Monday, February 14, 2005
Sandy Close received a BA from the University of California-Berkeley in 1964, and then moved to Hong Kong where she worked as the China editor for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Upon her return to the U.S., she founded The Flatlands newspaper, a raw voice of the inner city communities of Oakland, Calif. In 1974, she became executive director of the Bay Area Institute/Pacific News Service, helping to develop it into one of the most diverse sources of literary voices and analytical ideas in the U.S. news media. In 1991 she founded YO! (Youth Outlook), a collaboration of writers and young people, and in 1996 she co-founded "The Beat Within," a weekly newsletter of writing and art by incarcerated youth. In 1996 she also co-founded New California Media, a nationwide association of over 600 ethnic media organizations, an awards program and an inter-ethnic media exchange and Web site. In 1995, Close received a MacArthur Foundation “genius award” for her work in communications. In 1997 a film she co-produced -- "Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien" -- won the Academy Award for best short documentary.