IAF Team

The Interstitial Arts Foundation was founded in January 2003 and received 501(c)(3) status as a legal nonprofit organization in January 2004. The administrative work of the Foundation is done by the Executive Board, along with planning and leadership for our projects. The Working Group provides input, guidance and the backbone of the volunteer force that keeps these projects going.

The members of these boards come from a variety of fields. Some have created interstitial art; others are best known for work in a single genre or category but have a lively interest in border-crossing arts. And some are arts activists or administrators. All are dedicated to fostering an artistic climate and marketplace in which interstitial literature, visual art, music, and performance can flourish.

Executive Board

Victor Raymond, President

Victor Raymond, PhD, has been a lecturer at Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College, where he is also the lead instructor for the Neighborhood Residential Leadership Program. His research interests include a wide range of topics, from comparative and historical sociology to the study of intentional communities, to role-playing games and dialogics, as well as the dynamics of gender and sexuality. He also serves on the board of the Carl Brandon Society, an organization for speculative fiction readers and writers of color and these allies. He currently can be found in Ames, Iowa and/or Madison, Wisconsin, depending on weather, cats, and the proximity of his significant other, Lynn Litterer.

Ellen Kushner, Vice President

Ellen Kushner is a novelist, performer, and public radio personality. Her first novel, Swordspoint, was hailed as the progenitor of the “MannerPunk” school of fantasy; her second novel, Thomas the Rhymer, based on a Scottish Border ballad, won both the Mythopoeic and the World Fantasy Awards. Two other novels, The Fall of the Kings (written with Delia Sherman) and The Privilege of the Sword, are also set in the world of Swordspoint.

Since 1987, Kushner has been a producer and announcer for WGBH Radio, Boston, creating and hosting a wide variety of local and national public radio programming. In 1996 she created PRI’s award-winning public radio program Sound & Spirit with Ellen Kushner, a weekly exploration of myth and music called by Bill Moyers “the best program on public radio bar none!” Sound & Spirit is broadcast on over 100 national public radio stations and online at www.wgbh.org/spirit.

Kushner’s children’s story The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer Nutcracker for Chanukah (2001 Gracie Allen award for radio broadcast), which she performs live with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, is available on CD from Rykodisc. For Rykodisc she also put together the collection Welcoming Children Into the World. In 2007 she published a children’s book, The Golden Dreydl, which was adapted for the stage by NYC’s Vital Theatre in 2008, with Ellen playing the mysterious Tante Miriam. Her adult performance piece, Esther: the Feast of Masks, is broadcast on public radio and tours the United States.

Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in anthologies including several editions of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. She has been an instructor at Clarion, Odyssey Workshop, and at ISIS (Interstitial Studies Institute at SUNY/New Paltz, with Heinz Insu Fenkl). She has also been a judge for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award; served on the board of the Boston Early Music Festival, is a member of Terri Windling’s Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts, and a proud co-founder of the Interstitial Arts Foundation.

Kusnher is also a popular public speaker in a variety of venues from synagogues to science fiction conventions. She lives in New York City, where she is working on a new novel and a new theatre piece or two.

Find out more at www.EllenKushner.com.

Read Ellen’s essay The IAF: an Introduction.

Delia Sherman

Delia Sherman was born in Tokyo, Japan and brought up in New York, New York. She spent much of her early life at one end of a classroom or another, first at Vassar College and Brown University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies, and then at Boston University and Northeastern, where she taught Expository Writing and Fantasy as Literature.

This life of reading and teaching led, as it often does, to committing Fiction on her own account. She began with short stories, then moved up through novellas to her first novel, the Queer/Chaucerian fantasy Through a Brazen Mirror (1988). Her second novel, The Porcelain Dove (1992), an Interstitial work best described as a romantical–fantastical–historical comedy, was awarded the Mythopoeic Award. The Fall of the Kings, an Interstitial historical-academic-mythic tragedy set in an invented city, was written in collaboration with partner Ellen Kushner and published in 2002. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and has been translated into French, Italian, and Japanese. She has also contributed stories to a number of young people’s anthologies, most recently Coyote Road (2007) and Troll’s Eye View (2009). She has written two novels for younger readers: Changeling (2006) and The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen (2009), which are set in an alternate New York populated by all the fairies and folklore the mortal immigrants brought with them when they came here.

