For over two decades, Clay Rivers has communicated stories as a writer, artist, and actor. His varied professional experience gives him a well-rounded base from which to draw. Clay is keenly aware that for a message to resonate with its intended audience, it must first connect with both their head and heart. And the most lasting connections always begin with a compelling story.
Clay has penned three nonfiction books: Walking Tall: A Memoir About the Upside of Small and Other Stuff, The Raindancer: Finding Joy in the Storm, and 3 Things I Know: Facing and Embracing Life’s Challenges. Each takes a different look at how to effectively mine the best from life’s most trying circumstances with a positive attitude while holding one’s head high. His foray into fiction, Christmas Is, is a homage to the great holiday movies we’ve come to know and love. The novel can be best described as a mashup of Elf meets It’s a Wonderful Life meets The Lion King but without the singing animals.
Clay’s most recent accomplishments include founding the Medium publication Our Human Family, serving as president and CEO of the registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization of the same name. Our Human Family, Inc. advocates for racial equity and inclusion by creating and offering workshops, panel discussion groups, targeting vital educational programs for sponsorship, hosting guest speaker events, and much more.
Rivers and Our Human Family, Inc. have also launched the new digital periodical OHF Weekly and the tony print publication OHF Magazine. He serves as the editor-in-chief of both. The publications’ articles reflect Rivers’ nonfiction writing aesthetic, which entertains with sharp wit, enlightens with subtle revelation, and inspires via quiet whispers. And in fall 2020, in response to the murder of George Floyd, Rivers and his editorial team published Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together, a handbook to prepare people who are unsure of where, when, or how to get involved in the work of racial equity and allyship.
Clay’s credo of self-acceptance while embracing life’s challenges is a constant thread in his work, sometimes laid out for all the world to see and at other times veiled. His essays have appeared in The Daily Dot, The Mighty, the popular and innovative Medium publications Crossin(G)enres and The Mission, and most notably in The New York Times. His essays have amassed a passionate and devoted following, disarm without force, inform without condescension, and issue a joyful call that inspires readers to become better versions of themselves.
As an award-winning art director for Walt Disney World Resort Design, The Disney University, The Disney Stores, Disney Imagineering, and Disney Consumer Products, Clay’s aesthetic is rooted in the classic principles of designs that zero in on connecting with targeted audiences.
Clay has appeared in countless Walt Disney World productions, numerous television and film appearances, and the beloved Radio City Christmas Spectacular. True to form, his offerings have been consistent and authentic interpretations of his directors’ visions.
Clay lives in Orlando with his family and is almost always up for good conversation and a Manhattan.
Illustration by Annette Marnat.