TAG is fiscally sponsored by Community Initiatives in San Francisco, CA. We are guided in part by our National Advisory Committee, representing the depth and breadth of the teaching artists field across the US. The National Advisory Committee exists to provide input, guidance, and strategy towards our mission and vision; to connect TAG to other organizations, leaders in the field, and individual teaching artists locally and nationally. These members serve two year, renewable terms.
Glenna Avila (Los Angeles, CA) is an artist, educator, and arts administrator, dedicated to the arts, young people, and communities. She is currently the Artistic Director and the Wallis Annenberg Director of the California Institute of the Arts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program and has served in this position since 1991. The CAP program is a co-curricular program of the college and encompasses 55 distinct youth arts education programs located in 60 diverse neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County in partnership with 45 public schools, community-based organizations and social service agencies; employing 60 CalArts faculty artists, 50 CalArts alumni artists, and 300 CalArts student artists as instructors; and creating innovative, in-depth arts education programs for 10,000 youth ages 6-18 annually. In 2004, the CAP program received the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the highest national honor for exemplary youth arts education programs.
Before coming to CalArts, she held a variety of positions with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, including Director of the Los Angeles Murals Program, Director of the McGroarty Art Center, and Director of the Los Angeles Photography Center. For thirteen years she was a Supervisor in the Summer Youth Employment Program through the U.S. Department of Labor, teaching and providing hundreds of jobs in the arts for low-income youth ages 14-21. She has painted over 75 community murals throughout Los Angeles, the majority of which are collaborations with youth and their communities. As an arts educator, she has taught the visual arts to K-12 students throughout Los Angeles County. She has worked as a teaching artist in public schools, in after-school mental health programs, and with incarcerated youth in juvenile detention centers and probation camps. Glenna Avila has exhibited her work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum, Laguna Art Museum, among others. She was one of 10 artists commissioned by the Olympic Organizing Committee to paint a mural on the freeway in downtown Los Angeles for the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival—entitled “L.A. Freeway Kids,” a tribute to the youth of her native Los Angeles.
Eric Booth (Hudson River Valley, NY) As an actor, Eric Booth performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the U.S. As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles. As an author, he has had five books published. The Everyday Work of Art was a Book of the Month Club selection, and The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible, was published by Oxford University Press. He has written dozens of magazine articles, and was the Founding Editor of the quarterly Teaching Artist Journal.
In arts learning, he has been on the faculty of Juilliard (13 years), and has taught at Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 26 years), and he has given classes for every level from kindergarten through graduate school; he has given workshops at over 30 universities, and 60 cultural institutions. He has designed and led over twenty research projects, and seven online courses and workshops. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities and states and businesses around the U.S., which has included seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras, five national service organizations, Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. Formerly the Founding Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center (now on the Board of Directors), he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts and teaching artistry to groups of all kinds. He is the Senior Advisor to the El Sistema movement in the U.S. He gave the closing keynote address to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006), the opening keynote to UNESCO’s 2014 World Conference. He led the First and Second International Teaching Artist Conferences (Oslo 2012, Brisbane 2014).
Lindsey Buller Maliekel (New York, NY) is the Director of Education / Public Engagement for the New Victory Theater (American for the Arts Education Award recipient, 2008) and oversees all programs and content for family audiences as well as the theater’s youth development programs. She manages a roster of 50 teaching artists, as well as continuing to teach in the schools and family programs throughout the year. Prior to joining the New Victory Theater in 2004, she created and taught curriculums for the Creative Arts Team. As the Associate Director of Summer Theater Institute, she worked with youth from around the world to devise original theater. Lindsey has been a consultant, curriculum writer and Master Teaching Artist for such organizations as Girls Leadership Institute, TheatreWorks: Silicon Valley, and StageWrite. She is also a Thesis Advisor for the first American Masters program in Applied Theatre at City University of New York. In 2014, under her oversight, the New Victory Usher Corps program won the National Arts and Humanities award, given by Michelle Obama for outstanding programs in creative youth development. She received her Masters degree from the Gallatin School at New York University focusing on Theater as a Tool for Communication and Learning.
