Voices From Chornobyl

this is for thousands of years


Supporter Spotlights

Yoga & Music for Chornobyl!

Yesterday the yoga and dance studio Heartbeat House donated a class for us! There was great live music and fourteen people generously gave to our efforts. Many thanks to Kumbi Butler and all who stayed a few minutes after class to hear about Voices From Chornobyl Jr. and took our materials. Hope we’ll see you at the show in June!

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East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Supports VFC jr.!

Thank you to the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, who approved a letter of support, urging their local educators and community leaders to consider Voices From Chornobyl Jr.!

Below is the text. Click on this link for the signed letter of support: EHNC VFC Letter, or let us know an organization who may be interested in an outing. Tix are $10 and group discounts/workshops available.

Dear Educator and/or Community Leader,

Voices From Chornobyl is a play that explores the many impact and health implications of the Chornobyl disaster that changed the world. The play’s intention is to help the children of the region by spreading awareness of the initial and ongoing impacts of the disaster, including the long-term mental, environmental, and physical effects of radiation. In addition to the Los Angeles 25th Anniversary readings in April, the VFC team was invited to perform in San Diego, and presentations were also held in the UK as part of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline commemorations.

The EHNC endorsed 2009 readings as part of the Earth Day Celebrations which took place in the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. These included a talkback with a USC Professor who now consults on nuclear power technology in the White House.

The play does not take a stance on nuclear power, but rather presents stories and context so that our audience may further educate themselves and make their own decision.

In an effort to reach even more people with these forgotten stories, playwright and project director Cindy Marie Jenkins wrote a children’s script, both interactive and educational. Voices From Chornobyl Jr. will be presented as part of the Fringe Family programming in the June Hollywood Fringe Festival.

We at the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council both support this interactive and educational play, and urge you and your group to consider scheduling a field trip to the performance. Group discounts and workshops with your students are also possible as part of the experience.

Performances for June include:

Saturday, June 11th | Preview | free for groups of 5 or more

Saturday, June 18th | 1pm | $10 tickets & group discounts available

Sunday, June 19th | 1pm | $10 tickets & group discounts available

Saturday, June 25th | 1pm | $10 tickets & group discounts available

Sunday, June 26th | 1pm | $10 tickets & group discounts available

All profits from the performances benefit Chernobyl Children’s International, a charity that sends medical aid to hospitals & orphanages in the region, as well as provides holidays for those ill due to long-term effects of radiation exposure.

Thank you for your time and we hope you consider supporting the stories of these survivors as well.


for more information go to

Thank You!

April has come to a close and we are plunging headfirst into promoting Voices From Chornobyl Jr at the Hollywood Fringe Festival but before we get completely wrapped up in all things Fringe we wanted to take time to thank all the supporters and donors who made our April events possible. We on the VFC team are all so touched by the outpouring of support; we feel honored to have such amazing donors and supporters.


Executive Producer:

Barbara Blankenship


Aaron Lyons


Alex Bruno

Hallie Faben


Cassandra Davis

Alicia Gibbs

Bari Hochwald
Mike Khachanov

Christopher Lutz

Lauren Maddox

Karen Jean Martinson

Robert Negron

Pamela Noles
Stephen Gabriel Pallo

Sherri Pender

Leonora & Scott Pitts

Steven Scott

Michael Seel

Marta Segura

Marc Stigler

Alyson Unger


Enrichment Works

Beans Boutique

heat beat house

Hypnotiq Solutions

Create Your Health


55 Degree Wine

Santosha Space

Virginia Applen, Magnetic Healer

Adrienne Montoya, Shiatsu / Acupressure Massage


The VFC Team

If you are still thinking about donating please visit our ChipIn site to make a donation that will go to our VFC Jr script to be presented at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Artist Spotlight: Diana Kohne

Kaldi 3147 Glendale Boulevard LA 90039We currently have an art showing at Kaldi Coffee & Tea in Atwater Village.

Pieces from around the world as well as local artist Diana Kohne are shown. We asked Diana more about her experience.

Self-portrait by Diana Kohne

How did you become involved in the project?

Cindy Marie Jenkins and I have been following one another on Twitter for many months.  She became interested in my art, and I became interested in Chernobyl.  I wanted to show my machine work for Voices From Chornobyl because Chornobyl is an example of the dark side of the subjects of my paintings.  

Why did you choose the LA River etchings? Are these typical of your work?

