PATTY BERNE is a Co-Founder of Sins Invalid and has served as Artistic Director since 2006. Berne's background includes advocacy for immigrants who seek asylum due to war and torture; community organizing within the Haitian diaspora; international support work for the Guatemalan democratic movement; work with incarcerated youth toward alternatives to the criminal legal system; advocating for LGBTQI community and disability rights perspectives within the field of reproductive and genetic technologies; offering mental health support to survivors of violence; and cultural activism to centralize marginalized voices, particularly those of people with disabilities. She is pursuing a Psy.D., focusing on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and state-sponsored violence. In 2008, she had a chapter published in the Routledge Press book, Telling Stories to Change the World, on the work and history of Sins Invalid. She currently chairs the Board of Directors at San Francisco Women Against Rape and the 2009 recipient of the Empress I Jose Sarria Award for Uncommon Leadership in the field of LGBTQI and disability rights by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
ALEX CAFARELLI is a genderqueer femme Jewish Witch whose solo and collaborative work encompasses crafty wordsmithing, internal martial arts, music, and ritual performance that inspires sexual healing, spiritual awareness, and a mad dash of feisty femme resistance. Alex co-founded the Minneapolis-based performance group, the Psycick Slutz, in 1993, and is a member of Body Heat, a femme artist collective that tours nationally. She has performed in venues across the Midwest, on both U.S. coasts, in Canada and the U.K. In 2010 she self-published a chapbook of her personal fiction titled "Survivor Desire.” Since 1992, Alex has been studying martial arts with her current focus being in Bagua and Xingyi. In addition to teaching martial arts, she also facilitates workshops on Body Mindfulness and Sex Magick for survivors of sexual trauma.
ANTOINE-DEVINCI HUNTER, Performer/Dancer, is a deaf African American choreographer, dancer and writer. He is the founder and director of Urban Jazz Dance Company and Iron Triangle Urban Ballet. Antoine has performed numerous forms of dance with well-known artists and companies, including Nuba Dance Company, Reginald Ray-Savage and Zafra Miriam-Savage Jazz Dance Company, Ramon Alayo, Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Raissa Simpson, and Ross Dance Company. Antoine studied West African Dance with Master C.K. and Betty Ladzekpo, and studied at the Paul Taylor Summer Intensives in 2003 and 2004. He performed in London with the Sign Dance Collective, where he performed with Mat Fraser, among other dancers with disabilities. He tours with his own company and with others - currently five of them - and he teaches children and adults in over 13 locations, including East Bay Center of the Performing Arts, Dance-a-Vision Entertainment, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Youth in Arts, and Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.
AURORA LEVINS MORALES, Contributing Writer/Vocal Performer, is a nationally known writer whose work has been widely anthologized and taught. She was a contributor to the groundbreaking 1981 collection This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Her fiction has appeared in Ms. and The American Voice and four collections of Latina/o writing. She is also a frequent contributor to the Jewish feminist journal Bridges. Her first book, Getting Home Alive, (Firebrand Books, 1986) written with her mother, Rosario Morales, was hailed as "a landmark in Puerto Rican literature," and "the most important book to come out of the diaspora in a generation." Her most recent books are Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas (Beacon Press, 1998) a prose poetry retelling of the history of the Atlantic world through the lives of Puerto Rican women and their kin, and Medicine Stories, (South End, 1998) a collection of essays. Her 9/11 poem Shema was broadcast on Pacifica and other radio stations, distributed online and read at anti-war events and religious services across the country in the wake of September 11, 2001. Her poetry commentaries on the news are aired regularly on Pacific Radio's Flashpoints news magazine. She is currently working on a novel.
ELLERY RUSSIAN is an artist, writer, performer, makeup artist, comic artist, professional book nerd and physical therapist living in Seattle, WA. Ellery is the author of the zine "Ring of Fire", Co-Directed the documentary "Third Antenna: A Documentary About the Radical Nature of Drag", has performed across the country and internationally doing drag, integrated dance, and reading poetry. As a long-time admirer of Sins Invalid, Ellery is honored to perform in this year’s show and would like to dedicate hir performance to the memory of Vic Chesnutt.
