Program Staff

Dana Reed  | Executive Director  | Dance

Dana M. Reed is the Executive Director of Upturn Arts, an organization she founded in New Orleans 2010 as an offshoot of Hope Stone-Houston, and which operated under that name until 2015.   She graduated with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education (2003). Her professional career has been dedicated to dance, as evidenced by her work as a master dance educator with notable worldwide institutions, including her long tenure as Director of the Youth Arts Program at Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine (2001-2014), Nightingale Bamford School in New York City (2006-2009), Cikal School in Jakarta, Indonesia (2008), and Tulane University in New Orleans (2012).  Among Ms. Reed’s honors are being named “One of the Top Ten to Watch” (2013) by New Orleans Magazine, and “Cultural Ambassador of New Orleans” (2012) by Ashe Cultural Arts Center. She also was awarded performance residencies from the French Market Corporation (2013); the Marigny Opera House, and Southern Voices, New Orleans (2012); Chen Dance Center, New York City (2009); and, artistic residency at the Bali Purnati Center for the Arts in Indonesia (2008 and 2013).  Dana Reed’s dynamism and the progress of Upturn Arts also was acknowledged by Propeller, the New Orleans social entrepreneurship hub, when she was accepted into their 2015 Propeller Accelerator Start-Up, limited to 30 community leaders.

Email: dana@upturnarts.org


Christine Todd | Grants Coordinator | Dance

I support #ArtsForAll by creating a safe and supportive studio culture where students can become competent at seeking and sharing knowledge.

Email: christine@upturnarts.org


TEACHING STAFF

Samuel Rosenstein, EDD
Lead Teacher | Visual Arts

Samuel B. Rosenstein is the new Lead Teacher of Upturn Arts and is overseeing the summer camp staff while also serving as the visual arts instructor. He graduated from the University of Georgia (2010) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art/Art Education and Master of Public Administration (2012) with a nonprofit management focus. Combining these academic interests he then studied at Florida State University, becoming a Doctor of Art Education (2018), emphasizing community engagement and creative placemaking in his dissertation. Sam believes in the power of art(s) and culture as a vehicle to bring people together and unearth the creative potential in all of us. Throughout his graduate studies, he worked part-time as a painting instructor at public studios in Athens, GA, and Tallahassee, FL teaching participants of all ages and ability levels. He has been a longtime volunteer for an organization in Atlanta, Camp Horizon, that serves local youth in the foster care system. Beginning as a counselor in 2008, he eventually transitioned to the staff role of arts and crafts teacher from 2018 – 2020. A large part of Sam’s public service efforts includes collaborative mural making and he is excited to find ways to incorporate that into his work with Upturn Arts and the New Orleans community at large.

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Kirkland Green
Performing Arts

Kirkland Green is a singer/songwriter, dancer, and musical theatre actor based in New Orleans, LA. With extensive experience in vocal and live performance, Kirkland possesses a wide acting range and an effervescent stage presence. He has had extensive training in stage choreography, and contemporary hip hop with additional training in tap, jazz, and ballet. Similarly, he has also served as an Intermediate teaching assistant for LSU’s aerial silk program. Kirkland is no stranger to the stage. Some of his most notable performances include Newsies (Specs/Darcy), Sister Act (Curtis), and Hair (Hud) on the Theatre Baton Rouge mainstage. Other independent roles are Teen Angel (Grease) Franklin Donner (Personal Space), Lead/Singer (The Motown Sound, LSU Law School), as well as roles in Rocky Horror (Rocky), Annie (Harold Ickes), and South Pacific (Quale), all performed on the Jefferson Performing Arts Society stage. After earning his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University, Kirkland taught Social Studies in Plaquemines Parish for 3 years. Currently working on his debut album, Kirkland is excited to combine his love of education and performance in coalition with Upturn Arts.

