Larry is the Founder and Editor of SMITH Magazine, and its younger cousin, SMITH Teens. SMITH Magazine is best known for launching the Six-Word Memoir® project, which is a bestselling series of seven books and a global phenomenon. Anticipating the micro-blogging explosion, SMITH originally launched the Six-Word Memoir® project in November 2006 in partnership with Twitter with a simple online challenge asking: “Can you tell your life story in six words?” Larry has been called a “luminary in the story world” on the A Storied Life blog, and one of the “most interesting people of the day” on CNN. Oprah Magazine said of Larry “Smith is on a quest to spark the creativity of aspiring writers”. Prior to launching SMITH, Larry was the Articles Editor of Men’s Journal, and has been the Executive Editor of Yahoo! Internet Life, Senior Editor at ESPN The Magazine, a Founding Editor of P.O.V., and Editor-in-Chief of its sister publication, EGG, as well as an Editor of Might magazine. While living in San Francisco, he was Managing Editor of the wire/syndication service AlterNet, and now serves on its board. Additionally, Larry’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, Men’s Health, Salon, and Slate. He lives in Brooklyn, as all storytelling types are supposed to, with his wife, the writer Piper Kerman and their son.
Steven began his career as a comedic actor/writer at the legendary Second City Theater appearing both in Chicago and Toronto. He wrote on and produced the hit television show WKRP IN CINCINNATI before co-starring on the successful Newhart show two years later in the role of Kirk Devane. He has appeared as an actor in eight movies including a featured role in Club Paradise with Robin Williams, For the Boys with Bette Midler, and Analyze That with Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal. He co-wrote the hit comedy Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield and co-wrote and co-directed the film Stealing Home starring Jodi Foster and Mark Harmon. Other film credits include The Couch Trip with Dan Aykroyd and the cult classic Clifford starring Martin Short. His Christmas film, Special Delivery, debuted on the Fox Family in December 2000. Until May of 2010, Steven had been teaching senior English, creative writing, screenwriting, and public speaking at Blair Academy in New Jersey for the last twelve years. He also held the title of Writer in Residence. Steven co-wrote, directed, and appeared in Second City’s film Buzzkill (2012) featuring Krysten Ritter and Darrell Hammond. He has just completed writing his first dramatic play entitleed Great Shame. He’s currently writing a collection of comedic short stories tentatively titled, “Crazy Goats on Cliffs.”
Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Christopher Papakaliatis is a highly acclaimed stage, film and television actor as well as a successful screenwriter and director. He was first cast at age 16 for a role in the hit Greek TV drama "Guards of Ahaia". Following numerous roles in a string of successful TV series, at 23, Christopher wrote his first TV script, "Our Life is a Path" which was aired on Mega Channel during 1999-2000 to much critical acclaim. The following season he wrote and starred in the TV series "Take Care of Me". That was followed by the TV movie "Three wishes". In 2003 Christopher wrote and starred in the TV series "Close Your Eyes" and directed most of the second and third seasons. The show was one of the highest rated in Greece. Two years later, he wrote, directed and starred in a new drama-thriller series "Two Days Only", which was artistically acclaimed as one of the best filmed TV series. Christopher’s small screen credits also include directing and starring in the TV Series “4”. In 2010, Christopher was accepted as a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (EMMY International). Two years later, he starred opposite Catherine Deneuve and Sebastian Koch in the feature film "God Loves Caviar" directed by Iannis Smaragdis. Christopher’s first feature film, "What If", in which he wrote, directed and starred, is a love story set in Athens during the European economic crisis. It is now one of the biggest box office hits in Greece. The multi-talented artist resides in Athens where he’s currently writing his next feature film.
In 1998, Russell became the youngest CEO in JNF’s history. He works tirelessly, traveling around the country and visiting Israel almost every month, to ensure JNF’s vision is more relevant and meaningful today than ever before. Today, more than 110 years after it was founded, JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building and ensuring the prosperity of the land of Israel through their generosity and partnership with the people of Israel. Jewish National Fund is a leader in environmental activism, Zionist education, sustainable community development in the Negev and Galilee, the protection of historical landmarks, and water resource development. No other organization makes a greater impact on the land and the people of Israel. Under Russell’s direction, JNF is one of the most recognized non-profits for its work, cultivation of a younger donor population, business management, financial integrity and volunteer involvement. Russell is featured in the best selling management book, “The 24 hour Turnaround, How Amazing Entrepreneurs Succeed in Tough Times.” Russell is a sixth generation American Jew. His family first laid down its American roots in Petersburg, Virginia after emigrating from Alsace Lorraine in the late 1700’s.
