2021’s 3rd Celia Center Arts Festival, was held during the COVID 19 pandemic on Zoom. This festival is Virtual and 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

SATURDAY, MAY 15th

4:00pm – 5:30pm 

Virtual Exhibit Adopting Resilience, Fostering the Spirit of Creativity: The Voices of the Fostered and Adopted Curated by Nicole Rademacher

Join us in the VIRTUAL EXHIBIT AREA 
VIEW HERE

Performances

SATURDAY, MAY 15th

4:00pm | FOSTER YOUTH VOICES ECHO FROM THE PAST TO PRESENT 

A compilation of narratives, poetry, spoken word, and music pieces expressed by the voices of the fostered and adopted!

  • Chianti Edwards Poetry

  • Briana Spencer Poetry

  • Raymond McDonald Poetry and Music

  • Jenni Alpert, Singer Songwriter

  • Hosted by Jeanette Yoffe

  • Crazy in Love” Song  written by Jenai Marshalleck, a former foster youth

 

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

Jenni Alpert

Jenni Alpert

Performing Arts Programming

Jenni Alpert is a Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist Jenni Alpert (Birth name: Cameron, Cami) was born in Los Angeles CA and adopted out of the foster care system at the age of four. She started to sing and play piano while staying in various foster homes. By the encouragement and support of her adoptive family, she learned to play the guitar as well and began writing and record songs.

With her honest rich songwriting and soothing musical melodies, songstress Jenni Alpert’s haunting, powerful, and sultry voice has gained the respect of fans and music tastemakers worldwide (AOL music). Her emotionally driven songs blend modern day pop influences with favorites Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Rickie Lee Jones, and Edie Brickell. Equally inspired by the vocal delivery and songs from male soul singers Bill Withers, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, and Soloman Burke, Jenni Alpert weaves a unique web of eclectic Soul-Americana Pop.

Upon recently reuniting with her biological father who was homeless, addicted, and running from the law at the time, a documentary film team decided to make a film Homeless: the Soundtrack about their reunion and the unique bond they share. The two perform and share their story together along side supporting the film as a duo under the name Cami and Don.

After years of being estranged from both her birth parents from having been placed in the foster care system to be adopted out in the early years of her life, and having missed the opportunity to met her birth mother when she was still living, years later with the assistance of a private investigator, Alpert found and reunited with her biological father. During their first meeting, which was initially all that had been intended, upon introducing herself as her birth nickname “Cami” to connect the early dots of both their pasts, she discovered he was happily homeless, running from the law, and addicted to drugs, but also a musician just like her. A few weeks into their reunion her birth father chose to leave a life of petty crime and drugs behind to join forces with Alpert. As their incredible developing relationship took flight, she met Chockstone Productions producers Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz, who upon hearing details their reunion story and reading ‘Home is Where My Heart Is’ the self penned article by the duo of Alpert’s adoption and of their biological reunion story published by Groknation edited by friend Mayim Bialik, Chockstone producer Steve Schwartz introduced Alpert to award-winning who is an nominated, Peabody and Emmy winning documentary film director Irene Taylor Brodsky who later followed, filmed, and interview, the dynamic duo during the second phase of their relationship detailing their life stories apart as well as their reunion and now life together. As Alpert aided her birth father through different stages of rehabilitation, acclimation, and self-discovery also getting to know him musically through developing and recording music together, documentary maker Brodsky filmed many days of them together editing what was to become the documentary short “Homeless: The Soundtrack” which was selected and screened at Tribeca Film Festival 2018 and honored with a Jury Award, won best short film at Nantucket Film Festival 2018, had a one week run at the Laemmle Royal Theater in West Los Angeles, and is short listed for an IDA award in the short doc category. 

Special Thanks To Our 2021 Event Partners & Sponsors