Janessa Munt (1995 - 2023) was a volunteer and organizer for OrigamiUSA. She created the Gather.town space for the Origami Cafe and organized the Gather & Fold event after the 2021 OrigamiUSA Annual Convention. Janessa was an author and creator most known for her wonderful dollar bill models.


February 12, 2023 - 4:50pm animemiz

News for this hasn't really gone on social media yet, but what sudden sad news. I am shocked and dismayed. Janessa and I met at Centerfold, one year when I went and while we didn't share a lot of folds in common I remember she was playing Pokémon Go like I was, so we bonded over that and I made it a point to buy her first Pokemon origami book when it was published. When there was a virtual convention with Gathertown, due to pandemic - we saw each other again via those small video boxes. I commiserated with her over the heat wave the West coast was having. I had hoped to meet her in person again. But unfortunately this is not to be. What a loss of young talent in the origami folding community.

February 13, 2023 - 12:09am belle.fernandez

To say that I am grief stricken by Janessa’s unexpected passing is an understatement. So young, talented with such a promising future.

If I remember correctly, I first met the then-teenager Janessa when our convention was still held at FIT. Years later our paths crossed again at Centerfold where she taught her dollar bill dog, among other $ bill creations. She gave me her model & I’ve always treasured it. The pandemic brought us virtual convention, GatherTown and Gather & Fold. GatherTown reconnected me with many folders I haven’t seen in years - Janessa being one of them. Through GatherTown, we became fast friends. We also had many long telephone conversations and Zoom meetings brainstorming ideas for chat rooms for Gather & Fold, Easter eggs and secret passage ways to special chat rooms. Every so often, we’d call or text each other simply to say hi or find out how the other is doing. I thought about doing just that recently, but kept putting it off. I will forever regret not ringing her or reaching out to her sooner when I still could. (Take home messages for me is to Stop procrastinating & Seize the moment!)

Rest in peace, dear friend. You will be sorely missed.

February 13, 2023 - 1:02am SinkFold310

I'm absolutely heartbroken to hear of the sudden passing of Janessa Munt. Strange, yesterday I was looking at the Foldfest recording of her teaching her Dollar Duck (I remember she had a pet duck) When I first started attending online conventions she made me feel so welcome and included-guiding me thru Gather.town and letting me in on hidden rooms. Loved to sit with her in the chat rooms and listen to her swap stories with other folders and team members. If there was ever a glitch, Janessa was the one to go to. Such a shock to lose such a beautiful young lady so suddenly. I'll always remember her quiet.way, and her lovely smile. RIP Janessa 💔

February 13, 2023 - 5:38pm annag

Condolences, to everyone else here who also misses Janessa. She was really cool.

Here, have some more adjectives: Skilled, creative, thoughtful, considerate, reflective, intense, enthusiastic, dedicated, driven, caring, insightful, clever, generous, compassionate, patient, encouraging, dextrous, inspiring, determined, mechanically inclined, intuitive, smart, just, moral, opinionated, supportive, friendly.

I hope her legacy can live on, partly through casual space for folders to gather online.

February 13, 2023 - 10:36pm wang-iverson.family

Dear, dear Janessa,
A quote posted by Leyla Torres, attributed to Millie Huang, captures our relationship:
“By chance we meet, by choice we become friends.”
It was not exactly chance, but your dollar bill origami Duck that drew me to you. Many people have passed through my life whose names I no longer remember, but my interactions with you remain etched indelibly in my mind: rooming together at the first East Bay Origami Convention in 2013, receiving a package from you containing your dollar bill creations, appreciating your attending my workshop at the Tanteidan Convention following 6OSME in Tokyo in 2014, meeting for breakfast during a business trip to Portland, resuming our conversation at gather.town in 2021.
Memories of you remain treasures in my heart.

February 16, 2023 - 6:18pm Dooftastic

I'm very saddened to hear of her passing. She wrote an article for The Paper issue 115 about some struggles she had and I can relate. I didn't know her, and never had the honor of meeting her, but as someone with extreme social anxiety who also finds solace in origami I miss her very much.

February 19, 2023 - 6:37pm sergiosanchez1919

So tough to hear this news. I was looking forward to whatever the next convention I would attend would be, as I knew Janessa would likely be there and continue to introduce me to the origami community. I remember when I first met her at local origami club (POPS) when I was in high school, which was my first time meeting other folders. She was very welcoming and social, very knowledgeful about the craft as well. We reconnected when we were in college, when we saw each other in the same class. We wanted to start an origami club at the university, and we did have one going for a few months. I liked how adventurous she was, as she had goals of creating something similar to OrigaMIT. She also invited me to teach origami at nearby jails, which was a great experience. She also invited me to help with PCOC 2019, which was held in our hometown. I really enjoyed the Gather.town origami meetings that she would help coordinate, and they were a good way to catch up during the pandemic. She introduced me to so many of her friends in the origami community, and I had a blast. We will miss you Janessa. May you rest in peace.

