The Dignity Thing: Panelists (from A to Z)


Yula Beeri

Yula Beeri is a stunning, unique Israeli composer, musician, and performer. She has been performing music in New York City for the past ten years. She has founded The Hive NYC, a one-of-a-kind art space in Brooklyn.

Yula is the founder of the music and arts collective Yula & The Extended Family. The group’s members not only produce music but also theater, film, photography, painting, literature, and dance. Yula’s current projects include electronic trio Kiss Slash Crooked Smile, Hydra Vocal Trio,  Yula and The Extended Family, and Yuval Semo’s Seasonal Beast.

Megan Hayes

Megan Hayes was born and raised in New York City. She started her activist life at the tender age of 12. She threw herself into environmentalism and animal rights. She continued as a hospice volunteer and as an occupier with Occupy Wall Street working in the kitchen working group.

There she discovered her life’s calling of being a counselor and therapist. She is still an environmentalist, a vegan and pursuing her Masters in Social Work. She personally thinks the best way to unf*ck the world is through mindfulness and meditation.

Ryan Holiday musician

Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is an electronic musician based out of the U.S. and Germany.

He has released 15 albums, written scores for movies and TV, and wrote and produced a musical. Like many other musicians hit by the changing scenery, Ryan has been adopting.  Currently, he creates custom performances in art galleries, small theaters and homes, as well as provides live music for yoga sessions.

This year, he will embark on his first full-length European tour to support Perspectives, a live performance telling the story of his divorce through the eyes of two people.

Listen to Ryan’s latest album, Selfish Bruises.

Millicent Marie Johnnie

Millicent Johnnie has received numerous awards and nominations for her work including: Prague International Dance Festival Award (“Best Choreography”), First Place International Dance Title for Hip Hop Choreography (Wrath, Phlava Hip Hop and Jazz Dance Company). Times-Standrard Beti’s Choice Award (2010 -“Best Director” and “Best Musical”—“Rent” produced by Ferndale Rep), and Theatre Bay Area Award (2015 -“Best Choreographer”—“Party People” produced by Berkeley Rep). Her work has been funded nationally by: New England Foundation for the Arts; National Dance Project (NDP)—Bamboula (Cleo Parker Robinson Dance) 2014, Creative Capital Project Grant in the Performing Arts—Cry You One (Mondo Bizzaro) 2013, National Theater Project (NTP)—Cry You One (Mondo Bizzaro) 2012, NTP—The Burning (Progress Theater) 2012, NTP—Party People (UNIVERSES) 2011, Multi-Arts Production Fund (MAPP)—Cry You One (Mondo Bizzaro) 2011.

Her Creole heritage has taught her the beauty and necessity of versatility; Johnnie’s success in the concert dance world is complimented by her impact and demand in the commercial arena working with artists: Usher Raymond, Chrisette Michele, Bill Summers (Los Hombres Calientes), Lord Jamar (Brand Nubian), Tekeitha Wisdom (Wu-Tang), celebrity photographer Jonathan Mannion and staging opening acts for artists like Dave Chappelle (Tallahassee Civic Center) and Angélique Kidjo (National Black Arts Festival). She choreographed the feature film, Scary Movie 5, directed by Malcolm D. Lee and produced by David Zucker, which opened in summer 2013 and more recently served as a choreographer for Walt Disney Creative Entertainment’s Disney Frozen Musical workshops (Disneyland).

Kit Krash

Kit Krash is a composer and multi-instrumentalist/video jockey with the bands SpelZ and Byzar. He was a regular performer at the legendary Tonic on the lower east side in New York City being the last person to DJ there.

He was also a pioneer of Internet radio producing some of the precedent shows such as Junk Radio and Pseudo. His street art, visual art and podcasts can be accessed at

Tessa Lena

Tessa Lena is a strongly opinionated, classically trained singer and musician living in New York. She fronts Tessa Makes Love.

She blogs on Tessa Fights Robots, and is a founder of the Coalition for Artistic Dignity.

Natch Nadjafi

Natch Nadjafi is an electronic musician from Iran with an amazing life story. Natch was arrested by the police in 2007 in Iran because of playing underground concerts. After releasing from the jail, Natch started making electronic music as his computer was the only thing left for him after police confiscated all his instruments.

Natch rose to international notoriety with the project, The Plastic Wave, for whom performances in Iran were illegal because of their female lead singer. The Plastic Wave released an album called [RE]action in 2009.

Natch started the new project, The Casualty Process in 2010 and invited Shayan Amini to work with him again. The band moved to New York City in 2011, where the debut album, entitled [UN]even was released. [UN]even artwork features a series of characters and stories inspired by real life.

Watch his interview on MTV’s Rebel Music here.

David Newhoff

David Newhoff is a writer and film production professional who became a copyright advocate beginning in late 2011.

His blog The Illusion of More: Dissecting the Digital Utopia is followed by artists, copyright experts, policy-makers, and copyright skeptics and antagonists. David is highly skeptical about the promise of the information revolution, particularly with regard to the arts, politics, and journalism. He is currently shopping a book about copyright in America.

Robert Prichard

Robert Prichard (Co-founder Radio Free Brooklyn) was the co-founder and proprietor of Surf Reality’s House of Urban Savages, a seventy seat black-box performance space on the Lower East Side that he ran from 1993-2003.

Surf Reality continues to exist as a producing organization, and from 2003-present has produced several productions including Radical Vaudeville at Mo Pitkins and Bowery Poetry Club, and 64: A Vaudeville of the Mind at the HERE Spring Artist Lodge in 2012.

He’s also known for his work in the 1980s TROMA cult films The Toxic Avenger and The Class of Nuke ‘Em High. He is the host of Bushwick Garage and Brooklyn Bandstand on Thursdays on Radio Free Brooklyn.

Marc Ribot

A NYC-based guitarist, he’s played on hundreds of recordings for such artists as Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Grammy-winning producer T-Bone Burnett.

Over his 35-year career, Marc has also released over 20 albums under his own name on both major (Atlantic) and independent (Pi Recordings, Tzadik, etc.) labels, exploring variety of genres from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez.

He currently records and tours with his avant rock band Ceramic Dog, 70s Philly soul group The Young Philadelphians and improv trio with legendary bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Chad Taylor.


(photo by Chico de Luigi)

Jackie Summers

Jackie Summers is an author and entrepreneur.

His blog F*cking in Brooklyn chronicles his quest to become a person worthy of love.

His company, Jack From Brooklyn, Inc. houses his creative and entrepreneurial enterprises.

Anne Tello

Anne Tello is a NYC-based musician and performer who is exploring social enterprise-like systems/ relationships between  the arts and not-for-profit groups. She is involved in a crowd-funding project with Helping Hands for the Disabled.

Tello has been developing her musical talents since early childhood. Born in Palo Alto, CA, she began studying classical Suzuki piano when she was 4 and then started working as a professional musician in her teens and sang professionally in local synagogues as a teen. She later moved to New York City to study musical theater at the New York University Tisch School of Arts CAP21 program, where she received the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship.

Jason Yellen

Jason Yellen is a musician and a poet, and an integral part of The Hive NYC.

Leonard Zelig

Leonard Zelig is a Venezuelan film maker and director currently living in NYC.

Together with Loló Bello, he founded The Life Lab.