People

    Story District is run by a team of talented staff, board members, teachers, artists, and volunteers. 

    • Amy Saidman

      Artistic Executive Director

      Amy Saidman, Artistic Executive Director of Story District, has been the driving force behind the growth of storytelling as a performance genre in Washington, DC and regionally. Called DC's "matriarch of storytelling", she's been running Story District's programs, telling stories, hosting, inventing new ways to present storytelling, building relationships with other local arts groups, and spreading the gospel since 2001. She began coaching and teaching storytelling in 2006 and, along with the Story District teaching staff, has developed a curriculum and pedagogy for teaching the art of storytelling  that includes more than five different classes at different levels and customized trainings for corporate, government, and nonprofit clients. 

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    • Ben Thomas

      Program & Communications Coordinator

      Ben is a communications and marketing professional, with extensive experience leading engagement strategies for a diverse range of political groups, non-profit organizations and private companies.  When he is not at Story District, he is probably outside or concocting a culinary adventure. Feel free to ask him about the time he got a live cheetah into the U.S. Capitol Building, why he walked 500 miles in borrowed underwear, or the night he spent on Stonewall Jackson's grave.

    • Vijai Nathan

      Client Services Coordinator

      Vijai has been performing and teaching the art of storytelling since 1997 and is bringing all her experience to the new job of managing and growing the number of businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations that are interested in developing storytelling as a powerful communication skill. 

    • Stephanie Garibaldi

      Education Director

      Stephanie Garibaldi designs and teaches storytelling classes, leads trainings for businesses and organizations, runs Story District's youth programs, and coaches all the performers on Story District's monthly 2nd Tuesday Series. Since 2006, Stephanie has coached well over a thousand individuals in the art of contemporary storytelling for professional as well as artistic settings. 

    • Kian McKellar

      Vidoegrapher

      Kian is a full time videographer, photographer and editor and has been capturing Story District's live shows on film since 2008. Find out more at http://www.kianmckellar.com

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    • Alexander Morozov

      Photographer

      When Alexander Morozov was growing up in Russia, he remembers watching his father take black and white photographs. That is where his passion for photography took hold. PhotographyByAlexander is the sum total of a lifetime spent behind the camera, a devotion to creativity and craft of photography. He has been taking photos for Story District since 2007. 

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    • Dave Peterson

      Artist

      If you live in DC, you've seen Dave's art all around the city on t-shirts, dog parks, and arts fairs. Since 2010, Dave has been using his imaginative and slighlty twisted mind to create graphic interprations of Story District's monthly themes. 

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    Story District's Board of Directors


    (L to R): Gina Cavalier, Piper Hendricks, Amy Saidman, Kate Morton (Back row) Jeff Knox, Ian Hoffman, Karl Egbert, (Front Row) Olivia VonNieda, Molly Kelly. 

    Gina Cavalier is an attorney and a Partner in the Washington, DC office of King & Spalding, LLP. She focuses her practice on representing entities in the health care and life sciences industries, including medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, and equipment suppliers. A seasoned private practitioner, she assists clients in complying with broad federal anti-fraud authorities, and navigating large-scale government investigations and inquiries. Additionally, she is a Certified Information Privacy Professional, providing legal counsel on safeguarding personal information, particularly sensitive medical information. She is a frequent speaker, teacher and author on fraud and abuse, privacy, and related compliance topics. When not lawyering, Gina is an enthusiastic organic gardener, novice dog whisperer and unapologetic picture-taker (in addition to practicing a limited number of highly-curated domestic arts, including preserving fruits). Gina is originally from California, and earned her undergraduate degree from Boston University, and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

    After telling stories in DC and mounting a solo show at Capital Fringe, Karl Egbert took his storytelling chops to Hong Kong with him where he started a storytelling series that continues to this day. Karl has ghost-written a romance novel and sold stuffed animals in tiny pleather jackets at a South Dakota motorcycle rally, but his true love is being a partner in a law firm.

    Piper Hendricks is an advocacy communications consultant based in Washington, D.C., specializing in a whole range of advocacy tools, including storytelling for impact. Her nontraditional career path after law school brought her to Story District via storytelling with a purpose in courtrooms, on silver screens and on Capitol Hill. After years of litigating human rights cases before an audience of judges and opposing counsel, Piper jumped into film to reach the public with stories that weren’t being told. Piper knows stories are a powerful way to positively impact communities and improve lives and the nonprofit she founded, p.h. balanced films, supports women who use stories and film as platforms for social change. Throughout her life, Piper has been inspired by the words that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke on the grounds of the Washington monument in 1959:

  “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

    When Ian Hoffman moved to DC from Cleveland a few years ago, he loved exploring the world-class art museums and high-profile concert halls, but he sure did miss the scrappy, independent art scene that thrives on Ohio’s North Coast – until he discovered Story District.  Real people from all walks of life telling soul-baring stories live on a bar stage?  That’s the scrappy spirit! So now, during the day Ian is an antitrust attorney with the Department of Justice, on weekends he’s a swimming/biking/running enthusiast, and in between he’s proud to help Story District make DC a little less buttoned down and a lot more fun.

    For over twenty years, Molly Kelly has been helping nonprofit organizations develop digital solutions to communicate their mission, reach monetary goals, and create real world impact. She works as Senior Director, Digital Services as Zuri Group and is the driving force behind peer-to-peer fundraising tools for the American Heart Association, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the newly released Amplfiy on the Engaging Networks platform. Molly is also a playwright, storyteller and performer who has told stories on the Story District stage since 2008 and has performed at Baltimore's Stoop Stories, Story League and in the Bay Area at The Vent, Fireside, WordUp and The Moth.

    Jeff Knox has more than a decade of experience in education, having worked in college admissions and secondary education before becoming an independent educational consultant for families worldwide. Today he works one on one with students to help them strategically craft cohesive and compelling narratives for admissions to highly selective institutions. His writing on admissions has been featured in the Washington Post and ParentInsider.com and has been quoted in the Washington Monthly and The Atlantic. In addition to working directly with students all over the world, he is an educational adviser for staff members of the World Bank here in Washington, DC. Perhaps it is his professional story-building work with adolescents that drew him to Story District. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, a Bachelor of Art in English Writing, and a Master of Art in Secondary Education from the University of Pittsburgh; he completed post-graduate coursework in special education and also holds an endorsement in gifted education from the University of Virginia.

    Kate Morton acts as the Community Manager of Mess Hall, a culinary incubator in northeast DC, where she helps support and accelerate local small food and beverage businesses through strategic planning, partnership development and community outreach. She also crafts branding and social media messaging on behalf of Mess Hall and its Members. Kate joined the Mess Hall team after honing her business development and marketing skills at the Podesta Group, a top DC strategic communications firm. She cut her teeth working behind the scenes at one of DC's largest law firms, Williams & Connolly, and gained media and marketing experience at a grassroots advocacy organization. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science and has called Washington, DC home ever since. Outside of Mess Hall and Story District, Kate is working to help launch a new fine dining restaurant concept in DC.

    Olivia vonNieda has called Washington DC home for the past three years. She works in Oncology Forecasting at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD. In her work, she is uses statistical modeling and market research to predict changes in the treatment of ovarian cancer. She is passionate about the changing healthcare landscape and drug pricing. In her free time, she loves riding her bicycle and is halfway through her goal to ride her bike in every state capital. Olivia graduated with a degree in Industrial and Mangement Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechinic Institute