top of page

Mentors Rock!

What would the world be without mentors?  The Story Project thanks each and every one of our very generous angels who continue to bless us with their wit and wisdom.  The impact on our students is immeasurable.  We can't wait to see you again!


​Adam Larkey - Photographer
Adi Espaldon - MTV Producer
Adisa Khepra - TV Producer
Allan Murray - Comic
Amyn Kaderali - writer/director
Andrew Feinstein - Cartoonist, "Girls and Sports"
Andrew Solomon - Writer/Producer
Andy House - Sony Exec.
Andy Lauer Actor - Caroline in the City
Benjamin Miles - Artist / H.S. Student
Bill Zorzi - Newspaper jounrnalist and writer on HBO's THE WIRE
Brent Bell - writer/director of STAY ALIVE
Bryan Sanders - Poet
Cheryl Gazdik - Artist
Chris Bell - Director/Producer
Chris Brancato - Writer/Producer  Boomtown, The Flash
Chris Pierce - Singer / Songwriter
Christopher Bell - Filmmaker: "Bigger, Faster, Stronger"
Claire Martin - Actress
Claire Steinberg - Photographer
Clare Martin - Recording Artist/Actor
Daheli Hall - Comic / Actor
Dallas Jackson - Writer/Producer
Dan Gordon - Theater/Improv.
David Andrews - Actor: Terminator 3, From Earth to the Moon
David Armstrong - DP SAW
David Khane - Music Producer
David Thompson - Actor, Filmmaker
Denver Daily - Singer / Songwriter
Dorian Graham - Filmmaker
Doyle Cole - Singer/Songwriter
Ed Solomon - Writer  Men In Black

Elena Katsap Smith - Actor
Ellis Hall - Singer / Songwriter
Estevan Ramos - Fashion Designer         
Filip Sablik -  Publisher, Top Cow
Frank Wuliger -  Partner, Gersh
Glen Cornish - Filmmaker, Activist
Greg Fitzpatrick - Ben Stillers stuntman
Greg Ruoff - Studio Manager: Ocean Studios Burbank
Harlan Werner - Sports Agent
Heather Hale - Screenwriter
Heather Rosario - Actress/Dancer
Hillel - Magician/Clowntomine
Imelda Corcoran - Actress
Jinish Shah - Director of Photography
John August - Writer  Big Fish, Charlies Angels
Jonathan Alter - Columnist - Newsweek Magazine
Juanesta Holmes - Script Supervisor
Kasi Lemmons - Writer/Director, "Eve's Bayou"
Kate Romero - Talent Manager
Ken Rance - Writer
Kevin Roberts - Music Producer
Leila Kenzel - Actress - Mad About You, Identity
Leslie Pierce - Artist
Lisa Pantone - Casting Director & Acting coach
Makayla Leone - Stunt Woman
Marina Muhlfriedel - Screenwriter
Mark Sullivan - Photographer
Master P - Musician/Actor/Producer
Matt Peterman - writer/producer of Stay Alive
Matt Weiss - Writer / Actor / TMZ Reporter
Micah Linton - Children's Book Author (Weebeasts)
Michael Feldman - Writer/Producer, Disney
Michael Nouri - Actor, "The Proposal"
Mich Paster - Filmmaker
Natalie Apsell - CNN associate Producer, "State of the Union"
Nikki Carbonetta - Make-Up Artist
Paul Miller - CNN Audio Desinger/ director, "Last Name Left"
Phoebe Beasley - Artist
Poetri - Tony Award Winning Poet
Rafael Alverez - Writer, "The Wire"
Rawson Thurber - Writer/Director of DODGEBALL
Richard Henry - Actor/Improv
Robert Howell - Music
Roman Gabriel - Filmmaker
Sarah Suzor - Writer
Sean OByene - Filmmaker
Shane Black - Writer/Director - LETHAL WEAPON
Smokey Miles - Singer / Songwriter
Stacey McClaine - TV Writer
Suzanne Marques - News Reporter
Teresa Zales - Producer
Tim Finoglio - Cinematographer
Todd Felderstein - Filmmaker
Tom Elliot - Filmmaker
Troy Campbell Producer
Victoria Alonso - Producer, Marvel Ent.
Vondie Curtis-Hall Actor/Director of WAIST DEEP

The Passing of a Legend

On May 22nd, our co-founder, Dina Merrill, died at the age of 93. Our hearts are saddened with this news. Dina was an ardent philanthropist with an enormous heart. A woman of style and grace, we are beyond grateful for her concern and support of challenged communities throughout the country . We wish Ted Hartley, Dina's husband and co-founder of The Story Project, and her family, much solace during this challenging time.

NYTimes Article


What Makes Us Most Unique?

Think about it.  You enter a classroom only to find the writer of BIG FISH, WILLY WONKA, and CHARLIES ANGELS as the teacher.  On another occasion it's a musician whose song you hummed only moments earlier while walking down the hallway.  How about that stunt coordinator who makes a living creating outlandish feats in order to make the impossible, possible?  I bet he has some stories.

The Story Project's pool of mentors, all accomplished and working artists, generously volunteer their time and talent to be part of our programs' legacy. It's recognized that media is a tremendous tool; it makes perfect sense to use that tool to motivate kids' academic studies all the while validating the fact that the future holds a myriad of possibilities.

That's our secret.

Don't you think its time that you become a part of our story?


Concerned by the declining literacy rate in today's middle and high schools, Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill created The Story Project enlisting one of Los Angeles' most abundant resources, creative talent.  Since then, we have reached thousands of kids with our entertainment-arts curriculum made possible by media professionals working in today's film, television, and music industries.  Our strategy is simple, inspire literacy through avenues they already enjoy. Each and every class occurs in an after-school setting where working writers, actors, directors and production professionals volunteer their time to our students.  Through discussions and activities based in screenwriting, filmmaking, poetry, photography, and an assortment of media and art related fields, the mentors reveal personal stories while inspiring the kids to share their own. It has been our experience that these interactions bolster self-esteem while enhancing reading and writing skills.

To date more than a thousand at-risk kids have participated in our curriculum and the numbers continue to grow.

Our mission is accomplished through the constant financial and in-kind contributions from the entertainment community in addition to corporate and individual donors. 

If you would like to become part of our story, please contact us at:

Meet Elena.  A multifaceted artist, she mentors because she is aware of the invaluable impact it has on a young person's life.  Watch the video to learn more about one of our favorites in the classroom.

With a strong New York dance background, Mark lept at the chance to work with our students on their musical production.  The results were magical.  Tune in to learn more.


Executive Director
Todd Felderstein


A stage and screen director, Todd began with The Story Project as a mentor before assuming the role as Executive Director. In addition to a very active entertainment calendar, Todd has created youth programs for a variety of nonprofits and film festivals which include the San Pedro Int. Film Festival and is o the teaching faculty of the Los Angeles Center for Photography.

bottom of page