Associate Director of Arts Education
Sabrina Chacon-Barajas graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Studio Art. She used her senior art show to challenge the SPU community on stereotypes of the Latinx community. Her work incorporates multi-media art to represent the intersectional identity of being a brown femme. Her work mostly consists of creating illustrative profiles of people and diving into the issues and experiences of the Latinx diaspora. Sabrina is a teaching artist that cares about representation in the classroom and closing the achievement gap through the power of the arts. She centers her curriculum around sense of belonging in the classroom using culturally responsive pedagogy. Sabrina speaks Spanish and empowers her students to speak and write in their language by being transparent in her experience as a first generation person who is more comfortable with Spanglish and translanguaging. Sabrina has taught with various art programs and non-profits in the PNW such as REEL GRRLS, SAM, Gage Academy of the Arts, South Park Community Center, Ailey Camp, Pratt Fine Arts, and Centrum in Port Townsend.
Heleya de Barros
Co-Director of Arts Education
Heleya de Barros is a born and raised Seattleite and SPS graduate (FQ!). She is an actor, teaching artist, and arts education advocate whose work focuses on how to use theatre skills across disciplines. Heleya has served as faculty at The New School for Drama and has taught with such organizations as 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, Will & Company, CRE Outreach, and 24th Street Theatre. She is the Executive Director of The Association of Teaching Artists, the oldest organizations serving teaching artists in the country and formerly sat on the Board of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. As an actor Heleya earned her Actor’s Equity card touring TYA shows to schools and communities. Currently Heleya acts as a performer and researcher with the Verbatim Performance Lab using theatre to examine and uncover unconscious bias. @Heleya_deBarros
Teaching Artist Coordinator
Sumayya E. Diop 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.
Eris Eaton is an avid singer and performer who loves exploring all art forms as a way to connect with others. As a performer, board member, and social engagement leader for the Level Up! Vocal Ensemble, Eris brings her passion for art and music to the broader community.
Co-Director of Arts Education
Olisa is a performing artist, arts educator and arts administrator who believes that art is essential in the cultivation of community and culture. Born and raised in Seattle to a multicultural music family, Olisa spent her childhood writing and performing. She traversed genres and rooted in hip hop as her primary form of expression. As she grew in music she branched out to theater and found passion for the power of story to reveal and heal. She currently works at Arts Corps as the Associate Director of Arts Education. Olisa is a board member of The Conciliation Lab (TCL). TCL is a community of artists and activists working towards equity, justice, and liberation for all people. We envision a world where cultural abundance is celebrated; and performance, education, and honest dialogue lead to healing and systemic progress. Olisa is the Artistic and Executive Director of Griot Girlz a small collective of Black Women artists whose mission is to engage the community in the art of storytelling through cultural practice and performance. Olisa provides professional development, curriculum development, and workshops through her business Praxis Essentials.
Patrick grew up in Southern California and holds degrees in English and American Studies. He comes to Arts Corps with a passion for programming, initiatives, and movements designed for young people, particularly those driven for and by the community. Previous work includes promoting educational equity and building power within local youth leaders. Informed by personal experiences – challenging fears on stage as a shy adolescent/young adult, forming bonds through arts & crafts events, and connecting with family history through studying performance – he has a deep appreciation for the capacity of the arts to promote community, reflection, creative expression, and healing. In his spare time, Patrick likes to swim, eat anything with chocolate in it, and learn new ideas and skills.
Saeko was born in Tokyo, and first visited the US at 17 as part of a high school study abroad program. She has worked in accounting for ten years. She moved to the US permanently in 2015, when her husband retired from the Air Force. She is excited to apply her expertise as part of the Arts Corps team. During her time off, she enjoys painting, interior design, and relaxing with her Shiba Inu.
Grecia Leal Pardo
Development & Communications Coordinator
Grecia (she/her/ella) was born and raised in the cultural hub of Morelia, Mexico before moving to Southwest Washington at the age of 9. She studied at the University of Washington, where she majored in Classics and Drama. Now, she is a theatre artist based in Duwamish and Coast Salish lands (Seattle). Stage manager and director, she has had the pleasure of working with various companies in the area, including Sound Theatre Company, Pork Filled Productions, eSe Teatro, Pratidhwani, and SIS productions. Grecia is interested in the topics of multiformity, memory, and knowledge production and embodiment. Ultimately, though, she makes art because she likes finding meaning and joy by connecting with her cool, fellow humans.
