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

Susan Byrnes

Visual Arts, Sculpture, Photography, & Multimedia Installation

Susan Byrnes is a visual artist whose work includes sculpture, multimedia installation, radio broadcasts, arts-based writing, and curatorial projects.

Her art has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Midwest, including The Korean Cultural Center of Chicago, the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, the Weston Gallery in Cincinnati, the Dayton Art Institute, the University of Minnesota’s Nash Gallery in Minneapolis, 516 Arts in Albuquerque, NM and the Amarillo Museum of Art in Texas. Susan is the recipient of a Yeck Teaching Fellowship from the Dayton Art Institute, a Cincinnati Art Ambassador Fellowship, and a Montgomery County Arts and Culture District Award.…

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Joanie Calem

Music, Dance/Movement, & Storytelling

Joanie Calem has been a performing musician and music teacher since 1983. She graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel, with a major in piano and went on to study music education at the Levinsky Teaching Seminar in Ramat Aviv, Israel. She studied composition with composer Hagar Kadima in Tel Aviv, Israel, and completed her degree, music in community building, at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Having lived overseas for 23 years, Joanie is well versed in multi-cultural experiences and cross-cultural interchanges. Joanie moved to the Columbus, Ohio, area in 1998 and has been teaching music and performing all over the Midwest ever since.…

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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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.…

Photo of Keri Chryst

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, and Dianne McIntyre).…

Photo of Sheela Das

Sheela Das

Music, Multi-Instrumentalist & Songwriting

Sheela Das is the artistic director and founder of Creative Concepts in Music. With more than a decade of teaching through the arts, she has directed, produced, and delivered compelling workshops and original stage productions for students, community members, and professional venues alike.

From songwriting workshops and camps to classroom residencies, Sheela brings her multi-instrumental talent to the joy of hundreds of audiences each year. She has composed more than 300 original, interactive songs to teach the curriculum in grades K-12 in subjects from social emotional learning to language arts and science.…

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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 Jerzy Drozd

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.…

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 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.…