National Advisory Committee (NAC)

TAG’s work is guided in part by our National Advisory Committee, representing the depth and breadth of the teaching artists field across the US. The National Advisory Committee exists to provide input, guidance, and strategy towards our mission and vision; to connect TAG to other organizations, leaders in the field, and individual teaching artists locally and nationally. These members serve two year, renewable terms.

Meet the NAC Members

Adriana Guzmán (NY)

Adriana Guzmán (she/her) is a first-generation American and Queens NY native. This foundation of multiculturalism instilled a spirit of global citizenship at a very young age, which has carried through in her work as a Visual Artist and Educator. Adriana received her BFA in Graphic Design and Art Education from Pratt Institute, and an MFA in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from The School of International Training. Since, she has honed her artistic and training skills in a variety of roles locally and internationally. Additionally, Adriana is one of the Co- Developers of the GIVE Guide (Growing Inclusivity for Vibrant Engagement: a free resource for Teaching Artists working in Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classrooms, a partnership between Community-Word Project, ArtsConnection, and New Victory Theater). Now back in New York City, she is redefining her contributions, re-rooting and branching out – graduating from the Arts Activism Academy, practicing as a certified yoga instructor, facilitating Social Emotional Learning workshops, gathering art makers and pursuing children’s book writing and illustration primarily portraying children of color from around the world.

Andrea Rehani (IL)

Andrea Rehani is a first-generation Assyrian-Syriac Iraqi-American prose and poet-writer and teaching artist. Her writing has been published in Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts, MAKE: A Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. She writes book reviews for Orion Magazine. For the last seven years, Andrea has taught English, writing composition, and ESL to multilingual students in higher education in virtual and non-virtual spaces. Currently, she is working toward her Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies at DePaul University. As a co-facilitator for DePaul University’s doctoral writing group, Andrea leads writing workshops for doctoral students in education. Andrea also serves as the President of the Education Doctoral Student Association (EDSA) at DePaul University. Andrea has served as a writing judge for the 2017 and 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for New York high school students whose submissions were poetry, criticism, and nonfiction. Additionally, she has been a reader for the 2019 and 2020 CLMP Firecracker Awards for Independently Published Literature in creative nonfiction and poetry. As a co-captain for Poems While You Wait, Andrea leads this poetry group when hired for weddings, street festivals, and literary events in Chicago. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction Prose from The New School and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Northeastern Illinois University. Andrea lives in Chicago.

Ashley Zaragoza (NY)

Ashley Zaragoza (she/her) is a Latina actress, comedy writer, and teaching artist born and based in New York City. Ashley has been working in the arts education field for nearly 10 years. She believes in the power the arts have to create transformative change. Her creative work has deeply impacted her own life and she hopes to share that with others in search of a creative outlet. Ashley can be found regularly participating in shows with AfterWork Theater and/or working on her own original comedic material. 

Bailey Clemmons (NC)

Bailey Clemmons is a passionate and motivated instructor who loves working with students and sharing her love of music. She teaches viola, violin, and piano to students of all ages.

From her middle school years, through her time as an undergraduate student at North Carolina Central University, Bailey has remained an active performer as well as a student of music. She is a credentialed Suzuki teacher & actively serves as a summer camp instructor with the Durham Arts Council. In addition to her many performances in a school setting, she has played for weddings, talent shows, and other events. She currently plays as 1st chair violist with the Meredith College Philharmonic Orchestra in Raleigh, NC.

B.J. Buckley (MT)

B.J. Buckley is a Montana poet and writer who has worked in Arts-in-Schools and Communities programs throughout the West and Midwest for over 45 years. Her residencies have included museums, libraries, senior and dementia care centers, homeless shelters, and healthcare facilities. She was for several years the Writer-in-Residence at Sanford Cancer center in Sioux Falls, SD. 

Her work appears or is forthcoming in About Place Journal, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, Grub Street, Dogwood, Calyx, Hole in the Head Review, and many other print and online magazines.

B .J.’s prizes and awards include a Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship; The Cumberland Poetry Review’s Robert Penn Warren Narrative Poetry Prize; Poets & Writers “Writers Exchange Award” in Poetry; the Rita Dove Poetry Prize from the Center for Women Writers at Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC; Joy Harjo Prize from CutThroat: A Journal of Arts and Literature; the Comstock Review Poetry Prize; and Honorable Mention in Southern Humanities Review’s Witness Prize. She has been awarded residencies at The Ucross Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Colrain Manuscript Conference.

Her books include Artifacts, Willow Bee Press 1987; Moon Horses and the Red Bull, ProngHorn Press 2004, with co-author Dawn Senior-Trask; and Corvidae: Poems of Ravens, Crows, and Magpies, Lummox Press 2014. Her new chapbook manuscript, In January, the Geese, won the Comstock Review’s 35th Anniversary 2021 Poetry Chapbook Prize. Photo Credit: Dainia Hazners

Christina Farrell (IA)

Christina Farrell (she/her) is a teaching artist, performer and consultant who has returned to her Midwest roots after two decades of working in Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. She is the Founding Director of Opera Ignite, a nonprofit which has served as an educational collaborator with organizations including Toledo Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Festival Opera. As a Master Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, she has led classroom residencies, professional development and teaching artist training across the U.S., as well as Singapore and India. Christina supported curriculum design and program structure for Pittsburgh BUZZWORD, an collaborative initiative of six arts and sciences organizations which provide interactive learning experiences for families with young children. In 2018, the Iowa Arts Council contracted Christina to conduct an environmental survey of teaching artistry throughout the state with the goal of providing recommendations for teaching artist training and sustainable practices for the field. She has been invited to serve on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Advisory Committee, Opera America Teaching Artist Network Leadership Committee and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Education Advisory Council.

