Down with ODD
Conversations with Community
Wednesdays at 2:00pm
@KSTheater on Instagram Live!
Every Wednesday at 2:00pm, KST Deputy Director Orlana Darkins Drewery takes to Instagram Live for conversations with the KST community in Pittsburgh, and across the USA. Join us to see how folks are managing the impact of COVID-19.
Down with ODD is a part of KST Global Stream, KST’s COVID-19 responsive online programming initiative.
On Wednesday, May 27, Darkins Drewery is joined by Laura Vander Norman, Vice President of Sales, Multi-Cultural/LGBT Initiatives, iHeart Radio, Washington, DC
From June through August, 2020, Down with ODD will move to a monthly rotation with other KST Global Stream programming.
Check back soon for more details on Down with ODD‘s summer guests!
On Wednesday, April 8, Darkins Drewery was joined by singer/songwriter, performer, model and KST Artist LoRen!
On Wednesday, April 15, Darkins Drewery was joined by Hallie Donner, Founder of the Alumni Theater Company (ATC) in Pittsburgh, PA.
On Wednesday, April 22, Darkins Drewery was joined by CEO of Blackburgh Corporation and a former Pittsburgh Steeler, Chuck Sanders.
On Wednesday, April 29, Darkins Drewery was joined by Custom Designer, Kiya Tomlin.
On Wednesday, May 6, Darkins Drewery was joined by Chef Kevin Watson.
On Wednesday, May 13, Darkins Drewery is joined by Robyn Greer.
On Wednesday, May 20, Darkins Drewery is joined by Owner of Anastasia’s Crown Esthetic Services, Yvette Royal.
ABOUT THE GUESTS
Influenced by a wide range of vocalists from soul artists including Lauryn Hill and Sam Cooke, and compared to the sweet country singing of Taylor Swift, LoRen (Guest – Wednesday, April 8) has a sound that is unlike any other. LoRen has been writing her own music since the age of 8 and is trained in both classical and Broadway music. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, LoRen has participated and won numerous talent shows, and has performed in front of thousands. In 2016 LoRen was featured in a Maybelline New York campaign as an artist and model that “Makes it Happen.” LoRen later collaborated with a house music producer in the Netherlands, for an international house music project. In 2018, LoRen was selected to be a panelist for the Advancing Black Arts Pittsburgh grants program. LoRen is currently studying Music production at Full Sail University.
Hallie Donner (Guest – Wednesday, April 15) graduated from Bucknell University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching certificate. Hallie started her career as a third grade teacher at Featherbed Lane Elementary School in Baltimore, MD. Each of her four years at Featherbed, she volunteered to direct a school musical. Realizing that producing theater with young performers was her true passion, Hallie moved to Pittsburgh to obtain a Master’s degree in Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. Upon receiving her Master’s degree in 2000, Hallie began teaching at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School a K-5 public charter school in East Liberty. From 2000 – 2016, Hallie founded and developed an innovative drama program at the charter school that integrates theater education with classroom studies and values education where young people explore and develop their creative capacity and personal character. In 2008, Hallie founded the Alumni Theater Company (ATC) to provide more intense learning and performance for youth in grades 6-12. ATC began as a group of exceptionally talented alumni from the charter school, and in 2012 became an independent 501(c)(3) organization.
Chuck Sanders (Guest – Wednesday, April 22) is CEO of Blackburgh Corporation, an investment company that any person can access. A former Pittsburgh Steeler, in 2009, he was the Founder/CEO of Urban Lending Solutions, recognized as the nation’s largest minority owned settlement services company. Urban Lending Solutions was ranked by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top 25 minority owned corporations in America with over 200 employees. Urban Lending Solutions has also been recognized by Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. In addition, Chuck and his wife Elisa founded Chuck Sanders Charities to help fund and support existing Christian charities, churches and programs. They also promoted educational and physical fitness programs for Pittsburgh’s youth and young adults. In 2011, he opened Savoy Restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, which still provides quality food and dining for its patrons. And in 2015, realizing the potential of medical cannabis he acted on it with investment in medical marijuana dispensaries across the Pittsburgh area. After selling Urban Lending Solutions, he founded Blackburgh Corporation. Chuck prides himself in the ability to see trends and profit from them. Currently, he believes this is the time to invest and created Blackburgh Corporation to provide an opportunity to individuals who qualify to invest and create generational wealth in their families.
