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Dr. Shae A. Anderson

Executive Director

Shae Alexis Anderson is a 1996 graduate of the Liberal Arts Magnet at Columbus High School. Right after high school, she attended Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC where she received a full scholarship that covered tuition, books, and travel home for all four years. After graduating from Bennett, Shae moved to Atlanta, GA to begin the next phase of her life. She attended bartending school and then spent the next several years working as a bartender and eventually a nightclub bar manager while also pursuing her M.A. in Technical & Professional Writing from Georgia State University. After completing her M.A. in 2002 at the age of 21, she took on her first adjunct faculty job. Although Shae comes from a family of teachers, she was originally pursuing employment in insurance sales the day she landed her first part time job at an Atlanta area college. Not long after, she applied to Georgia State University’s PhD program in Rhetoric & Composition and was accepted. She completed her PhD coursework on campus at Georgia State University while slowly transitioning from the hospitality industry into a full time teaching career.

After the 2006 birth of her daughter, Alexandria Lily-Frances, Shae continued to teach and relocated back home to Columbus in 2008 to work at G.W. Carver High School. While working full time at GW Carver, Shae wrote her dissertation entitled: From the Hood to the Classroom: A Rhetorical Perspective on Teaching Secondary English to the Urban Student. Though Shae still considers her time at G.W. Carver to be amongst her favorite teaching jobs- after 2 years at Carver, she was hired at Fort Valley State as an Assistant Professor of English in 2010. During her time there she served as Director of the QEP Writing Center for one year and as the QEP Coordinator for the Department of English & Foreign Languages for several academic terms. She also served as an advisor for students in the Online Technical & Professional Writing Program and taught upper level courses to English majors and English Education majors while also serving on a variety of committees. She graduated from Georgia State University in December of 2012 while working at FVSU. Though no longer at FVSU, she still serves on the board of FVSU’s Journal of Teaching, Learning, & Scholarship. While commuting to FVSU, Shae also taught part time in the English Department at CSU from 2011- 2014. In the fall of 2014, she became a full time Lecturer in the English Department at Columbus State University and served in that capacity for two years.

In addition to her career as an educator, Shae is also an entrepreneur. In 2008, she founded UrbanEdge Publishing and continues to run the company with her business partner, author and activist, Skyy Banks. Shae is also the founder of the Urban Education Center, a company that provides professional writing services, editing services, and academic support with a concentration on writing skills. Shae has one other project in the works that she hopes to announce later this year.

The final endeavor that is very near and dear to Shae’s heart is her work as the Managing Director of The Liberty Theatre. Shae came on board in the spring of 2013, to help out in a very limited capacity for a short period of time, and a little over two years later - she is still there. Shae describes her work at the Liberty as a labor of love. It’s a job that she does not because of any great financial benefit but because the Liberty is a treasured piece of history that she believes must be taken care of and preserved for future generations. Right now, the most pressing goals at The Liberty are to continue to raise funds for building improvements and move the Liberty towards greater self-sufficiency. Some significant improvements to the facility have already been made possible by Historic Columbus and the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation, and The Liberty is extremely thankful. Without the support these organizations provided, improvements to the Liberty’s annex would never have happened. The Liberty is now in need of large scale renovations such as a roof and other work throughout the facility. Shae says, “As a struggling non-profit, rentals are a big part of what sustain the Liberty. Clients come to the Liberty to celebrate their special occasions – weddings, wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. They deserve stellar customer service and a beautiful space at an affordable rate. We want to make sure to provide that at all times.” With all that she has going, Shae is often asked how long she will stay at the Liberty. She says, “I don’t know. I believe that God placed me at The Liberty for a reason. I’ll stay until HE sees fit for me to move on. I do believe that there is more to be done. I love my work at the Liberty, and I love the board members and volunteers who help keep things going. There are definitely days when I get discouraged and consider throwing in the towel, but I think about how badly I want The Liberty to be a thriving cultural center 25 years from now when my nine year old and her friends are my age, and I find the energy to keep going. That’s what motivates me.”

Many know that non-profits often struggle financially – particularly arts organizations. When asked if there is something she could be doing with her time that might be more lucrative, Shae said, “Money is important. Don’t get me wrong by any means. However, if money is the only thing propelling whatever work you’re doing – you will soon burn out. You must be driven by something much greater and the money will find you. “

Andre 3000 says it best, “Cheese will come, believe me. I'm never focused on the cash.”

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ISH HARRIS

Administrative Support

Ish Harris is a country boy from Buena Vista, Georgia. From singing and creating his own characters (while performing chores) at the early age of 4, winning literacy competitions during grade school, joining the One Act Play team in high school, to becoming the first black and male drum major at Marion County High, Ish has always had an undeniable passion for the arts.

Ish Harris's love for acting and music pushed him to study Theatre and Vocal Performance at Albany State University. During his matriculation, he was a member of the ASU Gospel Choir (director), ASU Concert Chorale (featured soloist), ASU Theatre Ensemble (president), and a proud member of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.

Ish Harris is professional actor, singer, and musician who has had the amazing pleasures of gracing the stages of the historic Liberty Theatre and the historic Springer Opera House. He made his Springer debut in Sister Act as Eddie Souther. Other theatre and performance credits include Grease (Johnny Casino); Black Nativity (Joseph); Next to Normal (Gabe); The Colored Museum (Walter-Lee- Beau-Willie Jr.) and was a featured soloist in the 2016 and 2017 Miss Georgia Pageant and two-time guest performer for Columbus Mayor’s ‘The Dream Lives’ MLK Celebration. Ish Harris has worked on several television and film sets such as Goosebumps (2015), Drumline: A New Beat (2014), Vampire Diaries, and Things Don't Stay Fixed (2017); just to name a few. Being apart of the Liberty Theatre has challenged him to step out of his comfort zone and tackle directing Langston Hughes' Black Nativity and also was tasked to create a show filled with musical Broadway hits entitled Shonuff Broadway!

While acting and singing, Ish deems it necessary to give back to the community by stimulating, empowering, and inspiring young minds through acting and voice performance at Company C, Academy of Dance, the Liberty Theatre, and many local churches in the community and abroad. To God he gives all honor for every opportunity that he is assigned. www.theishharris.com