Hi. My name is David Vanadia. I’m an independent freelance writer, storyteller, teacher, and artist based in Surf City, NJ.
I provide multimedia content services (writing, workshops, video, code, etc.) to individuals and organizations. I also create original projects centered around wellness and social issues, and I teach mind-body fitness classes. All of my work is informed by applied narrative design, social practice art, and an interdisciplinary approach.
I’m currently rebuilding my entire website—thus this one-page, summarized version. If you are looking for Stop Being Sweet, NYC Stories, or any of my other projects, please check back.
If you’d like to work on a project together, please get in touch.
Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum
Center for Community Change
New Jersey Organizing Project
Working Class Acupuncture
Straight Blast Gym
RiverPlace Athletic Club
Multnomah Athletic Club
Homewoods on the Willamette
March Wellness at OHSU
John Wiley & Sons Publishing
I do creative work for a variety of organizations, but I also maintain a personal artistic practice. Below is a summary of select projects.
Sound Off PDX
What do you do when the construction crew across the street wakes you up at 5 am everyday? What do you do when you find out they’ll be doing it for the next three years? This documentary demystifies the old saying “you can’t fight city hall,” and helps viewers learn how to navigate corrupt government bureaucracy.
PDX Tai Chi
I taught Tai Chi and Qigong classes in theaters, parks, retirement communities, community centers, colleges, gyms, and yoga studios in Portland, Oregon. It was a privilege to be able to introduced the art to thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest before moving back to the east coast.
This hour-long documentary shows what it was like to be on the streets of Manhattan on September 11, 2001. The video has been viewed over a million times on YouTube where it has been hailed as, “...the most brilliantly understated and moving coverage of 9/11,” and, “One of the best videos of the humanity of that day.” It was written about in the Oregonian and the Sandpaper, and was featured in the Des docus et des Hommes web series.
DIY Stories Storytelling Show
DIY Stories was a public, open-stage storytelling event that ran for two years in Portland, Oregon. It featured hundreds of people telling lots of great stories (including one about a psychic cat). DIY Stories was featured at the Multnomah County Library Tapestry of Tales Storytelling Festival, covered on the Destination DIY radio show on Oregon Public Broadcasting, and written about in the Oregonian.
BP Protest Ride
This 450-mile bicycle trek was taken to protest the BP Horizon Oil Spill Disaster. It attempted to inspire people away from buying “Save the Gulf” rubber bracelets and instead towards taking small sustainable actions. The project featured a micro-blog where I published research into local sustainable communities, bike culture, and how humans impact the environment with pollution and automobile traffic.
Stop Being Sweet
Stop Being Sweet helps people to go sugar-free for good. The project began as a blog, then expanded to include an ebook, live workshops, free talks, and videos. I’ve offered workshops at Whole Foods, Umpqua Bank, and Oregon Health and Science University’s March Wellness as well as being a featured guest on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud radio program.
A series of public discussions held at Place Gallery in downtown Portland, these events featured artists openly talking about about creative work, making a living as an artist, and debating the value of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The series helped prospective students and seasoned artists decide if a graduate degree was right for them.
In 2003, I dreamed of becoming a digital nomad before digital nomads were a thing. I gave up my New York City apartment, and sold everything I owned. Each item was documented with a story and photograph of the person who purchased my stuff.
NYC Tai Chi
New York City Tai Chi Club was an open push-hands club. Practitioners from all five boroughs came together each week in the spirit of friendship and learned from one another through applied practice. I ran the club for two years. It was hosted at the Movement Salon, and averaged 25-30 participants per session.
New York City Stories is an online collection of personal stories, letters, poems, and memes collected around the time of the September 11th World Trade Center attack. It has been viewed by millions of people world-wide.
Secret Storytelling Shows
Storytelling was not popular during the dot com boom. As a spoken word storyteller, I often had to perform in venues made for poets or singer/songwriters. Inspired by busking street performers, I became one myself and circumvented the competitive New York venue approval process by performing secret storytelling shows in parks and subway stations around the city.
Six Stories Tall
A collection of stories from my early live shows, Six Stories Tall was recorded at Third Studio from the Sun in NJ. It’s available from Amazon, streaming services, or you can request a CD copy from me.
I began telling stories professionally in 1994. Since then I have performed in theaters, outdoor festivals, circus tents, camps, subway stations, living rooms, libraries, bars, and cafes in the United States and abroad. Memorable venues include the Wildwood Festival of the Arts, NYC Spoken Word Festival, Yukon International Storytelling Festival, and Tellabration in Philadelphia.