Meet the storytellers, performers and organizers of Out of The Loop Season 6: True stories from Tyler and East Texas

It's a whole new batch of brave, moving, relatable stories about life in Tyler and East Texas.

Take six! 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, Nov. 6, at Tyler Junior College’s Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center; also live-streamed. Seating is limited — grab your tickets here.

Want to support the production of this show? Info and 30-second signup for in person or live-streamed show here. Want to see more of our top-notch, no-paywall reporting and storytelling? Become a monthly member of The Tyler Loop. Chip in to support inclusive, in-depth journalism and storytelling to Tyler and beyond.

Carina Alvarado, storyteller

 📷 Zachary Correa

Carina Alvarado is a 29 year old Mexican woman who loves creating art every chance she gets. She attended Tyler Junior College and fell in love with the music and art departments. Creativity and animals are huge parts of her life. Carina is super excited to start her journey in Tyler with her fiancé, Adrian Garza.

Spencer Androli and Paul Haygood, jugglers

📷 Zachary Correa

Spencer Androli is a professional juggler and juggling instructor. He has broken eight juggling world records and won several juggling competitions in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spencer is currently a student at Tyler Junior College studying business, hoping to apply business studies to juggling.

Originally from Whitehouse, Texas, Paul Haygood has lived in numerous western states while pursuing a career in massage therapy. He returned to Tyler in 2019 and is a full-time music student at Tyler Junior College, where he studies voice and piano. Formerly ranked #3 in numbers juggling in Texas by the International Sport Juggling Federation, he loves sharing his passion for circus arts with others.

Brianna Coleman, spoken word poet

📷 Zachary Correa

Brianna Coleman 31, of Athens, Texas, is an East Texas published author, spoken word artist and poet. Her self-published poetry and prose compilations include “The Reflections of a Broken Glass” and “In Remembrance Of You.” Brianna is the 2020 MLK East Texas SLAM Spokenword Champion, hosted in Tyler, Texas, by Mike Guinn Entertainment. Check out more of her content at her website, www.blovemoments.com.

Dan Crawford, storyteller

📷 Zachary Correa

Dan Crawford, known by many as Dr. C, has served as a Texas K-12 educator the last 23 years. The last 17 years, he served as principal at 2A, 4A and 6A level schools. His last five years were at Tyler Legacy High School. Dan has also served as adjunct professor at three universities over the last 10 years. Dan calls his story a journey of redemption, and he looks forward to telling all who want to hear “the rest of the story.”

Brandon Davidson, storyteller

📷 Zachary Correa

Brandon Davidson has called Tyler home for the last 17 years. He is passionate about destigmatizing mental health for young people in East Texas. Brandon is the COO of Next Step Community Solutions by day and performs across the country as a stand up comedian by night. He and his wife Kathy have two children.

Flora Farago, storyteller

📷 courtesy Flora Farago

Dr. Flora Farago is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. Flora was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to Texas in 1998. Flora is particularly interested in the link between research and community activism and she collaborates with organizations locally, nationally, and internationally, including with NAACP NacogdochesEmbraceRace, the Indigo Cultural CenterLocal to Global Justice, and the Girl Child Network. You can learn more about Flora’s work at www.florafarago.com.

Higinio Fernández Sánchez, storyteller

📷 courtesy Higinio Fernández Sánchez

Higinio Fernández Sánchez grew up in Tyler, Texas. He is a trained registered nurse with many years of activism work, advocating for migrants’ and women’s rights in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. His research on women across transnational spaces through a social justice lens has gained numerous awards and recognitions. Higinio is currently completing his doctoral studies at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Kaila Fraim, storyteller

📷 Zachary Correa

Kaila Fraim is a sophomore at Tyler Junior College, where she is a General Studies major. Kaila has lived in the Whitehouse-Tyler area since the fifth grade.

Billy Harrell, storyteller and vocalist

📷 Zachary Correa

Billy Harrell is native of Tyler Texas, and high school graduate of Emmett Scott class of 1967. He was raised in a home filled with gospel music. In 1970, he went to Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, along with his a cappella group, The Mellow 5. Later in Los Angeles, Billy was part of the group The New Experience. In 2010, he returned to Tyler and joined George Faber and Friends. He continues to charm audiences with performances, including a Tiny Loop Concert with George Faber at Lourdes Marie Bakery in May 2021.

Ian Findlay, guitarist

📷 courtesy Ian Findlay

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

📷 courtesy Kiara Hawkins

Kiara Hawkins was born and raised in Tyler. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University. Kiara believes theater and public speaking are creative ways for anyone to express themselves. She is a theater teacher at Hogg Middle School.

Jamie Maldonado, live event photographer

📷 Jamie Maldonado

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.

Lonesha McCorvey, storyteller

 

📷 courtesy Lonesha McCorvey

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. She is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and pursuing her Registered Nurse license with one semester remaining. Lonesha and her husband Terance have one son with hopes of adding to their family in the near future. 

Charles Parkes III, storyteller

📷 Zachary Correa

Charles Parkes III is the youngest of three brothers. He has been married for 27 years and father to two sons. He enjoys talking politics, playing video games — especially with friends and family — reading short stories and cultural learning.

Isaac Ramirez, performance coach

📷 courtesy Isaac Ramirez

Born and raised in Rusk County, Isaac is proud to call himself an East Texan. Isaac has been a reporter, weatherman and news anchor. He currently serves as Assistant News Director for KETK & FOX 51 News in Tyler. 

Neal Katz, The Tyler Loop board chair

📷 Grayson Lackey

Neal Katz serves as rabbi at Congregation Beth El in Tyler, TX. 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

📷 Zachary Correa

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. 

Leah Wansley, The Tyler Loop board member

📷 Callynth Photography

Leah Moser Wansley is co-founder of Cardwell & Wansley and a board member for The Tyler Loop. She is the former president of the Leadership Tyler and Discovery Science Place boards of directors, a member of the executive committee of Leadership Tyler Catalyst 100, and a member of the Dayspring Live Broadcast team. Leah graduated from Whitehouse High School, Tyler Junior College and the University of North Texas in Communication Design.

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Jane Neal is the executive director of The Tyler Loop and storytelling director of Out of the Loop: True Stories about Tyler and East Texas. In addition to the Loop, she works at the Literacy Council of Tyler and Tyler Public Library. Jane is a certified interfaith spiritual guide. She is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 33 and a former teacher of French at Robert E. Lee High School, where she ran a storytelling program called Senior Stories. Jane and her husband Don have four children.
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