Thursday, February 28, 2013

SWAN Day Dayton: FREE Event on March 30th at 2pm at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch

Building off of the success of last year’s inaugural standing-room only event, SWAN Day Dayton 2013 will be held on Saturday March 30th at 2pm at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch Auditorium at 215 E. Third St.  Join artists and community members in a celebration of Ohio female artists. The showcase is free and includes films, poetry, plays, music, dance, short stories, visual arts and door prizes.
Featured artists include photographer Bonnie Adams Brestelli, filmmakers Ursula, Gabrielle, Jennifer, Charity, and Maria Burton of Fiver Sisters Productions, R&B singer and songwriter Adriane Caffey, poet Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt, actor Daniel Cermak, collage and mixed media artist Laura Ceville, actor Whitney Davis,  filmmaker Rani Deighe Crowe, theatre director and actor Andy Falter, actor Dan Foley, illustrator Sarah Fortener, spoken word artist and rapper Kim Gerhold, color pencil artist Janyce Denise Glasper, theatre director Daniel Grigg, portrait artist Terri Melia Hamlin, actor Elizabeth Harelik, author Sandra J. Kachurek, singer and songwriter Marianne Kelser, Kilbourne Drama Club members Mason Althouse, Jocelyn Decker, Sophie Decker, Camryn Johnson, Adi Kinzer, Leah Kinzer, Audrey MacKenzie, Sabrina Ramsey and Meghan Weinle, Knotwork Flutes flautists Jessica Arriola, Diane Stroud and Barb Tucker, surreal self-portrait photographer Ellie Lane,  playwright Stacey Lane, painter Crystal Leisure, singer, songwriter and guitarist Talianna LeVangie, sketch comedy filmmaker Alex Mangen, dancer and choreographer Crystal Michelle, painter Heather Lea Reid, filmmaker Eric Risher, poet and author Maranda Russell,  poet Claudia Skutar, filmmaker Alex Taylor, actor Jocelyn Tanis, mixed media artist Karen Webb  and actor Jacob Wright.
SWAN Day Dayton is produced by Dara Cosby and Stacey Lane and is co-sponsored by the Dayton Metro Library and Joy Schwab. This event is part of an international celebration of women artists taking place on the last Saturday of Women’s History Month. There have been over 900 SWAN Day events in 23 countries in the first five years of SWAN Day.
Bonnie Adams Brestelli (Europe: Black and White Photography)
A Dayton area native, Bonnie has lived in Ohio, Kansas, and Germany. She has studied Art, Art History, and Museum Studies at University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Kansas State University, and University of Oklahoma.  Her photographs and frames showcase the beauty that surrounds us and encourages us to take a moment from the toils of life and see that there is still beauty in this world.
Mason Althouse (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)
Mason is an eighth grader at Kilbourne Middle School.  Mason’s stage roles include parts in The Odyssey, 54 People ‘LIKE’ This, and FLASHBACK!  He served as student director for the 2012-13 KMS season and enjoys reading and playing the trumpet.

Jessica Arriola (Flutezalad Suite: Music)

Jessica Arriola has played the flute for many musicals in the last seven years. She is a member of the Richmond Community Orchestra, the Eaton Community Band and Knotwork Flute Trio.

