Meet the Team

Heleya de Barros, Co-Executive Director (WA)

Heleya de Barros (she/her) served formerly as Executive Director of Association of Teaching Artists in New York where she developed an online professional development series and hosted an annual award ceremony. She has worked as Education Director at Arts Corps and with as a teaching artist with Lincoln Center Theater, McCarter Theater Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Center for Arts Education, People’s Theatre Project, Young Audiences New York, The Geffen Playhouse, The Los Angeles Music Center, The Orange County Performing Arts Center, Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, CRE Outreach, and 24th Street Theatre. She was a recipient of the 2015 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Curricula grant in partnership with City as School and is Co-Chair of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Teaching Artist Affairs Committee. Education: BA, Theatre, University of Southern California; MA, Educational Theatre, New York University; British American Drama Academy, classical theatre.

Katie Rainey, Co-Executive Director (AR)

Katie (M.K.) Rainey (she/her) is a writer, teaching artist, and editor from Little Rock, Arkansas. She was formerly the Director of the Teaching Artist Project (TAP) at Community-Word Project and has been a teaching artist for over 10 years. She has taught poetry, fiction, theatre, photography, English as a second language and filmmaking in various parts of the world. For the last six years, Katie has been teaching at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens, working with their 9th grade students on creative writing and using their art-making for activism. As a facilitator for TAP, Katie leads workshops for adults on social-emotional learning, curriculum building, career development, creative writing, and more. Formerly, Katie served as a Co-Chair of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Teaching Artist Affairs Committee and was a part of the 2018 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Emerging Leaders Boot Camp. Katie is the winner of the 2017 Bechtel Prize at Teachers & Writers Magazine, the 2017 Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest and the 2018 Montana Award for Fiction from Whitefish Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lit Hub, Writer’s Digest, The Collagist, 3AM Magazine, and more. You can see more about her work here:

Springwave Studios, Marketing Agency

Springwave Studios, Marketing Agency (Long Beach, CA) is led by Kenny Allen, who previously served as TAG’s Director of Membership. Springwave continues to support Teaching Artists Guild by providing design, marketing and operations services. Springwave is a design studio focused on helping non-profits and changemakers to accomplish their missions by providing them with flexible and affordable design and marketing support. They specialize in web development, web design, and branding.

TAG Leadership Document

Board of Directors

Kai Fierle-Hedrick, President (NY)

Kai Fierle-Hedrick (she/her) is Founder and Facilitator at Create Knowledge, Kai is currently based in Colorado, and has over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of learning, evaluation, organizational change, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. As a consultant, Kai has co-facilitated local, regional, and national projects with foundations, coalitions, nonprofits, and youth and adult community members and organizers working on/in social-emotional learning, educational equity, affordable housing, hunger, racial justice, and the arts. Prior to consulting, she spent nine years working in youth and community development at the nonprofit Free Arts NYC, lastly as Chief Program Officer, where she built long-term relationships with staff, young people, and families at over 20 community partner organizations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. And her facilitation skills were first honed via 6 years of collaborating with young people and adults as a writer and teaching artist in the UK and the US. In addition to a joint BA in Art History and English Literature (McGill University) and a Master of Philosophy in Architecture and the Moving Image (University of Cambridge), Kai holds graduate certificates in Teaching to Inspire Learning (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Leading Equity and Inclusion in Organizations (Northwestern University), and she is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory®.

Miko Lee, Treasurer (CA)

Miko Lee (she/her) is a Creative Consultant in Arts Education. She is the former Executive Director of Youth in Arts, where she created the Digital Toolkit and Arts BANK. She was Director of Art and Education at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, where she designed and directed Learning Without Borders, recipient of three consecutive U.S. Department of Education Model Arts Awards. The Work of the Mind media literacy curricula, has been replicated at sites across the country. Miko has developed arts education programs for the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the National Park Services Rosie the Riveter project. She was a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts Professional Development for Arts Education. Miko has presented at numerous national arts conferences and her arts integration curricula is being replicated around the country. Miko’s expressive arts curricula created with STAND! Against Domestic Violence received multiple awards. Miko also served as Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen where she created original Asian fusion multimedia productions. As an Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and San Jose Repertory’s Red Ladder Company she directed productions and worked with teachers and students on creating original works. Miko’s extensive background in theatre, as a performer, choreographer and director, include shows at American Conservatory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre and New York’s Public Theatre.

Thomas Cabaniss, Secretary (NY)

Thomas Cabaniss (he/him) was born in Charleston, SC in 1962. He writes for opera, theater, dance, film, and the concert stage. He lives in New York City, where he teaches at The Juilliard School and leads arts education projects through the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. He was Director of Education for the New York Philharmonic for Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel and served as Music Animateur for the Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach. He is a member of ASCAP and an Associate Artist with Target Margin Theater, David Herskovits, Artistic Director. 

We work in close partnership with our National Advisory Committee.