2016’s 1st Celia Center Arts Festival features the works of artists who use their creativity to express their experiences as individuals who were adopted and/or in foster care across many mediums. Entitled “Adopting Resilience, Fostering the Spirit of Creativity: The Voices of the Fostered and Adopted” the festival will feature stories and backgrounds of many, and seeks to bring together the voices that are often left out of the conversation on foster care and adoption. The Festival gives the Foster Care and Adopted a spotlight with the hopes of deepening the foster care and adoption conversation in Los Angeles and worldwide.

Art Exhibit


 11:00am – 8:00pm | Adopting Resilience, Fostering the Spirit of Creativity: The Voices of the Fostered and Adopted

Join us in the EXHIBIT AREA
Admission is FREE

Art Festival
Childrens’ Activities





10:30am – 11:30am | Children’s Art Workshop TouchSTONES ages 7 and up

11:00am – 3:00pm | Face Painting & Henna Tattoo ages 3 and up

1 pm | Celebrity Book Reading with Foster Youth & Adoptee, Cassidy Mack, Actress


After spending her early years in the Foster Care system, Cassidy joined her forever family by adoption at the age of 6 which changed her life dramatically. She started her career on the stage doing Musical Theater, where she caught the acting bug. After a chance meeting with Ryan Gosling, she decided that her destiny was actually going to be as a film and television actress and she immediately set out to find herself representation and begin her journey.

Cassidy enjoys uses her past experiences to bring more depth to her characters and

performances. The deeper the role the more Cassidy brings to the table. Some of her favorite roles include : Zoey in “Zoey to the Max” Kizzy in “Chilly Christmas”, Kate on ABC’s “Dr. Ken” and Jen in “The Storyteller”, Her recent staring role as Janey in the multi-award winning short film “Two Secrets” hits very close to home and her performance is being widely recognized and praised.

Join us in the THEATRE
Admission is FREE

Healing Arts


12:45pm – 2:00pm | Origin Stories: Healing Arts Workshop with Nicole Rademacher

Participants were invited to create stories via a series of visual prompts after presentations and intimate conversations. Individually they each made at least one “inspiration card,” which served as a visual prompt in subsequent workshops. I stimulated dialogue about how we received our own origin stories and engaged participants in art-based activities to recreate their histories. Origin Stories challenged established narratives, promoted connection, and empowered the participants to envision new stories about themselves.


3:15pm – 4:30pm | Healing Journey Towards Compassion Arts Workshop with Lesli Maul M.F.T.

 A transformative workshop designed to guide individuals on a path of healing and self-discovery through the creative arts. Participants engage in a series of writing activities that encourage introspection, expression, and connection with others. Through art therapy techniques, storytelling, mindfulness practices, and collaborative projects, participants explore their emotions, experiences, and inner strengths. The workshop fosters a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals can share their stories, express themselves authentically, and cultivate compassion for themselves and others. By nurturing creativity, self-awareness, and empathy, the Healing Journey Towards Compassion Arts Workshop empowers individuals to embark on a profound journey of healing, growth, and resilience. 

Artists Panel

Saturday, JANUARY 23rd

3:15pm – 4:15pm | Artists Panel, Sharing their Vision, Transforming their Pain

A panel of exhibited artists will share their journey behind their art, and the transformation the healing arts have brought to their life. Michael Giancristiano, Briana Spencer, Pat McMahon, Nicole Rademacher and Jeanette Yoffe.

Join us in the THEATRE
Admission is FREE



Saturday, JANUARY 23rd


2:00pm – 3:00pm | The Ice Cream Gene A One Woman Show by Susan Ito

As a young adult, Susan follows an obstacle-filled trail to her birth mother. When she finally meets her, she discovers that some things simply just are genetic. Susan’s one-woman show, with no set and no props, brings to life her dramatic search for the details of her origins and her emotional roller coaster ride in defining love, family and belonging.


5:00pm – 6:00pm | The I Know How Mona Lisa Felt Play Workshop written by Amy Raasch, Directed by Che’Rae Adams

The piece is “the first stab at a first stab” of a show which focuses on uncovering Raasch’s feelings about her birth mother. As such, it succeeds, but is actually the first stab at two separate plays-one the story of Raasch’s mother choosing between two men and the parallel this story plays in Raasch’s own life, and two, memories from Raasch’s childhood with her adoptive family.


