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Jay Are Adams
Jay Are has performed in numerous theatres in Rhode Island including Epic Theatre, CCRI Players and Stadium Theatre. He has also appeared on “A Royal Holiday” on Hallmark, LL Bean National TV Commercial, and Kevin Hart’s “Hart of the City Season 2” on Comedy Central. Jay Are is a recent graduate of the Master’s program at Emerson College for Theatre Education. His specialties are devising/playmaking, Shakespeare, improv, and stand-up comedy.
Anna Marie Allison
I am a Senior at Roger Williams University pursuing my degree in Elementary Education. I plan to go on and receive my Masters degree in Special Education and eventually get certified to be a principal. I have worked with STEAM not only in schools but also in summer camp. Taking STEAM-related classes at RWU has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the basics of engineering and coding. I studied abroad in London with Eden Hilario, one of the other teaching artists. Together we traveled around Europe and learned all about different cultures. I am excited to begin working with all of your brilliant creative thinkers!
Elsa Balles is a self-taught artist based in RI. She has experience working with various mediums, including: painting, drawing, sculpture, and textiles. She has also developed her skills in jewelry making, and recently presented her first collection of designs for sale during the holiday season of 2020. From 2016-2017, Elsa completed a work-study program in Switzerland. There, she gained experience working with and mentoring children and teenagers. Elsa is passionate about teaching students to enrich their lives with imagination and creative expression.
Taylor Bigliani is an education student at Roger Williams University. She is pursuing a degree in math and her STEM certificate. Taylor is a member of the Roger Williams Varsity Softball team. She lives on Long Island and is an active volunteer in her community. This past summer she volunteered at a STEAM camp and assisted in an Ozobot Coding Class.
Lisa is new to Rhode Island, having just transplanted here from Texas where she was born and has lived for the past 45 years. Lisa grew up overseas, graduated high school in New Jersey and went on to study Art at the University of Bridgeport and Photography at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After moving back to Texas, Lisa began her professional career and raised a family, always carrying a camera everywhere to record all of those important moments with friends and family. She has four grandchildren whom she loves spending time with and with whom she loves to create lots of arts and crafts. In 2015 Lisa left the corporate world after a long career in technology and sales to follow her true passion and start her own photography venture. A natural light, outdoor photographer, she spends most of her work time with families, capturing those precious life memories. Her specialty is maternity and newborn photography, and she finds real joy in working with children to capture their most real selves on the other side of her lens. Lisa is thrilled to be living in Rhode Island and happy to be a citizen of this fabulous community.
After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a BFA, Claire worked commercially for several years as an illustrator and assistant to restaurant and graphic designers. Later moving to Little Compton to raise a family, she freelanced and began painting again. For the last 15 years she has been exhibiting, selling, winning awards, and doing commissioned work throughout New England. These accomplishments have inspired her to share her creative talent and knowledge and “coach” or guide others in their desire to create. This has been accomplished through demonstrations, workshops, and as a substitute art teacher. She has held after-school enrichment classes for grade school children and “coached” weekly art classes for adults. She has run summer-long programs for children consisting of basic two dimensional design, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. “I find teaching others inspires my own work. My reward is catching a glimpse of the student’s face, adult or child when the “light bulb” has been lit or when I’ve been given an acknowledging smile.”
Natasha Brennan is an illustrator and arts educator based in Providence, Rhode Island. She is an avid sketcher, painter, and printmaker who focuses on journalistic storytelling, art for children, zines, and surreal spaces. She graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a Concentration in Literary Arts in 2020. She wants to work on more community-oriented projects and explore public art. In her free time, she writes stories, explores Providence, knits, and dreams of secret special places.
Meredith is an eco-artist and photographer and owner/operator of Firefly Mandalas and Meredith Brower Photography in Tiverton, RI. She has extensive experience in the commercial printing, photography and design industry; and vast knowledge of Photoshop, Lightroom, In-design, and Illustrator. Meredith’s work is inspired by the farm coast, local beaches and ever changing fauna at her farm in South Tiverton, RI, where she grew up and gratefully lives today with her mom, dog Blackjack and kitty Babushka. www.fireflymandalas.com
Marina Caspe is an education and arts student at Roger Williams University. She has a love for the arts and enjoys sharing that love with others. Ceramics, painting, photography, and sculpting are a few mediums she is passionate about. Marina is a member if the Roger Williams Varsity Track team. She lives and was born on Nantucket Island. In the summers she is a professional cake baker at Wicked Island Bakery, as well as an active member in her community.
