Teaching Artists

bwb_a-walker-loud-press-photo-2_by-atuanya-priesterAaron Walker-Loud is an artist, band director, composer, producer and educator. He is the founder and director of Big World Breaks (a production company built for performance, studio and education), that has shared stages with Janelle Monae, Kool DJ Red Alert, Digable Planets, DJ Qbert, Macklemore, Reggie Watts, Saul Williams and many more. B.W.B. has also produced live show backing for various artists such as: Grammy Nominated vocalists Wayna and Rocky Dawuni, Sy Smith, Zo!, Dynamq, Choklate, Kimberly Nichole, Massive Monkees and Xperience. Aaron is a proud alum of the CD Music Factory (Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Robert Knatt, and Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble / Drumline, under the direction of Mr. Clarence Acox). Aaron began working with youth and families in 1999, eventually becoming the Education Director for Seattle JazzED (2010-2016), a teaching artist for Arts Corps (2008-present) as well as the drumline director for Washington Middle School (2008-2016) and O’Dea High School (2012-2018). Most recently Aaron became a member of the Creative Advantage roster, co-founded 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide in 2012, founded the award-winning intergenerational BWB Drumline in 2015 and co-curated The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI (with over 31,000 attendees and 20 co-produced events), which won the 2016 American Association of State and Local History Leadership in History Award, “the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.”

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Adam Collet has been taking photographs and making art since childhood. Adam went to school in Seattle, also attended Seattle Central Community College and the UW where he earned a BFA in Photography. In 2008, he began teaching and passing on an interest in art and design to the next generation. Still living in Seattle with wife, children, and cat.

Besides Adam’s photography and illustration work he’s also a Teaching Artist specializing in Visual Art with a focus on integrating Art and STEM disciplines. In addition to Arts Corps, he’s taught classes, and online content for King County Library System; Seattle Public Library; stArt Exploring, a project of Sound Transit; Seattle Parks and Rec; High Point Neighborhood House; Yesler Terrace, Youth Tutoring Program; Family Learning Program; and various schools in Highline and Seattle Public Schools.

Recent projects include Essentially Seattle – photographing essential workers for City of Seattle/SPU, from the Office of Art & Culture; Public Art Program – photographing publicly sited artworks for City of Seattle, from the Office of Art & Culture. Ethnic Artist Roster, Seattle; Creative Advantage Arts Partner Roster, Seattle; ShoreLake Artist Roster, Shoreline.

Adam Ende has been making and directing puppet shows, parades and pageants for 30 years all over the world. Puppetry encompasses all the arts! So Adam has taught workshops in puppet and mask making, sculpture, cardboard construction, sewing, upcycling garbage materials, writing, cantastoria, cranky, drawing, painting, mural painting and comic book making, in Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Thailand, New York City, Seattle and more. Adam has spent a lifetime cobbling together the wide variety of skills that come together to make a puppeteer, and he is always delighted to be able to share the knowledge, skills and pro tips he has discovered, sharing skills with other artists, or helping people who don’t yet know that they are artists discover the artist hiding inside!

Raw vulnerability, exquisite poise and wide emotional range are some words used to describe Aishé Keita on stage. Aishé is a two time award winning actress. She is based in Seattle, WA but has been seen on stages throughout the US. Aishé appeared in Seattle Magazine’s 2019 issue as must see artist. Where she also received recognition for her work at Seattle Repertory Theater and The Guthrie Theater for the co-production of Familiar by Danai Gurira . Aishe’s first  solo show, Griot, produced by Earth Pearl Collective premiered in 2018 and still tours today. She holds a B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts in Original Works  (playwriting, acting, directing) with a minor in applied theater. 

Brian Dang (they/them) is a Vietnamese/Chinese playwright, poet, mentor, and mutual-aid worker based in Duwamish Territory (Seattle). Brian is a proud resident playwright at Parley. For Brian, writing is an act of envisioning an eventual communing, an opportunity to freeze time as we know it, and a reaching for joy. Their writing has been workshopped with Seattle Opera, Pork Filled Productions, Karen’s Secret Army, Theatre Battery, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference as a Tennessee Williams Scholar. Brian was a 2020-21 Hugo House Fellow. They’re grateful for having somehow convinced the world they can read and write.

