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In this episode Durell speaks with Lisa Yancey.  Lisa Yancey is an entrepreneurial strategist who has built a practice solving problems for nonprofit organizations and is a co-founder of several growing enterprises. Through her company Yancey Consulting, she specializes in strategic organizational planning, business planning, program evaluation and assessments, executive project management, revenue modeling, leadership coaching, and organizational structure assessments for nonprofit institutions.She advises a spectrum of practitioners, nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, and philanthropic institutions committed to dismantling inequities, enriching marginalized communities, building leadership, and amplifying diverse perspectives. She has worked with, facilitated, and provided pro bono services to over 100 organization or grantmaking institutions in the past 18 years.Lisa matriculated from both Boston College Law School, and Emory University is a member of the New York State Bar Association and lives in Mount Vernon, NY.
In this Episode Dr. Cooper speaks with Dr. Antonio Cuyler. Dr. Cuyler is the author of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations: Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the U. S. and editor of a forthcoming volume in June of 2022, Arts Management, Cultural Policy, & the African Diaspora. He serves as the Director of the MA Program & Associate Professor of Arts Administration in the Department of Art Education at Florida State University (FSU), Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre & Drama in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan. In addition, he is the Founder of Cuyler Consulting, LLC, a Black-owned arts consultancy that helps cultural organizations maximize their performance and community relevance through access, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI).
In this episode Dr. Cooper speaks with Shirley C. Taylor. Shirley started her journey as an arts administrator at the New York Foundation for the Arts in 1987 andhas since built a career leading a variety of arts and cultural education programs throughout New York City:Associate Director for Visual Arts Programs at ArtsConnection, Inc.; Director of Arts Programs at UniversitySettlement Society; Deputy Director of Programs, Education for the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning; Director of Education and Public Programs at the Noguchi Museum. Ms. Taylor has provided consulting services for anumber of education and cultural organizations including the Partnership for After School Education, Artmakers,Inc., the Bronx Center for Non Profits and Yaffa Cultural Arts. She is a recipient of the New York City School Art League Charles Robertson Memorial Award and the National Association of Negro Business & ProfessionalWomen’s Club, Inc. Professional Award; has served as a member of the New York City Department of Education’s Advisory Board for Arts Education and on the Board of Directors for One World Arts. In 2006, Ms. Taylor helped establish the Apollo Theater’s Education Department which provides arts, media and humanities programming forschools, professional and career development for teens and young adults, and public engagement programs for a variety of audiences. She presently serves as the Apollo’s Senior Director of Education. She is Assistant AdjunctProfessor, Africana Studies, at Barnard College and a member of the Board of Directors of Willie Mae RockCamp.. She holds anM.F.A. in painting from the City University of New York and   is agraduate of the Columbia Business School Institute for Not-for-Profit Management, the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), and the American Express Leadership Academy.
In this episode Dr. Durell Cooper speaks with Dr. Terri N. Watson is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at The City College of New York and a member of the Urban Education faculty at The City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Her research examines effective school leadership and is aimed to improve the educational outcomes and life chances of historically excluded and underserved students and families. She employs Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Theory and Motherwork as methodological frameworks. Her scholarship is featured in several edited books and journals, including Educational Administration Quarterly, the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, The Journal of Negro Education, the Journal of School Leadership, and Leadership and Policy in Schools.Dr. Watson was named a 2020 – 2022 Faculty Lead in conjunction with The Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at The Graduate Center’s Center for the Humanities, The City University of New York (https://www.centerforthehumanities.org/programming/participants/terri-n…). She is also the guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration and History (Routledge) titled, A Seat at the Table: Examining the Impact, Ingenuity, and Leadership Practices of Black Woman and Girls in PK – 20 Contexts. Each manuscript utilized a critical methodology to center the lived experiences of Black women and girls in schools (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjeh20/52/3?nav=tocList).During the 2020 – 2021 academic year, Dr. Watson was named a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University at Buffalo's Center for Diversity Innovation. Through her work at the Center, she aimed to transform the schoolhouse into a 'Beloved Community’ (http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2021/04/gse-beloved-community.html).
