Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hired as Executive Director of the Historic Woman's Club of Hollywood

I am elated to announce that I am starting today as the Executive Director of the Woman's Club of Hollywood! It's been in the works for the past few months and I've been dying to share with you all. I will be leading the organization in many ways, from managing day-to-day operations to marketing, events, and fundraising. I am deeply honored to help preserve, protect, and promote its legacy.

As many of you know, the Woman's Club was founded in 1905 - a year when the entertainment industry had not yet made its mark in Los Angeles and women still didn't have the right to vote. Yet members were passionate about contributing to the culture of the city and made their first mission to create the Hollywood Public Library. They were also founding members of both the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood Studio Club, something of a dormitory for young women who were involved in motion pictures (famous residents included Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak). From the beginning, stars such as Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks were involved in events at the Woman's Club of Hollywood.

In 1947, the Woman's Club moved a short distance from its original location at the crossroads of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea to its current address at 1749 N. La Brea Avenue. This new location was also once the Hollywood School for Girls - another organization the Woman's Club supported - where industry giants such as Cecil B. DeMille and David O. Selznick sent their children to be educated between 1908 and 1932. Famous faces associated with the school include Jean Harlow who was a student and Edith Head who was a teacher right before she got her job assisting head costume designer Howard Greer at Paramount. It's for all these reasons the Woman's Club of Hollywood is now on the National Register of Historic Places and a Historic Cultural Monument. 

My role as Executive Director goes hand in glove with all my work as a film historian - giving talks, hosting screening series, and of course writing my book on Film Noir Style. I will also be doing my own events at the Woman's Club, including my annual talk before the next TCM Classic Film Festival on April 14, 2020. It's a dream come true to now have my life completely focused on my passion.

I must give the hugest thanks to Rosemary Lord, the President of the Woman's Club, for this incredible opportunity. She deserves to be sainted for protecting it in so many ways over the years, especially from the greed of Hollywood developers. I look forward to working with her and all of my film family to protect this important Hollywood institution. Lots of great things to come!

The Woman's Club of Hollywood -
pictures below are from my last event there before 
the TCM Classic Film Festival 2019

Two photos courtesy of Mikael Sharafyan

The lovely entrance of the Woman's Club of Hollywood

The salon of the Woman's Club

Woman's Club President Rosemary Lord leads one of the tours before my talk

With friends Isabella Miller and Casey Koester
in front of the piano Charlie Chaplin donated to the Woman's Club -
he even played it at events

Two of the original buildings from the Hollywood School for Girls -
photos courtesy of Mikael Sharafyan

Edith Head was a teacher at the Hollywood School for Girls before going to Paramount

Jean Harlow (top row, second from left) was a student at the Hollywood School for Girls

Jean Harlow flanked the stage and screen of my presentation -
photo above courtesy of Aurora Bugallo

The beautiful theater of the Woman's Club
and the crowd growing at this year's event

Starting my talk with a little background on my work
before kicking things off with Greta Garbo in A Woman of Affairs -
photos courtesy of Aurora Bugallo and Theresa Brown

Cheers from some of my film family - 
Kellee Pratt, Theresa Brown, and Aurora Bugallo

Lots of exciting things to come!

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