A B C D E F G H K L M O P Q S T W
Photo of Cynthia Amoah

Cynthia Amoah

Creative Writing, Poetry & Spoken Word

Cynthia Amoah is a spoken word artist, educator, and mentor originally from Ghana. Since the onset of her career, Cynthia’s dynamic voice has captured diverse audiences and her authentic stage presence has left them inspired after every performance. Her literary pieces often highlight the forgotten stories of the world, while transcending the oftentimes marginalized groups she delineates in her work. Her writing and performances also concern the foraging questions that have to do with identity and belonging, with displacement, migration and uprootedness.

Cynthia completed her MFA at The New School and has been featured on the stages of TEDxDrewUniversity, TEDxOhioStateUniversity, and the United Nations Information Center in Accra, among many.…

Photo of Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld

Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld

Integrated Arts Experiences

Born and raised in New York City, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld has been teaching people of all ages and backgrounds for her whole teaching life—through programs such as Headstart and Upward Bound—from early childhood programs to senior communities, from prisons to hospitals, elementary schools, high schools, and higher education institutions. She has presented programs in creative education in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Great Britain. She has written numerous poems, stories, articles, and books. Her children’s novel, The House At 12 Rose Street, was adapted for a TV special and nominated for an Emmy.…

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Richard Duarte Brown

Visual Arts, Design, & Creative Writing

Richard Duarte Brown, known as Duarte, is a master artist with the TRANSIT ARTS Youth Arts Program and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Art in the House program. For more than 30 years, Duarte has dedicated his talents to helping young people in Columbus, Ohio, through countless programs including CAPACITY (CAPA’s youth arts program), the Short Stop Youth Center, the King Arts Complex, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s (and formerly GCAC’s) Artists-in-Schools program, GCAC’s Children of the Future, Ebony Boys, Art Safe, and VSA Ohio. Duarte has also worked as a high school art instructor at the Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus.…

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Karol Brown

Drama/Theatre, Spoken Word, & Storytelling

Karol Brown was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She lived in the Seattle area for over 28 years before returning to Dayton in 2015. She has a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from the University of Dayton and a masters in public health education from Loma Linda University. Karol retired after 30 years with the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center as a dietitian and health education program manager.

Karol earned a teaching artist certificate from the Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab. For over 20 years, Karol has shared her passion for Harriet Tubman by portraying her as a wise, cheerful, 92-year-old woman.…

Photo of Omopé Carter-Daboiku

Omopé Carter-Daboiku

Wordsmith & Storyteller

An Appalachian of mixed ancestry, Omope Carter Daboiku hails from the Ohio River town of Ironton. She migrated to Cincinnati in 1972 and to Dayton in 2012. A cultural geographer and award-winning teller of tales, Omope became affiliated with the Ohio Arts Council in 1990 and the Cincinnati Arts Association at its inception in 1997 and has performed and led story circles across the U.S. and abroad. In 1993, she spoke at the Art of Survival (Nuremberg, Germany), addressing quilting as a cottage industry used by African American women to support families.…

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Diana Chittester

Music, Singing/Songwriting, & Guitar

Diana Chittester has been building a reputation as one of the area’s most gifted guitar players, intimate songwriters, and forceful vocalists over the past decade, releasing a series of albums that display her growing confidence and ability to communicate feelings that are deeply personal yet universal. Diana has shared the stage with Lyle Lovett, Gin Blossoms, The Accidentals, Joan Osborne, Peter Mulvey, Chris Trapper, Lisa Loeb, and Colin Hay; performing at performing arts centers (PACs) and venues across the eastern U.S. and Canada including Kent State PAC, Stocker Arts, Showplace Centre, Evening Muse, Music Box Supper Club, and The Ark.…

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Jerzy Drozd

Visual Arts, Comics & Graphic Novels

Jerzy Drozd leads cartooning workshops for children and teens in libraries and schools, as well as for teachers who want to bring comics to the classroom. He wrote and drew Science Comics: Rockets with his wife, Anne Drozd, and is one of the artists of The Warren Commission Report. He also podcasts about comics and how to make them.

Jerzy has drawn special projects for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Marvel Comics, VIZ Media, and others. He is currently creating a webcomic with writer Dan Mishkin about a magical school called Amazon Academy.…

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Lynette Ford

Storytelling & Spoken Word

Fourth-generation storyteller Lynette (Lyn) Ford is a teaching artist with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, a Thurber House mentor to young writers, a storytelling and story-writing coach, a Certified Laughter yoga teacher, and a great-grandma.

For more than 25 years, Lyn has provided stories for libraries and schools, keynote and closing presentations, workshops at universities, education and literacy conferences, and featured programs at some of the most prestigious storytelling conferences and festivals in the United States, Australia, and Ireland. Lyn’s work has now expanded to online videos and Zoom sessions for classroom presentations in grades PreK-5 and family night Zoom gatherings, with enrichment information to guide reflection and discussion before and after watching videos.…

Photo of Jennifer Hambrick

Poet Jennifer Hambrick is the multi-Pushcart Prize- and Best of the Net-nominated author of the free verse poetry collection In the High Weeds, winner of the 2020 Stevens Manuscript Award of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies; the acclaimed haibun collection Joyride (Red Moon Press); and the free verse poetry collection Unscathed (NightBallet Press). Jennifer also won the 2020 Sheila-Na-Gig Press Poetry Prize and First Place in the 2018 Haibun Award Competition of the Haiku Society of America; was featured by former U.S.…

Photo of Gary Harwood

Gary Harwood

Photography

Gary Harwood has worked as a photographer and teacher for more than 30 years. He teaches Visual Storytelling and other photography courses at Kent State University and is also a resident teaching artist supported by the Ohio Arts Council’s TeachArtsOhio program. He is the co-author of Tiger Legacy: Stories of Massillon Football and Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community. His work has appeared in the Communication Arts Photo Annual, the Graphis Photo Annual, The Sun Magazine, Double Take/Points of Entry and has twice won the James R. Gordon Ohio Understanding Award from the Ohio News Photographers Association’s Pictures of the Year competition.…

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Nancy Kangas

Poetry

Nancy Kangas is a poet and teaching artist based in Columbus. She has poetry in books and journals, including Rattle (Poetry Prize Finalist), East Bay Review (Pushcart Prize nomination), and Cap City Poets. Her work springs from play and experiment and a desire to collaborate. In the early 1980s in San Francisco she launched Nancy’s Magazine, a collection of comics, literature, and advice–her own and others–as part of a project to cultivate a community of artists. Helping kids create their own magazines was the theme of her first workshop (Thurber House); others focused on upcycling clothing paired with expressive writing (Wexner Center for the Arts) and responding to visual art in poetry (Columbus Museum of Art).…

Photo of Brent Kirby

Brent Kirby

Music, Singing/Songwriting, & Guitar

Brent Kirby has been called by many of his peers one of Cleveland’s hardest working musicians, and his actions prove that. In 2013, Brent was voted “Best Singer” and also “Best Male Vocal” by the Cleveland Scene, and in 2012, he was voted “Best Musician”. When not playing solo or with his band, Brent writes the tunes and fronts the Jack Fords (2007, 2009 Best Rock Band, Cleveland Scene), leads the monthly revival of Gram Parsons with his band The New Soft Shoe, and plays drums for the talented Cleveland holiday band, the Ohio City Singers.…

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