Rich Soil to Rich Souls Panel Discussion: How Art and Nature Can Grow and Heal a Community

05may11:00 am12:00 amRich Soil to Rich Souls Panel Discussion: How Art and Nature Can Grow and Heal a Community

Event Details

Rich Soil to Rich Souls Panel Discussion: How Art and Nature Can Grow and Heal a Community

May 5, 11 am-12 pm

Join our esteemed panelists as they discuss how art and nature can grow and heal a community featuring Rich Soil at the Garden artist, Kristine Mays, Collage Dance Community Engagement Manager, Karen Niceley, Cazateatro Executive Director, Dorimar Ferrer, Anne Froning of Being:Art, and Memphis Black Arts Alliance Executive Director, Lar’Jaunette Williams. After the panel discussion, be sure to explore the exhibition and bring a lunch to enjoy in our picnic area.

The panel discussion is free to attend & no reservation is required.

Rich Soil at the Garden is presented by Bank of America.

Click to learn more about the exhibition.


Kristine Mays

Rich Soil Artist

Kristine Mays currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. She has been an exhibiting artist since 1993. Mays seeks to create change with her art, creating socially conscious works of beauty that speak to social issues. She has participated in programming at the De Young Museum, the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD), and exhibited at the California African American Museum (CAAM). Mays is represented by Modernism Inc. Gallery. Her work is a part of the permanent collection at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. Collectors of her work include Star Wars creator George Lucas and collector/philanthropist Peggy Cooper Cafritz, with her work also displayed in many private collections throughout the United States.

Karen Niceley

Community Engagement Manager for Collage Dance

Karen Niceley attended the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet and later received her BFA in Dance Education at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Karen’s professional credits include work with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Michael Mao Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera, Cirque Du Soleil, Keith Lee’s Dance Theatre of Lynchburg and the Broadway National Tour of The Color Purple.
Prior to relocating to Memphis in spring 2021, Karen taught dance, Vinyasa yoga and creative movement in more than 100 schools throughout the five boroughs of NYC. As a result of decades long work with The Leadership Program, Karen is recognized for her ability to utilize social emotional learning, anti-bullying best practices and restorative justice models to implement transformative youth development programs that combine academics and dance technique.
As the Community Engagement Manager for Collage Dance, Karen works to broaden the organization’s in-school dance education program, Turning Pointe, by fostering relationships with Memphis area schools. She also works to cultivate a vibrant adult dance community through program development at the new Collage Dance Center and dance exposure opportunities in Memphis and beyond.
Karen is also co-founder of Gritty Cherries, Inc., a non-profit art production company that serves as a springboard for emerging artists of all types, providing venues and producing special events for charitable organizations with a variety of artists who collaborate together under one roof and a specific theme while bringing high quality training in the arts to underprivileged youth through their arts education program Gritty Cherries Arts Education.

Dorimar Ferrer

Executive Director of Cazateatro

Dorimar Ferrer is a latinx actress and theatre administrator. She was 40 Under 40, Class of 2021 leaders of Memphis Business Journal and 2021 NALAC Fellow student. She was selected as the Women who lead in 2022 for the Memphis Business Journal. She is from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She came to Memphis 14 years ago. She holds a Bachelor in Profesional Studies in Concentration on Theater and Nonprofit Management from University of Memphis.
She started in theater at the young age of 7 in Puerto Rico, and from that moment, the theater became part of her. Since 2011 enjoys the honor of being an actress, volunteer, and advocate of the organization Cazateatro Bilingual Theater Group.  Besides working as an actress, she works as the Executive Director of the organization. Cazateatro’s goal is to share the Latino culture with Memphis’s city through the performing arts and cultural events, building a bridge to close and solidify union, communication, and family interaction between different cultures. Dorimar’s personal goal is to every day bring her passion and love for the theater and her culture to the communities in Memphis. She hopes to show the communities that the arts are for everyone no matter what your language or social status, and through the arts, each human being is unique, relatable, and capable of creating great things together.

Lar’Juanette Williams

Executive Director of Memphis Black Arts Alliance

Lar’Juanette is a singer, dancer, actress, writer, director and arts administrator that is originally from Memphis, TN, and after having spent 25 years working abroad in the arts, she is very pleased to have been handed the baton to administrate one of the oldest and most influential African American Arts organization in the state of TN, the Memphis Black Arts Alliance!  Williams is a recipient of the 2014 Georgie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress, the 2012 Broadway World’s Best Actress in a Musical, and the 2000 Ostrander Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was listed as one of the 10 Most Outstanding Young Women In America for her many contributions in the performing arts at the age of 24.

Anne Froning

Co-Owner of Being:Art

Anne J Froning is a visual artist, teaching artist, dancer, and landscape designer practicing in Memphis, TN.
She is co-owner of Being:Art LLC, a fusion arts company specializing in music, dance, visual art, instrument making, and site-specific design. The company builds musical instruments for outdoor classrooms; and conducts workshops and residencies throughout the United States.
She holds a BS in Landscape Architecture. Her work includes residential, commercial, and municipal design including ten years of park and playground design for the City of Memphis.
Anne has over twenty-five years of experience as a master teaching artist with the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education and the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts.
Froning serves as a design consultant and certified workshop trainer/presenter for Nature Explore. She was a member of the design team that created the first Nature Explore Classroom at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, NE.
Some of Anne’s local public art works include a 20’ long ceramic nature mural installed in the Masterworks collection at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Being:Art ‘s Overton Square Tower Chimes, and several musical installations in Memphis Botanic Garden’s My Big Backyard.
Anne’s life work focuses on improving the quality of life for all, especially children.



(Friday) 11:00 am - 12:00 am