The avenue Dream Team
reenah Golden, Founder/Artistic Director/Creative executive Officer
Though The Avenue Blackbox Theatre and Avenue Children's Theatre Project currently operates with a staff one employee and severl artist contractors and volunteers. As Founder of the Dream, Reenah Golden always explains faithfully that, "we are most definitely fueled by love." The dedicated collaborators, mentors, and contributing artists who are all gems in their own right are too numerous to name but here are some familiar faces you surely have seen working to make this dream a sustainable reality!
Without this team fulfilling the critical mission & vision of the Avenue would not be possible.
Click to read more about their roles, work and advocacy in their own words and most importantly support!
Be sure to complete the lend-a-hand form on the home page if you'd like to join us.
Anderson Allen (he/him)
Avenue Artist-in-Residence | Yogi Poet | Teaching Artist | Mentor (Poetry/Spoken Word) | Collaborator (Theatre Production)
"The Avenue lives at the intersection of all that impassions and drives the work I wish to do in the world. The Arts. Youth Mentorship. Community engagement. Reenah’s dedication to her community is second to none and when you see how hard she goes at The Ave, all one can ask is “how may I be of service?”
Christopher C. Goodwin
"Nigel Lestat" (all pronouns)
Avenue Curator (Theatrical Drag) | Mentor | Minister-in-Residence
"The Ave has always been a place I feel at home. A place where I’ve experienced youth step into their light, community sharing their talents, and activism being recharged, healed, and ignited."
Tianna Mañon (she/her)
Avenue PR Consultant
"I got involved at The Ave just from fortunately knowing Reenah for so long. As a high school student, she came to my school so I knew firsthand her commitment to working with young people. I love that Reenah opened this space to welcome so many collaborations. "
Yana McCuller (she/her/they)
Avenue Artist Mentor (social justice) | Youth Program Coordinator
"I contribute my time at the Ave because the youth are the future and they must know what's going on in our city and this world. This fight doesn't end with us and they'll have to carry the torch in their own way. I'm just here to offer guidance and a pair of oven gloves so they don't get burned catching and carrying that fire."
Ari Highsmith (she/her)
"Luna Sol Child"
Avenue Artist-in-Residence (Music) | Teaching Artist | Mentor
"I have watched The Avenue since its inception, be cultivated into a safe space for the youth of this city. I watched in awe, as a black woman (Reenah) ushered this space into a safe haven for black and brown artists such as myself. I have laughed, danced, cried, played, connected and explored aspects of myself that I never imagined I’d tap into."
Christopher K. Coles
"Bakari Poet" (he/him)
Avenue Collaborator (Literary Arts) | ASL Interpreter-in-residence
"The Avenue Blackbox Theatre is a place I lend my light to for no other reason than that it cultivates creativity, community, self empowerment and youth engagement. There is no other creative space that empowers an artist to give of them [full] selves, to engage in self reflection & growth in finding and honing ones creative voice."
Rashad J. Cooper-Smith (he/him)
Avenue Publicist | Creative Communications Consultant
"The moment I learned of a new org popping up in the Northeast quadrant of Rochester, I knew that I would be supportive. Having been raised on the east side of the city it was very rear to see new developments. I felt the need to play my part to ensure that this new and very Black business would be a success."
Tamara Leigh (she/her)
Avenue PR Consultant
"I was blessed to have been a part of the dream that was The Ave before the The Ave was the Ave. From the idea of this hood based theatre of us, by us and for us and to watch it grow into a living, breathing beacon of hope, light, art and community has been one of my greatest honors. I would sign on to help Reenah do just about anything but being a part of this beautiful safe space has been more of a gift than a service."
(pronouns: B or Brandon)
Avenue Collaborator (Spiritual Arts & Wellness) | Yogi-in-Residence
"The Ave offers the ability for any being to transform at any moment. Personally, being able to experience theatre, contemporary art showcases, recitals and more while also being able to guide youthful minds in deep understanding of self and others is the highlight of my connection with the space."
Ty Burrs (she/her)
Avenue Artist-in-Residence (Graphic & Visual Arts) | Teaching Artist | Mentor (Fashion & Visual Arts) | Co-Producer (Black AF)
"Since the very first time I stepped into the Avenue I could feel the energetic, embracing energy releasing from everyone and everything there. I always felt welcome at the Avenue Blackbox theater and as a creative director Reenah made sure I knew my ideas had a place to flourish right there."