Charity Meets: Tanna Frederick

Phillip Alderton

Tanna Frederick poses in a flapper girl dress

Kelly Fay

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Talk about talent meeting philanthropy! As an actress, producer, surfer, writer and environmentalist, Tanna Frederick has tallied more than enough listings on her resume to impress just about anyone. After addressing her University of Iowa classmates during her valedictory speech, Tanna took off to Los Angeles and somehow managed to add a sparkling illumination to the already bright lights of the city, simply by being in it. Tanna didn’t waste any time jumping into the Los Angeles theater community. She shares her time between film productions and the stage but regardless of her artistic playing field, you can expect an impression to be left on those who watch. She has won a multitude of awards including back to back winnings as Best Actress at the 2011/2012 Wild Rose Film Festival, 2012 CineCause Award, 2011 Gold medal Best Actress at the Worldfest Houston and the 2008 Karen Black Award for Excellence in Independent Film at the Iowa Independent Film Festival, and we aren’t even halfway down the list of honors! Additionally, she is the co-founded of the Iowa Independent Film Festival and led the Iowa filmmaking initiative Project Cornlight. I’m out of breath just listing her accolades; however, Tanna’s most appealing trait rests in her philanthropic efforts.

After her move to California, naturally, the sunny weather and perfect waves served as a nice backdrop for a new interest in the young artist: surfing. Her new found love would eventually lead her to start the non-profit organization, Project Save Our Surf, which is committed to ocean conservation, the improved availability of freshwater to those in need and educating a variety of people on the joys of surfing. However, her charitable support doesn’t stop there. She actively contributes to Here to Serve, an organization that provides caregivers and their families non-medical support through life-threatening health crises, and she most recently posed for ARF Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation 2014 Celebrity Pet Calendar (check out May) in support of the cause. Are you convinced Tanna Frederick simply cannot get anymore impressive? Do read on.

Website: @Tannaf

Facebook Page:

What are three words that best describe you? Squirrely, pensive, genial

Could you describe your business? I am an artist.

What is your role, where are you based and what do you inspires you most about your work? I am based out of Santa Monica. I am always inspired human nature!

Was there anything in your past that pointed you in the direction you’ve taken? My hometown, Mason City, Iowa, and all the community offered in terms of support, opportunities, and education.

What experience in your career are you most proud of?
Being Valedictorian and Homecoming Queen of my Liberal Arts class at University of Iowa.

(Photo Credit: Phillip Alderton)

What advice would you share with those still in school? Keep your eye on the prize.

Why is giving back is important to you? I’ve had a very fortunate life and I’m thankful.

How has giving back helped you? It keeps me grounded and inspires me.

How do you incorporate giving back into your life? Through my non-profit Project Save Our Surf.

Which charities are near and dear to you and why? Anything that has to do with mental health, as we are desperately in need of more help in this country for people with mental illness-the lack of understanding, responsibility, and funding. Also anything to do with providing clean drinking water for the planet, educating children about protecting the environment through our PSOS Camps. I also am passionate about keeping the arts going strong in my home town, Mason City, Iowa, and bringing back filming incentives to the state.

When it comes to your own philanthropic efforts, what do you look back and feel made the largest impact on those that you set out to help? Educating children through the heart and hands-on experiences at our PSOS ConSurfvation Camps and Camp PSOS…Serving children whose schools can’t afford camps and parents can’t afford camps for their kids.

(Photo Credit: Odessy Barbu)

What is the most creative fundraising idea you’ve come across? My non-profit’s event Project Save Our Surf: Surf 24…A 24 hour surf-a-thon where many great people and surfers gathered to raise money for some great organizations.

What are some must-attend charity events for you? YWCA, anything with clean water for children, education for children, Peace Over Violence, and anything to support monies for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

What brands do you wear most often? Camilla Olsen, she makes amazing clothes for women that you feel beautiful in everyday. Her line is so versatile it can go with my vintage Chanel jewelry or my Free People boots.

What is your favorite beauty product? Dove Hair conditioner or La Prarie anything

How would you describe your home décor? 1940’s feminine, the best sorority house ever

What is your secret for hosting a great party? Great music and great spirits

Favorite food: Any kind of cheese!

Favorite cocktail: peach martini

Favorite restaurant: Gjelina

(Photo Credit: Phillip Alderton)

If you could host a dinner party for 8, who would you invite living or dead? Paul Newman, Kurt Cobain, Obama, Audrey Hepburn, Kathryn Hepburn, my husband’s parents, and my parents.

Favorite vacation spot: My brother has a beautiful B&B in Fertile, Iowa, that I love relaxing at or anywhere with waves to surf.

Do you have any tips for parents?
If you child wants to be an artist, cultivate their interests.

Favorite TV show: Sopranos

Favorite movie: Festival in Cannes

Favorite song: Betty Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes

Favorite book: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles

Favorite apps: Instagram and Runkeeper

(Photo Credit: Odessy Barbu)

iPhone or Android: iphone

Favorite workout: Marathon training, surfing, or martial arts

Where do you get your news? New York Times, my mom
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Charity Meets: Tanna Frederick