LitFest in the Dena Saturday and Sunday 12:30-6pm May 4-5 2004

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.

Natalie Lydick, Project Development
Light Bringer Project

Natalie oversees the production of Light Bringer Projects’ free and public events, which include LitFest in the Dena, the Pasadena Chalk Festival, among others. She also assists with Locavore Lit LA online literary journal, visiting authors programs, and manages other special projects under development. Natalie is a graduate student in English at Cal Poly Pomona. She is a writer of speculative short fiction and poetry, saxophone player, zine maker and likes writing niche think pieces.

Rosalind Helfand, Director,
Omega Sci-Fi Project

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.

Valentina Gomez, Literary Arts Coordinator,
Light Bringer Project & Omega Sci-Fi Project Coordinator

Valentina Gomez’s work with us is focussed in the literary arts, with Omega Sci Fi Project and Locavore Lit LA. She has been a contributing teacher on our in-school literary programs with visiting authors, a reader of student stories for competitions, as well as an advisor to LitFest in the Dena programming. She firmly believes reading and writing are critically important to childrens’ development toward their future success in the world. Currently one of nine in an accelerated USC Masters Program in Literacy Editing and Publishing. She will be graduating in May of 2024 with a dual B.A. in Creative Writing and Psychology, and an M.A. in Publishing. Valentina will stay on with Light Bringer in these capacities post graduation.

Organizing Committee

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

Science Fiction Project Organizing Board

Rico Anderson, Actor
Michael Blaha, Sci-Fest LA
David Dean Bottrell, Sci-Fest LA
Tom Coston, Light Bringer Project
Andrea Goyan, Actor
Rosalind Helfand, Director
Patricia Hurley, Light Bringer Project
Tamara Krinsky, Actor
Arely Mendia Perez, Educator