Travel writer and videographer Robert Reid has written about a far-range of travel destinations and topics for outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ESPN.com and CNN.com, and has talked travel trends on shows like the Today Show and CNN Headline News. While at Lonely Planet, Robert authored two dozens guidebooks, including the Trans-Siberian Railway, Burma, Colombia and USA. He touts the next great travel trend to be "you travel," where as individuals we probe our own interests, often once-faded ones from childhood, to approach as travel memes. While working on the 76-Second Travel Show, he tested the notion out with videos on using a Monopoly board as a guidebook to Atlantic City, Billy Joel lyrics for Long Island, and trying out in Mountie boot camp in Saskatchewan. Raised in Oklahoma, Robert's lived around the world the past two decades (Vietnam, Australia, London, New York, San Francisco) and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Jerry Sorkin is the Founder and President of TunisUSA, a tour company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Tunis, Tunisia. The firm has been a pioneer in developing cultural tourism and academic programs, and working with local groups on projects in Tunisia, Iran, Libya, Algeria, and Turkey. Jerry’s involvement with Tunisia dates back some thirty years, with recent projects in post-Revolution Tunisia including both university and adult programs on democratization, civil society and entrepreneurial micro-tourism concepts. He served as a consultant for the World Bank and was among the authors of their 2012 report on restructuring Tunisia’s tourism economy. Recently he took on the role as Director of George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies. In August 2013, Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Jerry as one of their “Top Travel Specialists”, for the fifth year in a row. Jerry earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing respectively in Middle East Studies and International Business.
CEO of Invest Diva and author of “Invest Diva’s Guide to Making Money in Forex” published by McGraw-Hill in August 2013, Kiana is a multilingual forex analyst, award-winning speaker, TV personality and entrepreneur based in New York. She holds two degrees in Electrical Engineering from universities in Japan. Born and raised in Iran to a Jewish family as a religious minority, she was awarded a scholarship from the Japanese government to study EE in Japan, where she became a minority once again; the only girl and the only foreigner in her class. That is when she knew she wanted to dedicate her life to empowering minorities, specifically women, in male dominated industries. Kiana made her first foray into the media as a television commentator on popular Japanese shows including TBS’s Karakuri, Fuji TV’s ii-tomo, and NHK’s Generation Y. While in Japan, Kiana discovered that women in Japan were making a fortune trading currencies on the foreign exchange market, or forex. She spent years studying the habits of investors and discovered that women frequently make smarter, wiser and less-risky investment choices than their male counterparts. This is precisely why she found InvestDiva.com the women’s guide to smart, safe, and profitable trading. A true global citizen, Kiana has risen to be a leader and public figure in every place she has lived. She has been recognized in Japan as a media figure and lecturer, conducting lectures on the Middle Eastern issues in various universities around Japan, and discussing Japanese social issues on TV. She was the first prize-winner of the Japanese Speech Contest at the International Association in 2006 as well as several other international awards. Kiana’s creativity, international background, media experience, and solid grasp on financial concepts form the foundation of her qualifications as a guide and mentor who can help unravel the mysteries of the forex market. An avid pianist and skier, Kiana is fluent in Farsi, English, and Japanese, and proficient in written Arabic and Hebrew.
Ann began her career as a lecturer in Victorian literature at Princeton University, where she earned a Ph.D in English. Her career as an entrepreneur in media and technology included the creation of satellite and internet businesses for the National Football League and Columbia University’s online education company, Fathom. A frequent contributor to conferences and publications, Ann was named one of New York Magazine’s Millennium New Yorkers and honored as a distinguished graduate of Princeton University and University of Buffalo. She serves on the Board of Directors of Apollo, Public Agenda, the Jewish Women’s Archive, and the Princeton University Graduate School Leadership Council. Her new book is LADY AT THE OK CORRAL (HarperCollins, 2013), the story of Josephine Marcus Earp, the woman who was Wyatt Earp’s common law wife for nearly 50 years, the woman who sparked the world’s most famous gunfight, the one who buried her husband in a Jewish cemetery after he died — in her bed — in 1929, and the one who shaped the legend of Wyatt Earp and the Wild West. Ann is also the author of SALA’S GIFT (Simon and Schuster, 2006), the story of her mother’s wartime rescue of letters from Nazi labor camps, available in German, Polish, Chinese, French, and Italian editions. The original letters are in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library, and are the subject of a traveling exhibit in the United States and Europe, a theatrical play “Letters to Sala” by Arlene Hutton, and a documentary film “The Letter Carrier” by Murray Nossel. She lives in New York with her husband, Dr. Harold Weinberg, and is the mother of Elisabeth, Caroline, and Peter.
