Amy Cancelmo received her MA in Queer Art History from San Francisco State University in 2011 and a BFA in painting from Syracuse University in 2004. Her current creative pursuits focus on curatorial practice, research & writing. Her most recent project “Strange Bedfellows,” is a nationally traveling exhibition and catalogue exploring collaborative practice in queer art making. The project is fiscally sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center and will be presented first at Root Division, as part of the National Queer Arts Festival in June of 2013. It will then travel to the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University in Lewisburg Pennsylvania (Fall of 2013) and the College Art Association Conference, in Chicago (Feb 2014) as the sponsored exhibition of the Queer Caucus for the Arts.
Amy is currently employed at the Exhibitions & Events Coordinator for Root Division, where she oversees twelve exhibitions and works with over 500 artists annually. She has been curating solo and group exhibitions of Root Division artists and affiliates at offsite venues such as ODC Theater and the Spare Change Artist’s Space since 2011. As a curator Amy is interested in presenting work that addresses current social issues and creates opportunities for dialogue, learning and critical engagement by all participants.
Erika Vivianna Céspedes
Erika Vivianna Céspedes is a 25 year old first generation Colombian artist, writer, youth worker, and organizer. She enjoys all things related to cumbia and Spanglish, and currently mentors high school youth with the Oakland migrant youth collective, 67 Sueños, and as a Program Associate of Youth Development for the literary arts organization, Youth Speaks. Since last year’s SQD showcase, Erika has been invited to lecture and share this project on panels at The Allied Media Conference in Detroit, The AJAAS Conference at The University of New Mexico, and The University of San Francisco. She is ecstatic to see the community support gathered around this series and is constantly inspired by the migrante, mujeres, jota, & youth communities around her.
INDI MCCASEY believes in the transformative power of community arts. Born in Mountain View and raised in the South Bay, Indi brings a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to all of their artistic endeavors. Indi is a teaching artist, non-profit program administrator, and circus performer with a strong interest in arts-integrated education. They are the co-founder of the gender performance duo Honey and Charley in Seattle, WA as well as the physical theater troupe Gender Offenders from Santa Fe, NM. From 2006-2011, Indi was an artistic member of Wise Fool New Mexico, an award-winning, social justice, circus and theater company. In 2013, they co-produced and performed in the all-queer, circus show, Topsy-Turvy to a sold audience at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. Indi is currently pursuing a masters in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Omar Shelly is a native, born and raised, of Las Vegas, Nevada. He began music on the viola through a middle school orchestra program at the age of 11, after being denied from the trumpet because of his childhood asthma. Shortly following his audition for the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing and Visual Arts, he met and began studies with his first private teacher, Susan Barton. It was under her encouragement and teachings that he decided to commit himself towards a career in music.
Now in his fourth and final year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying under Jodi Levitz, he has begun to see his first successes in that career. He’s held fellowships at the Wintergreen, Marrowstone, and Round Top summer music festivals, as well as at the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme. He’s performed in master classes for Roberto Diaz, Lynne Ramsey, Kim Kashkashian and Menahem Pressler, pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio. He recently completed his third and final season as principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. And, after being judged with hundreds of other online video auditions by a panel of musicians from some of the world’s top orchestras, was chosen as assistant principal violist of the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra, which performed under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas at the Sydney Opera House in March.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the love and support of his mother, sister, step-father, and father, and the Margoes Foundation, which has allowed him to complete his four years at the Conservatory on a very near full scholarship.
He’ll be continuing his education next year at the University of Michigan School of Theatre, Music and Dance studying with Yizhak Schotten.
Breanna Elyce Sinclaire is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a graduate of the esteemed Baltimore School for the Arts. She earned her B.F.A. at the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, under the tutelages of Maria Fortuna Dean and former Cirque du Soleil star Kate Conklin.
Previous performance engagements include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Rameau's Platée, Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Bernstein's West Side Story. She has also performed in special projects in Los Angeles, at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Zachary Sharrin's Time Bodies). Ms. Sinclaire is currently pursuing her M.M. at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music - the first ever offered to a transgendered individual by the school - in the studio of Ruby Pleasure, where she plans on completing her Postgraduate Diploma in preparation for a career launch in Europe. She was most recently seen performing as Carmen in "Melons! Coupons!" from Carmen, and as Furie in Cavalli's La Calisto, on the opera stage at the Conservatory.