Thumb slide88

Random Slides Improv

@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

Random Slides Improv with Andy Sawyer & Leah Tirado

Leah Isabel Tirado is an actor, singer, playwright, director, and educator. She’s worked with several theater companies throughout the Midwest and takes particular pride in her involvement with Barrel of Monkeys Productions, Underscore Theatre Company, InGen Productions, and her band The Big Payback.

Andy Sawyer is a set designer, inventor, maker, fine art photographer, innkeeper, outdoorsman, teacher, artist, tree-hugging dirt worshiper, and an improvisational comedian.  He began his improv comedy career over 30 years ago, using humor as a tool for teaching environmental science at Stone Environmental School in Portland, Maine. After moving back to the Twin Cities to woo and eventually marry the one true love of his life, Nita Nicholie, the two collaborated to help establish the “Calling all Colors” program.  Andy again applied improv comedy to this program, using it as a tool for children to begin dialogue on issues of race, stereotyping, and skin color. He next began working with Mike Nadolski at Bridges Theater in Benton Harbor as an ensemble member of the production of “No Waiting in the Loitering Room”, and a community literature-based show based on The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Smarty Pants improv was his next stop, where along with his wife Nita, Joey and Jason Greene and Mike Nadolski he performed a weekly family friendly improv show at The Livery in Benton Harbor for close to 2 years. He is a founding member of TORP, and has performed in numerous local murder mysteries and corporate video productions. In an emergency, he can honestly say, “I am not a doctor, but I played one on TV.”  He and his wife have raised 23 children over the past 24 years and they have found that the fundamental principle of improv, “Yes, And”, can also be a way of life.

Thumb slide172


@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

Asend - Larie has realized performances in ship yards, airplane hangars, beaches and forests using theater to take his audiences to many strange places and on exotic journeys. larry has performed in thunderstorms, been dipped full-bodied in wax and dissected a life-sized cadaver of himself made from see-through gelatin, fruits and vegetables. larry believes that audiences should take risks and that theater companies should be bold in their choice of playing spaces as well as in the material that they present.


Thumb slide158

A life Illuminated by the Arts

@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

A life Illuminated by the Arts - Paul Mow is currently the Theatre and Choral Coordinator on staff at Lake Michigan College as well as the Artistic Director and founder of the new The GhostLight Theatre right here in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Paul was a professional opera singer at the New York City Opera from 2001-2006, and has won a multitude of performance awards for his tenor voice and also recorded his solo Brahms album on the Lyrichord label in 2007 live in New York City's Town Hall.


Thumb slide137


@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

JUMP! -  Adrienne White is a lifetime yogi, yoga teacher, lover of life, believer in humanity, and tries to practice the art of fearless “jumping”.  She has faith that she will always (in the nick of time) grow her wings on the way down. She started The Collective in Benton Harbor, MI to be a space of community, healing, and a place where deep conversations can be held.  She works every day to stay curious and to listen intently to the siren call of the universe. Serendipity is one of her favorite words.


Thumb full slide541

The Human Lighthouse: A Beacon of Connection

@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

The Human Lighthouse: A Beacon of Connection - Andrew Benedict Fisher is a local musician and singer in the Southwestern Michigan area. As lead singer and founder of The Andrew Fisher Quartet, a fusion jazz group, he has performed predominantly in the area for many years. While creating concert staples like the former concert series Sunday Night Jazz and the annual Stevie Wonder Tribute Concert, Andrew also shows his love and passion for music through private instruction as a Voice Teacher and Coach at the Citadel Dance and Music Center. Beyond the music, Andrew has a passion for the mind through philosophy, psychology and general mental health.

Andrew's talk will be on the subject of connection. While inherit to the human experience, it is something that we all, at times, struggle and deal with. In this discussion he offers a different way of thinking when it comes to connecting with others. From a firm foundation to bright and unique light that shines for all; be human lighthouse.

