Meet the artists of Genesis

We were lucky to score collaborations with over 20 different artists in the area on this month-long project. After listening to recordings of selected pieces by local actors, these artists chose a story to retell in their own way. We are bringing a little DC to Baltimore and a little Baltimore to DC and hope to inspire each city with new work and partnerships.

I asked everyone to give me a blurb and a picture. Here’s what I got (in no particular order):

Zachary Handler

Zachary Z. Handler received his BFA in Photography from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2003 and his Masters in Arts Administration from Columbia University Teachers College. Over the past thirteen years, Handler has worked with such arts organizations as the Museum of Modern Art, Quest: arts for everyone, and the Creative Alliance, providing community and access programs for persons with disabilities. Handler has also travelled both nationally and internationally, promoting and teaching arts education classes to deaf and hard of hearing youth in foster care.

Currently residing in Baltimore, Handler spends his days working for the Baltimore Medical System as the Deaf Services Program Manager. Always on the lookout for creative opportunities in both professions, Handler all the while enjoys the appropriation of found objects, the company of 1970s cinema, and the color pink.


Kate McGraw

Kate McGraw has exhibited her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Curator’s Office, Washington, DC; Gallery at Flashpoint, Washington, DC; Katzen Art Center, Washington, DC; Zentral Bibliothek of Zurich; The National Library of Argentina; Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, University of Richmond Museums and Scope New York Art Fair among other venues. McGraw received critical acclaim from the Washington Post for her collaborations with Ann Tarantino.

Kate McGraw earned both her BFA in Painting & Drawing and BA in Women’s Studies from Penn State University. McGraw has lived and worked in Vermont and Washington, DC and currently resides in Brooklyn where she continues study toward her MFA in Drawing & Painting at Brooklyn College.


Adam Grisé

Adam Grisé is a composer, arranger, performer, clinician and music educator in Washington, D.C. He received his degree in Steel Pan from Northern Illinois University under the tutelage of Liam Teague, Cliff Alexis and G. Allan O’Connor. He currently serves as the Musical Director for the Cultural Academy for Excellence, a Maryland-based youth outreach program, where he directs the Positive Vibrations Youth Steel Orchestra. Under Adam’s direction, PVYSO has performed extensively across the country, with performances at every major concert hall in the DC Metropolitan area including performances for two first families.

Adam is sought after as a clinician and recently adjudicated the 2012 Florida Music Educators Association Steel Band Festival. He is co-author of Introduction to Steel Band, a series of method and text books for K-12 classroom steel band instruction. Adam’s compositions, arrangements and textbook are published through Engine Room Publishing.


Erin Rehberg
Erin Rehberg, is Founder and Artistic Director of Core Project Chicago, a dance-based, interdisciplinary performing arts collective.   The company, entering its 6th season, pushes the boundaries of storytelling through artistic collaboration with dramatic, sound, media and text artists.  Erin holds a B.A. in Journalism from Western Illinois University and a M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago, where she expanded her creative horizons by pursuing dance for the camera surrounding creative process and live performance.

Her choreography and site-specific work have been performed around the United States and in China.  Through Core Project she has curated a variety of inter-arts happenings, working closely with artists across the country regarding common themes.  She has been on faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Minneapolis Public Schools Outreach Programs, Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, and is currently teaching at Middle Tennessee State University and DancEd Dance Centre in Illinois.  Erin was a 2010 recipient of a Chicago Cultural Center DanceBridge Residency and a 2011 recipient of The Studios of Key West artist residency.


Dana Jeri Maier

Dana Jeri Maier is an illustrator-turned-fine-artist living in Washington, DC, who works primarily in pen and ink. She is a co-recipient of the 2011 Creative Community Fund Grant and holds a BFA in Illustration and an MA in Digital Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her site-specific mural, Inscrutable Comic, is currently on display at the Flashpoint Gallery in Washington DC. For more of Dana’s art and writing you can visit


Shitty Bedford

Shitty Bedford has decades of experience providing little to no useful biographical information. Lives and works in Waxon-Gibbons, GA. You most recently saw his work in the puppets of Cameron Stuart’s The Emperor and the Moon at Artscape.







