Who We Are

Members of the Board


David Kipen (Founder and Co-Director) was book critic and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle for seven years before becoming the Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts (2005-2010).  He has published and edited several books, interviewed dozens of authors, curated film and book festivals (most notably the 60-strong Los Angeles delegation to the Guadalajara Book Festival), and is a frequent reviewer in the Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times, New York Times, and on KPCC.

Colleen Jaurretche (Co-Founder and Co-Director) has published a scholarly study of James Joyce, an edition of essays on Joyce and Samuel Beckett, and numerous other essays and reviews.  She is a native of the Eastside where she grew up with her Mexican-American family, and is passionate about the city’s cultural life, as well as the pleasures of literature.   She teaches at UCLA.

Andrew Vasquez is a first generation Mexican-American and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. He received his MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California. Andrew is a USC Latino Alumni Association Scholar and a two-time Rodolfo Montes Scholarship recipient. He has taught youth filmmaking with nonprofit art organizations The Echo Park Film Center, Venice Arts, and Film for Youth Inside. Andrew is a dramaturg and director for Company of Angels’ “LA Views”, and is an active youth arts educator.

Denise Villegas is the University Archivist at Loyola Marymount University. She received her MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in archival studies after studying computer information systems at California State University, Fresno. Denise has worked as an archivist for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as an archivist and for the UCLA Law Library as a library assistant.

Jonathan Parfrey is executive director of Climate Resolve. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event. He is also a founder of theLos Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.

From 2008-2013, Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is past-president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. From 2007-2011, Parfrey served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition. From 1994 to 2007, he served as Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility. From 1987-1993, he founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker. In 1992, Parfrey received the Paul S. Delp Award for Outstanding Service, Peace and Social Justice. In 2003, Mr. Parfrey was appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Environmental Policy Team. In 2002 he was awarded a Durfee Foundation Fellowship. In 2010, he received a Stanton Fellowship. In 2011, he was appointed a Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall School of Business, and is currently a fellow at the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

Maria Cabildo has spent her career promoting and advancing socially and economically just community development in East Los Angeles, the community where she was born and raised. During her tenure at ELACC, an organization she co-founded in 1995, ELACC has developed a community development model that fuses grassroots community organizing, contextualized real estate development and asset building to preserve and enhance communities. Over the last ten years, ELACC has captured and invested over $135 million in affordable housing and community development resources, and organized the participation of hundreds of community residents in development decision making, community planning and anti-displacement efforts. Maria is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA. Maria is on the board of directors of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, California Housing Partnership and the Los Angeles Unified School District Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee.