Testimonial #43: Julie Angelos, Staff Writer at Jbulie’s blog/an Online Journal

How are the arts re-igniting your community and sparking innovation and creativity in your local schools?

When I was just a kid, like second grade, my teacher assigned me the role of Sue the Eskimo. I had to rub noses with the male lead. I tell you, to this day, I’m shy. Even though every semblance you’d see of me points otherwise, I have to admit I was so honored to have been chosen for one of the two leads.  I was a handed a script with lines. I didn’t really know better but I figured it would be a good idea to memorize them. Then, came the day we had to say our lines in front of the class. I was shocked and let down that nobody else did the same; that is, learn their lines by heart.  They read their lines! I was bored to tears.  My teacher just about jumped out of her chair with happiness that someone cared enough to make her efforts live. I hadn’t thought twice about  it. It was one of those moments that you just live.

My mom was and is an art teacher. Remember the moment in class when the teacher asks everyone to hold up their drawings for the rest of the class to see? The first or second time is no big deal, but as I grew, I sometimes, and some of the other kids shrugged away from sharing their innermost.  The problem was that we made mistakes and didn’t always know how to correct them. Do you know what I’m talking about? That minute, where you just want to take your paper and throw it in the trash? Well, my mom had this way of telling me:   “Julie, you can always fix it.”  I didn’t quite get what she meant but she helped me to see the same painting in a new light, maybe by making other lines thicker or coming up with a new drawing that integrates the old one.

They say that everyone is creative. I agree. I think all of us have that light in us that wants to shine but it can sometimes be dimmed by circumstance; however, to answer your question above, Fran, how the arts are re-igniting my community, the answer is that I’ve taken my mom’s advice and applied it to my paintings — the never-give-up, it-can-be-fixed attitude. Lately, I painted three murals for our baseball team, on my own, I’d like to say, in the morning, early hours, on a Saturday, armed with a bike, paintbrush and fun music on my earphones. I just wrote the name of my city in Coca Cola styled logo and the word, baseball. Now we have over 60 players. We started with four. That’s my story. Thank you for putting the question out there. Love it.

How has your life been indelibly touched by a teacher who utilized the arts for whatever reason and acknowledge how they were instrumental in breaking the mold to allow you to become who you are today?

Indelibly touched by a teacher, breaking the mold.  My gut response is what I wrote above, the lesson about never giving up. But actually, if you have a second, I’d love to tell you about Mr. C. It’s really quick. Basically, I was just a simple student going to school in my sophomore year of high school, when Dr. C. called me into his office to ask me where I had planned on going to university.  It sounds so cliché or ridiculous, but I had never actually had to answer that question to anyone before.  He gave the packet of university applications with a map that later completely changed my course of life.

Thanks again, Fran! That was fun.

Creator Julie Angelos is proof positive a great idea can come to fruition if you believe in it. Julie developed jbule’s blog with $99 of her own money on a whim.

Friends and family were quick to come aboard. Today jbulie’s blog can boast a 40k visitor base growing steadily to 100,000 endorsed by scores of red carpet readers just like you.

Eager to pay it forward, Julie contributes to meaningful causes as well as happily helping friends and family. 

Ask me anything.

An Introduction to the State Policy Pilot Program

Americans for the Arts

Narric Rome, Vice President of Government and Arts Education Affairs for Americans for the Arts, introduces the exciting new State Policy Pilot Program which will help advance Arts Education in our nation’s schools.


chandra Thomas: Complete Sentences

First Online With Fran is committed to featuring those ordinary people doing extraordinary things in The Arts.  It never ceases to amaze me how the passion for our work continues to impact our world in so many positive and transformative ways.  The interview with Chandra Thomas in 2012 only proves to illustrate her tenacious dedication to her art (and a pretty talented one, at that!).  We had a chance to chat about her latest project. . .

I can’t believe that it’s already been two years since our last First Online with Fran conversation! What an incredible space to talk about my passion for ““unique, stories that aren’t just recycling of stories we have already heard” and my mission “to promote points of view that might not have otherwise been heard”.  And while so many things have changed since our last chat, that passion and that mission are only stronger.

This is even true of my current project, the original comedy short Complete Sentences?.


Complete Sentences?

Complete Sentences?

Eddie (played by Pun Bandhu)  is a chef who pops “the question” to his longtime girlfriend Kara (played by myself). He made the romantic brunch. He got the ring. He’s down on one knee—but will she say YES? We tell this story with an extraordinarily talented and diverse team both behind and in front of the camera. There’s comedy, relationships, fine food and baseball—an engaging combination in a fresh voice.



web: www.chandrathomas.com | twitter: @truechandra | imdb: www.imdb.me/chandra | facebook: www.facebook.com/chandrathomasfanpage

Arts Education Transforms Societies

Robert L. Lynch Headshot

Actor Frances McDormand: A Star Who Has No Time for Vanity

Frances McDormand will star in “Olive Kitteridge,” a four-part mini-series, based on Elizabeth Strout’s book, that will air November on HBO. Credit Alison Cohen Rosa for The New York Times

Frances McDormand will star in “Olive Kitteridge,” a four-part mini-series, based on Elizabeth Strout’s book, that will air November on HBO. Credit Alison Cohen Rosa for The New York Times


On an interview with The New York Times in which she said “I have not mutated myself in any way,” and that her husband, director Joel Coen, “literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people — to friends who’ve had [plastic surgery]. I’m so full of fear and rage about what they’ve done”: