Creative projects don’t just “happen” – they usually take some combination of persistence, obsession, fortitude, stubbornness and courage, along with passion and inspiration.

“If my husband and I were not stupid and idealistic, in the sense that we believe art can transform people, then we would’ve given up.” Josefina López – about her Boyle Heights (Los Angeles) Casa 0101 project, with a 99-seat theater, art gallery and learning center.

A recent newspaper article notes her project “entailed more than three years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in makeover costs, and painstaking permit-gathering and endless wrangling over access to the scant local parking supply.

“The nonprofit theater center is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission…” (Casa 0101 brings art to the Eastside, By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2011.)

López comments, “Because the money that it took, the commitment, the tenacity, all the begging, all the thousand favors, we would’ve given up, because we’re not going to make any money. It’s just the fact that we believe art should be accessible to everyone, and there should be other options, and people should have a right to be inspired and to have hope.”

Like many creative people, she is energized in part by social activism. “If kids don’t have inspiration and hope, they join gangs, and the girls get knocked up,” López said.

The article notes she is “motivated by the same vow that inspired her as a teenager to become a playwright.”

“I’m going to find a way to tell my stories, even if they’re in laundromats or taco shops.”

López is an actor, author of “Real Women Have Curves” (and 80 other plays) and screenwriter of the movie version; a novelist (“Hungry Woman in Paris”), and is working on a musical version of “Real Women.” She teaches screenwriting and playwriting, and lectures on Women’s Studies and Chicano theater and film. She has an MFA from UCLA and is pursuing a Masters in Spiritual Psychology.

Photo of Josefina Lopez from her site – which includes examples of her poetry, and Advice for Writers.

Shameless plug: being creatively multitalented like López is the theme of my new book Developing Multiple Talents – The personal side of creative expression.

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