Lara Davis (Seattle, WA) has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award winning Seattle-based youth arts organization. As arts education manager for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Lara manages the Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students. Lara also facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators and organizations, and presents locally and at national conferences. As a person of color, Lara understands the value of cross-cultural, multi-sector efforts to dismantle racism and other oppressions, and to promote justice. As an artist and arts administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change.
Kai Fierle-Hedrick (New York, NY) is an independent consultant providing organizational development, program development, evaluation, and capacity building services for organizations that engage youth and/or the arts.
She has over 13 years’ experience facilitating professional development trainings for paid and volunteer staff, for organizations including Creative Partnerships [UK], the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s annual conference, and Ramapo for Children. At the nonprofit Free Arts NYC, where she was on staff for 9 years, most recently as Chief Program Officer, she led a department that annually brought together over 2,000 under-served youth and families, 40 Teaching Artists, and 2,000 volunteer mentors in cradle-to-college creative youth development programming. Prior to joining Free Arts, she worked as a teaching artist/consultant in London, UK, for organizations including Arts Council England and the East-Side Educational Trust.
Kai is proud to serve on the Teaching Artists Guild’s National Advisory Committee, and also on the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s Board of Directors.
Jon Hinojosa (San Antonio, TX) serves as the Artistic | Executive Director of SAY Sí, a national award winning, creative youth development program for urban students. The tuition-free program encompasses 6 distinct multidisciplinary arts programs, including visual, performing, film, and game design. SAY Sí is situated in a 26,000 square foot warehouse in San Antonio’s Cultural Arts District.
Jon is also a producing and exhibiting visual artist and is active in professional – local, regional and national arts education initiatives, including currently serving as a national trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education. The Wallace Foundation recently highlighted SAY Sí as an exemplary national arts learning model that needs to be replicated across the country.
Jon has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth, these include Grant Makers for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, and The National Guild for Community Arts Education.
Jon is also an Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders – Arts Fellow, A joint program of National Arts Strategies and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and was recently presented with a national award for his work in arts education by the Americans for the Arts.
He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation’s creative leaders.
Lynn Johnson (San Francisco Bay Area, CA), is a social entrepreneur, theater teaching artist, girl advocate, and the Co-Founder & CEO of Glitter & Razz Productions LLC based in Oakland, CA. The mission of Glitter & Razz is to ignite a compassion revolution by putting girls center stage. They do this through their highly popular Go Girls! Camp, a summer camp for elementary school age girls to learn and practice essential social/emotional skills through the creation and performance of their very own plays Go Girls! has received international recognition from Ashoka Changemakers as a quality social innovation to activate empathy in schools and has been featured as a model program in social/emotional learning by the George Lucas Educational Foundation on the Edutopia.org website.
For over 20 years, Lynn has designed, directed, and taught hundreds of community-based arts learning programs for folks of all ages in Chicago, North Carolina and the Bay Area. Lynn regularly works as a facilitator, speaker, workshop leader, and organizational development consultant. As the founding Membership Director of TAG, Lynn has served as a judge for the Teaching Artist Award sponsored by 3Arts Chicago (2014) and has been involved with TAG (and its preceding incarnations) in multiple capacities since the beginning.
Nas Khan (Toronto, Canada) is a media artist, musician, arts educator, and an arts administrator at the Ontario Arts Council. In this role, she manages arts education granting programs that connect arts communities and learners of all age, partnerships with school boards connecting artists to teachers and students, and partnerships with arts organizations to develop artists’ pedagogical skills across the province of Ontario. She has worked both in and outside of the education system as an arts educator. She has also worked for arts organizations like the Art Gallery of Ontario, Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, and Images Festival. Nas is committed to equity and access in arts education recognizing its vital importance to building a healthy arts ecology. Born and raised in Toronto, Nas is a second generation immigrant and of mixed parentage (Indian and Welsh).
