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Atlanta, Ga - Chosen Family

  • Highland Inn and Ballroom 644 North Highland Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA, 30306 United States (map)

The Story Collider is thrilled to once again take part in the Atlanta Science Festival! Join us for five true, personal stories about families—the ones we choose, and the ones we’re stuck with.

Hosted by Kellie Vinal and Emma Yarbrough. Doors at 7:30 p.m.

Stories by:


Marisa Levy is a New York native who moved to Atlanta to study the sexiest organ in the human body, the brain.  After graduating from Georgia State University with her Master’s in Neuroscience in 2015, she studied comedy at Dad's Garage and Highwire Comedy Company in improv & sketch comedy programs.  She learned how to get out of her head and to make big offers, life lessons that have been important for her thus far. She works at a financial tech startup in Midtown, combining her passion for people & analytical thinking as a Customer Success Specialist.  


Maged Roushdi is a General Company member at Dad's Garage Theatre Company. You can see him as a regular cast member on Scandal! An Improvised Soap Opera and Improvised Dungeons and Dragons there. He is also part of a two person Improv Duo Team with his 7 year old daughter River. It's named Funny Bunny. They do stuff all around. He owes every bit of comedic and otherwise success to his daughter River and his lovely wife Stevie. They're the best.


Meisa Salaita is enamored with the beauty of science. Through her work founding and directing the Atlanta Science Festival, she spends her days trying to convince everyone else to fall in love with science as well. To that end, Meisa also writes, has produced radio stories, and hosted tv shows - all in the name of science. Meisa has a Ph.D. in chemistry, has birthed two humans, and has a bizarre level of enthusiasm for shoehorns. If she had the stamina and talent, she’d be dancing hip-hop 24/7.


Bilal Sarwari serves as the Community Development Manager at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA. This town of less than 100 people is home to White Oak Pastures, Georgia’s largest organic, regenerative farm. The farm specializes in pasture-raising ten different species of livestock, growing certified organic vegetables, and humanely hand-butchering each species in its on farm USDA-inspected abattoir. Bilal is a graduate of Oxford College and Emory University where he developed a passion for the place where sustainability and human health meet. Currently, Bilal helps guide the rural revival of this small town in southwest Georgia that he calls home.


Melanie Tumlin is a 30-something Atlanta native whose many identities include tiny house carpenter, leader, recovering academic, trailer ninja, inveterate wanderer, educator, queer woman, and most recently Mama. Her personal motto -- that with Google and a bit of gumption you can accomplish just about anything -- has fueled most of the more noteworthy moments of her adult life, from converting a schoolbus into a home on wheels to leading a local non-profit to making her very own gayby. A tent in the woods is her happiest of happy places.  

Later Event: April 1
New York, NY - Fool Me Once