Holly Smokovitz left Detroit at 18 to attend the American Musical And Dramatic Academy of New York where she majored in musical theatre. Credits include Lucy in Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Sarah Plain and Tall, and the Boston Chamber Theatre.

Apart from her work in the theatre she has scored over 200 original songs and pursues several genres as a singer songwriter. She has starred in several dramatic and musical productions including a Lincoln Center production of “Anything for a Laff.”

Holly is so honored to be a part of this beautiful story!  What a fascinating time.  Her hope is to inspire the Minerva in all of us.



Dara Harper was born in Detroit, MI and developed a passion for storytelling at an early age. She is a novelist, Off Broadway playwright, journalist, artist and award-winning filmmaker. She graduated from the International Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago, IL. While residing in New York City, she was accepted into the Harlem Writer’s Guild and the Amsterdam Writer’s Group. Her feature film, “Sweeter Without Sugar” was an official selection at the African American Women In Cinema Film Festival. Her debut play, ”Passing” had a sold-out run Off-Broadway and was nominated for an AUDELCO Award.

Her follow-up play, ”Shades Of War” was selected at as a top pick in the ”Village Voice” and “Time Out New York.” She is the author of three novels, “Magic In Moon Time”, “Grits & Grace” and “The Justice Women.” Her directing experience includes the premiere performance of “Passing” and several other plays including “Shades Of War.” She also wrote, produced and directed her short film, “la Revolution” which won the award for Best African American Filmmaker at the Brooklyn Film Festival. To find out more about Dara, please visit www.darawrites.com



Phreddy Wischusen grew up in suburban Atlanta and got his B.A. from Florida State University in classics and Black studies. Currently, he lives in Detroit, where he writes for the Michigan Citizen newspaper. He performs regularly as a musician, storyteller and comedian. To see some of his work, visit: www.phreddywischusen.com