Tanisha Brandon- Felder, President

Tanisha is the director of equity and family engagement in the Shoreline School District. Through her previous work in the Seattle Public Schools, she co-founded The Race Forum- a safe place for discussions around race that involved both school families and staff, co-created and produced Words of Power- a short film designed to help kids talk about race, created Many Cultures, One World- a cultural event created to help students feel empowered about who they are, and founded The SEED Plot- a social justice conference for Middle School students. In 2015,Tanisha received her Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy. For 3  years, she has been an active participant in the Arts Corps’ Creative Schools Initiative, an arts integration program that aims to influence student engagement, classroom instructional practices, and school culture. Her passion and desire is to engage in the conversation around race and equity, and to empower others, while continuing to empower herself, to move those discussions into actions towards positive outcomes for youth.

Term: June 2018-July 2021


Jackie de la cruz

Jackie has been an educator and advocate for her communities for over 20 years. Her passion is building bridges between people and resources to help them achieve their goals. Her mantra is compassionate community collaboration for the sake of all children. She started her teaching career working with at-potential-youth: Teen moms, incarcerated youth, foster kids, and gang members. Her joy is being a substitute teacher in the Highline school district where she gets to interact with students from kindergarten to high school seniors.

As an instructor for the UC Davis Center for Human Services she develops and facilitates workshops that support social service agency staff and administrators. Her workshops cultivate more compassionate and respectful ways to be in service to the clients they serve in their communities.

To say that the arts are important to a young person’s development is an understatement for Jackie. Through a miraculous connection to an urban arts outreach program at the age of eight years old, Jackie was introduced to theater, opera, the symphony, and other forms of artistic expression. She feels that this was the key moment in her life that transformed her outlook on life and has made her the creative and adventurous person she is today.

Jackie received her Masters in Teaching from Seattle University and is a Circle Process Keeper. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Term: July 2017- June 2020


Donte Felder

As a child, Donte Felder was diagnosed with disgraphia (a writing-related learning disability) and spent five years in special education. Born and raised in Seattle, Donte now teaches dramatic writing to middle school children in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. He earned his B.S. in Education from Grambling State University in Louisiana and his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, where he studied Screenwriting with Neil Landau and Darrah Cloud. He has produced several short films and plays with his drama team and won the W.E.A. Humanitarian Award for his play dealing with race relations and school integration, “First Day.”

Term: July 2016 through June 2019


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.

Term: July 2018-June 2021


Sally Ketcham 

Sally is a Seattle based visual artist, freelance graphic designer, and community volunteer. Most recently, she has served on the board of Gallery 110, a nonprofit gallery in Pioneer Square, and on granting committees with Social Justice Fund NW and Washington Women’s Foundation. She loves doing art with K-5 students, design and marketing for nonprofits and small businesses, and promoting emerging artists. Sally is passionate about getting more arts into the schools and about Arts Corps’ overall mission and programing – especially the Creative Schools Initiative. Her top priorities in terms of social justice are working towards equity in education, and prison “reform”/ or rather the abolition of prisons as we know them. Sally lives in Columbia City with her husband and two children, and dog.

Term: July 2017- June 2020


Della Kostelnik Juarez 

Della was introduced to Arts Corps first as a parent, then as a liaison between her daughter’s school and Arts Corps. When she witnessed the deep impact the teaching artists had on the lives of students she wanted to be part of that magic. Art has always been at the center of her own family’s self expression, from a nonprofit formed by her family to support music and video projects to her siblings involvement in the indie music scenes in Seattle and Albuquerque. Combining her love of art and history Della lived in the Czech Republic for a year working on a multimedia family history project, collecting oral history about the underground activism of her grandparents during World War II, her grandfather’s imprisonment in Auschwitz and Buchenwald and her father’s emigration to the USA. Professionally Della has worked in broadcasting for 24 years, the last 13 years as an assignment editor at KOMO TV.

Term: July 2016 to June 2019


Sarah Lippek 

Sarah Lippek is an attorney with The Public Advocate, a small nonprofit dedicated to community lawyering. Her practice includes civil rights defense, immigration assistance, and advocacy for prisoners. Before becoming a lawyer, Sarah spent many years working in the harm reduction movement in Seattle and New York City. She led the first needle exchange program in the borough of Queens, building an innovative peer-to-peer model in close alliance with active drug users and sex workers. She also co-founded the Northwest chapter of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance project. Sarah remains committed to organizational models that are liberating, community-led, and non-hierarchical. Sarah’s artistic practice includes writing, cultural research, and collaborative work with performance and visual artists, most recently Degenerate Art Ensemble and Path With Arts. Her book of short fiction, Complicity, is available from Publication Studio.

