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Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Storytelling
Deborah Asante is Founder and Artistic Director of the Asante Children’s Theatre. She has dedicated her life to teaching and sharing the value of culture and heritage through the performing arts. Deborah is an Actress, Writer, Director and award winning Storyteller. Her directing credits include Producing Director of the Inner City Cultural Center at San Francisco Reader’s Theatre, Director of the San Francisco Children’s Radio Theatre, Director and Producer of the Bay Area’s Production of “Blue Jazz Cabaret”. She has also directed the Touring Productions for Freetown Village and “Black Nativity” for the Walker Theatre. As a writer and director, she is responsible for several of ACT’s biggest hits; “Motown Story”, “The Middle Passage” (with Crystal V. Rhodes), “Zora Tales”, “The Step And Stand Tall Blues” and her favorite “Abena and the Python”.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Actor/Actress, Music
Ben Asaykwee is an actor/composer/playwright whose favorite past-time is making people laugh.
Literary Arts; Visual Arts: Conservation/Restoration
Paul Asta was born in South Korea. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Indiana University Bloomington where he earned his M.F.A. in Poetry. Recently he resided in Cork, Ireland, where he studied Creative Writing at University College Cork on a Fulbright Grant.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Music
Athanasius Blue is a cloud that forms from the exhaled conversations of two lovers on a chilled night beneathe September stars. Movie star good looks Devon Rogers and his poet princess Julianna Gold joined hands on her home’s porch in 2012’s early summer heat. Rogers needed a singer and Gold had a voice, but instrumentally she was crippled beyond her own esophagus. The two united and began a love story reminiscent of everyone’s favorite grandparents. Sweet words and even sweeter actions now work behind the scenes to produce music that belays childhood wisdom and reverie to adult circumstance.
Equipped with a fervid itch to create, Athanasius Blue submits poised vocals and enchanting guitar work to their latest effort, the album “Elaine Caudate,” in which Caudate, a teenaged Mother Nature, saddened from her unrequited love for a king, turns to prescription pills as refuge. Her habit becomes addiction as she arranges for the local sheriff to feed her the numbing medicine continuously through the town’s water supply. The sheriff’s requested poisoning of the big water tower leads to interesting changes for both animals and people alike.
Julie Lyn Barber
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Actor/Actress, Dance, Music, Theatre, Vocal
Dr. Barber is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Western Kentucky University. She has received IAC grants to perform with the Hot Jazz Preservation Society in Indiana State Parks, and to write and produce a new musical, Indiana Squirrel Stampede and two new children’s plays, The Elves and the Shoemaker and The Frog Prince. She has written many stage adaptations of fairy tales in the British panto style, which have been produced locally at the Minnetrista Faeries Sprites and Lights Festival (Muncie, IN), Nettle Creek Players (Hagerstown, IN) and IndyFringe (Indianapolis, IN). Two of her plays have won inclusion in the juried festival, DivaFest of Indianapolis: the ten-minute fable, Tamlane, and the one-act musical parody, Madwomen’s Late Nite Cabaret.
As a stage director, her experience ranges from opera to children’s theatre, directing outreach productions for the Bloomington Early Music Festival of Indiana, and the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre in Carbondale, IL. Other directing credits include Working (American Heritage Theater Project, Portland, OR), Clue: The Musical (Farmland Dinner Theatre, Farmland, IN), and Guys and Dolls (Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY)
She has served as music director and choreographer for many schools and theatre companies in Oregon (American Heritage Theater Project, Cathedral School, Valley Catholic High School) and Indiana (Taylor Theatre, Muncie Civic Theatre, Monroe Central High School, Farmland Dinner Theatre), recently music directing Guys and Dolls at the Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee, IN, and choreographing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Western Kentucky University.
She is an AEA membership candidate, and has performed the role of “Berenice” in Cabaret Poe every October since 2009 with Q Artistry (Indianapolis, IN). She has played numerous roles in theatre and musical theatre productions in Canada and the United States, including Vancouver B.C.’s Theatre Under the Stars, Portland Oregon’s Northwest Classical Theatre Company, and Portland Center Stage. While in Portland, she co-founded the American Heritage Theater Project.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Music; Visual Arts: Film
My first published novel, Stacking in Rivertown, was purchased and edited in 1999 by Michael Korda, editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster. It was released in 2000 and subsequently released in Australia and Israel.