I chose the L.A. River etchings because the line quality and the grittiness of the etchings are more stark than my other work.  I consider my paintings of machines almost cheerful.  Overly colorful or cheerful machines seemed inappropriate in this situation.  

The L.A. River etchings are similar to my paintings because both are representations of machines.

Can you tell us a little about your artistic process? 

The etchings on display for Voices From Chornobyl are among a series of etchings of machines along the L.A. River.  I am wheatpasting similar prints along the river, leading to the powerlines that they represent.  These etchings aren’t meant to last.  The dissapear after a few rains.  The displayed etchings use a similar process, but are meant to last.  

To make a print, I scratch an image into plexiglass, rub ink into the grooves, and print using a palm press.  A palm press is a doorknob on furniture casters.  It takes all of my might to press the ink out of the grooves and onto the paper.  Keeping with the street art theme, the prints are wheatpasted to found board (the more beat up, the more beautiful).  Wheat paste is considered archival.  It’s used in bookmaking, and people in Victorian times used it to hang their wallpaper.

You sold one of your etchings the second day! Can you tell us why you decided to give a percentage as a donation to VFC?

It’s not often that an artist knows that commission on their work is going to a good cause.  

Diana Kohne was born in 1984 in California, and grew up in Texas. Diana is painting, etching, and pasting machines. Watch her LA River art video:

Please join us for a reception at Kaldi Coffee & Tea

on Tuesday, April 26th, at 6pm before the staged reading.

Supporter Spotlight: Paul G. Gleason Theater

Our first official 25th Anniversary Event is tomorrow, and we asked Lysandra Petersson from the Paul G. Gleason Theater about the journey that led our event to this space.

Lysandra Petersson

How did the PGGT get involved in VFC?

LP: I worked as a videographer for the Voices From Chornobyl show in 2009 and found it to be a moving and enlightening experience.  Nuclear energy wasn’t something I thought I was interested in; like most people, I assumed that the Chernobyl disaster happened long enough ago that it was no longer affecting the world.  When my partner Zach and I started working with the Paul G. Gleason Theater, it occurred to me that VFC would be looking for venues soon and our theater would be perfect. 

Why were you interested in VFC being presented there?

LP: I wanted to do whatever I could to increase VFC’s success and visibility for the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl.  I couldn’t provide much in the way of financial support, but being in charge of booking for PGGT meant that we could offer a venue for performance. 

Your space holds an incredible variety of programming. How would you describe the potential?

LP: It’s a blackbox space, so it is very flexible in its capacities.  The stage has a balcony, which expands the possibilities of performance into two levels, and the stage can be extended with a catwalk into the audience.  Along with plays, we’ve had musical performances, art exhibits, film screenings, standup shows, and burlesque and vaudeville, as well as a monthly event called Art Bazaar, which is a kind of eclectic scramble of all of the above. 

What’s unique about being in the midst of Hollywood Boulevard?

LP: We have a visible marquee on Hollywood that helps attract foot traffic… and, as anyone knows who has spent time there, the people-watching on Hollywood Blvd never fails to entertain 🙂
Lysandra Petersson is a writer and filmmaker who has been living in Los Angeles since 2007.   In producing Art Bazaar and co-founding the Los Angeles Center for Creative Arts, her goals are to connect local artists, foster creativity, and provide platforms for performance, as well as developing arts-based education programs independently and in tandem with local schools.

Supporter Spotlight: Thea Pueschel, Hypnotiq Solutions

Thea received a Spotlight last month because of her generous donations to our March 3rd fund-raiser, and after reading this entry about our fund-raiser tomorrow, you will see why. Along with Cat from Santosha Space, Thea is the generous host and organizer of the event. We thank her beyond all words.

You were involved in the 55 Degree Wine Fundraiser – What made you want to continuing your involvement and organize an additional fundraiser?

After speaking to different members of the VFC team as well as the informative part of the fundraiser at 55 degrees, I thought that I could help in a larger way. I know Cindy through various Atwater Village events and organizations and have seen her in action through past events and community awareness. I admire her active involvement in the community. When I went to venture out and officially launch Hypnotiq Solutions I talked to various business owners in Atwater Village and through my experience of doing so I learned how active the members of the community are. It is my desire to support local businesses, non-profits/charities, and the general neighborhood. I think Atwater Village is a great place, with active residents and a growing business sector.