Born in Israel in 1951, Boaz Vaadia is an internationally known sculptor who works primarily in stone and bronze. Vaadia moved to New York in 1975 and his studio is located in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Growing up on a farm in Gat Rimon, Israel, Vaadia was inspired by the nature around him. Vaadia says of his sculpture, "I work with nature as an equal partner, that's still the strongest thing I deal with today, that primal connection of man to earth. It's in the materials I use, the environments I make and the way I work." Vaadia hand-carves slices of slate and bluestone, shaping them to be layers in a kind of topographical map. He stacks the horizontal slabs until the graded silhouette of a person, animal or group emerges. He views the geological layering of the stone as a natural model for his own sculptural process. It seems a logical metaphor for our human layering of experience and memory. Vaadia continues the process by casting select pieces in bronze, creating a limited edition. Paired with his sculptures are glacial boulders which function visually as counterpoints to the figures. His work appears as though created by natural forces, such as wind and water; they look simultaneously ancient and futuristic, as if the workmanship forms a bridge from the Stone Age to the digital age. Vaadia’s sculptures are permanently sited in many prominent public locations worldwide such as the Time Warner Center, New York City, and included in many museums and private collections globally, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Mike Sacks has worked at The Washington Post and currently works on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair magazine. He has written for The New Yorker, Time, Esquire, Vanity Fair, GQ, Radar, Believer, Vice, Women’s Health, Salon, Premiere, New York Observer, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. Sacks has published three books: And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Humor Writers About Their Craft (F+W Press); SEX: Our Bodies, Our Junk (Random House); Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason (Tin House). Sacks is also the co-editor of Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars (Random House), with contributions from Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, Dave Eggers, Amy Sedaris, Patton Oswalt, Nick Hornby, Allison Silverman, Fred Willard, Jerry Stahl, Julie Klausner, The Pleasure Syndicate, and others.
John is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. An author, speaker and consultant, his books have appeared on the best seller lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, The Washington Post and Bloomberg Business Week and The Week Magazine. His management articles were chosen among Strategy & Business “Best of the decade”. A sought-after analyst on leadership, marketing and consumer insights, John’s ‘Trend Watcher’ column for Inc. Magazine is widely read. A frequent analyst on television and radio, he has been praised by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, FT, HBR, USA Today and CBS Sunday Morning News. John’s TED talks have been viewed by hundreds of thousands people. As Executive Chairman overseeing insights for Young & Rubicam Group and WPP’s BAV Consulting, his latest book, The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And The Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future—explores the rise of feminine competencies and values and their impact on leadership, policy and innovation. Tom Peters says of John’s book, “The Athena Doctrine is a powerful book. Extraordinary research. Great storytelling. A message both timely and of monumental importance.”
Kristine has performed in theatre houses, symphony halls, and cabaret venues all across North America. She is best known for playing Nessarose in the hit Broadway musical, Wicked. Kristine joined the First National Tour of the musical in 2008 and assumed the role of Nessarose in November of that year in her childhood hometown of Minneapolis, MN. She then went on to originate the role on the Second National Tour, which opened in March 2009 and performed it over 1,000 times. Kristine also toured with Mamma Mia!, understudying the role of Sophie, and made her Broadway debut in the recent revival of Les Miserables at the Broadhurst Theatre. Other favorite regional credits include: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Rosa Bud), Brigadoon (Fiona), Grease! at the St. Louis MUNY (Frenchie) and Footloose (Ariel). A BFA graduate in Musical Theatre from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Kristine has performed in concert with over a dozen Symphonic and Pops Orchestras, including the Cincinnati Pops, the Indianapolis, Baltimore, Detroit, Toronto, Modesto, Vancouver, Naples and Cleveland Symphony Orchestras, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Ottawa, ON. She continues to work and create new concerts with Maestro Jack Everly of the Indianapolis Symphony and Maestro Steve Reineke of the New York Pops. Away from the stage, Kristine also works as a sports writer and radio host. Her work, which ranges from football analysis to pop culture commentary, has been published in various online magazines, blogs and websites, including NJ.com. Kristine and her husband, fellow actor and CCM alum Billy Harrigan Tighe, were engaged onstage with the Vancouver Symphony in November 2009. They were married in October 2010 and currently reside in New York City with their Boston Terrier, Buster.
