Ann Christiano is the Frank Karel Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications and the Director of the newly established Center for Public Interest Communications. In that role, she is developing a first-ever curriculum in public interest communications, connecting practitioners and scholars who are already working in the field, and nurturing and sharing research that can advance this newly emerging academic discipline. Public Interest Communications uses science-driven strategic communications and storytelling to advance positive social change.
Ann also directs the frank gathering, which brings together hundreds of leaders from around the world who are working at the front lines of social causes, as well as scholars and funders to share the best of what they know in Gainesville every February.
Before she came to the University of Florida in 2010, Ann was a senior communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Margery Pabst Steinmetz is Co-Founder of The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation whose mission is to support innovative, interdisciplinary initiatives that build community capacity, particularly at the intersection of arts, education and wellness. She is also the owner of www.mycaregivingcoach.com, a website dedicated to caregivers providing affirmations, blogs and radio show archives. Margery is the author of four books on life transitions, including "Enrich Your Caregiving Journey” and she hosts “Caregivers Speak,” a twice monthly radio show on BlogTalkRadio.
Margery is an Emeritus Board Member of both The University of Central Florida Foundation and the Rollins Fine Arts Museum. She is a member of the Arts and Wellness Council at The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, and a current board member at Atlantic Center for the Arts and Legacy Pointe. The Pabst Steinmetz Foundation recently launched the Arts and Wellness Innovation Awards, a campus and community initiative in partnership with The University of Central Florida.
Jamie Bennett is the executive director of ArtPlace America, a ten-year fund that supports enlisting artists as allies in building equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities.
To date, ArtPlace has invested over $100 million to support projects in rural, suburban, tribal, and urban communities of all sizes across the United States, as well as in sharing knowledge from that work in ways that are both useful and actually used by practitioners. ArtPlace convenes and connects people who are committed to this work in order to help build a strong and ongoing field of practice.
Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he worked on the national rollouts of the "Our Town" grant program and of partnerships with the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development.
Before the NEA, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where he worked on partnerships with the NYC Departments for the Aging, of Education, and of Youth and Community Development.
Jamie has also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College.
He currently lives, works, worships, and plays in Brooklyn, NY, and has been sober since 2009.
Darius V. Daughtry fell in love with words at the age of six. It was then, that he used to write and draw his own comic books. While the pictures left a little to be desired, being able to paint pictures with words was a passion that soon began to blossom. Darius has been marrying the pen to the paper ever since.
Today, Darius is an accomplished poet, playwright, director, educator, author and community builder who believes in the transformative power of words. As the Founder and Artistic Director of Art Prevails Project, a performing arts organization dedicated to expanding cultural conversation through performance, arts education, and community engagement, Darius works diligently to use the arts as vehicle for social change. As an educator, Darius has created and directed creative art initiatives, including some in conjunction with NFL Hall-of-Famer, Jason Taylor, and actor/poet, Omari Hardwick.
Darius recently released And The Walls Came Tumbling, a collection of poetry that explores societal constructs - race, class, gender – and questions their existence in our lives.
His work has impacted thousands of youth throughout South Florida. He continues to mentor many, and he loves his nieces.
Susan Lilley is a Florida native. She is currently serving as inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Orlando. Her poetry and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Drunken Boat, Saw Palm, Hippocampus and Sweet, among other journals. She is past winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Award and has published two chapbooks, Night Windows and Satellite Beach. Her full collection, Venus in Retrograde, was published in April 2019 by Burrow Press. She teaches literature and writing at Trinity Preparatory School and has taught at University of Central Florida and Rollins College. She holds an MFA from University of Southern Maine.
“Brazilian Voices is a non-profit musical organization of up to 34 women who sing Brazilian and international music for concerts, educational and philanthropic events in hospitals, chemotherapy infusion units and nursing homes. Known as 14-time winner of the Brazilian International Press Award for Outstanding Brazilian Musical Group in the US. The group has released 7 CDs and performed around the world for the past 17 years, including cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico, New York and London, in addition to more than 500 performances in South Florida, reaching 17,000 people yearly. Brazilian Voices is proud to serve Broward County.