Term: July 2018- June 2021


Carla Moreno

Carla Moreno is a culinary tour guide, music educator, and writer for Huffington Post. She earned her Bachelor’s in Music and Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. During that time she was a member of the award-winning Jazz Singers (named “Best College Jazz Choir” by Down Beat Magazine), sharing the stage with world-renowned musicians including legendary jazz singer Jon Hendricks. Having served as a public school music teacher for fourteen years, she is a certified Kodály and Orff Schulwerk instructor. As a world music specialist, Carla has trotted the globe, eagerly soaking up music and culture from Brazil, Africa, the Middle East and beyond. She continued her musical explorations as a teaching artist for Arts Corps and as one of four Seattle Teaching Fellows for Music National Service before joining the Arts Corps board of directors.

Term: July 2016 through June 2019


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. 

Term: July 2018-June 2019


Kelly Rondou, Treasurer 

Kelly has been a volunteer with Arts Corps since 2011, working as Stage Manager and Technical Director for La Festa del Arte and the Student Showcase. Kelly is currently the Executive Support Manager at Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, a nonprofit supporting community health centers in the Northwest, previous to that she was the Director of Executive Projects for PROVAIL, a disability services provider for the Puget Sound area. Combining her background in visual and performing arts with her career in healthcare and serving the underserved has led Kelly to believe strongly in the utmost importance of arts in social justice and creating whole, healthy communities.

Term: July 2016 through June 2019


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.

Term: July 2018-June 2019


Joselynn Tokashiki Engstrom, Secretary 

Joselynn works as an independent producer and arts administrator. Her organized and analytical mind compliments the chaos of working with artists and creators. Most recently she helped open Nordo’s Culinarium; the first theater to open in Pioneer Square in 25 years. Prior to opening the Culinarium, she co-founded the Acrobatic Conundrum – a contemporary circus company. During her time with the group she produced five shows and toured to Chicago. Joselynn has years of experience helping individual artists and business organize to achieve their missions.

Term: July 2018- June 2021


Annie Von Essen 

During more than a decade in the nonprofit and social service fields, Annie Von Essen has worked as a social worker, mental health counselor, communications manager, fundraiser and program developer. She holds an MSW and an MPA from University of Washington’s School of Social Work and Evan’s School of Public Affairs, respectively. In her current consulting practice, Vessel Strategy & Consulting, she is invested in helping individuals and organizations carry out powerful visions. Annie works with organizations to bring successful community and organizational change to fruition. She also offers a series of sessions supporting individuals and organizations to decrease stress in their work and live from a place of joy and presence. Annie lives in the turn of the century school building where Arts Corps is housed, with her partner and a whole community of amazing artists.

Term: July 2018-June 2021


Chris Zweigle, Vice-President 

Chris is an interdisciplinary poet and a believer in the transformative power of artistic risk. Chris blossomed as an early student of Arts Corps poetry classes, and continued as a mentor with Youth Speaks Seattle. He continues to coach and mentor young writers and performers through the Youth Speaks program of Arts Corps, and supports youth leadership as both organizational model and educational praxis. Chris is also a bilingual culture-trotter with interests in film, law, politics, and business. He is a voracious film and music fan with a deep technical literacy and a nerdy disposition. He holds an honors B.A. degree in the Comparative History of Ideas from University of Washington and an M.B.A. in finance from Seattle University.

Term: July 2018-June 2021


Mylen Huggins 

Mylen Tumaliuan-Huggins believes that the arts are an essential part of being a person.  She is greatly inspired by and thrives on the creativity and expressive confidence that comes from young emerging artists.  Trained as a graphic designer/illustrator, her true passion is teaching artistry, engaging youth in the creative process of visual arts. She’s been a teaching artist for over a decade serving youth ranging from kindergarten to high school from her early days at The Children’s Museum to several Seattle and Highline Public Schools as well as teaching for Arts Corps and Seattle Art Museum.  In addition to being a teaching artist, Mylen is also an artist mentor for Arts Impact and serves on the board for Arts Corps.  

Term: July 2017 through June 2020


Aurelio Valdez

Aurelio Valdez is a Mexican-American with many passions and goals. He is currently studying to receive his bachelor’s at Seattle Pacific University majoring both in Political Science and Sociology. He chooses these majors in order to become a leader in his community to change society’s structure for justice with minority groups in America. He feels he has much to prove coming from immigrant parents and being the first in his family to not only graduate high school but also be able to enroll in a university. Alongside working on becoming a scholar, he is a conscious HipHop musician that has social commentary and an overall love for the HipHop culture throughout his lyrics. He believes strongly that he was put on earth with a mission to change his community and to have a positive impact in people’s lives.  

Term: July 2018-June 2020


Erika Nesholm 

Erika is the Executive Director of the Nesholm Family Foundation, which awards grants in health and human services, education, and performing arts. Prior to that, she was a Classics professor at Williams College, Georgetown University, The College of William & Mary, Kenyon College, and Ohio Wesleyan University. She holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Washington; she also holds a Master’s in Education Policy from UW, with particular interest in arts education. Erika is active in the Seattle arts community: she serves on the board of ACT Theatre and the community advisory board of Classical KING FM.

Term: July 2017 through June 2020