September 26th, 2023

I really believe the more comfortable a person is with themselves - your own discomforts, your own challenges, your own pain, your own needs - the more able you are to listen and receive when other people are expressing theirs.” - Rebecca KellyG

Rebecca KellyG went from being a musical theatre college student to a civil rights attorney. Along the way, she noticed some things that felt similarly “off” about these vastly different spaces. Through establishing an artistic practice as a healing artist and facilitator, Rebecca learned that in order to challenge systems, we must first harmonize with the self for both personal and collective liberation. 

Tune in to listen as A.R.T./New York Co-Excutive Director Risa Shoup chats with Rebecca about her journey and how she found resilience by reigniting her passion for performance and soundscape artistry.



Rebecca KellyG (she/her) supports individuals and groups to challenge conditioned beliefs, embrace accountability, and cultivate self-love for our personal and collective liberation. 

She is particularly invested in working with people of color to shed internalized racial oppression and its expression in BIPOC organizational practices and culture. In addition to facilitating organizational retreats and mediation, Rebecca is a sound artist and speaker. In a unique blend of public speaking and performance, she weaves vocal harmonies with percussive sounds to create meditative soundscapes accompanied by story-telling and affirmations. Rebecca has shared her sounds with spaces such as, The United State of Women, La MaMa Galleria, Theatre Communications Group, and Flux Factory Rhizome Project. As an equity consultant, she has worked with such places as HERE Arts Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. 

Prior to starting her consultancy, Rebecca worked as an attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC focusing on education and voting rights. Additionally, Rebecca taught as an Adjunct Professor for American University Washington College of Law and in the Wagner College Theater Department teaching her course “Race, the Arts, and Activism.”

Risa Shoup (they/them/theirs) is a Co-Executive Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, a non-profit cultural services organization representing non-profit theaters throughout New York City and State. Risa has worked as an administrator, curator, and leader in the arts in New York City since 2005 focusing on the development of affordable artist workspace. They have extensive experience executing high-level public-private partnerships for project-based work focusing on the intrinsic and instrumental impact of the arts on community development. Risa is proud to have worked with some of New York City's most beloved cultural institutions including chashama, BRIC, The Invisible Dog, FABnyc, and Spaceworks. Risa was a consultant on CreateNYC, New York City’s first-ever cultural plan, developed in concert between a team of consultants led by Hester Street Collaborative and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. They studied City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute and are also on the boards of the Invisible Dog Art Center, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts—NY, The New Majority, and the American LGBTQ+ Museum. They live in Brooklyn with their wife, daughter and cat.


Ashley J. Hicks (a.k.a. Ash, she/her) works currently as a Programs Coordinator for A.R.T./New York.  Ash is an actor, writer, solo performer & teaching artist. She received her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in 2021 and was a participant in the 2022 Disney Television Discovers: Talent Showcase. To learn more about Ashley and her past/recent projects, please visit


Nicky Maggio or “N” (they/them) currently serves as Programs Manager at A.R.T/New York. N is a freelance theatrical curator with a focus on new play development and directing. Originally born in southeast Massachusetts, Nicky received their B.F.A. at Emerson College and then completed their M.F.A in Directing at The New School. For more information on their artistic projects, visit @nickymaggio


Additional Links:

My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

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“What’s Off?” Production Staff
David E. Shane, Executive Producer
Erica Wray Barnes, Associate Producer
Ashley J. Hicks and Nicky Maggio, Line Producers
Catalin Media, Audio Engineer
Devon Adams, Art Director/Graphic Design