Staff

Sabrina Chacon-Barajas
Arts Integration Manager & Visual Teaching Artist

sabrinachacon-barajasSabrina 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. 

Michael Grant
LIT Program Manager

Michael Grant is an educator, facilitator, producer, and community organizer based in Seattle, WA. He is a fierce defender of youth–nourishing their intrinsic power, creativity, and resilience is his life’s work. Michael has worked with marginalized youth across the country to tear down oppressive structures in their lives and re-engage in their education, designing music intervention programs in Boston, Colorado, and throughout South Seattle/King County.

He organizes with the Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow, as well as with the National Center for Restorative Justice, helping schools transform their discipline systems and school climate into ones that foster belonging, connectedness, and healing. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.

Christa Mazzone Palmberg
Development Manager

Growing up, Christa studied voice and theatre with hopes of someday becoming a professional performer. Volunteer experiences during her college years in Chicago, however, led her away from music and toward a career in community organizing. Christa worked for several years as the National Field Organizer for Sojourners, a progressive Christian social justice organization. Following her time in DC, Christa completed a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. After moving to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Christa worked as an organizer with Sound Alliance, a coalition of religious, labor and community organizations working for the common good. Christa is delighted to come full circle at Arts Corps, a place that integrates art and social justice with impressive amounts of creativity and joy.

James Miles
Executive Director

Originally from Chicago, James has just moved to Seattle from Brooklyn, NY where has worked as an actor and educator for the past 19 years. Before joining Arts Corps, he was the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership, in New York City. James has also facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. He is on the board of directors for the Association of Teaching Artists and the Teaching Artist Journal. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSWedu, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, Creative Tech Week, EdTech Europe, Google Educator Bootcamp, and has provided Professional Development to teachers across the world. His work has been covered by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, NPR, CBS, US Department of Education, and ASCD. James is a former accountant, model, and actor. He can be frequently found on Twitter, as @fresh_professor, writing about arts education, educational policy, and academic inequity.

Hillary Moore
Grants Manager

Hillary’s work at Arts Corps is focused on supporting arts programming in the school day in order to enhance student engagement, learning and development, and to address inequitable access to arts education for young people. For four years Hillary developed and managed the Creative Schools Initiative, a program that places teaching artists in schools to collaborate with classroom teachers and provide project-based arts-integrated learning for students. In her new role as the Director of Arts Integration she oversees all of Arts Corps’ school day programs with a focus on integrating the arts in the classroom and providing professional development for teachers and teaching artists. Hillary grew up in Seattle and identified as an artist from a young age. She has her undergraduate degree in studio art and her graduate degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction.

Amy L. Piñon
Media & Communications Manager

amypinon

Amy Lp is a vocalist, songwriter, photographer, videographer, and audio engineer. Through songwriting, video narratives, and documentary photography, she has crafted her life around storytelling across multiple art forms. She is currently Arts Corps’ Media & Communications Manager, with the honor of being able to take photos and produce videos capturing the unique stories of young artists and changemakers. She is actively composing new music after a long hiatus following the 2014 release of the single “Constellations” under London Tone Music, which was licensed to Starbucks, MTV, and Skype. Her music is written from an empowered point of view, focusing on self-love, representation, and the strength of being a womxn. 

Bernadette Scheller
Finance & Events Manager

At Arts Corps, Bernadette Scheller integrates her event coordination savvy, administrative, finance, and budget expertise with her passion for the arts and her belief in community service. She has created a balance in her work that includes managing small businesses and creating her own artwork in the form of sculptural glass. As finance & events manager at Arts Corps, Bernadette brings her multi-disciplinary skills to contribute to an organization she has long admired. Since joining the team, she feels the satisfaction of watching her vision develop into a meaningful and rich reality.

Carrie Siahpush
Development Director

Carrie is a collaborative leader and coach whose passion for community building and belief in the transcendent power of stories drives her work as a fundraiser. Carrie’s studies in theatre arts and communications, combined with years of experience as a professional make-up artist and costume designer have shaped her uniquely creative and relational approach to fund development. She’s especially interested in making connections with others who share an interest in moving toward greater equity in fundraising. 

Justin Yau-Luu
Program Operations Manager

justinyauluuJustin 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.