BEHIND-THE-SCENES at phati’tude Literary TV Show has consisted of a wonderful group of dedicated, creative people, many who donated their valuable time and talent to help produce our exciting program, and to be a part of something larger than themselves. A special shout-out to our interns from Mount Vernon High School, New York (2004 Season): Vanessa Viera, Elizabeth Ashman, Stainer Akahoho, Jason Gordon, Denios DeOliviera and Tramine Nesbitt. Read on and learn about some really great people we are proud to introduce to you as our behind-the-scenes team!

SHIRLEY BRADLEY LEFLORE, Co-Producer & Co-Host (2002, 2004). Shirley Bradley LeFlore, a native St. Louisianan, poet-playwright-performing artist-professor and psychologist, delivers an authentic combination of blues-jazz-gospel poetry that delivers colors and textures of African American life, which not only includes social and political issues, but also focuses on love, family and of being a woman -a black woman – in America. Shirley first burst onto the scene during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s,and she has been around ever since, promoting her works throughout the country. Shirley is by far one of the few artists who use the creative performing arts to encourage self-concept improvement, as well as social and communication skills building. A poet of great moral presence and enduring creative power, Shirley explores the boundaries between custom and contemporary life, between place and self, which are all linked into her political sensibilities, taking the reader in for a close-up of African American life. She is currently working on her poetry collection, Brassbones and Rainbows.

JOSE ANGEL FIGUEROA, Co-Producer & Co-Host(2002). José Angel Figueroa was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and came to the U.S. Mainland at a young age and settled with his family in New York City. Having received a B.A. in English Literature from New York University and a Writing Fellowship and M.A. from SUNY at Buffalo, he has taught poetry, history and creative writing at Columbia University, SUNY, Buffalo, Yale University, Teachers College, C.U., Lehman College/CUNY, and Pratt Institute. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Boricua College in New York City, where he also resides. José Angel has been credited with being a major contributor to the PR/Latino literary experience in theHarvard Educational Review (Vol. 68, 1999);Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez (Viking Books, 2000); andThe Hispanic Condition: Reflections on Culture & Identity in America by Ilan Stavans (HarperCollins Publishers, 1995). His poetry and literary works have appeared in numerous anthologies including: Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Three Rivers Press, 2001; eds. Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera); Papiros De Babel: Antologia de la poesia puertorriquena en Nueva York (EDUPR, 1991;ed. Pedro Lopez-Adorno); Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA (Open Hand Publishing, 1991, ed. Faythe Turner); and the CD Nuyorican Symphony: Poetry Live at the Knitting Factory (NYC, 1992;exec. Producer Michael Dorf). His collection of poetry includes: East 110th Street (Broadside Press,1973); and Noo Jork (Instituto de Cultural Puertorriquena, 1981). Figueroa’s latest poetry collection is Hypocrisy Held Hostage.

FELIX LEO CAMPOS, Artistic Director (2002);Producer and Director (2004). Felix Leo Campos was born and raised in New York’s Spanish Harlem, El Barrio, and is a community/media activist and former teacher of the NYC Board of Education. A graduate of Herbert H. Lehman College, Felix attended graduate school at Hunter College and CCNY (Anthropology and Bilingual Special Education); and recently completed courses in anthropology and media strategies at Columbia University as a 2002-2003 Charles Revson Fellow for Urban Activists. He has worked for independent and alternative media organizations such as the Alliance for Community Media, the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers, Film, Video Arts(FVA), among others. Campos has also produced and hosted programs for PBS, for radio (WHBI, WBAI, WHLC),for cable television and public access networks. His nonprofit multi-media arts organization, AfterDark CATV Productions, co-produced phatLiterature.

WALTER JALBERT, Technical Director. Walter Jalbert is a singer, actor, director, producer and businessman. As a previous co-owner/manager of an eastern bus company, Jalbert has had extensive experience in general management, technology and marketing. With his degree work in musical theatre and dance, he has continually pursued theatre along with business, working extensively in New York City and the New England area in theatrical and operatic productions. As an operatic tenor with years of training, he has helped train many performers and vocalists, and recently depicted one of history’s greatest tenors in his one man show, “Caruso.” Jalbert served as co-owner and Technical Director of DanzJam, a dance education company; and was the technical director of Push Dance Company, based in Queens New York. He also works as a freelance videographer and technical director for various theatre and arts organizations, and produces video projects in the tri-state area.

GLADFYS L. VARELA, Technical Director & Cameraperson for VISUAL SIGNATURES (2004,2007). Gladys L. Varela is an award-winning writer, producer and director. She obtained a B.A. in Communications Technology from the University of Puerto Rico, majoring in television and radio production. Varela has produced and directed audio and video programs in both Puerto Rico and New York, and has worked in all phases of video production, including lighting, camera work and editing. She studied under Alicia Kaplan and Carmen Rivera of Danisarte Productions, and has also performed with the Raul Julia Training Unit, Caleo Theatre Group, Teatro Tocando Puentos and the drama loft. She currently serves as Executive Producer and Host of EL SHOW DE LESKA, which is broadcast on QPTV in New York.