In 2006, I teamed up with co-director Anna Lorentzon to create the feature documentary, Graphic Sexual Horror, about the shocking porn website Insex.com and how it was shut down through the use of the Patriot Act. Screening to sold-out audiences at Slamdance in 2009, it went on to screen at HotDocs Toronto, FantasiaFest Montreal, and many respected film festivals in Canada, Europe, and South America. Cinetic Rights Management purchased worldwied digital rights. Synapse Films purchased DVD rights.
Amazon.com released Graphic Sexual Horror in March 2010 for digital download and streaming. However, because of its use of highly controversial content, Amazon removed the movie from its listings within seven days. DVD released by Synapse Films Aug 10, 2010 was also censored, but the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAA) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) worked with Amazon to relist the title. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Toe Tag and other DVD websites. In 2015, IndieFlix will release the documentary on July 28.
The first 3 chapters of my most recent novel, Line of Battle, are available on my website, www.barbarabell.com, where you can also purchase my CD “The Bull is Blind.” Local artist Gordon Bonham and Gordon’s band are featured on the CD.
mp3’s of my songs can also be found at CDBaby, amazon.com, iTunes, and other distributors of music.
I am presently working on a novel, finishing a screenplay, and putting together a multi-media blog called crib in a crackhood that chronicles life in one of the poorer sections of Indianapolis.
Ryan L Bennett
Literary Arts; Media; Performing Arts: Actor/Actress, Radio/Television, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Theatre, Vocal; Visual Arts: Film, Performance Art, Performers and Writers, Photography
Artist, Activist, and Visionary, this New Generation Renaissance Man is an alumnus and long time supporter of Asante Children’s Theatre. Recently named one of four Indianapolis Arts Council Art & Soul 2018 Featured Artist. Ryan is an Onyx Festival veteran and Playwrite. He is the Creative Executive Officer of Kai Entertainment, established in March of 2011, whose motto is “Media that Matters”. Mr. Bennett is also the Business Manager of Act A Foo Improv Crew, “Un-Scripted, Un-Rehearsed, and Un-Believably Funny”. At the age of 16, Ryan produced the 10-year news Magazine style show 360 Degrees through Indiana Black Expo’s flagship youth program Youth Video Institute. A graduate from Full Sail University with a degree in recording engendering; Ryan is an internationally published photographer, producer, director, and Academy Award-winning crew-member. He has worked with television and film companies in Los Angeles, California, the Senior Producer of Globalvison, a documentary company in New York City, New York, producing Barack Obama: The People’s President and The Battle of Durban II: Israel, Palestine & the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In his soul he believes that LOVE CONQUERS ALL; and it is his mission to spread love and knowledge to the world.
Vienna Bottomley earned a B.A. in English with Creative Writing and Theology from the University of Notre Dame where she served as a poetry editor for the literary magazine, Re: Visions, and as an undergraduate publishing intern for the journal, Religion and Literature. Vienna just completed coursework for a Master’s in English degree from Notre Dame and is second-year law student law student at Notre Dame law school where she serves as a staff editor for the Notre Dame Law Review. Her poetry primarily reflects her interests in history, wildlife preservation, religious liberty, and social justice. Her poem “Art with a Heart” appears on Massachusetts Ave., as part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
Graphic Arts; Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Music, Radio/Television, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Theatre; Visual Arts: Constructions/Collage, Performance Art, Performers and Writers, Works on paper
I’m a poet, spoken word performer, live sound effects/foley artist, and event producer. I am treasurer of the Writers Guild at Bloomington and executive director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival. I have been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and I have been a regular reader for the programs Books Unbound on WFHB community radio and Anthology on WFIU public radio. I’ve published four books of poetry — The Great American Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (2010), Hot Type Cold Read (2013), and Homunculus (2019) — and I have work in the anthologies Writers Resist: Hoosier Writers Unite (2017), And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (2011), and A Linen Weave of Bloomington Poets (2002). By day, I’m an ad hoc designer and composition coordinator at Indiana University Press.
