Green Festival Speakers
Ben Caldwell is a Los Angeles-based arts educator and independent filmmaker. A native of New Mexico, Caldwell studied filmmaking at UCLA, at the same time as Charles Burnett, Julie Dash and Billy Woodberry, as part of a group of young artists who were to change African American independent filmmaking — a cultural phenomenon sometimes called "The L.A. Rebellion." Caldwell taught several years at CalArts and became a major force in CAP (Community Arts Partnership).
In 1984, he founded KAOS Network, a community arts center dedicated to providing training on digital arts, media arts and multi-media, at the heart of Leimert Park, historic center of the Los Angeles jazz culture, now hosting a diverse multi-ethnic multimedia arts center. KAOS Network was designed to empower the youth of the community and is the only organization of its kind in South Central Los Angeles where inner-city youths can participate in hands-on courses in video production, animation, web-site development, video teleconferencing, CD ROM production, and use of the Internet. KAOS is also home to WORDshop, a weekly workshop for hip-hop artists, dancers, singers and visual artists. Each week over 150 youths participate in workshops and programs at the center. In addition to these workshops, KAOS Network has videotaped community events and produced documentaries for the state of California. KAOS Network is committed to creating a community of young people who are dedicated to learning new technologies, acquiring employable skills and participating in digital arts and new media training.