Charity Burton (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)
Charity Burton splits her time between teaching in L.A. city schools and producing all “Five Sisters Productions” commercials, corporate creative workshops and films.  She studied dance, theater and anthropology/sociology at Denison University. She’s performed in numerous productions and she wrote, produced, directed, and performed in the play Venus on the Halfshell. Charity studied Bhratan Natyum dance in Malaysia while teaching at an Indian orphanage in Kuala Lumpur.  She also organized and taught Americorps literacy programs.
Gabrielle C. Burton (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)
Gabrielle C. Burton is a writer/director/actor. Currently she is directing Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, a documentary on drag queens and kings in Columbus. She won a Rotary Scholarship to study film in France. A Harvard/Radcliffe graduate, she was awarded summa cum laude for her creative writing thesis.  She was a guest at the Columbus Arts Festival. She was named 2013 recipient of the Ohio Arts Council's Individual Excellence Award for 'outstanding accomplishment in media arts.'
Jennifer Burton (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)
Jennifer Burton is a film and commercial producer and professor at Tufts University. She wrote, directed, and acted in Harvard/Radcliffe’s first performance thesis. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard in English and American Literature. She received a Mellon Grant for her dissertation on hope in American film and theater of the 1920s. She was awarded a Luce Fellowship to study Japanese Theater in Tokyo.  She is a Harvard Du Bois Fellow and a published author.
Maria Burton (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)
Maria Burton helms the film company Five Sister Productions. She has directed documentaries as well as commercials, PSAs and feature films. Maria also produced The Happiest Day of His Life and Letting Go of God. Graduating from Yale with a degree in theater and filmmaking, Maria produced, performed in, and/or directed numerous theater shows. Maria is Co-Chair of the Board of The Alliance of Women Directors and on the Board of Global Girl Media.
Ursula Burton (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)
Ursula Burton wrote, directed and acted in The Happiest Day of His Life which won a Viewer's Choice Award on MTV's LOGO Channel and qualified for the Academy Awards.  Acting credits include The Office, The War at Home, The West Wing, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Two Broke Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, The Young and the Restless, BBC’s My Family and others. Ursula graduated from Yale with honors. She’s currently writing a fairytale feature.
Adriane Caffey (Me and U: Music)
Adriane Caffey is 22 years old.  She has been singing since she was six and began recording music at eighteen. Adriane has performed in front of a lot of crowds and has the passion to take it further in the future. She love music: it’s a part of her. She hangs on to her love for music because it is always with her.
Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt (Musing Edward Weston and Say You Will: Poetry)
Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt is the author of the chapbook, For Gretel.  Her poetry has been published locally in Mock Turtle Zine and can also be heard on WYSO's poetry program Conrad's Corner. As a reference librarian at Wright Memorial Public Library, she coordinates Wright Library Poets and posts poetry trivia every April ( She lives with her husband and four children in Kettering.
Daniel Cermak (Alien to Antiquity: Play)
Daniel is a senior at Thomas Worthington High School. He has been in theatre for six years and has loved all of the friends he’s made and opportunities he has been given. He plays percussion in concert and marching band and is a varsity tennis player. Roles include: Rick in The Nerd and the donut in Stacey Lane’s Stalemate, performed at last year’s SWAN festival.   He plans to attend the University of Akron next fall.
Laura Ceville (Let Your Creativity Take Flight: Mixed Media Art)
Laura Ceville is a proud Air Force veteran, an aspiring children's author and illustrator, and word lover (yes, she loves words!). Some of her life goals include having a children’s book on the market that she has both written and illustrated and owning estates in Ohio, Colorado, and Texas. Laura enjoys inspiring the uninspired, exploring the outdoors with her husband, writing, drawing, and loving on her two mischievous dogs—Jack and Deuce.
Dara Cosby (Co-Producer)

Dara Cosby is a graduate of Wright State University’s Motion Picture program.  She has written reviews for film and television. Some recent work has been as a casting assistant on the feature film, True Nature and script supervisor for FreshMouth 2020 and the web series, Freak Club. Dara has also obtained a master’s degree in Community Counseling from University of Dayton, in hopes to use film and media to help others.

Whitney Davis (Door Prize Coordinator, Pet Names: Play)

Whitney Davis is a 2012 Lake Forest College Graduate with a B.A. in Theater. She appeared in Snow White and the Paramedic as Snow White, The Vagina Monologues as The Flood, The House of Benarda Alba as Prudencia, Splendor in the Grass as Angelina, Fiddler on the Roof as Yente and more. Prior to college, she attended Stivers School for the Arts and is happy to be back in the Dayton area.

Jocelyn Decker (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Jocelyn is a ninth grader at Thomas Worthington High School.  She co-wrote and performed in Gossip Squirrels, which premiered at last year’s Dayton SWAN festival. Jocelyn has received the Patriots’ Pen award for writing skills and is currently writing her first novel.

Sophie Decker (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Sophie is a seventh grader at Kilbourne Middle School. She has been in FLASHBACK! and The Music Man Jr. She also performed in Gossip Squirrels and Stacey Lane’s Stalemate, both performed at last year’s Dayton SWAN festival. She enjoys horseback riding and reading in her free time.

Rani Deighe Crowe (Beautiful Eyes: Film)

Actor, writer, director from Dayton, Ohio area, Rani is discovering new performance and storytelling space in film.  Recent work the Spoon River Saga for the public art installation, The Telephone Booth Project, performing her Julia Child character in nontraditional venues directing the Kurt Vonnegut text of Igor Stravinksy's A Soldier's Tale in collaboration with Columbus Symphony musicians, collaborating with choreographer Melissa Heston on Les Jeux D'Amour for Contemporary Dance Theater's Choreographers Without Companies in Cincinnati.

