A B C D E F G H K L M O P Q S T U W
Photo of Padma Chebrolu

Padma Chebrolu

Indian Dance/Movement

Padma Chebrolu—a dancer, teaching artist, and the artistic director of the Cultural Centre of India in Cincinnati—has been awarded the 2021 Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award for Performing Arts from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). Padma began learning dance at the age of 3 in India. She received training in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Andhra Natyam, and Mohiniyattam classical dance styles. As artistic director of Cultural Centre of India, Padma brings awareness about India’s cultural heritage and offers training in classical dance styles. Many of her students have won National Arts Scholar awards, received college scholarships, and completed Arangetrams.…

Photo of Diana Chittester

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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Keri Chryst

Music, Jazz, Improvisation, & French Culture

Ohio native, Keri Chryst (Olentangy High School, class of 1992), has been living and working as a professional vocalist, composer- arranger, and educator in Paris, France since 2003. She specializes in both vocal and instrumental jazz music (Bachelor of Music in jazz studies, 1997, and masters in jazz pedagogy, 1998, Northwestern University) and is also well versed in a variety of styles including Broadway, pop, soul, gospel, and classic choral literature.

For much of the year, Keri travels internationally to perform with big bands and jazz combos or with the jazz vocal trio “Sweet System“.…

Photo of Kimberly Crislip-Payne

Kimberly Crislip-Payne

Dance/Movement

Kimberly Crislip-Payne is a teaching artist, choreographer, and consultant. Kimberly has degrees and certifications from the Scandinavian Institute for Physical Culture in Denmark, the American College of Sports Medicine, Malone University, and the University of Akron (Jerry Burr, Inna Strabova, Lana Carroll, Kay Davis, Tom Smith, Alexander Vedmedev, Andrew Carroll, Heinz Poll, Anne Green Gilbert, Bella Lewitzky, and Donald McCardle). Her collaborative experiences are with Kent State University; Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi; and Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts, (Merce Cunningham, Meredeth Monk, Craig Patterson, Patricia Lent, Susanna Chaffey, Jennifer Way, Milton Myers, Dianne McIntyre).…

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Amy Dennison

Music, Wind Instruments, Instrument Making, & Arts + Healing

Amy Dennison will be retiring at the end of August 2021 from her position as the director of education, associate director for preparatory & community engagement for the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati (UC). During her 20-year tenure at UC she held the positions of program manager, director, director of education and assistant dean. She is the coauthor of “One Voice – Music and Stories in the Classroom.” Primarily a woodwind specialist, Ms. Dennison also plays several string instruments including the mountain dulcimer, the cello, and most recently, the ukulele.…

Photo of Tom Evert

Tom Evert

Dance/Movement

Tom Evert has been a creative force in creating and performing original choreographic works with a company of dancers, working intensively in arts-education programming and creating festival-like community events in Ohio for 33 years.

Tom currently serves as artistic director of DANCE EVERT, which he founded in 1986. He holds BFAs in both painting and dance from Ohio University and has enjoyed a world-class touring career with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City. He has created a major body of work for which he has received eight Individual Excellence Awards in choreography.…

Photo of Lynette Ford

Lynette Ford

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.

For 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. Lyn’s work has now expanded to online videos and Zoom sessions for library and classroom presentations in grades PreK-12 and family night Zoom gatherings, with enrichment information to guide reflection and discussion before and after watching videos.…

Photo of Kelsey Griest

Kelsey Griest

Visual Arts, Painting, Mixed Media, Collage, & Embroidery

Kelsey Griest was born in Columbus, OH and resided there until 2018. Much of her artistic upbringing was shaped by both Columbus as well as Athens, OH. Kelsey is now a teaching artist currently working in the Athens area. Kelsey is a senior art therapy and painting and drawing BFA candidate at Ohio University. Kelsey specializes in special education arts teaching. She uses a variety of mediums in her work such as collage, painting, and embroidery. Kelsey currently works as a teaching artist at Ewing School in Marietta, OH where she teaches PreK to young adult students.…

Photo of Brian Holland

Brian Holland

Music, Hop-Hop/Rap

Brian K. Holland is a graduate of Slippery Rock University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in special education and a Master of Education in early childhood education. He earned a master’s degree in education administration from Ashland University. Currently, he teaches first grade for the Pickerington Local School District.

Brian started rapping when he was 13 years old in church. He and a friend would remix church hymns and minister to the congregation. In college, Brian always entered talent shows and events performing positive hip-hop music. He even incorporated hip-hop in many school assignments and projects.…

Photo of Nancy Kangas

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. 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 Wendy Kendrick

Wendy Kendrick

Visual Arts, Textiles, Mask Making, & Collage

Heavily influenced during the early part of her artist career by the work of Romare Bearden, Wendy Kendrick has applied her years of work with collage and mixed media to her current work with quilted portrait masks. In 2010, Wendy was selected by the Arts Council Lake Erie West to travel to the East African country of Tanzania as a U.S. delegate for a women’s artist exchange. In addition, she was invited to speak to college students regarding her artistic journey at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam.

Wendy received her BA in visual studies from Dartmouth College and has furthered her studies through additional coursework taken at the Dayton Art Institute, Columbus College of Art and Design, and Quilt Surface Design Symposium.…

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.…