Teri Richardson
Co-founder and teacher, GeneRaTion DCD
Newsletter: February 28-March 14, 2018
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
GeneRaTion DCD is my daughter Amanda, my mother Lynne, and myself (Teri) teaching the three things we love–dance, art, and child development classes.  We believe in helping young preschoolers with school readiness as well as developing friendships, social skills and self esteem for all ages including our youth and adult community.  We taught all these classes at Burbank Parks and Recreation department for eighteen years. After a while, our students wanted a bigger space and more classes.  Along with their families, our students not only raised all the money to get us our studio, but they all pitched in to help build it together.  They donated their time, skills, and materials so that we could be debt-free and keep our classes affordable like the Parks and Rec. So really we think of it as their studio. Here we have a community of eighteen-month-old children to ninety-nine-year-old adults; it is about families and different generations coming together.  A year later they still water the flowers that they planted, taking as much pride in watching them grow as we do in watching our studio and families grow.We pride ourselves on our teacher assistant program.  Teaching responsibility and independence to children as young as five years old–we teach them how to warm up a class, run a class, choreograph, clean bathrooms, sweep, run the computer programs and how to greet people. They take pride in wearing our assistant t-shirts because they earned it. So this studio is very much run not only by us, but by the people who take our classes too. “DCD” stands for “dance,” “create,” and “discover.” My daughter teaches dance and represents the “dance” part–hip hop, ballet, jazz, choreography, etc. Through art my mother teaches school readiness and creativity, and represents “create.” I also teach dance and art,  but also have a love for teaching the little preschoolers–the “discover part” which includes teaching mommy and me school-readiness type classes. Our classes are affordable for the whole family, and our studio is a safe place for kids and everyone to dance, create, and discover.My daughter Amanda has been working  with the Burbank Parks and Rec since she was 12, and with the schools since she was 16 years old, teaching dance and choreographing for the show choirs in the middle schools and high schools in Burbank as well as other California and out of state schools.  My mom Lynne works for the schools in Orange county as well.  I also partner with schools and teach dance.  We have a love for teaching youth, as you can see!

How did you first become interested in art?
I started as a mother teaching my daughter, like my mother showed me. My mother is a professional artist, and my daughter is a professional dancer and choreographer. We are three generations teaching other generations what we love.  How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
I am also part of the Random Act of Kindness Foundation. As a RAKtivist, we do free kindness raids in our community which is a good way to love and bring community together.  For instance, we’ve done things like make four hundred valentines for members at the Josyln Center, and six hundred thank you cards for our Burbank Fire Fighters after our fires last year.. . . we also flashmob “Thriller“ throughout our city for free to support local schools and businesses. Things like that encourage people to love their city and community while interacting and having fun together.
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
One thing that I’ve learned is that creating art provides a distraction, giving your brain a break from your usual thoughts and responsibilities. When I’m dancing, I don’t think about all the bad things going on. It’s your happy place.
To find out more about Teri’s work, visit http://www.generationdcd.com/home


Natalie Cottrell
Newsletter: February 15-27, 2018
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I received my BFA in Musical Theatre–I’m a triple-threat performer! I am also a dance instructor who teaches a variety of dance classes at Rock Star Dance Fitness.
How did you first become interested in dance/acting?
I started dancing ballet when I was four back in El Paso, Texas and grew to love and appreciate technique and the art of dance. Acting wise, I volunteered weekly for the children’s ministry and put on acting and puppet skits!
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
Art can help people become more confident, allow them to try new things, and stay fit and healthy as well. It benefits both self empowerment as well as physical and mental health.
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
It lets people express themselves, and be free.