Read Thea's Blog on The Art of Living Worry Free

I feel very strongly about helping bring a voice to those who are under represented in the media or are marginalized. That’s one of the reasons I taught filmmaking to senior citizens at Echo Park Film Center for 3 years, assisted Gina Rivas with her fundraiser for Lotus Light Arts (a program that brings yoga and art to young women who are products of the system to help build self esteem) and currently volunteer with 826LA in Echo Park/Venice teaching and assisting in children’s writing workshops. I am excited about the possibilities of Voices From Chornobyl with the outreach to both adults and children regarding this horrific event, the ability to raise awareness through theatre and entertainment. And let us not forget about raising funds for the Children of Chernobyl.

Can you talk a little about the process of pulling together the different practitioners who will be participating in this weekend’s events?
Back in February I created/facilitated “Untying Valentine’s Knots” a relaxation event it was held at Brazilian Yoga and Pilates (Liz McDonald, the owner, is a generous and an awesome person) on Casitas*. The event was free for the I contacted three of my friends and was able to get it going through their loving support, donation of time and energy.  Adriana Franco, C.Ht./Reiki Practitioner donated full body Reiki, Erin Hoopes, LMT provided chair massages, Paola Cresti of The Chocolatery (you may know her from the AV farmers market) donated handcrafted chocolates, and I provided relaxation hypnosis. So you may be asking what this event has to do with the VFC current event? Well… Cat Macary, LMT and co-owner of Santosha Space attended. She was impressed with the loving care we put into the event and said that in the future if I was ever doing an event she would be interested in providing massage, and that perhaps we could do something like that at her place… So, when I spoke to Cindy on March 3 at the first event I knew I could get a location.

I contacted 9 people, of which 6 people said yes. The beauty of the healing arts community is that many of the practitioners feel very passionate about the environment and health, as well as giving back to the community. The three that said “no”, did so due to schedule restraints. I thought of people I admire and enjoy working with. I also wanted to provide the community with various modalities to choose from.

Santosha Space in Atwater Village

I approached Cat first regarding the event and she was more than happy to participate and provide a space for Global Healing. I then contacted my dear friend Adriana Franco and asked if she would be willing to do full body Reiki, when I told her for what purpose she was more than eager to supply the support (we have done countless events together and make a good team).

The third person I contacted was Peter Bedard, M.A., and C.Ht. for relaxation hypnosis. I know him from his alternative medicine mixers and his web portal I have had the pleasure of participating in his mixers 3x as a practitioner. He is always holding events that focus on other practitioners and I thought that it would be great to provide him with a venue to share his talents in hypnotherapy. Back in January I did a Create Your Health Mixer with Virginia Applen. I didn’t get a chance to try her magnetic healing. You know how sometimes you meet someone, and just in the first hello you can tell that you will like him or her? Well, that is how I felt. So, when I was thinking of practitioners she popped into my mind. And when she received my e-mail it probably seemed a bit strange because I told her that I really didn’t know anything about her modality, but thought that she would be a nice addition to the group just based on that initial chemistry.

I then, realized I had not opened up the invitation to practitioners at Santosha Space. I shortly thereafter contacted Cat and she gave me the information of Adrienne Montoya, CMT. Adrienne is a gifted practitioner of bodywork (Reiki, massage, acupressure, etc). I asked her if she would be interested in providing Acupressure/Shiatsu and she was interested. Wendy Watson, C.Ht. NLP practitioner will be providing NLP or personality/blood type evaluations. Wendy is a free loving, self-proclaimed hippy. She is warm and enthusiastic, I was very excited when I was able to contact her and get her to participate.

I will be providing HypnoArt which was a very successful addition to the Lotus Light Arts’ “Mind, Body, Spirit Workshop” fundraiser back in December. I thought that this modality was a great addition to the event because we have three people doing bodywork (Adriana, Adrienne, and Cat), and two people doing mental work (Peter and Wendy), I thought that offering something to stimulate creativity and expression would be a nice balance.

The beauty of the event is that participants can pick and choose from modalities, or do them all. Quench their curiosity regarding various modalities. This event not only provides fundraising for a worthy effort but also can facilitate individuals with giving themselves permission to relax, because after all it is a good cause.

What are you hoping will be the outcome of The Global Healing Fundraiser?

I have several hopes for this event. First of all, my hope is to help VFC generate needed funding and create awareness. My second hope is to introduce the community to various healing modalities and practitioners. Holding the event at Santos Space is very exciting, because it is a new yoga and healing arts space in Atwater Village. I hope this event introduces people who otherwise would be unaware to this quaint/interesting space.