In addition, Broward County has proclaimed September 15th, 2016 to be "Brazilian Voices Day”, for its positive contribution to the community.
For the past eleven years, Brazilian Voices’ Arts & Healing program has performed free of charge for patients and caregivers bringing bossa nova to them, and now has a partnership with 14 hospitals such as University of Miami - Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sylvester Cancer Center - Alex's Place, Nicklaus Children Hospital, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Florida among others.”
Brittney, the playwright of From Colored To Black, is an actor and director from San Diego, CA. Brittney earned her MFA in Acting from The University of Florida and has 15 years of performance experience. Brittney uses the power of performance as a teaching tool. Her work focuses on implementing acting techniques to help facilitate specialized training for companies and individuals to improve their own training or presentation skills within non-performative industries.
Brittney returned to The University of Florida to co-direct and act in her playwriting debut, From Colored to Black: The Stories of North Central Florida, a collaborative play the she authored using oral histories. The play connects the past and the present condition of the Black community through interviews, analysis, and data to shine a light on the patterns of public policy that have caused the disproportionate and continued struggles of Black Americans.
In his day job, Dr. Levy is the Chief of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, the director of the Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative (RVTRI), and is a Core Planning Team member for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. The latter two projects use telehealth to deliver creative arts therapies to Veterans and active duty service members directly in their homes. In 2015, Dr. Levy received the Paul B. Magnuson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rehabilitation Research “the highest honor for VA rehabilitation investigators.” After hours, Dr. Levy is a state champion fiddler and banjoist, and a recipient of both the Thelma Boltin and the Ed Fleming Awards for his contributions to old-time music in Florida. Adam Hurt described Chuck’s banjo playing as “intricate and engaging, but also consistently clean and tasteful throughout, a sort of ideal combination many players seek but few achieve.”
Cindy Prins, PHD, MPH, CIC, CPH, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ assistant dean for educational affairs, the MPH Program Director, and a clinical associate professor of Epidemiology. Dr. Prins received her PhD in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology from Penn State University in 2000, where she studied replication of JC virus. She completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Florida, focusing on regulation of vaccinia virus transcription elongation. Concurrently, she earned her MPH in the Epidemiology concentration from the College of Public Health and Health Professions at UF in the fall of 2006. Dr. Prins worked as an Infection Control Practitioner at UF Health Shands Hospital before joining the Epidemiology faculty in 2010. Dr. Prins’ research interests include the prevention of healthcare-associated infections and compliance with vaccine recommendations. Dr. Prins is Board Certified in Infection Control (CIC) and Public Health (CPH).
Curtis has led Kaiser Permanente’s efforts for arts and public health in Colorado since 2012. He began as an actor/educator for the programs in 2000. During his tenure, he has led the development of educational programming that addresses nutrition, physical activity, social emotional wellness, social needs (specifically poverty and hunger), and trauma-informed care. In 2015, he was instrumental in securing Kaiser Permanente’s investment to launch Free for Kids efforts at the Denver Art Museum. He oversaw funding opportunities and technical assistance for schools in physical activity, nutrition and mental health. He served on the national board for Theatre for Young Audiences USA for the past 7 years. He is currently on the board of directors for Colorado Business Council for the Arts and on the Leadership Council for Healthy Schools Successful Students. Curtis holds a BA in Communications with Theatre Emphasis from Wheaton College and an MBA from Colorado Christian University.
Curtis Young began his career the Division of Cultural Affairs as a Program Manager for grants and is currently the Information Specialist, handling the Division’s communications, social media, and research along with the promotion of the Division’s programming at conferences and workshops. Originally from the mountains of Tennessee, he holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Memphis and an MFA in Directing from the School of Theatre at Florida State University. His work in the theatre as a director and actor spans more than 25 years. Prior to joining the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, he served as the Director of the Theatre Program at Andrew College in Southwest Georgia.
