Ben Johnson was born and bred in Oklahoma. Despite his best efforts to escape it, the red dirt, blue skies, pump jacks and the multi-generational effects of the Dustbowl call to him, the way some certain river calls to each salmon. He grew up disappearing into stories, sermons and the myths we live inside. He's lived in Vermont since 2004, been a college librarian, and has spent more than fifteen years in and around organized labor, on both sides.
Eli Shaw Biography
As a Caregiver, I have experienced many different scenarios of caregiving. As a young boy, I protected a friend with Down Syndrome from bullying daily. I volunteered to help with kids with disabilities in a youth group called STAR and was a US delegate to the Canadian National 4-H Convention. I went to RISD Art School High School program for six years and experienced College for 4 years with no degree. In 1969 I was founder and first director of Camp Happyness and was nominated for the Outstanding Young Men of America Award at Twenty. In 1970 I lived in Brazil and created several programs in the agricultural community in the rural farm area on an IFYE exchange. I was a house worker for a group home in Massachusetts. I worked with a camp for kids with Cancer as a photographer. I was a freelance photographer since my twenties and worked in retail and theater in NYC and was a Visual Display Artist for Bloomingdales, Victory Shirt Co, and many clothing and stationery stores. I worked with the homeless and substance abuse programs and HIV/AIDS Peer Education coordinator in Yonkers. I volunteered at Camp VIVA for families affected by HIV. I was a truck Driver, mill worker, and sales rep. On the board of the Stamford Arts Society and worked as an Educational Technician for several schools in Vermont for twenty-two years. I served on the Community Justice Center Board since 2014 and was Retail Manager for the Non-profit called ReSource. I now work with the mental health agency and have been a PCA for one young man for twenty plus years. My next goal is to continue restoring the 1900 vintage 16 room Victorian and turn it into a respite place for people with TBI. My mission in life is to enjoy it, learn from it, and leave it better than when I got here.
John Killacky currently serves in the Vermont House of Representatives. Previously he was executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, program officer for arts and culture at San Francisco Foundation, executive director of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and curator of performing arts for Walker Art Center. Other past positions include program officer at Pew Charitable Trusts, general manager of PepsiCo SUMMERFARE, and managing director of the Trisha Brown and Laura Dean dance companies. He received the First Bank Award Sally Ordway Irvine Award in Artistic Vision, William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance USA's Ernie Award as an unsung hero, Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award for Exemplary Service to the Field of Professional Presenting, and Vermont Arts Council's Kannenstine Award for Arts Advocacy. He co-edited the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories.
Louella Bryant’s novel Cowboy Code is based on the true story of a Virginia mountain town. Other books include While In Darkness There Is Light, nonfiction about the Vietnam era, a story collection, and two Civil War novels for young adult readers. Her award-winning writing has appeared in magazines and anthologies. A graduate of George Washington University and Vermont College of Fine Arts, Louella works as an independent editor. Visit her website at https://louellabryant.com.
Nadean Stone was born in Blind River Ontario, Canada, graduated from Windsor University in 1973 with a BA and McMaster University in 1976 with an MBA.
She obtained her Certificate in Journalism in 2002 and her Certificate of Legal Management, CLM in 2011.
In 2004, Nadean helped launch a weekday one-hour talk show on NBC Miramar, FL as the show’s Booker and Celebrity Producer.
Nadean is a Legal Management Consultant and author. She works as an advocate for children and adoptees, with an interest in public policy and legislation. In July 2018 she filed a petition with the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child illuminating numerous Articles of the UN Convention that the Province of Ontario has violated in its treatment of illegally adopted children.
Nadean spent 44 years searching for her birth mother, challenging the current law in Ontario Canada regarding non-adoptee’s access to their birth records. To access Birth Search Resources in Ontario Canada, click here.
She is currently exploring the transformation of her memoir No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey To Identity into a screenplay and is also working on a series of children’s stories about her adventures on her grandmother’s farm, as well as a story about her much-loved Aunt Roberta.
She and her husband Bill divide their time between their home in Florida and their cottage in Vermont.