March 15, 2023 - 6:12pm winwin

Janessa, I'm in shock to learn of your passing. You were always someone who I thought was so cool and I was always hoping to get to know you better and hang out more. I had always thought you'd always be here with us, I assumed that if I didn't reach out this year, I could always do so next year, or the year after. You are such an inspiration to me for so many reasons and I'm deeply saddened and shaken to learn that we won't be having a next hang out. I feel grateful to have known you in the very limited capacity that we've interacted and I'm not quite sure how to comprehend or fully absorb that there won't be a next time. Thank you for gracing all of us with your talents and energy and love. Much love to you and your loved ones.

March 15, 2023 - 6:13pm laura.rozenberg

For many of us, her disappearance left us speechless. It's the impossible feeling of communicating with her before her tragic end what makes the recurring idea so painful. Because she wanted to live a full and long life. I always thought that origami was a safe heaven that helps us overcome our worst ghosts. I thank Janessa for having shared her memories, joys and fears, for her smile, her creativity, for all those threads that connect us, through our fingers, with the intangible.

March 14, 2023 - 3:23am jeremyshafer

I cried when I heard that Janessa is no longer with us. I really admired Janessa's creativity and zest for origami. Her models were really well-designed. She became one of my channel members and attended several of my livestreams. For a couple years I included her YouTube channel on my featured channels page. In 2020 Janessa connected me with her dear friend Kara of Karagamii, who is a TikTok star. We had a couple of Zoom sessions all three of us where Janessa and I encouraged Kara to try designing her own models. Thanks to Janessa, Kara and I have done several video collaborations in the last two years. Just a few days ago, Kara did a video tribute to Janessa where she taught Janessa's dollar Bulldog. In her very next video she demoed a dollar cat that she herself had designed, which I'm sure was inspired by Janessa and in honor of her, and it brought tears to my eyes again. Thank you, dear Janessa, for caring and bringing people together, and spreading the joy of origami. You will be heartfully missed.

March 23, 2023 - 8:01pm jeannine.mosely

I first met Janessa in Tokyo at 6OSME in 2014. She was a teenager and I was astonished that she had traveled so far to a foreign country all on her own. When she showed me her dollar bill origami, I was stunned by how beautiful and clever her models were. In 2020, when OUSA held its annual convention virtually, I spent a lot of time with her in Gathertown, exploring the secret rooms and passages she had constructed there. All of which she did during a brutal heat wave in a home without air conditioning. I had always hoped to see her in person again someday. Janessa, we will miss your generous spirit and witty art.

March 24, 2023 - 7:00pm iambuck360

I have spoken to Janessa many times in the Cafe, and was very much looking forward to meeting her in person. Like many of you I was shocked to hear of her passing. It is amazing how someone can affect our lives from so far away. She will be missed.

March 24, 2023 - 10:22pm leung_wwy

I met Janessa in Tokyo at 6OSME after we agreed to share a room prior. And to be honest we didn't spend all that much time together while we were there, because she went to different classes and she went out every night (as you would expect from a young and energetic person!), while I was a new-ish mother who was just wanted to get some uninterrupted (long) sleep. In fact, I think she came back to the room in the early mornings most days, probably around 4am, while I would be in bed by 11 latest then up and out at about 7am).

On the origami side, Janessa's origami designs are fantastic, especially the dollar bill ones where she made great use of the patterns on the bill. I was also utterly amazed at her talent and persistence in doing a daily design challenge (which I think went for a full year).

But what I most remember, was her passionate activism to get people to understand the issue of harassment at conventions, her work to try to make sure there are transparent, documented processes to deal with such harassments, so that it will help all attendees feel safe. She was instrumental in making sure those processes went beyond "make a complain to the organiser and see if something is done".

I am very sorry that we won't meet up again at another convention. We will miss you Janessa, and the energy and passion that you bring to all these gatherings.

March 25, 2023 - 2:07am Jonathan Schneider

"She was a connector"

This community, like a modular
with thousands of units,
all reaching out to connect,

was guided together by her hand,
joining facet to facet, neighbor to neighbor,
gently Gathering into exquisite form,

before leaving us, sturdy and secure,
layer folded into layer, by wondrous design,
with a good solid Lock.