Just some of the amazing humans bringing the New Story Festival to life...
board of directors & Festival Co-Hosts
The new story core ORGANIZING team
Barry is a local community organizer who found his way to Austin 3 years ago after spending most of his adult life in Connecticut and other parts of the Northeast. He has a passion for social justice in its many forms, and continues to identify ways to make an impact within his community by motivating and guiding individuals to work together. Barry most recently worked with the Austin Justice Coalition as their Outreach & Engagement Director.
K Stellar Dutcher
K. Stellar Dutcher is a musician, songleader, facilitator, organizer, poet and culture change advocate based in Austin, TX. They believe deeply in listening, singing, confronting & healing white supremacy culture in themselves & others, and laughter. They are the founder of The Seventh String, and travel throughout the U.S. leading workshops on authentic relating, leadership, song circles, and coming home to more intimate connection with self, planet and perceived other.
Tamisha is a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA studying Theology, Culture and Ethics. She works with several arts organizations including Listen Los Angeles (a listening project featuring an all African American cast reflecting on the current state of the country through art), Level Ground (engaging empathy across difference), and ARC Art | Religion | Culture. She also co-hosts a podcast entitled Why We're Friends.
DG is a geek, foodie, United Methodist minister, contemplative photographer (Hollums Photography), daddy, husband, son, self-described "extroverted contemplative community curator”, lover of all people, disruptive innovator, and seriously he really does love and appreciate you.
Katie Jo Suddaby
Rev. Katie Jo Suddaby is a pastor, speaker, consultant, and artist from Rochester, NY, working at the intersection of art, spirituality, and social justice. She is one of the few people in the Western hemisphere who create sand mandala art - have learned the technique from Tibetan lamas and Buddhist monks in Nepal.
Danny is a trauma informed somatic mindfulness coach and plays at the intersections of meditation, spirituality, healing and relating. He has spent over 10,000 in silent meditation retreat exploring for himself the direct experience pointed to by spiritual traditions. He is now in the deep inquiry of taking the depth of the inward journey and applying it to becoming fully human and engaging in a world that requires action with an open heart.
CONNECT TEAM &
DYNAMIC SOLUTIONS ENGINEER
Kristine's passion is to curate hospitable spaces and experiences where meaningful connections happen that become pivotal moments in someone's life: of hope, goodness, and feeling heard & loved. She is a connector, learner, empathic listener, teacher, event facilitator, coach and strategic partner in creating pathways that make big dreams possible.
Steph loves Austin, country music, and a good dancehall. He spends most of his time playing music and golf, dancing at White Horse, or hanging with his 7-year-old kid whom he calls Young Money. His band, the HonkyTonk Saints, are up and coming local artists keeping the spirit of all great Honky Tonkers alive with plenty of twang, shuffle, and heartache.
Randi is an artist acro-yogini, part of a glowing community of paradigm changing Austinites! She paint murals and at shows live, performs contact improv, lyra, and dance ecstatically. She is vegetarian, loves to dance, and mix it up in the kitchen. She is also the owner/curator of Indra’s Awarehouse, a one-of-a-kind studio space and event venue in Austin supporting circus, dance, and fine arts.
Celia Alario plays at the intersection of social justice communications, culture shaping and movement building. She’s exploring how communities can address environmental injustice and climate disruption while deepening our democratic experiment—all with balance, integrity, grace and a joyful heart. Count on her for chocolate, glitter, poodles and transformational confabs.
Tyler McCabe is a gay writer living in Portland, Oregon. His writing covers pop culture, family, trauma, and healing, and has been honorably noted by Best American Essays. He's currently working on a speculative novel. Tyler specializes in fostering holistic, diverse communities through events and educational opportunities, and currently serves as Chapter Manager at EO Portland. He tweets @tylermccabe.
Melissa is an innovative educator, educational consultant, and research analyst for the Austin Independent School District.
HEATHER LEE GREEN
With roots in the Texas Hill country, Heather was a Hospice Chaplain and Spiritual Advisor for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, before joining University United Methodist Church in Austin, where she currently serves as Youth Ministry Director and Justice Associate. She has a passion for spiritual formation in children, youth, and parents. Heather is married to Shelton Green with whom she has two small children, Everly Grace and Sutton Handley.
Stuart Scadron-Wattles has been involved in presenting events for most of his life, as a theatre creator and director. He has worked in professional not-for-profit fundraising for Cornell University, his own organisations and elsewhere in the arts (Image Journal), as well as in international development (Agros International). He is an active contemplative who has become a contemplative activist, and lives full-time aboard a 36’ sailboat in the Pacific Northwest with his wife Linda and their dog Sofia.
Jasmin Pittman Morrell is a writer and MFA student studying Narrative Journalism at the University of Georgia She’s passionate about the interchange between storytelling and hospitality, which has led her to everything from working as communications director in a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness, festival event production, and mentoring young African-American and Latinx writers. When she’s not knee-deep in stories, she’s creating delicious food, playing with her two daughters, or looking for bears in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
Zaianna Ortiz is a yoga and holisitic wellness educator who leads international transformative retreats and specializes in organizing unique events and festivals. Finding life unsatisfying as a corporate marketing executive, Zaianna traveled Asia for several years training and living the teachings of yoga, Ayurveda, Buddhist meditation, Macrobiotics, Energetics, Permaculture and intentional community living. Zaianna firmly believes that she is most purposeful on this planet when she holds space for others to connect with their true essence, finding peaceful purpose, healing and transformation.
Kageni grew up in Kenya speaking Swahili, moved to the US in 2000, and is the proud mother to the most loving daughter. Kageni is part of the Circling Europe Operations Team, and brings many years of skill, expertise, and international experience. She gets the most joy when participating in making someone else’s life just a bit easier, no matter the problem.
Steve is the co-founder of Transform Network, where he serves on the board and continues to work as a digital organizer. He is the former Director of Marketing for Chalice Press and the Wild Goose Festival.
Rachel is pursuing her J.D. at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, has a M.A. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked in affordable housing development, and was a public school teacher. She is a member of the Ethical Society of Austin, and in her spare time loves spending time with her 6-year-old son and with her many friends back in Austin.
ASSISTANT FESTIVAL COORDINATOR
Lizzy recently moved to Austin, Texas from Steamboat Springs, Colorado after completing a service year in the Episcopal Service Corps. Once in Austin, she began her own stuffed waffle business, serving sweet and savory stuffed waffles all around town. When she isn't eating waffles, she likes to get outside for a hike or a climb!
Originally from Colombia, Mara shares her culture with the Austin community by teaching at a bilingual school and now helping translate materials for the New Story Festival. She maintains a deep interest in spirituality that has lead her to explore different traditions and belief systems, but mostly she prefers to gaze at the stars.
Jones is a street canvasser for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington D.C. and M.Div student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. They also have an recently discovered passion and amazing aptitude for volunteer coordination at events!
Jennifer Bailey is an educator, a mother, and a passionate advocate for wellness, spirituality, and sustainability. She is currently building a learning center in Blanco, TX. Jennifer holds a B.A. in marketing from Bowling Green State University and numerous certificates in various modalities of wellness and spiritual practice. Jennifer loves to volunteer for efforts she knows are making a difference. Jennifer makes her living investing in and improving real estate properties and loves helping people attain affordable housing.