As a sound effects/foley artist, I have taught, directed, and performed sound effects for the National Audio Theatre Festivals in Missouri since 2001, and I’ve performed and written for WFHB’s Firehouse Follies live variety show in Bloomington since 2008. In 1994, I made Hayward Sanitarium, a horror thriller audio series I directed and produced for NPR Playhouse. Since then I’ve taught at Indiana University, Michigan University, and Kansas City Art Institute, and have performed with the Knoxville Opera, Otherworld Media, Mind’s Ear Audio Productions, and many others, from studio work to costumed live theatre.
Over the years, I have produced or co-produced and collaborated on dozens of live performances and events in Bloomington, Indianapolis, and around the country, including Va-Va-Va Vaudeville!, WFHB Firehouse Follies live variety show, Krampus Night Bloomington, and The Encyclopedia Show-Indianapolis.
I also collaborate and play live sound effects with various musicians in the Urban Deer Record Co. collective in Bloomington.
Joyce Brinkman, Indiana Poet Laureate 2002-2008, believes in poetry as public art. She creates public poetry projects involving her poetry and the poetry of others. Collaborations with visual artists using her poetry for permanent installations include her words in a twenty- five foot stained glass window by British glass artist Martin Donlin at the Indianapolis International Airport, in lighted glass by Arlon Bayliss at the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library and on a wall with local El Salvadoran artists in the town square of Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. Her printed works include two chapbooks, Tiempo Español, and Nine Poems In Form Nine, and two collaborative books, Rivers, Rails and Runways, and Airmail from the Airpoets with fellow “airpoets” Ruthelen Burns, Joe Heithaus and Norbert Krapf. Joyce has received fellowships from the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the Vermont Studio. She received a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to explore poetry with the orangutans at the Indianapolis Zoo. Her latest books include the multinational, multilingual book Seasons of Sharing A Kasen Renku Collaboration, from Leapfrog Press and Urban Voices: 51 Poems from 51 American Poets from San Francisco Bay Press, which she co-edited with Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda. She is a graduate of Hanover College and lives in Zionsville, Indiana, with her husband and a sweet cat.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Music, Spoken Word, Theatre; Visual Arts: Graphic Arts, Mixed Media, New Media/Technology, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Sculpture, Works on paper
I create all of my work from an overwhelming desire to communicate that which transcends explanation. I wish to bring the raw forces of creation & beauty to the surface as a means to translate experiences & visions into sharable mediums. It is my belief that art has the ability to transform by resonating the fundamental energies deep within our beings. I believe art has the ability to unlock the potentials of our highest selves.
Literary Arts; Multi Arts; Performing Arts: Spoken Word, Storytelling; Visual Arts: Conservation/Restoration, Constructions/Collage, Crafts, Functional and/or Decorative, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Performers and Writers, Photography, Sculpture, Works on paper
Disabled Indiana author and artist Alys Caviness-Gober began exhibiting and selling artwork in 2012; prior to that, she taught Anthropology at Ball State University. Alys left a PhD program (Applied Linguistics) due to health issues. She is a Juried Artist Member in the Hamilton County Artists’ Association (painting and photography categories), where she served on the Board for many years in various officer positions. Alys founded Logan Street Sanctuary, Inc. (LSS), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit music, arts, and education venue located in the heart of Noblesville, Indiana, and serves as the LSS Board Secretary. Alys’ paintings, photographs, and poetry have received national and international recognition.
Literary Arts; Visual Arts: Painting, Printmaking, Works on paper
My work involves a reinterpretation of traditional themes of still life, figure and landscape painting. I work to express the power and elegance of simple forms and everyday shapes; to enhance rather than to depict; and to create a subtle drama on canvas that reaches for an emotional level through the use of contrast of color, texture, shape and rhythm.
It is my goal to infuse my work with a directness, power and size indicative of the American experience. I place the subject matter in the context of an architecturally structured composition to represent the concept of the human element imposing itself on organic natural form.