Emily Lazernik
Newsletter: February 1-13, 2018
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I am a freelance bassoonist and teacher in the LA area. I am especially interested in exploring new ways to use the bassoon in different musical genres such as electronic and rock music, and discovering ways to reach more people through interdisciplinary arts performances.
How did you first become interested in music?
My grandma was in a church choir while I was growing up. That was my first introduction to performing music. I always wanted to be up there singing with her but I couldn’t because it was just for adults. In fifth grade I had the opportunity to join band, and I began playing saxophone.
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
Art of any kind can bring a community together by reaching across a broad spectrum of people. I have met so many different types of people through art that I would not have met otherwise! You can participate in the arts in your community by taking a class, volunteering at one of the many arts organizations, going to a museum, or attending a concert.
If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
Art is for anyone and everyone! Regardless of experience, age, gender, race, socioeconomic background, or anything else. Don’t be afraid to get involved.

Rajasri Mallikarjuna

Secretary, Musicians at Play Foundation
Production Editor, Alfred Music
Newsletter: January 17-31, 2018
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m a composer, an editor at Alfred Music, and a board member of Musicians at Play Foundation (MAP). I recently finished writing a ballet called Draupadi, and I work on new piano, choral, and string products at the publishing company. I’m also currently organizing a composers’ workshop with MAP, to help local composers hear their music played live by professional-level instrumentalists and receive feedback from other musicians.
How did you first become interested in music?
I remember seeing a piano at a neighbor’s house at the age of five and feeling instantly drawn to the instrument. That neighbor became my piano teacher a few years later, and I have been involved in music ever since.
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
Art is a result of human expression, and it can allow members of a community to feel more connected and understood by sharing different perspectives and experiences. Art can also be therapeutic, fun, educational, and exciting; regardless of how people are engaged with art, participation is healthy for both individuals and communities.  Burbank offers an array of interactive events and venues to experience various art forms. As a second-year resident of the city, I’ve loved attending the summer arts fair and seeing live music in downtown Burbank. I’ve been to wonderful concerts held by the Burbank Chamber Music Society, and I look forward to experiencing similar high-caliber events this year.
 If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
There are no limits when it comes to art; never hesitate to express yourself through it in your own, unique way.
To find out more about Raj’s work, visit http://www.musiciansatplay.org/

