Cindi Boiter is a six-time winner of the SC Fiction Project, winner of the Piccolo Fiction Project, the Porter Fleming Award for fiction, and the 2014 recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. She is the founder and editor of Jasper Magazine, The Limelight volumes I and II, A Sense of the Midlands, Art from the Ashes, and Marked by the Water, co-editor and founder of the literary magazine Fall Lines – a literary convergence, author of Buttered Biscuits, and literary author of Red Social. She currently sits on the boards of directors of Girls Rock Columbia, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities Midlands Advisory Committee, The University of South Carolina Women’s and Gender Studies Partnership Council, the Deckle Edge Literary Festival Steering Committee, One Book One Community, the Midlands Anchor Advisory Board and the planning committee for the Midlands Arts Conservatory, after previously sitting on the boards of directors for the Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia City Jazz, and Trustus Theatre. Cindi is the executive director of The Jasper Project.
Barry Wheeler is an IT professional and a Columbia, SC artist, concentrating his work in digital media. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Honors College (BS, Chemistry) and the University of South Carolina (MA, Media Arts). His background in science and computers motivates his practice, which explores the relationships between technology, digital process, information design, and art. Barry’s work has been featured at various exhibitions and shows in the Midlands, including Artista Vista, Vista Lights, Indie Grits, Anastasia and Friends, City Art, Colonial Life, the Koger Center, and Tapp's.
Wade Sellers in an independent filmmaker and producer based in Columbia, SC. He is a four time Emmy nominee whose production company, Coal Powered Filmworks, focuses on producing documentary and independent film projects. His work has been seen on cable and PBS stations nationwide and independent theaters and festivals throughout the United States and Europe. He began work in independent film as a cinematographer and in the late 1990’s he followed this work to New York City, where he began establishing a strong resume of work with independent film and corporate clients. After returning to the south he turned his focus to producing and directing and founded Coal Powered Filmworks; producing work for local, regional and national clients. His work been recognized with Addys, Tellys and numerous other awards.
Kyle Petersen is the Assistant Editor of Jasper Magazine and a regional freelance arts and culture writer. Petersen does healthcare writing by day at the South Carolina Hospital Association and embraces the life of the critic at night. He has a Masters degree in English from the USC, the coursework from an unfinished PhD, and a great idea for a book-length treatise on Kanye West. Four writing partners (a dog and three cats) help him out occasionally, while his wife is responsible for most of the smart things that end up in his stories. Follow him on Twitter if you want to hear lots of snark about awards shows and political theater.
Originally from Lexington, South Carolina, Brian Harmon has been involved in photography and media production for most of his life. He has exhibited photographs in South Carolina, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, India and Switzerland. He served as executive producer for a reality TV program in New Zealand and China. Upon his return to South Carolina, he completed a Master of Media Arts at USC where he concentrated on documentary film ethics and production. He continues to work on a Ph.D in Rhetoric & Composition while working as the marketing coordinator at Historic Columbia. He continues to produce documentary films most recently on the Ark of Taste and the revival of heritage foodways in South Carolina. He lives in Blythewood with his wife, 2 dogs and 2 goats.
Sara Kennedy is a Columbia native and former Columbia Museum of Art employee turned web developer. Following an eight year career in nonprofit administration and event planning, she attended a coding school and graduated in 2014 from the Front End Engineering program. Sara currently works on a User Experience Team developing websites for Unum and Colonial Life. For the last two years she has worked with 100 Girls of Code Columbia empowering young women in the Columbia area to become makers of technology. In her free time, besides doing freelance work, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, traveling and trying new restaurants.
Ashleigh Lancaster grew up in Spartanburg County has lived and loved Columbia for the past decade. She's a founding organizer of Girls Rock Columbia, a passionate supporter of the arts and historic preservation, and has been known to travel over 100 miles for the right plate of barbecue. Ashleigh currently serves on the Board of Directors of First Thursday on Main and works for a small commercial real estate company. She was previously employed by EDENS, One Columbia for Arts and History and James Smith for South Carolina. You can find her at the best table in your favorite deli, tweeting about nonsense and loudly discussing municipal politics.
Bert Easter is the owner of Easter Antiques who offers a collection of artwork, antiques & interesting mid-century modern pieces at the Red Lion Antique mall in Columbia, and when he finds time likes to attend regional antique shows. He and his husband, Ed Madden, collect South Carolina art, books on everything, and are expanding their garden. Bert enjoys sharing the latest bloom or tomato from his garden, cooking, and a good glass of wine. He has served on boards that include the Harriet Hancock Community Center, SC Pride, and SC Progressive Network.
Raia Jane is comfortable claiming Columbia-native status after two decades here in the Midlands. A former campaign junkie for various Democrats far and wide, she is now an Assistant Public Defender for Richland County, having graduated from USC Law in 2009. She fancies herself a theatre artist, and is a company member of Columbia's only professional theatre, Trustus, where she is performing in two MainStage productions this 34th Season of the venerable institution. She completed her conservatory training at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she completed coursework with both the Classical and Experimental Theatre Wings. Additionally, she studied abroad at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and received her B.A. in Theatre from USC in 2004. A frequent patron of the arts in which she is not trained or versed, Raia has benefitted greatly from the continued success of the Jasper Project and its collaborative ideals. She is thrilled to join the board and to be of service to such a vital part of the Columbia arts scene.
J. Britt is PMP (Project Management Professional) certified and has helped over 50 businesses and organizations in all phases of development both as a private contractor and CEO of his own company – Magnolia Development. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Whole Foods Market, and all sizes of business down to small non-profit organizations. Most recently he was Director of Operations at the USC Technology Incubator where he assisted countless technology start-ups and hosted events such as Google StartUp Weekend. He has decades of IT experience with high level software development methodologies including Agile and Scrum. He is also is a licenced real estate broker, and is broker-in-charge of Central Real Estate Services. A graduate of the USC Darla Moore school of business, he serves on the executive board of Trustus Theatre, Tapp's Arts Center, and is 2018 President of the Columbia Vista Guild. His current role is as Project Director for Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) and guiding them toward an August 2018 opening.
Jennifer Bartell received the MFA in Poetry from the University of South Carolina. Her poetry has been published in Callaloo, PLUCK!, Blackberry: a magazine, decomP, As/Us, Fall Lines, The Raleigh Review, the museum americana, Scalawag, and Kakalak, among others. She is a Fellow of The Teachers Guild, Callaloo, and The Watering Hole. She teaches at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
Cedric Umoja is a Columbia based Multi media afrofuturist, who attended the Art Institute of Atlanta. He was an apprentice of Yale MFA, and veteran artist Tony Cacalano.
He has shown in galleries across the South East and been covered in publications such as Mmegi, Botswana news paper as well as Afrofuturism Now printed out of Rotterdam.