Born in the Philippines, Carina A. del Rosario immigrated to the United States as a young girl. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Santa Clara University in 1991. She has studied photography with Magnum Photographer Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Raul Touzon and Eddie Soloway, and a variety of visual arts media at Pratt Fine Arts, Cornish College of the Arts and other cultural institutions. In addition to her own creative and documentary projects, she is a teaching artist and helps youth use visual arts and digital media to explore their communities, advocate for what matters for them, and express their own experiences. She works with a number of schools, cultural institutions and community-based organizations to help students develop 21st century skills through the visual arts. She collaborates with non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help illustrate issues such as poverty, education, health and civil rights. She also founded IDEA Odyssey, a collective that promotes cultural diversity, community development and economic prosperity in the International District/Chinatown neighborhood through visual arts. In 2013, the International Examiner honored her with a Community Voice Award for an Individual Artist.

Carina was recently recognized by KCTS 9 for her work as an educator and cultural worker in Washington State. See the full story here.

Carina’s website

Cecelia Deleon is a visual artist born and raised in Seattle, WA and works under the alias Mousy DeVilla. She studied Design at Cornish College of the Arts, utilizing her design background to convey ideas through her 3D installations, paintings, and digital illustrations. Working from her South King County home, she creates evocative responses to the tensions of  ChicanX Culture and current political and social conflicts of the US. She has trained with TAT LAB (Teaching Artist Training) and transitioned into a Teaching Artist through Arts Corps. She does this work while building community with other art organizations such as Creative Justice, Coyote Central and Urban Artworks.

Colton Miller, known professionally as AnthonyArlene! is a Lyricist, Songwriter, Producer, Audio Engineer, and Creative Director. He is best known for his catchy hooks and rapid songwriting ability. 

Although he published his first poem at 12 years old and began songwriting in High School, he didn’t have the tools to record his own music until 2016 when he attended the Art Institute of Seattle and learned how to build a home recording studio. That same year, he produced his first EP, The Evolution of AnthonyArlene! Since then, AnthonyArlene! has written and produced over 50 R&B, Hip Hop, and Funk songs, most of which are available on his website https://anthonyarlenemusic.com/home.

He recently published his second EP, God’s Skin, and will begin releasing music on all streaming platforms in 2021.

My name is Divya Lalitha. I am a creative practitioner. An inter- and multi-disciplinary performance artiste, my work is strongly driven by intuition and inspired by storytelling, rituals, healing & spirituality.

I was led into the world of mythology & folklore by my grandfather when I was still cooing in my cradle. I got acquainted with rituals while still in my mother’s womb. Theatre really had happened for the first time at the age of three when I participated in my first fancy-dress contest. And then it happened again several years later to change my life forever. One-woman performance storytelling is my forte. With over thirteen years of experience in theatre, I have performed in India, the Philippines, and the United States. When I perform a story, there never is a fourth wall.

I graduated with an MFA in Theatre Arts from Towson University in 2020. It is during my graduate program that I delved academically deeper into the semiotics of rituals and performance art which led me to explore site-specific immersive theatre. My creative process at its core has always been about asking questions, and not about finding answers. I believe that answers are always around us; but it is in asking the right questions that will lead us to what we are seeking.

This quest has led me to create a world of rituals called ‘Epiphany Sutra’ where I combine inter-disciplinary modals with creative questioning and experience design to create epiphanies for individuals and collectives.

Always a cultural thinker-conduit, I have volunteered with the Embassy of India on several cultural projects through their India Student Hub initiative.

A spiritual seeker and nature lover born with an artistic bent of mind, I thrive on several artistic pursuits – writing, drawing, painting, handcrafting, photography, folk-art – all of which have shaped my identity as an artist.

I am also a trained cinematographer, a certified Scuba diver and a Reiki healer. Experimenting in the kitchen and plating food is my current favorite meditation.

I have lived & practiced art in Mumbai, Chennai, Manila and Baltimore. I have been an artist-educator in schools in Chennai and Manila. I have also taught a semester of introduction to theatre at Towson University. I have facilitated several theatre- based workshops for children and adults. I was also the festival director and co- producer of the Short + Sweet Theatre Festival Manila for four seasons.