Custom designer, Kiya Tomlin, (Guest – Wednesday, April 29) launched her collection of re-imagined sweatsuits in Fall of 2014. Inspired by the energy and aspirations of today’s modern woman, the namesake line was designed for women, like herself, with a purpose and passion for life. Uniting cover girl glamor with the comfort and ease of a favorite sweatshirt, her designs embody femininity, versatility, and the constant pursuit of the place where style, function and luxurious comfort intersect. “My background in custom design inspires me to design for a variety of figures. My experience as a woman of many roles drives the direction and functionality of my designs. By combining these inspirations, I can create comfortable clothes that inspire confidence. That confidence is what makes a woman truly beautiful” -Kiya Tomlin
Chef Kevin Watson (Guest – Wednesday, May 6) is an Erie, Pennsylvania native who now calls Pittsburgh home. Watson graduated from the former Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in 1994 and went on to teach at Le Cordon Bleu Institute for 11 years. His work experience includes the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island and more locally at the Top of the Triangle and Sunnyledge Hotel. He has served as Executive Chef at both at Savoy and The Cafe at the Frick, and established and executed kitchen operations for Pittsburgh Premier Catering, a catering company he founded in 2008. Chef Kevin Watson has had the privilege of providing chef services to notable clients including President George W. Bush and has served as personal chef to Pittsburgh Steelers players who include Jerome Bettis, Alan Faneca and more. The Chef’s Table “Buy a Meal, Give a Meal” program is not the beginning of his commitment to the community. His past work in the community includes assisting Allegheny Youth Development (AYD) with their after-school program for inner-city middle and high-school students. His certifications include Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C), Personal Certified Chef (P.C.C.), Certified Dietary Manager (C.M.D.), Certified Food Protection Professional (C.F.P.P.) and Certified Healthcare Coach (C.H.C.) Chef Watson is passionate about providing healthy, fresh and affordable food to the Pittsburgh community at Chef’s Table.
Robyn Greer (Guest – Wednesday, May 13) is a Hair Artist & Entrepreneur who has been in the industry for more than 25 years. She recently launched “Bloom All Natural and Organic Hair & Skin Care Products.” The Bloom Brand was created by Greer in 2017 and has grown into a healing business that heals from the inside out. The Bloom Line also provides homemade and handcrafted tea. Robyn believes that you definitely are what you eat. “What you put in your body comes out in your skin and hair. If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin or in your hair.”
For 20 years, Yvette Royal (Guest, Wednesday, May 20) represented such brands as Clinique, MAC, and Sephora receiving top sales honors. Yvette then packaged her expertise in the makeup and skin care industry and in 2016 founded Anastasia’s Crown Esthetic services a boutique spa and salon. While thee are a plethora of services, the signature service is FDA approved endermologie for body contouring and full body waxing. She is the first African American to have an Endermologie business in the state of Pennsylvania. Yvette Royal also serves Beauty professionals and cosmotology students, conducting waxing certification classes at the salon.
LauraVarner Norman is a Marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in digital, radio, event and television integrated marketing; as well as campaign development for corporate partnerships. Developed programmatic multi-market campaigns for clients through a diverse range of company assets to drive clients business goals resulting in corporate revenue increases. Experienced marketing partner with national and local agencies to ensure the success of Fortune 500 companies marketing campaigns. Ensure cohesive and organic cause-marketing and branding initiatives to increase clients’ consumer awareness within local markets and throughout the U.S. with trackable results and transparent data. Provide corporate Multi-cultural and LGBT Initiatives and cultivate new partnerships with diverse consumers.