STEPHEN HOPKINS, Director of Photography & Technical Advisor (2004). Stephen Hopkins is a commercial and editorial photographer, with experience in film and video production for commercials, industrial documentaries and training films. As a digital artist with SCP Communications, his responsibilities included technical support, graphics for sales presentations and equipment purchases to support presentations, creating, processing, and producing designs, graphics and principle art used for monthly and quarterly medical journals, supplements and special projects. He created animations and processed videos for web site development and web publishing on Medscape. He continues to work productively and creatively with people in many settings, ranging from photographing and recording performing artists, CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations for annual reports to teaching physically, and emotionally impaired children in the New York City public school system. Stephen has served as Co-Chair Graphics Special Interest Group (SIG) of the New York Macintosh Users Group (NYMUG) and software instructor; was a featured artist in American Showcase, and has had a one man show at the Museum of Art of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil. Stephen who has a fine arts background and a Bachelor of Arts from Cooper Union, has traveled extensively on assignments in the U.S., Canada, South America (Brazil) and Europe.

LORRAINE MILLER NUZZO, Curator & Art Director. Lorraine Miller Nuzzo is responsible for selecting visual artists and curating works that are displayed on phatLiterature’s set. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Art from SUNY, Empire State. While pursuing her professional career, Nuzzo studied painting with Mary Nagin and Carole Jay in New York; and with Tim Holden in Italy. She has held exhibitions at MIB and BJ Spoke Gallery; and is also a former partner of “hotshots unlimited photography,” which held an exhibit at the Langston Hughes Library. Nuzzo is currently working on a new series of abstract paintings.

MICHAEL THOMAS JOzWICK, Assistant to the Artistic Director & Stage Manager (2002). Michael Thomas Jozwick is a graduate of Hofstra University with a BFA in Theater Arts. Fresh out of college, a friend suggested he see Sliver Freedman at the NY Improv. Michael went on that night and got laughs, and a comedian was born. He then went to every open Mic he could find, even performing in Washington Square park right after Charlie Burnet was done performing. He started doing the bigger clubs and was received well enough to get the attention the producers of “Star Search” and was entered in the competition. He ended up making it all the way to the Semifinals with a 4 star average. By way of studying film and television, he also became a pretty good production guy too.

VANESSA VIERA, Production Manager. Vanessa Viera works directly with the Executive Producers and producers and is responsible for overseeing the interns on the set. Vanessa began working for the IAAS as a high school intern on phatLiterature during the 2004 Season, and worked as a Production Assistant and Cameraperson for VISUAL SIGNATURES, an IAAS program initiative. She attended Mt. Vernon High School and took classes in television production in her junior and senior years. The classes, which are part of Mt. Vernon Public Access Network (Channels 6 and 8), provided her hands-on Avid, camera and studio work. Vanessa recently graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills, Long Island, New York, majoring in Communications, and currently works at Panovision as a prep technician. She also freelances as on independently produced productions.

ANGELA STERNREICH, Program Manager. Angela Sternreich brings to the IAAS an extensive business background. She has worked as Office Manager and Operations Manager at several internationally known companies in New York and Los Angeles, and has worked at major law firms in New York City as Word Processing Supervisor and a paralegal. The total sum of her work experience includes managing and training support staff, fielding technical inquiries, providing administrative and computer support, and the development and implementation of departmental policies and procedures. Angela was a contributing book reviewer and copy editor for phati’tude Literary Magazine, previously served as Production Manager for the IAAS, and was a producer, scriptwriter and narrator for phati’tude Literary TV Show (formerly known as “phatLiterature“), Episode No. 10: “Behind the Scenes @ phatLiterature.” She is a producer for Queens Public Television (QPTV) and is currently developing an office services business, which she plans to launch in 2010.

LINDA S. BANNERMAN-MARTIN, Literature Curator for the Langston Hughes Library (2002, 2004). Formerly Curator of the Black Heritage Reference Center at Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center, Linda Bannerman-Martin is now Assistant Community Library Manager. Linda received her Masters in Library Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She later attended graduate school on a Fellowship provided by the New York state Education Department, which was established to increase the number of African American Libraries in New York State. A former Social Worker, she chose to become a Librarian because the field offered her opportunities not available elsewhere. A former member of the American Library Association, the African American Library Association of Western New York, Linda is a member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and serves as a Mentor with the Queens Library’s Page Mentor Program. She is also a certified public access television producer with Queens Public Television (QPTV).

JOSIAH HEYWARD, Line Producer (2004). Josiah Heyward, who has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from University of Maryland at College Park, currently serves as producer of the “Far Rockaway Church of Christ Television Program,” which broadcasts twice weekly on Queens Public Television (QPTV). His responsibilities include editing tapes during playback, making decisions on final cuts, finalizing edited tape versions and supervising camera crew during sermon sessions. Josiah also served as Chief of Operations for TMH Entertainment, an urban e-zine for entertainment news that featured spotlights and talk forums.

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