I am currently based out of the Seattle area. I live here with my husband, and we bond over hikes, gastronomy, and cinema.

erica_merritErica Merritt began singing and performing at 5. In middle school, she was featured in a band called “Starlighters,” which consisted of three student vocalists and a few members of the faculty. At 14, she joined theatre and music performance groups at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She studied voice and music in college, and began teaching choir through Northwest Folklife in 1998. She has continued to teach voice, songwriting and choir intermittently through various art organizations over the last 10 years. Erica has also worked in the field of social and human services for over 15 years and has enjoyed the amazing opportunity to combine her passions of social well-being and music through the art of teaching.

Eris Eaton is an avid singer and performer who loves exploring many 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.

She chose to pursue a BAS in Youth Development to better support youth in those communities. As a teacher, she brings her optimism and joy in full blast in order to create spaces where youth feel they truly belong.

Greg Thornton by Amy PinonGreg Thornton is a teaching artist, small business owner, visual artist and screen printing instructor who has a great passion for teaching youth.  Greg was a restaurant manager and had been for many years when he was asked in the fall of 2013 by a local school district to present a curriculum for an art program in the district’s middle schools.  From the first minute of his first class, Greg knew he had found the job that he wanted to do for the rest of his life – teaching and engaging students with art. At the beginning of his teaching artist career, Greg also had an opportunity to teach teens at an inpatient drug/alcohol treatment facility and at programs involving court-involved youth.  Those experiences solidified Greg’s desire not only to teach students in a public school setting, but also to work closely as a teacher and mentor at-risk youth and youth in need. Greg engages students in the creative process by focusing on them as individuals, helping them to express their fears and their dreams, to set goals, and to develop the desire to succeed despite possible difficulties.  Greg’s main goal is that each of his students learn to express their own voices in a creative and positive way. Greg’s lessons also teach skills that translate to other areas of the students’ lives – collaboration, leadership, acceptance, empathy, public speaking. Greg realizes that not every youth will become a great artist during his courses – but that truly is not the goal. Greg simply asks each student to embrace the journey of discovery and hopes that creating art helps build confidence in his students and that they have fun.

Hi, I’m Jesus McCloskey I’m a multi-disciplined artist & experienced leader from Federal Way, WA. I studied TV & film production while in college but have been making music and visual art my whole life. Art & leadership are my two passions in life and if I’m not studying to grow in my passion then I’m helping others take the necessary steps to grow in theirs!

If you’d like to check out some of my work here is a link to my film company’s website, I designed it myself 🙂 Follow this link: swim.house

Jiéyì Ludden is an interdisciplinary artist who has shapeshifted through many mediums. Jiéyì was born in Nagoya, Japan and moved around many times as a child before landing in rural Kentucky as a queer, trans, and mixed race tween. Making art has been a refuge to return to because it is a way of tapping into the generative space between words. Through art, Jiéyì opens towards play and imagination so that they can untangle the truthiness of a story. They hold an MFA in 4d art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they focused on socially-engaged arts practices. Jiéyì lives in a collective house in Seattle, Washington and likes to dance wildly in the kitchen.

Katrina Herzog received her BFA in Photography from Seattle University and studied documentary photography at Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. After a year as a documentary photographer at Fabrica Communication Research Center in Treviso, Italy, she returned to Seattle and completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Washington. She worked with the Henry Teen Art Collective at the Henry Art Gallery, collaborating with teens and local artists to challenge the historical gatekeeping of museums and gallery spaces. Katrina has always been fascinated by the various ways that humans develop relationships with one another and prioritizes community in her work, whether as a social worker or as an artist. She loves facilitating learning through art in youth spaces, healing through art in therapy spaces, and connecting through art in queer spaces.