David K Freeman (NJ)

David K Freeman (he/him) is a musician/producer/teaching artist based in New York. He has traveled extensively to study music, including in the Dominican Republic and India. His work is infused with a passion for Jazz, Latin, and Folk music traditions. David is celebrating his latest album Overview Effect and remains an active member of the Outer Bridge Ensemble, The Biryani Boys, Sha’ar and collaborates on projects in the visual arts, dance, and film, including the composition and performance of original music for PBS’ The Mind of a Chef and The Love Guru motion picture soundtrack. David has worked with notable artists such as Mike Myers (SNL), Chris Hajian, Douglas Keeve, Alan Cumming, Annie Lanzillotto Jimmy Buffett, Billy Martin (MMW), James Zollar, Mark Gross, Gwen Laster, Daniel Carter, Fast Forward, Brent Green, Paul Rucker, Stephen Chopek, Nadine LaFond, Alicia Jo Rabins, Daniel Saks, Wyndham Boylan-Garnett, Lilah Larson, Lou Guarneri among many others.David is a current faculty member at Pace University’s Media Communications and Visual Arts Dept. where he teaches Jazz Music History, The Entertainment Industry, Writing for Print Media and Public Speaking. David is the Education Director for Brooklyn Raga Massive and serves as a board member for the Teaching Artist Guild.

Guillermina Zabala (TX)

Born in Argentina, Guillermina Zabala is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and researcher whose art examines the intersection between the individual and their social-political-cultural environment. Her works have been exhibited in museums and art galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Texas, Miami, and San Francisco; and internationally in Germany, Latin America and Spain. Her photographs are part of the UTSA Art Collection and have been published in books and publications. Her films have been exhibited in numerous film festivals, including Telluride, Chicago Latino, New York, Beverly Hills, San Sebastián, Torino, Monterrey, and the Showtime Latino Showcase, among others. Recently, her feature documentary Juanito’s lab was selected to be the opening film at the 42nd CineFestival in San Antonio. 

She graduated from Columbia College (Los Angeles) with a BA in Cinema, and from The New School (New York) with a MA in Media Studies.. She’s the first recipient of the Bishwanath and Sandhya Sinha Memorial Fellowship in Media Studies at The New School, where she has been addressing the topics of media, migration, and creativity under the supervision of professor Sumita Chakravarty. Additionally, she has been selected to be the Research Assistant in the Emerging Media Department working alongside professor Fabiola Hanna. 

Because of her recurrent use of text on her artworks, she was invited to be a Guest Artist at the talk Language is a Virus at SA’s McNay Art Museum where Guillermina had a solo exhibit at the McNay in the Octagon Gallery with her video I, Me, Light. 

She’s the Director of the Media Arts program at SAY Sí and the recipient of the Rick Liberto Visual Arts Award from the Luminaria Foundation, the UTSA’s 25Veinticinco Award, the SA Artist Foundation Award and the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant. She was selected to be a mentor at the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Arts program in 2018 and 2019. She was a member of the 2018 Luminaria Artistic Advisory Committee, served as Curator for numerous film festivals, including the 9th LA Freewaves; and she is an alumna of the 2017 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute and the 2008 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. 

Heleya de Barros (Co-Chair, Advocacy) (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.

Indi McCasey (CA/NY)

Indi McCasey (they/them) uses their super power as a creative connector to co-construct liberatory futures. Indi is a white, San Francisco Bay Area born and raised, gender non-conforming, queer creative who has spent the past 20 years working at the intersection of arts, education, and community health with non-profit organizations and school districts in Boston, Chicago, Juneau, Santa Fe, Seattle, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Indi is currently the Executive Director of the Arts Education Alliance of the Bay Area (AEABA), connecting and catalyzing local arts education coalitions for a more just and creative San Francisco Bay Area. They facilitate professional learning communities of local, national, and international educators, thought leaders, and organizations in partnership with institutions such as the former Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Department and Harvard’s Project Zero. Indi’s social practice is rooted in their experience as a teaching artist, performer, producer, program administrator, and arts advocate. They serve on the Funding Advisory Committee of the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program and are co-chair of the American Youth Circus Organization’s Social Circus Committee. Their creative work has been funded by the California Arts Council, Horizons Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, and Zellerbach Family Foundation among others. Along with India Davis, Indi co-founded Topsy-Turvy Queer Circus, an annual event at the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco that highlights queer and trans* performing artists of color. In 2016, they co-launched the White Advocates for Racial Equity Network within the National Guild for Community Arts Education, supporting conversations that address power, privilege, and culture in community arts nonprofits. As a member of the Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Partnership, Indi continues to collaboratively develop a shared practice framework based in the CYD values of youth leadership, racial justice, and collective action. Indi holds a self-designed BA from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jean Johnstone (CA)

Jean Johnstone (she/they) holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and both her BA and a Post-Graduate degree in Theater Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned certificates for training from the Moscow Art Theater (acting/directing) and the Presencing Institute at MIT (social and organizational change). Jean specializes in Arts & Cultural Policy, and on education and workforce development issues, international comparative cultural policy and cultural economics. She is a researcher on the California 100 project, developing forward thinking policies for the State of CA for the next generation. She recently consulted with the Cultural Affairs Department for the City of Oakland, and assisted on graduate level policy courses at The Goldman School.  Prior to this work, Jean spent 7 years as the Executive Director of Teaching Artists Guild, a national organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for artists working in participatory settings. She worked in partnership with County Offices of Education, the Dept. of Education, philanthropies, and statewide on national policy councils for arts, education and labor issues. Jean was a school board member and chair of the education committee at Francophone School of Oakland. Jean founded the Applied Theater Action Institute, which offered community arts and media programs internationally, and spent several years teaching drama and applied theater in Hong Kong, China. She directed productions in San Francisco serving people transitioning out of homelessness, was the theatrical director for a modern dance company, an artistic director of an award-winning political comedy theater, and a founding member of the Million Fishes Art Collective in San Francisco. She studied Russian, Spanish, and French. She lives in Oakland CA with her two kids and doggy.

