Along with featuring the amazing 35 Women in this issue I also thought it was time for our readers to get to know the Women who write for CV Weekly.
By Publisher Tracy Dietlin
BRONWYN ISON (Mind, Body & Spirit Columnist)
Originally from Lake Tahoe, NV, Bronwyn Ison moved to the CV in 1985. She graduated from Palm Desert High School and attended COD for 2 years. She then moved to Arizona where she received her BA in Broadcast Journalism from The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She worked as a News Anchor and Reporter while living there but then packed it all in to become a wife and mother and took five years off to raise her daughters Brielle, 9, and Bryna, 6.
After her divorce she moved back to the CV to be near her family. Being a single mother wasn’t easy and she went through some difficult times. She had to decide what to do with her life and how to support her girls. She had been practicing yoga for about 13 years and started teaching a class at The Vintage Club. The class grew and she received the opportunity to teach a class at the Polo Grounds in the Rose Garden and things took off from there. “People started telling me I should start my own studio,” expressed Ison during her interview. “And as much as I love yoga I always thought I was going to be that girl on CNN or Fox News,” she shared with a laugh.
However, destiny had another idea and opening her own yoga studio, Evolve Yoga, came to fruition. “It’s a big difference between covering a story about a boy being hit by a car and dragged 30 feet versus someone leaving my class saying ‘I feel great’,” Ison shared. But she’s glad she took this path.
With a lot of support from her family and friends and much well-thought out strategic planning Evolve Yoga has become successful and is flourishing as are Ison and her daughters.
While she admits she works many hours to make her business thrive she also makes sure to take time to spend with her daughters. In her down time she enjoys hiking the Bump and Grind Trail or hanging with her girlfriends enjoying a glass of wine.
“It’s scary to be a single parent and strike out on your own with a new business but I feel blessed every day. I get to help people find peace and stability in their lives and it’s a great thing.”
JANET McAFEE (Pet Place Columnist)
Janet was born in Brockton, Massachusetts…but grew up in Rialto, CA. She has lived in San Francisco, Alameda, Lafayette & now Palm Desert. Her college degrees are a MSW in Social Work and JD Law degree. She also interned at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Her previous careers include: Legal Analyst with the Department of Justice & Supervisor (previously vocational counselor) at the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
She has also completed coursework in Animal Law which comes in handy in her new career as the hardest working animal advocate I know. She has been recuing animals for the last seven years and for the past three years has been the Director of the Mobile Mutts program at Loving All Animals.
“My goal is to make the CV a “No Kill” community for animals in our public shelters,” stated McAfee in a quick interview before dashing off to save the next furry friend.
McAfee works seven days a week rescuing dogs and cats, fostering them, finding them homes and helping to get them spayed and neutered. I actually saw her at an event all dressed up looking gorgeous the other night which isn’t always the case. “Most of the time when I’m at events I’m working to get animals adopted. It was nice to have a night off,” she laughed. Even so, I knew that if someone called and told her they had a dog that needed rescuing all the way in Riverside she would be on her way to save another life.
As the Pet Place writer for CVW McAfee has shared many tear jerking stories about the animals she and her other advocates have saved and how rewarding it is to see that animal find a “furrever home”.
LOLA ROSSI (Valley Rhythms Columnist)
Columnist and vocalist, Lola Rossi comes from South Philadelphia, the same town as Buddy Greco, Frankie Avalon, Eddie Fisher, Al Martino, James Darrin and Fabian. Her Great Uncle, Danny Cedrone, was the guitarist on the original song “Rock Around The Clock” with Bill Haley.
After high school, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City; however, after a short time, realized that singing was her passion. She formed her first seven-piece band “Sheer Pleasure” in Delaware County and performed at private parties and local night clubs. She attributes her success to the support of her parents, who owned and operated Rossi Kitchens Design Center in South Philadelphia, where she helped run the office and designed kitchens and bathrooms.
Rossi visited the Desert in 1990 and moved to Palm Springs the following year. She worked as a waitress for a short time and in 1992, worked as the Sewing Machine Department Manager at House of Fabrics. In 1994, she started singing at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort and recorded her first CD in 1995. She is the owner of Prestige Entertainment Services, BMI and Palm Springs Records; and currently has five songs airing in daily rotation on KHCS 91.7 FM Radio.
