Featured on Jun 06, 2011
"The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Esther Chang is Producer at Deepak HomeBase (DHB) and was brought on to launch a series of public programs with Deepak Chopra. Based inside abc home, DHB is the sustainable integration of Education, Healing, Sanctuary, Theater and Museum connecting to and empowering a critical mass to co-create a peaceful, just, sustainable, joyful and healthy world. Esther produces weekly events with guests of global notoriety such as Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Harvard Scientist Rudolph Tanzi, National Geographic Photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong, among many. In addition to the live events, Esther co-produces Deepak Chopra's SiriusXM Radio shows and manages all abc home events.
Prior to working at DHB/abc home, Esther was the Community Engagement Associate at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco, CA where she launched and produced YBCA’s largest signature event the Big Idea Night Party, a free open house festival featuring exhibitions, film screenings, dance and musical performances with 2,500+ attendees. She also launched an ongoing public program for adult audiences called Art Savvy, which helps to demystify contemporary visual art. Other experiences include work for the Human Right’s Watch International Film Festival and Social Venture Network. On her spare time she volunteers at Camp Sunburst as an HIV/AIDS Counselor for Pre-Teens/Teens infected or affected with the virus.
Esther has a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
You must have quite a lot on your plate scheduling events and programs with so many well-known figures every week. What’s the hardest part of balancing your busy schedule? What’s your favorite part of getting to work with so many esteemed guests?
Balancing work/life can be difficult at times, especially since the events I produce are typically in the evening. Definitely lots of late hours and some weekends, which, leaves limited time to decompress. Fortunately, my work and my personal interests are aligned and related – the films I choose to see, the exhibits I check out, the conferences/talks/events I attend - music, food, etc - all the different activities, for the most part, fold neatly into work “research”.
I feel extremely fortunate to work with many luminaries from various fields and industries. I am continuously inspired, educated, engaged, and challenged. I wouldn’t be able to commit as much energy as I currently do if the experience wasn’t meaningful.
What is the most important thing you have learned from working with a figure as influential as Deepak Chopra?
I’ve learned quite a bit from Deepak, as one can imagine. The most recent is the importance of meditation. I’ve started meditating twice a day, every day, for 20 minutes – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Again, extremely fortunate as Deepak gave me my mantra. That I cannot share - I promised Deepak.
You are quite the event planner! What is the best birthday party you have ever planned?
Hm. The best birthday party I’ve ever planned? That’s a tough one. I try not to plan too much outside of what I already plan for work. However, being that I am an event planner, I get stuck with planning many birthdays, parties, etc. One of the best parties – not a birthday per say but celebration – was a friend’s SURPRISE college graduation party. I invited folks to the festivities from Hawaii to NYC, friends, family, and everyone in between. It was memorable to say the least.