Theotis Beasley grew up a “little skate nerd” in Inglewood.
Theotis Beasley grew up a “little skate nerd” in Inglewood.
Danny Liao

14 of the Most Brilliant People in L.A. Arts, From Movie Stars to Museum Curators

L.A. Weekly's People Issue 2017 is on stands now, profiling some of the brightest minds and fascinating folks of our amazing city. From VR visionaries to masturbation educators, L.A. definitely doesn't lack diversity and excitement when it comes to the creators, thinkers and makers in the city. Here are 14 of the most notable Angelenos in the art and culture sphere today.

How Theotis Beasley Went From Inglewood Skate Nerd to Sponsored Superstar
Ever since he received a skateboard as a gift from his cousin as a little kid, Theotis Beasley has had a way to stay busy. But over the course of the past 12 years, the Inglewood native has gone from the kid at the skate shop who asks too many questions to one of the top skateboarders in the world.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Olivia Haidar moved into her Toyota Sienna van to save money while she pursues comedy.
Olivia Haidar moved into her Toyota Sienna van to save money while she pursues comedy.
Danny Liao

Comedian Olivia Haidar Found Creative Freedom by Living in a Van
From the stage of the Clubhouse in East Hollywood, comedian Olivia Haidar delivers a stinging joke to the crowd: "I am a homeless, Middle Eastern, transgender woman, so if anyone is thinking about murdering anyone tonight — come and see me after the show."

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Besides her industry accomplishments, Eva Longoria has a master's degree in Chicano studies.
Besides her industry accomplishments, Eva Longoria has a master's degree in Chicano studies.
Danny Liao

A Desperate Housewife No More, Eva Longoria Is Diversifying Hollywood
Longoria, who launched her career playing Gabrielle Solis for eight seasons on Desperate Housewives, has become a credentialed advocate for Latino voices in media and government in Southern California.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Louis Virtel became a viral sensation after his appearance on Jeopardy!
Louis Virtel became a viral sensation after his appearance on Jeopardy!
Danny Liao

Jeopardy! Was Only the Beginning for Snapping Sensation Louis Virtel
If snapping fiercely were an Olympic sport, comedian Louis Virtel would be the reigning gold medalist.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

14 of the Most Brilliant People in L.A. Arts, From Movie Stars to Museum Curators
Danny Liao

Former Porn Star Buck Angel Is On a Mission to Help Trans Men to Masturbate
"If we don't educate, how are people going to learn?" says the 54-year-old nicknamed "tranpa" by young trans and queer kids who come to him for advice.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Jenn Duong got into VR almost by accident.
Jenn Duong got into VR almost by accident.
Danny Liao

Meet the 21-Year-Old Woman Who Is Plotting the Future of VR
It's a warm morning in March and Jenn Duong is sitting on the stoop of a soundstage pondering the future of virtual reality.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Rachel Bloom went from "Fuck Me Ray Bradbury" to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in no time flat.
Rachel Bloom went from "Fuck Me Ray Bradbury" to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in no time flat.
Danny Liao

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom Should Watch Out for Bicyclists
On Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Bloom plays Rebecca Bunch, a fish out of water who leaves a lucrative job at a high-powered New York City law firm and relocates to West Covina to rekindle a romance with summer-camp crush Josh Chan.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Anthony Anderson grew up in Compton in the 1980s "at the height of crack cocaine, gang violence and all that."
Anthony Anderson grew up in Compton in the 1980s "at the height of crack cocaine, gang violence and all that."
Danny Liao

Black-ish Star Anthony Anderson Went From 1980s Compton to the Heights of Network TV
Raised in Compton in the 1980s "at the height of crack cocaine, gang violence and all that" and a graduate of the Hollywood High arts magnet, Anderson has enjoyed a career that's consistently allowed him to develop both as an actor and as a TV persona.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Marnie the Dog has 2.1 million Instagram followers,thanks to owner Shirley Braha.
Marnie the Dog has 2.1 million Instagram followers,thanks to owner Shirley Braha.
Danny Liao

Instagram Sensation Marnie the Dog Is Spending Her Golden Years in L.A.
At a recent cocktail reception on Cinefamily's back patio — coincidentally for the second-season premiere of HBO's animated series Animals — Marnie the Dog is holding court.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

James is now curator at ICA LA (formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art).
James is now curator at ICA LA (formerly the Santa Monica Museum of Art).
Danny Liao

L.A.'s Newest Museum Curator Is Your New Art World Girl Crush
Because she is so much fun to hang out with, it is easy to forget that James is also a knowledgeable, innovative and increasingly important museum curator.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

14 of the Most Brilliant People in L.A. Arts, From Movie Stars to Museum Curators
Danny Liao

Performance Artist Rafa Esparza Is Fighting Invisibility, One Brick at a Time
The born-and-raised Angeleno has been known for his often politically charged, queer performance art, which often pushes his body to extremes.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

14 of the Most Brilliant People in L.A. Arts, From Movie Stars to Museum Curators
Danny Liao

An L.A. Phil Violinist Brings Classical Music to Prisoners and People on Skid Row
Inside the mental health ward of the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles, 35 incarcerated men in brown and blue jumpsuits responded with raw emotion as the tender, sometimes tumultuous sounds of Robert Schumann's First String Quartet in A Minor washed over them.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Gere Kavanaugh came to L.A. in 1960 to work under Victor Gruen, the father of the shopping mall.
Gere Kavanaugh came to L.A. in 1960 to work under Victor Gruen, the father of the shopping mall.
Danny Liao

Legendary Designer Gere Kavanaugh Is Nearing 90 and Still Creating Beautiful Things
For more than six decades, Kavanaugh has worked in just about every facet of design, from textiles, ceramics and color theory to furniture, lighting, retail interiors and exhibition design.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Pilar Tompkins Rivas quickly connected with L.A.'s Chicano art scene when she moved here from Texas.
Pilar Tompkins Rivas quickly connected with L.A.'s Chicano art scene when she moved here from Texas.
Danny Liao

For the First Time Ever, the Vincent Price Art Museum Has a Latinx Director
There are a lot of jobs in the art world, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas has had most of them.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

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