Andy Falter (Flashback to Girl Scouts, Alien to Antiquity: Plays)

Andy is a longtime actor and director based in Columbus, Ohio.  He has been seen on stages and screens throughout the United States. This school year marks his thirteenth year teaching theatre in Worthington City Schools.  He is thrilled to work again with his friend, Stacey Lane.  He is particularly excited to feature current and alumni members from Kilbourne Middle School in Dayton's celebration of SWAN.

Five Sisters Productions (The Happiest Day of His Life: Film)

Five Sisters Productions is a film company run by the Burton sisters. Their award-winning films have played on Starz, Showtime, AMC, WE Channel, MTV and Netflix. They also make PSAs and social issue-related commercials. Their current film in production is Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, a feature-length documentary on the fluidity of gender identity as seen through the window of drag queens and kings in Columbus, Ohio.

Dan Foley (Pet Names: Play)

Dan Foley began his career in the community theatre at age 6. His earlier work included Our Town, The Wiz and South Pacific. Once out of high school he dabbled in film, guest staring on WB’s Blue Collar T.V. and landing a role in School Daze, a mini-series shot in Beijing. He studied theatre at Sinclair and Saginaw Valley State and is currently in his senior year of a Film Degree at Full Sail University.

Sarah Fortener (Meka: Gouache, Colored Pencil, and Ink Pen Illustration)

A recent graduate of the University of Dayton, with a BFA degree, her concentrations are in painting, drawing, and illustration.

Kim Gerhold (I Came to Be and Rise: Spoken Word and Rap Music)

Kim has been writing and performing positive socially conscious rap and spoken word for over 8 years and is working on her second CD.   Kim had 3 songs nominated for positive music awards in 2011, winning an award in social justice. Kim has one song published in a 2009 songbook. Using life experience and a passion for creating change, her goal is to touch the spirit, bring people together and promote positive action and change.

Janyce Denise Glasper (To Relax Or Not To Relax: Colored Pencil Drawing)

Janyce Denise Glasper, graduate of Colonel White High School for the Arts and the Art Academy of Cincinnati (BFA emphasis in drawing), is a freelance artist, writer, poet, feminist, and vegan blogger creating enthralling pieces of stylized, figurative portraiture primarily in oil pastels, acrylic paints, colored pencil, and litho crayon that insert and beautify the absent African American aesthetic into sensual romanticist themes incited from stimulating historical romance novel reading and afternoon soap opera dalliances.

Terri Melia Hamlin (Luminous, Moody and Sleepyhead: Colored Pencil Paintings)

Terri Melia Hamlin believes that God gives each of us a gift. She has been blessed with talent for art. She tries to honor this gift with the art that she does. Motherhood has also been such a blessing, so she combines the two, into statements on the beauty and wonder of childhood. Commercial work and portraits have been a part of her resume, which she enjoys as well.

Elizabeth Harelik (Alien to Antiquity: Play)

Elizabeth is a first-year PhD student in the Ohio State Department of Theatre.  She is originally from Wilmette, Illinois, and received a BA from Tufts University in Drama and English.  She has been involved in many shows in Wilmette, Boston, and Columbus both on and offstage, and is incredibly excited to be involved with SWAN this year!

Camryn Johnson (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Camryn is an eighth grader at Kilbourne Middle School.  Camryn was featured as Miss Hannigan in Annie, Rumpelstiltskin in Rumpelstiltskin, and various roles in FLASHBACK! She enjoys lacrosse and spends entirely too much time shopping online.

Sandra J. Kachurek (In a Swirl of Lights: Short Story)                     

Two biographies, Francisco Pizarro and George W. Bush, published in 2004 for elementary and middle school students marked her entry into professional writing.  Kachurek earned third place in the Antioch Writers' Workshop/Dayton Daily News Short Story Contest in 2011. The first chapter of her mermaid novel was a finalist for SWAN Day last year. She belongs to WriteShop, a professional science fiction/fantasy writers' group in Columbus.

Marianne Kesler (Pear in the Pink Thing: Pre-show, Intermission and Post-show Music)

Marianne is an acoustic singer-songwriter and performer currently in a season of writing ... both songs, and free verse poetry/prose! She is working on the third of a book trilogy ~ the say something series ~ that features one word titles and her own photography alongside each of 15 pieces per book. Books can be ordered through, and her music is available online at and

Adi Kinzer (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Adi is a ninth grader at Thomas Worthington High School.  She co-wrote and performed in Gossip Squirrels, which premiered at last year’s Dayton SWAN festival.  She is also in concert and marching band.

