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HDD has acquired two interns for summer 2018 through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission! We are excited to have Jonathan and Geneva as our Program Management Intern and Education/Community Engagement Intern, respectively. They will be here with us for 10 weeks and look forward to providing these students with meaningful experience working in a nonprofit arts organization. We hope they will develop a deeper understanding of the work involved in nonprofit arts administration, better understand the role of the arts in communities and develop skills that can be put to use in their future careers.

“My earliest memory of dance does not involve any professional training, but involves being fairly young at a family function and being too afraid to jump onto the dancefloor. I always loved music, but I felt self-conscious about what others would think about my dancing skills or better yet, lack thereof. However, in the last couple of years I realized not only the health benefits of movement, but also the liberation that comes with dancing.

In terms of the intersection of art and communities, I feel there is a great need for an increase in arts education and accessibility of art to diverse communities. Also, representation in mass media plays a key role in integrating marginalized communities into the public sphere. As a playwright and aspiring film director at UCLA, I always seek to create, showcase, and bring awareness to underrepresented narratives.

I am very grateful to have the opportunity to intern at HDD as the Program Management Intern as I utilize my skill set and learn about managing programs, working on various artistic projects, and understanding the inner workings of an arts non-profit.” ~ Jonathan Lizardo

“My earliest dance memories were of watching my sister in Hip Hop classes and people break dancing. I thought their expression was so free and inspiring to my young eyes. I begged my mom to go out and try new activities. My mom thought dance classes would be a great way to release my energy and gain some discipline. My first dance class was ballet/tap classes with Rosie Gitlan, a dancer from the Dean Martin Golddiggers. My parents tell me stories of me coming back from that first class with endless determination to be a great dancer. That determination has grown into many years of lessons to develop the passion I have for communication through movement.

Throughout my 18 years of dance training and exploration, dance has transformed my view of body language as communication. Movement is an expression of experience. My passion for movement is carried out every time I move and communicate with someone or something. I enjoy choreographing, guiding improvisations, and making music for people to enjoy and express themselves to. I have choreographed two dance pieces for my community college, both with projections over the dancers and one of which I composed the music for.

My artistic expression grew in many directions after a pivotal moment in high school. I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle, and tore all the ligaments in my left ankle. I didn’t know whether I would be able to dance again. The recovery time really allowed me to reevaluate the disciplines I was interested in, opening my eyes to my skills in computer science, coding, photo and video editing.

I am looking forward to extending my passion for instruction and sharing my knowledge of communication through movement as the intern for Education and Community Engagement here at HDD. ~ Geneva West

Stay tuned for several more posts to learn more about HDD and see how our summer with Geneva and Jonathan comes along!