reg e gaines is a two time Tony Award nominated playwright and Grammy Award nominated lyricist.
He has published four books of poetry, is editor of the 2015 poetry anthology, ‘A Year in Ink’, scored the PBS documentary, ‘Senior Year’, and has served as artistic director of the NYC Downtown Urban Arts Festival since 2007. Recent projects include, director of Connect The Lots, a musical theater summer camp in Camden, New Jersey in 2014, director/creative writing workshop facilitator of Through The Looking Glass, Center Theater Group, Los Angeles California, 2014-2016, director of Lyricist Fellowship Lab, Teaching Firm of America Charter School, Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn, winter/spring 2017, Is Poetry Theater? workshop facilitator, bowery Poetry Club, NYC 2018 and writer, director, produce, ‘The 88’, a new musical with music by Calvin Gaines, 2020.
Angela Kariotis, winner of the 2018 Award of Excellence from the NJ Theater Alliance for Arts Education, couples her masterful performances with cutting-edge residency work.
Kariotis is committed to literacy through the arts, theater for social justice, and art-making as a liberatory practice. As an extension of her activist work, Angela’s creative works provoke thought and entertain, while aimed at cultivating social change. To learn more about the artist, visit her website.
Kurtis Lamkin is a contemporary American embodiment of the ancient West African griot tradition, which blurs the boundaries between poet, singer and storyteller.
When he performs, Lamkin often accompanies himself on the kora, a twenty-one-stringed West African harp-lute. He not only composes on and plays the kora, but he makes them by hand. This sense of the intimate bond between performer and instrument is also part of the griot tradition. In the griot/bardic tradition, there is no debate. The poet is seen as someone directly involved in the life of the community, and commentary on events that impact the community is not only accepted, but expected. Like Lamkin, the griots and bards of the past always performed this function with biting satire and wit. Lamkin has released a number of CDs of his work, including: My Juju (1995), El Shabazz (1998), Queen of Carolina (2001), Kora Poems. His Latest collection is You 16.
Lisa Coll Nicolaou is a lifelong educator. She was a recipient of a Scholastic Art and Writing Teaching Award and was named to the Educator Advisory Panel.
In addition, Lisa received a Dodge Teaching Award and was twice named Teacher of the Year. Nicolaou’s prose and poetry have been published in a variety of magazines and literary journals. In 2016 she shared first prize in the Allen Ginsberg Contest. For the past three years, Lisa has served as a visiting poet in the schools in Paterson, NJ. She tries to inspire her students to realize that they all have stories to tell.