Adam Whitney has been an actor, singer and dancer in the northern Nevada area for over fifteen years. He was recently featured in the Ocean Professional Theatre Company’s production of The Andrew Sisters Christmas of Swing in Toms River, NJ. He was also featured as Wilbur Turnblad in Jersey Shore’s production of Hairspray at the Eldorado Casino. He has played such wonderful roles as Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Show, The Emcee in Cabaret, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls and Zanna in Zanna Don’t! just to name a few. He also toured with Vee Corporation’s “Dragon Tales Live” which enjoyed a short stint at Broadways Beacon Theatre. He has also choreographed for Galena High School, Bruka Theatre, and Sierra School of Performing Arts and wrote, choreographed, costumed and directed The Hot August Sock Hop for Good Luck Macbeth Theatre. Currently Adam will be seen in his one man show Bingo with Bea where he will be paying homage to the incomparable Bea Arthur.
Brenda is a nurturing warrior and wishes to see women move from ‘surviving to thriving.’ For nearly 30 years, she has been empowering women to be diamond strong as well as helping them find their God-given purpose and potential.
She founded Xquisite, a nonprofit that brings hope, courage, and a voice for all women. She is also the spokesperson for the End Trafficking and Prostitution Coalition. Brenda believes that no matter what life holds, a woman’s value remains strong; together, we can better and grow a movement of strong, passionate women with the empowered voiced need to shatter secrets and expose the truth that will bring freedom to every woman.
“Artists were the original self promoters” says Chad Sorg from the cool desert shade cast by towering buses he helped plant at the International Car Forest of the Last Church in Goldfield, Nevada. With Sorg’s help the roadside destination already has a sizable root system of international media publicity which is growing daily. Huffington Post calls the International Car Forest of the Last Church one of 11 therapeutic art destinations to see and Stella McCartney recently filmed a fashion video there and there’s a documentary being filmed.
Sorg portrait paints in the Midwest when he’s not living periodically as the Fishbowler in display windows across the country. He was a founder of NadaDada Motel which has proudly called to attention the work of 300 artists and performers and the New York Times published the story in 2009. He’s currently writing a book about his adventures & lessons learned. When he’s not TED talking he’s window cleaning. @Art of Sorg on Facebook & www.Fishbowler.me
Former Professional Hockey Player/Author
Malarchuk, who was born in Grand Prairie, Alberta,
played professionally in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques, the Washington Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres, and in the IHL for the San Diego Gulls and the Las Vegas Thunder. After leaving the NHL as a player, he served as head coach of the Las Vegas Thunder & the Idaho Steelheads and a goaltending coach for the NHL Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers and Calgary Flames. Malarchuk is most notably known for an on ice accident while tending goal for the Buffalo Sabres. Clint’s jugular vein was severed by a skate and he almost died right on the ice. Living with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression Malarchuk survived a suicide attempt which finally led too treatment and recovery. Clint’s book The Crazy Game: How I Survived The Crease And Beyond was the beginning of his Mental Health Advocacy and charity work.
Heather is excited to be back in her home town. Born in Carson City, Heather grew up taking dance lessons from the director of Western Nevada Performing Arts and—from a young age—had great interest in costuming and choreography. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Family Consumer Science with an Emphasis on Fashion Design and, later, received a Master’s in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art. She worked as a technical designer in the San Francisco fashion industry for ten years and taught upper-level design at Art Institute.
Heather lives in Grants Pass, Oregon where she works as an instructor for dancers and seniors and creates costumes for her clients, local dance studios, and professional dance companies. Presently, practices yoga, Pilates, ballet, contemporary dance, pointe, acro-yoga, aerial apparatus, and flow arts with hoop, rope dart, and staff. She performs with an aerial group, is a fire dancer, and participates in a volunteer circus that benefits refugees in Thailand.
