The SPA Coaching Ensemble is a collective of folks who believe in the importance of supporting artists and their practice. Many of the coaches are themselves practicing artists. Each brings wisdom, deep intention, and a passionate commitment to the transformative power of those who are dedicated to creative work, justice, and liberation. Read on to learn more about this wonderful team!
A Doris Duke Performing Artist, Sharon Bridgforth is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, Sharon has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, the National Performance Network and is a New Dramatists alumnae. Sharon served as a dramaturg for the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s Choreographic Fellowship program and has been in residence with: Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program; University of Iowa’s MFA Playwrights Program; The Theatre School at DePaul University; allgo, A Texas Statewide QPOC Organization; and The Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Widely published, Sharon author of the Lambda Literary award winning, “the bull-jean stories”, and her performance piece, “delta dandi”, is published in “solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews and essays”.
Likes to talk to artists about: Coffee, Black Mermaids that fly, The Great African-American Migrations, Ancestral Healing, my Mentors, Theatrical Jazz, the Work of Love.
Elizabeth Doud is a Florida-based arts organizer and artist with over 20 years experience as an arts presenter, producer and educator, with an emphasis on international cultural exchange, climate arts and language education. She is known as a tenacious advocate for new performance with a professional mission to facilitate climate arts and eco-justice activism. She has worked widely throughout the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean, and co-created Climakaze Miami with FUNDarte in 2015, an annual climate performance and dialogue platform. She led the Performing Americas Program of the National Performance Network from 2005-2018, and was the Artistic Director of the Cultura del Lobo Series at Miami Dade College from 2009-2011. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. in Performing Arts at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. In 2019, she became the Curator of Performance at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL.
Likes to talk to artists about: Deeply curious about artistic process, finding support and analyzing habits and goals. I’m a fearless dream-tank session partner and pretty darn good at understanding purpose and potential of new projects/initiatives. Favorite pastime: Undoing seriousness while rebuilding the sacred.
Bear Hebert is a theater maker, visual artist and writer who makes their living as a countercultural life coach, social justice educator, and anti-capitalist business consultant. Bear is queer, white, working class, and Southern; Scorpio sun, Sagittarius rising; ENTJ. When not working, Bear spends their days sitting near bodies of water and riding bikes around New Orleans, chasing all the joy they can find.
Likes to talk to artists about: Anti-capitalism, marketing, branding, fundraising, creative practice, non-extractive productivity, the power of queerness, undoing patriarchy, unlearning whiteness, self-love, healing, joy, and more.
Georgiana Pickett is currently an independent consultant in art and culture and works with individual artists, philanthropic entities and cultural institutions in the areas of strategic planning, resource development, programming and career stabilization and advancement.
Georgiana was the Executive Director of the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) from August 2011 through May 2019. BAC, a 501(c)3, fulfills Artistic Director Mikhail Baryshnikov’s vision to support artists at all career stages, and in the development process.
Georgiana has been a steadfast contributor to the arts on local, national and international levels for 24 years. She was the Artistic Director at Miami-Dade College’s Cultural Affairs Department for 6 years and led a program focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. Following Miami- Dade, Georgiana served for 8 years as the Executive Director of 651 ARTS, a Brooklyn-based internationally recognized presenter and producer of contemporary performing arts from the African Diaspora. She has been a panelist and/or consultant for many national and regionally significant entities including the Ford, Doris Duke Charitable, Mid-Atlantic, and Gerbode Foundations as well as for the National Endowment for the Arts, NYSCA and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. She served on the Board of Directors of CEPA Gallery, Tigertail Productions, The Association of Performing Arts Professionals and was a long-term member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Liberal Arts at SUNY Buffalo, her alma mater. She is a member of the Arts Advisory Board of the Princess Grace Foundation and is a newly appointed trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust.
Georgiana is a proud native of Buffalo, NY but has made Brooklyn her home for the past 17 years.
Ron Ragin is a researcher, strategist, organizer, coach, and interdisciplinary artist. He sustains a vibrant performance and creative writing practice, rooted in music of the African Diaspora, improvisation, and cultivation of spiritual technologies. He is ever-curious about the role of sound, and the unamplified human voice in particular, in transforming our environment, our selves, and each other. Alongside his creative work, Ron partners with artists, organizations, and grantmaking institutions to help them move in deeper alignment with their values, goals, and principles. For nearly a decade, he worked in the field of arts and cultural philanthropy, with program officer posts at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Ron makes a mean red velvet cake, and can throw down on some biscuits.
Likes to talk to artists about: Purpose, vision, creating a sustainable creative life, surviving capitalism, everyday futurism, all things strategy, navigating institutions