Terry Loftis is the president and executive director of The Arts Community Alliance, a nonprofit supporting the arts in North Texas through grant making, capacity building and thought leadership. He can provide insight on the struggles cultural institutions are facing during the pandemic as well as what the future holds.
Before joining TACA, Loftis was vice president of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund in New York, which co-produced the Tony Award-winning productions Once on This Island and Hadestown. He also produced the 2017 Broadway run of Bandstand, which won the Tony for Best Choreography and Orchestration.
A Dallas native, Loftis graduated from the city’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. He has a 25-year career in marketing and advertising.
Outside of TACA, he serves on the boards of directors for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Black Tie Dinner, Arts District Dallas, and the president’s council of the advisory board of Booker T. Washington High School.
Location: Dallas, TX
Expertise Field: Arts and culture, arts and culture funding, theater, music, museums, nonprofits
An Xiao Mina works on program strategy and operations at Meedan, a technology non-profit that builds software for newsrooms and NGOs to improve the quality of information online. She’s an expert on digital creative culture and how memes influence protest movements and politics.
Mina has worked with The Civic Beat and China Residencies to create workshops and art exhibitions in spaces including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania.
Expertise: Digital creative culture, how memes influence protest movements and politics
Karen Tongson is an associate professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of “Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries.” She is an expert in queer theory, women and pop music and queer and racial representations and stereotyping in popular culture. Tongson is currently the series editor for the Postmillennial Pop series at NYU Press and an associate editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California
Zareena Grewal is an Associate professor of American, Religious, Middle East, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration at Yale University. Her research and teaching interests include political and cultural developments in the Middle East and South Asia, the refugee crisis and the reform of Islam.
Grewal is also a senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy, where she formerly worked as the research director. A published author and filmmaker, her upcoming book, “Is the Quran a Good Book?” examines U.S. citizens’ views of the Quran and how it factors into ideas of islamophobia and tolerance in America. In 2005, her film “By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam” was nationally broadcast in the United States and again more recently on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. She is the recipient of a number of writing awards, including, most recently, the Society for Humanistic Anthropology’s Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing.
Associate professor of American, Religious, Middle East, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration, Yale University
Areas of Expertise: Islam, gender studies, race and ethnicity, religious studies, international film, anthropology, ethnographic writing
Henry Godinez is a professor in the department of theatre at Northwestern University and the resident artistic associate at the Goodman Theatre, where he also served as the director of the Latino Theatre Festival. His Goodman directing credits are expansive and include titles like José Rivera’s Boleros for the Disenchanted and The Sins of Sor Juana by Karen Zacarías.
Godinez is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista and has directed at Yale Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre Company in New York, Portland Center Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. As an actor, his credits include Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Old Globe Theatre and the Kennedy Center. He’s also appeared in film and television programs including The Fugitive and Chicago Fire. Godinez was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2010 to the Illinois Arts Council, where he serves on its executive committee.
Professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University and the Artistic Associate at the Goodman Theatre
Location: Chicago, IL
Areas of Expertise: Film, Theatre, Latino film, Drama, Performing Arts
Vamsee Juluri is a professor of Media Studies and Asian Studies at the University of San Francisco. His research interests include the expansion of media audiences, particularly as it relates to Indian cinema, mythology and Ghandian philosophy. He is the author of four books on the subjects of Hinduism, Indian identity and the Indian entertainment industry. His commentary has been featured in BBC World Service, Al Jazeera Televeision and India-Abroad.
One of Juluri’s most recent books is Rearming Hinduism: Nature, Hinduphobia and the Return of Indian Intelligence. It has been referred to as a “handbook for intellectual resistance” and aims to critique society’s views of the culture and practice of Hindusim.
Professor of Media Studies and Asian Studies, University of San Francisco
Location: San Francscio, CA
Areas of Expertise: Hinduism, Asian cinema, cultural politics, Ghandism, media violence, media representation Contact Information: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (510) 387-6518 Twitter: @VamseeJuluri
Dr. Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University and faculty associate at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality. He serves on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip-Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip-hop culture in the United States. Gosa is an expert on race, new politics, hip-hop culture, and education. He is also the co-editor of The Hip-Hop & Obama Reader, the first hip-hop anthology to center on contemporary politics, activism, and social change, and is finishing his manuscript School of Hard Knocks: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Equal Education a book that explores how schools fail black students and why hip-hop can help fix education in America. He can speak about the role of youth voters and race in national politics and the 2016 presidential election.
Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University
Areas of expertise: Race, new politics, hip-hop culture, education, popular culture.
Angela Rye is principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political consulting firm based in Washington, DC seeks to empower young professionals in economic development, civic engagement, and political involvement. As the former Executive Director and General Counsel to the 112th Congressional Black Caucus, Rye is an expert on political strategy, public engagement, and issue advocacy.
Rye serves on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and National Bar Association, and her law background allows for a range of dialogue from political campaign to legislation that bears national and international implications. She is a proud graduate of the Seattle University School of Law, and serves on the University’s board of alumni.
Principal and CEO, IMPACT Strategies
Areas of Expertise: Government contracting, political campaigns, issue advocacy, strategic communications, political fundraising
Location: Washington, DC
Contact Information: Please contact her associate, Taylor Wills.
Bakari Kitwana is the Editorial Director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which conducts townhall meetings across the US on difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation, and the Senior Media Fellow at the Harvard Law based Think Tank, The Jamestown Project. Kitwana wrote the bestselling book The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, which is used as a coursebook in over 100 colleges and universities.
Kitwana was former executive editor of The Source: The magazine of hip-hop music, culture and politics and editorial director of Third World Press. He also taught political science at University of Chicago and was a visiting scholar at Columbia College. Kitwana is the author of the forthcoming book Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era set to publish later this fall.
Editorial Director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop
Senior Media Fellow at the The Jamestown Project
Areas of Expertise: Hip-hop activism, youth culture and young voter political participation
Nisi Shawl’s story collection Filter House co-won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, given annually to works of speculative fiction which explore and expand our understanding of gender roles. She edits reviews for the literary quarterly Cascadia Subduction Zone. In 2014 Shawl coedited Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler. Her Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming from Tor in 2016.
She serves on the boards of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit dedicated to improving minority representation in fantastic fiction.
Author and Editor
Areas of Expertise: Diversity of Representation in Writing and Editing in Speculative Genres (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Magic Realism, etc.), Octavia E. Butler, Practice of West African Religious Traditions in North America