In 1995, she finally abandoned the fading groves of academe and put her skills to good use as a contributing editor for Tor Books and co-editor on the fantasy anthologies The Horns of Elfland (with Ellen Kushner) and The Essential Bordertown (with Terri Windling), as well as Interfictions 1 (with Theodora Goss) and Interficitons 2 (with Christopher Barzak). But she still misses the classroom and has served on the faculty of the Clarion and Odyssey Science Fiction and Fantasy workshops, as well as teaching and lecturing at writing workshops all over the country.

Sherman shares a sprawling Upper West Side apartment in New York City with Ellen Kushner and piles of books and papers. She loves airplanes, hotels, and unfamiliar places, gardening, and researching in brick-and-mortar libraries. She looks upon the country as a nice place to visit, but she is unable to contemplate life without cafés (where would she write?) and public transportation (she hates to drive).

Deborah Atherton, Secretary

Deborah Atherton is a librettist, fiction writer, and arts administrator, with a lifelong passion for fantasy, science fiction, opera, jazz, and art that falls between the cracks. A graduate of Yale University, her work for musical theater and opera has been presented by Lincoln Center Serious Fun, Opera Theater of St. Louis, CAP21, the Woman Becoming Festival of the Culture Project, Parabola Arts, the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, and National Public Radio. She received a commission for her first opera, Under the Double Moon, written with Anthony Davis, from Opera Theater of St. Louis and for her second, Mary Shelley, written with Allan Jaffe, from Parabola Arts. Under the Double Moon was published in book form by Opera Theater of St. Louis and G. Schirmer. She is currently working on a new music theater piece, Songs of the City, about the difficulties of finding love in New York, with Allan Jaffe.

Deborah has been a fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Music Theater Conference and an Artist-in-Residence at Opera Theater of St. Louis and the Palenville Arts Colony. Her short stories have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including The Distillery, Paper Streets, Reflections: A Literary Journal, Westview, Empire, and others. She has given recent readings of her fiction for Serial Underground at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City, and, with her writing group, River Writers of Manhattan, at the Jazz Gallery and the Mercantile Library.

Deborah has been Executive Director of the American Composers Alliance and Associate Director of the American Music Center. She is currently a senior development writer for Girl Scouts of the USA, where she recently oversaw fundraising for their national arts initiative, which was supported by the Annenberg Foundation. Since 2000, she has also maintained arts consulting practice; clients have included the Center for Contemporary Opera, Ensemble Pi, the Brian Groder Ensemble, MEH Multimedia, RPI Acoustic Architecture, the American Composers Alliance, and New England Voices. She has also worked with a number of published authors and other professionals, helping them to bring their work to print.

Deborah lives in Manhattan and sometimes regrets that she didn’t open a bakery instead of becoming a writer. She makes up for this on weekends by finding ever new ways to combine flour, butter, sugar, and chocolate. She firmly believes that the best cookie, like the best art, is creatively interstitial.

Wendy Ellertson

Wendy Ellertson (www.ellertson.com) grew up in San Francisco, Chicago, and Cleveland. She has been an active member of the fine craft community for over thirty years dancing around and through many media categories always accompanied by her figures which incorporate leather, clay, wood and a deliciously eclectic array of contemporary and ancient materials, techniques, and dreams.

After a couple academic degrees, irrelevant for her artwork, but perhaps adding to its interstitial nature (B.A. in International relations; MA thesis on African Theater in French!), she realized art could save the world as well as politics and perhaps even better. She settled into the artist she had “always been”. She was a potter and doll maker in the 60-70′s, moved into soft sculpture, then leather sculpture -dragons, griffins, etc. exhibiting at major craft shows, galleries, museums, a Sci-Fi con, even one Star Trek Convention. In the 80′s, a friend suggested she look at a 1400 B.C. Egyptian loincloth in the MFA in Boston. That museum visit gave birth to a line of delicately hand pierced leather garments and accessories – rather like wearing feathers. After 10 years of the fashion world, she decided it was time to move on – knowing wings and flight were really her world rather than clothing and, at 50, it was time to get a little more contemplative. She began a line of leather journals which gradually morphed becoming more sculptural with faces emerging… then broke with the standard form and entered the borderland world of artist books. Some of her books fly.