One of the songs she co-wrote, “Flying With Angles” was used on the video for the 50th Anniversary of the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation, narrated by Howard Keel. Well In The Desert, Desert Samaritans for the Elderly and the Stoke Recovery Center are a few of the non-profit organizations she has been involved with. She produced the entertainment line-up for the upcoming Loving All Animals Super Pet Adoption Fair being held this weekend.
Rossi designed and produces the star replicas presented to the recipients; for the Palm Springs Walk of Stars and the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
She is currently performing every Saturday and Sunday with Steve Madaio and Bobby O’Connor in the bluEmber Restaurant and also performs at private parties and country clubs.
ELENI P. AUSTIN (Consider This Music Columnist)
Eleni is from Los Angeles, Ca. specifically Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz, where she spent her childhood. She moved to the desert when she started junior high and graduated from Indio High.
Austin is an only child with 25 first cousins and 25 second cousins (maybe 7 third cousins),which are all on her Mother’s side. She grew up in a large extended Greek family with her mother being the youngest of 13 children. “My wife Jan and I have been together 9 years, legally married since 08,” shared Austin.
She currently works at The Record Alley in the Westfield Mall. Before that back in the early 2000’s she worked at the Wherehouse in Palm Springs where she set up in store shows giving locals bands the opportunity to have a place to perform. She is quite the music aficionado making CVW lucky to have her writing music reviews as she is definitely a unique wordsmith in her writing style.
When asked her favorite musicians she replied, “Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, Rival Sons & Ani Difranco.”
One of the things we all enjoy most about Austin is her quick wit and dry sense of humor. When asked what her hobbies are she quipped, “Hobbies? I read, bodysurf, hike, bike and practice my withering sarcasm.”
Her Mother was Executive Director of Variety Children’s Charities (1987-96), before she passed, and Austin volunteered with her. Austin was also in a TV commercial when she was four. Personally, I think she should be doing stand-up comedy. Her future goal is to “enjoy life”.
JEN TAN (Gamer Girl Columnist)
Jen Tan was born in Riverside, CA and grew up in Big Bear and Lake Havasu, AZ mostly. “Although, through my younger years, I can count at least two dozen zip codes I’ve lived in,” shared Tan.
She graduated from independent school in 2004 here in the desert, after trying to adjust to both PDHS, and CCHS, with no luck. Aside from being CVW’s “Gamer Girl” columnist, Tan is currently a freelance events coordinator in the gaming industry, gaming and livestream entertainer, and PR/Marketing Director for The Delta Six and Avenger. “I get to play games for a living. How cool is that,” shared Tan.
When asked about her family Tan was passionate. “My family consists of my husband Ming Bob, father Timothy, and younger sister Karissa. They live in Big Bear. Karissa is now 15, and I can’t believe it. I still treat her like my baby sister, assuming she needs me for everything. Even though we didn’t grow up together, she is my clone. Anime, gaming, pop culture, and nerdy hobbies are her life. Our dad has no idea how she turned out like that, but I couldn’t be more proud! My father is a master wood craftsman, and makes the most gorgeous cabinets, doors, and wood detailing in some of the most extravagant homes in Big Bear. He and I are far too common. Odd sense of humor, always hands on, and very impulsively adventurous. We would rather make something, than buy it, which is what we spend most of our time together doing. What can I say about my amazing husband that everyone doesn’t already know? Charming, supportive, and irritatingly wise, when he speaks you listen. Not because he is loud or stern, but because he is right, and you know it. He has pushed me to accomplish everything I have, and I keep pushing myself, because I know he isn’t going to stop anytime soon. He is my best friend, the best co-op partner I could ask for, and my worst enemy with a rocket launcher.”
When asked what her hobbies are she replied, “You name it, I do it. Baking, cooking, sewing, gaming, graphic design, crafts, painting, crochet, scrabble, quilting, I even consider alphabetizing my MtG cards a hobby.”
Tan is the ninja of charity and community events. “I will never say no to helping out, donating time, and doing anything I can to help out. I run online gaming charity events for various fundraisers, and I’ve held retail fundraisers For Autism Speaks. At least once a month, Ming Bob and I will disappear to a convention or gaming event, and volunteer as much as we can. Last year at San Diego Comic Con, we walked over 200 miles running errands and helping where needed, and worked over 50 hours together. It’s an amazing experience, and ones that we look forward to all year.”