Dr. Daisy Fancourt is an Associate Professor in Psychobiology & Epidemiology at University College London. Her research focuses on the effects of social and community participation on health, with a particular interest in the effects of arts and cultural engagement. This includes laboratory studies on the effects of arts participation on neuroendocrine and immune response, behavioural studies on barriers and motivators to arts engagement, clinical trials of bespoke arts programmes for specific health conditions, and statistical analyses of cohort studies and big data exploring the health and social impact of arts engagement at a population level. Daisy’s research has been granted over £10 million in funding and has received awards from the British Science Association, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, American Psychosomatic Society, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Royal Society for Public Health and NHS England. She has also been named a BBC New Generation Thinker and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) CEO Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organizations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilizing communities through arts and culture. Since joining YBCA in 2013, she has launched bold new programs, engagement strategies, and civic coalitions that are redefining what an art center looks like in the 21st century. She is a co-founder of CultureBank and ArtsForum SF, a co-chair of the San Francisco Arts Alliance, and a sought- after speaker on the global stage.
Dr. Blue is the Associate Vice President for Interprofessional Education - UF Health, and the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and Clinical Professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. She earned her doctorate in Anthropology (Medical) from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Blue has been engaged in health professions education for over 20 years, having implemented and directed educational programs involving students from multiple health professions, such as medical, dental, biomedical science, pharmacy, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and public health. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in the medical and health professions education literature and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice. In 2018, she received the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) Career Educator Award.
Emmanuel is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sweet Water Foundation. Emmanuel's professional and academic work has involved explorations and investigations in such topics as architecture, urbanization, race/identity, gentrification, and most recently transformative processes of community economic development through intersections of food security and sustainable design innovation. While most of his early work was anchored in the field of architecture, Emmanuel's work has since explored the role of art and social praxis as a key component of urban design, urban farming, and sustainability with a particular concentration on the creation of a new paradigms for Regenerative Neighborhood Development. Emmanuel was a Loeb Fellow in 2017, a Charles Moore Visiting Lecturer at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, and is currently a Visiting Lecturer for Environmental and Urban Studies Program at the University of Chicago.
Heather Spooner, MA, ATR-BC, is faculty with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine and a board certified art therapist working with patients across the North Florida/South Georgia VA Health System. Heather has incorporated the arts in a variety of settings including healthcare facilities, museums, and community programs. Prior to joining UF, Heather taught undergraduate art therapy and spearheaded the formation of a statewide arts in health organization, Arts for Health Florida.
Heather is part of the clinical team that developed the Rural Veterans’ Telerehabilitation Initiative Creative Arts Therapy (RVTRI CAT) Project through the North Florida/South Georgia VA Health System. RVTRI CAT is part of national expansion projects through the VA Enterprise Wide Initiative and Creative Forces: The NEA Military Healing Arts Network. In addition to her clinical practice, Heather frequently publishes and presents on topics related to art therapy and the arts in health.
Grim Jackson started writing poetry in 2013 as a form of personal expression in his high school poetry club. In 2016 he became the only person in the world to win both the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam in the same year. He has continued to make history by winning the Southern Fried Regional slam 3 years in a row. He is known for his unique perspective, and groundbreaking approach to poetry and art.
Dynamic, uncomfortable, necessary are words that come to mind when describing a Grim Jackson's performance. Using his personal experience as inspiration he has created a body of work that explores and rewrites the narrative around the subtle and obvious social issues that impact urban communities. Grim's spoken word forces us all to wrestle with what's not working and invites us ALL to be part of the solution.
Hannah L Drake is a blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, and the author of 10 books. She writes commentary on politics, feminism, and race and her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Her work has been recognized by Colin Kaepernick, Ava DuVernay and she was recently selected as a Muhammad Ali Daughter of Greatness. In addition to her writing and speaking, Hannah works as a cultural strategist at IDEAS xLab with an emphasis on how the spaces we create impact the health and wellbeing of a community. Hannah’s message is thought-provoking and at times challenging, however, Hannah believes that change dwells in the realm of the uncomfortable. “My sole purpose in writing and speaking is not that I entertain you. I am trying to shake a nation.”
