The final speaker in this year’s Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series at California State University, Northridge will talk about how journalists, artists and filmmakers can use the media and the arts as vehicles for social change.
Filmmaker, activist, author and founder of a nonprofit foundation Kathy Eldon will share her tumultuous journey from the Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya to becoming a media and film producer in England and America, and her launch of a global network of disruptive “creative artists” who use storytelling for positive change, following the death of her son, Dan, in 1993.
Her lecture, “Press Released: Disrupting Journalism and Storytelling,” is scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, in the Kurland Lecture Hall of the university’s Valley Performing Arts Center, located near the corner of Nordhoff Street and Lindley Avenue.
“Kathy Eldon’s story is powerful and uses creativity to convert grief into social action, which ultimately empowers others to use their creative energies to make a difference in the world,” said Dan Hosken, interim dean of CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, which organizes the speaker series. “Dan Eldon’s life was not a long one, but through the Creative Visions Foundation, his work will have a lasting legacy.”
Kathy Eldon was working as a filmmaker in London when her photojournalist son was killed in 1993 while on assignment for Reuters News Agency in Somalia. She decided to honor his memory by starting the nonprofit Creative Visions Foundation, which supports creative artists and sponsors projects that have touched the lives of millions. Modeled after Dan Eldon’s bold imagination, bravery and positive creative action, Creative Visions has acted as an incubator, academy and agency for more than 200 projects and productions by artists, filmmakers and leaders of social movements on five continents who use the media and the arts as vehicles for social change.
Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a graduate of Wellesley College, Kathy Eldon has worked as a teacher, journalist, author and film and television producer in England, Africa and the United States.
Eldon’s Creative Visions Productions has produced award-winning films, including “Dying to Tell the Story,” a TBS special about front-line correspondents; “Soldiers of Peace, a Children’s Crusade,” a CNN film profiling the Children’s Peace Movement in Colombia; and “Global Tribe,” a PBS series featuring grassroots creative activists. With Julia Roberts, she executive produced “Extraordinary Moms,” a special for the Oprah Winfrey Network about the power of mothers to transform the world. She is currently developing “Best Possible Care,” a PBS special, in association with producer and broadcaster WETA, about palliative care in America.
Eldon is the author of 18 books, including “Angel Catcher,” “Soul Catcher” and “Love Catcher,” a series of popular self-guided journals written with her daughter, Amy Eldon Turteltaub, that help people negotiate loss and grief, find their purpose and introduce more love into their lives. She edited an acclaimed collection of her son’s journals, “Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon.” She also has written a variety of popular cookbooks, eating-out guides and children’s social history books. In 2013, Harper One published her memoir, “In the Heart of Life.”
The Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series is organized by the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication to connect members of the campus, alumni and the community with compelling and creative storytellers who have made a significant contribution to the art of creative communication and the art of business.
The speaker series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. To reserve a seat or for more information, email Valerie.Jimenez@csun.edu.
CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication is inspired by the shared belief that arts are community, community is art, and art and communication are essential pillars for building and maintaining community. Its programs, including those in art, music, theater, cinema and television arts, communication studies and journalism, have an international reputation for graduating skilled professionals who succeed in their respective fields.