Organizing Team

The Carnival de Resistance Organizers work year round to make the project happen. 

  • Jay Beck

is a percussionist, vocalist, drum-maker, and educator who has been performing, teaching, touring and recording professionally for many years. He has performed with numerous groups including Madison Greene, Woodspeak, Miranda Stone, The Factorye, Phillybloco, Croatan West African Drum and Dance ensemble and Psalters. He is the founder of Croatan Studio in Philadelphia which seeks to aid resistance movements and develop reconciliation through studying the artforms and spirituality of oppressed nomadic and indigenous people groups. He has been the stage manager for the last three P.A.P.A. Festivals (People Against Poverty and Apathy) and one of the core organizers of the “Gathering Around the Unhewn Stone”—an event themed to focus on biblical explorations of nature, civilization, and feral faith. He has led cross-cultural drumming workshops in every venue from pre-schools to universities and international music festivals. Over a decade of touring in over fifteen countries in four continents, he longs to be a bridge to help bring the beauty and passion of the rhythm cultures of the world to the west and especially to the church. Jay believes that the resistance is in the drums, not in the spears; it is in the music, in the rhythms lived by communities whose myths and ways continue to nurture and sustain them. Jay believes, as Fredy Perlman said “if the drums no longer sound, then we must beat them. And if we have no drums, we must build them. And if we’ve forgotten how to play them, we must remember or learn again. And if we can’t renew our continuity with the past, then we must make a virtue of our discontinuity and make it all anew.

  • Tevyn East

graduated from Hollins University in ’01 with a degree in dance, then launched into full time community building creative processes. Through eigtht years with the Zen Monkey Project in Charlottesville, VA, Tevyn performed in seven evening length works of original dance theater, taught regularly and produced various cultural events. This includes her directorial debut in ’05 of The Palimpsest, in which the audience migrated through a world of movement, story, and image in and among sculpted installation pieces. With an ambitious bunch of seasoned performers, Tevyn helped produce the WunderKammer, -a community arts carnival and unruly circus that put Charlottesville on the map. The circus experiment continued with Shentai, where Tevyn expanded her carnie skills and helped build a world of roving sideshows and interactive installations. Tevyn has also traveled to improvise and participate in performance processes on the west coast with Karl Frost’s Body Research Project and with the Glass Bead Players in Nevada City, CA. In ’08 Tevyn launched into a new life experiment- to live simply in intentional Christian community in Washington DC and learn about servant leadership and prophetic witness. This learning environment allowed Tevyn’s interests to take hold and create the fertile ground through which The Affording Hope Project was born. Under this new banner, Tevyn produced and performed a one-woman show, entitled Leaps and Bounds, which she toured and presented to over 130 communities around the country. This production has now been made into a feature length film that you can learn about at www.affordinghopeproject.org. Tevyn seeks to integrate her artistic gifts with the journeywork of activism, responding to the needs of the world and the signs of the times.

  • Belle Alverez

  • Local Organizer

Belle Alvarez is originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She spent the first half of her childhood in Manila, Philippines before immigrating to the USA. Belle earned her BFA in Dance from Temple University. She dedicates her time to facilitating meaningful connection with the body through dance theatre performance and intergenerational arts education for the purpose of community building, transformation, and fostering creative dialogue that is rooted in kinesthetic empowerment. A dance maker, performer, and storyteller, Belle has developed work as an artist in residence with Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre and the Painted Bride Art Center, and utilizes Forum Theatre for civic engagement as an ensemble member with Just Act. Performance credits span across projects with independent choreographers, the Kimmel Center, Urbana Missions Conference, and United Bible Societies. Additionally, Belle has performed in local communities throughout Ecuador, New Zealand, and Honduras. During the day, Belle works as a Teaching Artist with the young and young at heart. Currently, she serves as a Sunday Meeting Coordinator for Circle of Hope, developing seasonal liturgies with a gifted, creative team of worship leaders, art directors, and songwriters. Belle resides in West Philadelphia.

  • Grace Aheron

  • Network Facilitator

Grace is a poet, feminist, and youth worker who was raised in Roanoke, Virginia. She has her feet deeply rooted in the Episcopal Church as well within more fringe-y spaces like Carnival. Grace helps run Restoration Village Arts– a non-profit that works at the intersections of faith, justice, and arts, she moves within the Episcopal Church realm around issues of climate change and food initiatives, and lives on an 8-acre Christian intentional community outside of Charlottesville. She loves drag queens, pie crust, and the wisdom of middle schoolers.