Trina Robinson-Kemie
Founder and Owner, Rock Star Dance Fitness in Burbank, CA
Founder, RS Confidence in Burbank, CA
Professional Dancer/ Choreographer /Actress/ Wellness Fitness Expert/ Personal Coach/ Entrepreneur
Newsletter:  December 13-26, 2017
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I am the founder of Rock Star Dance Fitness, which offers a variety of dance and fitness classes with cultural diversity with authenticity, for all ages and levels (specifically Adult Dance Fitness). We try to bring culture, fitness, arts and fun together in a no judgment- ego free community; and positive environment. We offer Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre, Afro-Caribbean Grooves, Ballet, Cardio Kick Boxing, Pop Pilates, Yin  Yoga, Tap, U-Jam, Zumba–and a variety of dance and fitness styles. There is no previous dance or fitness experience required here–you don’t have to be super fit or in shape.
How did you first become interested in dance?
It’s funny–I’ve been dancing since I was two years old in Miami, FL! In day care my mom put me in the dance studio, where I trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and gymnastics. When I was older I went to a performing arts high school, and learned more styles–Modern, African, Caribbean and Hip-Hop. Then I went to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, where I majored in dance, with a jazz and theater concentration and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance . From there I went to New York City and got accepted to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Summer Intensive Program, where I trained as professional dancer in Modern Techniques, Contemporary, Jazz and Ballet and performance training. After the program I started working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at some of the top corporate gyms in the country.   I have always had an affinity for fitness, so I decided to become a personal trainer and learned to train people and help them accomplish their goals. I have been able to combine my professional dance and fitness instruction backgrounds and ultimately merged dance and fitness skills in an artistic way. I was able to work with the Moulin Rouge premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and started my own Can-Can workout, while also doing off-Broadway productions and teaching.  After 9/11 I moved to California. I worked in marketing, business, sales, personal growth and development. I got married and had kids. After a while, I found that I had gained weight and had a lot of health problems–I felt like I was no longer myself. I decided that I had to make changes in my health, and told myself that one day I wanted to feel like a Rock Star. And that’s when I drew the logo. I want to help other people feel positive about themselves as an everyday person; for people to take care of their well-being so they can celebrate themselves. I also want other mothers out there to know that they can follow their passion, even if they have young kids like I did when I started. I know how it feels to be out of shape and over weight, and in a lot of pain, because I have been there too.
How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
By building great community together. There is a lot of commonality at Rock Star. People who come there appreciate the dancing, but also a lot of them are professional dancers, previous dancers or have always wanted to dance. There are students who want to learn how to teach others, as well. So I founded RS Confidence for people who want to perform and teach in an academy approach, but also be spiritually uplifted, trained and learn practical vocational skill sets and hands on training. It is about wellness, culture and performing arts. If people want to bring out their inner artist, we are here to help them develop those skills and give them a platform to do that. To put together productions where people can come and enjoy performing-arts -to bring people together, and give back to the community.
 If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
Art is a lifeline to your sanity and mental, emotional and social wellness. You need art as a creative, emotional outlet–to bring a sense of well-being to your spirit in order to feel more in sync with your soul. I really feel like if people lose any type of art or creativity, it can drive them to insanity, because they are not able to have a place of sanctuary or refuge to express themselves. I used to watch the TV program Super Soul Sundays, and on one episode there was a guy who was diagnosed with brain cancer. They didn’t know what to do about it. Then he started listening to music, playing music, and painting. Every time he went back, it got smaller and smaller. He felt that being engaged with art killed it. Art is a way to help things not build up and metastasize. Not holding on to that anger or resentment–that gives you the energy to release that and use it in art as an outlet for creativity. It’s like a free medicine. If you get hooked there are no side effects–the side effects are that it’s free! Lastly, I am thrilled to announce the launch of our new nonprofit called RS Confidence.  We are unveiling it at our holiday party this Saturday, December 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  The event is free and we’d love to see you there ~  Rock Star Dance & Fitness at 517 N.Glenoaks, Burbank, CA 91502.  There will be special demos, live performances, prizes, raffles, health coaching and more.   

To find out more about Trina’s work, visit  http://rockstardancefitness.com/

Vsevolod Krawczeniuk
Director, Burbank Children’s Theatre Company
Newsletter: November 29-December 12, 2017

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“Burbank Children’s Theatre Company is a group of very talented and energetic professionals who perform vibrant and engaging plays for children and their families. We select plays that are educational, inspirational, and just plain fun. Many of our productions include audience participation, and children are always welcome to come up on stage after the show to explore the theatre. Our performers love to hang out, chat with the kids, and take pictures with the kids on the set. All of our performers are seasoned professionals with extensive backgrounds in theatre, film, and tv.”

How did you first become interested in theater?

“My father was a professor at King’s College, a small Catholic liberal arts college in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  King’s had a wonderful theatre department that would include one children’s theatre performance in its yearly repertoire. At an early age, my parents would take me to see these shows. Later, they began taking me to the other productions. I was exposed to Shakespeare, Strindberg, Ibsen, and a host of other great playwrights at a very young age.”

 How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“Art is about “Us.” Art is communal and is not exclusive to one group. Art tells our collective stories. When we are hearing a play, watching a dance, listening to music, or viewing paintings and sculptures, we are gathering in a place and sharing a common experience. I think that is marvelous. I think Burbank is an absolutely amazing place. We have a school district and supporters who make teaching the arts a priority. We have a parks and rec department that offers various art classes taught by terrific teachers. The greater Los Angeles area is the media capital of the world. The most talented and creative people from all over the world come here to create their art. Many of them live and work in Burbank. That’s just plain awesome!”

