We had the good fortune of connecting with Lani Cupchoy, Ph.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lani, how does your business help the community?
Whether through filmmaking, music production or visual arts, Pinkjade Creations LLC is my artivism imprint in utilizing different forms of storytelling to create bridges that both raises consciousness and heals our communities. As creative expression has supported personal healing throughout different moments of my life, participating within the creative arts community has provided the opportunity to share my lens and purpose with the world. For me, my creative business is interconnected with humankind and therefore, much of my life’s work seeks to continually ignite new waves of creative spirit and inspire humanity to carry oneself with passion, light and love.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a public historian and teach in the Departments of History and Chicana(o) Latina(o) Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. As a multi-ethnic woman (Mexican-Native Hawaiian-Chinese) and first-generation scholar, I recognize the barriers faced by women of color and other underserved populations in higher education as well as professionally. My work as a University educator with K-18 teaching experience for over 25 years has led to a deep understanding of the need to connect community artivism and storytelling to move beyond academic-intellectual spaces. That is why I maintain a deep commitment to the students I serve and in developing culturally relevant knowledges-pedagogies-practices as well as civic engagement that empowers communities stemming from innovative student-centered pedagogies, active-learning methods, and socially engaged projects. Grounded in community-based histories that have raised and nurtured me, I seek to continue improving equity and inclusion systems through teaching, scholarship, civic engagement and other creative works that deepens intellectual work and makes it accessible to broader audiences.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Arts district in Downtown LA, Wurstküche (DTLA), Santa Monica Pier and Beach, Busy Bee Sandwich Market (San Pedro), La Huasteca (Lynwood), Guelaguetza (Central Los Angeles), Back Home in Lahaina (Torrance), Yang Chow (Pasadena), Casa Fina (Boyle Heights), Wonderview Trail and Eaton Canyon Falls Trail.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I always say “I don’t have clients, only family” and therefore, I want to dedicate my shoutout to every individual who supported, mentored and took part in my professional artistic-entrepreneurial journey that began thirteen years ago. Whether purchasing my art at street fairs, collaborating-producing music, capturing photographic moments to filming documentaries – whatever the creative project – I am deeply grateful to have connected and thank you for the experience of sharing space with me.

Website: Lanicupchoy.com

Facebook: Art by Lani Cupchoy

Youtube: Lcupchoy-youtube

Other: IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10779989/ Lani Cupchoy on Vimeo

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