Jean E. Taylor (NY)

Jean E. Taylor (she/her) is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education, working extensively in their local programs and international consultancies. She received Lincoln Center’s Directors Emeriti Award in 2012. Jean teaches Theatrical Clown for The New School for Drama’s BFA and MFA programs and most recently taught Clown for the World Economic Forum Global Leadership program at Columbia University. She presented at the International Teaching Artist Conferences in Oslo, Norway in 2012 and Brisbane, Australia in 2014. Her most recent performance work with director Eric Nightengale, True Hazards of Childhood, premiered at The Barrow Group in 2013. A trilogy of her theatre work is scheduled for January 2016. Additional performing work includes The Reclamation with Hilary Easton + Company and Snatches, a play begun at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London’s New End Theatre, and presented on BBC Radio 4. Jean studied clown/movement with Philippe Gaulier, Ronlin Foreman, David Shiner and Merry Conway, among others. Her approach to theatrical clown has been published in Movement for Actors, Allworth Press. She is a member of The Teaching Artist Journal’s editorial board and a board member of The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination.

Julio Montalvo Valentin (Co-Chair, Knowledge) (Canada/NY)

Julio Montalvo Valentin makes time to serve an ever-changing community through trauma-informed, re/generative workshops. Julio is a member of the Latino/a/x arts collective called Los Artistas del Barrio Buffalo (LAdB), the Spark Filmmakers Collective Board, and the planning committee for the Lit Youngstown 2022 Literary Festival. After completing the TimeSlips: WNY Tele-Stories Project, Julio is also returning as the Lead Poetry Teaching Artist for the Buffalo Public Schools “Woke Words” program. Aside from the inaugural Teaching Artist Mentorship Program with the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, you can always find Julio ready for the next writing opportunity through his next project,

Kai Fierle-Hedrick (Co-Chair, Finance) (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®.  

Laura Sáenz (IL)

Born and raised in Mexico City, México – Laura Sáenz is a teaching artist, cultural researcher and facilitator. She came to the U.S. to pursue a degree in Visual Communication and Dance/Choreography in California. After moving to Chicago, she became a teaching artist for CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnership in Education) at Telpochcalli school and a cultural researcher for Latin-American communities in the U.S. She left the country for a decade to live in Istanbul, Turkey where she gave birth to her two sons, designed a physical wellness and yoga course at ITÜ – Istanbul’s public technical university and received a grant to research motherhood, female spaces and post-partum health. Returning to Chicago in 2015, she renewed her work as a teaching artist with CAPE in schools, taught yoga in the community and became a bilingual facilitator for StoryCorps – a national oral history non-profit organization which records and archives stories all over the country. She most recently joined Opportunities for All as a teaching artist and consultant for their SPARK program which creates arts integrated professional development for teachers and parents. Her art and teaching focus on using the human body as a tool for self-expression, creation, storytelling and play – incorporating movement and video to bring performance into the everyday, to inspire and provoke.

Nacida y criada en México, Laura es una artista docente, investigadora cultural y facilitadora. Vino a los Estados Unidos para obtener una licenciatura en Comunicación Visual y Danza/Coreografía en California. Después de mudarse a Chicago, se convirtió en artista docente para CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnership in Education) en la escuela Telpochcalli y haciendo estudios culturales para la comunidad latinoamericana en EU. Salió del país por una década para vivir en Estambul, Turquía, donde dio a luz a sus dos hijos, enseñó yoga en ITÜ – la universidad pública de tecnología de Istanbul y recibió una beca para investigar la maternidad, los espacios femeninos y la salud pos-parto. Al regresar a Chicago en 2015, renovó su trabajo como artista docente con CAPE en las escuelas, enseñó yoga en la comunidad y se convirtió en facilitadora bilingüe de StoryCorps, una organización que graba y registra las historias de individuos y organizaciones por todo el país. Recientemente se incorporó a la organización Opportunities for All como artista docente y consultora para su programa SPARK, que crea programas de desarrollo profesional para maestros usando la integración de las artes en la enseñanza. También desarrolla talleres para apoyar a padres/madres de estudiantes. Su arte y enseñanza se enfocan en usar el cuerpo como una herramienta para crear, contar historias, expresarse y jugar, usando el movimiento humano y la tecnología de video para presentarlo en espacios públicos, inspirar y provocar.

Lauren Jost (OR)

Lauren Jost (she/her) creates, designs and teaches theatre-based workshops and classes for students of all ages for various arts companies and community organizations. An arts education and theatre professional, she has worked for some of the country’s most renowned theatres for young audiences. Lauren is the Founding Artistic Director of Spellbound Theatre, an innovative New York theatre company creating original, multi-disciplinary performance for very young children and families. Lauren is currently Executive Director of Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington.

