Liz grew up playing cowboys and Indians on the Illinois prairie.
She was born in the small town of Marseilles, just south of Chicago. Her parents owned a grocery shop, and later a hardware store, that served the 5,000 town residents. As a kid, Liz enjoyed bicycling, singing and hiking along the Illinois River with her younger sister. From a young age, Liz was an avid reader.
"There was a great library just down the street from our house and during the summer I would go there two to three times a week to restock my books," she says.
When she was 12 years old, Liz's family got their first television. Liz loved watching movies. Little did she know that years later she would wind up working in the film industry.
She left home to see more of the world and attend Oberlin College in Ohio where she studied psychology and literature.
After graduating from Oberlin, Liz decided to try big city life in New York. She began training as a social worker helping emotionally troubled children, but found she wasn't cut out for the job. After a few years, Liz moved to Los Angeles.
While at a friend's party, Liz met her future husband, Steve, a documentary filmmaker. While helping with his movies, she soon learned that the business wasn't all glamour.
"You can't imagine if you haven't done it," she said. "I was working on the technical side so there was a lot of stress and deadline pressure."
The hard work paid off when a project Liz and Steve worked on won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. In the 1970s, Liz took on her own directorial project, a documentary about home childbirth.
After 20 years of life in Los Angeles, Liz and her husband were ready for change. They looked all around Southern California for land on which to build their own house, but when a realtor showed them a property in Saddle Mountain overlooking the Ojai Valley, there was no question about where they wanted to live.
They had no trouble fitting in with the arts community, and quickly became involved in the Ojai Film Society, and later, the Ojai Film Festival. Liz also enjoys writing, running the Literary Branch at the Art Center, and visiting the Ojai Library.
"I think It's important to have access to education and art," she said. "I want always to have the opportunity to learn and be exposed to excellence in the arts.”
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