We love our volunteers at SCBWI and couldn’t exist without them! “Volunteer Spotlight” is a great way to get to know them for yourself and learn more about what they do and how you can volunteer too. Now meet Gina Capaldi, Illustrator Coordinator for the SCBWI’s Inland Empire, also known as SoCal.
Sarah Parker-Lee: When did you join SCBWI?
Gina Capaldi: I believe I’ve been a member of the SCBWI on and off for 20 years.
SPL: What is your volunteer role and and why did you take it?
GC: I had been a Schmooze coordinator a long time ago and picked the role up again one and a half years ago. At that time, I put on a gallery show for our Southern California SCBWI illustrators and was asked to be the regional Illustrator Coordinator. I was excited because I saw some holes in the way the public, and illustrators, view illustration in the gallery forum. I was also interested in looking at the publishing market, alternatives for working illustrators, and intrigued with new technology for illustration. With these concepts in mind, I did not hesitate to take on the role.
SPL: What do you enjoy about your role?
GC: The possibilities!!!! Talking, thinking, learning, and creating with like-minded people. I also love that I am currently working on several programs that I think will enhance our region. While our illustrators mingle group has a small gallery show this July, we have a larger, more comprehensive show, with mini-workshops, community outreach and the like, slated for June/July 2017.
SPL: How has volunteering enhanced your quest as a writer/illustrator or helped define your contribution to literacy?
GC: Part of my work as an IC has been dedicated to developing programs that will enhance the literacy problem for lower income families within the community. We first did this by adding a children’s writing contest (k-12). Then we developed illustration programs for kids, and are now exposing these children to authors and illustrators through school visits in areas that are neglected or do not have funding for these programs. None of these developments could have been achieved without the aid of the remarkable gallery director, Margaret Aichelle from the dA Center for the Arts. She opened the doors for us (SCBWI IE/OC SoCal Chapter) to do ANYTHING we think will benefit us and the community
SPL: What do you hope to accomplish in your volunteer role this year?
GC: I’ve been working both ends of the art spectrum as an illustrator and as a certified fine arts appraiser-USPAP compliant. Therefore, an important goal for me is to impress upon illustrators to look at their work with new eyes and consider their illustrations as a part of the fine-art-collecting world. This is more than showing work in a gallery. It has much more to do with “legacy”! I want to grow this idea and provide some of the steps to make this possible.
The final, and greatest, reward for me is being part of the SCBWI community.
You can learn more about volunteering with SCBWI, all the great perks and freebies it entails, and what positions are open from the links below. We need everything from graphic designers to social media coordinators to event hosts. If you want to give back, we’ll find a place for you!
*Photos & illustrations provided by Gina Capaldi
Gina Capaldi wears many hats: Award-winning author/illustrator in trade, historical non-fiction, educational, and the toy industry. Gina is the IC coordinator for the SCBWI IE/OC SoCal area; and, she works as a fine arts appraiser. Gina’s website is http://www.ginacapaldi.com
Sarah Parker-Lee is managing co-editor of Kite Tales, reviews books for Dwarf+Giant, & writes for non-profits fighting injustice all over the interwebs. She is also available to edit your novels & writerly endeavors. She writes YA alt. history & sci-fi. Her humor blog, Dogs and Zombies: A Dog’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, shambles towards your tasty brains Summer-ish 2016. Twitterings: @SarahSoNovel