Lindsey Buller Maliekel (NY/NJ)

Lindsey Buller Maliekel (she/her) is the Director of Education / Public Engagement for the New Victory Theater (American for the Arts Education Award recipient, 2008) and oversees all programs and content for family audiences as well as the theater’s youth development programs.  She manages a roster of 50 teaching artists, as well as continuing to teach in the schools and family programs throughout the year.  Prior to joining the New Victory Theater in 2004, she created and taught curriculums for the Creative Arts Team. As the Associate Director of Summer Theater Institute, she worked with youth from around the world to devise original theater. Lindsey has been a consultant, curriculum writer and Master Teaching Artist for such organizations as Girls Leadership Institute, TheatreWorks: Silicon Valley, and StageWrite.  She is also a Thesis Advisor for the first American Masters program in Applied Theatre at City University of New York. In 2014, under her oversight, the New Victory Usher Corps program won the National Arts and Humanities award, given by Michelle Obama for outstanding programs in creative youth development.  She received her Masters degree from the Gallatin School at New York University focusing on Theater as a Tool for Communication and Learning.

Marissa Ontiveros (NY)

Marissa Ontiveros is a Chicanx, Brooklyn-based teaching artist and arts administrator committed to dismantling barriers of access within NYC school systems and centering, amplifying, and celebrating the voices of BIPOC youth. She has proudly served as a teaching artist for multidisciplinary performance with humans of (almost) every age, size, and ability in partnership with Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Acting Lab, Learning Extended Arts Programs (LEAP), St. Nick’s Alliance Brooklyn Art Exchange, and CO/LAB Theater Group, where CO/LAB Theater Group which aims to give individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts. She specializes in centering students’ identities and celebrating creative choice through movement, storytelling, puppetry, and play.   

A powerful experiences for her was being a PERFORMING ARTS LEGACY (PAL) fellow and part of creating an online platform to document and represent the careers of older performing arts professionals created by the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at The Actors Fund (AF). As well as recently completing a 6 week trauma-informed teaching praxis through peer exchange and support, facilitated by Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and joining the Ars in Educations Teaching Arstis  Advocacy Subcommittee in 2021. 

She received her BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, receiving her theatre training from Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. 

Find out more at

Miko Lee (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.

Melissa Parke (NY)

Melissa Parke (she/her) is an Afro-conceptualist artist and is the founder of Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL), Pan-African Cultural Exchange (PACE), and Zora’s Legacy’s. Melissa also created and trademarked the Afrocentric Social-Emotional Learning framework. Melissa recently joined the Teaching Artist Project (TAP) spring cohort, a division of the Community Word Project in order to better understand the teacher training process and to become a stronger facilitator herself.

Nicole Ripley (CA)

Nicole Ripley (she/her) is the Director of Education at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL where she overseas community partnerships, on-site programs, in-classroom residencies, and touring productions that reach 10,000 Chicago students each year. She has worked extensively as a teaching artist with communities and youth in the U.S. and in Asia. Her teaching artist work has included collaborations with Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Redmoon and Gabfai Community Theatre in Thailand, among others. Her focus is on applied theatre and using theatre for dialogue to address issues of social justice in classrooms and community-based settings. Ripley is a member of the steering committee to address the national state of the field of teaching artistry in collaboration with Eric Booth, Teaching Artist Guild, ATA, New Victory Theater and FreeArts NYC. She is co-creator of Ag47, an arts mentorship non-profit collective and co-creator and facilitator of Teens at the Table, a participatory program using arts as civic practice to address youth violence in Chicago. An alumna of Northwestern University, Ripley has presented at national conferences, was a 2006 Luce Scholars Fellow in Thailand, Fulbright recipient, the 2013 Communities In Schools of Chicago Al Ward Spirit of Giving awardee, and a 2013 nominee for a 3Arts award in teaching arts.

Pamela O'Loughlin (OH)

Pamela O’Loughlin is a gifted creative, avid learner, and passionate teacher. Her formal education is in both design and art therapy, but she is a sponge when it comes to workshops, conferences, books, and organizations that inform her work. She has been a Teaching Artist for most of her adult life. Pamela’s work centers on social emotional wellness, educational concepts, physical wellness, advocacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion. She works with numerous mediums, her creative focus is visual arts, but she incorporates movement, spoken word, creative writing, drama and much more depending on the concept she is teaching. Pamela is willing to work with ANY population or people group. She has experience with; all grade levels (in and out of the school system), churches, non-profits, corporate, and senior centers. She especially enjoys her intergenerational groups with seniors and preschoolers. She is on the Ohio Arts Council’s Teaching Artist Roster, a board member with the Teaching Artist Guild, on its communications and advocacy committees. She is also a gallery director for L’s Gallery, a dancer for both Footsteps Dance Co., and Purposeful Movement. She has done creative production and set design for numerous organizations.

Rebecca Crenshaw (LA)

Rebecca Crenshaw is a New Orleans based educator and musician. Her goal as a teaching artist is to constantly explore and merge the worlds of performance and education, using experiences from each to inform the other. She has been teaching music in New Orleans public schools since 2007, during which she has built two elementary strings programs (Crocker Arts and Technology Elementary and Homer A. Plessy Community School), started her own private violin and viola studio, and has written an arts integrated curriculum with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Music for Life Program. She currently acts as the Education and Engagement Manager of the LPO where she coordinates the Music for Life Program. Rebecca has performed and recorded with several ensembles that span multiple genres including Arcade Fire, Samantha Fish,  Baby Grand, Every More Nest, Little Maker,  Judith Owen and many others.  Rebecca  wrote and performed for the dance company Flock, led by local choreographer Meyrl Murmam and is a 500 RYT yoga instructor. 

