Nikole Stephenson and David Melendez are life partners and creative collaborators writing in response to select explorations of performance to inhabit the critical space that artists carve out with their work.
Nikole Stephenson earned her BFA with an emphasis on photographic arts from Ohio University in 2003, where she also majored in creative writing. She has spent more than 10 years working within the art world at various galleries in Chicago and San Diego, working in curation, museum-grade custom framing, and art sales for both corporate and private collectors. She also has participated in various art happenings, including working as a photo assistant to Spencer Tunick during his record-breaking photo shoot in Cleveland, Ohio and as a model in a performance art piece with JAM Productions in Cincinnati, Ohio. She currently is a freelance content writer and copywriter at NikiDoesCopy.com, and is working on a series of paintings and drawings in her spare time.
David Melendez is a scholar-maker and PhD student in Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota. David supports local theatre artists, educators, community organizers, and youth whose work centers the needs, challenges, and desires of historically marginalized and presently vulnerable communities in the Twin Cities. He teaches classes on Chicanx music, art, Barrio culture, and service-learning within the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies, is the 2018-2019 August Wilson Fellow at Penumbra Theater Company, and plays son jarocho music with the MN Jaraneros in partnership with El Colegio High School. Currently, he is collaborating with Theatre Novi Most as a dramaturg for Denim, a new play that uses the forms of historical pageantry, tableau vivant, and melodrama to investigate the mythology of the American character.