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Amita Sarin

Executive Producer

Amita, the creator of “A SACRED PIECE OF HOME” is an immigrant from India. She spent her first few decades in the US writing about the immigrant experience. Her non-fiction book on India for children (1985) was part of the Dillon Press Discovering Our Heritage Series. She researched and published Indian ritual art in the Freer & Sackler Galleries collections and coordinated an exhibition on Hindu imagery there. 


After lecturing about the architecture of Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Muslims as Smithsonian Study Leader on tours to India and coordinating lecture series and symposia on India for the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, she went on to teach Indian art and architecture at the University of Maryland where she also created and taught a course titled “Sacred Architecture East and West: Churches, Temples, Stupas and Mosques” It became evident to her that religious traditions, especially sacred architecture, are among the most visible and interesting aspects of any culture. She conceived of this series as an instrument for interfaith cross-cultural education 


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Ori Z. Soltes

Host & Executive Producer

Ori Z. Soltes, Ph.D. teaches theology, art history, philosophy, and politics at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He is the former Director of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum. In that capacity he has curated over 80 exhibitions domestically and internationally.


Soltes has authored or edited 28 books and scores of articles and exhibition catalogue essays. Recent volumes include Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian and Muslim Art Draw from the Same SourceMysticism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Searching for Oneness; Magic and Religion in the Greco-Roman World: The Beginnings of Judaism and Christianity; God and the Goalposts: A Brief History of Sports, Religion, Politics, War, and Art; and The Problem of God and How Humans Have Tried to Solve It Across Time.


Among the documentaries that he has produced is a 26-part series: TRADITION AND TRANSFORMATION: A VIBRANT HISTORY OF JEWISH ART AND ARCHITECTURE


Thomas Bloom

Filmmaker & Producer

Thomas R. Bloom is a certified member of the US Press Association with over 14 years of film experience spanning multiple genres from feature film making, to journalism, to social media content creation. He is an award-winning artist, writer, producer, director, and director of photography having produced films around the world including Japan, Australia, Germany, and more. His technical background as an aviation electrician and physicist have led him to design custom video production equipment with product lines of commercially available camera equipment.

Bloom is a Marine Veteran, having deployed eight times over 5 of years of active duty. He is a proud Eagle Scout and UC Berkeley alumni with degrees in Math, Physics, and Chemistry. He is the co-founder of the Veterans Resource Center SDCC San Diego and co-owner of the film company DrakeWise Productions, which did the principal filming of interviews under his direction for SPOH.

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Jacquie Greff


Jacquie Greff is the President and CEO of Tonal Vision, a Baltimore-based video production company, founded by her late husband Kraig Greff in 1990. In addition to her MBA and law degree, Jacquie obtained an MA in Producing Film and Video at American University after 21 years as an executive at Procter & Gamble. She has produced commercials, promotional videos, training films and complex multi-camera performances as well as a series of Cheryle Franceschi documentaries for PBS: FOREST HER, CONSERVATION KIDS, and MR. BESLEY’S FOREST.  As Producer and Editor of the time-lapse commercial “$500,000 Horseshoe Challenge Card-Stacker” she won the Silver DC Peer Award.  Her “MEMORIES OF THE WARSAW GHETTO” docudrama (with 70 cast and 40 crew) was awarded the Bronze DC Peer Award. She uses time-lapse, animation and motion graphics in her many award-winning projects, including a web series “HISTORY AT RISK,” “SUPPORT THE MARYLAND 100% CLEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY & EQUITY ACT,” and “BETTER TRANSPRTATION FOR A BETTER REGION.” 


Since 2023 she has edited all four films of the SPOH series and is also producing a documentary ACCORDION ETOUFFEE: THE KRAIG GREFF STORY.


Suzanne Brindamour


Suzanne Brindamour is an award-winning composer and singer, songwriter in the Washington,

DC area with a career spanning more than 20 years. The list of programs and clients she

has scored music for includes Mercedes Benz, National Geographic Explorer, America’s Most

Wanted, and the PBS documentary BARNSTORMING. Most recently, she scored two short films

and film fest favorites VAN SANCTUARY (BREAK THE ROOM directed by Saleem Reshamwala) and AIMEE VICTORIA (directed by Chrystee Pharris). She has released four albums, received critical acclaim (The Washington Post), and her songs have been used in film and television shows (the CW network, MTV and PBS). 


