Diana Buckhantz is working for a better world

| July 28, 2022 | 0 Comments


With yoga-strong arms and a ready smile, Diana Buckhantz is a Larchmont woman who has been working for decades to make a difference in the world. Growing up in New York as a shy but smart self-described goody-goody, she probably couldn’t have foreseen the many paths her life would take. Young Diana dreamed of being an actress. From the age of three, she would accompany her mother to first-run shows in the city, and she fell in love with the theater.

This love of the theater stayed with Buckhantz as she grew. It led her to study at Dartmouth and eventually brought her to Los Angeles, where she found opportunity in producing documentaries. Her first, “Hunger in the Promised Land,” starring Joanne Woodward, helped her see what a difference she could make in the world.

The Windsor Square resident has been making a difference ever since. Besides starting and running her family’s foundation, The Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Foundation, which grants money to many causes including women’s empowerment projects in Eastern Congo and Chad, Diana is on many boards. Two of these — The Center Theatre Group and The Fountain Theater — keep her thespian soul satiated.

Buckhantz says, “One of the things I really like about The Fountain Theater is that everything they do, they do really through a social justice lens.” The latest staged reading, “Roe,” by Lisa Loomer, is a timely piece the theater decided to present when news of the recent Supreme Court ruling was leaked — a ruling Diana says she “was not surprised at all by.”

She also has advocated for youth as the media director for Children Now and as a PR / marketing manager for the California Family Health Council. She is on the board of Youth Emerging Stronger and has done much work with the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership. She strongly believes in inspiring kids and giving them “a path to a future” by offering resources to help them find careers rather than, simply, jobs.

When asked what she sees in today’s young women that inspires her or gives her hope, Buckhantz says, “I think they’re much more self-confident, for the most part. They believe they can do whatever they want. I don’t think they’re as afraid. I don’t think they’re intimidated as much.” In light of recent happenings, she added, “I just hope they recognize they have to go out and vote.”

In the Larchmont community, this devoted yogi played an instrumental part in getting the Center for Yoga reopened. As many in our area know, it shut its doors for the first time since 1967 when COVID-19 came on the scene. Diana, along with her son Sam (who she says is the best thing in her life), is one of the four investors who made sure it reopened. As an owner and board member, she is very involved and is excited to celebrate The Center for Yoga’s one-year reopening anniversary on Aug. 24.

Having lived in the Larchmont area for 31 years, Buckhantz believes strongly in supporting the “gems on our street.” She cites businesses like Vernetti, Le Petit Greek, Village Heights, Larchmont Beauty, Village Pizzeria, Louise’s Trattoria and Chevalier’s Books.

She feels stores that are individually-owned are what make the street feel like a community. Though ultimately unsuccessful in her efforts, she and others worked tirelessly to save La Luna before it officially lost its lease in 2007. She treasures Larchmont Boulevard and makes a point of frequenting the individually-owned shops and restaurants. She encourages everyone to get out and help keep these places in business.

Buckhantz is involved in so many community projects and is even being honored for her work with Jewish World Watch in September. When asked if she sees herself as a leader, she says, “No. I’d like to think of myself as an activist. I feel incredibly grateful to do what I do. I feel lucky I get to support the heroes.”

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Category: People

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