Founder & Legacy Artist in Residence
Nobuko is a artist who uses music, theater and dance for her own work as well as for projects she creates with communities.
Originally a dancer on Broadway and in films such as Flower Drum Song and West Side Story, her involvement in social change movements of the ‘60s galvanized her as an activist and inspired a re-conceptualization of her role as an artist. This led to her co-creation of the seminal Asian American album A Grain of Sand with Chris Iijima and Charlie Chin, and her founding of Great Leap in 1978.
Her later performances, musicals and albums have continued to probe themes of identity, as well as the intersections of cultures & faiths, and our connection with Earth. More recent projects include her touring lecture/performance What Can A Song Do?, and producing, songwriting and performing in Great Leap’s series of environmental music videos, “Eco-Vids”.
Nobuko has been recognized with the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, and California Arts Council Director’s Award for her contribution to the arts in California.
To learn more about Nobuko, visit: www.nobukomiyamoto.org
Alison De La Cruz
Executive & Artistic Director
Alison De La Cruz (she/he/they/siya/DeLa) is a senior artivist leader, facilitator, cultural organizer, multi-disciplinary theater artist, educator, contemporary ritualist and elder.
DeLa is a collaborative leader with over twenty years of arts and cultural production, relationship and programmatic development, budgeting, staff and project management experiences and skills. De La Cruz has collaborated with local artists and produced community events of all sizes, developing Los Angeles’ world class cultural ecosystem for over 20 years.
De La Cruz served as the Project Co-Lead to birth the Vallejo Arts Fund (2023), a project guided by the needs of BIPOC Vallejoans artists and cultural bearers, facilitated by Three Palms Group, administered by Center for Cultural Innovation, and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Since 2020, De La Cruz has served as a Cultural Transformation facilitator for Self Help Graphics supporting their staff, board, artists, and community towards operationalizing organizational values towards continual equitable and inclusive growth.
De La Cruz served as Executive Producer of the LA premiere of the Broadway musical ALLEGIANCE (2018, EWP & JACCC) at the historic Aratani Theatre followed by the world premiere of TALES OF CLAMOR (2019, JACCC & NCRR) in the Aratani Theatre Black Box. De La Cruz was previously the Vice President of Programs at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
De La Cruz’s artistic work is part autobiography and part community narratives that explore everything from local Los Angeles BIPOC Community histories to the personal mappings of the soft squishy way masculinity appears on Filipin@/x bodies, nostalgia, and fairy tales. DeLa’s solo work includes SUNGKA (1999), NATURALLY GRACEFUL (2005); WHERE YOU STAY? (2006), L.A. MALONG MALONG (2011) and DeLa’s gender non-conforming Flash Theatre LA piece “SMOKE AND MIRRORS” (2012).
DeLa’s artistic work has also been presented at venues across the country including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, Highways Performance Space, and The David Henry Hwang Theatre at East West Players. As a poet-playwright-dramaturge, De La Cruz has collaborated with youth writers on 10 world premiere productions.
De La Cruz’s directing credits include the world premiere of Nathan Ramos-Park’s AS WE BABBLE ON (2018, East West Players), Claudia Rodriguez’s MIDNIGHT STEEL (2016, Grand Performances / DCA); Post Natyam Collective’s SUPER RUWAXI (2014, Fury Factory).
For over thirty years De La Cruz has been facilitating circles and spaces for youth, strangers, neighbors, friends, colleagues, and collaborators to explore diverse communities and break down bias and systemic inequity.
Associate Artistic Director
Dan is an award-winning multimedia performance artist, playwright, visual artist and teacher who has been presenting his solo work nationally and internationally since 1989.
His works combine personal narrative with historical context to explore the many facets of social identity. His book, From Inner Worlds to Outer Space: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong (University of Michigan Press) was published in 2004, and the significance of his work has been noted in A History of Asian American Theatre (Cambridge Univ. Press).
Since 1990 he has been affiliated with Great Leap where he manages and performs in A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens, is Project Director of COLLABORATORY, and Director & Editor of the Eco-Vids series.
Operations and Marketing Manager
Angela has been collaborating with Great Leap since 2013.
Her specialties include marketing, advertising, prints, consumers products, web, social media, video production, graphic design, etc. She has been supporting Great Leap with her passion for design, videography, event planning, community and arts.
Originally from France and the Cape Verdean Islands, she holds a BA in Public Relations and MA in Media Arts from Wayne State University.
In her spare time, Angela loves to dance, listen to music and organize dance festivals/workshops in Los Angeles and Europe.