Thumb slide50

ARS Longa, Vita, Brevis - “Art is long, life is short"

@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

ARS Longa, Vita, Brevis - “Art is long, life is short” - Anna Russo Sieber, Founder and Executive Director of Anna Russo-Sieber Gallery / ARS Gallery Arts & Culture Center has passionately dedicated her career to arts education for over 30 years. Throughout her career as an artist and teacher, she has exhibited her work at fairs, galleries, and art centers.  She has also developed several art programs at various institutions and has had the opportunity to work in museums, art centers, and schools with a focus on cultural arts and youth development.


Thumb slide25

Scottish Food: More than just bloody haggis

@ VOL 14 ON SEP 15, 2018

Scottish Food: More than just bloody haggis, Stephen Appleton

Born, raised, and educated in Scotland, Stephen has enjoyed some Scottish food within that time period. He’s eaten pies at a football (proper version) match, enjoyed his dad's tablet, shared shortbread with work colleagues, and stuffed his face with many a fish supper. When not eating, he also had the time to meet and marry a girl from St. Joseph and have two kids; all of whom employ Scottish accents unconsciously when annoyed with him.


Thumb tess.007

Finding Home

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Tess Carragher is a Midwestern native, with family roots in the Indiana cornfields. Youth-led her to a spur the moment cross-country move to the coast of Maine, where she met non-profit work and fell instantly in love. The impact was direct and tangible, and even with other pieces of her life collapsing, the need kept her going, until her family couldn’t anymore. Her Michigan roots were calling, and in November of 2015, Tess, her husband Ryan, and then 2-year old Clementine packed up for St. Joseph, MI. Tess found a part-time job with St. Joseph Today, and found much, much more than she had bargained for. Shifting from a role with direct impact on underserved populations to working with small businesses, her new responsibilities and life in Michigan hit her harder than she thought. It’s both a return and an introduction to her roots, and a realization of the importance of community and the choice to call Southwest Michigan home.


Thumb gabriel.001

It Comes Out Series

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Gabe Thompson is a self taught artist. He's from South Bend, but currently calls Benton Harbor home. He is a tattoo artist working at The Body Gallery in Benton Harbor.

This PK I will tell the story of me going from a life of crime; to a good productive life. How I used my faith, and art to maintain my focus on my primary mission.


Thumb rocket 20guy 20david.016

Dave the Rocket Guy and the Notre Dame Rocket Team

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

David Brunsting is a husband of 25 years and father to two.  His daughter is in her 3rd year at Michigan Tech and His son is a senior at Saint Joseph High School. David works for MDOT as a construction inspector which means he tells contractors when they are doing their job wrong.  

This presentation will be all about model rocketry, the people I've met, the projects I've worked on and most importantly about the Notre Dame Rocket Team.


Thumb 2 20random 20slides.002

Random Slides

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Joel Smiedendorf is a St. Joe native who enjoys Photoshopping his face onto movie characters when asked to submit a headshot for an art show bio.  Joel has over 30 years of experience in substituting desserts for vegetables, and he plans to continue bucking the health food system. He has previously lived in LA where there are many fine desserts, but unfortunately a health food craze as well. He hopes you enjoy the presentation and might be so moved to buy him a hot fudge sundae.

Meagan Francis is a writer, podcast host, and one half of the "Jonny and Meagan Mornings" show on 98.3 The Coast.

Thumb jesse.001

Skate or Die: Skateboarding And The Meaning Of Life

@ VOL 13 ON JUN 28, 2018

Jesse Tennison is the owner of Tennison House of Carpentry.  He is an artisan who specializes in cabinetry and custom carpentry.

Jesse believes that his work expresses his values and reflects his care about relationships.

Before getting covered in sawdust Jesse enjoys journaling and reading, but afterward, it's all about skateboarding.

Jesse began carpentering 12 years ago when he left Arizona, leaving behind his welding career. In 2011 he completed a degree in Architecture from Andrews University.

Skateboarding is a hobby that can serve as a vehicle for emotional development, social interaction, physical preservation, and spiritual interpretation. This is a story following the existential journey of a lifelong obsession.