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Bill Bragin

Bill Bragin is a co-founding producer of the not-for-profit world music festival and service organization globalFEST. He is the founding executive artistic director of The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi. Previously, as the director of public programming of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, he attracted hundreds of thousands of audience members to the popular Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors festivals, and commissioned and premiered numerous new works in a variety of disciplines. He also helped set the artistic vision for the free programs at the David Rubenstein Atrium. Previously, as Director of Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, he commissioned and helped develop what became the Tony Award-wining musical Passing Strange. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). As “Acidophilus,” he has did internationally as part of GlobeSonic Sound System.

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Isabel Soffer

Isabel Soffer, co-founder and co-director of globalFEST in 2003, has been at the forefront of global music programming in the USA for over 25 years.  She is director of Live Sounds, a company that produces, creates and curates music and dance programs in New York and across the country whose work is devoted to preserving and cultivating innovative, thought-provoking and traditional performing arts from around the world to build bridges and engage audiences and communities. She has developed, produced and curated influential music festivals, tours, symposia, grammy-nominated recordings, film festivals and gallery exhibits. She regularly collaborates with international cultural institutions on a variety of projects in the US and abroad and serves on numerous local and international conference panels and juries. She is host of the weekly radio show ForeignExchange on Little Water Radio. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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Shanta Thake

Shanta Thake is the Director of Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater's intimate genre-blind cabaret space named after Theater founder Joe Papp. Since then, Thake has successfully increased the venue’s eclectic programming, which has been praised for its “consistently varied, top quality booking” (Time Out New York). Joe’s Pub currently hosts over 800 shows and welcomes more than 100,000 unique patrons annually, and is hailed as one of New York City’s most prestigious showcase venues for both emerging and established artists. Under Thake’s direction, Joe’s Pub has produced events at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park and in collaboration with Make Music New York, Under The Radar and DanceNOW, among other organizations and began a commissioning program NY Voices which has been instrumental in the creation of almost 20 original works.

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Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is the General Manager/Producer at globalFEST (gF). As the organization's only full-time staff member, Nicole is responsible for producing gF's flagship festival, and managing all programs and operations of the organization. Previously, Nicole managed programs and produced international and domestic cultural conferences for global arts leaders at the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA).  Before ISPA, Nicole worked on internationaltours and supported world class conductors and instrumentalists at IMG Artists in New York and London.  Nicole was named an Emerging Leader of New York Arts (ELNYA) Fellow by the NY Arts and Business Council in 2013, and served on the Board of Directors for ELNYA and the Nouveau Classical Project.  A professional singer, Nicole actively performs with her experimental electro fusion band Charcole Federation. 

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Stephanie Orentas

Stephanie Orentas is a community organizer and curator. At globalFEST, she organizes the monthly hangouts, manages globalFEST's social media and organizes the administration of the flagship festival. Orentas founded Casa Experimental, an after school arts program and gallery, where she hosts youth art exhibits and shows. She is the Media and Communications Manager and curates for public art non-profit, Writing On It All. Her music curation at former underground and experimental record store, Other Music, spotlights international musicians and local NYC artists. She hosts a monthly radio show on La Liga as DJ Fefi, where she showcases contemporary Latin American musicians from around the globe. She is a guest curator for the New Latin Wave Festival. Currently, she coordinates events at Starr Bar, Mayday Space's new allied bar funding social justice initiatives in Bushwick. 

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