Our Team

For general inquiries, please contact us at holla (at) phoneticspit.org

To contact a staff member you may send an email to: first name (at) phoneticspit.org (no spaces)

 

ASHLEY HARE: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Ashley Hare is an arts administrator working with artists and organizers who share values in dismantling systemic oppression. Code-switching as a young, multiracial, queer, female in institutional artistic and political spaces where she holds no systematic power, has given Ashley years of insight to collaboratively create effective, long-term strategies towards ending injustice. Her practice centers civic arts and cultural engagements to shift power and voice to those white supremacy has tried to make invisible.

 

 

 

 

TOMAS STANTON: CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF ARTISTIC AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

A poet, writer, teaching artist, and community activist: Tomas is a teaching-artist dedicated to advancing the arts of spoken word and Hip Hop as a platform for youth development and civic engagement.  Co-Founder of Phoenix’s premiere youth spoken word ensemble, Phonetic Spit, Tomas uses hip-hop pedagogy to inspire youth to boldly express themselves through poetry, dance, & theatre.  His work and teaching style is rooted in his childhood experiences of poverty and single parent household, political issues, identity, and Love. Tomas has over 10 year experience in youth development and currently works all across the valley creating safe spaces for youth to express themselves through spoken word.

 

 

 

T.J. NATOLE: SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP COORDINATOR

Since 2003 TJ Natole has been involved heavily with poetry slams and education. He has taught poetry at all levels from middle school to college, and has hosted events from small corner cafes to finals stage at collegiate national tournaments.  His teaching goals reflect his academic background in linguistic anthropology, an emphasis on the the oral tradition via spoken word to give life and meaning to our experiences and seek a deeper understanding of self and the world in which we interact in.  

 

 

 

 

MEGAN ATENCIA: YOUTH AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR

Megan Atencia is a Phoenix-based spoken word poet, aspiring poetry therapist, and rising community leader in the literary scene. Poetry cannot change the world; however, she believes poetry changes people, and people change the world. Combining her degrees in Global Health, English Literature, and Spanish, Megan thrives in the intersections of health, health care, and poetry, with extensive experience in all three fields. Her multi-layered approach has been shaped by her Filipino heritage, military lifestyle, mental health battles, faith and spirituality, international travel and nonprofit work, and love for dynamic spaces. Her current projects include a partnership with Aurora Behavioral Health in Tempe, community workshops, partnerships with the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS, and a Tempe-based poetry series called Criss-Cross Poetry. She has been featured at Wordplay Café, Sparky Slam, Local to Global Justice, Nasty Women, The Grand Ave Festival, Cultural Storytelling, and many other events and slams around the Valley. She has been published by Write on Downtown and Four Chambers Press. She can also be found at mayagainpoetry.com.

 

MYRLIN HEPWORTH: CO-FOUNDER

A poet, writer, teaching artist and community activist. In 2009 the Arizona Commission on the Arts selected Myrlin for its roster of Teaching Artist. In 2010 he became the first undergraduate teaching artist for the Young Writers Program at Arizona State University where he received his degree in English in 2011. In addition to his role as the Artistic and Youth Development Director at Phonetic Spit, Hepworth earns a living with his art by performing at universities, youth centers, group homes, museums, and theaters. He has competed on three National Poetry Slam teams and coached the Phonetic Spit youth team to consecutive appearances at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam.