The JACK Team
Alec moved to New York in 2000 and, inspired by the work of performance artists Linda Montano and Tehching Shieh, began to create projects that blended art and life. He eventually formed a theater company, Hoi Polloi, and created work often involving large masses of performers singing together or some sort of melding of music and theater. These pieces were produced mostly at The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, including Three Pianos, a paean to Franz Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle that he created with Dave Malloy and Rick Burkhardt and which won an OBIE. In 2012, he started JACK (named after his grandfather) with his wife Mimi Lien and several co-founders, in an attempt to build a microcosm of an ideal city, with music, theater, dance and conversation serving a larger political project of putting art to work towards liberation. Photo by Susan Young.
DeeArah Wright is an artist, educator, and strategist. She has facilitated opportunities for people of all ages to learn, self-empower, and work together for collaborative greatness. In 2010, she founded and activated Gather Brooklyn, which has powered engagement through: marketplaces, partnerships, community-space management, youth arts programming, and strategic consultation. In 2014, DeeArah was the Community Liaison for Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center’s funkgodjazz&medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn. She continues to support artists' development and community engagement through organizations such as The Laundromat Project, The Field, and Urban Bush Women. Her current adventures also include cooperative initiatives, revolutionary educational framework, and writing.
Julia L. Gutiérrez-Rivera -
Julia is a New York-born and -raised Puerto Rican. She is an arts administrator, working with various cultural and performing arts organizations in NYC. Julia is also regarded as one of the top performing and teaching artists of Afro-Puerto Rican genres—Bomba and Plena—of her generation. For the past decade, she has toured internationally with Grammy-nominated Los Pleneros de la 21 and Elio Villafranca, to name a few. Julia holds a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and a Masters in Nonprofit Management from the New School for Nonprofit Management and Urban Policy.
James Forza - Venue Associate
Shavonne Marshall-Wells -
Shavonne, commonly known as Shavonne Taisha is a creative marketing coordinator from New York City.After graduating high school with honors in broadcast journalism and film production, Shavonne went on to study International Trade and Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Shavonne continued her pursuits with her own business MLNNNYC, a media services company and organization run by women of color. Her love of the arts, translates to her career as an arts educator. Her passion for advocacy is the foundation of all her creative paths.
Mayadevi Ross -
Mayadevi is an artist and activist from New York City with a degree in Drama from NYU Tisch. Since graduating, Mayadevi has performed at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, The Tank, and Paradise Factory. Prior to JACK, she was working in administration at Dixon Place. She also works for Girl Game Changer, a for-profit company in network building and branding, for women. In her free time she enjoys reading Malcolm X, brunching, seeing theater, playing video games, and listening to Kendrick Lamar.
More bios and photos coming soon