Nolen is an advocate for the value of the arts towards building post traumatic strength (PTS) for military personnel, their families, and citizens experiencing the invisible wounds of war, and community-wide “mass terror” events. As an Arts and Military Senior Policy for Americans for the Arts, he has testified before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and moderated Congressional Staff briefings to advance the arts in health, healing and healthcare for our military service members, Veterans, their families and caregivers.
He served as senior military community engagement advisor for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network and partnering U.S. Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and nine U.S. state and local arts agencies, and the District of Columbia. He also has advised such creative endeavors as Healing Wars, a theatrical dance production; PBS’s Crafts in America; and the Smithsonian Institution’s Haiti Cultural Recovery Project.
He is a former U.S. Army General whose 32 year service highlights as an Infantry officer include: Chief of Staff, U.S. Southern Command; Deputy Commanding General, 4th Infantry Division; C3 Coalition Forces Land Component Command & U.S. Third Army; Deputy Director Regional Infrastructure CJTF-7 Baghdad Iraq, and various headquarters, senior staff positions with U.S. Joint, Army and Special Operations Commands.
Mr. Jeff Moore serves as dean of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities. He is responsible for the health and activity of three schools, five departments, and many programs, centers, and areas studies. As dean, he has advanced the college’s presence with alumni and donors, enabled the units within college to meet the university’s strategic goals, and strengthened partnerships in the Central Florida community and beyond. He prioritizes supporting the faculty and celebrates their successes in research, creative activity, and pedagogy.
Moore joined UCF in 1994 as the university’s first full-time percussion professor. He was chair of the Music Department from 2009-13 and was appointed the founding director of UCF’s School of Performing Arts in 2013, and fulfilled that role until being selected for the role of dean of the college in 2016. Under his leadership, both the theatre and music departments received national accreditation or reaccreditation. Moore also helped create UCF Celebrates the Arts, a multi-week festival that highlights UCF’s arts and interdisciplinary programs while providing accessible entertainment to the Central Florida community.
During his music and teaching career, Moore has been involved with more than 60 literary and music projects as an author, composer, or arranger, and is an international performer, lecturer, clinician, and soloist. His service on nonprofit boards and committees has helped build an awareness of the importance of the arts in our lives. He currently serves on the boards of directors for Central Florida Community Arts, The Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakes, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. He serves as secretary for the Orlando Philharmonic Board of Directors and the president of the Florida Higher Education Arts Network. He is on the board of advisors for the Percussive Arts Society.
Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of Wisconsin.
Jeffrey is a publicly engaged scholar and theater practitioner with over 25 years of professional experience in film and theatre in Canada, the US, and the UK. His work at UF focusses on teaching applied theater and developing theatre programs to address social issues and community health. His research looks at how innovative applications of theatre and video to health, social, and educational content can better support patient populations and engage the public in critical dialogue. Recent projects include: From Colored to Black: The Stories of North Central Florida, a groundbreaking multi-modal play that uses oral history to explore health inequities in the Black community, Voices from the March, an ethnographic play documenting the 2017 Women's March on Washington through the eyes of the students who attended; Ashley’s Consent, a multi-media, site-specific play educating on sexual assault and consent; and, Inside OCD, a storytelling program and performance featuring people living with OCD.
Kelly Cornett, MS, is a McKing Consulting Corporation Program Coordinator on the Translation and Evaluation Team in the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She collaborates with partners to promote physical activity at the population level while participating in policy research, partnership development, and activity-friendly community support. With an educational background in Exercise Physiology and Health Promotion, she uses her communication skills to synthesize evidence-based research into messages, resources, and promotional materials related to physical activity. Her products and collaborations help to disseminate user-friendly implementation guidance materials that promote walkable, active communities. Prior to her work with the CDC, she served as the Physical Activity and School Health Specialist for the Georgia Department of Public Health implementing a statewide initiative to integrate physical activity into the school day. She completed a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology from the Honors College at Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from James Madison University.
Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Jill is an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, and serves on the editorial board for Arts & Healthjournal and the board of Citizens for Florida Arts. She is also director of the national initiative, Creating Health Communities: Arts + Public Health in America, in partnership with ArtPlace America.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens with teachers of the Horton and Duncan techniques including Bella Lewitsky, Lynda Davis, Milton Meyers, Joy Kellman, Lori Belilove, Julia Levine and Hortense Koluris. She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & the Isadora Duncan Dance Company in New York and a guest performer and choreographer with Dance Alive! and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre.
Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois, and is a PhD candidate in Arts in Public Health at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. With 25+ years of experience and leadership in arts in health, Jill is active in research, teaching, and international cultural exchange. Her current research focuses on the arts and health communication, the arts in public health, and the effects of music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, a UF Public Health Champions award, a UF Cross-Campus Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and over 200 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.
Nancy Lowden Norman is Executive Director of Atlantic Center for the Arts, where she has worked as a community and capacity builder, as well as an arts advocate, since 1996. She oversees its world-renowned artists-in-residence program, its Arts & Wellness initiative, and Arts on Douglas Gallery; and works with individual donors/investors and corporate partners. Nancy completed the Certificate in Philanthropic Fundraising from Rollins College Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center, Winter Park, FL, and the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. She received her MS in Mass Communication from San Diego State University, her BS in journalism from the University of Florida, and is a Board member of the Volusia County Cultural Alliance.
Onye Ozuzu is a performing artist, choreographer, administrator, educator and researcher currently serving as the Dean of the College of the Arts at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Previously she was Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago.
Onye has been presenting Dance works since 1997. Based in the US her work has been seen at venues such as Seattle Festival of Improvisational Dance, Kaay Fecc Festival Des Tous les Danses(Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), danceGATHERING Lagos, as well as many anonymous site-specific locations. Recent work includes “Touch My Beloved’s Thought” a collaboration with composer, Greg Ward, Project Toola work which garnered a 2018 Joyce Award. She facilitates work in a group improvisational score, The Technology of the Circle. She continues to serve the field of dance as a thought leader, speaker and curator.
Paul Pietsch leads NASAA’s qualitative research efforts, focusing on programmatic and policy trends in state arts agencies. In his role, Paul has written a number of nationally influential white papers. His research portfolio includes a broad array of topics, including arts-based rural development, arts in healthcare, arts and the opioid epidemic, creative aging, arts and the military, the creative economy, creative placemaking, cultural districts, public art, arts education, and diversity in the arts, among other things. He also tracks state legislation pertaining to the arts and highlights innovative state arts agency practices in the monthly State to State column of NASAA Notes.
Prior to joining NASAA in 2012, Paul managed the research efforts of the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid as well as those of the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition. He has worked as a writer and fundraiser at Harvard University, Dartmouth College and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Paul also is an artist with an M.F.A. and a graduate certificate in arts management from American University in Washington, D.C. He is a faculty member of the Washington Studio School, facilitates life drawing groups, and has served on the Artists’ Advisory Council of the Washington Project for the Arts and the board of directors of Art Enables, an art gallery and vocational arts program for artists with disabilities.
Rick Luftglass is Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, which strives to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a $10-million-dollar, multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding. The areas of focus include addressing mental health stigma, trauma, and aging-related diseases. Previously, Rick was Executive Director of the Pfizer Foundation, Senior Director of U.S. Philanthropy and Community Engagement for Pfizer Inc and led the company’s health care access initiatives for low-income uninsured patients. He has served on the board of Philanthropy New York and as co-chair of its Foundation CEO Roundtable, and as co-chair of Community Food Funders. He also has served as a grants reviewer for city, state and federal community revitalization initiatives involving housing, education, arts and economic development. He is board chair of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, which assists immigrant communities to celebrate and preserve the vitality of their distinctive performing arts traditions.
