2020/2021 EAL MENTORS & MENTEES

James Parker (EAL mentee)

James Parker (b. 1992) is a composer based in Austin, TX. James’ work focuses on the relationship between the composer and performer, asking performers to improvise and interact with each other or an element of live electronics. His work questions the idea of authorship in classical music, and encourages advocacy for the performer. James’ work has been performed internationally at various festivals, conferences and showcases including the Navy Saxophone Symposium and the Cohen New Works Festival. He has been a fellow at Can Serrat, the Atlantic Center for the arts, and an ASCAP Fellow at the So Percussion Summer Institute, and is Co-Director of Tetractys New Music.

Steve Parker (EAL mentor)

Steve Parker is an artist, musician, and curator in Austin, TX. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize, the Tito’s Prize, a Fulbright, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Parker works with salvaged musical instruments, amateur choirs, marching bands, urban bat colonies, flocks of grackles, and pedicab fleets to investigate how communal listening can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. His projects include elaborate civic rituals for humans, animals, and machines; listening sculptures modeled after obsolete surveillance tools; and cathartic transportation symphonies for operators of cars, pedicabs, and bicycles. Parker has exhibited and performed at institutions, public spaces, and festivals internationally. 

Walden Hagelman (EAL mentee)

Armed with the belief that the arts are one of the last spaces for diversity to thrive and authentic stories to be told, Walden has dedicated her career to amplifying the voices of her community. Walden is a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Walden works in Development for the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Walden is deeply looking forward to the opportunity EAL affords and can't wait to pursue a long, happy career in arts management.

Lois Kim (EAL mentor)

Lois Kim serves as Texas Book Festival’s chief executive, responsible for managing staff, programs, operations, external relations, and resource development. An immigrant from Seoul, Korea, Lois grew up in Williamsville, New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on Shakespeare and early modern culture. In her early career, she taught high school English and pursued graduate coursework from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Prior to joining the Texas Book Festival, Lois served as the associate director of University Extension at UT Austin, where she managed student and academic affairs for college credit students.

Ronan Melomno (EAL mentee)

Ronan is a native Austinite who has returned home from getting his BFA at New York University & The Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He is part of the Education team at the Long Center and a company member with Hidden Room Theatre. He hopes to be an advocate for and collaborator with local theaters and artists. Recent credits include Parolles (All’s Well that Ends Well; Past is Prologue). Frederick (The Rover; Hidden Room Theatre) and Malcolm (Macbeth; Rosedale Shakespeare).

Matrex Kilgore (EAL mentor)

Matrex Kilgore is an international theatre performer, director, teaching artist, and arts administrator based in Austin, Texas. He has taught theatre for social change to students ranging in age from elementary to senior citizens. Several of his acting students have been selected into the programs at: New York University, University of Michigan, Liverpool School of the Arts, Oklahoma City University, and Julliard. He has worked internationally performing and creating bilingual performances based on classical pieces of theatre including the works of Chekhov and Shakespeare. Matrex is currently on the Board of Directors for Ground Floor Theatre. He is a Company Member of The Vortex Rep Theatre, En Route Productions, and Spectrum Theatre Company. He is the Out of School Time Program Director at Creative Action and is paired with Ronan Melomno.

Sandy Lam (EAL mentee)

Sandy is a storyteller and coordinator who serves as the Director of Sad Girls Productions. In March 2020, Sad Girls premiered its original show So Lucky which explores themes of Asian/Asian American cultural identity, mental health, intergenerational conflict, immigrant families, and community building. Sandy wrote, produced, and performed in So Lucky. In her work, she aims to use art as a medium to have difficult conversations, tell stories about diversity, and bring communities together. Learn more about Sandy's work by checking out her website or the Sad Girls Productions Instagram!

Shawn Sides (EAL mentor)

Shawn Sides is a founder and a Co-Producing Artistic Director of Rude Mechs Theatre Collective in Austin, TX. As such, Shawn has co-conceived, created, and directed a new work every year, give or take, since 1996. She most recently⁠ directed Not Every Mountain, rudes’ meditation on change and impermanence, at Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance, a chamber opera by Graham Reynolds for Ballroom Marfa and Prototype Festival⁠ of New Opera in NYC. She’s currently developing a new piece with asylum-seekers called Why We’re Here and creating a pandemic-safe alternative reality piece with the rudes for Spring of 2021. Shawn is a 2015 Doris Duke Performing⁠
Artist Award recipient.⁠

Gabriela Kane (EAL mentee)

Gabriela Kane completed a portfolio in the Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship Program and an MA in Latin American Studies at UT Austin. She is currently Operations Manager for Texas Folklife. After earning her BA in International Studies and Spanish from Texas A&M University, Gabriela managed the SEAD Gallery, an arts-based community development initiative of Advent GX serving downtown Bryan, Texas. Through her graduate studies, Gabriela researched Chilean cultural policy and indigenous representation. As an intern with Texans for the Arts during the 86th Texas Legislature, Gabriela advocated for a statewide arts agenda. As an advocate for arts and science curriculums, she serves on the Advisory Council of the Innovation Collaborative, a national coalition for STEAM education research.

Shaleiah Fox (EAL mentor)

Shaleiah Fox oversees development and external relations at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin, a collective that includes a policy institute, an academic department, two art galleries, and a cultural and programming division. Increasing representation of marginalized groups in development and in higher education is a priority for Shaleiah and to that end, she takes part in multiple diversity and inclusion committees across campus and co-chairs the Recruiting and Hiring Subcommittee within the university’s development office. She brings nearly a decade of experience in fundraising and business development that spans both private, public, and non-profit sectors. Shaleiah holds two Masters Degrees from Florida State University (FSU) in social work and public administration and policy. While at FSU, Shaleiah’s graduate research and community work addressed transitional living programs and the gaps in services for youth who have aged out of the foster care system, believing very simply that these children are ours to care for and protect

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