In this episode Dr. Cooper speaks with Vivian Phillips. Vivian  is a communications professional and arts leader.  She is  co-host of the podcast doubleXposure where she and veteran arts  journalist Marcie Sillman use their voice and platform to plumb the  deepest depths and the tiniest cracks of our world to understand how  culture and creativity shape our lives.  Vivian is also the founder and  editor-in-chief of the online magazine Arte Noir, a gathering place to  explore and center the dynamic creativity, soulfulness, and power of  Black art.  In addition to the online magazine, Arte Noir will soon open a  gallery and shop location at Midtown Square in Seattle.   Vivian has served in numerous communications and arts leadership  roles.  She was Director of Marketing and Communications for Seattle  Theatre Group, served as Director of Communications to Mayor Paul  Schell, chaired the 4Culture Board, and the Seattle Arts Commission, co founded the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, sat on the  founding board of LANGSTON, and co-founded The Hansberry Project.   Her service to community has been felt across numerous organizations  and she currently sits on the University of Washington Foundation  Board. Vivian practices as a communications strategic advisor and arts  consultant, actively advocating and creating opportunities for the  inclusion of Black, and artists of color, in major developments and  projects across the city.   
In this episode Durell speaks with Jacqueline Cofield. Jacqueline is the founder of J Rêve International LLC, a global culture and arts education social enterprise.  Jacqueline curates international experiences for educators, students, and artists, and collaborates with leading arts, cultural and educational institutions to produce meaningful global programming.  An educator, author, documentary filmmaker, and interdisciplinary scholar, Jacqueline is trilingual, has lived or studied in 9 countries, and traveled to 60.  Currently a doctoral student at Columbia University’s Teachers College, her arts-based polyvocal research centers on intersectional aesthetic and epistemological power dynamics. 
In this episode Durell speaks with the "Fresh Professor" James Miles. James has worked as an educator in the New York City public schools for almost 20 years prior to moving to Seattle in 2016. Before joining Mentor Washington as Chief Executive Officer, Miles served as the Executive Director of Seattle based Arts Corps. Originally from Chicago, Miles has worked internationally as an artist and educator, who was inspired to foment change after seeing so many children that looked like him, get disregarded and treated like criminals by our educational systems. His acclaimed TedX Talk focuses on his mission to narrow achievement gaps using the arts as a tool to navigate inequitable educational systems. Miles is a Mayoral Appointee to the Seattle Arts Commission, a Trustee on the Board of the Frye Museum, and on the advisory board of SXSW EDU. A former accountant, model, and actor, Miles has facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, Village Theatre, Arts Impact, Denver Performing Arts Center, Impact Schools, and others. Previously an adjunct professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSW EDU, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, NYU Shanghai, New York Creative Tech Week, EdTechXEurope, Google Educator Bootcamp, UAEM North America, UAEM Europe, National Guild, ITAC, and provided professional development to teachers across the world. His work has been featured by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, National Guild, Seattle Times, KOMO, KEXP, NPR, CBS, NBC, US Department of Education, and ASCD. James is a consultant with Continua Consulting, and  is the co-founder of LeadersDontLead.com, a leadership coaching agency. Learn more about James Miles and his work at www.freshprofessor.com
In this episode Durell speaks with Niegel Smith. Niegel is a Bessie Award winning theater director and performance artist. He is the Artistic Director of NYC’s Obie Award winning theater, The Flea; board member of A.R.T./New York; and ringleader of Willing Participant (www.willingparticipant.org) an artistic activist organization that whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens.His theater work has been produced at The Alley Theater, The Barbican, Classical Theatre of Harlem, The Flea Theater, The Goodman Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, The Invisible Dog, Luna Stage, The Melbourne Festival, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood, New York Fringe Festival, New York Live Arts, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Playwrights Horizons, Pomegranate Arts, The Public Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Summer Play Festival, and Under the Radar, and his participatory walks and performances have been produced by Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, The Brooklyn Museum, Dartmouth College, Elastic City, The Invisible Dog, Jack, The New Museum, Prelude Festival, PS 122, the Van Alen Institute and Visual AIDS. He often collaborates with playwright/performer Taylor Mac. Smith is co-director of the critically acclaimed ‘A 24-Decade History of Popular Music’, winner of the Kennedy Prize in Drama, Bessie Award, the Edwin Booth Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He associate directed the Tony Award winning musical FELA! – restaging that production in London, Lagos and its world tour, assistant directed the off-broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and both the Broadway and off-Broadway productions of Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change.  