ART WIRE: experience brave new art. Create bold original writing.


Art Wire is a partnership between The Porch and OZ Arts Nashville in which 10 writers attend OZ’s 2019-2020 performance season and respond to the work in writing that is deeply engaged, personal, playful, questioning, and curious. The Art Wire Fellows will attend, free of charge, a wide sampling of the OZ Arts 2019-2020 performance season, including innovative Japanese dance artist Hiroaki Umeda; a genre-bending presentation of Frankenstein by Chicago-based company Manual Cinema; and the local music-theatre-opera hybrid Steal Away, featuring Inversion Vocal Ensemble, Diaspora Orchestra, and shackled feet DANCE, just to name a few.

In response to each performance, the writers’ creative work will explore two distinct paths: 

Composition of Original Literary and Critical Works

Informed by and in response to the performances, Fellows will generate work that draws upon elements of each performance: possible threads include a sound, an image, a theme, a character, a sense of place. All writing will be archived, but strong samples will be featured on the Art Wire website. Work created for this project may take many forms: poetry, narrative, hybrid forms, critical essay, participatory journalism, spoken word, and more. We are interested in discovering what the experience of OZ’s season provokes in our league of writers, inspiring them to adapt their responses into language-based forms on the page.

Engagement with Social Media Platforms to Amplify the Overall Experience

As creative thinkers and artists in their own right, Art Wire Fellows will give voice to OZ performances through brief responses shared on social media platforms. They will act as megaphones for the season, sharing distinctive and authentic impressions with the community. These posts can take the form of six-word stories, language/visual pairings, or other snappy forms of the writer’s choosing. 

OUR 2019 - 2020 ADULT FELLOWS:

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Kashif Graham is a writer and theological librarian. His reading and writing interests are queer & Black lit, the 1920's novels of racial passing, and the modern South. He holds a Master of Science in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, a Master of Arts in Church Ministry from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Honors Literature and Spanish Language and Literature. He is currently working on a novel about an interracial gay couple living in East Tennessee.


Yurina Yoshikawa is a writer who moved to Nashville in 2017 after ten years of living in NYC. She received her BA in philosophy from Barnard College and MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing. She also worked in book publishing in both editorial and publicity departments. Her writing has appeared in The New Inquiry and Hyphen Magazine, among others. Yurina teaches fiction and non-fiction workshops at The Porch while working on her novel, playing the viola with the Nashville Philharmonic, and raising a goofy toddler. To learn more, visit


Dana Malone began writing creatively at age 13 in response to a photograph, and her career includes leading ekphrastic writing workshops and classes. A former publications editor and speechwriter, she now coaches other writers and is publishing poetry and non-fiction. She hosts Writings on the Wall, a monthly poetry experience in Nashville. Dana also has studied piano and voice and performed in musical theater, opera, and at art/music festivals. Art Wire is her new learning lab.

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Henry L. Jones, writer and artist, delves into culture, history and social issues. Exphrastic projects include: poetry for 20/20 Vision Project of the Czech Republic, Terry Price’s photography; poetry for Chaos and Awe exhibit Ekphrastic Poetry Program, Frist Art Museum; feature art for Rockvale Review (#11); and poetry for dance performance Homecoming exhibit, Rossi Turner Dance Troupe, Parthenon Museum. As a Feature Poet, he’s shared poetry at universities, cultural events and poetry venues. Some include: MusiCircus, OZ Arts Nashville; Lyrical Brew, Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt; Poets Corner, Scarritt-Bennett Center and many others. He published Run into Blackness: Feeling My Poetic Gumbo. His art exhibits frequently. Recently, Jones won the People’s Choice Award - Centennial Art Center’s InterACTive exhibit and entrance for juried exhibit at Todd Art Gallery’s Conversations. He’s written many plays. His play Another Day, Another Dollar is in production. He’s an alumnus of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Amber Stewart is a queer writer, educator, and poet. She teaches at Nashville State Community College and is en route to her second master’s at Belmont University. She writes primarily about queer identity, mental health, and pop culture and is currently working on a creative nonfiction project about outlaws in film. She lives with her partner and their two dogs in Nashville, TN.

Adult Cohort Alternates:


Melissa Croushon believes everyone is creative. She believes the arts are a powerful catalyst for global change. She believes in loving your neighbor. She’s an arts educator (primary modality is movement), somatic practitioner, career coach, and writer. She utilizes the aesthetic inquiry method to guide students of all ages in encountering a work of art. She teaches the Stott Pilates method to a broad client portfolio of all ages and levels of strength. She empowers parents to support their pre-professional dancers and performing artists in achieving their dreams. She has written for Brooklyn Rail, Broadway World, and various arts publications.


Mariah Williams is an advocate for social justice and cares deeply about equitable policies that address the underlying causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health and economic status. By day, she works as the Director of Program Management in the Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. She is also a blogger and poet, and she is writing her first novel. She has written for Voices From the Field, a blog of Six Dimensions, LLC, a minority owned, woman owned public health consulting company and has also contributed as a blogger of the week to Densu Online and Moxie Nashville, a boutique marketing company based in Nashville, TN. Mariah showcases her poetry and other musings on her blog, You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram @outofmymouth.




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Serena Alexander is a junior at Hume-Fogg High School and participant in the HFA Choir and Theatre Department in both performance and production arenas. She’s been writing and reading ravenously from a very young age. Her other passions include visual art, music as a vocalist, pianist, and fledgling guitarist, and activism in politics, particularly feminist and LGBTQ+ issues. She hopes to help those around her exercise empathy in every possible capacity.


My name is Rachel Helen Reynolds. I was born into a pretty big extended family, but I most often see my immediate family and my grandmother. We all love Disney films, and my dad loves Harry Potter, which is where I gained an interest in storytelling. From there came an appreciation for creative writing, whether it be on paper, on the screen, or on a stage. Around the age of 10, I started drabbling short stories on my computer, usually about talking animals. Only recently have I started to dip my fingers into poetry.

As for the Art Wire, I’m always looking for other people with similar interests as I. No one else in my school is as passionate about writing as I am, so meeting people more like myself would be an interesting experience.

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Ephie Hauck lives in Nashville, Tennessee and loves to write poetry and fiction that explores the obscure patterns of human behavior. She is a ninth grader at John Overton High School and her favorite subjects to study are english and history. Ephie won second place in the 2018 Belmont Poetry Contest, was a semifinalist in the Nashville Youth Poet Laureate competition twice, and has been published in Lunch Ticket Magazine.


Alora Young: Alora is a junior at Hillsboro High School, and has been writing all her life. She is the chief editor of her school’s literary magazine, an actress, a dancer, and a musician. She is an active reader and supporter of local theatre.


Natalie Zhou: I am Natalie Zhou, a current sophomore at Hume-Fogg High School. I developed a passion for reading when I was quite young, which quickly developed into an interest in writing. Only in the past year or so have I begun investing more time into developing my writing, but it’s something that I find immensely fulfilling—in other words, worth the pain. I try to draw inspiration from writers that I admire and work aspects of their writing into my own style; I like to think I’m improving because of it. When I’m not writing, I’m stressing over the various other obligations that I’ve procrastinated on or sneaking in five-minute power naps. I play club and varsity soccer as well as two instruments, all of which suck up a portion of my sleep time that I’d like to have back. In the future, I’d like to study more about philosophy and photography.