Sandy Shaughnessy served at the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs as an arts administrator for various grant programs, special events and initiatives before being appointed director in 2005. Prior to that, she was box office manager for Old School Square Cultural Arts Center in Delray Beach and director/treasurer of box office operations for the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. A native New Yorker, Shaughnessy has work experience at ABC’s World News Tonight and 20/20 as well as at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is a graduate of New York University with a bachelor of arts degree in dramatic literature, theatre history and the cinema with a minor in political science. She completed graduate coursework in arts administration, and is trained in international protocol. Sandy is a member of the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the board of South Arts, the regional arts agency and has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and other State Arts Agencies.
Sheena Pryce Fegumps, MPH, MS, is the University of Florida’s Master of Public Health Program internship and outreach coordinator. She also serves as an adjunct professor. She completed her baccalaureate degree from the University of Central Florida, her master's degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida, and her masters of science degree in Health Service Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has worked in healthcare and public health in various capacities for the past 17 years, ranging from disease prevention and intervention, community liaison, case management, and adolescent risky behavior, to emergency management, Brownfields Grant coordination and healthiest weight coordination, as well as many other programs and health-related areas. She resides in Gainesville with her husband and three daughters. She enjoys reading, traveling, performing arts and spending time with her family.
Dr. Kass is a retired Navy Family Physician who dedicated the last decade of her 23 military career designing and implementing novel care programs for Wounded Warriors. She served as the Officer in Charge of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) from 2011 to 2015. While serving in this capacity she developed an understanding and appreciation for the healing impacts of Creative Arts Therapies. Realizing the need to increase access, awareness and evidence of the impact of these therapies, Dr. Kass serves as a strong advocate, champion and leader for Creative Forces.
Steven serves as Chief Administrative Officer at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) assisting six divisions, two institutes, and a staff of 500 in support of the objectives and priorities of the Department. He is a member of the RIDOH Executive Leadership Team and the Health Policy and Leadership Team. He is the Department’s lead for Workforce and Career Development. He is the Department’s Diversity Liaison and a Strengths Coach. He is a member of the Health and Safety Committee and facilitates the RIDOH Alumni Association planning team meetings. Steven is Co-Chair of the RI State Arts and Health Network – an interdisciplinary and inter-sector partnership working to advance the integration of arts and health in Rhode Island.
Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Under his leadership, the office has produced dozens of research reports, hosted periodic research events and webinars, led strategic plan development for the agency, and established research and data partnerships with the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. His office also conducts program evaluations and performance measurement for the NEA. Working with his team, Iyengar has created and pursued a long-term research agenda (based partly on an arts “system map” his office helped to design), founded a national data repository for the arts, and launched two awards programs for arts researchers. He chairs a federal Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development. Related reports include Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts and The NEA Guide to Community-Engaged Research in the Arts and Health. He contributes a monthly research post (titled “Taking Note”) to the NEA’s official blog. Iyengar and his team have partnered with organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institutes to Health to study the arts in relation to such topics as economic development and health and well-being. Prior to joining the NEA as research director, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poems and book reviews. Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Tasha Golden, PhD is a public health researcher and consultant whose work is bolstered by her career in the arts. As frontwoman and songwriter for the critically acclaimed band Ellery, Golden toured full-time for many years throughout the US and abroad, and her songs have been in feature films and TV dramas. Now in Public Health, Golden draws on her background to develop creative, interdisciplinary partnerships and practices. Her work advances health equity by improving communications; interrogating research assumptions; and innovating health research, education, and practice.
Dr. Golden consults for organizations, initiatives, and communities to develop creative, research-based strategies that further their goals. She also leads writing workshops for incarcerated teen women in Ohio and Kentucky, who are among her greatest teachers.
Kathy is currently the Vice President of Research & Development at Wise Entertainment. She oversees integration of social issues into Wise Entertainment’s creative IPs, manages relationships with non-profit organizations that serve on the company’s advisory committees. Kathy is also a producer whose credits include Wise Entertainment’s six-time Emmy nominated Hulu original drama, East Los High as well as various transmedia and social media campaigns. Prior to joining Wise Entertainment, Kathy served as the Digital Campaign Manager for the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Stand Up To Cancer program. In that role, she oversaw and produced multi-platform digital and social media campaigns to help raise awareness for cancer research. Before her role at the EIF, Kathy served as Program Manager at The Norman Lear Center's Hollywood, Health & Society program, where she worked closely with writers and producers from hit shows on top networks to facilitate storylines that educate viewers on social issues. Kathy holds a M.P.H. degree from the Keck School of Medicine at USC and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Davis.