Sonia Baez-Hernandez (FL)

Sonia Baez-Hernandez is an interdisciplinary artist who inspires healing practices through the arts.  She employs her experience with breast cancer to interrogate health disparities, gender crisis, and the culture of illness with a series titled Carcinoma le deuil impossible, including installations, drawings, three performance art, poetry, and published an academic article “Breast Cancer: A New Aesthetics of the Subject,” and two curatorial projects: The Body as Poetic Space,  and Embodiment and Gaze the Medical. The documentary Territories of the Breast features the experience of five women, African American and Latina.  The arts were invocated as a practice for healing and advocacy to denounce human rights violations. According to Cheryl McLean,

Territories of the Breast courageously ventures into challenging territory exploring difficult questions about human rights and healthcare, a film by an artist, filmmaker, and healthcare reform champion that could open the way for transformative change.

Her work envisions an interplay between art and social, feminism, humanitarian practices, and environmental transformation. Her installations, sculptures, and performances use fibers with poetic imagination. She has been honored with artistic-in-residency with Project Art Miami (2019-2020), Visiting  Fellow at the Arcus  Center for Social Justice and Leadership  (2013), and with the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2003-2004). In addition to having her artwork receive national recognition, she is also a published poet. 

She earned an M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico. This training allows her to navigate between changing voices and vestiges of time in a planetary crisis. With a nomadic imagination, Baez-Hernandez’s artworks invite the audience to re-configure our humanity and relations. 

Summayya Diop (Co-Chair, Communications) (WA)

Summayya Diop (she/her) is a teaching artist, dancer, choreographer, actor, and administrator specializing in Folkloric performance dance culture, of the African Diaspora, and whose artistic goals and aspirations are rooted in the love of dance theatre. Sumayya has created and presented works in both traditional and contemporary African dance styles. Sumayya is currently Teaching Artist Coordinator with Arts Corps, as well as partnering with The Creative Advantage, and Youth Arts through the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. She is a co-founder of Griot Girlz, which works closely with Seattle Public Schools students in developing creative capacities and academic mindsets through arts integrated instruction. Other responsibilities include performances, community building and special projects. Sumayya has contributed to the field of dance, music and theatre through performance, instruction, and program development. Sumayya is passionate about sharing dance, song and music of the African Diaspora and bringing youth, young adults, and adults to the stage using performance as a vehicle for increased self-confidence, esteem awareness, a rooted sense of belonging, and the preservation of cultural legacy. Sumayya attended Cornish College of the Arts, majoring in dance, and was most recently selected to participate in a 7-week International Conference and Professional Development workshop in Choreography of Traditional and Contemporary African Dance in Senegal, West Africa.

Tamara Anderson (PA)

Tamara Anderson (she/her) is a multi-talented producer, activist, singer, actor, writer, and director. Her production and direction credits include a film short, Dating Chronicles. Check out the new artists at her production company, The Gumbo Lab. She is a member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee, Black Lives Matter at School, and the Melanated Educators Collective, and the curator of the BIPOC Database and Resource Guide. Coming to a theatre soon is her newest solo show with music, Black Bitch Cape – 2022 Tamara was Critics Choice Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actress and 2012 Best Supporting Actress- Zoren Award. She can be seen as Marian Stamps on The Blacklist on NBC, Deborah (Seasons 1 and 2) in the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt , on HBO in Show me a Hero, on Starz in Sweetbitter, and Showtime on Nurse Jackie! She has been featured in Nunsense, Matilda, Saturday Night Fever, Don’t Bother Me I can’t Cope, Ain’t Misbehavin, Winter’s Tale, Yellowman Violet, as well as numerous plays and musicals in various regional theaters across the country.

Tina LaPadula (WA)

Tina LaPadula (she/they) is an east coast transplant and warrior for equitable art making and learning opportunities in Seattle. Tina co-founded the Speakeasy Backroom Performance Space and Gallery, the Belltown cultural hub that incubated and showcased work by northwest artists. She currently serves as the Education Director for the award winning arts education non-profit Arts Corps that she helped found on the principle that all young people, not just those with resources, should have access to quality arts learning. As a performer, Tina makes solo and ensemble work that explores stories of human connectivity. She has collaborated with The Frye Museum and The Museum of History and Industry to curate exhibitions that elevate the perspectives of young people. As a teaching artist, Tina has taught at Centrum Arts, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The University of Washington, and in a multitude of public schools and after school programs. She regularly facilitates workshops on social justice and the arts for the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle Public Schools and national conferences. Tina has been a leader in the development of teaching artists and the field of teaching artistry. She is the former co-chair of the Association of Teaching Artists, founder of the Seattle Teaching Artist Network and a faculty member for the WA State Teaching Artist Training Lab. Her experience and opinion have made her a featured blogger with Americans for the Arts.

William Estrada (IL)

William Estrada (he/him) grew up in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on addressing inequity, migration, historical passivity and cultural recognition in historically marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, and make connections to established and organic systems through discussion, creation, and amplification of stories through creativity already present. He is currently a visual art teacher at Telpochcalli Elementary and faculty at the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked as an educator and artist with Chicago Arts Partnership in Education, Hyde Park Art Center, SkyArt, Marwen Foundation, Urban Gateways, DePaul University’s College Connect Program, Graffiti Institute, Vermont College of Art and Design, Prison + Neighborhood Art Project, and the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. William’s art and teaching is a collaborative discourse of existing images, text, and politics that appoints the audience to critically re-examine public and private spaces. As a teacher, artist, and cultural worker he reports, records, reveals, and amplifies experiences you find in academic books, school halls, teacher lounges, kitchen tables, barrios, college campuses, and in the conversations of close friends to engage in radical imagination. William is currently engaging in collaborative work with the Mobilize Creative Collaborative, Chicago ACT Collective, and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. His current research is focused on developing community based and culturally relevant projects that center power structures of race, economy, and cultural access in contested spaces to collectively imagine just futures.

