DR. SAYAKA OMORI
Dr Saya Omori is an educator and researcher with a lifelong passion for manga, comics and graphic novels. She graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle in educational psychology and is passionate about tapping into arts-based methods and approaches (comics!) when teaching and learning. She has worked with children of all ages and ability levels to encourage and nurture their passion for drawing and creating comics. Dr Saya created a manga as part of her dissertation work to address the cultural barriers that Japanese immigrant families face when navigating special education support in the U.S.. Dr Saya continues to work with diverse Asian families of children with disabilities on issues related to special education and disability advocacy. Dr Saya has lived in the Seattle/South King County area over the last 13 years and loves spending her time drawing her two cats, mostly in comic form.
Aishé Keita is a healing artist and two time award winning actress. She is based in Seattle, WA but has been seen on stages throughout the US. Aishé appeared in Seattle Magazine's September issue as must-see artist. Where she also received recognition for her work at Seattle Repertory Theater and The Guthrie Theater for the co-production of Familiar by Danai Gurira. Aishe's first solo show, Griot, produced by Earth Pearl Collective premiered in 2018 and is now in the works to tour. She holds a B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts in Original Works (playwriting, acting, directing) with a minor in applied theater. Aishé has taught healing through creative expression at Gig Harbor Women Correctional Facilities for five years and teaches acting/improv to first-year students at her alma mater, Cornish. Recently co-founder of the African healing collective, Niles Edge. Aishé focuses on the relationship between Theater and African Healing modalities with a special focus on the Diaspora's relationship to self.
SCREENWRITER/PRODUCER 'SUNNYSIDE UP'
Queenie Sunshine joined South End Stories in the summer of 2020 to help bring life to the puppet world of Sunnyside Up. With a background in theater, art, and early childhood education, and a love for all things crafty and fun, Queenie was very excited to embark on a web series geared especially for the very young. Working with youth is one of her passions, and she relishes each opportunity to assist young people in discovering and cultivating their own love for performing arts. Queenie enjoys spending time with canine, feline, and human friends, watching her two children grow, playing croquet, making art out of found objects, playing in her dollhouse kingdom, and singing with her vintage jazz combo, the Savoy Night Owls.
Melani Lyons (She/her) is superfan of the impact of SouthEnd Stories and its advocacy for students and the arts in local schools! She is a playwright, educator, curriculum creator, and non-profit leader who is passionate about giving students the skills that they need to build resilient communities. Melani has deep and wide theatre arts experience that spans genres including comedy, immersive theatre, Shakespeare, and group devising- however her passion is musical theatre! It shows with over forty musical directing credits to her name. She has applied her twenty plus years of experience in theatre education to writing musicals for schools and is the playwright of Austen’s Eligible Bachelors, Shakespeare’s Leading Ladies, Summer School Rocks!, A Mother for Neverland, The Amazing Ever-Changing Alice in Wonderland, Bad Apples, and Lasso the Moon. Find out about her current writing projects at www.lyonsandsamuels.com. Melani is also the Founding Artistic Director of Dandylyon Drama a thriving non-profit theatre organization that brings performing arts right where students are, including CAPE and Parachute Players, that brings theatre to those with special needs. www.dandylyondrama.org
Miss TiQuida Spellman is a proud mother and educator in the King County area with over 20 years of dance and performing arts experience. She is the founder of Baile Dior Studios (Dance Golden) in Renton, Washington; a dance studio that focuses on connecting dancers to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is also a music teacher at Campbell Hill Elementary School in Renton where she teaches integrated arts through music, movement, creativity, and innovation. Her focus is changing how music is looked at for children of color. She has a passion for dance and the arts that is translated through youth that she engages with. “Expression is important to the soul,” she says. “Words aren’t always accessible but dance translates to masses.”
Emmy award winning filmmaker and former Design Director of video production for UW Athletics marketing, Terrence Jeffrey Santos has been involved in film and video production for more than a decade. Through this time he has produced documentaries, narrative films, music videos, marketing campaigns and curated social media content for multiple organizations.
JUNE NHO IVERS
June (she/her) is a multi-faceted filmmaker/producer from Chicago, educated at Northwestern University, and field-tested in the world of broadcast commercials and music videos in Los Angeles and New York. As a young student of color, she would be actively involved in the arts, whether music (her first love), theater, writing, or making movies with her friends. She is a PTA parent of two kids and lives with her husband in Seattle, supports an artist hacker collective, resurrected her DJ skills, and loves supporting the arts.
As a conscientious collaborator, she aligns herself with artists who tell a story with vision and heart. From producing broadcast commercials to documentaries; from social media engagement and events, June celebrates human-centered stories using her powers of production for good. She is currently working on her first art film inspired by her ancestors and the diaspora of the Korean War orphans.
Boontarika Sripom is a therapy-informed Life Coach & Executive Function Coach for creative and gifted people. She believes education and arts are the greatest tools for personal and community empowerment. Boonie earned her BA in Studio Arts and MA in Clinical Psychology. Her background is in outreach counseling (internship), preschool teaching, college counseling, and community mental health. She is a member of the Geek Therapy Community where helpers of all kinds use pop culture as tools of self-understanding, connection, and healing. Video games and archetypes are her first love. The language of archetypes and personality psychology are used to facilitate heroic transformations of those she works with. As a neurodivergent person, she advocates for inclusive practices and acceptance for differently wired brains and abilities. She spoke at Comic-con Special Edition on representation in comics and contributed to a play therapy book for helping neurodivergent children. Boonie loves chickens, jellyfish, & Batman.
Nick Thompson is a filmmaker and photographer in his hometown of Seattle. He recently finished his feature film Skagit, an experimental thriller set in Washington State, which won Best Feature at Hastings Rocks Film Festival. His other projects include music videos for local bands Salt Lick and Velvet Q and the web series Douglas Fern’s Fact File, a docu-satire chronicling Seattle’s history and rapidly changing cultural landscape, as well as several experimental short films. Nick’s work has been presented at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Local Sightings Film Festival, and Northwest Film Forum, and a book of his photography is available at local bookstores. He was born and raised in the South End and is thrilled to be working with South End Stories. More information about his photography and other film projects is available online at nicktfilms.me.
Jovelle Tamayo (she/they) is an independent photo and video journalist, visuals editor and media educator based in South Seattle. They contribute visuals to local and national outlets, including Crosscut, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, NPR and others. Jovelle is a founding member of Authority Collective, a community for femme and non-binary imagemakers of color, and a Board member of the South Seattle Emerald. She has worked as a teaching artist and media educator since 2016, for organizations like Reel Grrls, Coyote Central, Seattle International Film Festival, The Everyday Projects and more. In her personal work, Jovelle explores stories about the Filipinx diaspora, migration and imperialism.
Rajah Makonnen is a video artist who has created projection mapping video installations for venues such as Fred Wildlife Refuge, music videos for various local musicians, worked on advertising campaigns for companies like HBO and Warner Brothers, crafted short form narrative content independently, and more.
Bio to come
Bio to come