Tina LaPadula (Seattle, WA) is an east coast transplant and warrior for equitable art making and learning opportunities in Seattle. Tina co-founded the Speakeasy Backroom Performance Space and Gallery, the Belltown cultural hub that incubated and showcased work by northwest artists. She currently serves as the Education Director for the award winning arts education non-profit Arts Corps that she helped found on the principle that all young people, not just those with resources, should have access to quality arts learning. As a performer, Tina makes solo and ensemble work that explores stories of human connectivity. She has collaborated with The Frye Museum and The Museum of History and Industry to curate exhibitions that elevate the perspectives of young people. As a teaching artist, Tina has taught at Centrum Arts, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The University of Washington, and in a multitude of public schools and after school programs. She regularly facilitates workshops on social justice and the arts for the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle Public Schools and national conferences. Tina has been a leader in the development of teaching artists and the field of teaching artistry. She is the former co-chair of the Association of Teaching Artists, founder of the Seattle Teaching Artist Network and a faculty member for the WA State Teaching Artist Training Lab. Her experience and opinion have made her a featured blogger with Americans for the Arts.
Miko Lee (San Francisco Bay Area, CA), is Executive Director of Youth in Arts, which provides quality arts education for 33,000 students in the North Bay. Miko previously served as Director of Art and Education at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, where she designed and directed Learning Without Borders, recipient of three consecutive U.S. Department of Education Model Arts Awards. Six culturally distinctive integrated arts curriculum and a media literacy curricula were produced from this program. The Work of the Mind media literacy curricula, has been replicated at sites across the country. Miko has developed arts education programs for the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the National Park Services Rosie the Riveter project. She was a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts Professional Development for Arts Education. Miko has presented at numerous national arts conferences and her arts integration curricula is being replicated around the country. Miko’s expressive arts curricula created with STAND! Against Domestic Violence received multiple awards. Miko also served as Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen where she created original Asian fusion multimedia productions. As an Artistic Associate at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and San Jose Repertory’s Red Ladder Company she directed productions and worked with teachers and students on creating original works. Miko’s extensive background in theatre, as a performer, choreographer and director, include shows at American Conservatory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre and New York’s Public Theatre.
Ami Molinelli (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) is a professional percussionist and educator who received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in World Music with an emphasis in percussion and performance. Currently, Ami works as a music integration specialist at Music In Schools Today and has created an early education music and literacy program, Music FIRST!, in collaboration with Head Start sites in San Mateo County. With MUST, she also worked with San Francisco Unified and their SLANT (science, arts and learning integration) department to create music and science curriculum. In addition, she also works as a curriculum specialist for the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Living Jazz. She has been a teaching artist for over 15 years and has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic both as a teaching-artist of percussion and in curriculum development. She collaborated in publishing percussion curriculum for a “Jazz and the Orchestra” series in 2010 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was part of their team that received and “award of excellence” in orchestra education from the Bank of America Foundation. She has worked as an “artist-in-residence” for the Los Angeles Music Center, SOTA/School of the Arts High School in San Francisco, San Francisco’s El Sistema Music Program, and Healdsburg School district to name a few. She still regularly gives percussion and music workshops with Living Jazz at Jazz Camp West and at the Berkeley Jazz School and performs with her Brazilian ragtime ensemble, Falso Baiano.
Betsy Mullins (Miami, FL) is the Artist Services Director for Arts for Learning/Miami.
Ms. Mullins studied for a Master’s degree in art history at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Before joining Arts for Learning, she taught at ArtCenter/South Florida and at several high schools in Japan. Ms. Mullins has an extensive background working with visual and performing artists from all over the world through her work with the JET Program, and volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and Go M.A.D. She worked in the capacity of After-School Program Manager with Arts for Learning for more than two years, effectively running after-school and summer camp programs at more than 25 sites before becoming the Out-of-School Director and then launching Arts for Learning’s Artist Services Department. Through this department, she has brought best Teaching Artist practices to Miami by presenting workshops led by local and national experts (including individuals from The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center, and the Guggenheim Museum) and by developing and facilitating more than 60 artist professional development modules with topics ranging from student assessment and classroom management to costume design. She has guest lectured at Florida International University’s Community Arts Class, presented workshops for HistoryMiami, and regularly speaks to college students about careers in the arts. In 2008, she worked with the University of Miami and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony to start the Frost MusicReach Program. Through this program, Ms. Mullins coached UM music students on how to be an effective mentor while providing quality music instruction. She is currently designing and piloting a cross-county teaching artist certification project for the South Florida Cultural Consortium.