Emeritus Committee Members

Annette Ramos (NY)

Annette Ramos (she/her) Originally from New York City by way of Los Angeles, Annette Ramos works with the Monroe County Parks Department to enhance Park offerings as a Rochester-based arts professional, community advocate and Cultural curator. Her work as a master storyteller has been presented across the USA, and in multiple school districts, conferences and festivals. Annette serves as cofounder, producer, director & playwright for dozens of Latinx productions in the role of Executive Director for the Rochester Latino Theatre Company founded in 2011. Annette continues to lead through her civic engagement serving on the nationals boards of the Association of Teaching Artists and the Latinx Theatre Commons Advisory Board. Locally, Annette continues to serve on the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Council and the Latino Leadership Committee, and she still finds time to advocate on issues impacting WOC, pay equity, youth empowerment and community-driven initiatives.

Eric Booth (NY)

Eric Booth (he/him) As an actor, Eric Booth performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the U.S. As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles. As an author, he has had five books published. The Everyday Work of Art was a Book of the Month Club selection, and The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible, was published by Oxford University Press.  He has written dozens of magazine articles, and was the Founding Editor of the quarterly Teaching Artist Journal. In arts learning, he has been on the faculty of Juilliard (13 years), and has taught at Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 26 years), and he has given classes for every level from kindergarten through graduate school; he has given workshops at over 30 universities, and 60 cultural institutions.  He has designed and led over twenty research projects, and seven online courses and workshops. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities and states and businesses around the U.S., which has included seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras, five national service organizations, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. Formerly the Founding Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center (now on the Board of Directors), he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts and teaching artistry to groups of all kinds. He is the Senior Advisor to the El Sistema movement in the U.S. He gave the closing keynote address to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006), the opening keynote to UNESCO’s 2014 World Conference. He led the First and Second International Teaching Artist Conferences (Oslo 2012, Brisbane 2014).

Maura O’Malley (NY)

Maura O’Malley (she/her) is the Co-founder and CEO of Lifetime Arts. Maura is an arts specialist with over 30 years experience in program design and implementation, arts education policy and funding, non-profit arts management and community cultural work. She has worked with the New York State Council on the Arts, Westchester Arts Council, New York City Department of Education, and Studio in a School Association, Young Audiences of New York and many other premiere arts, educational and community organizations. Maura graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and earned a Master of Public Administration in arts policy and planning from New York University.

Thomas Cabaniss (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. 

Victor Sawyer (TN)

Victor Sawyer (he/him) serves as a Fellowship Coach for the Memphis Music Initiative, working with a team of teaching artists to create engaging and impactful arts programming for youth in underserved communities throughout the Greater Memphis Area and as an instrumental Teaching Artist at the world famous Stax Music Academy. It is at Stax that Sawyer has worked within the ever more popular music education field. Utilizing contemporary music from the Soul, Rock, Blues, and Pop genres, students at Stax Music Academy learn the fundamentals of music performance while also developing socio-emotional via the group rehearsal process. Sawyer performs primarily in Memphis, TN as a freelance trombonist frequently recording at legendary studio such as Sun, Royal, and Ardent and has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival, South by Southwest, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City’s Lincoln Center. Most recently Sawyer received the honor of performing with legendary Memphis recording artists 8Ball and MJG, Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, and Valerie June.

Committee Alumni

Ami Molinelli (CA)

Ami Molinelli (she/her) is a professional percussionist and educator who received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in World Music with an emphasis in percussion and performance. Currently, Ami works as a music integration specialist at Music In Schools Today and has created an early education music and literacy program, Music FIRST!, in collaboration with Head Start sites in San Mateo County. With MUST, she also worked with San Francisco Unified and their SLANT (science, arts and learning integration) department to create music and science curriculum. In addition, she also works as a curriculum specialist for the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Living Jazz. She has been a teaching artist for over 15 years and has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic both as a teaching-artist of percussion and in curriculum development. She collaborated in publishing percussion curriculum for a “Jazz and the Orchestra” series in 2010 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was part of their team that received and “award of excellence” in orchestra education from the Bank of America Foundation. She has worked as an “artist-in-residence” for the Los Angeles Music Center, SOTA/School of the Arts High School in San Francisco, San Francisco’s El Sistema Music Program, and Healdsburg School district to name a few. She still regularly gives percussion and music workshops with Living Jazz at Jazz Camp West and at the Berkeley Jazz School and performs with her Brazilian ragtime ensemble, Falso Baiano.

Amy Rasmussen (IL)

Amy Rasmussen (she/her) has served as Executive Director of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education since 2007. CAPE inspires students to be passionate about their educations by weaving visual and performing arts into their classroom lessons. To bring their academic subjects to life through art, we partner teaching artists with Chicago Public School teachers to develop original, creative approaches to teaching and learning. This instruction integrates music, dance, drama, digital art, video and photography into classrooms; and, also expands learning beyond school walls into community sites like art studios, performance halls and exhibit spaces. CAPE’s unique approach to art-based education better engages students, improves their understanding of class material, and boosts their grades. CAPE commissions long-term research to show that integrating art into education continually improves students’ critical thinking, self-esteem and confidence. In July 2011, Amy was named a White House Champion of Change for Arts Education by President Barack Obama for her work. Amy is committed to improving the policy environment for arts education. She was on the writing team for the development of the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan and continues to serve on the Ingenuity Incorporated Advisory Panel as well as the Marian Catholic High School Metro Chicago Alumni Association. Amy holds an M. A. in Arts Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College and a B. A. in Music from DePaul University.

