Born in Minnesota, Sarah Pillsbury moved to LA in 1974 just after graduating from Yale. After a few quarters at UCLA Film School, she switched from documentaries to dramatic films, producing Board and Care, which won the 1979 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Subject. In 1982, she partnered with Midge Sanford, with whom she has produced over a dozen feature films for theatre and television including: Desperately Seeking Susan, River’s Edge, Eight Men Out, How to Make an American Quilt and the Emmy® Award-winning And the Band Played On.
A lifelong activist, Sarah co-founded the Liberty Hill Foundation in 1976. Liberty Hill distinguished itself by providing seed money to grassroots organizations and involving activists in the decision-making. Liberty Hill grew exponentially after the civil unrest of 1992 and continues to advance movements for equality and opportunity through a combination of grants, leadership training and alliance building. In 2005, Sarah helped launch Nonprofit VOTE in 2005 and works with its LA-based initiative the California Participation Project, which partners with nonprofits to increase voter participation in traditionally under-served communities. Her children give her the greatest joy, but she is happy to reside in a newly empty nest in Venice.
photo: Irene Fertik