Leah Kinzer (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Leah is a seventh grader at Kilbourne Middle School.  She was featured in FLASHBACK! and High School Musical.  Leah has participated in Broadway2LA’s summer camps and classes. She plays saxophone and was “Flag Holder Number Four” in her first grade opera.

Knotwork Flutes (Flutezalad Suite: Music)

Knotwork Flutes was founded in 2002 with 25 members. The group played at venues including Central Ohio Flute Association Conventions at OSU, Preble County Historical Society, Wright Dunbar Historic District, Ohio Statehouse, Greene County Pioneer Festival, Preble County Pork Festival, local churches and festivals. In 2010, the group downsized. Now Knotwork Flutes performs with 4 of the original members.  They specialize in Celtic, Christian, Pops and Folk music.

Ellie Lane (In This Haze of Green and Gold and Other Works:  Surreal Self-Portrait Photography)

Ellie Lane is a native Daytonian who began pursuing photography in early 2012, after modeling for a year. Her specialty is emotive self-portrait photography, but she has recently begun to photograph local and traveling models. Between chasing her darling niece and serving her three mischievous cats, Ellie is currently embarking upon a 52-week self-portrait project.

Stacey Lane (Producer, Cold, Pet Names, Alien to Antiquity: Plays)

Lane’s plays have been seen at 300 theatres in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand and are published with Dramatic Publishing, Eldridge, Playscripts Inc., Pioneer, Smith and Kraus, Heuer, Brookyln Publishers, Next Stage Press, Manhattan Theatre Source, JAC Publishing, San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, Sterling, Freshwater, Poydras Review, the Quotable, Indian Ink, Steel Bananas and Scene4.  She’s received grants from the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.

Crystal Leisure (The Abdominal Snowman and The Ghost Birthday: Acrylic Painting)

Crystal Leisure is a well-known low brow artist from the Dayton area that focuses on illustration. She started drawing at age two. Continuing to grow and work diligently with colored pencil, chalk pastel and ink. At fifteen she attended the Dayton Art Institute where she painted and discovered a love for acrylic. She’s created album covers and custom work for private collectors. Her work can be viewed on her blog and art page.

Talianna LeVangie (On Me: Music)

Talianna LeVangie is a 14-year-old singer/songwriter from Cincinnati, Ohio.  She picked up her first guitar when she was 10, and with her grandmother's mentoring, played the Middletown, Ohio Blues & Bike Festival just 1 week later. Since then, Talianna is almost never without a pick in her hand and a pencil and notebook. She is currently working on original songs for her debut CD and recently auditioned for the new season of America's Got Talent.

Audrey MacKenzie (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Audrey is an eighth grader at Kilbourne Middle School. She was featured in Annie, The Odyssey, 54 People ‘LIKE’ This, and FLASHBACK!  She participated in Camp MADD, (Music, Arts, Dance, Drama) and assists with costume design and creation for her mother.

Alex Mangen (The Veterinarian’s Office: Film)

Since earning a Motion Picture Productions degree from Wright State, Alex has worked on several feature films, music videos, television, and commercials.  He has written and directed sketches for whose sketches have been licensed by MTV, CW, and played at numerous film festivals.   He was awarded a grant from Culture Works for the Arts.  Alex is currently a Director of Film Studies at Stivers and is in production for his next sketch comedy show. 

Crystal Michelle (Boxing Up Beautiful: Dance)

Crystal Michelle is a choreographer and performer with a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University.  Presently she is in her final year of graduate studies in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. Her current research engages themes of embodiment for women in contemporary performance; with her most recent project focusing on the historical practices of black women’s bodies in popular culture entertainment.

Sabrina Ramsey (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Sabrina is an eighth grader at Kilbourne Middle School. She was featured in The Odyssey, 54 People ‘LIKE’ This, and FLASHBACK!  She sings and plays guitar, flute and piano.

Heather Lea Reid (Poster & Program Designer, Sphere & Other Works: Acrylic on Fabric & Wood)

Heather Lea Reid's artwork is born out of a love of personality and pattern. The resulting subject matter is a mixture of figurative and pattern/design.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University with her BFA and will begin graduate study Fall 2013.  She lives in Dayton with her partner and daughter.

Eric Risher (In With the New: Film)

Eric was born in Canton, Ohio, where he integrated himself into the performing arts. He developed an affinity for video editing and moved to Dayton to pursue an education in filmmaking. With a passion for narrative and documentary alike, Eric seeks to explore themes of identity through his work.

