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Meet our Board


Vanetta Schoefield

Joanna Briley

 Assistant Curator and Consultant 
Festival Director
and Founder

Brooklyn born, Connecticut raised Joanna is a New York City-based actor, stand-up comedian and writer. Joanna manages the Brooklyn House of Comedy & has appeared on Lifetime TV's “Fempire” ad campaign, "Watch What Happens Live" on Bravo TV with Andy Cohen, and several appearances on Wendy Williams “Street Talk” segment.

Vanetta is a cornbread fed, Southern Belle turned NY City Beast. She hit the NYC comedy scene just a few years ago with experience in radio, marketing & branding. Those skill sets spearheaded her passion for women and “Funny Hunnyz” was born. What was once a monthly stand up show has now become a young business model that stands to be a powerful “Empowerment through Entertainment” company. 




Lois Thompson

Festival Coordinator

A founding member of Comic Diversity, Lois has performed at Caroline's, Gotham Comedy Club, Broadway Comedy, & Stand-Up NY to name just a few.  She currently is producing & hosting Blacklight Comedy Show at the Brooklyn Moon in Fort Greene for 5 years running. She is looking forward to, for the 4th year in a row, producing & hosting the Brooklyn Pride Celebration Comedy Show.

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Onika McLean

Sponsorship Coordinator

Onika hails from New York City.  She’s a legal professional by day and a funny lady at night. Onika stumbled upon her comedy flare and never looked back. Her quick wit, no-nonsense approach to life and middle age issues gives her the right amount of comedy edge with a dose of sultry sophistication. She is also known as “the Diva of Comedy” because she steps on stage with a flair for fashion and all things fabulous. You can catch her set at her self-produced monthly showcase “Cosmic Comedy” as well as at a few local NYC comedy stages like LOL Comedy Club and The Comic Strip. 

Festival Coordinator

Elsa Eli Waithe

Dara Jemmott

Festival Coordinator

Elsa Eli is a comedian, activist and instructor from Norfolk, VA. Her comedy is a mix of lighthearted but critical jobs at attitudes around race and homosexuality, but she really likes to talk about herself and weed. Elsa Eli has been featured on NPR's This American Life and on the New York Comedy Festival, but her passion project is teaching teen girls stand-up comedy with GOLD Comedy School for Girls. Follow her on Twitter @elsajustelsa.

Dara is a Jersey girl, based in Brooklyn. She started stand up after a bad date said she wasn't funny, and has saved thousands of dollars on therapy ever since. Her comedic style is described as witty, hilarious and she has the ability to make the audience comfortable with the uncomfortable. As a host, she is a non-stop ball of energy and makes life feel like one big party! When she is not petting unicorns and swimming with mermaids, you can catch her at Urban Vegan Kitchen on Mondays and Brooklyn House of Comedy on Wednesdays. Also check out her podcast she co-hosts, Comedians for Hire!

Attachments area

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Rosa Escandó​n

Shanna Christmas

Web Designer and
Media Coordinator

Rosa is a New York-based writer and comedian. She’s been seen on Buzzfeed Video, Seriously.TV, is on the board of the Cinder Block Comedy Festival. She has been an editor at the Tusk and is a current contributor to Forbes writing about Women in Comedy Under 30 as well as a writer for Laughspin. She premiered her first web series, Assault and Other Stages in April of 2018. When she's not doing comedy or writing, she is also an artist and graphic designer. 

Festival Consultant

Shanna is a comedian and Las Vegas native who was born on Christmas Day. Her festival appearances include the World Series of Comedy, Ventura Comedy Festival, Burbank Comedy Festival, Black Girl Giggles, and the Devil Cup Festival, where she took home the trophy in 2018. Her style of comedy keeps audiences on edge due to her sweet and approachable looks, yet sharp, direct and salty humor. She’s adorable, but always bothered. She was once told by an audience member "You’re clever.”

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