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“If I could share with our community one thing about art, it would be my encouragement to explore. Artists are people who are trying to communicate their visions and passions with others. They are not working to please an elite group of critics; they are talking to all of us. The form may very, but the intention is the same. Please, go out and listen to the many voice out there. Find the ones who speak to you, and find the ones who challenge you. Also, find the artist within yourself. Find ways to express yourself and make your voice heard. You don’t have to be a Da Vinci or Mozart to express yourself to your fellow human beings.”

To find out more about Vsev’s work, visit https://www.facebook.com/BurbankChildrensTheatre/

Nicolina Logan
Co-artistic Director, Burbank Chamber Music Society
Newsletter November 16-26, 2017

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“I am a clarinetist and co-artistic director of the Burbank Chamber Music Society, a collective of LA area musicians that shares intimate concerts and performances with the people of Burbank. Our concerts feature woodwinds, voice, strings, brass, percussion, and world instruments in programs that celebrate traditional, popular, and contemporary works for small ensembles.”

How did you first become interested in music?
“When I was younger I was very fortunate to be exposed to many kinds of music in many different places–Riverdance tapes on TV, attending occasional musicals with live pit orchestras, hearing film scores, my father playing guitar and, like many, a brief series of piano lessons.

I did not discover the clarinet or the world of orchestral and chamber music until I took music classes at John Muir and Burbank High, and thereafter studied music through college.”

How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“It seems to me that in some way, everyone who lives makes a living in the arts. The “arts business” is everyone’s business, really, for art is everywhere–in everything that communicates with any of our (at least five) senses–whether that be inside the concert hall, or out.

Something we want to do with the Burbank Chamber Music Society is to invite people to feel that chamber music–music made in small groups of some two to thirteen people, usually one to a part, without a conductor, played in an intimate space–is relevant to them, because it reflects a large part of their lives: conversation and communication. Much like the weekly Farmers’ Market, we want our concerts to be a community gathering place–an informal space for people of all ages to discover music, build friendships, and simply enjoy being together. Without a conductor, chamber music is very democratic, colleagues sharing, exploring, and implementing different ideas. For this it is known as the “music of friends,” and it is very much that way. A string quartet playing Haydn, or four people sharing their day at a dinner table–it seems in many ways so much the same.

Being engaged with art is by no means limited to attending concerts, book readings, or seeing movies or plays. Art offers many things, and these experiences can offer an insulated opportunity to focus our senses, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as guided by the shared experience of communicating this way. But in life outside the theater, this shared experience of art still does exist–and so being engaged can also mean finding it in any place it seems to be. Looking at a watercolor painting or ballet performance, or looking at the sunset; listening to Beethoven, or to the palm fronds rustling in the Santa Ana winds. Standing on a street corner, here in Burbank or anywhere, and asking, ‘How do I make a living in the arts?'”

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“In most newspapers, there is a section devoted to “the arts”–often “Arts & Entertainment” or, as NPR says, “Arts & Life.”

I worked once as an theater usher, and got to see many performances of all kinds. Our job, among other things, was to guide the flow of people and manage events, watch out for flash photography or open-lid containers, and let people know when they were leaning a little too far over the balcony railing. Big-little things that sometimes people might not know that they need.

One of my co-workers was an older gentleman who had been working there for many, many years. He was very perceptive, slightly eccentric, and often told jokes or stories to whomever he happened to be working with. If we were stationed inside the theater we always got to see some of the performance, and this was the case one day when we worked together. As the lights dimmed and people settled in to watch the show, we settled in to watch them. He surveyed the balcony section and then, as it all began, turned to me: ‘People come here, and they think that this is an escape from real life. But this is real life.'”

To find out more about Nicolina’s work, visit http://www.burbankchambermusicsociety.org

Jamie Butterworth
President, Burbank Art Association
Co-chair, Community Working Group, Burbank Arts For All Foundation

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
“I am an artist, mostly painting landscapes and abstracts in oil, but recently, I’ve been working on a series of birds. I just had a solo show of 30 of my paintings at the Geo Gallery during October.  A selection of work will be on display at Basecamp Dinette (1221 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506) during November with a reception on Sunday, November 19 from 3-6 pm.