Ian Moore is a touring and recording artist with 14 releases to date. He has spent much of the last 30 years traveling the world through his music and has been fundamentally changed and formed as a result. The son of a Buddhist scholar father and a social worker mother, the stage has given him a unique perspective on the human condition. The lifelong pursuit of music, with it’s inevitable twists and turns has allowed—and forced—Ian to look deeply into the duality of art and life in order to find balance and harmony between the two. Ian is the President and co-founder of SMASH (Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare) and is a Grammy Governor. When not touring and recording, he seeks out nature and quiet. He is an avid outdoorsman and beekeeper, a lover of ethnic foods and cooking, and a relentless pursuer of knowledge and spirit. He lives on Vashon Island, WA with his wife and two teenage sons.
Brandon Dodge is a freelance percussionist and educator in the Reno-Carson City area. He has performed in the Reno Pops Orchestra, has played world-percussion music at The Potentialist, and has experience with both jazz and musicals. Brandon can be found preforming any style and can blend, morph, and create unique sounds and style in his own compositions.
Jess is pursuing her master’s in music performance at the University of Oregon, where she holds the saxophone graduate assistantship. A classical saxophonist, Jess has performed as a soloist in the US, Canada, and Russia. Her art focuses on creating new and avant-garde works as well as combining the elements of classical music and hip-hop.
Together, the brother sister duo build soundscapes, produce music through live looping, and present new takes on each other’s art. They expand the bounderies of their music with a blending of genres and stylistic elements.
Retired Tech Engineer
Jim Brady's career spans 34 years with International Business Machines as a Systems Engineer, Consulting Marking Representative, President of the IBM Academy of Technology, as well as various executive positons, managing technical strategies and storage divisions. During his time, he was a member the IBM Technology Review and System Technology Board, a member of the IMB Database Technology Institute, an IBM Fellow, and an IEEE Fellow.
Upon retirement from IBM, Brady co-founded MatriDigm as Chairman, CEO and President. There he invented algorithms to find, fix, and test Y2K problems in COBOL programs. These algorithms proved 99.996 percent accurate, with a productivity of 2 million lines of code per person each month. Brady has 42 patents issued and 27 publications in various conferences, journals, and technical bulletins. He has received extensive recognition during his IBM tenure, including 22 formal award Awards, and excels at designing complex systems.
Jonathan & Maria Rogers and Bravo
Maria grew up in Michoacán, Mexico and moved to Carson City in 1995. As a single mom, Maria has had first-hand experience with the emotional and financial pressures that accompany living in poverty. Maria chose to change the path of her life and achieved stability of a middle-class lifestyle. She has decided to reach out to share the lessons she learned on her journey, hoping to change the lives of others.
Jon Rogers grew up in Connecticut and moved to Carson City in 1984, where he found several successful manufacturing businesses. Now, his efforts focus on enhancing the quality of life for all Carson City residents by volunteering for local non-profit organizations. In 2005, Jon helped to start the Capital City Circles Initiative, which created opportunities for families in Carson City to move from poverty to a life of self-sufficiency. Jon has learned many important lessons about how best to support people in their changing lives and hewishes to share those insights.
Joseph Tatum is a multi-genre cellist and composer residing in Reno, Nevada where he performs with a number of diverse ensembles. His primary objective has been to explore and innovate the cello's unique capabilities as a non-classical performance instrument. In June 2016 this goal manifested itself when Joseph teamed up with Ethan Gray to form Darabello, a duo featuring original composition for looped cello and percussion. More recently, Joseph was commissioned by Artown to collaborate with dancer Alex Kaskie for the inaugural Artown Under the Radar performance.
In addition to these projects, Joseph performs as a section member of the Reno Philharmonic, as well as with the Desert Rose Ensemble. He also maintains an active interest in teaching, including work with the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra program as well as leading a studio for private cello lessons.
Joseph holds a Master of Music degree in cello performance from University of Nevada, Reno and a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
Kat is a 27 year veteran of the international comedy club circuit. She has been seen numerous times on television, appeared with famous comedians and motivational speakers, toured with The 3 Blonde Moms, and won the eWomen Network's international talent contest in 2009. Often compared to Lucile Ball and Carol Burnett, she is one of the few physical comediennes working today. Kat in an inspirational humorist and combines her physical comedy with relatable, real-life stations. Many will recognize themselves in her material and enjoy humor that is clean and enlightens her audiences.
