Bios

 

picMeida Teresa McNeal (Artistic/Executive Director) is an Independent Artist and Scholar of performance studies, dance and critical ethnography. Dr. McNeal works with the Chicago Park District as Arts & Culture Manager supporting partnerships and programming initiatives across the city’s parks and cultural centers. She is also faculty in Interdisciplinary Arts and Dance at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Education. Her creative works have been performed in Illinois, Ohio, California and Trinidad. Recent performance projects include The Ladies Ring Shout, The Sweet Goddess Project, Price Point, and Juke Cry Hand Clap: A People’s History of House & Chicago Social Culture. Along with Abra Johnson, she is co-curator for To Art & Profit, a citywide performance festival first presented by Links Hall March-May 2011 exploring the relationship between art, culture and capitalism; the second To Art & Profit festival is slated for 2016.  Combining her commitment to embodied performance with a love for scholarship, Meida is completing her first book-length manuscript “Compromised Subjectivities: Constructing Trinidadian Nationhood and Navigating Postcolonial Caribbean Performance” based on over ten years of ethnographic research with Afro- and Indo-Trinidadian dance and performance companies supported in part by a Fulbright Grant.

DSC_9705Felicia Holman (Communications/PR Director) is a lifelong Chicagoan. Felicia is co-founder/Communication Director of Honey Pot Performance, Marketing/Studio Manager at Links Hall, and curator of the 4th annual Columbia College Chicago student exhibition, Engage/Connect. With Honey Pot, Felicia creates and presents original interdisciplinary performance which engages audience and inspires community. In addition to performing, Felicia writes essays & content for online outlets including Sixty Inches From Center Magazine, The Working House Blog, and This Is HCL (the High Concept Laboratories blog). Felicia is an admitted Facebook junkie and sums up her dynamic artrepreneurial life in 3 words—”Creator, Connector, Conduit.”

DSC_9666Abra M. Johnson is a sociology faculty member at Malcolm X College and also teaches Racial and Ethnic Groups in U.S. in the DePaul/City Colleges of Chicago Adult Bridge Program. As a teaching sociologist, staunch arts advocate, and performance artist in Honey Pot Performance, Abra pursues a critical but “public” sociology. Her scholarly interests primarily include the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in the arts broadly, but especially at the site of mass-mediated popular music genres (hip-hop and house music genres and subcultures) in the U.S. and abroad. Having spent the last four years both teaching sociology and creating performance art, she is deeply fascinated by these convergences that coalesce into both a creolized national language and a meta-cultural dialogue. Ms. Johnson has an M.A. in Sociology from DePaul University and has held a number of local educational activist posts including ones at Gallery 37/City of Chicago Inter-arts Summer Program, Americorps Project Y.E.S Arts-Integrated Education Program at Wells Academy and Northwestern University Settlement House, Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, and in DePaul’s Discover Chicago First Year Students program.

DSC_9680Aisha Josina Jean-Baptiste is a healer, from a line of healers. She co-founded both ThickRoutes Performance Collage, Inc., a collective of women committed to raising awareness and enabling social change through art, and the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, a Chicago-area support organization for Haiti, Haitians, and Haitian-Americans, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. She is currently an Artistic Collaborator with Honey Pot Performance. She studied Behavioral Sciences at National Louis University, and completed her Masters at the Jane Addams School of Social Work of the University of Illinois-Chicago. She is currently a Clinical Therapist in Counseling at the Centers for New Horizons. Previously, she provided factual and comprehensive sex education to children and young adults across Chicago in her capacity as a health educator with Chicago Women’s Health Center. She also served the girls of the Nancy B Jefferson Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center through a partnership with GirlTalk and later returned to continue providing empowering, female and body-positive information to the incarcerated girls.