will be returning to the Julian Dixon Library again throughout 2009, marking the fifth year of this fruitful partnership. '09 performances will be supported by the City of Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program Fund with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.
 
The first show of the '09 Residency will take place on Saturday, February 7th at 2 pm with The Spirit of Black Folklore in celebration of Black History Month.
 We hope to see you there!
For a complete schedule of events,

WTS Welcomes Company Members Old & New!
 
We are excited to introduce, not one, but three members to our growing group of artists. In the case of John Miyasaki, it's more of a re-introduction! John worked with WTS for many years in the late 1980's, and we couldn't be happier to have him back.
 
Beresford Bennett is a Connecticut born artist who works as an actor, writer, director, filmmaker, and voice-over artist. On stage, he has performed a variety of characters from the title role in Julius Caesar, Treplev in The Seagull, to Fick in Balm in Gilead. He has worked in film and TV, including multiple roles on television’s Law & Order. Beresford is also the  the host/narrator for a live touring multi-media show that has taught nearly 50,000 grade-school students the history of jazz music.
 
Annika Smith is a Jamaican born actress that is thrilled to be living her dream out here on the West Coast. A graduate of USC's Cinema Program, she has also worked as an actress in commercials, film, and TV, including roles on The Shield, ER and Studio 60. Her excitement about WTS is contagious: "I love performing these shows! It's so much fun, I can hardly stand it!"
 

2009 Save-the-Dates!
 
Sunday, January 4 at Noon
"A Feast from the East"
Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street, Los Angeles 90012
 
Wednesday, March 18th at 10 am
"Aesop's Fables"
Lewis Family Playhouse
12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga, 91739

Story Time by Artistic Director, Diana Tanaka
 
A Buddhist parable:
A man is being chased by a tiger. He comes to the edge of a cliff and having no other choice, grabs onto a vine and begins to scale down the steep mountainside. Above him the tiger stands snarling. Below him another tiger stands waiting. The vine begins to break. Out of the corner of his eye, the man seeds a wild strawberry growing near him. He reaches for the strawberry and eats it. It is delicious!

With the economy plummeting, violence escalating, and jobs disappearing, it is good to pause and enjoy the beauty of
this moment.

~In memoriam~
 
This year, we lost two very special individuals with whom we worked in the not-for-profit arts education community. We want to express our deepest sympathies to their family, friends and colleagues. We also wish to recognize them for their contributions to WTS over the years.
We will miss them.
 
Jason Siebert, Orange County Performing Arts Center
 
Jerry Washburn, NetConsult

PEOPLE ARE TALKING!
 
“The show’s a hoot…filled with energy, lots of chuckles, and frequently hilarious audience participation. This is the multi-cultural troupe at its creative, professional best.”

-Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times