Kat returned to the Carson Valley to have her children and—while not in the hub of LA—was provided with many new opportunities. She quickly began doing corporate events and she produced her own comedy show for 15 years at the Carson Valley Inn Casino, in Minden, Nevada. She also teaches comedy workshops and it is her greatest joy to help others find their empowerment through humor.
In ancient Japan, it was said that the samurai's sword was his soul. As a speaker, author and transformation navigator, Kitty McKay’s “truth” has been similarly forged during her trial-by-fire life. Her story of tragedy and triumph inspires her calling: helping people plug into core purpose, meaningful connection, and hope. With over thirty five years working in a spectrum of industries—apparel manufacture, restaurant franchising and healthcare—Kitty draws much of her inspired leadership from her fluency in the Japanese language and culture, earned during eight years living and working there. Joining a regional health system in 2009, she serves as Director of the Care Experience and Foundation Development.
With her strong foundation in competitive gymnastics and her affinity for flight, Lozia Louisa Lopez's passion for circus arts was kismet. Over the last 15 years, she has dedicated her life to developing the skills necessary to dazzle an audience. She has extensive training in aerial silks, aerial hoop, aerial straps, contortion, and pole sport with the Reno circus group Le Cirque Vagabond. Louisa is a champion pole dancer, professional aerial and flexibility instructor, and choreographer based in Northern Nevada. She has appeared in numerous events across Nevada, many of Le Cirque Vagabond's original productions, and the Asylum Sideshow Revue. Louisa is currently the head aerial silks instructor at Yaple's Ballroom in Carson City where she offers both group and private lessons for children and adults alike.
Executive Director - Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
As Executive Director of the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, Sharon Yazowski provides visionary leadership in fulfilling Levitt’s mission to strengthen the social fabric of America by empowering communities to transform underused outdoor spaces into welcoming destinations through the power of free, live music. She is the chief spokesperson for Levitt, traveling across the country to share the impact of Levitt programs and creative placemaking. Sharon is often an invited speaker at regional and national conferences. Her passionate commitment to the arts as a vehicle for positive change in communities has guided the strategic growth of Levitt programs nationwide. Sharon was the founding Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles at MacArthur Park. The venue’s impact in the community earned her the recognition of “Los Angeles Park Hero” by the City of Los Angeles. Sharon earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University with a concentration in arts and business management.
Born and raised in Northern California, Suzanne earned a B.S. in Business Administration from C.S.U. Chico in 1997. She moved to Northern Nevada, where she has now lived for 7 years. The mother of two wonderful teen-age boys, Suzanne has worked as an educator in one way or another: at the ITT Technical Institute, as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, as a substitute teacher, and even as homeschool teacher her son’s first grade.
Over the years and through experiences, she has learned that teaching people of all ages involves engaging and connecting with them. The student must be an active participant in the learning process. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach kids the critical life-and-death lessons that will keep them, and others around them, safe.
Professor of Dance
Vikki Baltimore-Dale was a company member of the D.C. Black Repertory Dance Company and the George Faison Universal Dance Experience (New York City). She performed the role of “Sophisticated Lady” in the Broadway musical “Bubbling Brown Sugar.” Her movie credits include “The Green Lady” in the “Wiz,” “The Blues Brothers,” and Francis Ford Coppola's “One From The Heart.”
She was the recipient of the 2010 Charles Vanda Award for Excellence in the Arts a was invited to become a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.
She is a Professor of Dance, Jazz at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Western Nevada College President
Dr. Vincent R. Solis is a life-long educator and currently serves as President at Western Nevada College. He has a broad background in higher education that spans more twenty-five years and has allowed him to provide leadership for many essential campus operations.
Dr. Solis began his post-secondary education at Chemeketa Community College and later transitioned to Texas A&M-Kingsville where he received his Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, his Master of Science in Psychology, and his Doctorate in Bilingual Education.
Dr. Solis has frequently served as a presenter and speaker for various organizations, talking about topics ranging from student success to equality, including: the Department of Education, South Texas Hispanic Male Leadership Summit, the 2016 regional Rotary Conference, National Community College Hispanic Council, Workforce Solutions of South Texas, and—recently—the Mountain Plain Adult Education Association conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.