JUBA KALAMKA is a Chicago native and recording artist since 1988. He is most recognized for his recent work as a founding member of "homohop" crew Deep Dickollective (D/DC) and his development of the label Sugartruck Recordings. Noted for his dialogues on the convergences and conflicts of race, identity, sexuality and class in pop culture, Kalamka has written and illustrated articles for numerous publications and served as a speaker, panelist, and curator for organizations and conferences across the United States, Kalamka served as Festival Director for East Bay (Oakland) Pride (2003) and is the curator/director of PeaceOUT World HomoHop Festival (now in its seventh year), which features heavily in the Alex Hinton documentary Pick Up the Mic. Deep Dickollective's fifth and final disc, On Some Other, was released on Sugartruck in June 2007. His second solo recording, Ooogabooga Under Fascism will be released in late 2009. Kalamka holds a BA in Art/Secondary Education from Chicago State
University (1993) and completed an MFA in Poetics with emphasis in Queer Performance at New College of California in San Francisco in 2007.
LEAH LAKSHMI PIEPZNA-SAMARASINHA, Performer, is a Worcester-raised, Toronto-matured, Oakland-based queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher. She is the 2009-10 Artist in Residence at UC Berkeley’s June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mangos With Chili, North America’s only touring cabaret of queer and trans people of color performing artists. Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. The author of Consensual Genocide, her writing has appeared in Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She is proud to be the queer femme mixed slut schoolteacher Sri Lankan granddaughter of her queer femme mixed slut schoolteacher Sri Lankan grandmothers. She is finishing her second book of poetry, Love Cake, and her first memoir, Dirty River and is happy about the forthcoming publication of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities, which she co-edited with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, by South End Press in 2010. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color.
LEROY F. MOORE JR., Performer, is a contributing writer and performer for many Sins Invalid shows. He is a Black disabled writer, poet, community activist, and feminist. Leroy is the author of a spoken word CD and chapbook entitled Black Disabled Man with a Big Mouth & a High IQ, and his poems and articles have appeared in numerous publications. His film-based collaboration with Todd Herman on disability and sexuality resulted in the internationally award-winning work Forbidden Acts. Leroy lectures regularly on the intersection of race and disability and is the founder of the Krip-Hop Project, which produces hip-hop mixtapes featuring disabled hip-hop artists from around the world.
MARIA R. PALACIOS is a feminist writer, poet, author, spoken word performer, polio survivor and disability activist whose message of hope and empowerment pulsates and breathes through her work. In addition to two self-published books, Maria's work has been featured in anthologies, articles, audio interviews and other multimedia publications. Known in the artistic world as The Goddess on Wheels, her multicultural background and passion for onstage performance have made Maria R. Palacios one of Houston's favorite spoken word artists. Her work embraces self-acceptance, empowerment and social justice surrounding women with disabilities, gender and sexuality and a wide spectrum of issues as they relate to diversity. Maria R. Palacios is currently involved in the production of two spoken word CD collections, a series of women empowerment workshops and presently serves on the Advisory Board for CROWD (Center for Research on Women with Disabilities) in Houston, Texas. To learn more about Maria R. Palacios, visit her at: www.myspace.com/goddessonwheels.
NOMY LAMM, Performer/Vocalist, is a writer, musician, and activist whose work has been featured in magazines (Ms., Punk Planet, Make/Shift), anthologies (Listen Up, Body Outlaws, and most recently Word Warriors and Working Sex, all from Seal Press), and onstage across the U.S. She has toured with Sister Spit, the Sex Workers Art Show, and the cabaret showcase Dr. Frockrocket’s Menagerie and Medicine Show. She has released two solo albums (Anthem, 1999, and Effigy, 2002) and co-wrote, co-produced and performed in The Transfused, a post-apocalyptic rock opera about multigendered animal-human hybrids, in 2000. She teaches voice lessons, and is currently working on her first novel, The Best Part Comes After the End.
SEELEY QUEST has been actively performing, organizing shows and m.c.'ing around the Bay Area since 2001, and has also featured at the last True Spirit Conference in D.C., at Trans/Giving in L.A., in Vancouver, Toronto, and many U.S. cities and colleges with the Tranny Roadshow. Sie's initiated and co-facilitated disability workshops at queer and feminist arts conferences, is available for hire as an art model, and has a self-published chapbook for sale.
TODD HERMAN, Project Advisor, is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of Sins Invalid. His film and photographic works, often exploring relationships between documentary images and poetic texts, range from a newly released photography book about several marginalized communities in Kathmandu, Nepal; to film and book projects exploring the connections between birth, memory and mourning; to video productions and visual art exhibitions exploring aspects of disability, sexuality and eugenics. He was the recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery’s 2004 Emerging Curator Award, and was the 2008 winner of the 51st Annual San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award for best bay area short film. Todd has facilitated filmmaking workshops for adults with disabilities for nearly ten years. He exhibits his work internationally. For more information, visit www.todd-herman.com.