Tan says her future goals are to, “join the Frag Doll Cadets, an intern program just for female gamers who want to pursue a career in the gaming industry, and to join an AAA gaming company in their events dept. Brand Ambassador, events coordinator, or PR and Marketing, any of those would be a dream come true.”
HEIDI SIMMONS (Feature Writer)
Born and raised in Southern California, Simmons grew up on the beaches of Orange County. She attended Cal State LA where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Anthropology. She also earned a MFA from UCR and a Professor’s degree in Public Relations from UCLA.
Simmons has written 6 screenplays and says she loves the screenwriting process but hates deadlines.
“My dream job would be to adopt great books into movies,” shared Simmons. “I like finding the movie in the books I read.” An avid reader Simmons also says that, “the hard part of writing the Book Review column every week is that I don’t always get to enjoy the book the way I would like because I’m constantly reviewing it in my mind.”
Simmons has been married to her husband, Robin Simmons, CVW Screeners columnist, for 28 years and together they have two grown sons 19 and 26, who are her pride and joy. Her youngest just went off to college and she is experiencing a bit of the empty nest syndrome.
She says that her and Robin love to watch movies together. “We like all kind of movies, indie, art, documentary, even the ones that aren’t so good. We will watch them,” she laughs.
The music she enjoys runs the gamut from the Misfits to Bach, she also plays the cello, and includes bands like Iron and Wine, Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective as her favorites. She is an extremely private person and does not have a FB account and it was like pulling teeth to get her to talk about herself as she is also quite humble about her many achievements. When asked what her crowning glory is she replied, “My biggest accomplishment is that I raised two sons that turned out great.”
SUNNY SIMON (Life & Career Coach Columnist)
Simon originally hails from Michigan. “I married a Canadian, the love of my life,” shared Simon. “We both hated cold weather and fled to sunny Florida. Fourteen years later the company I worked for relocated us to northern California. John and I moved here in 2002.” They share their home with their precious dog Zolton.
Simon has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Central Michigan University.
Prior to launching her private coaching practice she held leadership positions with several start-ups and Fortune 500 companies during her 20 years in corporate human resources.
“One day I heard a song by Sugarland with the lyric “tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high” and I thought that’s it! Raise the Bar High is the name of my life coaching business. We all need to set lofty goals and think BIG! I love helping individuals reach for the stars,” shared an enthusiastic Simon.
When she’s not coaching or writing you’ll find her in the kitchen. Cooking is her passion. She is active in the community and serves on the board of the Palm Springs Writers Guild and the American Business Women’s Association.
Her goal for the future is completing “Life on the Sunny Side” an inspirational book filled with heart and soul vignettes that serve to motivate action and encourage personal growth. Sounds Sunny to me.
DENISE ORTUNO NEIL (Feature Writer)
Denise was born with an ocean view at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach California. She was raised in Costa Mesa, Laguna, and Mission Viejo before being up-rooted to the Coachella at the tender age of 10.
“My parents came to the desert to open a restaurant to insure their retirement. It was devastating to move to the desert from the OC,” shared Neil. “But eventually I fell in love with the desert and ironically stayed after my family moved away a decade later.”
She is well versed in the restaurant business as she has worked every aspect of it in her parents restaurant. She received her GED after attending Indio High. “I have taken a multitude of production classes related to video and television in L.A. and here in the Coachella Valley, states Neil. “I have had two local TV shows of my own, “Totally Single” in 1999-2000/2002/2003 and “Coachella Valley This Week” 2010-2011. I have written for a variety of local publications including www.palmspringsguides.com, The Sun Runner, Desert Star and now CV Weekly.”
She is a first generation American in her family. “My parents came from north Algeria (escaping the French/Algerian war), then to Canada before moving to the US. I am the youngest of five children with almost twenty years age difference between me and my oldest brother.”
She loves to spend time with boyfriend Aaron and her two precious cats Keebler and Pickles.
She enjoys hiking, dancing, cooking, crafting writing poetry and stories, entertaining with close friends and family and is a home body at heart, but still like to travel.