Ebonique Boyd (OK)

Ebonique Boyd is the founder and CEO of Budget Collector, a company dedicated to helping the middle-class invest in fine art. The company is set to release the first artificial intelligence mobile art advisor by October 2020. To learn more, go to

Glenna Avila (CA)

Glenna Avila (she/her)  is an artist, educator, and arts administrator, dedicated to the arts, young people, and communities. She is currently the Artistic Director and the Wallis Annenberg Director of the California Institute of the Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program and has served in this position since 1991. The CAP program is a co-curricular program of the college and encompasses 55 distinct youth arts education programs located in 60 diverse neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County in partnership with 45 public schools, community-based organizations and social service agencies; employing 60 CalArts faculty artists, 50 CalArts alumni artists, and 300 CalArts student artists as instructors; and creating innovative, in-depth arts education programs for 10,000 youth ages 6-18 annually.  In 2004, the CAP program received the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the highest national honor for exemplary youth arts education programs. Before coming to CalArts, she held a variety of positions with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, including Director of the Los Angeles Murals Program, Director of the McGroarty Art Center, and Director of the Los Angeles Photography Center.  For thirteen years she was a Supervisor in the Summer Youth Employment Program through the U.S. Department of Labor, teaching and providing hundreds of jobs in the arts for low-income youth ages 14-21.   She has painted over 75 community murals throughout Los Angeles, the majority of which are collaborations with youth and their communities.  As an arts educator, she has taught the visual arts to K-12 students throughout Los Angeles County.  She has worked as a teaching artist in public schools, in after-school mental health programs, and with incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers and probation camps.  Glenna Avila has exhibited her work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum, Laguna Art Museum, among others.  She was one of 10 artists commissioned by the Olympic Organizing Committee to paint a mural on the freeway in downtown Los Angeles for the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival—entitled “L.A. Freeway Kids,” a tribute to the youth of her native Los Angeles.

Jamie Mayer (NJ)

Jamie Mayer (she/her) is an arts education administrator most recently serving as Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. In her role at NJPAC Jamie oversaw teaching artist training and recruitment, professional development programming for teachers and school administrators, and the development and implementation of curriculum in all arts education programs. In addition to her work at NJPAC, Jamie has taught, performed, and directed with various organizations and schools throughout New York City and San Diego. She is a firm believer that giving youth access to a quality arts education plays a significant role in developing their limitless potential to be the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.

Jessica Mele (CA)

Jessica Mele (she/her) is a Program Officer in the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In this role, she manages a diverse portfolio of grants, with a particular focus on arts education advocacy and policy. Prior to joining the Hewlett Foundation, Jessica was executive director at Performing Arts Workshop, an arts education organization in San Francisco. During that time, she was also an active arts education advocate, serving on the executive committee of the Arts Provider’s Alliance of San Francisco, the steering committee of the Alameda Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, and the national advisory council of Teaching Artist’s Guild. In addition, Jessica advocated with community-based organizations outside of the arts sector as part of the steering committee of the Family Budget Coalition in San Francisco, which was active in drafting legislation and re-authorizing the city’s Children’s Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund in 2014. From 2002-2005, Jessica managed the research projects of Marshall Ganz at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and served as an organizer for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (AFSCME, AFL-CIO). Jessica holds a B.A. in Anthropology and French Studies from Smith College, and an Ed. M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her spare time, Jessica writes, directs and produces sketch comedy as part of Chardonnay, one of two in-house sketch groups at San Francisco’s Pianofight Theater Company.

Jon Hinojosa (TX)

Jon Hinojosa (he/him) serves as the Artistic | Executive Director of SAY Sí, a national award winning, creative youth development program for urban students. The tuition-free program encompasses 6 distinct multidisciplinary arts programs, including visual, performing, film, and game design. SAY Sí is situated in a 26,000 square foot warehouse in San Antonio’s Cultural Arts District. Jon is also a producing and exhibiting visual artist and is active in professional – local, regional and national arts education initiatives, including currently serving as a national trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The Wallace Foundation recently highlighted SAY Sí as an exemplary national arts learning model that needs to be replicated across the country. Jon has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth, these include Grant Makers for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and The National Guild for Community Arts Education. Jon is also an Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders – Arts Fellow, A joint program of National Arts Strategies and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and was recently presented with a national award for his work in arts education by the Americans for the Arts.  He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation’s creative leaders.

Lara Davis (GA)

Lara Davis (she/her) has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award winning Seattle-based youth arts organization. As arts education manager for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Lara manages the Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students.  Lara also facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators and organizations, and presents locally and at national conferences. As a person of color, Lara understands the value of cross-cultural, multi-sector efforts to dismantle racism and other oppressions, and to promote justice.  As an artist and arts administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change.

Louise Music (CA)

Louise Music (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Department of Integrated Learning at the Alameda County Office of Education. A visionary leader and bold advocate for equity in education, Music has developed innovative models for supporting professional practice and tapping creative capacities of educators for deepening and continuously improving teaching and learning. As Director for the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Music is charged with implementing its strategic plan: “Mapping the Next 10 Years” for the 18 school districts in Alameda County. Recent publications include “Arts Learning as Equitable and Meaningful Education,” in Artful Teaching (Teacher’s College Press, June 2010), and the Foreward to the second edition of Studio Thinking2 (Teacher’s College Press, September 2012).