Also, I was just recently nominated to the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce as a board member; I am now the director of mixers and events.  When I first stated I would create this event, I was not nominated nor voted in. But, I am hoping this event can be the start of beautiful relationships between business owners of Atwater Village and the residents. This is an alternative healing event; I am hoping to do the same with other businesses in Atwater Village. With each event creating a showcase for different businesses, as well as incorporating the businesses in the other areas beyond Glendale Boulevard.

Read more about our Global Healing Fund-raiser

Sunday April 4th 2-4pm

Supporter Spotlight: Catherine Macary, Santosha Space

This next supporter has really gone above and beyond by donating their space for this weekend’s fundraiser. Catherine Macary at Santosha Space graciously offered her studio to this event and we literally could not be doing this without her.

We spoke with Cat below about what motivated her to get involved:

We at Santosha Space are supportive of events and workshops that help people in need of healing and abundance. We support the fundraiser Voice from Chernobyl to remind the community that the World still must heal and to remind everyone that we must remain conscious of our planet which in turn means to remain vigilante to the constant nuclear threat that affects humankind. We want to be a sanctuary for healing, wellness and peace. This is why we hare thrilled to offer our space for the Voices for Chernobyl fundraiser.


To reserve a ticket for Sunday’s Global Healing Benefit, click here.

Supporter Spotlight: Virginia Applen – Magnetic Healer

Next up is Virginia Applen who has generously donated services to our upcoming fundraiser. Check out our conversation with her below to hear what she will be providing and why she is getting involved!

Because we ask everyone – what did you know about Chernobyl before becoming involved in this project?

I remember the horror and sadness that befell the world when the nuclear accident happened.  I was a young woman and all the warnings about the dangers of nuclear power could not prepare us for the devastation that besieged the Ukrainian people.  And now Japan.

We at Voices From Chornobyl are so grateful to everyone who is participating on April 3rd; share with us what you will be providing during the fundraiser

I work with natural earth energies to promote the healing of both the physical and emotional body.  These energies include electro-magnetic, far infrared and ionic energies.

Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to donate services to this project?

I am thrilled to be a part of this project because I want to show that the powerful energies available to us here on earth should be used to heal and not kill.

Man has been using magnetic energy to heal for over 3500 years.  Many indigenous and ancient civilizations, including the Hebrews, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks used magnets for healing.  Legend has it that Cleopatra slept on the magnetic Lodestone to keep her young, strong, healthy and beautiful.

Today physicists, String Theorists, and Quantum Mechanic adherents alike, all agree that the basic substance of our Universe is comprised of electro-magnetic energies.  One of the main components of all cells are ions.  Ions are positively and negatively charged particles that conduct electro-magnetic pulses from within the cell.  The electro-magnetic pulses allow the cell to function.  Without ions a cell cannot live.  The magnetic currents of a healthy body, when super-energized with a healer’s magnet, can be used to promote healing.


Interested in attending the event? Purchase tickets here!

Supporter Spotlight: Create Your Health

Our April 3rd fundraiser is fast approaching and as we gear up we would like to take the time to call out and thank all the amazing organizations and businesses donating their time and services during the event to help raise awareness.

First up is Peter Bedard with Create Your Health – expect more in the days leading up to the event!


What did you know about Chernobyl before becoming involved in this project?

I certainly haven’t been an expert on Chernobyl. In fact other than being aware that it was, at the time, the largest nuclear disaster in the world, larger than the Three Mile Island disaster in New York, my knowledge is pretty limited. I do know that an entire city had to be closed down and all of it’s inhabitants moved due to a nuclear accident at the plant, that the plant was shut down, that radiation levels there some 20 years latter are still problematic, that birth defects in that part of the world are too common, and that it never should have happened.



Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to donate services to this project?

I chose to donate my time and services for a few reasons. First because the fantastic Thea Pueschel asked me to. Second because I’ve never been a supporter of nuclear energy. And third, because I think it’s important to let people know that nuclear energy is never safe. Advertising agencies and politicians have been telling us for several years now that nuclear energy is safe and efficient that it’s a “clean” energy. This is a flat out lie and it needs to be addressed. In fact, nuclear energy may be the dirtiest energy we have ever harnessed. The bi-product of coal is carbon dioxide and coal ash. The bi-product of nuclear energy is radioactive material that at it’s core is deadly to all life forms on this planet and that poisons our environment for thousands of years to come. for some reason people seem to understand that coal is bad for us but they don’t seem to understand that nuclear energy is a million times worse. As a advocate for alternative therapies it is totally congruent that I support not only true green energy solutions but that I also speak out against harmful and polluting behaviors – personal or political.

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