He has worked on the artistic staffs of The Public Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Black Rep. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Smith has received residencies, grants and/or fellowships from Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the MAP Fund, New York Stage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theater Communications Group, Tucker Foundation, Van Lier Fund and VoxFest. Before surviving high school in Detroit, he grew up in the North Carolina piedmont, fishing with his dad, shopping with his mom and inventing tall-tale fantasies with his two younger brothers. www.niegelsmith.com
In this episode Durell speaker with Sharnita C. Johnson, a philanthropy leader who drives social change at the intersection of arts, culture, and community development and the Vice President of Strategy, Impact, and Communications at the Victoria Foundation. She most recently served as Arts Program Director with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where she led a statewide grantmaking portfolio focused on arts, equity, and creative placekeeping for a vibrant New Jersey. While there, she catalyzed the Foundation’s transformation to equity and co-designed its strategic planning and learning agenda, resulting in a mission to address root causes and repair of structural racism and inequity in New Jersey.  Prior to Dodge, Johnson led grantmaking portfolios as a senior program officer and program officer at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Skillman Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. In these roles, Johnson led collaborative, place-based work that increased investment in, built leadership of, and created conditions for thriving communities throughout Southeast Michigan.  Johnson co-created and co-chairs the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, a first-of-its-kind $5 million fund to support artists and arts organizations impacted by the pandemic. She is board chair-elect of Grantmakers in the Arts and former co-chair of its Racial Equity Committee. She serves on the board of ArtYard and joins The Children's Theatre Foundation of America board January 2022. She is a Council on Foundations Career Pathways Fellow, ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellow, and Marygrove College Distinguished Alumni. Johnson earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a bachelor's from Marygrove College in Detroit. 
In this episode Durell speaks with Dr. Steven Thurston Oliver, Associate Professor of Secondary and Higher Education at Salem State University is a Sociologist of Education whose research and expertise is focused on using Contemplative Pedagogy in K-12 teacher preparation and higher education programs as a catalyst for cultivating greater capacity among educators to be introspective and engage across human differences. Steven received a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from New York University, and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Washington and a B.A. in International Studies from Antioch College. An advocate for Environmental Justice and Sustainable Food Systems, Steven serves on the Board of Trustees of Sterling College, an institution focused on the human relationship with the natural world. Steven is a member of the Brooklyn Zen Center and lay practitioner in the Soto Zen tradition. Steven and his husband Jonathan live in Lowell, Massachusetts with their rescue dog Batu from Puerto Rico. 
In this episode of fluency durell speaks with highly sought after artist and intimacy coordinator Ann C. James.  Ann James has an extensive career in international stage direction and theatre education spanning over three decades.  James recently made her debut as the first Black Intimacy Coordinator of Broadway for Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over. James is an expert in the burgeoning industry of intimacy direction and institutional consent culture for national arts organizations. In addition to her Broadway credit, she served as Intimacy Director and Sensitivity Specialist  for the provocative Off-Broadway productions of Moises Kaufman’s Seven Deadly Sins by Tectonic Theatre Project and Seize the King produced by Classical Theatre of Harlem. On the West Coast, James provides consultation and intimacy coordination for the television and film industry most recently working with Rashida Jones, Mark Wahlberg, Issa Rae, Will Ferrell and Cynthia Enrivo. Her intimacy work has featured James as an expert voice for Theatre Communications Group, HowlRound,  the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, and Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab West. Her company, Intimacy Coordinators of Color,has partnerships with ArtsEquity, TimesUp, and A.R.T./New York. James is in the second year of her studies as America's first MFA in Performance Pedagogy with an emphasis in Afrocentric Intimacy Pedagogy at Loyola Marymount University.