“I revel in all things creative,” states Neil. “I love to laugh and appreciate twisted humor. I am drawn to those with compassionate hearts and love to be part of civic/charitable endeavors. My love for Palm Springs has led me to be a volunteer and docent for the Palm Springs Historical Society. I also have been involved with the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and have held two comedy events with them as the benefitting charity.”
“My music tastes vary…but as I love to dance, I enjoy salsa music and the Gypsy Kings. My movie selection is vast. I really enjoy old classis films, and have TCM as a constant on my TV (Hitchcock rules!!). I also am a horror movie buff, owning more scary movie DVD’s then I should.”
Her goals are to move forward in her writing career and to become an independent publisher, producing not only her own books, but those of others as well. She wants to continue to work in television/video production, creating for herself and others. “I always want to be moving forward in my creative efforts, having fun along the way, because if I’m not having fun doing it, it’s not worth doing….life’s too short for anything less.”
ANGELA JANUS (Business Columnist)
Executive Director and Founder of ShareKitchen.org, Angela Janus is an experienced culinary professional with an education in Culinary Arts from COD and a broad range of hospitality experience including four star restaurant service, banquets and catering and an apprenticeship at an Organic Bakery Cooperative. She is a graduate of FIDM-Los Angeles and College of the Desert where she earned degrees in Interior Design and Hospitality Management. Janus is also an Allied Member of ASID and holds the designation of Sommelier from the Associazione Italiana Sommelier which she obtained while living and working in Rome, Italy. She currently resides in the Coachella Valley where she volunteers and supports local organizations.
Her specialties are: Culinary Arts, Design, Real Estate Research and Remodels.
When asked what made her decide to start ShareKitchen, she replied, “I saw a need in the community and wanted to make a difference.”
She has supported numerous local charities over the years and has been volunteering her time with ShareKitchen for the last several years.
At home she has 6 furry four legged children who keep her busy. She also enjoys hiking, road trips and going to museums.
When asked her goal for the future? “To continue to make a difference in the lives of the people in our community.”
PATTE PURCELL (Writer)
Purcell comes from Omaha, Nebraska and has an Honorary Associates Degree from the University of Metaphysics.
Aside from writing for CVW she has an online business www.o2planet.com and www.oxygenexperience.com where she sells aroma oxygen bars, and other cutting edge oxygen base equipment to spas, hotels, fitness centers, etc.
Purcell recently started a new business called Muze Muzic. “I produce and promote concerts with National Smooth Jazz Stars primarily at upscale RV Resort ballrooms. However, I am branching out and I just booked a weekly show and live feed with my favorite smooth Jazz star,vocalist, composer, entertainer and musician Slim Man, Shared Purcell with a twinkle of excitement. “It will be every Friday night at the Starlight Room at the Riviera Palm Springs and will feature Slim Man (15 cds) and his band with guest artists. There will be some interviews and some fun surprises. It’s called Slim Man, “King of the Springs” and will be the hottest new show in the Desert. People can participate in the show by coming out to the Riviera on Friday nights.”
This isn’t Purcell’s first venture in entertainment or TV. She has produced and hosted numerous television shows since 1988 that have aired primarily in Southern California and Las Vegas.
“I started my career in advertising and marketing in 1979 when my late husband and I started a monthly magazine called City Slicker. Over a period of 8 years we syndicated it to 12 cities around the country including San Diego. That is how we ended up here. I did weekly promotions, parties, fashion shows and beauty contests as a part of the promotion I did for our magazine. My husband and I also sold all the advertising and he did the artwork and we both distributed them. That was such an amazing fun time. We took Omaha by storm. People that lived there during that time still remember it.”
“In 1988 I produced a show called ‘The Fashion Show’ and that’s what got me into television. Then my husband and I moved to Las Vegas and we did a show called ‘Quest for the Best’. We did that for about a year until the TV station we were on was purchased. My husband encouraged me do a metaphysical radio show since I was (and still am) into those things. He went to one of the radio stations in Las Vegas and got me an hour a week for a month. I was scared because radio is live and if you screw up there’s no editing (kind of like life) but I loved it. I got ‘bitten by the mike’ as they say. Six weeks after I started Len, found me a syndicator and I negotiated a weekly 3 hour show on Saturday nights called ‘The Next Dimension, Out of the World Radio’ on Talk America Radio network (over 100 stations). I did that for 4 & 1/2 years until the network got sold and everything changed. It overlapped with my oxygen bar business so I just put a focus on that (with Len’s help). We bought a 40 ft. motor home in 2003 as a part of the business and by 2004 we were full time RV’rs. He passed away in 2009, but he’s still my angel and I feel him around me all the time.”