Louise Music (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) is the Executive Director of the Department of Integrated Learning at the Alameda County Office of Education. A visionary leader and bold advocate for equity in education, Music has developed innovative models for supporting professional practice and tapping creative capacities of educators for deepening and continuously improving teaching and learning. As Director for the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Music is charged with implementing its strategic plan: “Mapping the Next 10 Years” for the 18 school districts in Alameda County. Recent publications include “Arts Learning as Equitable and Meaningful Education,” in Artful Teaching (Teacher’s College Press, June 2010), and the Foreward to the second edition of Studio Thinking2 (Teacher’s College Press, September 2012).
Maura O’Malley (New York) is the Co-founder and CEO of Lifetime Arts. Maura is an arts specialist with over 30 years experience in program design and implementation, arts education policy and funding, non-profit arts management and community cultural work. She has worked with the New York State Council on the Arts, Westchester Arts Council, New York City Department of Education, and Studio in a School Association, Young Audiences of New York and many other premiere arts, educational and community organizations. Maura graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and earned a Master of Public Administration in arts policy and planning from New York University.
Nick Rabkin (Chicago, IL) Nick Rabkin is the managing partner of reMaking Culture, a research and consulting firm for the cultural sector and philanthropy that is focused on revitalizing the arts and culture and reimagining the roles they play in building communities, making our democracy more robust, our lives richer, and leveraging learning. He has studied and advocated for the arts’ and artists’ roles in making our communities, schools, and our democracy stronger for three decades. He has been the executive director of a nonprofit theater, Chicago’s deputy commissioner of Cultural Affairs, the senior program officer for the arts and culture at the MacArthur Foundation, and directed the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College. He was a senior research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, where he did a major study of teaching artists who work in communities and schools across the country. As deputy commissioner, he was part of the team that developed Chicago’s first cultural plan, and he was a consultant on its second in 2012. reMaking Culture is working now on a cultural plan for the Village of Oak Park, research research on the public benefits of the arts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a community music project in Chicago’s infamous Back of the Yards neighborhood, and evaluations for two Chicago theater companies. Nick is the author of Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing education in the 21st Century (2005); an NEA monograph, Arts Participation and Arts Education in America: What Declines Mean for Participation (2011); and Teaching Artists and the Future of Education: The Teaching Artist Research Project (2011). He writes about the arts on occasion about the arts for Huffington Post.
Amy Rasmussen (Chicago, IL) has served as Executive Director of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education since 2007. CAPE inspires students to be passionate about their educations by weaving visual and performing arts into their classroom lessons. To bring their academic subjects to life through art, we partner teaching artists with Chicago Public School teachers to develop original, creative approaches to teaching and learning. This instruction integrates music, dance, drama, digital art, video and photography into classrooms; and, also expands learning beyond school walls into community sites like art studios, performance halls and exhibit spaces. CAPE’s unique approach to art-based education better engages students, improves their understanding of class material, and boosts their grades. CAPE commissions long-term research to show that integrating art into education continually improves students’ critical thinking, self-esteem and confidence.
In July 2011, Amy was named a White House Champion of Change for Arts Education by President Barack Obama for her work. Amy is committed to improving the policy environment for arts education. She was on the writing team for the development of the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan and continues to serve on the Ingenuity Incorporated Advisory Panel as well as the Marian Catholic High School Metro Chicago Alumni Association. Amy holds an M. A. in Arts Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College and a B. A. in Music from DePaul University.
Nicole Ripley (Chicago, IL) is the Director of Education at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL where she overseas community partnerships, on-site programs, in-classroom residencies, and touring productions that reach 10,000 Chicago students each year. She has worked extensively as a teaching artist with communities and youth in the U.S. and in Asia. Her teaching artist work has included collaborations with Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Redmoon and Gabfai Community Theatre in Thailand, among others. Her focus is on applied theatre and using theatre for dialogue to address issues of social justice in classrooms and community-based settings. Ripley is a member of the steering committee to address the national state of the field of teaching artistry in collaboration with Eric Booth, Teaching Artist Guild, ATA, New Victory Theater and FreeArts NYC. She is co-creator of Ag47, an arts mentorship non-profit collective and co-creator and facilitator of Teens at the Table, a participatory program using arts as civic practice to address youth violence in Chicago. An alumna of Northwestern University, Ripley has presented at national conferences, was a 2006 Luce Scholars Fellow in Thailand, Fulbright recipient, the 2013 Communities In Schools of Chicago Al Ward Spirit of Giving awardee, and a 2013 nominee for a 3Arts award in teaching arts.