When she discovered the quote by Joseph Campbell stating that “one of the roles of the artist is the mythologization of the world and the environment”, she realized why she had continued to make her figures and still displays them and their stories in all her booths at shows. It might also explain why she is working on a 4′ x 5′ nest in her studio, a participatory art piece which is emerging from a mythic/folktale she is writing.

Her studio and home are in Roxbury, MA – where in 1967 she and her husband, Jon, both Westerners at heart, bought two c.1840 houses needing major work (sort of a 1 cent sale in a Boston neighborhood where houses were being abandoned) intending to stay just a few years. They raised four children and occasionally some chickens and rabbits. To their surprise, they now find themselves becoming community elders with history, memory, and spring tomato plants to share. They are still re-habing their houses in their “spare” time.

When she found the Interstitial Arts Foundation, she knew she had found “home.”

Elizabeth Genco

Elizabeth Genco is a writer and entrepreneur based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work includes the graphic novel Blue (Desperado Publishing, 2008) and stories in such places as Comic Book Tattoo: A Tori Amos Anthology (Image, 2008), No Formula: Stories From The Chemistry Set (Desperado, 2008), Negative Burn, Weird Tales, SMITH Magazine, and Endicott Studio’s Journal Of Mythic Arts. Elizabeth has also been featured in The Village Voice and Jane.

Learn more about Elizabeth at ElizabethGenco.com and MarketingGoddess.com.

Geoffrey Long

Geoffrey Long (www.geoffreylong.com) is a media analyst, scholar, and creative consultant. He is currently a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a research project of the Comparative Media Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a writer, designer, musician, artist, filmmaker, and shameless media addict. His professional career includes a decade-long run as the editor-in-chief of the literature, culture and technology magazine Inkblots and co-founding the software collective Untyped, the film troupe Tohubohu Productions, and the creative consulting company Dreamsbay.

Geoffrey earned his BA in English and Philosophy with concentrations in Creative Writing and the Integrated Program in Humane Studies from Kenyon College in 2000 and his Master’s in Comparative Media Studies from MIT in 2007. He is a frequent lecturer on narratives in different media, including transmedia storytelling, and his own storytelling has appeared in Polaris, Gothik, Hika, {fray}, and the iTunes store. His academic writing can be found in Guttergeek, The Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, and in the newsletter and weblog of the Convergence Culture Consortium. He currently serves on the executive board of the Interstitial Arts Foundation and the editorial boards of Eludamos, the Journal for Computer Game Culture and The Journal for Transformative Works and Cultures, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences including SIGGRAPH, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Pictoplasma, the Game Developers Conference and FuturePlay.

Stephen H. Segal

Back when he was editor of the alternative newsweekly InPittsburghStephen Segal‘s colleagues used to gently tease that all of his story ideas were based on strange analogies and juxtapositions – e.g., “Meet the artificial-heart researcher who gets all his ideas while he’s busy inventing an electric harmonica!” “Here’s what Samuel Delany’s science fiction has in common with surrealist video installation art!” Stephen, who believes strongly in the transcendent and often untapped interstitial power of “the imagination culture,” responded by writing more profiles of creative problem-solving teachers, ministers who marry transgendered couples, and Warren Zevon.

He has been an editor at WQED’s Pittsburgh Magazine, a regional judge for the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators competition, a publication designer for Carnegie Mellon University, a Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Honors College, and an Odyssey of the Mind world finalist.

Currently, Stephen serves as creative director for the Wildside Press magazine group, including Fantasy MagazineWeird Tales, and H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror. He also designs book covers for the company’s Prime and Juno imprints.

News updates are at his LiveJournal.