Claudia Alick is performer, producer, and inclusion expert. Named by American Theater Magazine as one of 25 theater artists who will shape American Theater in the next 25 years, Alick has served as the founding Artistic Director of Smokin' Word Productions, is a NY Neofuturist alum, published playwright, recipient of NYC Fresh Fruit directing award, TedXFargo speaker, the Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists, featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and former Community Producer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. At OSF for ten years she produced events such as “The Every 28 Hours Plays”, "The Green Show", The Daedalus Project, OSF Open Mics as well as producing/directing audio-plays with OSF such as the Grammy nominated "Hamlet". Her personal projects include her podcast “Hold On…Wait for it”, vlog “This Week in Cultural Appropriation”, StreetPoetry, and one-person Show “Fill in the Blank” exploring disability and the medical industry. Claudia served on Oregon Arts Leaders in Inclusion, the steering committee of The Ghostlight Project, the steering committee for Black Theater Commons, and is currently co-president of the board of Network of Ensemble Theater, She is currently the executive producer of the transmedia social justice company CALLING UP.
Annalisa Dias is a citizen artist, community organizer, and award-winning theatre maker working at the intersection of racial justice and care for the earth. She is Director of Artistic Partnerships & Innovation at Baltimore Center Stage. Annalisa is also a Producing Playwright with The Welders, a DC playwrights collective; Co-Founder of the DC Coalition for Theatre & Social Justice; and Co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. Artistic credits include: WRITING: 4380 Nights, the earth that is sufficient, One Word More, The Last Allegiance, A Legacy of Chains, Crooked Figure, Consider the Dust, Matanuska, Coal, and Servant of the Wind. DEVISING: Wit's End Puppets: Malevolent Creatures; banished? productions: Tyger; Theater Alliance: I Love DC. DIRECTING: Source Festival: Dust to dust to dust and Dressing Bobby Strong; The Salima Project (film). Annalisa’s plays have been produced or developed by The Welders, Theater Alliance, Signature Theatre (DC), the Phillips Collection, The Gulfshore Playhouse, the Mead Theatre Lab, The Hub Theatre, Spooky Action Theater, Tron Theatre (Glasgow), and Theatre 503 (London). Annalisa frequently teaches theatre of the oppressed and decolonization workshops nationally and internationally and speaks about race, identity, and performance. She is a TCG Rising Leader of Color. Upcoming work includes THE EARTH, THAT IS SUFFICIENT, a performance project about hope for the future in the face of the climate catastrophe, produced by The Welders in Washington DC and globally.
TY DEFOE (Giizhig) is from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. He is an interdisciplinary-hyphenated artist, activist, writer, cultural worker, and shape-shifter. As a two-spirit person Ty aspires to an integral approach to artistic projects, social justice, indigeneity, and environmentalism. Ty gained recognition in many circles around the world including a Grammy Award. Ty’s global cultural arts highlights are: the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt with the Call for Peace Drum and Dance Company; Turkey for the Ankara International Music Festival, and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. Ty’s frequents his own community where he learned to hoop dance, eagle dance, and play a variety of wooden flutes. Ty is always a guest artist at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. and NYC. Member of Dramatist Guild, Actor’s Equity, SDC, ASCAP, and First Nations Theater Guild. He lives in NYC and loves the color clear. Member of AEA, ASCAP, SDC, and the Dramatist Guild.
Pronouns: He/Him/They/We/ Us
Khanisha Foster is a 2017 Fox Fellowship recipient. She just performed her solo show, Joy Rebel, at Penumbra Theatre directed by Obie Award winner Lou Bellamy. In her solo and storytelling work she has partnered with The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, South Coast Rep, Chance Theater, The Mixed Remixed Festival, and many more. She was a featured storyteller on NPR’s The Dinner Party. She was named, along with Lena Waithe, as one of 18 Black Women We Think Are Phenomenal by Mater Mea Magazine and Role Call: 6 Theatre Workers You Should Know by American Theatre Magazine.
Monique Holt holds a BFA in Acting from NYU-TSOA and an MFA in Theatre from Towson University and plays many roles: Actress, Director, Director of Artistic Sign Language, Acting Instructor, Acting Coach, and Certified Deaf & Translator: English to American Sign Language (including French Sign Language and Visual Gestural Communication). She taught acting classes at NYU Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, Gallaudet University, and Rutgers University. She still gives “Translating Shakespearean Text to Sign Language” workshops across the USA. She has had an extensive acting and directing career.
Regan Linton is an actor, educator, writer, and advocate for disability inclusion in the theatre community. In September 2016, she was appointed as Artistic Director in Residence of Phamaly Theatre Company in Denver, as the first person with a disability to lead the longstanding disability-centric organization. A Denver native, she uses a wheelchair due to permanent paralysis from a spinal cord injury sustained in a car accident in college. Regan was the first wheelchair user to attend the MFA Acting program at UC San Diego, and one of a handful of wheelchair users to ever achieve the MFA distinction. In 2015, she was the first wheelchair user to be a full-season rep company actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has worked professionally with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), La Jolla Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Theatre at Boston Court, Big-I (Osaka, Japan), Mixed Blood (MN), The Apothetae (NY), and Phamaly, among others. Regan's writing has been featured in national TCG Diversity Salons, the Hollywood Fringe, and the Chalk Repertory Theatre (LA). Regan also holds an MSW from the University of Denver, and has worked extensively as a teaching artist and advocate. She is a fervent believer in the creative possibilities inherent in non-normative bodies, and passionate about encouraging theaters to create new and innovative narratives through casting actors with diverse abilities. She has presented on disability in the arts at the Kennedy Center LEAD Conference, the US Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT), and the National Performing Arts Convention, among others. Regan is also an adaptive swimmer, golfer, hiker, and yoga instructor, guest radio host for Indigenous Sounds, and Broncos and Trojans fan. She currently splits her time between Denver and Bozeman, MT, where she enjoys life with her partner Will and dog Zeta. B.A. University of Southern California; M.S.W., University of Denver; M.F.A. Acting, University of California, San Diego.
