Serena Wright is Senior Director of Alumni Relations. She is familiar to many from her years as "events director extraordinaire" for CEHD and General College, and is known for her high energy, enthusiasm, love of the University and CEHD, and for reminding us always to "Represent!" With her rich conceptual and organizational prowess at hand she is working with the CEHD Alumni Society Board to strengthen the cohesion, commitment, and inclusiveness of the college's amazing web of human potential.
Wright grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, and attended Fisk and Rutgers universities, training for a career in teaching before entering the world of textiles and fashion. She was vice president of marketing and operations for Creative Intellectual Properties, Inc. before joining the University staff in 2002 and completing her B.A. in psychology. She is a former member of the African American Leadership Forum and has served on the board of the Givens Foundation of African American Literature.
She is ecstatic by her most recent appointment as president to the newly minted board of the New Dawn Theatre. She plays tennis, is a patron of the arts, loves jazz & old school music, cooking, and traveling with her husband, professor of African American and African studies, John Wright, who recruited her to Minnesota and who remains entranced by what he calls the gift of her "ceremonial imagination."
Amateur and professional artists (singers, dancers, musicians, actors, painters/sketch artists) along with educators, community volunteers, civic activists and philanthropists are in Travelle Evans-Vann's family history to present day. An active volunteer and financial supporter since youth, he has served and continues to serve non-profit organizations in many capacities as volunteer and professional. Examples of service include: board advisor; board of director chair, vice-chair; executive committee member; event/special event chair. After ten-years of successive entry/middle/senior level positions in the state government (legislative, executive and semi-state branches), another ten-year tenure in non-profit management and administration followed.
Areas of expertise were in institutional advancement including holding three Mini MBAs (Development & Fund-Raising; Major & Planned Gifts; Capital Campaigns) from the University of Saint Thomas's [what is now] Executive Education department, Opus College of Business.
In addition to New Dawn Theater Company, Travelle is currently a ten-year museum guide and gallery interpreter volunteer for the Minnesota Historical Society at Minnesota History Center. Formerly an elite level volleyball player, he is a certified professional volleyball official and is the Co-Director of Rules and Head Official for the Saint Paul Catholic Athletic Association. It is the state's largest/country's fourth largest Catholic youth athletic association.
2015-16 McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship Award Winner, City Pages Best Actress of 2015, Aimee K. Bryant has been performing in the Twin Cities for the last 20 years. Some of the highlights of her career include Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun, Ensemble Member in For Colored Girls, Ensemble member in Black Nativity at PENUMBRA THEATRE; Cobalt in No Distance Between Us, Queen Elizabeth in Two Weeks with the Queen, & Aimee in How Come Ain't No White People in the Show? at ILLUSION THEATRE; Esther in Intimate Apparel, Elaria in Emperor of the Moon, Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, Sarah in Ragtime, Celia in As You Like It & Marian the Librarian in The Music Man with TEN THOUSAND THINGS; Amy in Oh Shit, I'm Turning into My Mother with THEATRE LATTE DA; Sour Kangaroo in Suessical the Musical, Shaneequa in Splash Hatch on the E Going Down, and Everyone in Seedfolks at CHILDREN'S THEATRE COMPANY; Blues Speak Woman in Spunk, and Knowledge of Good in Deep Azure with CONGO SQUARE THEATRE COMPANY; Soprano in 8 Track: Sounds of the 70's at the ORDWAY CENTER for PERFORMING ARTS; Ghetto Superstar in Snapshots at HISTORY THEATRE; Ida B. Wells in Constant Star & Celie in The Color Purple at PARK SQAURE THEATRE; The Moon in Caroline or Change at the GUTHRIE THEATER, Shun in In the Red and Brown Water and in Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, and Martha, Officer Pilate, Miriam, Ida. B. Wells, and Mrs. Thomas in The Gospel of Lovingkindness with PILLSBURY HOUSE THEATRE. She is also a teaching artist as well as a vocalist and songwriter. Her original music can be heard on her debut CD "Becoming."
Amy Matthews is a Residential Contractor, Remodeler, Designer. Performer, and co-founder of And Now She Rises.
For 14 years, Amy has inspired people through her remodeling shows on HGTV and DIY Networks. She is a national speaker who brings her passion for innovation, architecture, and education to her talks on Inspired Design. Her work has been featured in publications such as People magazine, Esquire, Real Simple,This Old House, Parents Magazine, and the New York Times. She has been a regular contributor to the Today Show, CBS Morning News, ABC, and CNN. Amy is also a trained actor, singer, and viloinist who studied at Boston University; School for the Arts (SFA), the American Musical and Dramatic Academy(AMDA) in NYC, Boston University's Tanglewood Insrtitute (BUTI), and MacPhail School for the Arts.
Amy is an avid volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and The Ronald McDonald House and was emcee of both their record breaking fundraising Galas in 2018. Amy is also the co-founder of And Now She Rises(ANSR), a 501c3 non pro?t dedicated to helping women who faced domestic abuse change their narrative from victimhood to victory. But her most important job is mama to her 7 year old son, Eli. Amy is thrilled to join the board of New Dawn, and is honored to have the opportunity to help share, shape, and support their powerful mission.
Marcia Aubineau taught at the University of St. Thomas and was a University of Minnesota Consultant for the College Board on Advanced Placement Program Theater education. She served on the Guthrie Education Board for 20 years and currently serves on the Park Square Education Board and Public Relations Board, the Great River Shakespeare Board of Directors, and in the Minnesota Opera Education Program. She is devoted to promoting theater in the Twin Cities and has worked as a volunteer at TEN THOUSAND THINGS THEATRE, ILLUSION THEATRE, MIXED BLOOD THEATRE, JUNGLE THEATRE, and PENUMBRA THEATRE.
Awarded the August Wilson Fellowship to study Dramaturgy and Literary Criticism, Faye Price received her graduate degree from the University of Minnesota. Faye has served as the co-producer of PILLSBURY HOUSE THEATRE mainstage productions since 2000. As an actress, she most recently appeared in the PILLSBURY HOUSE THEATER productions of The Story, Bel Canto, Boesman and Lena and [sic] and served as co-director of the PHT production of Mr. Bundy. Faye has also worked extensively at the GUTHRIE THEATER, PENUMBRA, MIXED BLOOD THEATER, and ILLUSION THEATER. Nationally, some of the many stages on which Faye has appeared include: CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE in NYC, CENTER SATGE in Baltimore, and the OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL. Faye is an alumnus of the Salzburg Seminar. She has also served as a panelist for the McKnight Fellowships for Theater Artists and as a literary reviewer for the NEA/TCG Theater Residency Program for Playwrights in 1997. From 1995 through 1999, she served as dramaturg for the GUTHRIE THEATER working on over a dozen productions including Crowns directed by Tim Bond, Summer and Smoke directed by David Esbjornson, The Magic Fire directed by Libby Appel, and Thunder Knocking on the Door, directed by Marion McClinton.