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Time To Be

Arts and Culture



Terry Olson

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Terry Olson has held his position with Orange County since 2001 when the office of Arts and Culture was created to oversee the county’s investment in arts and cultural organizations. Through Orange County he has been able to see millions of dollars invested in our arts community.  Olson has helped start numerous arts organizations in the area since moving here in 1982 -most notably the SAK Comedy Lab, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, and the Downtown Arts District. Currently, Olson is leading the effort to celebrate the many heritages here with a new free festival called FusionFest on Thanksgiving weekend in downtown Orlando. The festival features a kaleidoscope of aromas, sights, sounds, tastes, textures and film shorts that highlight the diverse origins and heritages of our community.  Central Floridians from more than 100 heritages participate in FusionFest.  The festival seeks to honor the diversity of our community and to explore how we are influencing each other to create our own unique Central Florida identity.  

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Thali Sugisawa

Thali Sugisawa was born and raised in the south of Brazil, as second-generation of Japanese immigrants. She earned a Bachelor's degree in International Relations, and a Master's degree in Organizations & Development. Her expertise is in business development, project management and digital marketing.  She is also passioned about diversity, progressive education, women & girls issues, social equality, good food and yoga.  Thali currently manages the business operations for FusionFest, a non-profit, public-private partnership project that aims to celebrate the people and the many different cultures that make Orlando awesome. 


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Tisse Mallon

Tisse Mallon is the Founder of the Elar Institute, a school focused on the science of connection. For the past 15 years, Tisse has been producing events and teaching classes centered in emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and creativity. As the Interactive Village curator for FusionFest.  Most notably, Tisse has been the FusionFest “Interaction Guru” from Fusion Fest’s beginning.  Tisse seeks out ways to bring festival attendees together to connect, converse and create. Tisse proudly promotes the ideology of Global Citizenship which involves a broader perspective of human rights, sustainability, and commonality.


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Miguel De La Rosa

Miguel De La Rosa is the creative “process guy”. As a proud Indiana State University Alumni (Go Sycamores!), he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. He has over 8 years of experience working in creative and marketing. Leading and executing large creative campaigns for Disney, the University of South Florida, and the Detroit Pistons, Miguel has extensive design, video production, and photography experience and considers himself a Creative Swiss Army Knife. He currently runs Vadela — a creative content consultancy and production studio in Orlando, Florida. Miguel’s company handles the Social Media for FusionFest.


Lori Turchin

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Lori Turchin is currently employed full-time at Full Sail University as the Associate Course Director for History of Motion Picture Arts, teaching both online and on campus. She worked to evolve this course from Associates Degree to Bachelor’s Degree, from Classroom to Online and Hybrid Curriculums.  From 2004 to 2006, she mentored students through the process of writing a short film from formatting to story and through visual conception board and pitch.  During that time Lori presented special lecture on how to break down a feature film script.  At Full Sail University, she served as Team Captain for Full Sail University Behind the Scene Tours.  In that position, she  was  responsible for writing script for Behind the Scene Tours and conducting tours.  Lori also created curriculum and taught a continuing education class on Visual Storytelling In The Age of Screens.  Additional educational pursuits included creating curriculum, assets and teaching Cinema History online at the L.A. Film School in Florida.  As an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida, she taught Film History 2, a 3000 level course and adapted curriculum using Canvas LMS.  She is the present Manager of the Global Peace Film Festival.  In the capacity as Manager, she organized the festival and fundraised for Festival. 

Shawn Welcome

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Shawn Welcome is a nationally known performance poet. He is blessed with a gift to encourage, inspire, educate, and motivate. Shawn has more than 10 years’ public performing experience, which includes drama and acting. He has performed in venues across the state of Florida and the US, was nominated for state poet laureate, and has also spoken for companies, such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson, The Orlando Magic, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and more!   Shawn created and currently hosts “Diverse Word,” at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, a weekly poetry open mic that includes comedy and other acts. Started in 2006, it is the longest running open mic in Orlando.. He produced his first poetry CD in 2010 and published his first book in 2013. Shawn is the Words Curator for FusionFest and works with the Polis Institute helping to design solutions to social problems.