A Community of Workers
Everyone who works here, at DragonflyHIll Urban Farm contributes to the daily tasks of maintaining the space: domestic work including emotional labor. We exercise a very extreme social model of DISability that assures the work is healthy, supportive and sustaining.
Each of us also brings to the space our own skills, interests, passions and insights, assuring that our time here is enjoyable, fulfilling and actualizing.
(Scroll down for bios of each team member!)
Before Enlightenment: Chop wood. Carry Water.
After Enlightenment: Chop Wood. Carry Water.
– Buddhist Proverb
DragonflyHill Team Members (In alphabetical order)
Andy Griggs, Community Outreach Coordinator
Andy was born less than two miles away from DragonflyHill Urban Farm, at Temple Hospital. The middle child of three brothers, he spent from ages 1-4 in Queens, NY, and then lived in El Monte and Whittier through high school. He attended Cornell from 1968-1972, and returned to California, where he has lived mainly in Santa Cruz and the LA area, where he received an MFA in Stage Direction from the CA Institute of the Arts.
He has traveled extensively throughout the Americas and Europe. He has been a teacher, a firefighter, a travel agent, an arts administrator, union officer, a playwright, actor, producer, and director, and will forever be a social justice activist.
Carlos Smith, Master Craftsman
Carlos was born in Belize and came to Los Angeles in 1985 when he was 11 years old. Since then he has been back and forth between Belize and the U.S. Carlos is one of the key people credited with the fine craftwork in the DragonflyHill restoration. He learned construction from his Aunt who is a general contractor in Belize. He speaks Spanish, English, Garifuna and Belizean Creole. He is a master craftsman, specializing in tile work, painting and carpentry. His aspiration is to finish High School and be the best dad for his four children and family. His hobbies are swimming, soccer, dancing, music and movies. He’s won numerous soccer trophies. In the past he’s worked as a security guard, handyman and gardener.
Emma Rosenthal, Artistic Director and Museum House Curator
As the Artistic Director and Museum Curator of DragonflyHill Urban Farm, Emma has conducted extensive research in Craftsman architecture and design and has played a leading role in the restoration of DragonflyHill Urban Farm. Through her direction and vision, The Dragonfly Team turned a shabby 1913 Craftsman house, that had come under disrepair after years of shoddy work and neglect, into the exquisite residence and it is today.
Emma grew up in Philadelphia, attended college in Massachusetts where she studied Multicultural Education, and came to Los Angeles in the early 80s to teach bilingual education and English as a Second Language in Los Angeles public schools. She speaks English and Spanish and can understand and read French, Portuguese and Italian. She has traveled throughout Germany, the Czech Republic, England, Ireland and the former Soviet Union. Additionally she has visited many regions of North America, including many states as well as Eastern Canada and Mexico. She counts among her travels, a bicycle trip up the East Coast from Washington D.C. to Central Massachusetts, a cross-country road trip from Massachusetts to Los Angeles, and road trips throughout California. She is also an urban farmer, social justice activist, artist, educator, writer, photographer and reiki practitioner.
Glenda Bonilla, Translator and Archivist
Glenda has been a vital member of the Dragonfly Team and was central to the development of the vision of this community and workspace. She brings with her incredible organizational, interpersonal and creative skills. Her formal background is in accounting. She enjoys the fundamentals of home making, especially organizing the home and creating and maintaining order, cooking, laundry and being of service.
She grew up in Guatemala and speaks English and Spanish and is responsible for most of the translation of publicity, documents and outreach.
Xeres Villanueva, Community Liason
Xeres graduated from Azusa Pacific University with degrees in English and Communication Studies. She has deep roots in community building and activism. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and various Christian social justice groups such as Jesus 4 Revolutionaries. She has been in the worlds of freelancing, small business and non-profits. Her interests are media and pop culture, cultural activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment and food.
Xeres was born in the Philippines and came to Los Angeles in 1993. She has travelled to different parts of the country for exploration and enrichment such as Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, Las Vegas, California and Chicago.