Making communities out of strangers since 2005.
I was born in West Virginia, raised in Kentucky in the Ohio River valley, a mixed-race woman, daughter of artists, with an adulthood shaped in the diverse crucible of New York City. My parent’s legacy incubated with teaching at El Puente Academy for Peace & Justice in Brooklyn, School of the Future, and New York City Lab School gave me hands-on experience with leaders who masterfully catalyze creativity to build more tolerant and vibrant communities. My background has positioned me to lead cultural change by convening conversations about race, class and science as an art form across industries and interests. My work builds more tolerant communities, learning from the past, re-imagining our future, one story at a time. This is my life’s purpose, igniting change in communities through my creativity and the ingenuity of those who work with me.
All Here Together Productions
Those lived experiences encompass:
I am uniquely positioned to speak about issues relating to class because I understand the nuances of class and its intersections from a personal perspective, and so I get where people are coming from. I am half Appalachian, half New Yorker (a little bit country a little bit rock-and-roll) so I understand the city and the country, the motivations that make people gravitate to the city, as well as appreciating the ‘can do’ attitude and integrity of country folks. I’ve spent a lifetime navigating ‘code-switching’ before it was even a term, so I can manage the expectations and needs of all participants in my groups or audiences. Many different kinds of people can relate to me and tend to trust that I will hold them safely through difficult conversations. I understand that there’s a common thread to everyone in these class silos, and that there are more things which connect us than divide us. We do the work of our greatest hurt and I'm driven to do this work to get more and more people to understand this.
I’m from a family of performing artists and I'm one too.
My parents are cultural producers and collaborators in Appalachia. They inspire their community, and I am continuing that legacy. I’m from a family who have worked hard to build a life where we can be creative and thrive, despite all the issues faced by the historically marginalized and underserved. My drive and empathy for others living this reality makes me an effective facilitator and leader. Another legacy of my upbringing is that I’ve been watching improv since I was a baby. I have a lifetime’s experience of creating ‘yes’ moments for people to reflect on their lives from the safety of a story, a song, a piece of dance or art. This comes through strongly in the brave spaces I create in workshops or as a speaker.
I’m an environmental scientist.
People have a certain way of thinking about artists, and that's not all I am. I've trained as a scientist, I've been a technical writer for one of the largest wastewater plants in the country which had me going underground verifying pipelines & valves to schematics, breaking down equations in operating manuals for plant workers. I have an understanding of systems from a scientific perspective. There's a heart/intellect alignment that needs to be integrated as we take society forward. Having respect and understanding of many sides of society allows me to make connections between the theories and the lived experience, so practices can be upgraded.
I am mixed race.
Growing up mixed race, throughout my life I have had so much projected on me about the ways in which I don't fit into any one culture. Generations of family members have built a life despite all these barriers. Race is a social construct, created to divide us and acquire resources. I want to break that down, and lean into the hard conversations. Growing up experiencing discrimination and rejection, I also grew up determined to build a more equitable and just society. To do this we have to hear from those who have been historically marginalized, as those are the voices which must be brought in to lead the circle. I have deep empathy for audience members and staff who are also from any kind of historically marginalized communities. My lived experience, with the nuances of navigating the dominant culture, allows me to offer teaching and messaging that resonates as truth to many.