Circle My City
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Radio/Television, Spoken Word; Visual Arts: Photography
Circle My City is a collective of visual & performance artists. We aim to capture life around our Circle City and bring issues that people ignore to light through art, music, fashion, and philanthropy. We’re circling this city with one eye open.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Vocal; Visual Arts: Mixed Media, Painting, Textiles, Works on paper
Anne Cleary is a native Hoosier living in the Indianapolis area. She grew up out in the Zionsville countryside. Her childhood spent roaming the fields, creek and woods inform her work to this day. Much of her abstract work is based upon nature, landscapes and the sky, often referring to the mysterious connection human beings have with the natural world. She studied art, English, and vocal music in her undergraduate years, going on to pursue graduate work in vocal performance (Opera). Music is an integral part of her life, and a certain musicality can be seen in some of her painter’s language- brushstrokes may sometimes conotate musical notation, layers of markings and glazes- perhaps a visual chord. She is currently working heavily in textiles- specifically painted and dyed silks and natural fibers for collage, wall hangings and fashion. She works out of her home studio in the top of a barn on the North side of Indianapolis, and is visited often by appointment. Website. www.anneclearydesigns.com, Instagram : @anne_cleary
BA 1997 Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. Studio Art major 1997, 1998
Masters Studies in Opera Performance, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, Ma
1998 Masters in Opera Performance studies, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Bloomington, Indiana
Sharon Kirk Clifton
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Spoken Word, Storytelling; Visual Arts: Performance Art, Performers and Writers
As a “Purveyor of Magic Beans and Seeds of Truth,” I specialize in putting a pulse to the past through first-person storytelling presentations. Favorite performances include Jack’s Mama, stories from the Appalachian oral tradition; Abigail Gray: Living under the Drinking Gourd, a program about Indiana’s Underground Railroad that engages audience participation (as most of my shows do); and biblical accounts–my latest being The Innkeeper’s Wife.
Grants and commissions include those from Storytelling Arts of Indiana, the Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Museum, Indiana Arts Commission/National Endowment for the Arts, the Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship, and Jackson County Public Library. With a professional career that spans more than 30 years, I have entertained audiences with my unique brand of storytelling throughout America’s heartland.
Contact me at email@example.com for more program information and scheduling a show.
Marcia, born in Indiana, grew up in a small Farming community located in northern Madison county. Since she was a small child she has had a compassion for animals in need and a love of Photography as well as the outdoors. She has been drawn to writing short stories and poetry since grade school, poetry being her favorite. She has written short fictional stories while in high school for the “Tartan” her high schools literary publication. She also enjoyed working on the Year book staff in Junior high through 12th grade. Poetry slowly became her hobby and favorite release. Only since her Mothers death in 2015 has she began to share her poetry. She is married with 2 grown children and lives on a small farm in Pendleton, IN where she has owned and operated an in home state licensed child care since 1984. Her poems and essays have been published in the Indiana Voice Journal, as well as various other publications and in several poetry anthologies available on Amazon.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts
Brooklyn Copeland was born in Indianapolis in 1984 and has lived most of her life in Hamilton County, with stints in Finland, England, and Florida.
Jennifer Criss works at Ball State University and resides in Muncie, IN. Her work has appeared in Poebita Magazine, Whispers in the Wind, Indiana Voice Journal, and The Poetry Community online. She has also appeared in several print anthologies: Midnight Dreamers of Yellow Haze by Michael Lee Johnson, Poetic Melodies by Donna Sanders et al., Poets of Madison County by Stacy Savage, and has a couple other in-process. In 2016, she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry. She has been an Editorial Assistant and the Art Editor for the Indiana Voice Journal since 2015.
Literary Arts; Performing Arts
Candace planned to use the Fellowship for chance to write full-time on a collection of short stories, but her project was cut short. An opportunity arose for Candace to visit family in Sicily during the Christmas season. Through the Fellowship, Candace was able to step away from the chaos of life and travel to Sicily. She experienced Sicilian traditions, inclement weather, the diversity of Sicily and a few travel mishaps. Candace returned home refreshed and “…in a completely different place. Candace plans to continue to teach her Freshman writing seminar and to write fiction.
Mitchell L. H. Douglas
Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Associate Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. His second poetry collection blak al-fə bet, winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, is available from Persea Books. His debut collection, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, was a runner-up for the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, a semifinalist for the 2007 Blue Lynx Prize, and a semifinalist for the 2006 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. In 2010, Cooling Board was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry category and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His poetry has appeared in Callaloo, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press), Crab Orchard Review, and Zoland Poetry Volume II (Zoland Books) among others.