Lynn Johnson (NM)

Lynn Johnson (she/her), is a social entrepreneur, theater teaching artist, girl advocate, and the Co-Founder & CEO of Glitter & Razz Productions LLC based in Oakland, CA. The mission of Glitter & Razz is to ignite a compassion revolution by putting girls center stage. They do this through their highly popular Go Girls! Camp, a summer camp for elementary school age girls to learn and practice essential social/emotional skills through the creation and performance of their very own plays Go Girls! has received international recognition from Ashoka Changemakers as a quality social innovation to activate empathy in schools and has been featured as a model program in social/emotional learning by the George Lucas Educational Foundation on the website. For over 20 years, Lynn has designed, directed, and taught hundreds of community-based arts learning programs for folks of all ages in Chicago, North Carolina and the Bay Area. Lynn regularly works as a facilitator, speaker, workshop leader, and organizational development consultant. As the founding Membership Director of TAG, Lynn has served as a judge for the Teaching Artist Award sponsored by 3Arts Chicago (2014) and has been involved with TAG (and its preceding incarnations) in multiple capacities since the beginning.

Nas Khan (Canada)

Nas Khan (she/her) is a media artist, musician,
arts educator, and an arts administrator at the Ontario Arts Council.
In this role, she manages arts education granting programs that connect
arts communities and learners of all age, partnerships with school
boards connecting artists to teachers and students, and partnerships
with arts organizations to develop artists’ pedagogical skills across
the province of Ontario. She has worked both in and outside of the
education system as an arts educator. She has also worked for arts
organizations like the Art Gallery of Ontario, Inside Out Toronto
Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, and Images Festival. Nas is
committed to equity and access in arts education recognizing its vital
importance to building a healthy arts ecology. Born and raised in
Toronto, Nas is a second generation immigrant and of mixed parentage
(Indian and Welsh).

Nick Rabkin (IL)

Nick Rabkin (he/him) Nick Rabkin is the managing partner of reMaking Culture, a research and consulting firm for the cultural sector and philanthropy that is focused on revitalizing the arts and culture and reimagining the roles they play in building communities, making our democracy more robust, our lives richer, and leveraging learning. He has studied and advocated for the arts’ and artists’ roles in making our communities, schools, and our democracy stronger for three decades. He has been the executive director of a nonprofit theater, Chicago’s deputy commissioner of Cultural Affairs, the senior program officer for the arts and culture at the MacArthur Foundation, and directed the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College. He was a senior research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, where he did a major study of teaching artists who work in communities and schools across the country. As deputy commissioner, he was part of the team that developed Chicago’s first cultural plan, and he was a consultant on its second in 2012. reMaking Culture is working now on a cultural plan for the Village of Oak Park, research research on the public benefits of the arts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a community music project in Chicago’s infamous Back of the Yards neighborhood, and evaluations for two Chicago theater companies. Nick is the author of Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing education in the 21st Century (2005); an NEA monograph, Arts Participation and Arts Education in America: What Declines Mean for Participation (2011); and Teaching Artists and the Future of Education: The Teaching Artist Research Project (2011). He writes about the arts on occasion about the arts for Huffington Post.

Sandy Seufert (CA)

Sandy Seufert (she/her) has over ten years of experience in teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, teaching artistry, and professional development. She currently works as a consultant for non-profits and individuals for teaching artist training and curriculum development. Most recently she served as the Implementation Director for Turnaround Arts: California which is part of a national program from the President’s Committee of the Arts and the Humanities. Sandy’s other work in arts education has been with The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Opera, and The Da Camera Society. Just prior to her work in arts administration, she worked as a teaching artist in a middle school with young cellists and violinists, where she got to see just how fun teaching the arts could be. Sandy also worked in special education with Los Angeles Unified School District for over ten years, which ended up being a formative experience for her work as both a teaching artist and an arts administrator. Sandy also currently doubles as a professional cellist and folk fiddler, specializing in classical, jazz, and Scandinavian folk music, holding the value that it is important to keep her artistic practice alive. Lastly, Sandy serves the field by serving on the Regional Advisory Council for the Teaching Artist Support Collaborative of California, the Board for the Association of Teaching Artists, the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artist Guild, and the Board of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra.

Yael Silk (PA)

Yael Silk, Ed.M. (she/her) is an arts and education specialist providing consulting services to school districts, cultural organizations, and foundations. She recently evaluated the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ Turnaround Arts Initiative. Additional project work includes evaluating the STEAM grants in Allegheny County funded by the Benedum and Grable Foundations and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ indepth teaching artist residency programs. Past clients include Americans for the Arts, the RAND Corporation, Gateway to the Arts, The Pittsburgh Promise, Marin Community Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission (Arts for All), Pasadena Unified School District, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms.Silk is a Barnard College graduate with a degree in music composition. She earned a master’s degree in arts education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

In Memoriam

Betsy Mullins

Betsy Mullins (she/her) was the Artist Services Director for Arts for Learning/Miami. Ms. Mullins studied for a Master’s degree in art history at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Before joining Arts for Learning, she taught at ArtCenter/South Florida and at several high schools in Japan. Ms. Mullins had an extensive background working with visual and performing artists from all over the world through her work with the JET Program, and volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and Go M.A.D. She worked in the capacity of After-School Program Manager with Arts for Learning for more than two years, effectively running after-school and summer camp programs at more than 25 sites before becoming the Out-of-School Director and then launching Arts for Learning’s Artist Services Department. Through this department, she brought best Teaching Artist practices to Miami by presenting workshops led by local and national experts (including individuals from The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, and the Guggenheim Museum) and by developing and facilitating more than 60 artist professional development modules with topics ranging from student assessment and classroom management to costume design. She guest lectured at Florida International University’s Community Arts Class, presented workshops for HistoryMiami, and regularly spoke to college students about careers in the arts. In 2008, she worked with the University of Miami and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony to start the Frost MusicReach Program. Through this program, Ms. Mullins coached UM music students on how to be an effective mentor while providing quality music instruction. She passed in 2018, and her warmth and intelligence are sorely missed.