Joshua Vickery is a vocalist, actor, teacher, producer, musical director, arts administrator and conductor. Josh began his career in church music but transitioned to Walt Disney Entertainment as an entertainment leader, casting director, and vocal coach. In 2010, he founded Central Florida Community Arts, a non-profit organization that strives to make the arts affordable and accessible, and uses the arts as a catalyst to create change in the community. It consists of about 110 artists in:
He also serves as a consultant for other arts organizations in its beginning stages and a voice for local, state and national arts advocacy. He has the honor of several accolades including:
Max Helgemo is a research coordinator with the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida. He graduated with his BS in exercise physiology from the University of Florida in 2016. His most recent publication, “Arts in health mapping project: Florida,” explores a systematic way of characterizing arts in health programs by use of a 25 question survey. Max also contributed to the three-phase “Arts & Wellbeing Indicators” project, which aimed to develop a statistical model that evaluated self-reported arts participation and health measures. Max also works as a musician in residence for the Shands Arts in Medicine program, performing acoustic music for patients at the bedside.
Jasmine received a Master in Public Health in 2016 from Boston University School of Public Health with a focus in Maternal Child Health and Biostatistics and a Bachelor of Science in 2014 from Emory University in Biology, Psychology, and Linguistics. Jasmine has been driven by both research and community-based work while practicing public health and storytelling with data. She has over five years of advanced statistical programming experience in addition to experience in research concerning statistical genetics, racial disparities, maternal/infant outcomes, childhood adversity, and intimate partner violence. Previously, Jasmine provided statistical support and data management supervision for the University of Florida’s Department of Epidemiology and the Center for Arts in Medicine. She also served as a biostatistician for the University of Florida’s Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics. In Fall 2019, Jasmine will be an incoming graduate student in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan.
Natalie Quintana, MM, MT-BC is a neurologic music therapist and native of Tampa, FL. She is an accomplished musician, proving proficiency in piano, percussion, jazz voice, classical guitar performance, and an adept navigator of music technology and recording software. Her educational background includes a Bachelors and Masters in Music Therapy from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL and a physical medicine and neurological rehabilitation certification from the international Robert F. Unkefer Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy in Toronto, CA. She is currently a creative arts therapist at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, FL. Her work includes providing in-patient music therapy services within brain injuries units, rehabilitation and transitional programs, and the geriatric residential center. She is also responsible for advocacy and presentations on music therapy, hosting the local chapter of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, and building community arts partnerships to support the continuation of arts engagement in the Tampa Bay area.
Ariana Hernandez-Reguant (PhD University of Chicago) is a cultural anthropologist and arts activist who works at the intersection of ethnography and socially-engaged art. First trained in applied medical anthropology (Working on various public health projects as an ethnographer), she then developed a career on artworlds and placemaking-connected research in Havana and Miami. She recently curated a series of events on their interconnection for the Miami Museum of Art and Design (MOAD), and was a 2017 fellow-in-residence at Art Center-South Florida (now Oolite Arts), as well as a 2015 recipient of a multi-year Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant. As a former faculty member at the University of California, San Diego (2004-2012), she mentored MFA students in social practice, and co-founded, was member of the board as well as a tively involved in various cross-border organizations and projects, including the cross-border Casa del Tunel art center, the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the Political Equator, and the Haudenschild Arts Garage and Salon. She was also on the executive board of Freemuse, an international anti-censorship arts organization, and served as consultant and expert witness in intellectual property and cultural value cases. Now living in Miami, she has recently founded HICCUP (Hialeah Contemporary Culture Project), a non-profit arts organization devoted to socially-engaged art and grassroots urban research addressing issues of community concern.