Purcell enjoys her cats, music, and promotions. She enjoys entertaining people and making them happy and is looking for the right man again. “I miss having a close loving relationship,” she shared. “I want to find a handsome, funny, man that has as much of a sense of adventure as me. He has to be romantic too.”
LAURA HUNT LITTLE (Music Writer/Photographer)
Laura Little attended Tyler School of Art @ Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where she is originally from. She moved to Los Angeles in 1994, then home to Philly in 98, when her youngest son was born, then back to CA (Los Angeles) in 2000. While in LA she was the Project Manager at the Grammy Awards, managed national music education programs – Grammy in the School & the All American High School Jazz Band & Choir.
She relocated to the desert in 2001 and currently works as the Marketing Manager at Miramonte Resort. Aside from her day job she also finds time to write and take photographs for CVW. She would like to move into more photography work as it is one of her passions.
Little has an easy demeanor and infectious personality. “I’m pretty easy. I am motivated by positive input and doing praiseworthy things. I’m a pleaser. I like to make things that are beautiful/fun/interesting/though-provoking…that I can share with the ones I love,” says little with a smile.
She loves to see live shows, music mostly, but also theater. Her favorite band is a toss-up between Dave Matthews Band and Zack Brown Band. “My biggest regret of my recent years is that I didn’t see the show where Zack opened for DMB a couple years back,” Little says with a sigh.
Little lives with her husband Greg and their blended family of her two boys Adam, 15, and Kurt, 18 and Greg’s two sons, Connor, 16, and Patrick, 13.
Dr. MARIA LOMBARDO (Beauty Columnist)
Dr. Lombardo’s first love was the world of art. She grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and was creative from the very beginning enjoying piano, theatre and art. Her father was a doctor, but despite her family’s medical background, she decided to pursue an education in art, feeding her creative appetite. She was successful in her studies at DePaul University in Chicago IL and later at the Art Institute earning her a degree in art, specializing in painting and serigraphs.
With her Art education in hand, she decided to attend medical school after all, following in her family’s footsteps. And it was after she finished medical school and during one of her surgical rotations that she found her true calling. The patient was a car accident victim that had fallen asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car, resulting in severe facial disfigurement.
Dr. Lombardo proceeded to assist the other surgeons on putting the young man’s features back together, resulting in what she calls her “Light Bulb” moment. She found elation in being able to help people with their physical appearance and how she could integrate her art background with her medical future. It was then that the practice of Cosmetic Surgery became clear.
In 2008, Dr. Lombardo came to the desert to work with another Cosmetic Surgeon before starting her own practice in Rancho Mirage in 2009. She writes a bi-weekly column for CVW. You can check out more about her in last week’s CVW online in our archives.
JULIE BUEHLER (Sports Columnist)
She prefers to be called Jules and she’s been working in sports media for more than a decade, since a journalism instructor told her to take the angst she witnesses at a college basketball game and channel it for the sports page. So she traded in her chemistry scholarship (true story) for a journalism scholarship and has been yelling at refs since.
“Writing is a sincere, visceral passion of mine,” states Buehler. “I’ve written for and/or am currently writing for AP, The San Diego Union Tribune, Sports Life Magazine, Cross Fit Journal, Daily Pilot, Indianapolis Colts’ “Scout” Magazine, Tree.com, Planetpigskin.com, SportsRantz.com, HoopsAddict.com, ArmChairQB.com and now CV Weekly.”
She caught her first break in radio when a program director standing behind her in line at Starbucks overheard her impassioned rant about the previous night’s last-minute collapse to a rival. “I got an Americano, a tap on the shoulder and a start in professional broadcasting,” she laughs.
She made California broadcasting history in 2010 when she lit up the airwaves from 4-7 pm M-F on 1010 KXPS in Palm Springs. Buehler became the first woman to fly solo in prime-time sports talk radio and did so for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. “Not easy, but Lordy, we had fun!” said Buehler. I got whip cream pies thrown at me, waxed my producer’s legs in studio, threw the football with fans, covered the Super Bowl, NFL Hall of Fame inductions, Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, NBA Finals…. and I’m proud to say we TRIPLED the ratings in less than a year. Thanks to great community support and a hell of a lineup of guests that ranged from Johnny Bench to Oscar De La Hoya to NBA owners and our favorite local high school star athletes.”