I also teach art to elementary students after school at Edison Elementary and at Burbank Home School Campus.  I’ve been teaching for 3 years but I organized and volunteered in a lot of the arts programs and classes at Edison when my kids were in school there.  I do volunteer work now with the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, specifically with the Secret Art Show and Community Exchange.

I’ve served for the past year and a half as the president of the Burbank Art Association and was the Programs Chair for several years before that.  This is a 50+ year old non-profit group of over 100 local artists with the mission to encourage creativity and showcase members’ work.

In addition to visual arts, I have a few different musical projects going on.  I like to sing Americana and Jazz and play around town occasionally with my band.  We are planning to do some songs at the November 19 reception at Basecamp.

How did you first become interested in your art?
“My kids were taking art lessons from Randall Williams when they were little and I thought it looked fun and I wanted to try my hand.  I’d never tried art myself even though I had worked in creative careers.  I took a few more classes and bought my first set of brushes and paints in 2010.  For the next few years, I took all the drawing and painting classes I could at the Creative Arts Center, Burbank Adult School, and privately. I also volunteered in all the art classes during and after school at my daughters’ elementary and middle schools, learning art skills and also best teaching practices from the many teachers I observed.”

How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
“Personally, I find almost all of my community through art.  My social interactions are with the kids I teach and their parents, at Burbank Art Association events, with my fellow volunteers and staff of the Burbank Arts for All Foundation and people who attend their events, people I play music with, talking with the teachers and owner when I take my daughter to her guitar lessons at Burbank Music Academy, etc. So, I think the arts enrich our community by creating community.  Of course, art itself, in public places, makes our community more beautiful, interesting, vibrant and desirable — a mural lights up a wall. A public performance brings life — excitement and vitality — to an area.  (I just got back from New Orleans and the whole time I was there, my ears were preened for the next musical encounter that was waiting around each corner!) 

The two organizations I mentioned above are great to engage with.  The Burbank Art Association is for visual artists of all levels and mediums.  We meet the third Wednesday of each month for a different art demonstration or presentation, and we have at least two group shows per year, as well as other opportunities to share work in pop-up shows, fairs, and solo shows.  Our Fall Member Show opens on November 3 at the Creative Arts Center with a reception from 7-9 pm.

The Burbank Arts for All Foundation raises money to support arts programs in the Burbank public schools.  We have regular (almost) monthly Community Exchanges that welcome everyone, two Creative Circles Forums per year focused on creative career paths in our community, and two fundraisers — the Party on the Plaza Gala in the spring and the Secret Art Show in the fall.  The next Creative Circles Forum is Wednesday, November 8 at the Colony Theater at 7 pm with a one-hour panel discussion on Documentary Films. (or from Burbank Music Academy http://www.burbankartsforall.org/creative-circles-forum/)

There is also quite a bit of live music around Burbank.  Viva Cantina on Riverside has two stages with live music almost every day of the week, and just along Burbank Boulevard, The Park Bar and Grill has music every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night, D’Argenzio Wine Bar has live music every Thursday night from 7-9 pm, and the Moose Lodge has free Monday night Blues with Grammy-award winning Pete Anderson.”

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
“Try it!  Try something, anything!  Go to one of the many paint nights offered around town, take a class at the Creative Arts Center, the Burbank Adult School, or Burbank Music Academy.  Try different visual arts mediums, oil, watercolor, pottery, or music or dance or theater!  Think about what you may have been interested in as a child or what you have admired others for doing, and do it! There’s an artist in everyone — it’s just a matter of finding your art form.  Experiment, discover your inner artist, and enjoy the many benefits.”

To find out more about Jamie’s work, visit http://www.jamiebutterworthart.com/