Shavonne Allen (she/her) is a San Francisco native and proud Tenderloin resident. Formerly homeless and a recovering addict, she is today a community activist and health worker, supporting efforts to vaccinate hard-to-reach community members. Becoming a performing artist with Skywatchers has been a vehicle for healing and reinvention as well as for nourishing strong relationships. Through her community work Shavonne has become a resource in her residence as well as throughout the neighborhood.
Gabriele Christian (they/them), aka doom body, is an american artist specializing in experimental composition, high dramatics, social practice, and poetics. For more than ten years, their work has metabolized the vernaculars within the BlaQ (Black+Queer) diaspora—futurity, afrovivalism, slippage—through body-based live stage or public space performances, curation, workshops, collaborations, and digital interventions on their IG: @doom_body. At the heart of all of their work, they strive to center oral traditions and movement as conduits for equitable conversations around belonging, spirit, rage, desirability, abundance, and care.
MELANIE DeMORE is one of the most outstanding vocal artists of today. Her 40+ year career has been dedicated to teaching, lecturing, mentoring, conducting, directing, and inspiring children and adults in the power of song as a force for social and political change, while helping to preserve the African American Folk Tradition. Melanie has performed with countless world-renowned artists such as Linda Tillery, Sweet Honey in The Rock, Odetta, and Pete Seeger. She has written large choral works including ‘Freedom Land, A Journey on the Underground Railroad,’ and has presented and performed with, among others, The Washington Chorus, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street (Artistic Conductor-Julian Wachner) and VocalEssence.
DAZIE RUSTIN GREGO-SYKES
Associate Artistic Director
Dazie Rustin Greco-Sykes (he/him) is an Oakland based performance artist and activist. He is a graduate of The Experimental Performance Institute at New College of California and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Writing from The California Institute of Integral Studies. He is most well known for his two solo plays AM I A MAN and NIGGA-ROO along with his collection of poetry titled BLACK FAGGOTRY which was published by Nomadic Press in early 2020.
Nazelah Jamison is a Bay Area-based performance poet, author, actor, vocalist and emcee. Her first book of poetry, Evolutionary Heart, was released on Nomadic Press in 2016. Her work can also be found in The Racket Journal: Issue Fifteen (2020), Culture Counts Magazine (2021), La Raiz Magazine (2022), Better Ancestors, Sparkle + Blink 115 (Quiet Lightning 2022) and others. In her spare time, Nazelah enjoys writing horror screenplays and saving the day. She gives the best hugs in the Bay Area.
Goldie and Izzie Award winner Shakiri (she/her) has been a performer, choreographer, and arts educator in the Bay Area for over thirty years. A member of the internationally acclaimed Zaccho Dance Theater Company, she has choreographed for Berkeley Rep, and danced with Dance Brigade, her own company Shakiri/Rootworkers, and others.
Grantwriter, Resident Artist
San Francisco native Deirdre Visser (she/her) is a curator, educator, visual artist, and woodworker in the city’s Mission District. As independent curator she engages historical context in a deeper understanding of the challenges we face today. Visser is author of Joinery, Joists, and Gender: A Woodworking History for the 21st Century, published by Routledge, spring 2022.
Joel Yates (he/him) was raised here on Ohlone Land (San Francisco). He has witnessed loss and the fight to breathe. While recording the world he works in conjunction with a myriad of voices creatively towards alignment and encourages the conduction of life. He hopes that his words help to demolish obstacles and broaden the sights of those they touch.