Zipporah Lax Yamamoto

On September 11, 2001 I was living in Brooklyn and working as a public elementary school art teacher in Harlem. I was deeply affected by 9/11 and the almost instantaneous shrines, temporary memorials and performances created in parks, fire stations and public places throughout NYC. Nine years later, I found myself still working through the after-effects of that day as a doctoral candidate in Culture and Performance in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I began this blog as a way to share reflections on memorial processes after 9/11 as I was writing my dissertation, After 9/11: Transformations of Memory Into History.

In addition to writing, I work as a creative services manager with Metro, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. I oversee and manage the public art projects and programs in transportation projects associated with improving mobility and quality of life for millions of people in Los Angeles County. Some of the projects I’ve worked on include the Expo Line, a new light rail line that will travel from downtown LA to Santa Monica, and the Orange Line Extension, a dedicated busway in the San Fernando Valley.

Before joining Metro, I was Assistant Director of the Public Art Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC) and an Arts Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education. I have taught at USC and UCLA and have led workshops for educators, artists and public art practitioners in the United States and abroad. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, a Master of Public Art Studies from USC and a PhD from UCLA.

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