IN HONOR OF
Create Now Founder, Jill Gurr (February 12, 1950 – January 13, 2022) began writing stories, poems and articles starting at seven years-old. She has published three books and written a library of screenplays. Several were optioned and two were produced with well-known actors. Her scripts have placed as finalists in several screenwriting competitions.
Jill graduated with a B.S. in Broadcasting & Film from Boston University, then traveled all over the world, she was fluent in Spanish, French and Italian. She worked for 25 years as a script supervisor on award-winning feature and TV productions in foreign locations with A-list talent.
Her life changed when she worked as a script supervisor on the movie Menace II Society, the same time as the L.A. Riots in 1992. Jill taught a screenwriting workshop to 30 incarcerated teenage boys at Optimist Youth Homes in Highland Park. These teenagers learned how to read and write through her classes. Many wanted to go to college. One gang leader even had loyalty tattoos removed from his neck and hands.
Jill was later compelled to teach a second screenwriting workshop with a group of coed teens at a different juvenile detention facility, and the impact was just as powerful. She shared her stories with another screenwriter who told her professor Leslie Stevens (creator of the Outer Limits) at the AFI about her programs. Impressed by Jill’s passion to help these youth, Leslie donated $5,000 for her to start a nonprofit organization.
Create Now was founded on October 26, 1996 and initially named Write Now! With the mission to teach literacy through different forms of creative writing. However, Jill realized that many kids preferred other types of artistic expression. In 1998, the name was changed to Create Now to include all forms of creativity, such as music, dance, culinary arts and fashion.
Even though Jill is no longer with us, we are committed and even more focused on preserving her legacy and building on her vision to help underserved communities through the arts.
FOUNDER OF CREATE NOW
In remembrance of our founder Jill Gurr