Maria James-Thiaw

CEO & Co-Founder

Maria James-Thiaw is a published performance poet and playwright with 16 years of teaching experience in higher education and a passion for the arts. Maria wrote Reclaiming My Time: The American Griot Project and coined the phrase "historiographic poetics," a form of poetry that sheds light on historical events and raises consciousness about social justice issues. This dynamic spoken word artist is also the author of three collections of poetry and is the Program Coordinator of Creative Writing at the Capital Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg, PA. 


Janet Bixler

Executive Director of Programming &


Janet Bixler is an enthusiastic storyteller and seasoned theatre director with a gift for playback and devised theatre. Bixler was the director of Reclaiming My Time: An American Griot Project. Her influence has stretched from middle school to college classrooms and beyond. As a certified teacher and the owner of U-Cre8 she taught kids how to find their voice and express their truth on stage. She volunteers as a host and workshop leader for Untitled storytelling group and is the Director of First Year Experience at Central Penn College in Summerdale PA.