  • JD Frost

  • Theatrical Production Organizer

JD is a performance and theater artist, dancer, singer, actor, director. JD was born and raised in Hildesheim, Germany, where they performed for many years at the City Opera House sharing the stage with their entire family. JD moved to Pittsburgh, PA and graduated in 2014 from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts with a BFA in Theatre Arts and a Minor in Dance. While at school they directed, produced and performed a number of site-specific theatre pieces. JD assistant directed Quantum Theatre’s 2014 immersive theatre production of “Tamara”. While living in New York in 2015 JD danced with dance theatre company Current Harbour, participated in Butoh-based workshops and performance with the International Culture Lab, performed a tap/sand dance with the American Tap Dance Foundation, and devised, directed and performed in a performance piece with the Rhapsody Collective. JD then joined the Caravan Stage Company, a traveling theatre that lives travels and performs on a 90-foot Tallship the Amara Zee. They were singer, rigger and sailor on the 2015 tour of “Hacked” in NY state and now again on the 2017 tour of “Nomadic Tempest” on the Gulf Coast and British Columbia. The Caravan creates experimental circus operas with themes of environmental and social justice, their current production dealing specifically with migrant and refugee issues and the fossil fuel industry. JD directed G&S’s “The Mikado” for Lee University’s Opera Theatre in a site-specific production by swapping locations of performers and audience. In the summer of 2016 JD and a partner created a project called TheaterWanderer with which they toured on bicycles from TN to PA, performing music and a children’s play along the way. JD joined the Carnival Crew in Minneapolis in 2016 performing as a Clown. They feel incredibly privileged and grateful to be part of this nurturing and supportive community of artists and organizers and are excited to be shaping this next incarnation of the Carnival de Resistance in Philadelphia.

  • Tim Nafziger

  • Anti-Oppression Organizer

Tim Nafziger is a Mennonite writer, photographer and web developer who lives in the Ojai valley in California where he hikes and bikes as much as possible in search of the perfect combination of trees, mountains and light. Tim’s vocation is cross-pollination and working with small groups of people committed to social change. From 2006 to 2014 Tim served on staff with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) where he has worked as outreach coordinator and then as interim assistant director from 2012 to 2014. He supported the growth of CPT internationally in the US, Europe, the Philippines, Australia and Colombia. He has been a key organizer for Young Anabaptist Radicals, which he helped found in 2006. He has also been involved with organizing movements and convergences of young people in the Mennonite church in the US. Tim has written chapters in Widening the Circle:Experiments in Christian Discipleship, Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change and 118 Days: Christian Peacemaker Teams Held Hostage in Iraq and wrote weekly for the blog of The Mennonite from 2007 to 2014. His photographs have appeared in StillSpeaking and the Mennonite Weekly Review.

  • England Porter

  • Village Organizer

I am really really passionate about living with people and moving towards ideals. I want to invest in deep relationships and support the individuals I love to become the best embodiment of their ideals while they help me to embody mine. I want to stir towards a world and a life of non oppression realizing that it may not be fully possible. I am living in south east Kansas and trying to grow food, start community, and realize dreams that may be very different from the world around me.

 


Past Organizers

  • Rachel Summerlot

  • Theatrical Productions Organizer

has been deamed the doula of the Carnival, for her experience with attending to the birth, life, and death cycles of many loved ones and many community projects. Rachel has traveled extensively and maintained a freedom to serve where ever she feels called. She often works in a support role, as the one who ties up loose ends, and tries to stay out of the spotlight. She acted as a co-organizer of PAPA fest ‘11 and as tour manager of Leaps and Bounds in the fall of ‘11 and ‘12. She practices guerilla gardening, studies West African drumming, collects friendships with eccentric old men, and is more handy than your average joe.

  • Zed Jensen

  • Local Minneapolis Organizer

Zed lives in Minneapolis at an intentional community called the Mennonite Worker. They have grown up in radical Christian community most of their life in California and Australia. They have pushed their concept of community even further by engaging in anti-racism training’s and actions for the past two years in Minneapolis. They are a self taught visual artist who loves to do portraiture with chalk pastels and watercolors. Zed was blessed to able to teach art to all ages at an art studio in Long Beach, CA called Inspyr Arts and was able to go into underfunded schools teaching free art classes. Zed is passionate about the use of art in every social movement towards liberation, queer/trans rights, redefining what Christianity looks like in the USA and most importantly: playing dress up with friends and family.

  • Mark Van Steenwyk

  • Local Minneapolis Organizer

Mark Van Steenwyk, along with his partner Amy and their son Jonas, live at the Mennonite Worker, an intentional community in Minneapolis devoted to hospitality, simplicity, peacemaking, resistance and prayer. Mark is the author of The unKingdom of God, That Holy Anarchist, and (most recently) A Wolf at the Gate. As the co-producer of the Iconocast, he has interviewed Cornel West, James Cone, Bill Ayers, Noam Chomsky, Starhawk, Wazayatawin and many more. For the past decade, he has travelled around the continent as a speaker, teacher, and networker of radical Christian communities. In addition to working with the Carnival, Mark is currently engaged in a Pastoral Study Project through the Louisville Institute, developing a radical Christian catechesis rooted in body, politics, and place. He also is working on a series of children’s novels about a post-apocalyptic squirrel named Hackberry who holds the fate of the world in his paws. He’s been developing his skills as a linocut print artist to illustrate his Hackberry saga.