Community Impact Media students, Cal State LA, 2023. Photo: Heather Fipps

Women-led Nonprofits in Focus for Cal State LA Student Filmmakers

1 March 2023

Student filmmakers from the Community Impact Media course at Cal State LA, a shared project between the university and the gallery, focused their documentaries on the work of women-led non-profits and their impact on Los Angeles communities

The Community Impact Media Spring 2023 semester foregrounded women-led nonprofits in Los Angeles, including Greetings from South Central, Nancy Evans Dance Theatre and The Collective Identity Mentoring. These nonprofits are dedicated to addressing causes like arts education, enhancing diversity within dance and fostering youth mentorship programs. Continuing the work of past semesters, students met with LA-based nonprofits to learn more about how they are serving their local community, while also learning the fundamentals of creating a documentary to ultimately premiere it to the public at the gallery.

On Thursday 18 May 2023, the students premiered the Spring 2023 documentaries at the Downtown LA gallery. View the students' final documentaries below to learn more about Greetings from South Central, Nancy Evans Dance Theater and The Collective Identity Mentoring.

Noel Dilworth in Sun Streams choreographed by Ashleigh Doede. Photo by Jenn Logan

Nicole Lynn founder and Executive Director, facilitators and mentees during one of their theatre excursions. Photo provided by TCI

Community Impact Media, a shared project between the university and the gallery, provides neighboring youth with hands-on media making and storytelling mentorship toward the production of video projects written and directed by the student filmmakers.

It not only encourages students to reimagine the role of filmmakers as neighbors and citizens committed to meaningful social change, but also illustrates each organization’s commitment to engage and develop a positive, lasting relationship with their shared LA community.

Board Member EJ Hill, Students, Teaching Artist Rhombie Sandoval and founder and visual art educator Karina Esperanza Yánez. Photo by Tina Reeves

Greetings from South Central Greetings from South-Central is a community-based non-profit dedicated to the youth, educators and families of South-Central Los Angeles. Their mission is to promote, advocate for, and foster experiences where the South-Central Los Angeles community can participate in arts and culture, while also inspiring and cultivating future generations of artists and community leaders. Founder, Karina Esperanza Yánez, is an experienced visual arts educator from South-Central Los Angles with a demonstrated history of working in arts education and arts management as well as a multidisciplinary artist.

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre Nancy Evans Dance Theatre is a modern-based company established in 2009 under the Artistic Direction of Nancy Evans Doede. NEDT is committed to creating original works of dance theater that celebrate the value of storytelling by and for every generation; to feature typically underutilized mature artists from 30 to 60 and beyond; to expose new and diverse audiences to the beauty of life experience through traditional and non-traditional movement language; to empower artists to be co-creators; to make lasting human connections.

The Collective Identity Mentoring If you educate a girl, then you educate her community. Founded by Nicole Lynn, The Collective Identity Mentoring seeks to create a psychosocial safe space for young Black women to explore who they are and how to identify themselves. Their mission is to do this through one-on-one mentoring and programs designed to help girls define their path in life. Their vision is to ensure that every young Black woman and gender expansive youth that graduates from our program is prepared to handle the adversity and hurdles of being a Black woman in America.