Abdul Aziz, a freelance photojournalist based in New Orleans, brings a rich background in documenting global communities from the Middle East to Africa, Asia, and conflicts in the United States. He has worked in documentary filmmaking worldwide for over a decade chronicling social issues related to race, exploitation of indigenous cultures, and unfair labor practices. He also produced the award-winning documentary “Member of the Club,” a film about Black debutante society and culture in New Orleans. His work has been featured in multiple exhibitions, and in print and media publications. Additionally his work has been used as an educational and promotional tool in the local and global social justice community. He is currently Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, Vice President of the Board of a Charter Management Organization in New Orleans, and an active board member of Ground Work New Orleans.
Photo Credit: Amina Desselle
Rolando Palacio is a photographer, videographer, and digital media artist. He was born in 1983 of Mexican immigrant parents. For most of his life he traveled throughout the U.S. as a farm laborer which directly impacts his art and the way he views the world. As a child his introduction to the arts begin through a summer youth program that provided schooling for migrant youth with the goal of attracting them to education rather than agricultural labor. In 2010, Palacio received his BFA from Michigan State University. Subsequent to that he attended the Art and Design Masters program at the University of Michigan where he received his MFA. He presently resides in the New Orleans area where he continues to document the Latina/o experience.
Photo Credit: Rolando Palacio
Indigo is an American actress, DJ and entrepreneur. She is best known for her roles as Rona, one of the vampire slayer potentials, in the final season of the TV series Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and Vaneeta on the Showtime series Weeds, in which she was nominated for the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Jneiro Jarel is an American recording artist, music producer, composer and DJ. Recognized for his versatile, abstract, and often experimental style, he is also known for his beat-making alias Dr. Who Dat? and his groups JJ DOOM, Willie Isz and Shape of Broad Minds. He has collaborated with artists such as Damon Albarn, Count Bass D, Massive Attack, TV on the Radio and Kimbra among others.
Nik Richard is an artist, poet, and urban planner from New Orleans, Louisiana, with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans.
Since Hurricane Katrina ravaged his city in 2005, Nik has made it his mission to make a lasting impact in New Orleans through his work. His creativity in film has earned him an NAACP Award, AFI Silverdocs Award, and a PBS P.O.V. Award in the 2008 Myspace Film Your Issue contest for his interpretation of disaster tourism in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. He is the author of two books of poetry, Love and Water, and A Dream For Sale, both which narrate his experiences living and growing in a post-storm New Orleans. Nik is currently a planner at the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission and sits as a member of the New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments.
Understanding the importance of public spaces and public art, Nik is currently finding an intersection between his ongoing urban planning work and his lifelong desire to create by using his art to contribute to the ever changing narrative of the city that he works to rebuild. Nik is currently working on a project with the Arts Council of New Orleans to retell the story of the Tulane – Gravier neighborhood via steel panel illustrations that will be installed along the Gravier Street corridor.
Fari Nzinga, PhD
Fari Nzinga was born and raised in Boston, MA and graduated with a BA from Oberlin College in 2005. Fari earned both her M.A. and Ph.D in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. She has been living in New Orleans since 2009, where she conducted her dissertation research on Black-led arts organizations and community rebuilding in the post-Katrina historical moment. While conducting fieldwork in post-Katrina New Orleans she worked for Junebug Productions, a theater production company with organizational roots stretching back to the civil rights movement. Halfway through the second year of fieldwork, she moved into an artist loft and began keeping a diary of vignettes — these were confessions of an imposter, aspiring to one day fit the bill. After finally writing and defending her dissertation, she made a promise to herself that she would once again pick up the pen for her own artistic pursuits. In addition to nursing her literary aspirations, Fari is an Adjunct Professor at Bard Early College in New Orleans where she teaches a popular course in Black Feminist Thought; an Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) — one of only 2 HBCUs to house an M.A.- level Museum Studies program in the U.S.; and a Project Manager for a holistic, community-driven neighborhood revitalization project at NewCorp Inc, a Black-led community and economic development organization. She also sits on the editorial team of Createquity, a think tank and online publication platform that investigates the most important issues in the arts and what we, collectively and individually, can do about them.
Dexter Gilmore and Gabrielle Washington
of Sexy Dex and the Fresh
Sexy Dex and The Fresh is: Dexter Gilmore on Vocals, and guitar, Gabrielle Washington on vocals, and keys, Andrew Landry on Bass, Benjamin Buchbinder on Keys, and Evan Cvitanovic on Drums.
Carl Joe Williams
Carl Joe Williams creates paintings and painted sculpture from found objects, references to pop culture and rhythmic patterns inspired by the geometric forms found in nature. He describes his works as “symphonies of colors” that present a powerful visual experience. Williams’ installation, Journeys, was featured at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Atlanta, GA) in 2002. His Sculptural Trees public art installation in Metairie, Louisiana was described as reminiscent of “lollipops in a Candyland forest.” His visual interpretations are enhanced by his vision of art and music as extensions of one another. An accomplished musician as well as a visual artist, Williams incorporates his musical compositions into videos and installations. Found objects play an important role in Williams’s works by becoming elements a narrative continuum that addresses societal and historical concerns.
