Professional Speaker + Nerd
AlejAndro Anastasio currently lives in Boise, Idaho as a professional artist, international speaker, and Authorized Buddhist Teacher. Born without his left hand, AlejAndro chooses to perceive all challenges as an opportunity for personal growth by turning adversity into unlimited power. A self proclaimed “Champion of Life,” he believes nothing is impossible if you truly have faith and positive thinking in yourself and others.
Focusing on the power of our thinking and all the benefits of not having two hands AlejAndro has shared his humorous message of hope and inspiration to audiences of all ages around the world. He has spoken in Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Finland, Estonia, and the Czech Republic and across the United States.
Born and raised on Science Fiction and comic books, AlejAndro is a deep fan of all things Superheroes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Sci-Fi geekie. Not only does AlejAndro attend Comic Book Conventions he has also spoken at many comic cons sharing his inspiration
Student + Research Botanist
Atom came from a tiny blue planet very far away, which neither humans nor English have named or observed yet. After years of wandering the cosmos in self-actualization, he stumbled upon Earth. Amazed at the similarities in atmospheric composition and lifeforms between Earth and his own home, Atom decided to investigate further--a fatal mistake. His ship did not sustain the landing. After a 200 year bought of depression, he finally quit mourning the loss of everything he knew and loved, and chose to train and expand my own human body. He is not sure how or why, but his last reincarnation landed him in the Wild West of Idaho, and it is there that Atom set up his first roots as a newfound Cosmopolitan Human Being.
Candise Ramsey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with women and children as a therapist. She was raised in North Louisiana and came west at 19. Her experience moving from a predominantly African American culture to a predominantly White culture makes her drive for equality unique. She is a Boise State Graduate, who has spent her time working with various groups; such as, those in poverty, new Americans, abused and neglected children, the LGBTQ community and abused women. She stood against David Duke in La as an undergrad, helped create the Mama Jam’s Festival in Boise two years in a row, researched the sales tax with United Vision for Idaho helping increase the Idaho sales tax to increase revenue for the state,and has participated in ICAN, the Idaho Women's Network and on the NASW legislative committee. She helped organize the first PRIDE event in the Twin Falls area, created an LGBTQ youth group for Magic Valley Pride and brought PFLAG to the Twin Falls area.
Transplanted to Idaho after spending her formative years in the Dakotas and Minnesota, Danielle ditched long winters, kept her long Os, and works as a teacher of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. She is a lover of books, storytelling, poetry, theatre, and improv, all of which have found their way into her teaching. She is currently researching bilingual education and literacy pedagogy, through the lens of hearing loss and other difference.
Danielle has been awarded two grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts--in 2012 and 2016--for integrating Arts into the curriculum. She has performed her original poetry at spoken word events in Twin Falls and appeared on stage in How I Learned to Drive (2014) and The Vagina Monologues (2015 and 2016). She also just appeared as Twilight Sparkle, the My Little Pony, with a former in her school's talent show. Surely this is her most important performance to date, as she performed alongside a child she loves dearly.
Educator + Lawyer
Edit was born and raised in beautiful Transylvania during the brutal dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Her family was ruthlessly persecuted by the Communist state for many years. Edit and her family immigrated to the United States as refugees in 1990. They came through the CSI Refugee Center and chose to make Magic Valley their new home.
She attended the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) as a full-time student while working graveyard shift at Universal Frozen Foods. By 1995, she had earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in Business Administration. After graduation, she chose to work for CSI. Seventeen years she worked at CSI, including six years as Vice President. Edit truly enjoyed helping students learn and reach their educational goals. During that time, while working full-time, she earned a doctoral degree and a second master’s degree.
James Haycock is currently in his 13th year as the director and instructor for the Bruin High Players at Twin Falls High School. After earning a MFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University, a BA in Theatre Design from Boise State University, and a brief but successful free-lance design phase in Los Angeles, he returned to the Magic Valley where his human education began, developed and continues to fuel his philosophies in educating young theatre artists. Because of his passionate commitment to the theatre and the success of his students, he has witnessed the power of identifying, educating and celebrating the characteristics that make us unique. This includes his three angelic children and his wife of 20 years, Angela, the woman glowing near the isle.
Jerrel is a 17 year old aspiring cellist. He heavily involved with the performing arts through both music and theatre. He is graduating a year early and has plans on attending a university to study music performance.
Kennedy is a spunky 11 year old who wants to save the world. She loves writing, music, reading, doing art, fighting for the vulnerable,
and being on stage! Born in Iowa, Kennedy was an early talker and was drawing crowds and entertaining anyone who would pay attention by the time she was two and a half years old. She moved to Idaho about that time and has lived in Twin Falls ever since. She auditioned for the first time and played the role of Gretel in the
Sound of Music with Twin Falls' JUMP Company at the age of 7, and has been in 12 community theater productions since then. Born just 7 days before Christmas as the youngest of 4, Kennedy is adored as the gift she is by her family and friends. They cannot wait to see her conquer the world.
