Sophie Kim — Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate, Playwright, Filmmaker & LGBTQ Activist

This fall, Harvard University will welcome a new freshman who is ready to take on the world. Our latest Passionista,18-year-old Sophie Kim, is a slam poet, filmmaker, playwright, LGBTQ activist and soon-to-be published author. Her book of poetry, Sing the Birds Home, comes out June 29th. Last year she became the Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate. The title is awarded to a teen in the Los Angeles area for civic engagement, writing and performance. You can watch her performing Queerphobia: or, Love, Restricted at the award ceremony in the video at the bottom of this blog. In all of Sophie’s artistic endeavors, she brings an element of activism. Her poems and films often center around LGBT

Stepanka Summer — Born Artist

Photo courtesy of Stepanka Summer Some people believe an artist is born an artist. Such is the case with Stepanka Summer, an artist who came into the world in what she called “a very small town of pristine Bohemian countryside” in the Czech Republic and she credits those humble beginnings as influencing her, as well. She described her early life saying, “Growing up in a small village in the countryside, creativity came from pure necessity. Everything was homemade, homegrown, home-raised, and my most cherished memories are picking mushrooms and berries in the forest, eating fruits and vegetables straight from the many gardens my mom and grandparents had, learning about herbs and plants, an

Nick Fowler Writes for the Unhappy, Afflicted and Hopeless

Photo courtesy of Nick Fowler As the only child of a U.S. Army Sargent, Nick Fowler was born in Munich and grew up around the globe. At the age of two and a half Nick had a transformative experience which he related in a recent interview: "I saw Michael Jackson on television and was from then on obsessed. I cried when I saw him perform ‘ABC.’ It was a mixture of envy and adoration. I wanted to be like him, to show off and get attention on stage. I knew then I wanted to do that. To perform." Fowler saw in Jackson something for which he himself longed — the ability to get attention. "I thought fame would be a kind of replacement for family," he conceded. "But it's really just famine. The kingd

Karen L. Arceneaux — Dancer, Choreographer, Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach

Photo courtesy of Karen Arceneaux The photo below of dancer, choreographer, personal trainer and fitness coach Karen L. Arceneaux pretty much sums her up — power, persistence, poise — a true Passionista. When we spoke with Karen for this week’s episode of the podcast, we were blown away by how devoted she was to the art of movement in both dance and fitness. Photo by Rachel Neville Photography At the time of the interview she had done 325 straight days of planks — not all on top of exercise balls, mind you. And she encouraged us take on the challenge — even if we had to do them on our knees and could only make it through a minute a day. What was important was the doing as far as Karen was c

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