I learned to talk in Iran and to press the record button in the United States. In between, I was taught: 1. to question how people come into power and 2. that no step forward is an advancement unless you have a hand extended bringing your community with you.
My work has focused on independent filmmaking, teaching media studies and production, and doing communications and community engagement primarily for arts and cultural organizations. By day I work as the Program Director at the Leeway Foundation, a foundation that funds individual women and trans artists in the Philadelphia area using art as a tool for social change. I love: to watch TV and films (especially sci fi and fantasy), eat, cook, write, read, sew, this handsome guy and the preschooler we’re keeping alive together. I’m dedicated to: my Vipassana meditation practice (16 years), Philadelphia (20 years), and supporting the work of emerging artists. I’ve recently made a latebloomer life shift away from film and video to focus on DJing, starting a new journey as an apprentice.
A More Formal Bio
Sara Zia Ebrahimi is an Iranian-American cultural worker based out of Philadelphia. She currently works as the program director at the Leeway Foundation, managing three grant programs and five residency programs for artists in the Philadelphia area working at the intersection of art and social change. Before working at the Leeway Foundation her previous positions have included working as a Community Engagement Coordinator for Independent Television Service's (ITVS) Community Cinema program and as the Development and Communications Director at Bread & Roses Community Fund. She has almost 20 years of experience in film and video production and curation, but has recently shifted to bringing communities together through music as DJ Cardigan.