Andrew Kaplan completed his B.S. degree at Albany State University graduating Summa Cum Laude, in 1986. He attended Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating 6th in his class in 1990. He then took his DVM degree to the Animal Medical Center where he completed a one-year internship in Medicine and Surgery followed by a two-year residency in Internal Medicine. Dr. Kaplan then took an Associate Professor position at the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine where, until 1995, he taught Clinical Medicine to 4th-year veterinary students. Following this assignment, he practiced in both specialty and general private practices in northern California and New York City until he opened City Veterinary Care in November 2003. He passed his certifying examination for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1995 denoting him a Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist. He has been featured in New York Magazine's "Best Vets" issue in 2002 and again in 2006 when City Veterinary Care was named the "Best Private Veterinary Practice" in New York City. Dr. Kaplan is also the Founder of “The Toby Project”, a non-profit dedicated to eradicating pet overpopulation in NYC.
Jay is the author of 20 books, including two prize-winning novels (The Stolen Jew and Before My Life Began), two prize-winning non-fiction books (Imagining Robert and Transforming Madness), and three collections of award-winning stories. His stories and essays have appeared widely (in The Atlantic, Tikkun, GQ, Sport, The American Scholar, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and others), and have been reprinted in more than 50 anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. His screenplay for The Hollow Boy, which premiered on American Playhouse, has won many honors, including top prize at the Houston International Film Festival. He is the recipient of numerous other awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, and is the only author to have won six consecutive Syndicated Fiction Prizes. Open Heart: A Patient's Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving Friendship appeared in the autumn of 2003, an award winning documentary film based on Imagining Robert has been appearing nationally on PBS stations since 2004. His novel, 1940, published in 2008, was long-listed for the Impac Dublin International Literary Award. Jay was Professor and Writer-in-Residence for many years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has taught at other universities, including Columbia, Stanford, and Freiburg (Germany). He now lives and writes in New York City, where he teaches in the Graduate Writing Program of the Columbia University School of the Arts.
For over 20 years, David has served as the Principal and Founder of his New York based design firm, David Scott Interiors, LTD. He designs visually stimulating, yet highly functional interiors that gracefully meld practical architecture with unique design. His style blends the timeless elegance of the past with the verve of the present, using a collaborative and detail-oriented approach to create calming and beautiful environments. David's signature designs emphasize the personal style of his clients. The very fabric of his business lies in embracing the natural connection his clients have to their project, ensuring their personality and character are reflected in their interiors. The result is an inviting environment that is highly personal, comfortable, and practical. David Scott Interiors’ projects have appeared in publications including Architectural Digest, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, Gotham, The New York Observer, Interior Design, New York Spaces, Hamptons Magazine, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and HGTV.com. The firm has participated in many prestigious show houses and events to benefit charities including the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Southampton Hospital, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, the New York Botanical Garden, and GMHC. In May 2013, David's first book, David Scott: Outside the Box, was published by Pointed Leaf Press. A delightful behind the scenes look into eleven of his most stunning projects, Outside the Box showcases the elements of inspiration that have been the guiding force for David's innovative and striking spaces, where comfort and chic harmoniously co-exist. An alum of the prestigious New York School of Interior Design and currently serving on its Board of Trustees, David resides in Manhattan and Water Mill, NY. When he’s not designing, David enjoys entertaining friends, feeding his passion for art and antiques, and spending time with his two miniature Dachshunds, Ethan and Josie.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine songstress Sveta Bout spent her early years in the Soviet Union until her parents moved her to Long Island, New York, armed with only a few words of English and a myriad of strange Eastern European influences, which earned her a reputation in school as an outsider. The young singer struggled to identify with both her American surroundings and her Eastern European heritage, but found through music she could incorporate the big, bright pop vocals of her favorite American singers with the percussive performance and eclectic instruments of her cultural roots. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Sveta now resides in New York City where she regularly plays sold out shows in famed Lower East Side venues. Two EP’s now under her belt, audiences have heard her intimate lyrics about love, heartbreak and revenge, paired with intricate melodies written by the singer herself. Her current set list from her second EP, "One Big Scandal", reveals a sexier, edgier side of the young chanteuse who is known for her gut-wrenching, pitch-perfect vocals and alluring stage presence. From this creative singer-songwriter, audiences can expect the drama of a stage performance, the intimacy of personal confession and musical influences ranging from the bluesy 1920’s to big brass bands of the ’40‘s, mixed with rocking guitars, Russian balalaikas and orchestral violins.
