Susan Gaeta is a talented singer and guitar player who in 2002 apprenticed with National Heritage Fellow Flory Jagoda in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program and is now a Master Artist in that program. Flory Jagoda is known as “the keeper of the flame” for carrying on the unique musical heritage of Sephardic songs and culture in the United States. Susan’s apprenticeship with Flory blossomed into a lifelong friendship and musical partnership, with Susan mastering the Sephardic singing style, traditional songs, and Flory’s own compositions. In 2017, Susan passed on Flory’s songs and stories to apprentice Gina Sobel, a multi-instrumentalist based in Charlottesville. The duo traveled to Cuba in 2019 with the Virginia Folklife Program to participate in a Jewish cultural exchange with Cuban musicians. Susan is also a member of Trio Sefardi.
Frye Gaillard, co-author of The Slave Who Went to Congress, is an award-winning journalist with more than twenty published works on Southern history and culture. He has received the Clarence Cason Award for Nonfiction Writing, the Lillian Smith Book Award, and the Eugene Current-Garcia Award.
Lamar Giles, author of Not So Pure and Simple, is an Edgar Award-nominated writer and has published multiple young adult novels. He is a co-founder of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and has edited two #WNDB anthologies, including 2018’s Fresh Ink.
Kristi Guillory Reid, author of Harper Counts Her Blessings, is an attorney and health care policy expert as well as a debut author.
Laura Lee Gulledge, author of The Dark Matter of Mona Starr, is the Eisner Award-nominated author of YA graphic novels Will & Whit and Page by Paige as well as the interactive book Sketchbook Dares: 24 Ways to Draw Out Your Inner Artist. She is based in Charlottesville.