In this episode Durell speaks with Andrea Ambam (she/her/hers). Andrea is a Brooklyn-based artist, actress, and playwright, whose roots sprout from Cameroon. As a politically engaged storyteller who believes in the art’s potential for movement building and transformative justice, Andrea best intersects spaces where community, performance, and truth-telling pulsate. Currently, Andrea is a Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) Artist-In-Residence and serves as a Lead Facilitator for Broadway Advocacy Coalition's Reiminaging Equitable Productions workshops addressing racial equity within broadway, off-broadway, and touring theatre companies. She has developed her practice as an Inaugural Artivism Fellow with Broadway Advocacy Coalition, an Artist-in-Residence for Anna Deavere Smith, an EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and as a competitive public speaker/performer where she has been awarded 10 national championships including "Top Speaker in the Nation'' three times, and gone on to debate conservative pundits on live TV. As a performer, writer, and facilitator, she’s worked with Classical Theatre of Harlem/Playbill, gal-dem, Abrons Arts Center, NYU Prison Education Program, Artists’ Literacies Institute, Centre for Social Innovation, and others. Recent acting credits include: Making Gay History: Before Stonewall (Provincetown Playhouse); Re-Writing the Declaration (Free Street Theater). Her plays include: R(estoration) I(n) P(rogress) (2021 NYU New Plays For Young Audiences Festival; 2021 Ashland New Plays Festival Semifinalist), Rehearsing Justice (Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Fellowship Hall), and Angelina Weld Grimke (Classical Theatre of Harlem/Playbill). Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Art & Public Policy from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is in the core acting ensemble of the New York Univerisity Verbatim Performance Lab.
Patricia Robinson is an esteemed media executive, community leader and advocate, public speaker, professional educator, and a passionate mentor. Patricia spends quality time in her career helping others through coaching positive self-empowerment strategies, realizing, developing, and expanding career potential paths, life skills training, and sharing her experiences on how to be effective in leadership management. Patricia has earned a reputation as a Human Resource professional exercising incredible relationship strategy management in her career which leads to all areas of her expertise. Her work has drawn attention from major media outlets like ABC7 New York, Fox 5 NY, NY1, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, and many more acclaimed platforms.  Patricia holds the professional title of Vice President of Human Resources & Community Engagement for Hot 97, WBLS, and WLIB- three of the biggest radio stations in the tri-state area of New York. Her career in the media industry spans over 19 years. She is celebrated as the first African American woman to hold a VP title with this company and these brands.  In addition to her work at Emmis, Patricia is known for her leadership role working with Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” camps.  She has worked with the KYRC camp for over 3 years to support the advocacy of education and promote equality and justice with an emphasis on communities of color. Through her advocacy and motivational speaking, Pat empowers her diverse audiences with inspiration as well as practical tools to achieve their highest goals. It’s more than work to her, it’s her life’s passion and purpose.
Jonathan P. Jones, Ph.D. is an advisor, faculty member, and coordinator of doctoral studies at NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions for the Program in Educational Theatre. At NYU, he teaches courses in pedagogy and theatre history; at CUNY, he teaches courses in public speaking and theatre history. Jonathan has presented on theatre education, research, creativity, and pedagogy in the US, UK, China, and Iraq. He serves as editor for ArtsPraxis, a journal emphasizing critical analysis of the arts in society, and is on the board of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE).
