Organizers

Rabbit Box is run by volunteers.
Our director is Leara Rhodes.

The Advisory Board includes
Stevie King, Neal Priest, David Oates, and Amy Moss.

Brittany Barnes is a Research Professional in Forest Entomology in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA. When she is not looking for insects in the woods, she enjoys having a nice glass of wine on the porch with her family, friends, and five cats. She finally considers herself an Athenian after living here since 2005! She has told a few stories on the Rabbit Box stage and is ecstatic to contribute even more to bringing stories to our community.

Donna Smith Fee was given a reversible raincoat when she was five and that began her education on the power of stories.  When wearing the yellow side, she did as she was told but once it was reversed to the kelly green side with huge daisies, she became her own evil twin who told wild stories to teachers, crossing guards, and playground peers. An Athens native with wanderlust, she mostly sells real estate and trains others to create content in her role as Founder and Director of Partnerships for Learnie, a community microlearning app.  She has two teenagers who challenge her constantly but mostly they eat their veggies and are kind and wonderful human beings. Currently, she is renovating a house she once lived in with her grandmother and will have paint on her hands for weeks and weeks.

Ashley Garrett has been telling stories of gratitude, grief, and growth for years at baddestmotherever.com and is a veteran storyteller and emcee for Rabbit Box. Ashley’s day job is as a professional communicator for a large hospital system’s local branch. Her other job is teaching her exceptionally good looking and brilliant children how to act like regular people.

Sean Polite is a Navy veteran and distinguished actor having performed in dozens of plays in Athens and Atlanta. As a radio personality, Sean is the host of the weekend editions on WUGA. He works full-time at a local doctor's office but moonlights as a voice over narrator; he speaks English, French, Spanish, and basic Japanese. Originally from Brunswick with close ties to Sapelo Island, Georgia, he has just finished reading "Anna Karenina" and will discuss it with anyone who has not read it. Sean enjoys being out to dinner with friends.

Sean Polite is a Navy veteran and distinguished actor having performed in dozens of plays in Athens and Atlanta. As a radio personality, Sean is the host of the weekend editions on WUGA. He works full-time at a local doctor’s office but moonlights as a voice over narrator; he speaks English, French, Spanish, and basic Japanese. Originally from Brunswick with close ties to Sapelo Island, Georgia, he has just finished reading “Anna Karenina” and will discuss it with anyone who has not read it. Sean enjoys being out to dinner with friends.

Pat Priest is an independent writer and producer whose work has appeared on the radio show “Living on Earth,” on Georgia Public Broadcasting, and in the Washington Post. Her husband Neal calls her an event inventor; she founded WUGA’s Artists in Residence series; the concertseries Athens in Harmony (with Mokah and Knowa Johnson); the long-running Stomp Out Domestic Violence and Dancing with the Athens Stars (with Project Safe’s director Joan Prittie); and more. She worked with others to start “Athens News Matters” on WUGA and produced a limited-run series that ran statewide called “Songsmiths.” She loves books, stories, conversations, and ballroom dancing.

Leara Rhodes has been a writer since she was 9 years old with her first poem published in an anthology. Retired Associate Professor Emeritus from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, she continues to write for magazines, is working on a novel, and has published three books and dozens of journal articles. Her interests include theatre (she’s directed, costumed, and acted), traveling (long stays in Haiti, Trinidad, Tanzania, England, and Ireland), reading (everything John Irving has written), and her family (2-week summer Camp Baba with 2 grand girls).

Heather Slutzky has lived in Athens for nearly 20 years. She is a secular celebrant and a public speaker on healthcare culture. When interacting with small children she often makes a frog shape with her hands, a skill she learned from a storyteller in her early adulthood. She loves her life of being paid to see beautiful places while holding a microphone then returning home to her son, husband, three dogs, three fish, six snails and a yard cat.

Jacob Zoller is new to Athens and looking to make friends! He and his partner Leigh (‘09 Dawgs) have two kids, 4 and 6, and two schnauzers. He loves reading, writing, games, swimming, and learning new things. He especially enjoys hearing and sharing stories of questioning and change around spirituality. Jacob considers it his mission to inspire hope that the future can be better than the present.

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