Brindamour has been hired to write in a wide range of musical styles including

Mississippi Delta blues, orchestral, urban, folk, Kurdish, cinematic, children’s songs, big band,

and more. Suzanne has composed the opening theme for SPOH as well as other parts of the



Score work samples:


Amy Johanson

Archival and Clearance Consultant

Archival Clearance and Licensing Consultant Amy Johanson shares expertise from years of experience as a producer and archival producer, having worked on documentaries for PBS,  ABC/Hulu, Discovery, Showtime and Smithsonian, as well as on several independent films. Her academic background includes undergraduate studies in American Culture and Historic Preservation, and graduate studies in urban planning. She is delighted to explore the religious communities and distinctive ecclesiastical architecture of DC through SPOH.


Michael Crosbie


Michael J. Crosbie, Ph.D., FAIA, studied architecture at The Catholic University of America and is currently Professor of Architecture at the University of Hartford. He is editor of Faith & Form: The  Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art, and Architecture. Dr. Crosbie is the sole author, editor, or contributor to more than 70 books on architecture (including six on religious architecture). The author of hundreds of articles on architecture, design, and practice, he lectures throughout the US and abroad. He is the recipient of the Edward S. Frey Memorial Award, “in Recognition of the Contributions Made to Religion, Art, and Architecture,” bestowed by the American Institute of Architects. Dr. Crosbie served as the Walton Visiting Critic at The Catholic University of America in 2015.

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John DeFerrari


John DeFerrari was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and has worked for many years for the federal government. He enjoys digging up little-known facts about the cultural history of the nation’s capital. In addition to penning the popular Streets of Washington blog, DeFerrari is also a trustee of the D.C. Preservation League and serves as Review Editor of Washington History, the magazine of the D.C. History Center. He is the author of three books: Lost Washington, D.C. (2011), Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats (2013), and Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C. (2015), all published by History Press. He is also co-author with Peter Sefton of the forthcoming Sixteenth Street NW: Washington, DC's Avenue of Ambitions, to be published by Georgetown University Press in 2022.




Michael M. Gick


Michael M. Gick, AIA, MRTPI is an architect and planner active in the Washington Metropolitan Region.  Over his 40-year career, he has designed many sacred spaces including churches and synagogues. He also chaired the Virginia AIA’s Sacred Space Learning Community’s effort to present sacred space studies at the annual AIA-Virginia Conferences held in Richmond. His course titled “Design of Sacred Space in the Abrahamic Tradition” is taught at the graduate level at The Catholic University of America and chronicles the evolution of sacred thought and related sacred space in the Abrahamic Tradition – thus including Jewish, Christian and Islamic environments.


B.N. Hebbar

Professor of Religion

B.N. Hebbar, Ph.D. teaches Religions of the East and a variety of specialty courses including Indian Philosophy, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Doctrine and Debate in World Religions, Minor Religions of India, and South Asian Buddhism. He received the Bender Teaching Award in 2006.

He was educated in India and studied Theravada Buddhism in Sri-Lanka and Thailand. He received his bachelors and master’s degrees from George Washington University and his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands). He also has a D.Litt. from the University of South Africa.

He taught at the University of Maryland Honors Program for a decade and has lectured on Eastern religions at the Virginia Theological Seminary, the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program and at the Johns Hopkins Osher Program. He has lectured on Hindu bioethics at seminars in NYU Medical school and Harvard Medical school and has co-authored articles on Hindu bioethics with a Temple University Medical School associate. He has advised the Pentagon Board of chaplains in Hindu religious matters during the First US-Iraq War. As an advisor to the International Buddhist group, he has received awards from the Cambodian and Korean Buddhist communities. He is currently the Executive Vice-President of the International Buddhist Association of America (IBAA).

Dr. Hebbar has authored articles on South Indian Vaishnavism in the Harper-Row Dictionary of Religions and in the Journal of Vaishnava Studies as well as in the Journal of Indian Philosophy & Religion in 2016 and 2017. His three books are: The Sri-krsna Temple at Udupi (Nataraj Books, 2005), Visistadvaita and Dvaita (Nataraj Books, 2005), and Who is the Supreme God: Visnu or Siva? (Nataraj Books, 2011). 


Joanne Punzo Waghorne

Religious Historian

JOANNE PUNZO WAGHORNE works in contemporary theoretical directions in the study of religion, new religious movements, globalization, and transnational migration. Spatial theory, visual studies, and urban studies inform her interdisciplinary approach which she works to integrate with her roots in History of Religions and phenomenology. Her recent publications include Singapore, Spirituality, and the Space of the State: Soul of the Little Red Dot. London: Bloomsbury 2020. Place/No-Place in Urban Asian Religiosity edited volume for ARI-Springer Asian Series, 2017. The Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World; Oxford University Press, 2004 includes her work on the Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple in the DC area where she attended and photographed all of the installation ceremonies with her husband Dick Waghorne. 

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