fall 2014: possibility
the designer // heather koslov
Heather is a relentless sort of maker. Her work in theater is driven by equal parts curiosity, intrepidness, and humor. Prior to her work here in the District, Heather was a costume designer in Austin, Texas and participated in public spectacle with Chicago-based performance company Redmoon Theater. Heather is a fearless arts advocate, a knee-slapping storyteller, and a solver of problems on and beyond the stage.
the instigator // maria alejandra rivas
This troublemaker comes to us all the way from Quito, Ecuador via New England where she studied theater at Boston College and worked for the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Up north, Maria practiced everything from formal set design to informal cabaret singing. Now, she inspires young children to imagine new worlds through her role as an arts integrated Spanish Language and Drama teacher at a local charter school. In her free time, Maria enjoys pranks, playtime, and pop culture.
the producer // lee cromwell
Through his vivid words and narration, Lee can bring any story to life. So it's no surprise that this guy is in charge of helping artists tell their own tales. As the Associate Producer for the Source Festival, Lee coordinates all aspects of production from script selection to auditions/casting to production management. Beyond that, he freelances as a director and coach for theater and opera. His favorite adhesive is Spirit Gum because of it's versatile use in the theater world.
spring 2014: equilibrium
the assembly moderator // kenture avery
We first met Kenture when he was just twelve years old and a student at the School for Arts in Learning. Back in middle school, he used to borrow art supplies from his teachers so that he could work on projects at home. He's one of the most creative, ambitious, and kind-hearted young men you will ever meet. Now, a senior in high school on the brink of graduation, Kenture hopes to pursue a career in business administration, which is not surprising because he's a natural leader. We're honored to have him participate as our first student moderator.
the filmmaker // shane mathis
About 18 preschoolers in Washington, DC think this guy is the coolest person on the planet. We're inclined to agree. Shane studied film production and electronic studio art at Howard University, but this man-of-many-talents has done everything from teaching preschool at a local charter school to going on tour as a videographer for Wiz Khalifa. In his free time he's building his own multi-media empire, while holding down a day job making videos for a local company. One day he'll probably run the world, but today he's still learning to navigate his many creative paths.
the composer // ashi day
You may have heard Ashi's voice permeating through the hallowed halls of ancient universities. Or, even more likely, singing karaoke at a local dive bar. A master not only of her musical craft, but also of her balancing act. At any given time she has two, three, or four jobs and at least one artistic or volunteer project happening on the side. She writes vocal music (mostly about animals), sings in choirs, loves improv theater, and gets excited about grant writing. Her professional interests include everything from music, education, and theater, to generally making-things-a-little-more-fair.
the educator // gary shoop
If your friends with Gary then your weekend Instagram feed is filled with beautiful images of snowy wilderness or forgotten railroad tracks. And you can usually find him checking in on Foursquare (whether he's in the city or in the woods) and tracking his daily run or bicycle trek on Twitter. He's a master of social media. And why shouldn't he be? He's found a way to turn that into his profession. When he's not running or riding or amusing his friends with clever tweets, he's helping teachers bring technology into their classrooms and shaping the lives of the next generation of social media tycoons.
summer 2013: sentries
the art collector // braddock spear
The walls of his home in Baltimore, Maryland are lined with works from some of the world's most promising young artists. Driven by his love for street art, Brad has traveled around the globe to collect images from the cool and elusive world of artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and SAM3. But the gathering of prints, drawings, and paintings that would adorn his own walls was not enough for Brad. In 2012, he began his own consulting company, working with others to collect the images that would fuel their own passions. And though he is a collector, a protector of these great works, a watchman for others, it's no surprise that he still hides his own box of paint brushes and tools.
the historical reenactor // brandi gardner
Brandi is an educator in every sense of the word. But beyond just dispensing knowledge and teaching skills, she brings learning to life through historically accurate, dramatic performance. Brandi has worked at the African American Civil War Memorial for 8 years, where she spends time studying the stories of our ancestors. She dresses in Civil War era clothing and uses portrayals as an educational tool to bring historical concepts to light. The costumes, the acting, and the elocution all play a role in engaging the audience and bringing forth knowledge that help individuals connect to the past. She protects these stories, preserves these memories, honors them, and helps them to live on.
the beekeeper // brian gorman
Brian is a teaching artist, music-maker, and purveyor of locally harvested honey through his urban beekeeping co-op based right here in our hometown. Since founding the Meade Street Mead Honey Bee Co-op in spring 2013, Brian has shared his practice with the wider community through his blog, which serves as a window into the curious world of one of the most industrious and humble creatures in existence. Having recently adopted his beekeeping practice, Brian's new-found responsibilities as a beekeeper yield countless discoveries that, as an educator, he happily shares with the rest of us. Brian is a student of his practice: the caretaker of a mysterious and vital society.