Jean E. Taylor (New York, NY) is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education, working extensively in their local programs and international consultancies. She received Lincoln Center’s Directors Emeriti Award in 2012. Jean teaches Theatrical Clown for The New School for Drama’s BFA and MFA programs and most recently taught Clown for the World Economic Forum Global Leadership program at Columbia University. She presented at the International Teaching Artist Conferences in Oslo, Norway in 2012 and Brisbane, Australia in 2014.
Her most recent performance work with director Eric Nightengale, True Hazards of Childhood, premiered at The Barrow Group in 2013. A trilogy of her theatre work is scheduled for January 2016. Additional performing work includes The Reclamation with Hilary Easton + Company and Snatches, a play begun at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, performed at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London’s New End Theatre, and presented on BBC Radio 4.
Jean studied clown/movement with Philippe Gaulier, Ronlin Foreman, David Shiner and Merry Conway, among others. Her approach to theatrical clown has been published in Movement for Actors, Allworth Press. She is a member of The Teaching Artist Journal’s editorial board and a board member of The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination.
Jessica Mele is a Program Officer in the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In this role, she manages a diverse portfolio of grants, with a particular focus on arts education advocacy and policy.
Prior to joining the Hewlett Foundation, Jessica was executive director at Performing Arts Workshop, an arts education organization in San Francisco. During that time, she was also an active arts education advocate, serving on the executive committee of the Arts Provider’s Alliance of San Francisco, the steering committee of the Alameda Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, and the national advisory council of Teaching Artist’s Guild.
In addition, Jessica advocated with community-based organizations outside of the arts sector as part of the steering committee of the Family Budget Coalition in San Francisco, which was active in drafting legislation and re-authorizing the city’s Children’s Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund in 2014.
From 2002-2005, Jessica managed the research projects of Marshall Ganz at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and served as an organizer for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (AFSCME, AFL-CIO). Jessica holds a B.A. in Anthropology and French Studies from Smith College, and an Ed. M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In her spare time, Jessica writes, directs and produces sketch comedy as part of Chardonnay, one of two in-house sketch groups at San Francisco’s Pianofight Theater Company.
Sandy Seufert (Los Angeles, CA) has over ten years of experience in teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, teaching artistry, and professional development. She currently works as a consultant for non-profits and individuals for teaching artist training and curriculum development. Most recently she served as the Implementation Director for Turnaround Arts: California which is part of a national program from the President’s Committee of the Arts and the Humanities. Sandy’s other work in arts education has been with The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Opera, and The Da Camera Society. Just prior to her work in arts administration, she worked as a teaching artist in a middle school with young cellists and violinists, where she got to see just how fun teaching the arts could be. Sandy also worked in special education with Los Angeles Unified School District for over ten years, which ended up being a formative experience for her work as both a teaching artist and an arts administrator. Sandy also currently doubles as a professional cellist and folk fiddler, specializing in classical, jazz, and Scandinavian folk music, holding the value that it is important to keep her artistic practice alive. Lastly, Sandy serves the field by serving on the Regional Advisory Council for the Teaching Artist Support Collaborative of California, the Board for the Association of Teaching Artists, the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artist Guild, and the Board of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra.
Yael Silk, Ed.M. (Pittsburgh, PA) is an arts and education specialist providing consulting services to school districts, cultural organizations, and foundations. She recently evaluated the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities’ Turnaround Arts Initiative. Additional project work includes evaluating the STEAM grants in Allegheny County funded by the Benedum and Grable Foundations and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ indepth teaching artist residency programs. Past clients include Americans for the Arts, the RAND Corporation, Gateway to the Arts, The Pittsburgh Promise, Marin Community Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission (Arts for All), Pasadena Unified School District, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ms.Silk is a Barnard College graduate with a degree in music composition. She earned a master’s degree in arts education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.