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.
Director of Programs in Residence
Youth Program Coordinator
Raja Belle Freeman
Lead Teaching Artist
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.