Williams is one of the founders of Blights Out, a Creative Capital supported project in New Orleans along with artists Lisa Sigal and Imani Jacqueline Brown. Blights Out is a community- and artist-led initiative to activate agency in neighborhood development. This initiative was initiated as part of Prospect New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the U.S. Williams attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Art (NOCCA) where he received formal training as a teen. Williams continued his studies at Atlanta College of Art earning his BFA. Williams is a founding member of Level Artist Collective, which includes artists Ana Hernandez, Horton Humble, Rontherin Ratliff, and John Isiah Walton. Williams has had a variety of exhibitions including at the George Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, at Crystal Bridges, at Convergence: JMC@P3 Exhibition in conjunction with Prospect 3+ New Orleans, Curated by Deborah Willis and Sponsored by the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Of Art (solo), at McKenna Museum of African American Art, Hammonds House Galleries, Atlanta, GA and permanent public art installations in Atlanta at Sweet Auburn Curb Market (as part of 1996 Summer Olympics) and at the Washington Park Tennis Center. In 2013 he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Center NOLA Studio Artist Residence Program. His work is included in the Crystal Bridges Collection.
Photo Credit: Carl Joe Williams
Angela Tucker is an Emmy nominated producer, writer and director. Her directorial work includes (A)SEXUAL, a feature length documentary available on Netflix and iTunes, BLACK FOLK DON’T, a documentary web series in its fourth season featured in Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life”, THE OLDER FISH, a short documentary for TIME Inc and JUST THE THREE OF US, a short fiction film starring Leslie Uggams. She is the Series Producer for the PBS documentary series, AFROPOP and a Co-Producer on THE NEW BLACK. She is currently directing PAPER CHASE, a feature length teen comedy written by herself and collaborator Lauren Domino. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University.
Photo Credit: Mariana Sheppard
Lorna Williams was born in 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. She studied at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia. In 2009, she attended the Norfolk Program at Yale University. Her work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum Harlem, Harlem, NY; Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA; and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Williams’ work has been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Art in America, The New York Times, FLATT, Boston Magazine, Concierge Magazine, and The Boston Globe, among others. She was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalist, ARTS Recognition Finalist, National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Finalist, Art and Change Grantee of the Leeway Foundation, Ellen Battell Stockel Fellowship Recipient. Her work is included in the collection of 21C Museum, The Pizzuti Collection and Wellington Management. Williams lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo Credit: Amina Desselle
Dominic Minix was born in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana at a young age. Minix studied jazz instrumental at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and is a recent Loyola University graduate. As a composer/songwriter and guitarist Dominic Minix had his formative musical experiences playing in New Orleans with a diverse range of musicians including jazz masters such as Jesse Mcbride, Donald Harrison, Shannon Powell, and Delfeayo Marsalis. Having performed as a sideman multiple times at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, The House of Blues, Tipitina’s, and Snug Harbor among other venues, Minix currently leads a quartet of versatile musicians that have developed a unique jazz/punk rock/hip hop sound. Other recent projects include participating in the Red Bull Bass Camp, a feature in the Guardian documentary, “Ten Years after Katrina: ‘I thought that was it for New Orleans’,” and an international tour with Grammy nominated trumpeter, Christian Scott.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Jackson
AF THE NAYSAYER
An up-and-coming voice in the electronic music and instrumental hip-hop scene, the South’s own AF THE NAYSAYER is a Louisiana-based, Los Angeles-bred producer. AF cites g-funk producer DJ Battlecat and legendary video game composer Yuji Takenouchi as his biggest influences. AF’s debut EP, the Autodidact Instrumentals Vol. 1, is a masterful postmodern blend of 80’s R&B and 90’s West Coast hip-hop that has served as the backdrop for many BMX web edits for FITBIKECO, DAN’S COMP, and ESPN. His collaborations in New Orleans have led him to co-curate producer Jneiro Jarel’s “Viberian Experience” music series, as well as the creation and hosting of the Dolo Jazz Suite showcase. AF is also currently the New Orleans ambassador for Red Bull Music Academy.
Photo Credit: Chad Whited
Blaze Like Fyre
“Blaze Like Fyre” Edwards is a photographer, videographer, and digital media designer from New Orleans, LA. Blaze’s style of photography has been described as documentary; as Blaze puts it, “I shoot what I see.” Photography has been a catalyst for Blaze’s exploration of different creative avenues, including digital media, graphic design, and videography. Blaze studied Mass Communications at Texas Southern University in the Tavis Smiley School of Communications. According to Blaze, “I am not making a living doing what I studied in school. However, what I learned away from the classroom has become my business.”
Photo Credit: Kim Coleman