Accessibility Consultant +
Kim Walton was raised in Twin Falls Idaho. She has an associate’s degree in psychology from the College of Southern and a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Training and Development from Idaho State University. She grew up running, swimming, and dancing, which continued throughout her life. She married and moved to Heyburn in 1988. While focusing on home and family she taught dance, ran, and swam in the local triathlon with a team. She went solo in the triathlon in 2004. While training on her bicycle for her third triathlon, a minivan failed to yield at a stop sign and pulled out in front of her. Since then she has been rolling in a wheelchair for locomotion.
Facing the challenges of limited physical ability has changed the way I see my community. I have to evaluate all aspects of every outing and its venues to ensure practicability.
President at Platform Idaho
Holmberg has been writing and speaking for nearly two decades. As a "word aficionado," she values the precision of language and its amazing capacity to inspire, educate, and forge connection. Her work appears in local, national, and international publications,
under her own name and others'. She’s the president and owner of Platform Idaho and the Idaho Speakers Bureau. Outside the office, Kirsten is happiest when using her words to cheer her three children on in their academic and athletic pursuits, or in lively
banter with other critical thinkers. A Boulderite turned Boisean, she and her husband, Mike, have called Idaho “home” for more than nine years. As an adoptive parent, she candidly shares the story of her family--and the surprising plots twists they have encountered--to
advocate for orphans the world over, and to broaden community understanding of the many challenges commonly faced on such a journey. Follow her on Twitter at @kirholmberg.
Producer + Director + Adventure Seeker
Leah Warshawski lives mostly out of her suitcase. Her career began in Hawaii working in the marine department for shows like LOST and HAWAII, where she learned from some of the most experienced and humble Watermen on the planet. Her first feature film, FINDING HILLYWOOD profiles the burgeoning film industry in Rwanda and screened at more than 70 film festivals around the world. In tandem with the film’s release, she co-founded rwandafilm.org a “LinkedIn” for Rwandan filmmakers to help find work in the industry, supported by Bpeace and The Academy of Motion Pictures. Leah’s most recent documentary is more personal, and features her 91-year old grandmother Sonia – “national treasure”, Holocaust survivor, and Diva. Leah’s personal journey is the inspiration for her TedX Talk and the idea that we’re all a part of the “Survival Generation.” Leah values authenticity, loyalty, grit, and gratitude. When she’s not on a plane, you can find her sitting in patch of sunlight, dreaming of whales.
Improv Dance Group + Visioneers
Student + Political Scientist
Reylene is a senior studying communication at Whitworth University and will pursue international environmental law at Vanderbilt in the fall. She has a strong passion for the Magic Valley in Idaho and a sense of pride in the people of that community. After four years of competing on a collegiate forensics team Reylene has found the importance and significance of creating effective policy. Her hope is to one day work with the UN to create universal environmentally friendly policy that can be applied world wide. In her free time Reylene enjoys playing tennis, reading court cases, and watching football. Creating a diverse and dynamic life has always been her main goal in life. She lives by the quotation, "Nothing is impossible if the word itself says I'm possible," by Audrey Hepburn.
Student + Activist
Born and raised in Twin Falls, Savina is a sophomore studying musical theatre and playwriting at Howard University. The child of an Afro-Latina mother and white European father, much of Savina’s writing and performance deals with the intersections of race and gender politics with art, as well as her unique perspective on American race relations. Most recently she served as dramaturg for the Howard University production of Eclipsed, set during the Second Liberian Civil War, in addition to creating a play, in its very early stages, exploring the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
As a member of the most racially mixed generation in American history, she hopes to present an idea of what American race relations could look like and what people like herself mean for the future of race in America. When she isn’t performing or writing, Savina can be found running, reading, or sitting awestruck at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest project.
Shane began his theater career at the age of five where he played Henry in Finnian’s Rainbow, and has been an avid participant in arts ever since. He has taught theater and English for 18 years and is currently an instructor at College of Southern Idaho. He graduated from the College of Southern Idaho, and Idaho State University, and continued his graduate work in theater at the Ashland Center for Theater Studies at Southern Oregon University. He has served as the president of Idaho Speech Arts Teachers Association, and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Idaho High School Activities Association, and was twice awarded Idaho Drama Teacher of the Year, and outstanding theater educator by the National Federation of High Schools. He currently directs and designs for the CSI theater department, Stage Door, and The Random Acts of Theater. When not working theater or teaching, Shane can be found writing, creating or exploring the Idaho high desert and mountains on foot or in a kayak.