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Kenneth Kynt Bryan
Dance

Multitalented local New Orleans International Dance Music Recording Artist, Actor, Dancer/Choreographer, Model, Performer, and Founder/Artistic Director of Flashmob New Orleans, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, is a Loyola University of New Orleans graduate and the first student with a special double major contract BA in Communications and Dance 02’. In spring 2012, Kenneth graduated from Tulane University with a Masters in Liberal Arts concentrating in Global Art and Information Technology.

As a performing artist, Mr. Bryan has danced guest and soloist roles with Ballet Renverser’, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hysell, Loyola Ballet, Jefferson Ballet, Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble, D’ Project, Monique Moss Dance, New Orleans Ballet Association, and many other companies. 

Mr. Bryan has instructed and created unique programs for more than twenty years as a freelance educator in ballet, hip hop, jazz lyrical, contemporary, runway modeling, and flashmob dance at City of New Orleans, Loyola University, ReNew Schools, New Orleans Ballet Association – NORD, New Orleans School of Ballet, Performing Arts Dance Center, New Orleans Public Library – African American Research Center, The Light For The Blind, Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center – Kumba Institute, Young Audiences, and Urban League College Track, St. Anna’s Episcopal Church, John Casablanca’s Modeling & Talent Agency, FIT Parks New Orleans and many other organizations.

Shannon Rockweiler
Dance

Shannon Rockweiler has been a performing artist since the age of 4 at Debbie Morgan Dance Studio in Marrero, LA where she was trained in tap, jazz, & ballet. She attended the University of New Orleans where she graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama & Communications. Professional credits include: J.C. Penney’s Teen Board, New Orleans Honeybee, Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans Masquerade performer, the movies ‘Old Boy’ with Josh Brolin and ‘Mardi Gras: Spring Break” with Carmen Electra & Josh Gad. Ms. Rockweiler has been featured on magazine covers, local campaigns, and various publications highlighting her career as an athlete and fitness model. In 2011, Shannon created her own dance cardio workout ‘Freestyle Cardio’ which merged her love of dance, theater, music, & fitness. She currently instructs today in Marrero, LA where she also resides with her daughter, Sophia.

Traven Stout
Photography

Traven Stout is a professional photographer, artist, and native New Orleanian. He has been working with Upturn Arts as a teaching artist since 2017 with the goal of bringing the wonders of photography to children. Traven's latest exhibit, People of Mardi Gras: House Float, was commissioned by a New Orleanian resident in February 2021, for the house float phenomenon that took place during Mardi Gras 2021. Professionally, he shoots weddings, events, and portraiture and he is constantly trying to bridge the gap between the commercial, educational, and artistic sides of photography. 

Haydn Payne
Visual Arts

Haydn Payne is a recent graduate of Lusher High School with a concentration in visual arts. She has been a part of Upturn Arts for 3 years now as a student, classroom assistant, and now as staff. Her experience with Upturn included collaborating in a portion of the Tchoupitoulas levee art and an art exhibition in the CAC. In the fall, Hadyn will be attending Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. 

Alexa Holland
Visual Arts

Alexa is a portrait painter and illustrator with a B.F.A. in Production Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her paintings and illustrations have been in several film and television productions including the upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, the feature film Respect, and the YouTube Originals series Step Up: High Water. She loves sharing her knowledge with the upcoming generation of great artists and hopes to encourage creativity in young people from every background. 

Nicole Bunis
Improv & Theater

Nicole Bunis (she/her) is an artist and improv enthusiast. Nicole recently moved to New Orleans after four years in New York City working in the Art Department in the film industry. She works on movies, television, and commercials as a set decorator and set dresser. Nicole loves to create things with her hands and is passionate about sewing, embroidery, bookbinding, printmaking, and all things arts & crafts! She also has ten years of experience performing improv and directing improv troupes. Nicole studied theater arts at Brandeis University and has taken improv classes at UCB theater in New York. Nicole loves teaching improv and art as a way in which kids can express themselves and build community.