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.…
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.…
Storytelling & Spoken Word
Fourth-generation storyteller Lynette (Lyn) Ford is a teaching artist with the Ohio Teaching Artists Roster and 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. Lyn has also offered storytelling/story-writing residencies for the Ohio Arts Council’s Creative Aging Ohio Initiative.
For more than 30 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.…
Gary Harwood has worked as a photographer and teacher for more than 30 years. He teaches Visual Storytelling and is 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.…
Nancy Kangas is a poet, filmmaker, and teaching artist based in Columbus, who often combines written and spoken word with other media. In the 1980s and 90s, she edited Nancy’s Magazine, an intimate mix of poetry, comics, and advice; the full run of this zine was recently selected to be archived in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library of The Ohio State University. She’s written and performed poetry-theater pieces, including a selection for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, and paired family slides with flash fiction for the online magazine, Ohio Edit.…
Entrepreneur, Poet, Wholistic Urban Creative Arts & Theatre
Poet, producer, activist, educator, and entrepreneur Sierra Leone captivates audiences with her unassuming ingenuity, profound insight, and comedic sense of “knowing.”
A Governor’s Award winner and writer, Sierra is the president and artistic director of OFP Theatre and Production Company. For more than a decade, Ohio has benefited from Sierra’s vision of creative urban arts as a powerful artistic medium to bring communities together across racial, cultural, ideological, and economic divides. Her project “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show” presents a hybrid of urban poetry, music, dance, and visual arts from local, regional, and international talent.…
Theatre, Performance Poetry & Storytelling
Ray McNiece is the author of eight books of poems and monologues, most recently Breath Burns Away, New Haiku. He has created two solo theatre works: Dis – Voices From a Shelter and Us? Talking Across America; two music/poetry collaborations: “Mouth Music” and “A Rust bowl Hootenanny;” and an autobiography on stage: The Lives of A Poet. The Orlando Sentinel reporting on Ray’s solo show at the Fringe Festival called him “a modern day descendant of Woody Guthrie. He has a way with words and a wry sense of humor.” In a review of Us?…
Visual Arts, Comics & Graphic Novels
Carol Tyler is an influential pioneer of American Comics, known for her beautifully written and drawn by hand autobiographical stories.
Carol was born and raised in Chicago, received her Masters from Syracuse in 1983. After some years in NYC, she moved to San Francisco and began getting her comics published in R. Crumb’s Weirdo. In 1988, Carol received the Dori Seda Memorial Award for Best New Female Cartoonist.
Carol has many books, including the graphic masterpiece “Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand my WWII Veteran Father, A Daughter’s Memoir” (2015) which began as the “You’ll Never Know” trilogy.…