Featuring Appearances by
Gideon Cohn is an award-winning artist and owner of IMAGES Fine Art Gallery & Garden in La Quinta and IMAGES Gallery Idyllwild, in Idyllwild. He was born in Sweden and immigrated with his parents to Israel, where he grew up on a kibbutz. He joined the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) serving for three years including the Six-Day War. He started pioneering farming with advanced technology in the Dead Sea region in Israel. In 1983, Gideon moved with his family to southern California on a two-year contract to develop raw desert along the Salton Sea into agriculture. Besides his agricultural business, Gideon the artist has evolved in the art world, including owning his own art gallery in Palm Springs, CA (closed March 2013), curating art shows and for the last several years, jurying and judging for the La Quinta Art festival, as well as other shows. He is also involved in the community, including his role as Art Director of the Ophelia Project.
After 12 years in a gray cubicle hell, Kristi returned to school and received a bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from California State, Long Beach. While pursuing her undergraduate degree she published poetry in small local presses. In 2014, she received her MFA from UCR Palm Desert, low residency program and now writes technical proposals for a government contractor. She lives in Moreno Valley with her husband, two sons, two dogs, a cat, and two turtles.
Tod Goldberg is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including the novels Gangsterland, a 2015 finalist for the Hammett Prize, Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and, in June 2016, The House of Secrets, which he co-wrote with Brad Meltzer. His essays, journalism, and criticism appear widely, including in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books and, recently, The Best American Essays. A native of Palm Springs, he now lives in Indio, with his wife the writer Wendy Duren, and directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside.
Shann Carr has worked exclusively as a comedian from 1984 until recently when she began trying her hand at all kinds of other fun careers too. She has written for magazines and websites, compiled a silly book, produced films, TV and tons of live shows. She works with countless charity organizations producing video shorts and comedic approaches to everything from real estate to cancer to fostering animals from the local shelter.
Sarah Day Owen is a senior editor at The Desert Sun, examining how the news organization can best engage with audiences. Previously she was a journalist at the Des Moines Register, as a magazine editor and digital editor, and the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, where she started her career as a features reporter. A native of Florida, she prefers a dry heat to a humid summer. She usually works with storytellers on developing their own personal narrative for the Coachella Valley Storytellers Project -- along with Tod Goldberg and Maggie Downs of the UCR-Palm Desert creative writing program -- but this time she'll be the one sharing her first-person story about growing up.
July 17, 2016
From a kibbutz to an art gallery; Gideon shares how he found his identity and his passion after growing up in a place where everyone was encouraged to be the same.
July 17, 2016
All Kristi ever wanted was to be a mom. When, her son was diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia, and her dream looked different.
July 17, 2016
When Tod was growing up, all he ever wanted was to be on a game show. When that dream came true, the events that unfolded were different than he expected.
July 18, 2016
Shann is a comedian, but when her father passed away, she had to learn how to laugh again.
July 18, 2016
After three brothers, all Sarah wanted was a little sister. Sarah shares insights on the complicated relationships we have with family; and how she and her much younger sister got to know each other as people.