Take seven! It’s a whole new batch of surprising, inspiring, eye-opening stories about life in Tyler and East Texas. Get to know the storytellers, performers and organizers behind the show, premiering Saturday, April 30, at Liberty Hall. Seating is limited — grab tickets here.
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Cate Carrejo, storyteller
Cate Carrejo is an indigenous Texan who has lived in Tyler for two years with her wife and daughter. She is a community organizer passionate about bringing open community spaces to East Texas.
P.J. Dullard, storyteller
P.J. Dullard is a father of two daughters, Evie and Bea. He grew up in New London, Texas and has worked for Child Protective Services for the past 14 years. P.J. enjoys writing and watching obsessive amounts of comedy specials and Japanese cartoons.
Colten Edelman, storyteller
Colten Edelman is a junior at Tyler Legacy High School, where he serves as president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance and is heavily involved in debate team, having won state and national recognition. Colten enjoys making art and baking for his friends, family and community.
Laura Ferguson, storyteller
Hailing from Winnie, Texas, Laura Ferguson is a hospice and palliative care physician in Tyler since 2008. Outside of work, Laura enjoys time with her family and antique shopping.
Franklin Kimlicko, storyteller
Franklin Kimlicko is a professor of classical guitar and theoretical music at Tyler Junior College where he has served students for 50 years. He has arranged and transcribed over 30 classical pieces performed by guitar ensembles and singers, including some for a Telarc CD featuring guitarist Angel Romero.
Lonesha McCorvey, storyteller
Lonesha McCorvey has lived in Nacogdoches, Texas, for almost three years. She is an amputee advocate passionate about helping others and encouraging individuals to reach their full potential. Lonesha is pursuing her registered nurse’s license and will graduate this spring.
Sorayda Rivera, storyteller
Sorayda “Sory” Rivera is a 34-year-old Mexican American woman. She also has a disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 3. Sorayda studies mass communications at The University of Texas at Tyler.
Kendall Phillips, vocalist
Kendall Phillips is a Tyler resident and middle school teacher. When he’s not teaching, Kendall loves to sing and perform at local venues with Charles Praytor.
Ian Findlay, guitarist
Ian Findlay graduated from Tyler Junior College with an Associates in Music. He currently attends UT Tyler’s music program. Ian enjoys walking around town and writing music.
Kiara Hawkins, performance coach
Kiara Hawkins was born and raised in Tyler. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University. A theater teacher at Hogg Middle School, Kiara believes theater and public speaking are creative ways for anyone to express themselves.
The Alumni Guitars
The Alumni Guitars, left to right: Robin Bibeau, James Tarbutton, Alyssa Forrestier-Wyatt, Ian Findlay and Tristan Hill. The musicians are former students of Professor Franklin Kimlicko at Tyler Junior College. The collaboration was created to honor Kimlicko’s 50 years of service to music students at Tyler Junior College and to expand the literature for classical guitar.
Jamie Maldonado, live event photographer
An East Texas native, Jamie Maldonado has worked as a visual journalist and copy editor for the Longview News-Journal, The Denver Post and other publications. He is a fine art photographer specializing in portraiture and holds a Master of Studio Art from Texas A&M University Commerce. Taking to heart Dorothea Lange’s quote, “a camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera,” Jamie has turned his lens on his hometown and its people to see it all anew.
Neal Katz, The Tyler Loop board chair
Neal Katz serves as rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Tyler. In 2003, he was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to his pulpit life, Rabbi Katz is also a singer/songwriter and music producer. He has taught courses in Introduction to Judaism and Jewish Philosophy at TJC and UT Tyler. He serves on numerous local non-profit Boards and has won the T.B. Butler Award and The W.C. Windsor Awards from the Tyler Chamber of Commerce for outstanding community service. he is married to Jennifer Katz and together they have three children.
Jane Neal, storytelling director
Jane Neal is the storytelling director of Out of the Loop and executive director of The Tyler Loop. She also works at the Literacy Council of Tyler and Tyler Public Library and is a certified interfaith spiritual director. She is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 33 and a former French teacher at Tyler Legacy High School, where she ran a storytelling program called Senior Stories. Jane and her husband Don have four children.
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