I always love the start of the new school year when you see your friends you haven’t seen all summer, show up on the first day with a dope new Girbaud jean set, and get ready to learn and grow over the next nine months. Sometimes there’s new faces to welcome, and sometimes there’s new changes that are super exciting. This year at Arts Corps, we are experiencing both. After serving on our board for three years, Tanisha Brandon-Felder is our new Board President. She’s taking over for the amazing Sara Lawson, whom just finished her nine year board service at Arts Corps. Don’t worry though, because Sara still is, and will always be Arts Corps family.
After going through a highly thorough process, and looking at thousands of documents, we now have three new board members: Janet Galore, elizabeth ortega, and Sharmaine Tillmon. Please welcome the new board family to Arts Corps, and sing their praises. Their bios are below, and I can confirm that when you say hello to them, they will not turn their backs to you and walk away.
Sharmaine Tillmon was a singer songwriter in Seattle, WA. She started getting more hands on in Music business and taking on leadership roles when she joined The Residency back in summer 2016. As a Performer she’s had the opportunity to grace stages at Mopop Skychurch, Totem star shows, Chop Suey, Tesla, and etc. She’s also had the opportunity to curate a couple of stages at Upstream, Chop suey, etc. As a lyricist Sharmaine will continue to write what’s real, authentic and continue to inspire the next generation of leaders.
elizabeth maria ortega landed herself at Arts Corps in 2011 as a classroom assistant. She worked with a variety of art forms, began teaching her own class and then shifted into her work with FEEST. At FEEST, elizabeth worked for several years alongside young people to critically think about the root causes of health injustices in communities of color and creatively push back in their communities. She has also done work in various arts communities, youth shelters, middle and high schools, with immigrant rights and is now a teacher with a social justice emphasis at Puget Sound Community School. She is a writer, printmaker artist and carries her curiosity and creativity wherever she goes, from shifting power and institutions towards justice to playing with friends on the weekends. She creates and sells her art out of a studio in Fremont with other fellow qpoc artists. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a MAEd in Education from Antioch University with a thesis on Decolonizing Learning Processes.
Janet Galore is a life-long Seattleite, artist, and designer who enjoys blending art and technology. She works as a creative director at Amazon, where her team uses research, storytelling, and prototyping to envision future customer experiences. Previously she spent 10 years at Microsoft envisioning the future; she designed games and animated dead fish at startups; and received a B.S. in pure mathematics from the University of Washington. She and her husband own a creative space called The Grocery on North Beacon Hill where they incubate art that takes risks. They seek to connect the community with creative people in the hopes of building an appreciation of artists as culture makers and interrogators, and nurturing a healthier ecology of art in our city.