Facilitators announced for our Arts Education & Social Justice Institute

We are excited to announce that Roberto Ascalon, Lara Davis, Diana Falchuck, and Tina LaPadula will be facilitating our Arts Education & Social Justice Institute on October 4th & 5th. This dynamic group will lead participants through exercises to identify, unpack and challenge manifestations of institutional racism, sexism, heterosexism and adultism in the classroom and beyond. Read more about the institute here.


ascalon_smNYC-born Roberto Ascalon is a poet, writer, arts educator, and spoken-word performance artist who lives in the historic Youngstown/Cooper School in West Seattle. Roberto uses his love for the craft of poetry to transform the world that surrounds him. He connects with audiences via universal narratives that encompass topics like racism, first kisses, love, family, and Spam.

Roberto has taught for The Hugo House, Arts Corps, Youthspeaks, and Seattle Arts and Lectures. His writing has appeared in Seattle Poetry on Buses and National Poetry Slam Anthology. He has also been on two Seattle National Poetry Slam teams and is an integral part of the Seattle spoken-word community. Most recently, Roberto won the 2013 Rattle Poetry Prize. His poem was chosen from over 8,000 poems and will be published in the winter issue of Rattle.


lara-davisLara Davis is the arts education specialist for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, a new position that builds capacity for arts education efforts. Lara will help align the work of Seattle Public Schools and community partners through Seattle’s city-wide K-12 arts plan (The Creative Advantage), a comprehensive strategy for closing the access gap in arts learning.

Lara has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle Arts Commissioner and is the former program director for Arts Corps, an award winning Seattle-based youth arts organization. Lara facilitates race and social justice trainings for teaching artists and youth workers, local arts groups and at national conferences. As an artist and administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to foster engagement, transform communities and inspire systemic change.


CAT117_APod_2_Arts7Diana Falchuck is a national consultant, facilitator, educator and practicing artist with 13 years experience developing and leading community-centered programming, policy and trainings. Her expertise includes designing and facilitating trainings on oppression and cultural competency, and managing partnerships between community organizations and government that use hands-on, creative channels to achieve equity and provide alternatives to incarceration. Diana has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington where she trained as an Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator. In addition to her consulting practice, Diana works as Outreach Specialist with the City of Seattle Office for Civil Rights/Race and Social Justice Initiative, through which she is designing and managing a multi-sector, regional education campaign to build public will for racial equity, in partnership with Pacific Science Center and numerous community and for-profit organizations.


Arts CorpsTina LaPadula is a teaching artist and one of the founders of Arts Corps, where she is currently serving as the Education Director.  Her commitment to emergent curriculum, art for social change and student-centered assessment, helped shape the Arts Corps philosophy. Tina has performed for theatre, film and television in Seattle, New York, London, and Pennsylvania and has taught theatre, performance and storytelling at Centrum Arts, Power of Hope, A Contemporary Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. She has facilitated experiential learning courses called “Making Student Learning Visible” through the University of Washington’s Pipeline Project, and regularly leads workshops on equity, the power of arts learning, and creative habits for the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle Public Schools, School’s Out WA and various national conferences. Tina is board chair for the Association of Teaching Artists and co-founder of the Seattle Teaching Artist Network.  She serves on Seattle Public Schools’ strategic vision team for the arts, as well as Service Learning Seattle. She credits her early work at the YWCA for teaching her the fundamentals of youth care and illuminating the need for quality arts experiences for all young people.


Registration for the institute is now open. Go here to register.

For more information, please contact info@artscorps.org.

The Social Justice and Arts Education Institute is the result of three years of Arts Corps’ work of providing racial justice and anti-oppression leadership (via consultations and workshop facilitation) in the fields of the arts, youth development, and education.

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