VALERIE EAGLE HEART MEYER
Nadia Clark does not subscribe to any labels. Although she once paraded around the world in different uniforms ranging from collegiate athlete to police officer, to Army Officer. Nadia returned to the desert in which she was raised to find peace. She has always been an artist but kept her creativity close to her chest. Since returning home, Nadia has decided to share her life's journey and serve humanity through her own unique artistic expression.
Omar Columbus is a photographer, poet, curator, advocate, and an Air Force veteran. A native of North Carolina, now residing in the Coachella Valley, he enlisted after high school and served for 12 years on active duty. An Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veteran seeking healing and comfort from post-traumatic stress, his poetry and photography have become his creative outlets. Omar has always believed that events in his life have been compelling. He is now learning to work through his trauma creatively, talk about those things, and heal through his art, storytelling, and advocacy.
Glen Harris was born and raised in the suburbs of NYC into a family that loved art, music, and theater. He earned a bachelor’s from NYU and spent more than 30 years in LA in TV production, PR, and talent management. He and his husband Tom moved to Joshua Tree in 2016 where Glen dedicates himself to several local charities, community groups, and organizations. He is an advocate for the arts, civil and equal rights, and the environment. Glen is the local Field Rep for the Third District County Supervisor and serves on the boards at Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree No-Kill Animal Shelter, and Desert Regional Tourism Agency.
Gillian Keller, the artist known as Enlightenment Barbie, has been translating esoteric visions from the ether into visual art since a sudden awakening zap in 2013. As an explorer of dreams, investigator of the seen & unseen, and worshiper of dynamism, Gillian doesn’t see herself as merely human. Rather, she sees everyone (and everything) as “god” experiencing itself- an ever-unfolding, self-creating, self-decaying continuum of perpetual revelation. From that perspective, she lives & creates. Gillian grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attained a BFA from University of Idaho, spent ten years in San Francisco, and has dwelled in this desert since 2020.
Snake Jagger is a California Desert artist. He begins with what he knows best – the California Desert & transforms that raw material into novel images that amaze and delight. His meticulous technique details every rock, cactus, and palm frond, giving each an intense presence. Snake paints in a style he calls “whimsical surrealism,” his artwork is meant to entertain, but also to inspire thoughts of preserving our home planet. His landscapes are too pristine, too perfect. But that is their appeal. For Jagger, the desert offers escape. His paintings allow us to share his sense of whimsy & hope.
Liz Lapp is a California native raised in Santa Cruz County among the surf, sand, and agricultural fields of the Central Coast. She graduated from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco with a major in advertising. Her professional journey in marketing, art, tech, and social media has taken her from the West Coast to the East Coast and back again. She currently resides in Yucca Valley and is the owner of the Hi Desert Times magazine shop in Twentynine Palms.
Valerie Eagle Heart Meyer
Born in Illinois & raised in LA, Valerie decided on the magic of the High Desert to follow her heart-led dream. She is stepping into her 25th year on the land she and her late husband chose together. Valerie is a teacher, intuitive, ceremonial dancer, & leader. She incorporates what has worked for her through prayer dances, women's circles, retreats, medicine wheel ceremonies, & other classes & workshops. With two associates, Valerie opened Rainbow Stew in Yucca Valley in 2011. Rainbow Stew offers a variety of treasures, healing therapies, works from local artists, as well as classes & workshops "to feed the mind & spirit."
Rosa Pullman is a singer and songwriter based in Southern California. Steeped in the traditions and lineage of folk, soul, blues, and rock and roll, she writes from personal journeys as a way to offer both solidarity and reflection to her fellow people of the world. Her love for the rhythm of poetry lands naturally in song and lends itself to many a meander through the labyrinth of experience and expression. She lived in the Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree areas for three years most recently where she wrote many a song with the winds and the sands and chollas.
Nigel Roman is a California native hailing from Joshua Tree. Raised by his grandmother on Sunburst Circle, he embodies the essence of his close-knit community. Nigel is a multifaceted individual, channeling his creativity as a musician and artist. His passion lies in exploring the depths of the human experience, valuing the truth, and drawing wisdom from personal traumas. He's dedicated to guiding others on their journey to comprehend this complex world, weaving a tapestry of empathy and insight. As a student of life with a profound love for his roots, Nigel Roman is a testament to the power of art, community, and the pursuit of understanding.
Mike Usher is a native of Twentynine Palms and an alumnus of Twentynine Palms High School. After high school, Mike began college in San Diego, before serving eight years in the Air Force. After the service, he earned a Masters in Education from UC San Diego and became a public school teacher in San Diego while moonlighting as a bartender in local breweries. In 2017 Mike and his family returned to Twentynine Palms where he took a job at Twentynine Palms High School. He taught and coached there for five years, leaving after the pandemic to open GRND SQRL, a scratch-made gastropub and craft beer bar in Twentynine Palms.
Co-Producer, Director and Host
Cheryl Montelle is thrilled to host and curate Mil-Tree’s second online spoken word fundraiser. She is a writer whose stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, and performed in Los Angeles, Joshua Tree and New York City. She created and hosted Desert Stories at the HDCC for 12 years, 14 shows. She has also produced similar shows in New York City and Los Angeles. Cheryl loves bringing community together and in 2012 she founded the veteran/ community non-profit, Mil-Tree. For more information go to mil-tree.org.