Meet the Board of Twelve Literary Arts
Meet the staff of Twelve Literary Arts
Executive Artistic Director
Daniel Gray-Kontar is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of Twelve Literary Arts and has worked as an advocate for social transformation in the city of Cleveland for more than 25 years. Gray-Kontar is an education consultant for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the former chair of the Literary Arts Department at the Cleveland School of the Arts; and a former graduate school fellow at UC Berkeley’s College of Education. His work in arts education has been showcased on PBS Newshour, The UK Guardian, NPR, and the Christian Science Monitor. Gray-Kontar has lectured at universities, public schools, arts organizations and scholarly conferences across the US. His Ted Talk discussing youth leadership in public school education has affected the ways public school administrators think about the inclusion of youth and their families in the process of re-making school cultures and curricula. He is the proud father of his daughter Paloma Manning-Gray.
Special Programs Director
Stephanie Ginese (she/her) is a first generation Puerto Rican-Italian writer & poet living in Cleveland, OH with her two sons. She has been published across platforms & publications nationally. When Stephanie isn’t writing, working, or raising; she can be found summoning wisdom through tarot, co-hosting The Fallen Fruit Podcast, finding any excuse to dance, or plotting ways to dismantle the system.
Mary Barrett is a dancer, poet, lecturer, student educator, and choreographer. She began her work with Twelve Literary Arts as an intern at the One Mic Open after school fellowship and over the years evolved into Twelve’s Education and Special Programs coordinator. Her writing merges critical race theory, feminist theory, and hip hop cultural studies with spoken word aesthetics.
Eric M. ODUM
Youth Education Director
Eric Odum is a queer poet, brother and friend who enjoys pushing the boundaries of conventional education and is a strong advocate in acknowledging the past as framework for developing new classics.
Raja Belle Freeman