MDOCS Storytellers' Institute

2019 Visiting Fellows

Micaela Blei

Micaela Blei, PhD, has been studying and performing true, personal storytelling nationwide for seven years, teaching and facilitating for 15 years, and performing comedy for 25 years. A two time Moth GrandSLAM winner and former Director of Education at The Moth, she has designed curriculum, facilitated storytelling workshops and directed performance programs in schools across New York City and nationwide. She has given invited keynotes and professional development workshops at SXSWEDU, Lincoln Center Institute, School of Visual Arts and many others. Ms. Blei has regularly appeared on The Moth’s Mainstage across the country and on The Moth Radio Hour, and her solo storytelling show, The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher, was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe. She earned her doctorate in education at New York University in 2018, focusing on personal narrative performance, and her research talks feature a high jokes-per-insight ratio.

Luma Jasim

Luma Jasim is an interdisciplinary Iraqi-born artist. Jasim’s art deals with war, violence and her experience with immigration and the acculturation, which rose from that. In her artwork, she uses the personal to address the political and activate the viewer’s curiosity. Luma often reconstructs her memories, traumas, and thoughts on displacement, belonging, and strangeness in various mediums including writing, painting, performance, video, and animation to name a few. Since graduating with a Master’s degree from Parsons School of design in May 2017, Jasim has completed to different artist residencies and fellowships, including The Corporation of Yaddo Residency,2018, MASS MoCA Residency, 2017, Surel’s Place Residency 2018, and The AAF/American Austrian Foundation/ Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts, 2017. Her work has been shown and exhibited nationally and internationally. Currently, Luma lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Alex Lewis

Alex Lewis is an independent radio producer and musician living in Philadelphia, PA. He produces radio stories, audio documentaries, podcasts, public radio programs. In 2016, he was the Lead Producer of Every ZIP Philadelphia, a Localore:Finding America collaboration with AIR and WHYY. He’s currently the Senior Producer of Saturday Night & Sunday Morning: The Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul – an audio documentary project with WXPN and NPR Music. He also produces The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin Magazine. Alex graduated from Northwestern University, where he studied music theory and musicology. He studied radio documentary at the Transom Story Workshop on Cape Cod. He’s given talks on audio storytelling at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, WHYY, PhillyCAM, UnionDocs, and elsewhere.

Elizabeth (EB) Landesberg is a filmmaker, multimedia artist and educator. She is currently co-director of the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program, as well as a producer and facilitator for Another Kind of Girl Collective, an expanding global media collective for young women living in displaced communities. EB’s documentary practice seeks to put different lives and communities in conversation—with one another, and with herself—and to make different forms of power more visible. Over the past ten years, it has centered on themes of labor, memory, loss, humor, culture and the sacred. She has also collaborated with young people through educational programs, media workshops and community organizations throughout the Americas. In all of her work, she is committed to including marginalized voices in processes of illuminating inequality and initiating social change; to media-making as a tool of cultural affirmation and self-determination; and to redistributing resources and access to dispossessed communities.

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