L-R: Florinda Bryant, Sheree L. Ross, Stephanie Lang
Help us welcome the new Board of Directors for Torch Literary Arts: Florinda Bryant, Stephanie Lang, and Sheree L. Ross! We look forward to growing the organization and its community impact with their experience and leadership in arts advocacy and social justice activism.
Florinda Bryant is an interdisciplinary artist and arts educator who calls Austin home. Holding it down in every aspect of performance, whether writing, performing or directing, Florinda’s passion and dedication to her craft is evident. As a performer and director she is no stranger to many stages in Austin, having worked with Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Rude Mechs, the Vortex, Paper Chairs and Teatro Vivo. Some of favorite recent performances include Am I White ( by Adrienne Dawes), The Panza Monologues ( by Virginia Grise), Bright Now Beyond ( By Daniel Alexander Jones and Bobby Halverson) and Fixing King John ( adapted by Kirk Lynn). As a writer and poet, Florinda enjoys engaging audiences in explorations around identity, body and community. Her award winning one-woman show Half-Breed Southern Fried was produced as part of the Performing Blackness Series at UT and wad directed by Laurie Carlos. As a facilitator and arts educator, Florinda has worked with at risk communities, young men and women, and adults – using performance as a social justice tool for empowerment and change for over 18 years. Florinda is also the Operations Manager of Creative Action, one of the nation’s leading arts education organizations and Managing Director of nationally acclaimed Salvage Vanguard Theater. A member of the Austin Project, sponsored by the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, UT at Austin. Florinda is also a 2013 Woman of the Year for Racial Justice award recipient from the YWCA. Be sure to catch Florinda in Denim Doves, produced by Salvage Vanguard Theatre ( Performing and Co-Directing) and Stories of Us, produced by Teatro Vivo ( Directing ) Spring 2016.
As a 5th generation Austinite, Stephanie Lang has worked to do her part in keeping her family’s legacy alive through community activism and outreach. In her current position as Senior Program Coordinator for The John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies at the University of Texas Ms. Lang has created community outreach programming that works to foster relationships between UT and Austin community organizations through collaborations, sharing of resources, and other forms of support as needed. Ms. Lang has also presented, and facilitated several workshops on issues such as female empowerment, healthy choices, and self esteem building at UT and around the state. Ms. Lang hosted a radio show for the Warfield Center called ZUMBI on KAZI community radio. This program showcases the work of faculty, and community members focusing on bettering the lives of people of African descent. In her personal life Ms Lang continues to work as an artist, activist, and organizer working for the mobilization and liberation of Black people locally as well as globally.
Sheree L. Ross is an award winning screenwriter and director. She is the author of Affirming Life: A Daily Meditation, Affirming Business: For Career and Entrepreneurial Excellence and is in 50 Seeds of Greatness, the largest global collaboration on any book in publishing history. Sheree is the fashion advisor for the revolutionary brand Saint Harridan, the masculine clothing and accessories company for women and transmen. She is also founder and writer of the popular fashion blog Preppybaba, - for Masculine of Center Fashion Enthusiasts. She has served on the Boards of Scriptworks, a playwright-driven service organization and theatrical producing company, The Higher Power Foundation - serving spiritual education and growth, and UBetter Sing! - a children's music education company. She consults businesses on branding, marketing and product development, and holds a business degree from Baylor University with concentrations in Marketing, Film and Theater.