Director of Finance & Operations
Rowan spent his childhood in Southern Oregon exploring the Umpqua River Valley and its surrounding mountains and forests. His experiences in the wake of the timber bust, followed by a few years of couch-surfing and punk-houses, left him with a keen awareness of injustice and a passion for equity. He believes that life is an adventure and that everyone is an artist. He combines small-town familiarity with punk rock tenacity, both in his work with Arts Corps and as a performer and board member for Queerly Beloved, a production group dedicated to creating accessible space that welcomes performers of all backgrounds and experience levels. A proud neurodivergent Spoonie, he is often most at peace lost in the woods with mud on his feet or at home with his spouse, son, and silly rescue hound.
Hillary brings her values of compassion, creativity and curiosity to the Arts Corps community. She has over a decade of experience as an educator, artist, curriculum writer, program manager and leader in the field of creative youth development. As grants manager she is passionate about leveraging funding to close race and income-based opportunity gaps for youth. Born and raised in Seattle, Hillary is a life-long visual artist who enjoys playing outside, building fairy houses with her kids, and vegetables (growing, cooking and eating them). She has an undergraduate degree in studio art and a graduate degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction.
Co-Executive Director of Education & Advocacy
Shawn Roberts (she/her) has a personal mission of “empowering people through the artform of dance and the arts.” She is grateful to have served the Puget Sound Region over the past 30 years through the impactful programs she has helped build and direct. Shawn is very clear about the impact the arts can have on the quality of people’s lives. Through her own journey as a dance educator and her work in the Puget Sound region, she has helped build local, national, and international dance, arts, and personal development programs from the ground up. In 2015, Shawn helped launch STG AileyCamp in collaboration with Seattle Theatre Group and Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. To date, this impactful personal development and dance program that was created by Alvin Ailey, has changed the lives of hundreds of middle school youth in the Seattle Region. Shawn is the former (founding) School and Education Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, under the Artistic Direction of Donald Byrd. In her 19 years at Spectrum, she taught, directed, produced student performances, and transformed the School of Spectrum Dance Theater from a community-based dance school, into a successful curriculum-based school with over 500 students and 68 classes a week in a variety of dance styles for beginning through pre-professional dancers. During her time as the School Director at Spectrum, she built the Academy Program, the pre-professional division of the school, that is still going strong today. In 2008, Shawn completed the Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance for Parkinson’s introductory training and has been teaching the classes and directing the Seattle Theatre Group program for the past 16 years. Shawn then went on to complete the Dance for PD® teacher certification, making her one of the first certified Dance for Parkinson’s teaching artists in the nation, outside of the founding teachers. Shawn is currently training to be a Dance for Parkinson’s teacher trainer to support the training of Dance for PD® teachers locally, nationally, and internationally. Shawn is a certified transformational life-coach and consultant and owns and operates a successful life-coaching business as well as a couple’s coaching business with her husband. Shawn holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and dance and a Masters of Arts in Social Sciences with a focus on Transpersonal Psychology from Antioch University.
Co-Executive Director of Development & Operations
Naho is a mission-driven and value focused leader and consultant in Education, Arts & Culture, and Race and Social Justice. A strategic thinker through equity lens, she facilitates organizational transformation work in nonprofit, public, and private sectors. She is a thoughtful bridge builder with the aptitude to connect our culturally and socially diverse communities. She has the ability to engage people from all walks of life and inspire them through compassion and creativity. With over 20 years of experience, she is well versed in navigating non-profit management strategy, board relations, guiding organizational strategic plan development, designing and facilitating race and social justice workshops, and facilitating arts and arts-integration trainings. She is a member of Seattle Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department’s Anti-Racist and Culturally Responsive Arts Education framework – “Roots” team and Ethnic Studies/Theatre of the Oppressed project team.
As an actor, she has worked internationally in Asia, Canada, Europe and the U.S. Locally she has appeared at Intiman Theatre, ArtsWest, Seattle Children’s Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, and On the Boards, among others. As a director and teaching artist, she has worked with various organizations and schools in the greater Puget Sound area including Seattle Repertory Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, Studio East, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle Public Schools, and City of Seattle. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, School of Drama, Professional Actor Training (MFA) Program, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Education degree through University of Washington College of Education, Leadership for Learning (Ed.D) program.
Alexa is a journalist, cultural worker, and graphic designer. She lives in the Chinatown-International District with her dog Goji.
Program Operations Manager
Justin Yau-Luu is a mixed-race Asian American, poet, performance and visual artist born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Justin comes to Arts Corps after having recently completed a Master of Arts in English from Western Washington University. They drink at least three cups of green tea a day and think pit bulls are the cutest dogs in the world. Justin is committed to the work of social justice and doing the essential work to transform our world to ensure we are all able to thrive as we are.