Keryl McCord is founder and CEO of EQ, The Equity Quotient, a national training and organizational development firm dedicated to supporting arts and culture non profits interested in becoming more just and equitable community partners, with equity, diversity, and inclusion as outcomes of their work. Keryl is a veteran arts manager and administrator with more than thirty years of experience in many facets of the arts. Her background includes serving as managing director of two theater companies, Oakland Ensemble Theater Company, a five-hundred seat AEA theater in downtown Oakland, CA, and Crossroads Theater Company, New Brunswick, NJ, the only black-run LORT theater at the time, and the first such company to receive the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Ms. McCord has consulted for many nonprofit arts organizations in the areas of institutional development, strategic fundraising, community and cultural organizing, and provides small and large group facilitation. Clients include the Wisconsin Arts Board, Madison, WI; Arts Midwest, Minneapolis, MN; National Performance Network, New Orleans, LA; The Center for Performance and Civic Practice, Phoenix, AZ; Junebug Productions, New Orleans, LA; Spirithouse, Durham, NC; Su Teatro, Denver, CO; Myrna Loy Center for the Arts, Helena, MT; Dance/USA, Washington, DC; and the New Brunswick Jazz Project, New Brunswick, NJ.
Carmen is a national consultant leading conversations at the forefront of the field on equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. She is the founder and director of artEquity, a national program that provides tools, resources, and training to support the intersections of art and activism. She has provided leadership development, organizational planning and coaching for staff, executives, and boards for over 100 non-profit organizations. She is on the faculty of Yale School of Drama where she addresses issues of identity, equity, and inclusion in the arts. She has provided customized resources to theaters and arts organizations in the US and Canada, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cal Shakes, Portland Center Stage, Steppenwolf, New York Foundation for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, the Association for the Performing Arts Service Organization, League of American Orchestras, Opera America, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Theatre Puget Sound, and Center Theatre Group, to name a few. Carmen’s work is rooted in popular education, community organizing, and a commitment to social justice. She remains dedicated to community building and activism, and has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years.
Michael is an arts manager, artist advocate, organizational consultant and facilitator dedicated to fostering conversations, supporting training, and promoting systemic change locally, regionally, and nationally around issues of equity, access, and inclusion. For the past 11 years Michael was the Managing Director of The Lark, an international theater laboratory based in New York City, where he oversaw finance, fundraising, human resources, strategic planning, and co-led equity, access, and inclusion planning, policy, and training for the 23-year-old company. Representing The Lark, he was an inaugural member of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Institute. As a facilitator he has work with many organizations including the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Cornell University, Theatre Communications Group, The New School, and Yale University. Previously he served as Director of Development for Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), Membership Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Managing Director of Assembly Productions, and Director of Annual Fund for Trinity School. He is currently working on a study for the New World Foundation exploring the intersection of theater and social change. Training has included workshops with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Michael studied music at Trinity College and arts management at Carnegie Mellon University. He is originally from Bunkie, Louisiana and currently lives in New York City with his husband Jim. Gender pronouns: he, him, his
Barak adé Soleil
Barak adé Soleil makes dance, theater and performance art. An award-winning creative practitioner, he has been engaging diverse communities within the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, and West Africa throughout his career. Barak is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an interdisciplinary network of artists of color, and recipient of the prestigious Katherine Dunham Choreography Award given by New York’s AUDELCO for Excellence in Black Theatre. His hybrid aesthetic speaks to the expanse of contemporary art; informed by traditions from the African diaspora, disability and queer culture, and post-modernism. He is a: 2015 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist;  recipient of a 3Arts/University of Illinois at Chicago Residency Fellowship; Choreographer-in- Residence at Rebuild Foundation; 3Arts Awardee; and newly awarded 2017 recipient of a 3Arts Residency Fellowship at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Recently, he developed a theatre project exploring Maxim Gorky's Lower Depths with an intersectional group of artists and activists in Montreal, Canada and his current dance work, what the body knows, received its world premiere at Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago. 2016 marks Barak’s 25th anniversary of being involved in live arts.
Trella Walker has been a servant in the nonproﬁt sector for over twenty years and is dedicated to sharing knowledge and information to those dedicated to service and leadership. She has garnered a wealth of experience through the years, and has worked in nonproﬁts across a variety of ﬁelds including arts and entertainment, youth, education, healthcare, veteran aﬀairs, and law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education as well as a Juris Doctor degree. Trella currently serves as an Associate Director in Advisory Services in Nonproﬁt Finance Fund’s Los Angeles oﬃce. As an Associate Director, she provides nonproﬁts with data-driven analyses that frames NFF’s consulting guidance in a comprehensive and clear manner. Speciﬁc bodies of work include team promotion of the full cost work through the Philanthropy California project, leading national initiatives that help provide support and access to organizations that have traditionally been denied access to capital, and supporting continued messaging regarding the learnings garnered from these bodies of work through workshops and writings in the ﬁeld. In addition, Trella has maintained an independent consulting practice that focuses on executive and organizational leadership. She remains committed to seeing more leaders foster positive environments for themselves and those they guide, to help solidify an equitable environment for all.