Amy Weiskopf is known for her uniquely composed still lifes that bring together unexpected objects in an array of shapes, sizes and textures. Her canvases are brought to life by these distinct groupings and via sublime uses of color and shading. Amy’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art which selected her work to be part of the Museum’s national traveling exhibition, “Still Life: The Object in American Art, 1915 -1995, Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art”. Among other publications, Arts Magazine, Artnews, the American Arts Quarterly and the New York Times have all featured and reviewed Amy’s work. Born in Chicago and having spent time in New Orleans, Amy now divides her time between her Brooklyn studio and Italy. Amy received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She is represented by the Hirschl & Adler Galleries in New York City.
Gray Scott is a Futurist/Neuro-Technology-Philosopher, speaker, artist and writer. Gray is a contributing blogger for “The Futurist” magazine, a professional member of The World Future Society and editorial director of seriouswonder.com the online futurist philosophy, technology and consciousness magazine produced by his media company Serious Wonder Media™ based in New York City. Gray is quickly becoming widely recognized as one of the most exciting, inspiring and controversial futurists of our time, speaking and writing on a variety of subjects and future trends. For more: www.grayscott.com
In 2012, Michael was ranked # 50 in the world among men in towerrunning and earned USATF Masters All-American status in the 5K, 8K, 10K, & 10-mile distances. Also in 2012, Michael became the first and only American to ever finish the German Everest Stair Challenge, where the goal is to climb the equivalent distance from Sea Level to the Summit of Mt. Everest and back down in under 24 hours. Michael completed the challenge in 23 hours, 20 minutes, and 45 seconds. Michael is a member of the International Elite West Coast Labels Towerrunning Team, and is a Co-founder of the Northeast Tower Masters Towerrunning Team, that was referred to as "the Northeast’s pre-eminent stair squad" in the New York Times Magazine article, "How to Make an Ironman Whimper (and Cough)." Away from the sport, Michael works in Finance, trading in U.S. equities markets, and is a Director of a small Maryland-based Biotechnology Company in addition to owning a small business involving the Internet and World Wide Web domain names. Michael is also a CPA and CFP. He holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA and a BS in Accounting from George Washington University. Michael lives in both Bethesda, Maryland and New York City.
A graduate of New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Seaman has been practicing general dentistry since 1986, and has been the director of The Cambria Family Dental Center - a full service facility for children and adults, since 1989. In addition to practicing dentistry and hosting a weekly call in radio show about dental care, Dr. Seaman has composed music (since the age of 10!) and has written tunes professionally for film, television, musical theatre, cabaret as well as having penned commercial jingles. His song “Safe and Warm” was a Billboard Top 100 Country hit. Dr. Seaman is also half of the singing sensation Jewbilation with nearly 300,000 YouTube hits (see JewbilationMusic on YouTube for more). Currently, Dr. Seaman is in the studio completing two CD's of original pop tunes plus parodies of famous 60's & 70's numbers. Composing original songs for special occasions, including birthdays and anniversaries, has for years been a favorite pastime of Dr. Seaman's and has brought many a smile those who have heard them.
