Nirvan is an LA based filmmaker, creative consultant, speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of Imagination.org. Nirvan began teaching himself animation while studying philosophy at New College. He went on to earn an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts. Nirvan’s animated short films have screened in festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards. In 2001, Nirvan began an ongoing collaborative experiment called The 1 Second Film, which became among the first crowdfunded films. In 2012, Nirvan directed Caine’s Arcade, an 11-minute short film that became a viral phenomenon, receiving over 8 million views and sparking a global movement of cardboard creativity in kids around the world. Nirvan has received the Dan Eldon Creative Activist Award and the Innovation in Action award. Nirvan is a partner at Interconnected, consults with companies and non-profits, serves on the board of CicLAvia, and tries to keep up with his garden and email.
In 2011, at the age of 9, Caine Monroy spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles. Caine’s Arcade, the short film by Nirvan Mullick about Caine’s handmade cardboard arcade, inspired a global movement to foster creativity in kids, leading to the launch of Imagination.org and our annual Global Cardboard Challenge.
Today, Caine is an active member of Two Bit Circus Foundation’s Junior Board. He’s a Senior in high school and enjoys traveling, sneakers and inspiring creativity in kids everywhere.
Dr. Leah Hanes, brings a unique set of professional and personal experiences to her role at Two Bit Circus Foundation. Beginning her career in Toronto, Leah produced and hosted an award-winning television series profiling woman in non-traditional roles. This led her to Los Angeles, where she appeared on-camera conducting interviews and hosting a variety of programs covering environmental issues, business and politics.
She eventually segued into other areas of the entertainment industry, notably as the President of a boutique talent agency representing Academy Award-winning cinematographers, editors and production designers. She also spent several years owning and running an acting school for children and teens, during a period she describes as her “empty nest” adjustment.
Her early life on a farm in Canada nurtured a strong sense of environmental stewardship while her first college experience was in Early Childhood Education, illuminating a solid direction to follow in her recent academic endeavors. Dr. Hanes holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management as well as a PhD. in Leadership and Change.
All of these variables lead to a confluence of skills and knowledge that fit perfectly into the Two Bit Circus Foundation ecosystem. When she’s not spreading the STEAM word across California, she loves spending time with her grandchildren.
I’ve dedicated my career to working for innovative and inspiring causes in education. My passion for education became a reality while studying Sociology in college. I joined the Imagination team in 2013, shortly after its launch. Now, as a part of the Two Bit Circus Foundation team, I run point on Imagination’s programs and develop creative corporate partnerships opportunities to fuel our growth. Some of my favorite things involve cooking, enjoying long meals, and spending time with my husband, Subir and my daughter, Siena.