Shawana Brooks is a is a poet, storyteller, and outspoken artists’ advocate. She is also the Arts and Culture Developer for the Jacksonville Public Library’s Jax Makerspace. Shawana began her work in the arts as an artist’s manager and as a creative voice amplifying the work of the community—specifically for minorities and women. This advocacy is on display in the gallery at Jax Makerspace as she tries to develop a picture of progress and inclusion and how that narrative grows a community rooted in diversity and equity. Shawana was recently selected as a trailblazer in the African American community for her work in galvanizing community through arts and culture.
Christina May, is a native of Jacksonville and a graduate of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. After receiving her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, Christina's professional career began at The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel after which she performed with The Metropolitan Opera House, Susan Marshall and Dancers, John Malashock, and Braided Light Dance Company where she was the Artistic Director for one season. During her time in Jacksonville Christina collaborated with Tiffany Fish and Rebecca Levy of Jacksonville Dance Theatre, Barbara Colaciello, Al Letson, and Jess Pillmore. In 2011, Christina relocated to London, to perform with DV8 Physical Theatre in the production of “Can We Talk About This?". She now resides in London where she is enjoying being a mom to daughter Maya.
Dr. Jillian Smith is a professor of film in the English Department at the University of North Florida, where she teaches students the art of creative documentary filmmaking. For the last 13 years she has dedicated herself to developing the film program and film culture at UNF. She believes that documentary film, like dance, is a deeply tactile and communicative art. Her current projects focus on fire and metal.
Alex Willemin is an independent filmmaker with a specialization in writing and directing micro-budget films. He earned his MFA in motion picture production from the University of Miami and, while in graduate school, worked at the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Film Archive where he organized and created footage packages for documentaries that aired on ESPN and PBS. His thesis film, American Karoshi, screened at various film festivals across the country and garnered awards such as Best Micro Budget Film at the American International Film Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan and an Award of Merit at The Best Shorts Competition in La Jolla, California. He currently runs the film program at Jacksonville University.