SMC Associates

Fall 2023 Events


Fall 2023 Lecture Series

Free Admission to All Events

You are invited to join us for intriguing and engaging discussions.

Masters of Dance PostcardMasters of Dance

You are invited to attend and participate in our exciting free series of lectures and master classes. See the Dance Department website or call 310-434-3467 for more information. Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

Ido Tadmor

Ballet and Contemporary Phrasework
Legendary Israeli dancer Ido Tadmor leads a ballet technique class focusing on strengthening core and transitions, followed by contemporary ballet phrase work. A choreographer and judge of professional dance competitions, Tadmor is the former Artistic Director of the Israeli National Ballet and has been a principal dancer in companies such as Bat Dor Dance Company, Bat Sheva Dance Company, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He has also worked with major choreographers such as Hans Van Mannen, Ohad Naharin, Alvin Ailey, Vladimir Vassiliev, and Robert North. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Dance Department.

Thursday, October 5 | 12:30 p.m. | Free | CPC 304

Jillian Meyers

Making and Moving for the Camera
Emmy-nominated choreographer and dancer Jillian Meyers leads a master class that considers and plays with the tools that — as choreographer or dancer — benefit the capture of dance with the camera. Meyers works at the nexus of commercial, stage, film, and site-specific performance. She choreographed Hozier's "Work Song" and danced on multiple tours with Janet Jackson, was an assistant choreographer for the award-winning film La La Land, and recently wrapped the second season on the NBC show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” as an episodic co-choreographer. Meyers wears many hats and both reconciles and indulges in all of these disciplines in her ongoing genre-bending project "The Seaweed Sisters.” Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Dance Department.

Tuesday, October 17 | 10:15 a.m. | Free | CPC 304 

Holly Johnston

Responsive Body: Movement for Radical Joy + Body Liberation
Holly Johnston leads an exploration of Responsive Body’s approach to movement, social bonding, sensational pleasure, and radical joy through an RB Movement Map that animates dancing energies. Johnston is the creator of Responsive Body, a social movement and body liberation practice. She has been a Choreographic Fellow at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), ODC/Dance Company Theater Artist in Residence, and a SCUBA National Touring Artist. Her podcast, "A Space To Be," discusses subjects related to culture, politics, embodiment, creativity, history, and shared futures, and she shares her work with Contra-Tiempo Activist Dance Theater as a human performance systems and production ecologist. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Dance Department.

Thursday, October 26 | 12:30 p.m. | Free | CPC 304

Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Dance Department.

Literary Talks & Readings PostcardLiterary Talks & Readings

An ongoing and very popular free series of talks and readings by established and emerging writers. Call 310-434-4003 for details and more information.

Leye Adenle

London resident Leye Adenle is an award-winning Nigerian-born author of gripping and suspenseful crime thrillers that explore the darker side of human nature. His writing presents vivid descriptions of Nigerian society with a gritty realism, capturing the complexity of life in a country often misunderstood by outsiders. His debut novel, Easy Motion Tourist, won the prestigious Prix Marianne in France. Adenle has written and recorded pieces for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service, and his work has appeared in publications such as the British current affairs weekly The Big Issue. He has also presented talks at universities and literary festivals around the world. A brief discussion and audience Q&A follow the talk. Sponsored by the SMC Global Citizenship Committee, and SMC Associates.

Tuesday, October 3 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Online (Leye Adenle Zoom Link)

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

The Oceanic of Poetry: A Reading by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four books of poetry, including Oceanic (Copper Canyon, 2018) and Lucky Fish (Tupelo Press, 2011), winner of the Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books. She is also the author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments (Milkweed, 2020), a collection of nature essays named 2022 Book of the Year by Barnes and Noble, and co-author with Ross Gay of the chapbook Lace & Pyrite (Organic Weapon Arts, 2014). Nezhukumatathil is a professor of English at the University of Mississippi. Her work has been published in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Quarterly West, New England Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, and Tin House, and widely anthologized. A brief discussion and audience Q&A follow the talk. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC English Department.

Tuesday, October 17 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Online (Aimee Nezhukumatathil Zoom Link)

Diane Ackerman

Awakening the Senses, Romancing the Words, with Diane Ackerman
A celebrated interpreter of science and nature, Diane Ackerman is the award-winning author of two dozen works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper’s Wife (2007); A Natural History of the Senses (1990), which inspired the popular PBS series; and The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us (Norton, 2014), a New York Times bestseller awarded a PEN New England Henry David Thoreau Prize for literary excellence in nature writing. Ackerman also authored the memoir One Hundred Names for Love (2012), the story of bringing her husband back from aphasia after he suffered a stroke. Her poetry and essays have also been published in leading literary journals, as well as The New York Times (where she is also an Op-Ed columnist), Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and National Geographic. A Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the Lavan Poetry Prize, Ackerman has been honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, and has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her — the dianeackerone. A brief discussion and audience Q&A follow the talk. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC English Department.

Tuesday, November 14 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Online (Diane Ackerman Zoom Link)

Communication, Media & Design PostcardCommunication, Media & Design

An ongoing, informative series of free online talks and panel discussions exploring developments in communication, media, and design today. Call 310-434-4003 for more information.

Bill Plympton

Independent Animation with Bill Plympton, Part 2
Join us for a talk and film screening with filmmaker Bill Plympton, an animator and cartoonist best known for his Academy Awards–nominated animated short Your Face and his series of short films featuring a dog character, which started with 2004's Guard Dog. Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times, the weekly newspaper The Village Voice, and magazines that include Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Communication and Media Studies Department, and SMC Design Technology Department.

