Meet a Member: Jan Lisa Huttner

Jan Lisa Huttner is an award-winning American film critic, journalist and activist. She is an outspoken advocate for women artists, particularly in cinema. She works hard to help bring women artists the visibility they deserve. She joined NFPW in Illinois and now lives in New York. She is a another outstanding example of a unique and unbelievable NFPW member.  

Name:  Jan Lisa Huttner

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Prints Row Book festival in 2008. Photo by Suzanne Hanney.

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Book Festival in 2008. Photo by Suzanne Hanney.

City and State: After 35 years in Chicago, hubby & I moved to Brooklyn, N.Y.  in late 2012.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I joined Illinois Woman’s Press Association in early 2003. Because the Printers Row Lit Fest (then called the Printers Row Book Fair) was held in my neighborhood, I agreed to work the IWPA Table in June (2003). The next year, I joined the Board as Coordinator of the PRBF Committee. I held this position from 2004 to 2008, then assisted with the transition to new leadership. I also served as liaison between IWPA & AAUW-Illinois in the development of the Jane Addams Day & WITASWAN projects. Thru-out this period, I served on the Board for several years with the title “Coordinator of Special Projects,” I also wrote numerous articles for PenPoints (the IWPA newsletter), and assisted with program planning for specific monthly meetings.

Years a member of NFPW:

I attended the NFPW Conventions in Seattle in ’05, in Denver in ’06 & in Chicago in 2010. Unfortunately most years the NFPW Convention conflicts with congregational responsibilities related to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Tell us a little about you.

A wonderful young man in Chicago who has done terrific work for me—first as a student and now as an aspiring screenwriter—said this to me at the Goodbye Party held right before we moved to Brooklyn: “I’ve been thinking about what to give you as a goodbye present, and I decided I’d like to give you a Wikipedia page. OK?” So I will turf this question to him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Lisa_Huttner

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Lit Festival in 2012. Photo by Richard Bayard Miller.

Jan Lisa Huttner at the Printers Row Lit Festival in 2012. Photo by Richard Bayard Miller.

Any career advice you would give?

This is an extremely stressful time for professional writers as we navigate the transition to “New Media.” It is difficult to know if the hours spent networking on “Social Media” (like Facebook) actually have a “Return on Investment.” So my only advice is to “Keep On Keeping On.” Now more than ever, the worldwide community needs stories—fiction and non-fiction–told from the female POV.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I have no Poker Face! Even when I manage to stifle myself and keep my big mouth shut, everyone in the room can still read my face. I wish I could do a better job of “keeping my own counsel” sometimes, but alas, I am now 63 so I think I’m stuck with myself!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I never expected to live in New York, but now that I’m here, I must say it’s a fabulous place to be!

What book are you reading?

Wiser: Getting Beyond GroupThink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein & Reid Hastie

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My Dad was “a joiner,” so I was raised to be “a joiner” too. Now I belong to a lot of groups, therefore people come to know me in many different contexts. So I think people would be surprised to learn that I think of my own life as organized around a single principle: Invisible Women. Too many women—not only in the past but also in the present—are “invisible,” that is, not given their due either by their own cultures or by the world community at large. I want to give voice to these women not only for their sake, but on behalf of the women of the future. Women need to believe in themselves more than they do now, and one way to help them do that is to give voice to all the wonderful women who have paved the way.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

IWPA and NFWP members have been crucial allies in my struggle to create my own “professional voice.” I was a healthcare computer consultant from 1984 to 2002, so becoming a writer on arts & culture was a big transition. Receiving recognition for my work from both IWPA and NFWP helped me to believe in myself, and gave me that much more energy to push myself ever harder every year.

Receiving this award from NFPW so early on was a huge boost! And it was also the start of these charts I still do every year:

http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/oscar-blues-2014/

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Main Website: http://www.films42.com & FB: https://www.facebook.com/FF2Media

To learn more about Huttner check out:

http://www.films42.com/feature/2005-FeatherAward.asp

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