Maranda Russell (What She Was and The Day My Sister Died: Poetry)

Maranda Russell is a 30-year-old foster parent, book reviewer, children’s writer, poet and writing teacher. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and has been awarded several awards and honors for her writings. She spends most of her time reading, writing, hanging out with her family, playing with her 5 cats and doing fun author events. For more information about Maranda and her published books, visit

Chelley Seibert (Rise: Music)

Chelley has been a TRU member since 2009, starting out as a conga player then becoming "The Police Officer" back-up singer for Martin Luther King celebrations in Dayton. Chelley now serves as part time choir director, back-up singer and soloist and creates original songs. Chelley received her music education degree at Miami University and marched in the World Champion Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Chelley is a member of the acoustic band Frozen Feet.

Claudia Skutar (Scion: Poetry)

Claudia Skutar is a poet, essayist, and English professor at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College. Her work has appeared in Red Cedar Review, National Writers Union YMCA Writers’ Voice Project, Express Cincinnati  and Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes. She’s served as a critic for the Greater Cincinnati Writers League and done workshops and readings at Michigan State, University of Cincinnati, Wright State, Blue Ash Recreation Center, Starfire and Mallard Cove.

Diane Stroud (Flutezalad Suite: Music)

Diane started playing flute at age 9. Her solo debut was in her school Christmas program. She played through high school with Marching, Concert and Pep Bands and liturgical choir. During college, she played at worship services and flute choir. Now Diane plays with choirs at her church and Knotwork. Diane is a busy mom of 2 musical sons, Andrew (flute) and Kevin (trumpet) and works as Graphic Designer/Resource Editor for One More Soul.

Alex Taylor (In With the New: Film)

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Alex received a BFA in Motion Picture Production from Wright State University. There, Alex produced several films and fulfilled a bevy of crew roles on additional productions. He views film as a synthesis of his passions: acting, music, and photography.

Barb Tucker (Flutezalad Suite: Music)

Growing up in a professional musical family instilled Barb’s love for music. She played in the NCR Concert Band and the Ohio State Youth Orchestra.  She spent 8 years singing gospel music. After raising two children (quite talented musicians), Barb founded Miami Rivers Flute Band, Knotwork and Festival of Flutes. You will find Barb behind the counter at Hauer Music when she's not playing flute in the Eaton Area Community Band or at her church. 

Karen Webb (Desert Beauty, Kylie, Lola & Emery and Starry Night: Multi-Media Art Work)

Karen has lived in the Dayton area for over 40 years. Her interest in art started at a young age, and throughout the years she has tried numerous mediums to express herself. In this exhibit you will see some acrylic painting, collage, colored pencil drawing, felting, and paper marbling. Her style is as diverse as her talents. You will see realistic paintings, as well as abstract designs.

Meghan Weinle (Flashback to Girl Scouts: Play)

Meghan is an eighth grader at Kilbourne Middle School.   She has been featured in Gossip Squirrels at last year’s SWAN Festival, had roles in FLASHBACK!, played Helen of Troy  in The Odyssey and Annie in Annie.  Other plays she participated in include Rumpelstiltskin and 54 People ‘LIKE’ This.  Meghan plays the flute and enjoys singing.

Jacob Wright (Cold: Play)

Seventeen year-old Jacob Wright is currently a junior at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering. Since the first grade, he has been a part of nine theater productions, notably the Genie in Aladdin.  Jacob has also appeared in two films. In his spare time, he will often star in, film and edit videos. Jacob is most interested in comedic acting, specifically, improvisation.


Our selection committee was overwhelmed with the talent of Ohio's women. One afternoon of SWAN Day just isn't enough to showcase this much creativity. We wish to give special recognition to our finalists.


Tracy Ryan Edwards: Eulogy for a Modern Day Jekyll and Hyde:  Essay

Brianna Gessert: An Artist’s Lament: Letter

Danielle Harlow: All the Days: Short Story

jerjonji (Jeri Fay Maynard): Panda Girl: YA Novel Excerpt

Marianne Kesler: Mercy: Free Verse                  


Shulamit H. Adler, Ph.D.: Dayton Celebrates Women, Women Celebrate Dayton: Photography

Kitana Kuhn: Mask of Womanhood: Ceramics
Abigail Maurer: Jessie No 3.: Oil Stick Drawing

Brandilyn Nicolia: Black and Light: Photography

Ashley Simons: Colors of the Wind and Desert Storms: Abstract Acrylic Painting

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