A.M. Collaborative 2021-22 Artists

Meet the participating artists of A.M. Collaborative 2021-22!

Click on a name below to jump to their bio!

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Photo Credit: Cody Jaques Photography

Jenn Klammer (she/her): @Jennklam

Jenn Klammer is an Atlanta based creative, movement artist, and educator. She has received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Florida. During her undergraduate experience, she has presented work at UF’s Annual Research Symposium, was understudy for Jose Limon’s The Traitor, and performed internationally at the Florence Dance Festival in Florence, Italy. In 2019, Jenn moved to Atlanta and has worked with various artists in the area including Room to Move Dance and ALA Dance. She is currently a dance instructor at Legacy Dance Centre and The Studio Atlanta Dance, where she finds intense passion and humanity in as an educator, as well as serving as Committee chair for DanceATL’s Community Committee. Her work has been presented at Dance Canvas’ Palette Project, Fall for Fall Dance Festival, and The Mediums Collective’s Play. Risk. Research. Jenn’s work seeks to explores the body, mind, and soul connection of one’s physical and mental spirit and how it manifests and translates into the greater world around us.

Photo Credit: Walter Apps

Leo Briggs (she/they): @lbriggsmoves https://laurabriggsmoves.com/

Laura (Leo) Briggs is an Atlanta-based dance artist. They received a B.A. in Dance & Movement Studies from Emory University in 2019. As a performer, Laura has worked with Nathan Griswold of Fly on a Wall, Okwae A. Miller and Artists, and Benji Stevenson. Their latest independent work, Search History, premiered at Fall for Fall Dance Festival in August 2020. A collaborative duet with artist Ethan Brasseaux, Search History investigates the uniquely queer experience of discovering one’s history and culture on the Internet.

Photo Credit: Erica French

Nina Gooch (she/her):

Nina Gooch is a lighting designer for dance, theatre, musical theatre and opera.  Favorite theatre and opera productions include Sweeney Todd, Secret Agent and Suor Angelica at Capitol City Opera Company; Evita and The Dining Room at Act I Theatre Company; Not About Heroes for Aris Theatre; and Working, Fun Home, The Spins, and This Random World at Out of Box Theatre.  She was also scheduled to design Woody Guthrie’s American Song at Out of Box in June 2020 and an opera tba at Capitol City in March 2021.  She has designed for Total Dance Theatre, Beacon Dance, Moving West Dance Company, and Expressions Dance Company, as well as many, many dance recitals and dance competitions.  She loves the process of design:  writing and perfecting light looks and transitions, but also attending rehearsals, talking to choreographers and directors, and researching (both for context and visual images).  What continues to draw her to lighting design, even in the fast pace of lighting most dance recitals, is the opportunity to find the right look, to help establish the world of the piece, to help connect the parts of a piece and make them a whole, and for movement, to emphasize and sculpt bodies in motion.  Then there are the moments when everything comes together and she says under her breath:  “oooh!; “yes, that’s perfect for right there”; “I did that?”  Nina is also a stage manager and production manager.

Photo Credit: René Nesbit

René Nesbit (she/her): @canicolornowstudios   @cherish.dance http://www.canicolornowstudios.com/

René Nicole Nesbit moved to the Atlanta area in 2016. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fordham University in New York, where she attended their dance program in conjunction with The Ailey School. Highly trained in ballet, jazz, and tap, she reserves her deepest love for modern dance–specifically Horton and Graham-based. René is the founder of Can I Color Now Studios, a production company that promotes self-expression, creativity, and peace through artwork. Locally, her performance experience includes the very first NACHMO Atlanta Showcase, Fall for Fall/Spring for Spring Dance Festivals, and Artz’N Park Festival in Newnan. Director of Cherish Dance, René brings her unique blend of modern, poetry, and storytelling to the already vibrant Atlanta arts scene. She is excited to see what the second round of AM Collaborative holds in store!

