Lead Organizers

Thomas Coston, President of Light Bringer Project

Tom Coston has been actively involved in the greater Los Angeles nonprofit community for the past 18 years. As president of Light Bringer Project he leads the organization and its board to fulfillment of its mission “to build communities through the power of the arts,” and to achieve long-term success for its innovative learning, prevention and career pathways programs. Tom has held leadership positions on the boards of many high-profile nonprofit organizations, including Villa Esperanza Services, Leadership Pasadena, Mothers Club Family Learning Center, Arroyo Seco Foundation, and Institute for Urban Research and Development and has served as board president of several of these. Tom is the producer of Pasadena’s famed Doo Dah Parade. He is a graduate of UCLA.

Patricia Hurley, Managing Director of Light Bringer Project

Patricia has daily oversight responsibility of Light Bringer Project, its programs and operational needs. A graduate with a Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design, she has professional experience in public relations and marketing. She is a past board member of Leadership Pasadena and is on the communication task force for Villa Esperanza Services which serves developmentally disabled individuals and their families.

Jervey Tervalon, Artistic Director for LitFest Pasadena

Jervey Tervalon, MFA, is the award-winning, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of five books including Understanding This, a novel based on his experiences teaching at Locke High School in Los Angeles, for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voices Award. Jervey was born in New Orleans and raised in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles where he attended Foshay Junior High. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine and was a Disney Screenwriting fellow and a Shanghai Writers Association Fellow. He is the Founder of Literature for Life. He is also the Co-founder of LitFest in the Dena (originally named LitFest Pasadena). Currently he teaches fiction writing and Literature at the College of Creative Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara. His latest novel is Monster’s Chef was published by Amistad/HarperCollins.

Kat Ward, Event Manager & Special Projects
Light Bringer Project

Kat oversees the production of Light Bringer Projects’ free and public events, which include LitFest in the Dena, the Pasadena Chalk Festival, and the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. She also coordinates the Locavore Lit LA online literary journal, the Expressing Feelings Through Art public high school program and manages special projects as they arise. For six years, Kat wrote, edited, and published the online magazine Hometown Pasadena (originally begun by Pasadena publisher Colleen Dunn Bates), is author of the novel Amy’s Own, and for ten years ran Kat Ward Photography specializing in natural light headshots.

Rosalind Helfand, Director,
Omega Sci-Fi Awards

Rosalind Helfand is the former Managing Editor and Education Programs Director of Locavore Lit LA and former Director of LitFest in the Dena. In 2013, she co-founded The Tomorrow Prize for short sci-fi by Los Angeles high school students and The Roswell Award for short sci-fi by adults from around the world with the Omega Sci-Fi Awards. She’s held leadership roles in many of the region’s programs in social justice, human/women’s rights, environment, and the arts. These include the Women’s Leadership Conference, Human Rights Speakers Series, and Book Fair of West Hollywood. In 2020, Rosalind attended Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, where she completed a one-year Master’s in Conservation Leadership.

Organizing Committee

Colleen Dunn Bates, Founder Prospect Park Books
Tobi Harper, Deputy Director, Red Hen Press
Monica Fernandez, Media Director, Red Hen Press
Julia Callahan, Western US Sales Rep for Independent Publishers Group
Dana Middleton, Middle Grade Novelist
Gary Phillips, author and editor of noir, short stories, and graphic novels
Xach Fromson, co-founder, Shades and Shadows

Science Fiction Competitions Organizing Board

Michael Blaha, Sci-Fest LA
David Dean Bottrell, Sci-Fest LA
Tom Coston, Light Bringer Project
Rosalind Helfand, Director
Patricia Hurley, Light Bringer Project