Versatile, creator of all arts, and open to arts of many, Kevin Campos started his journey to art during 2016 when he applied to the summer intensive hip hop program The Residency. Producing one year, writing the next year, to rocking stages from Washington Hall, The MoPop Skychurch, Kame House, to a full stage at The Paramount, and many more. Kevin always admired the language of art since a young one and throughout his teenage years created on his own canvas from drawing, writing, performing, to starting his own brand with the goal of being greater with every encounter with art. Teaching Artist, Producer, Designer, Artist. Instagram: @theraincityboy

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Maria Luisa Guillen Valdovinos (Poesia Mariarte) is a visual creative thinker/artist, educator/art therapist and Indigenous Rights observer in environmental, food, and social justice movements; based in occupied Coast Salish Territories. Art ingrained in cultural experience, she graduated in 2010 from the University of Washington in Bio-Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. She was born in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Mexico and after studying graffiti in Lima, PERU IN 2009 with Jorge Miyagi and drawing flowers in Biology projects begun building creatively  in cultural political movements, traveling with the National Indigenous Congress, parents of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, and visited Autonomous Zapatista communities as a human rights observer with FRAYBA, an indigenous human rights organization based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas Mexico. Featured as a performer in BBC’s 100 Womxn in Mexico City 2016 and A Published Writer featured in  “Chapter 9: Travels of a Diaspora Community: From La Sierra Madre Y Tierra Caliente to the Pacific Northwest” MEXICAN-ORIGIN FOODS, FOODWAYS, AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: A DECOLONIAL PRESPECTIVES, The University of Arkansas Press 2017; Publication “Xin Fronteras”, Seattle Journal for Social Justice Seattle University School of Law. Overall she is a lover of all things creatively expressive.

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Meredith Arena is a writer and interdisciplinary teaching artist from New York City with 18 years of teaching experience for youth ages 5-15, both in afterschool and school-day arts integration environments. Before teaching at Arts Corps, Meredith was a teaching artist in Brooklyn, New York. Meredith holds an BA in Cultural Studies, a BFA in photography and an MFA in Creative Writing. She teaches at the intersection of creativity, self-awareness and community building. Her favorite classes to teach are Performance and Creativity (students explore theater as a tool for self-awareness and community building) Media Arts (students make, photo essays, podcasts and documentaries about issues of concern to them) and any Writing class that involves writing and performing poetry and monologues. She also facilitates meditation for adults and young people. Meredith endeavors to make her classes a joyful and safe place where students can examine and subvert the status quo. She wants students to know that creativity is all about making choices, both in their art and in their day to day lives.

olisa-enrico-johnsonOlisa Enrico 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. Olisa is a member of The Conciliation Project (TCP). TCP uses theater to start courageous conversations around the inequities that are woven into the fabric of this complex nation.

She is a founding member of Griot Girlz and works with the award-winning youth arts program Creative Justice. Olisa teaches with Macklemore’s youth development through hip hop program, The Residency. Olisa provides professional development, curriculum development, and workshops through her business Praxis Essentials.

Sabrina Chacon-Barajas by Amy PinonSabrina 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.

Shana Bestock is a theater artist, writer, arts educator, and non-profit leader born and raised in Seattle, WA. She has directed over 200 productions with youth ensembles and overseen over 120 professional productions. Currently she serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Penguin Productions, facilitating creative adventures in community arts to fuel the future with a focus on youth development and leadership, gender equity, and environmental justice. She is also a Fulbright Specialist, working internationally at the intersections of theater, social justice, and teacher training. From 2001-2018 Shana served as Seattle Public Theater’s Artistic and Education Director, leading the organization from community theater to national professional artistic recognition while centering youth voice. She was a member of the ArtEquity cohort of 2016-17 and of the Leadership Tomorrow Class of ’21, engaging with cross-sector leaders around regional issues through an equity lens. Her career includes work with Seattle Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT Theatre, Book-It Repertory, Seattle Children’s Theater, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Chicago’s Court Theater, and educator positions at the University of Washington, Centrum, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, University of Chicago, and regional K-12 schools. Through her creative and community work, Shana strives to increase our capacity to connect, reflect, and create in order to make a more curious, compassionate and creative world. 

Sorel Nica is an artist and youth educator. Through their art, Sia reflects on their lived experiences being queer, neuro-atypical, and the child of immigrants. Their recent work focuses on speaking through the body—externalizing what we can’t verbalize—using the mediums of tattooing, textile art, and folklore-inspired portraits of natural decay. Within the Seattle arts community, Sia has designed posters for plays and protests, as well as theater backdrops, tattoos, and album covers. They joined the Arts Corps community through the Arts Liberation & Leadership Institute (ALLI). Sia volunteers at the Vera Project, and they are also part of the Digital Production Lab youth cohort run by the Vera Project and Northwest Arts Streaming Hub. During the winter, they continue their work as a youth educator as a ski instructor on the slopes. Sia is currently a student at the University of Washington, studying linguistics and sociology. In their free time, they enjoy nighttime biking and recording found sounds. Their favorite part of working with youth is learning from their students.