Chris Fitzwater

Chris was born in Poolesville, MD and has been painting in the Baltimore/DC area for the last ten years. His work can be found in private collections around the U.S. as well as London. His piece “Garment Merchants” was featured at EMP in the Rotating History Project’s Down Through the Needle’s Eye this past July.


Joshua M. Copeland 

Self-taught, DC-based artist Joshua M. Copeland searches for personal enlightenment through painting, working in oils, acrylics and spray paints. Joshua finds inspiration from artists such as Banksy to Gustav Kilmt. Working with a variety of tools; the painter shows us images of vintage night lives, abstractions of passion and grace, and portraits.

“The function of the artist is to provide what life does not.” – Tom Robbins





Sara Moore

Sara Moore received her B.F.A. in General Sculptural Studies from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Spring 2008. She creates installations based on the outcomes of political and social turmoil, as well as loss.  Her interest in the collective community has led her to take part in numerous community art projects in Baltimore as well as Ticuantepe and Siuna, Nicaragua. Her work has been exhibited at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul Korea, in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Washington, D.C.


Rachel Eisley

Given her first 35mm camera at age 13 by her grandfather, Rachel hasn’t forgotten the lessons of film in a digital age- crop with the eye, apply minimal post production, capture natural light. Rachel holds her M.A. in Art History from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (2011), and her B.A. in Art History from James Madison University (2005) and is the director of the arts education non-profit, the Carriage House Collective.  She currently teaches Photography and Art at H-B Woodlawn Secondary School in addition her freelance photography career.


Liz Maestri

Liz’s plays include OWL MOON (world premiere/Taffety Punk Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival/Doorway Arts Ensemble); SOMERSAULTING (workshop performance/The Artists’ Bloc Downtown Series); TINDERBOX (ReActs series/Forum Theatre); FALLBEIL (Great Plains Theatre Conference, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Young Artist Program grant); and multi-disciplinary performance collaboration THE PRESSURE COOKER for the 2012 Source Festival (Creative Communities Fund).

She was a founding core member of The Anthropologists, a physical-theater ensemble in NYC, where she collaborated on devised works. As a performer, director, designer and stage manager, Liz has worked at numerous theaters.

Liz studied playwriting with the 24 With 5 Collective at New Dramatists in NY, and received her B.A. in Theatre from the University of Maryland (College Park Scholars in the Arts; Theatre Patrons Award winner). Liz is a member of The Playwrights’ Center and The Dramatists Guild of America.


Ryan Maxwell

Ryan is a freelance photographer and theatre director based in Washington, DC. He has directed for the Inkwell, the Source Festival, Adventure Theatre, Young Playwrights Theatre, and Flying V. Before landing in DC, Ryan spent two years as Artistic Associate at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston, directing touring productions and assisting artistic director Steve Maler on SHAKESPEARE ON THE COMMON. He was also assistant director for Anthony Rapp’s WITHOUT YOU at the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

As a photographer, Ryan has placed photos in group shows and won awards with FotoWeekDC, DCist Exposed, and InstandDC.



Maggie Villegas

Maggie is a producer, manager, and artist. She co-founded EMP Collective, a nonprofit mixed-media arts organization that unites burgeoning artists to create new works of cross-disciplinary art. As EMP’s Producing Director, Maggie oversees all operations of the space. She is also a contributing artist, designer, writer, and director.


Carly J Bales

Carly is an actor, performer, photographer, designer, and generally a multidisciplinary artist. She is a co-founder of EMP Collective and serves as its Artistic Director, creating programming for their multi-use arts space and running their digital communications and online presence. She’s really into film and the color pink as well.





Nguyên K Nguyễn
Performer, musician, filmmaker, illustrator!

Rams Brisueno
Visual Artist

Logan Kornhauser
Visual Artist

Nolan Cartwright
Visual Arts and Musician

Tatiana Arias Duran
Performer and Visual Artist

Brad Cartwright
Writer, filmmaker.

Ken Jordan
Performer, writer.

I’m hoping to do more artistic mixers on short-term projects so shoot me an email and get on our list if you’re interested in future fun collaborations and see you soon! We have a week and a half until our show in Baltimore! (Friday, August 17)

Much love,

Carly (Artistic Director, EMP)