Juhanna Rogers, PhD. is a motivational speaker, commentator, artist, and education activist currently residing in Central New York.  As a native of Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Rogers has a commitment to social justice, education, and the arts, having grown up in a diverse and resource rich environment.  Dr. Rogers earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Arts from Penn State University – Altoona. While at Penn State, she wrote, directed, and produced artistic performances that celebrated Black history and culture. Her work in theater earned her Central Pennsylvania NAACP Woman of the Year at the age of 20.  Upon graduation, Dr. Rogers sought a career in higher education and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University.  In 2007, she was selected as an alternate Fulbright Scholar based on her research in race and equity within international education. Dr. Rogers used her Fulbright proposal to create a study abroad program that has taken more than 100 students on trips abroad, increasing Indiana University’s diversity efforts.  In 2010, Dr. Rogers returned to Indiana University to pursue her doctorate in higher education. Her research focuses on critical race theory, racism in education, and the international experiences of Black students and scholars.  Today, Dr. Rogers utilizes her national and international experience to motivate and educate Black and Brown leaders in order to create change in their communities and professional spaces. In her free time, Dr. Rogers is a contributing writer for various online blogs, offering commentary on higher education and the Black woman’s experience. Dr. Rogers leads and organizes workshop experiences and retreats on college campuses.  Dr. Rogers encourages women of color to live out loud and unapologetically,  walk into who they are. 
Courtney J. Boddie, Vice President, Education & School Engagement, oversees allprograms related to school communities including the New Victory school partnership program, teacher professional development training in the performing arts and an innovative approach in the professional development of more than 50 New Victory Teaching Artists. A 2021 Crain's New York 'Notable Black Leader and Executive,' Ms. Boddie has expanded the theater’s scope of work in such programs as Victory Dance, which provides free dance and dance education to NYC summer schools; Create, a theater-based teacher professional development track for the city’s Pre-K expansion, the largest in the nation; and GIVE, a brand new initiative to address equitable student engagement in inclusion classrooms. During her tenure at New Victory, the Theater received the Arts Education Award (2008) from Americans for the Arts and a special Drama Desk Award (2012) for “...nurturing a love of theater in young people.” In 2019, TYA/USA awarded Ms. Boddie with the TYA Community Impact Award for her leadership in New Victory SPARK (Schools with the Performing Arts Reach Kids), a robust multi-year arts program that has transformed New York City school communities previously underserved in the arts. Through intensive relationships with schools’ administrative and teaching staff, New Victory SPARK utilizes the theater’s existing school programs--including live performances by international arts companies, a highly trained ensemble of Teaching Artists and smartly-designed classroom curricula--to supply performing arts engagement that is as sustainable, creative and impactful.Ms. Boddie is the Creator and Host of Teaching Artistry with Courtney J. Boddie, a monthlypodcast featuring engaging and investigative interviews, roundtable conversations and panels with artists and arts education leaders. The podcast recently launched a video series called “We Can’t Go Back” with artivists, arts leaders and community activists discussing anti-racist and liberatory practices. She is an adjunct professor at New York University. Ms. Boddie is a Hermitage Artist Fellow and is a Women’s Center Media SheSource. She was on the Board of Directors of the Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) for 5 years (President, 2015 to 2017; Treasurer, 2018-19) and served on the Teaching Artist Committee of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, and the editorial board for the Teaching Artist Journal. Prior to joining New Victory in 2003, Ms. Boddie was Program Associate for Empire State Partnerships (NYSCA) and a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. She received her Master’s degree from the Educational Theatre Graduate Program at New York University.
Alison T. McNeil is a catalyst for equity and justice in the performing arts.For more than 20 years, Alison has created pathways for systemic change in the arts and culture sector. She operates with a collective mindset and a goal to help the historically excluded to thrive.Alison uplifts leaders and advances operations to foster accessible opportunities in the arts and education. She has served as a thought leader on numerous grant panels, boards, conference panels, and advisory committees. She was recently invited to become a member of the Recording Academy and she is credited for her contributions to the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap.She has created invaluable spaces for women of color, authored numerous publications and delivered presentations on arts, racial equity, gender equity, and systemic change. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for SOLE Defined and the Black Genius Foundation. In her spare time away from the movement, she enjoys spending time with her nephew, listening to music, and dancing to one of her favorite Stevie Wonder songs.Alison holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hampton University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from American University.
