We’re shaking it up again this year with a roster of spectacular programming that’ll go deep into our hearts and souls and entertain the hell out of you, headed up by these truly talented individuals.
Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. With roots in jazz, acapella and folk-Be composes a soulful blend of genres into what she calls queer pop.
In her live performances, she utilizes loop pedal vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's self-produced albums feature her earnest lyricism, proud LGBTQ content, unapologetic silliness, and the art of the simple love song.
As she pursued her career in music, she began a career in film. Shooting and editing her own music videos, Be combined her love of music with narrative film. In 2014, Be completed an MFA in film from Howard University.
This year, be was selected to be a 2016 Strathmore Artist in Residence. The DC commission on the arts awarded be the artist fellowship for 2016. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence (2014) internationally.
Singer, songwriter, and natural history enthusiast Jenny Owen Youngs grew up in the forests of northern New Jersey and is now based in Los Angeles. After self-releasing her first album Batten the Hatches in 2005, she went on to put out two albums and three EPs through the Canadian indie label Nettwerk Records. Youngs has since self-released her album AN UNWAVERING BAND OF LIGHT in 2012, a serial song project called EXHIBIT in which each composition is directly inspired by a specific work of art in 2013, and the Slack Tide EP in 2015. Youngs has toured extensively in the US and Europe, headlining and also supporting artists such as Regina Spektor, Against Me!, Frank Turner, Motion City Soundtrack, and Aimee Mann. Her songs have been heard on Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Suburgatory, and elsewhere. Today, Youngs spends much of her time writing with and for other artists in Los Angeles and working on her next record.
A Seattle-based comedian, writer and comic book reader, El Sanchez has been performing all over the West Coast since 2010. Sanchez has been called "fearless" by City Arts Magazine, "a grumpy nugget of delight," by writer/author Lindy West, "a local favorite," by Seattle alt weekly The Stranger and "a brilliant new voice everyone should know," by comedian Hari Kondabolu. Grammy Award winning singer/song-writer Kimya Dawson (The Moldy Peaches, Juno) has cited Sanchez as her 'favorite underground Northwest comedian' while W. Kamau Bell, comedian and host of the CNN series United Shades of America, once said, "Sanchez is the truth." El has performed at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot, Emerald City Comicon, has appeared on NPR, The Bob Rivers Show, the television show The  and has written articles for Autostraddle.com and Jezebel. They currently produce four monthly comedy shows in Seattle (Wine Shots: Comedy’s Happiest Hour, Not Too Late with Elicia Sanchez, The Enematic Cinematic LIVES!!, Karajokey) and is also the host of the Seattle branch of The Moth StorySlam.
Brittani Nichol is a comedian and actor from Chicago. She is a five-time recipient of the Diversity Scholarship from Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Words With Girls, a comedy pilot (based on the webseries of the same name) which she wrote and starred, was produced as part of Issa Rae's Color Creative TV and premiered at HBO/BET's Urbanworld Film Festival in 2014. Brittani is a recurring character on Season 2 of Transparent. She has two podcasts: Brand New Podcast with fellow comedian and feelings-haver, Ariana Lenarsky, and Hamilton the Podcast with the Burr to her Hamilton, Khalehla Rixon. Suicide Kale, the award-winning feature that she produced, wrote, and starred is currently on the festival circuit. When not performing in Los Angeles, she enjoys playing basketball, frequenting diners other people look down on, and eating ice cream.