Richard Gioioso enjoys and supports the arts both in his native Baltimore as well as in his adopted home of Philadelphia, where he is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Relations Program and the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program at Saint Joseph’s University.
In the classroom, Dr. Gioioso teaches a variety of courses on Global Politics, Latin American Politics, Political Economy, and Migration. His research and writing examine the incorporation of Latin American and Caribbean immigrants to the United States. He also focuses on the lives of Cuban young adults as they navigate economic, political, and social change on the island, in both the capital city, Havana, and in the province of Holguín in eastern Cuba. He is currently investigating Cuban political and legal philosophy in both historical and contemporary Cuba as well.
Having received his doctorate in International Relations from Florida International University (FIU) in 2010, Dr. Gioioso has worked extensively as a field researcher in the U.S. and abroad. He has published in various academic journals, including Urban Geography, The Latin Americanist, the International Journal of Cuban Studies, and the Latin American Law Review. His co-edited volume with Zaily Velázquez and Carlos Osorio of the Universidad de Holguín (Cuba), Youth and Development in Cuba, is in preparation for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.
Anne M. Lefter holds a BA in Theatre and English from the University of
Minnesota, and an MA and PhD in Theatre Studies from Cornell University. She is currently the Director of Performing Arts for the Community College of Baltimore County. She has taught at Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, and the United States Naval Academy. Before coming to CCBC, she was the Audience and Administrative Manager, and later the Marketing and Development Manager, for Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, MD. She directed and wrote the book for the original play O'er the Ramparts for Baltimore County’s bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812. Her play Turtle Soup took third place in the 2003 Baltimore Playwrights Festival, and her one-act Eastside was competitively selected for FemFest97 by the Red Hen Theatre in Cleveland, OH.
Ken Skrzesz served as the Executive Director of the Maryland State Arts Council from 2017-2021, emphasizing procedural equity as the path toward quality arts experiences for all Maryland residents. From 2014-2017, Ken was the Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education, where he shared his vision of creativity and collaboration as the driving forces of success for all students. He has served as the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Teacher Specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Executive Director of the Clear Space Theatre Company and Kinetics Dance Theatre, and the Director of Student Life for the School of American Ballet. Long-term teaching posts include the Carver Center for Arts and Technology, Goucher College, Southwest Missouri State University, and the University of North Carolina. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He is a native Baltimorean where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Towson State University. Ken’s recognitions include the Baltimore Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts, distinguished alumni awards from Towson State University and from the University of North Carolina, a choreography commission from the National Endowment of the Arts, and multiple choreography awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. Ken is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. In 2016, Ken received the National Dance Education Association’s Outstanding Advocate and Champion of Dance Education award and in 2017 Ken received the Performing Arts Advocate of the Year award from the Scarborough Foundation. www.kenskrzesz.com