Tuesday, November 21 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Online (Bill Plympton Zoom Link)

Social Justice PostcardSocial Justice Series

An ongoing series of free talks about aspects and developments in social justice today. Call 310-434-4003 for more information. Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

Ann Kaneko

Manzanar, Diverted – Film Screening and Q&A
Join us for a screening of Ann Kaneko's Emmy-winning feature film Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, a fascinating retelling of the Los Angeles water story, covering more than 150 years of history. The film follows intergenerational women from three communities who defend their land, history, and culture from the insatiable thirst of Los Angeles, and reveals the unexpected alliance of Native Americans, Japanese-American WWII incarcerees, and environmentalists to preserve Payahuunadü (Owens Valley), "the land of flowing water." Kaneko, a professor in the Media Studies department at Pitzer College, has been a Fulbright Fellow, Japan Foundation Artist, Film Independent Doc Lab Fellow, and Jackson Wild Multicultural Fellow, and is a member of BGDM, A-Doc, and the distribution coop New Day Films. Her films include A Flicker in Eternity, based on Stanley Hayami’s diary; Against The Grain: An Artist’s Survival Guide to Peru, highlighting Peruvian political artists; Overstay, about Japanese undocumented workers; and 100% Human Hair, a musical for the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. An audience Q&A with the director follows the screening. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Modern Languages & Cultures Department, SMC Earth Sciences Department, SMC History Department, APIDA Club, and Global Grants.

Thursday, September 14 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 105
More details on the Ann Kaneko event.

Communists, Criminals, and Caravans: Central Americans Seeking Refuge in the United States

Leisy J. Abrego
Over the past decade, thousands of Central Americans have left home to seek refuge in the United States. What is propelling their mass exodus and why should people in the U.S. care? Leisy J. Abrego presents the political and social context of U.S.-Central American relations to help explain how U.S. foreign policies produce refugees from this region while, at the same time, U.S. immigration policies criminalize them. Abrego is Professor of Chicana/o and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her books include Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders (Stanford University Press, 2014) and, co-edited with Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, We Are Not Dreamers: Undocumented Scholars Theorize Undocumented Life in the United States (Duke University Press, 2020). Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Modern Languages & Cultures Department, SMC Earth Sciences Department, and Global Grants.

Tuesday, September 26 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | HSS 263
More details on the Leisy J. Abrego event.

Special Events PostcardSpecial Events

Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky is Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He is a former President of the Association of American Law Schools and the author of numerous law review articles and 15 books, including Constitutional Law and Interpreting the Constitution. A brief discussion and audience Q&A follow the talk. Sponsored by the SMC Associates and the Associated Students of SMC.

Thursday, September 14 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Online (Erwin Chemerinsky Zoom Link)
More details on the Erwin Chemerinsky event.

Katelina Eccleston

#Perrero101Tour: Reggaeton Con La Gata

Katelina “Gata” Eccleston (@reggaetonconlagata) is an internationally renowned music historian, critic, multimedia artist, and executive producer recognized for her efforts in bridging the gap between academia, the Latin music industry, and the public through her critically acclaimed platform Reggaeton Con La Gata. It is the first bilingual platform dedicated to the intersectional analysis, musicology, and history of reggaeton music. Her opinions have helped shape the landscape of reggaeton high profile projects such as NEON by Netflix Debut 2023 Spotify Studios + Futuro Studios LOUD: The History of Reggaeton, 2021 and high-profile publications such as The Washington Post, Rollingstone, LA Times, NPR and many more. At the Santa Monica College #Perreo101Tour stop, join Gata for a talk about the social paradigms in reggaeton as heard in her podcast. She'll dive into reggaeton's roots in black resistance, the sociopolitical narratives that birthed the genre, and effective ways to center Black Latinxs, especially Black women and femmes, in reggaeton music.

Tuesday, October 10 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | SSC Orientation Hall & Online (Katelina Eccleston Zoom Link)

Porfirio Gutierrez

The Relationship to Climate and Artist Material
California-based Zapotec weaver and textile artist Porfirio Gutierrez will talk about the importance of natural materials and color in his work. Natural materials have long been used to produce colorants. The cochineal insect is among the oldest used in Oaxaca, Mexico, and its color is an important symbolic element associated with gods, the sun, blood, and rituals. For Gutierrez, the colors are sacred, and creating color from nature reflects his deeply spiritual relationship with this divine aspect. His work is a living memory, a map of a moment in history and the climate of the time when the materials were harvested. Gutierrez represents an effort to preserve ancestral traditions and remind modern society of the existence of traditional knowledge. Sponsored by t he SMC Associates, SMC Modern Languages & Cultures Department, SMC Earth Sciences Department, and Global Grants.

Thursday, October 12 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Stromberg Hall (HSS 165)

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration 2024

Join us for one of Southern California’s largest birthday celebrations for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., honoring his memory and work to ensure equality and civil rights for all people. This year is the event’s 39th anniversary and embraces the theme “Stop the Hate, Start the Healing.” The multiethnic interfaith program includes inspirational readings, music, and education awards presentations. The event is presented by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition and sponsored by the SMC Associates, Santa Monica College, SGI-USA, RAND Corporation, and Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council, as well as other organizations and individuals. See for details.

Monday, January 15 | 9 a.m. | Free | Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Auditorium
(525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica)


Please check the SMC Masking Guidelines to view the current policy.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability email or call 310-434-4265 at least 5 business days prior to the event.

All programs are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Santa Monica College Associates