NINA "LYRISPECT" BALL
Nina "Lyrispect" Ball is an award-winning writer, poet, teaching artist and renaissance woman who seeks to empower and provoke transformation and discovery through meaningful work in the arts. She has performed coast to coast and has shared broadcasts and stages with Mos Def/Yasin, Bey, Saul Williams, Julius Garvey (son of Marcus Garvey), the Last Poets, Eric Benet and Ursula Rucker to name a few. In 2005, Nina received the Sonia Sanchez Women’s Studies award. In 2011, she was the 2-year grantee of the Mural Arts Program Porchlight Initiative with Yale University and Project H.O.M.E. Lyrispect is Co-Executive Director of SpokenSoul215 Collective and Executive Producer of the Harvest Open Mic and Showcase Experience. Since 2010, Lyrispect has served as the lead program facilitator for BLACK GIRLS ROCK, INC. Lyrispect is currently in production for her solo project : "Spectrum of a Supernova : Mantras for the Modern-Day Mentalist." Lyrispect currently serves as the Project Coordinator for the Hip H’opera Project.
Lyrispect, who is in her second year with Hip H’opera, has served two very important roles in the execution of the project. In 2013, Nina taught the students how to create inspiring essays and poetry using prompts and helped them produce the wonderful poetry that inspired the work done by Daniel Bernard Roumain and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, ultimately leading up the creation of We Shall Not be Moved. This year, she serves as the Project Coordinator for the afterschool program, administratively organizing and supporting the program in each school and leading the students in self-awareness exercises using spoken word and hip hop.
Marcie Mamura earned a BA in Theatre with Dance emphasis from Kansas State University and an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon where she held a Graduate Teaching Fellowship from 2007‐2010. Marcie’s work as a teaching artist in Philadelphia communities includes Girard College‐Dream Camp, Asian Arts Initiative, CHI Movement Arts Center, Art Sanctuary/Opera Philadelphia, Montgomery County Community College, and Drexel University, where she is Adjunct Faculty. She is also Assistant Director for FreshDance‐Drexel Dance Ensemble. As a freelance artist, she’s performed works by artists Mina Estrada, Gabrielle Revlock, & Nicole Bindler. Her work has been presented in the InHale Performance Series, the 2011 Philly Fringe Festival (Philadelphia), TRANSForm Dance Collective Concerts (Charlotte, Minneapolis/St. Paul), Dance Chance 2013, & Creative Nests: Welcome to Our World, Vol. II (Chicago). She is a founding member of TRANSForm Dance Collective. Marcie is wildly curious about community practices and artful exchange.
Rhonda Moore is a dancer, performance artist, educator and a founding member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Moore has danced with Jamie Cunningham’s ACME Dance Company and began her dance career with intensive training in Dunham technique, performing with the Akosua Afro-Haitian Dance & Drum Troupe. Currently a teaching artist for the award winning Pierre Dulaine’s Dancing Classrooms Program, Moore previously served as Choral Director for the Singing City-in-the-Schools Program. Moore’s extensive international and domestic portfolios include conducting professional sound and movement workshops; creating site-specific interdisciplinary installations that integrate sound, movement and visual art through shared experience collaborative elaboration; teacher-specific professional development laboratories geared to generate curriculum development with a focused, integral inclusion of visual art, design, movement; and music and vocal concerts as jazz soloist in small combos as well as with chamber and full orchestral formations. She holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and a diploma in classical piano performance from Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, NY. Ms. Moore serves as adjunct professor, dance faculty at Boyer College of Music and Dance, teaching a variety of courses spanning from dance composition to the study of the development of jazz music and dance in the United States.
Susan Di Pronio
Susan is a writer who has been involved with a number of local Philadelphia organizations including Endow-a-Home, Project H.O.M.E., Covenant House-homeless teens, Project Head Start, Children's Hospital, Philadelphia Fight, Asian Arts Initiative and Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, where she conducted writing and art workshops, funded by her personal resources through a grant application process. She is a recipient of Leeway Foundation Art for Social Change grant, a Puffin Grant and an Honorarium from Philadelphia Fight.
Her poetry, memoirs and essays have been published in Sinister Wisdom, Corset Magazine, Defenestration Magazine, and has been shown formatted with her photography in gallery shows such as “Witness” - Artists Respond to 30 years of the Aids Pandemic at The Asian Arts Initiative, “Queer Art ?” at AxD Gallery, 3rd Street Gallery, William Way Community Center, The Plastic Club, DaVinci Art Alliance and others.
Michael Williams is an actor and educator who most recently worked as the Education Outreach Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island teaching in the public schools there. He was a teaching artist for Trinity specializing in musical theatre acting, elementary and middle school scene study and ensemble work. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Education Policy from Brown University and is a Graduate Candidate at the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training (Class of 2015).
Max is a seasoned educator, coach, and communications consultant in the Philadelphia theatre and dance industry. A Massachusetts native, Vasapoli was a founding member of North Shore Music Theatre’s Youth Performance Academy, danced competitively on full scholarship at The North Reading School of Ballet and the widely-known Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios, and was awarded a Promising Artist Award to attend The University of the Arts. Since receiving his BFA in Musical Theater, Max has taught with companies like Wakefield Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Appel Farm Arts Center, Arthur Murray Dance Studios, Casting Hub and The Barbizon School of Modeling and Acting. Vasapoli currently performs and teaches with Opera Philadelphia where he was seen in the Opera On The Mall broadcasts of Carmen and Nabucco. Recently, Max worked alongside Cirque du Soleil’s international tour of Totem in Camden, NJ. Recent guest lecturing credits include The University of the Arts and Temple University.