Paula M. Nelson was born and raised on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina as a enrolled tribal member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, also known as the Anikituwahgi. She lives in the Kolanvyi Community and is a multi-media artist, singer, songwriter, poet, performer, and living history educator, specializing in time periods from Archaic, Mississippian, Historic and Modern. Paula has worked for many Cherokee cultural institutions, educational organizations throughout the country and abroad, and Native American events as an interpreter of her Native culture in historical context. She is known for her powerfully educational audience-inclusive performances. Paula currently works from her home studio in her community, and spends her time writing poetry and songs, working in mixed media, and performing when called upon.
Chris Weaver lives with his wife Rhett Hudson in Asheville, North Carolina. They have two sons: Aidan, a filmmaker, and Noah, a musician. Chris has taught in elementary school classrooms for 20 years, in North Carolina, Washington, and Colorado. He designed and directed camp-based programs for teenagers in foster care from across North Carolina, and taught summer middle-school with the Colorado Migrant Education Program. In 2014-15 he served as North Carolina Charter School Teacher of the Year. Chris is the author of Living School Design & Practice (to be published early in 2017), which shares a comprehensive design for a new kind of school. Beginning in June of 2017, the Living Schools Collaborative will offer workshops and mentoring in year-long cohorts for people interested in starting new schools. Information is available at living-schools.org.