Darrin Arrowood, IT Specialist, DJ, Atlanta, Georgia
Darrin Arrowood maintains all the software and hardware for The NAMES Project Foundation. He was a DJ around the U.S. from 1993 to 2001 and met activist Gert McMullin at The Pleasuredome, a popular San Francisco club in the 1990s.
Anne Balsamo, Media Specialist, Los Angeles, California
Anne Balsamo is a professor of interactive media at the School of Cinematic Arts. She also teaches communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Balsamo studies the relationship between culture and technology, which influences and guides her work as a new media designer and entrepreneur. She is currently collaborating with the Public Interactive Research Team at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to create several interactive digital experiences that will enhance the viewing of The Quilt for The NAMES Project Foundation.
Teena Cahill, Director of Wisdom and Beyond LLC, Princeton, New Jersey
Teena Cahill is a caregiver with over thirty years of experience as a healthcare professional, businesswoman, educator, and family care partner. She is author of The Cahill Factor: Turning Adversity into Advantage. Cahill has a doctorate in clinical psychology, a master’s degree in counseling, and a bachelor’s degree in education. She leads presentations where she speaks on topics ranging from leadership, health, and wellness, to productivity, contribution, and success. Her motto is “The wider our webs of connectedness, the higher we bounce.”
Osayi Endolyn, Storyteller, Writer, Atlanta, Georgia
Osayi Endolyn is an award-winning writer and multimedia storyteller known for crafting moving narratives rich in detail. She has written and produced several pieces for The Quilt Stories—a podcast series that informs new audiences about The Quilt’s purpose and message. Endolyn’s work has appeared in multiple publications, including Atlanta magazineand Womenetics.com. She is completing her M.F.A. in writing at Savannah College of Art and Design–Atlanta, and is working on her first book, which explores the culture of the U.S. Marine Corps
Nondumiso Hlwele, Artist, Activist, Cape Town, South Africa
Nondumiso Hlwele is a South African artist and activist. She created her first body map in 2002, and again nine years later as a healing tool for those who are HIV-positive. Hlwele’s artwork has been displayed in Cape Town, Ontario, Vancouver, New York, and at the Archeology and Anthropology Museum in Cambridge. The body mapping display continues to tour the U.S. and Europe today. Hlwele is one of three women from the original Bambanani Women to have their work displayed in the form of tiled mosaic on the walls of the University of Cape Town’s Health Sciences Library, unveiled in 2006. She is currently collaborating with UK artist Rachel Gadsden and the Bambanani Group on a project called Unlimited Global Alchemy for the Paralympics Celebration.
Billy Howard, Photographer, Atlanta, Georgia
Billy Howard is a photographer and Rosalynn Carter Fellow in Mental Health Journalism, based in the greater Atlanta region. His work has been displayed internationally and is found in permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the High Museum of Art, The Carter Presidential Center, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Howard’s work has also been featured on Good Morning America, HBO, NPR, and CBS. He has photographed for government agencies as well as non-profit organizations in Africa, Latin America, Europe, India, the Middle East, and Asia and has also written three books that focus on the lived experience of those afflicted with illness or disease.
Valerie Knight, Expressive Arts Psychologist, New York, New York
Throughout her professional theater career, Valerie Knight has facilitated acting workshops with many diverse groups of people, from adults to at-risk adolescents. As a licensed psychologist with a specialty in drama therapy, Knight has worked with long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS, doctors, nurses, and case managers in expressive workshops. She also leads supportive therapeutic sessions with an emphasis on self-care and is part of an international staff implementing Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s work in loss and bereavement.
Doug Lothes, Spoken Word Artist, Palm Springs, California
Doug Lothes is an entertainer, actor, singer, writer, and director. He is best known for his rendition of Gone with the Wind in 20 Minutes. He describes the piece as a “story of human survival over adversity,” drawing parallels between the production and his own story as a survivor of HIV. Lothes has performed this novel piece for twenty-nine years, having conceived it even before he was diagnosed with HIV; the performance has become a highly successful creative outlet. Doug’s portrait and words also appear in photographer Billy Howard’s publication, Epitaphs for the Living: Words and Images in the Time of AIDS, documenting people with HIV/AIDS.
Sydney March, Writing Workshop Facilitator, Washington, D.C.
Sydney March is an English professor at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland, as well as a poet, musician, essayist, and journalist. The recipient of grants from the D.C. Arts Commission and Poets & Writers, and an editor for Potomac Review, he conducts writing workshops on campus and throughout the D.C. area, covering multiple genres and topics including fiction, first-person narratives, poetry, and healing. He enjoys working with diverse, intergenerational groups of people to help them convey their stories through writing.
Gideon Mendel, Co-Director, Through Positive Eyes, London, England
Gideon Mendel is an activist photojournalist and art photographer who has extensively chronicled HIV and AIDS since the 1990s. In 2001 he published a book of photographs entitled A Broken Landscape: HIV & AIDS in Africa. Since 2007, he has worked on a new project called Through Positive Eyes, in which participants document their own experiences living with HIV and AIDS. The project has involved collaboration with communities in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, and now with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Jane Solomon, Body Map Facilitator, Cape Town, South Africa
Jane Solomon, an artist and designer from Cape Town, originally developed body mapping as a form of “memory work” in 2002 for those living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa within the township of Khayelitsha. The effectiveness of the mapping process spread quickly, and was adopted by numerous HIV/AIDS support groups for healing around the world as a means of sharing “personal narrative and experiences.” Solomon is also the author of Living with X—A Body Mapping Journey in the Time of HIV and AIDS: Facilitator’s Guide, which is the first in a series named Body Maps: Bringing Mind, Body and Community Together for Wellbeing. In 2009, Solomon’s collaborative work in Fabric Nation culminated in a collection of HIV Prints and textiles that were featured in South Africa’s Design Indaba Exhibit, the H1 virus rendered into flower-like images to challenge the stigmatized image of the AIDS infection.