Kate Reuther is the Founder and Director of Uptown Stories. She has taught writing for over fifteen years, in both public and private schools, including Calhoun, Fieldston, and Bank Street. Her own fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Brain Child, Salamander, and The Ledge. She has a BA in English from Yale and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Kate is a life-long New Yorker and has been living in Washington Heights since 2003 with her husband and two boys.
Dorkys Ramos is the Deputy Director of Uptown Stories. She’s a bilingual writer, editor, artist, and teacher born-and-raised in Washington Heights/Inwood. Her work has appeared in a variety of digital and print publications, including Travel + Leisure, BET.com, Time Out New York Kids, Parents Latina, the Syracuse Post-Standard, and the Manhattan Times, among others. She currently teaches art to grades pre-K through 5th through Scribble Art Workshop in elementary schools in Washington Heights and Inwood and is part of the steering committee for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ metro chapter. She’s a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where she studied Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism and is also the founder and illustrator of stationery company Porcupine Hugs.
Bobby DeJesus: the Actor/Screenwriter/Director was born to Dominican parents and raised in New York City’s Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and is a practicing artist as well as a teaching artist. His work as a screenwriter can be seen on youtube in the short film comedy “Fifi Patelito Goes to the DMV” and soon on the current film festival circuit with his directorial debut “Indentured Servant” a short film drama. Bringing over 13 years of experience in the teaching artist field, he inspires students to write and perform beyond their imagined abilities whether in poetry or theater. He is incredibly passionate about fostering confidence in all of his students, no matter the level but particularly with children and young adults.
Thea Nunez-Trauceniek is a teacher and writer, she has been teaching writing for over a decade. She holds a BA in Literature from the City University of New York and an MS in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. Thea’s articles and short stories were published by several collegiate newspapers and literary anthologies. She is passionate about working with students and creating spaces where they can take risks and receive support to reach their highest creative potential. Thea is also a native New Yorker and lives in the nautical hamlet of City Island with her husband, daughter and dog.
Josh Bayer is visual artist whose work has appeared in print, video, posters, and exhibitions internationally. His graphic novel Theth was featured in The Best American Comics 2015, and he is the editor and head writer for All Time Comics, a 2017 imprint from Fantagraphics Books. He can be found in New York City in teaching to students at the 92st Y Art Center, Parsons Illustration Department, JobPath and Visiting Nurses Services.
Shamie Cuthbert is a teacher, writer, and local mom. After teaching creative writing workshops for about a decade, she attended Bank Street College of Education, where she received a Master’s in Early Childhood and General Education. She has been teaching in New York City independent schools for the past five years. Passionate about both teaching and writing, her main focus is to enhance the natural creative abilities of children, while facilitating the development of skills and strategies to execute ideas. As a freelance writer, Shamie has published several social perspective pieces for the independent publication, Circle Magazine. She is currently working on a collection of New York City based short stories for children.
Stacy Davidowitz is a proud Washington Heights-based author, playwright, and screenwriter whose work has been produced regionally and internationally. She is the author of the four-book middle grade series Camp Rolling Hills (ABRAMS) and the three-chapter book series Hanazuki (ABRAMS / Hasbro). Stacy’s full-length plays and musicals are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Steele Spring Stage Rights, YouthPLAYS, and Indie Theater Now. She is currently writing a movie musical for Big Block Entertainment and is developing an indie feature film and webseries for the production company Initiative 26. Stacy is also an active teaching artist, facilitating creative writing, drama, musical theater, and improvisation workshops to students in NYC public schools, private schools, camps, and foster care programs seven days a week. She is a graduate of British American Drama Academy, Tufts University (Bachelor of Science) and Columbia University (MFA in Acting). Check her out at www.StacyDavidowitz.com.
Amy Handelsman is a writer, story consultant and dramaturg for film, television and theater in New York and Los Angeles. Among the places she has worked as an executive or producer are HBO, Showtime, Disney, Warner Bros, and Tri-Star. She serves on the Artistic Council of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and is an Adjunct Professor in the Creative Writing & Literature department at Stony Brook University. Amy has also taught Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Literacy Skills at Girls Prep, an all-girls charter middle school in the South Bronx. She likes monsters of all kinds, and still has her childhood collection of trolls.
Jane LeCroy is a poet, performance artist and educator who fronts the band The Icebergs and was a part of Sister Spit, the famed west coast women’s poetry troupe. Since 1997 Jane has been publishing student work and teaching writing, literature and performance to all ages through artist-in-the-schools organizations such as Teachers & Writers Collaborative and DreamYard, and as adjunct faculty at the university level. Her poetry book, Names was published by Booklyn as part of the award winning ABC chapbook series, purchased by the Library of Congress along with her braid! Signature Play, her multimedia book from Three Rooms Press, features a poem that was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Emma Jonesis a poet and novelist as well as 2011-2015 Uptown Stories alumna and Washington Heights native. Her work in prose and poetry has been accoladed by Scholastic, the Poetry Society of London, and the Foundation for Letters. She is currently pursuing a degree in Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College at The New School, where she was awarded the Lang First Year Writing Prize in 2019. She is a self-taught graphic artist and learned literary interior design at Hachette Book Group in New York.
Angela Zirbes is a self taught artist from Iowa pursuing a BFA in Illustration with a double minor in Communications Design and Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design. She has designed and executed murals in New York City, including a large scale piece in the classic Newsbar Cafe on Union Square and a live-drawing mural at the 2019 Met Museum Showcase hosted by CxRA. She is an illustrator with a passion for visual storytelling with experience in editorial illustrations, publication, graphic design, comics and art direction.