Harrison began his study of painting as a mode of communication. He developed as a realist painter first, building a foundation to best convey his thoughts and dreams. While his focus at the Rhode Island School of Design from which he graduated in 2008 was the allegorical medium of illustration, the kinds of art that have always interested him are conceptual and abstract -- less about communicating narratively and more about communicating actually. While working in Tokyo and in China, Harrison discovered a connection to calligraphy and the action of painting in one breath. He believes this visual language, imbedded with information, has a narrative action in itself and has been exploring this visual language in his own paintings in both form and color. These simplified forms of communication fostered Harrison’s investigation of semiotics and primitive forms of story telling in aboriginal and indigenous tribal artwork and in 2008 traveled to the Peruvian Amazon to conduct his research. For the past two years, Harrison has been writing and illustrating a novel on the subject of Amazonian tribal art and myths. In this work he utilizes the full potential of digital media to create interactive, informative and engaging narratives for a new generation of readers. Additionally, Harrison has been exploring the capabilities of the digital medium this past year after publishing his art magazine online, Vandal Magazine. Harrison’s work has been exhibited both in the US and abroad and can be found in numerous private collections.
Michelle, who founded Joyful Plate in 2011 to promote the joy that good food and beverages can bring to our daily lives, specializes in positioning and growing small to mid-sized lifestyle brands with strategy, research, package design and big ideas. She is also a blogger, sharing personal stories about what inspires at blog.joyfulplate.com. Michelle’s love for everything culinary began in the mid-90's when she managed the Wine & Champagne portfolio for Remy Cointreau, worked with the Antinori family of Florence, Sandro Boscaini from Masi Amarone, and a range of boutique Champagnes including Krug, Piper, and Charles Heidsieck. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and has had many unique food experiences which inspired her to complete an advanced certificate in Wine & Spirits Education from the WSET in London and the Essentials of Fine Cooking from the French Culinary. In her free time, Michelle enjoys entertaining, especially making risotto for friends and family. She is also a branding volunteer to the Director of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger on the Upper West Side of New York City.
Born and raised in New York City, Ariel began her dance training at The Joffrey Ballet School and was a dance major at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts. In 2004, Ariel earned a B.S. in Dance with honors and a minor in Women's Studies from Skidmore College. For her senior thesis project, she choreographed a contemporary ballet for five dancers that was presented at the Skidmore College Academic Festival in Spring 2004. Upon graduation, Ariel moved back to New York City and joined ACFDance under the artistic direction of Adrienne Celeste Fadjo, with whom she danced until December 2007. In May 2005, Skidmore commissioned her to set a piece that was presented at the Saratoga Dance Museum. In 2007 Ariel began choreographing for York Dance Works and in 2008 she founded Ariel Rivka Dance, a. Contemporary Ballet/Modern Dance company based in New York City committed to creating work that explores raw emotion in the context of strong technique and form. In addition to prioritizing collaboration with living composers, Ariel Rivka Dance uses movement to expose, intrigue, and inspire the audience and collaborators. Comprised of dynamic and graceful dancers, ARD also strives to create a comfortable and inviting environment for the audience so they can deepen and/or develop their passion for dance. Apart from her artistic endeavors, Ariel received her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street School of Education and teaches at the Jewish Community Project Early Childhood Center.
A former editor at The New York Times, Margie has written for publications as diverse as Travel & Leisure, Reader’s Digest and Family Circle. She has consulted, edited and provided content for a range of on-line sites. Most recently, Margie’s work can be found on www.nycitywoman.com. Margie may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sebastien Leon is a New York-based French musician and installation artist. An active part of the downtown art scene for the past twelve years, Sebastien has been conceiving a wide array of multimedia installations for which he directs design, music, environment and performance concepts. In 1997, Sebastien received an MBA from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and began his career as a marketing executive for Armani in Madrid and for Chanel in New York. Responding to his creative drive, he established The Point, a project space showcasing multimedia installations, which gradually morphed into his own curating and design practice, Formavision, eventually becoming Studio Sebastien Leon. Sebastien started his musical explorations in 2008 as he was commissioned by Bono’s fashion label Edun to create a sound installation in collaboration with spoken-word artist Saul Williams and musician Kyle Fischer of Rainer Maria. Shortly afterwards, Sebastien and Kyle partnered with the Alan Lomax Foundation on a multi-channel sound installation called MMIX, for which they created a twelve-hour meditative music piece mixing their own music with some of Alan Lomax’s field recordings. He just finished touring museums around the world with an organ-inspired installation composed of two thousand pipes commissioned by Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet. Currently, Sebastien is finishing Golden Horn, a permanent outdoor brass sculpture climbing a thirty-five-story tower in Istanbul which plays the sounds of its architecture. Sebastien recently released his solo record, Jeux d’Artifices, in collaboration with James Truman.