8:00pm |  BLANK written and performed by Brian Stanton

A one man show from Classroom to Confessional, from Flamboyant Professor to Pipe-smoking Grandmother, from Oedipus Rex to bizarre Inner-voice: a birth certificate propels an adoptee on a fantastic and mysterious quest for identity. Playing 12 characters, our adopted hero explores every avenue on what it means to be a man ultimately discovering the horrific truth of his birth, an instinctive love for his birth mother, and a grateful dedication to his adoptive family.

Event Organizers

Jeanette Yoffe

Jeanette Yoffe

Organizer & Founder of Celia Center

Jeanette Yoffe, M.A., M.F.T., is the Executive Director and Founder of Celia Center.Celia Center is a mental health center which meets the critical needs of all those connected by Foster Care and Adoption and all those who serve the community of Foster Care and Adoption in Los Angeles and beyond. 

Before dedicating her life as an adoptions and foster care psychotherapist, Yoffe was a dancer and actress. Yoffe’s desire to become a therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. And now, after founding Celia Center two years ago, Yoffe wants to merge her background in the arts with the mission of Celia Center.

She earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She has specialized for the past 10 years in the treatment of children who manifest serious deficits in their emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development. 

In 2006 she won Los Angeles Foster Care Hero Award for her dedication to children and families in foster Care. Jeanette founded the non-profit she named, Celia Center, after her first mother, Celia.

She has been in the field for over 20 years and has worked as a psychotherapist, foster care social worker, clinical director, trainer for Los Angeles County Child & Family Services and the Department of Mental Health for parents, social workers and therapists on adoption & foster care challenges, parenting, impact of pre-adoption trauma, grief/loss, open adoption, and provides support to adult adoptees searching for long lost family members, as well as assists in reunion and family reunification. She is a Court Appointed Reunification Expert for Los Angeles Superior Court in cases involving children at risk for separation. She has appeared on the OWN and TLC Network, as a Psychotherapist teaching about Adoption in the shows Raising Whitley and Long Lost Family. in 1999 she wrote a one-woman play about growing up in foster care and adoption called, “What’s Your Name, Who’s Your Daddy?” and was accepted into the Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival.

This cathartic experience of separating from her birth family led her  on a continuous search for answers, and need to understand the adoptee’s experience of love and loss, as well as the love and loss a birth parent endures during separation trauma and their lifetime.

In 2009, she created a support group called Adopt Salon Los Angeles, which brings together all of the constellation members involved in an adoption and/or foster care placement, as well as ignite strength and community, and bring education, awareness and support for all of these members in forming healthy reunions, open adoptions, healing and understanding for all.

In 2006 she published her 1st book, Groundbreaking Interventions: Working with Traumatized Children, Teens and Families in Foster Care and Adoption available on Amazon.

She is also the clinical director and founder of Yoffe Therapy, more info at YoffeTherapy.com

Nicole Rademacher

Nicole Rademacher


Nicole Rademacher an accomplished artist and creative strategist. Spearheading community building projects and social media strategies both nationally and internationally, Nicole has worked with organizations such as LOOP Video Art Festival, Nairobi National Museum, VE-Global (Chile), and produced events in collaboration with such entities as the Casa Museo Michoacán de los Guindos (a Pablo Neruda home) and soloists from the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently Nicole is the Director of Communications & Outreach at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA.

She completed her BFA in video and photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University in western New York State. As an artist, Nicole has developed and produced projects in Argentina, Chile, France, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and her native USA. Her work has been exhibited and screened worldwide including Transmediale, Harvestworks, re-new Digital Art Forum, LOOP Video Art Festival, the Gallery of the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, and the Chilean Consulate in NYC. As a curator she has worked with artists in Chicago, Chile, and most recently with Spanish artist Elena Bajo at 18th Street Arts Center.

Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton

Performing Arts Programming

Brian Stanton is honored to perform at the Celia Center Arts Festival. BLANK had its World Premiere in Los Angeles, CA in April of 2010. The production has since visited Off Broadway New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, D.C., Vancouver, Dallas, Kansas City, Aspen, Orlando, and San Diego garnering critical acclaim along the way including a “Best Solo Actor” award at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City and 2 StageSceneLA awards: “Outstanding Actor in a Solo Performance” for Stanton and “Outstanding Director of a Solo Performance” for McKerrin Kelly. BLANK and Stanton have been featured on NPR, ABC News and The Kansas City Star. For more info on BLANK and Stanton visit: thebrianstanton.com

Special Thanks To Our 2016 Event Partners & Sponsors