Maurine Knighton is the program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In that capacity, she is responsible for developing and overseeing grantmaking programs that support artists and organizations in the contemporary dance, theater, jazz, and presenting fields.Prior to DDCF, Knighton was the senior vice president for grantmaking at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She also served as senior vice president for program and nonprofit investment at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. In the field of arts and culture, she was executive producer and president of 651 ARTS; program manager at the Nonprofit Finance Fund; and managing director of Penumbra Theatre Company. She is a former board member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals and of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), where she chaired GIA’s Racial Equity Committee. Knighton has also served as panelist and advisor to the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Arts Presenters Ensemble Theater Program, South Carolina Arts Commission, and others. She currently serves on the board of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, chairing its Cultural Investment Fund Committee.
Eric Gerard ParsonsEric Gerard Parsons is a poet and writer of fiction.  His poetry has appeared in Shots and Arnazella.   In the mid- 1990s he founded I Am the Darker Brother, a Seattle, Washington-based poetry group.  Collaborating with photographer Anne Keeney, Parsons co-created Black Voices speaking: ~ images and words of the lives of blackpeople.  The exhibit was displayed at Café Septieme, a restaurant/gallery in Seattle, and in BLMF, a literary salon, also in Seattle. Parsons participated in the Seattle City Council’s Culture, Arts and Parks’ Poet Laureate Series.  He was Featured Poet with the Red Sky Poetry Theater ~ the oldest continuous poetry open mike program on the West Coast, and has also been featured on Valley Voices, a radio program broadcast from Saginaw State Valley University in Michigan that gave voice to the works of poets throughout the country.  Eric was a founding member of The Orange Room Collective, a group of five Seattle-based poets.  In 2001 he was selected from amongst writers in the Puget Sound region to the prestigious Jack Straw Writers Program.  As a Jack Straw Writer, Eric was invited to read from his then novel-in-progress, The Silence of Blackbirds, at the 2001 Bumbershoot Literary Festival, the annual Washington State Arts Festival; and, at the 2004 Richard Hugo House Black History Month Literary Series.  Excerpts from The Silence of Blackbirds were subsequently published in chapbooks published by the Jack Straw Writers Program and the Bumbershoot Literary Festival. Eric was honored with four residencies from the Foundation for Artists Renaissance House on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He is currently at work on his third novel. His second novel is inexplicably collecting dust in his bedroom.
Cassady Dill @cassadydil is a writer, Digital Marketer business owner and emerging TV/Film Producer. She is a theater graduate of Alabama School of Fine Arts, alma mater to actress Laverne Cox and Hunger Games series writer, Suzanne Collins.While there, she studied theater arts, classical piano and completed her first full feature script - an advancing requirement of the accredited program, in which students dissected Robert McKee’s “Story.” Her beginnings performing, includes being cast in a Cannes award-winning student film, “Dorm Window,” inspired by Hitchcock’s Rear Window and a number of early reality television series. This would cement her love and appreciation for alternative programming and afford her opportunities to shadow on set for production friends. Cassady is popularly known by her many mentors like Donna Marie-Reid (ABC casting & development 14yrs+, Head of Dev, Beautiful Day Productions) who she met after a chance meeting with Reality mogul David Goldberg of Endemol Shine, Micheal Brosnan (CEO, Outpost Media), Nile Evans (Showrunner, Wild N’ Out) and Nia Hill (Grammy/Cannes/NAACP Image Award- Winning Film Executive) who have all allowed her to work on their developing projects and collectively contributed to her knowledge and success in having her very first unscripted pitch optioned by veteran production company, Jesse Collins Entertainment. She followed this pitch with a development deal from a major studio for a K-Pop reality series. Cassady is currently completing an investigative report for the Hollywood Reporter as the only freelancer to be commissioned for an investigative piece to date, she’s also penning a film script for her former co-production partners’ 3-picture deal while developing 5 unscripted series and 3 scripted projects in line with her motto to “A.B.D” (Always Be Developing). She resides in North Hollywood with her fiance.
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