My name is Silvio Dos Reis and I am known in the Capoeira community às Mestre Silvinho. I started the practice of Capoeira Angola in Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 35 years ago. In my hometown, I worked teaching kids and youths at public and private schools, and in social programs for adults and homeless youth. I moved to Seattle, WA in 2004 to direct the branch of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF) here. Since then I have been teaching ongoing Capoeira classes at ICAF Seattle, organizing international conferences, and teaching summer camps for public and private schools. I also have taught classes for the University of Washington, Evergreen State College, and Western Washington University.

I see Capoeira as a powerful tool to educate, build self-esteem, and develop our critical view of the world. Capoeira promotes interpersonal and social healing through the learning of its fundamentals such as movements, music, history, and philosophy. 

My name is Sirichanh Sisavatdy.  I’ve been dancing and performing since the age of 6.  I specialize in Lao Classical/Folk Dance.  Lao Dance is expression through story telling via hands and body movements to create a sense of focus and balance and incorporates subtle graceful composition much like yoga and meditation. I hope to share my Lao arts and culture with everyone, kids and adults alike, and have fun through dancing to the sound of Traditional Lao Music. I see art as an ever changing landscape, a continual growth through the environment I am reflecting on and an opportunity to preserve my Lao Arts, customs, and cultures. 

I received my B.A. degree in Child, Consumer, and Family Studies from WSU in 1992.  I started working as a Counselor/Advocate with the Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWa), an organization whose mission was a pioneer in it’s time.  Through my experience with ReWa, I found a love for social services, community involvement, and advocacy work.  I have written grants for the Lao Women’s Association of WA, served as an Auburn Arts Commissioner with the city of Auburn, and was on the Leadership Team with SoCoCultural Coalition. I hope to continue my contributions to make this world a better space for our kids and the next generations through the arts, arts equity, and social equity.

Stephanie Segura is a poet from Fontana, CA. Her love for the arts began as a young child, watching her mother paint. Aside from writing Stephanie enjoys taking photographs, making audio poems, and watercolor painting. Much of her creative process includes exploring family history through speculative testimony, audio transcriptions, and written recollections. Stephanie is a former Hugo House Fellow and LitFuse scholar her work has been featured in Pacific Review and Clamor. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell.

sp17_diop_sandpoint_pinon_013Sumayya 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.

Taylor-Nicole (She/They) is a Black Queer educator and artist, born and raised in Mississauga Territory (Detroit, Michigan). She’s an actor, trained voice actor, published writer, dancer, and mixed media artist with a BA in Educational Studies from Arizona State University. They have over 10 years of experience working with all ages from infants to high school students.

Their special interests are improv, comedy, spoken word, imaginative play, puppetry, and children’s media. They’d love to be an actor/puppeteer on a children’s show like Sesame Street one day!

Taylor-Nicole’s philosophy is prioritizing the art of play and using theater as a way to understand ourselves and the world around us. They aim to curate safe creative spaces for historically excluded folks to heal and express joy, and have worked with organizations like Black Farmers Collective and Nurturing Roots to develop programming that combines performing arts and outdoor education. When she’s not working with youth, she enjoys long boarding, meditation, volunteering, and snuggling her kitty Babydoll!

Visit their website: https://www.taylor-nicole.me/

Will Darling is a transfeminist artist. In all the work that he does, he is passionate about the relationship between trans and queer art and social movements. He is currently a member of Deconstruct Collective and a teaching artist with the TeenTix Press Corps Intensive. Most of his additional creative work has been in Seattle writing for The Seattle Times, South Seattle Emerald and Seattle Weekly, djaying at Hollow Earth Radio, creating experimental jewelry, paintings and music, curating visual and performance art, and freelancing as a scenic painter and designer within the Seattle theatre community.