Photo Credit: Shannon Yarbrough

Shannon Yarbrough (she/her): @Thegreenchest

Shannon Yarbrough is a Decatur, Georgia based writer and teacher with a passion for helping people find their voices through writing. She has taught writing for over a decade in a variety of contexts, from college writing centers to the Harpswell Foundation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Shannon is the 2021-22 recipient of the Flannery O’Connor Scholarship from Georgia College for excellence in creative writing and was selected as a finalist for Ruminate Magazine’s 2020 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize. She has received fellowships from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, The Hambidge Center, Wildacres Retreat, and In Cahoots Residency. She also completed training in writing novels for young people at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shannon is a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing candidate at Georgia College and a graduate of Agnes Scott College where she studied Studio Art.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Rakestraw

Shellie Schmals (she/her): @Vonschmals @Shellieschmalsretro @ShellieSchmals

As Film Programming Manager at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival since 2014, Shellie plays an active role in selecting the nearly 800 films that are considered for each annual Festival – and for recruiting, training and managing the 200 volunteers who sit on the Film Evaluation Committee to evaluate them. She has 25 years of experience in the non-profit universe working in: special event production, public relations, philanthropic development, leadership training, stage management. Shellie holds a MBA from Brenau University and EDM in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo. As a talent wrangler and producer/emcee, Shellie is involved in many projects including Roxie Roz burlesque, #TheABCDShow and Small Secret Things; has collaborated as an emcee or worked on stage crew for productions by Syrens of the South, Ariel Allegro, Evangeline Laveau, A Juicy Experience (Juicy Galore), The FANDom Nerdlesque, Sadie Hawkins, Glitter Goddess Productions, Trashy Diva, Trixie Minx Productions; and is a proud member of the Georgia Pinup Posse and Women in Film & Television Atlanta, where Shellie sits on the Board of Directors as Vice President of Programming, coordinates WIFTA industry panels at Dragon Con (Film Track) and for the nationally known Cinema Life Collective, and is past co-chair of the WIFTA Short Film Showcase (2017-2020).

Photo Credit: Ritik Patel

Daniela McCurdy (she/her):

22. Painter. Born and raised in Georgia, currently based in Atlanta. Georgia State University graduate. I create to find peace in myself.

Photo Credit: Eatcho

Jamaali Roberts (he/him): @Jamjamart

 I am an Atlanta native and grew up with the vibrant murals of the Eastside influencing my creativity as a young artist. After 10 years of professionally developing my craft and talents in the Pacific Northwest areas of Portland and Washington, I have returned to my roots to share my talents and ideas with the communities that raised me. My work and art is an exploration of black experiences, future, past, and present. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with y’all. You can find my Bio and portfolio attached below in the pdfs as well as at my site www.jamjamart.net.

Photo Credit: Courtney Williams

Megan Hundley (she/her)

Megan is a musician and dancer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She began playing violin when she was six years old, and later on learned viola, cello, and double bass. She performed nationally with various symphonies, with her top performances at Chicago Symphony Hall, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall. Megan began belly dancing when she was sixteen years old, and has since become a professional belly dancer, Bollywood dancer, and Hawaiian hula dancer. She performs for events nationally and is an instructor. She is passionate about embracing body positivity and diversity through dance, and sharing those passions with students as they go along their own journeys of self-acceptance.

Photo Credit: Hayley Smith

Kiera O’Reilly (they/them): @moveanywhere

Kiera O’Reilly, a North Carolina native, is a performer, creator, and advocate for the arts. They graduated from University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Contemporary Dance in 2020. At UNCSA, they had the pleasure of performing works by Doug Varone, Martha Graham, José Limón, Grady Bowman, Brenda Daniels, and Ming-Lung Yang. Since moving to Atlanta in August of 2021, they have had the pleasure of presenting work in Fall for Fall Dance Festival, as well as working with Beacon Dance, and being a Fall 2021 DanceATL intern. Kiera is excited to start a new process for AM Collaborative, as collaboration is at the crux of their research.