Drema Drudge is a 2013 graduate of the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing Program. She’s represented by Lisa Gallagher of Defiore and Company Literary Agency, based in Manhattan’s Union Square.
In addition to being published in numerous literary journals (The Louisville Review, Penumbra, and others), Drema has finished two novels and is beginning her third. She often writes about art, the second passion in her life after writing.
Drema has had the honor to have her stories published in the premiere issues of three magazines. She has won several small writing competitions over the years, the first one when she was in high school.
She has been mentored both officially and unofficially by some of the best literary fiction writers in the country.
Drema enjoys writing not only fiction, but has written for magazines and newspapers. In addition, she edits.
Graphic Arts; Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Actor/Actress; Visual Arts: Film, Illustration, Mixed Media, Murals, Painting, Performers and Writers, Photography, Textiles, Visual Arts Instructor
Inspiration is the guiding light for Molly Anne Dykstra. Her intuition guides her use of materials and themes to create art which is both elegant and spontaneous. Her work is intensely personal, inviting the viewer to consider alternative ways to perceive the mundane. Adept at mediums from rock sculpture to fiber art and traditional oil painting, she chooses different paths to express her take on often inexplicable themes.
Ms. Dykstra is a self-employed, Indiana based artist. Among her awards are the Elle Siskind Award for Drawing and Best in Pastel (2016) at the Indianapolis Art Center and Best in Show (2017), First Place (2018), Third Place (2017) and Awards of Merit (2017, 2016), at the Annual Juried Show at Ivy Tech Community College, Honorable Mention, Professional Category in Embellished Fabrics (2017) and Sculpture (2016) at the Indiana State Fair. She has worked on several public art installations, including four murals funded by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (2017-2013), the Seeds of Light installation with Arlon Bayliss (2016), A Piece of Our Heart at Community North Hospital (2017) and the Shelters and Abodes installation at Ivy Tech Community College (2015). She is also a teaching artist, offering classes and workshops through the Garfield Park Arts Center.
Her exhibitions include her solo show, Meanderings, at the Garfield Park Arts Center (2017) and group show, Catalyst, at the Gallery at the Julian M. Carson Learning Resource Center. Ms. Dykstra’s other work includes illustrating the children’s book, All About Benjamin Franklin, for Cardinal Publishers Group and Blue River Press in 2016. She also has multiple IMDb credits for her work on Star Trek Continues, a web-based series, which included work in the swing gang, art department and as an extra. Her other IMDb credits include graphic design and concept for Leaves of Eden (2015), and work as an extra for The Life and Death of Sir Elizabeth (2013).
Literary Arts; Visual Arts: New Media/Technology, Photography
Conceptual fine art photography.
Diana J. Ensign
Diana J. Ensign, JD, is an Award-Winning Author who writes about the human spirit. Her newest book, THE FREEDOM TO BE: Stories from Transgender Youth, Adults, and Their Families, is a 2020 IPPY Outstanding Books Gold Medal Winner in the Freedom Fighter category. This book underscores the essential human need for safety, connection, and acceptance and for policies that ensure every family is valued. Her book, HEART GUIDE: True Stories of Grief and Healing, shares intimate and poignant guidance for people who are grieving the death of a loved one. HEART GUIDE is a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal Winner. Ensign’s prior book, TRAVELING SPIRIT: Daily Tools for Your Life’s Journey, provides spiritual practices for dealing with life’s challenges.
Ensign is a two-time Individual Advancement Program (IAP) grant recipient awarded by the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC). She is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator. She also writes the popular Spirituality for Daily Living blog found on her website: www.dianaensign.com
Literary Arts; Performing Arts: Spoken Word; Visual Arts
Saint Peace is a native of Indianapolis, IN. After enlisting in the military at seventeen, then in officer training, he realized that time is fleeting and happiness is more than a state of mind. It is a lifetime pursuit, so he left to attend school in New York and pursue poetry at SUNY Oneonta. Here, he became a member of the Intangibles Spoken Word Collective. In 2008 he and his team were the Northeast Regional Champions and placed fourth at College Nationals after battling through preliminaries and semifinals. He currently resides back home in Indianapolis and is the newest member of Fighting Words Poetry, founder of 465 Poetry Slam, and SlamMaster of POWERi Poetry Slam. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry entitled Be All My Sins Remembered.
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