Her show is now called “Buehler’s Day Off” and she’s on M-F from 3-6pm on the same 1010 KXPS airwaves.
JUDITH SALKIN (Feature Writer)
Judith was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., until she was 12 when her mother moved her to North Hollywood. She spent the next seven years bouncing around LA County, from Sherman Oaks to Hollywood and back, before she moved out on her own.
“I went to LA Community College (the original campus of UCLA, where I was supposed to matriculate) and was supposed to go to UCLA but there was a mix up in a time machine and I couldn’t do it. Actually, I didn’t want to take on a couple of smaller loans/grants in my grant loan package and they weren’t going to allow me to work in the program I was accepted into. Biggest deterrent, I would have had to give my cat away to move into and out of the dorms for two years. That was the deal breaker!!” shared Salkin with a laugh.
As for her career, Salkin has drifted in and out of the entertainment industry, working in the travel and PR offices at A&M Records, an industrial film maker/distribution company in Santa Monica, various studio lots doing various jobs including working in a film library (stock footage) and the world of international antiques sales and shipping all before moving to the desert.
“Out here, I worked in the wind industry in the early 1980s helping to get about 10 of the wind farms you see in the pass permitted in RivCo, then spent a short time working for the original company to sell and install misting systems before wandering into The Desert Sun and getting hired as a company temp., said Salkin. “As a temp I worked my way through almost every department until I got to the newsroom where a four week assignment turned into 24 years that encompassed being a news assistant writing obits and wedding announcements, to writing small features stories to the community newspapers and being one of the founding writers for Desert Post Weekly. In 2006, DPW was folded back into TDS features department where I worked until October 2012.”
She wrote features pieces including entertainment pieces (including film reviews and celeb interviews), food, home decor and architecture. She also did red carpet interviews for five years at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala, was part of the teams covering high profile funerals and in general filled in wherever needed.
Salkin is the youngest of three surviving children of her parents. “I am divorced but have two great kids, Megwyn and Kyle, who are old enough to start taking care of me, but why would they,” she chuckles. “Kyle recently fathered a baby boy, Jason, who is the spitting image of my late brother and Megwyn is looking at going to culinary school.”
Salkin says she likes to read, especially in bed at night. “A couple of years ago the kids got me a Kindle and I’m hooked! It’s so much easier on the thumbs when you’re reading in bed. I also like to crochet, even though I really only know one stitch, I’d like to learn others. I love to cook, too. It’s relaxing, not nearly as exasperating as playing games on the computer and you can eat the results. Soups are the best, easy to share, and holiday dishes!”
Salkin insists she couldn’t make it without her kids and close friends that they are what keep her going. She also admits to being, “a crazy cat lady, although I only have one cat, Ozzie, a seven-month old rescue that I got from Sav-a-Pet. Megwyn (yes, she still lives at home) has a big black kitty named Sebastian and a small dog, Lola, who is actually smaller than Sebastian, who also populate the house.”
Salkin says that her dream would be to travel through Europe. “I want to buy a EuRail pass and take my time seeing the Continent, spend at least a month in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales since it was a tossup between American Expansionism of the 1800s and English History in College. And to make Aliyah to Israel, after all it is the homeland and I hear it calling me. A chance to pray at the Wailing Wall would be a mitzvah for my soul.”
AMANDA DORTA (SELMA Grows Columnist)
At 28, the founder of Coachella Valley’s Support and Education for Local Music and Arts organization has a 6 year old son, James Orion Dorta, and enjoys her youth as a student at College of the Desert where she has started the second chapter of the S.E.L.M.A. organization, SelmaGrows COD. The Club has over 170 members and continues to grow. The main purpose of the S.E.L.M.A. organization is to create careers that support and preserve cultural integrity by providing a localized showcase system of the education of local music and arts.
As the organization continues to connect with resources that agree with the mission there will be more opportunity for growth and education. “The ideal situation would be to have a facility to continue our work and that time will come. The Coachella Valley residents deserve support and education for local music and arts. Selma is here to advocate for that truth,” shares Dorta.