POPS the Club Co-Founders. Amy Friedman is an author, editor and teacher, and Dennis Danziger is a retired high school teacher, author and playwright. In 2013, while Dennis was teaching English at Venice High, the couple co-founded POPS the Club, and later that year incorporated POPS as a nonprofit. Together and apart, Amy and Dennis led more than 300 POPS club meetings in schools across the country and co-edited and published a dozen award-winning anthologies, five with PEN America, followed by eight POPS the Club books to celebrate and honor the writing and artwork created by POPS the Club members, graduates and others.

Amy served as POPS the Club’s Executive Director until October 2021, leading the organization’s growth to include 19 clubs in five states and spearheading dozens of partnerships. The organization was born of Amy’s personal experience, described in her memoir, Desperado’s Wife. Initially trained by Executive Service Corps of Southern California’s Executive Director Leadership Institute (EDLI), in 2021 Amy was City Scholars Fellow. Dennis has served as a POPS volunteer, club sponsor, secretary of the Board of Directors. Together the couple created the organization’s original curriculum. In 2016 Amy and Dennis received the George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light Foundation Award and, that same year, the Obama administration invited them, along with a few POPS students, to the White House to speak about the impact of incarceration on teens. Amy and Dennis are staunch believers in freedom of expression and the power of art to change the world.