SHONTINA VERNON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/LEAD PRODUCER
Theatre artist, musician, and filmmaker Shontina Vernon has, for the past decade, worked using multi-media, music, and performance to explore black cultural histories, intergenerational legacies around trauma, and queerness. Vernon is a recipient of the 2019 Creative Capital Award, and was also a 2016-18 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Artist as Activist” Fellowship for the creation of the Visionary Justice StoryLab to address the impact of systemic oppression through media and story based healing practices. Her work champions the necessity of arts and culture to catalyze social change. As such, it has been recognized nationally and internationally for both its artistic merit and risk taking.
HATLO, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Hatlo is a collaborative queer theater artist who creates and facilitates new performance. Hatlo has worked as a teacher, program director and case manager supporting the basic needs, artistry and self determination of young people with a focus on queer young people and young people experiencing homelessness. They support all aspects of production for VJSL and act as researcher/dramaturg for new works. Hatlo has collaborated with more than a dozen celebrated Northwest performing artists and companies. Hatlo has a BFA in Original Works/Theater from Cornish College of the Arts.
LARA DAVIS, CREATIVE STRATEGIST
Lara Davis is an artist, arts administrator, racial equity strategist and consultant working at the intersection of culture, public education and social justice. As a strategic advisor for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Lara leads The Creative Advantage, a public/private initiative to reinvest in equitable arts education for all Seattle students. Lara is the inaugural co-chair for the National Guild for Community Arts Education ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian/API Arab, Native American) Network and serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild. Recently named a Marshall Memorial Fellow and a 2015 recipient of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leader Award, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access and transform communities.