I am a teacher, theater artist, producer, and arts advocate based in Columbus, Ohio. Whether I am helping an artist get an idea off the ground, building a theatrical event alongside incarcerated collaborators, teaching a course on community-based artmaking, assessing the capacity of arts organizations to better serve their audiences, or using theatre to grow dialogue on complex social problems - my work supports arts engagement and community development. I have a PhD from the University of Minnesota, and live with my husband Karl and two fantastic kids.
Current and Recent Projects
I am the lead facilitator for Ohio Prison Arts Connection, a coalition that brings people and art together inside and outside Ohio's prisons. During COVID-19, we launched a conversation series on the arts and the justice system titled Radio OPAC, built creative care packages to give to people incarcerated and under quarantine, started a poster series about the power of the arts, and partnered with the state of Ohio to build a quarantine chapbook featuring artwork and writing by incarcerated Ohioans. We are looking forward to in-person art fairs, more commission opportunities, and continuing to support artists inside and outside prison (and those who support them) as 2021 goes on.
Along with Dr. Catherine Roma, I help to facilitate KUJI Men's Chorus, a company of men inside Marion Correctional. We are currently working on a visual album of new and rearranged music, tentatively titled Louder Together. We started this collaboration virtually during quarantine and are completing it now, in-person. We should be able to release the project in late summer or early fall.
I teach theatre and arts administration at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. My students are working on new plays, research, community-based art projects, internships, and more.
In partnership with Healing Broken Circles, I am the Director of Theater of Conviction at Marion Correctional Institution, where I work with a company of 20 incarcerated men to learn about and make theatre. I also teach college credit-granting courses in acting and dramatic literature. During 2019, we produced And In This Corner, Cassius Clay by Idris Goodwin for performances in mid-July, and The Hamilton Project, our response to the groundbreaking musical, in November. During COVID-19, our work is on hold, but we started a Theatre of Conviction Street Company that includes alums of the ToC Company inside, and we produced our first work (titled Missing People) in April 2021.
I am a co-founder of Wild Goose Creative, where between 2006 and 2017 I helped artists plan projects, events, and gallery shows. Wild Goose is run by an extraordinary group of community leaders and is about to open a brand new space.
In 2018, I received a professional certificate through the Executive Program in Arts and Culture Strategy, a partnership between National Arts Strategies and the University of Pennsylvania.