Gloria Crist is the Founder/Artistic Director of the CORE Org. She holds a MA in Holistic Counseling and a CAGS in Creative and Expressive Arts. In addition, Gloria is a member in good standing of RIMHCA, ACA and IATP. She specializes in working with children and adolescents; designing and implementing creative-based programs that provide a creative, expressive, social-emotional foundation for young people to thrive. Her professional career spans 30 years of professional theater (proud AEA Member) from off Broadway, to opening for Don Rickles, to one-woman shows and regional tours. Her ongoing career in film and television (proud SAG/AFTRA member since 1987) includes everything from daytime dramas; to national commercials; feature award-winning films; and the Peabody award-winning Showtime series, Brotherhood, filmed here in Rhode Island. Gloria also writes about living, loving and loss through her blog: TraumaDramaMama. For more info: gloriacrist.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kara is a multi-disciplinary artist, Integrative Holistic Counselor, and Certified Yoga teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, a Master’s Degree in Holistic Counseling, and a CAGS in Expressive & Creative Arts, and has studied Herbalism. She spent most of her career working at a magazine in NYC, and left the industry to pursue other passions. Her creative & artistic talents include photography, web design, movement, mixed media collaging, and natural fabric dyeing. She incorporates art into her counseling work with adults and adolescents, and also combines yoga & the artistic process. Kara believes that everyone is an artist, and that creativity is our birthright. She also believes that creative expression can be a powerful force in people’s lives, facilitating growth, change, and healing. Kara spends a lot of time outside where she finds that the natural world is her greatest teacher.
Skylar is a Special Education teacher for the Portsmouth School Department. He graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York where he majored in Child Study as well as Speech Communication. He believes that mindfulness is an integral skill in building social relationships, empathy, and attention all while decreasing stress and anxiety. He incorporates mindfulness strategies into his daily instruction and looks forward to teaching students the connection between their mind and body.
Rachael Frodyma is a Rhode Island yoga teacher, studio owner and yoga teacher trainer who is known for her welcoming spirit, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, “love grows love.” The R.I. native fell in love with the ancient practice of yoga through a running injury that changed her world! Today, Rachael shares her passion of yoga with all ages ranging from kids to advanced practitioners.
Teaching Philosophy – Teaching a Vinyasa style practice, breath and movement synchronized, with an emphasis on the subtle body, chakras, nadis, gunas, vayus, and koshas Rachael’s teaching style is elegant, inspiring and most importantly creates space for students to have time for self inquiry. Rachael’s classes embody a time to dig deep, tap into your inner strength to rediscover or re-spark your authentic self.
Rachael received her formal training from Patti Doyle and Liz Lindh of Innerlight Yoga Studio, Newport, R.I.. She has since furthered her training with Tiffany Cruikshank, Travis Eliot, Kathryn Budig, and Noah Maze all amazing international teachers who inspire and continue to ignite the spark within Rachael’s soul. Certified E-RY through Yoga Alliance.
With over a decade of experience in her field, Rachael serves her community through various non-profit programs such as The FLY Foundation, a non-profit organization for young adults battling cancer; the CORE program, a 501c providing professional after-school arts education and wellness in all formats throughout the east bay area as well as many local fundraiser throughout the community. Being such a big part of the R.I. community, Rachael’s studio, Nanaquaket Yoga Studio, received BEST OF R.I. in 2016 from Rhode Island Monthly Magazine. Rachael was also nominated Best Yoga Teacher by Mercury Magazine! This year, 2019, the studio received award from Top Rated Local for the best yoga studio in the state.
Rachael is an ambassador for Newport Yogis, Prana, TenTree, and Patagonia. All having a common thread of giving back to their communities as well as making an effort toward sustainable living.
Update March 2021 – It is with great sadness we say good-bye to one of our favorite teaching artists. Lawre Goodnow passed away peacefully on March 27th surrounded by her family. Lawre taught classes for us mostly at Melville Elementary in Portsmouth and Wilbur-McMahon School in Little Compton. She brought her love of nature, fabrics and art to her classes and she was never short with words of support and encouragement-most recently offering to drop off recycled goodies for any student wishing to create a piece of art for the upcoming Sculpture and Art contest. Please take a moment to send love and support to her family. She made the world and the world of art and education a better place.
Darlene’s passion for early childhood education began when her only daughter was born 32 years ago! Since then, she has worked with young children and their families in childcare centers, elementary schools, and social service agencies. She has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and holds several MA teaching certifications: PreK-2nd Grade; Visual Art (PreK-8th Grade); and ELL (English Language Learners – PreK-8th Grade). For the past six years, she has operated a home-based preschool program, Teacher’s Pet Pre-K, in Tiverton, RI for children aged three to five. Darlene has always enjoyed spending her days with young children — teaching, learning and growing together!
Molly is a recent graduate of Salve Regina University who studied fine arts with a concentration in painting. She is passionate about sharing her gifts with children through the creative teaching process. This process helps to build a child’s self esteem, spark interest, and improve skills. Molly believes that art is an outlet that can bring joy and focus to life.
Working in childcare for over six years including being a camp counselor, after-school care giver and coordinator, and arts instructor for the local YMCA, she has found the importance of the introduction to the arts at an early age. This creative process is vital for children of all backgrounds and skill sets to help build the life skills of patience, imagination, and pride in oneself. She believes children’s main occupation is play, and incorporates fun into every artistic quest.
Abby Hennigan is a Boston-based singer-songwriter, artist, and music therapy student. Having recently graduated from Berklee College of Music, Abby is studying to become a Board-Certified Music Therapist in the next few months. Abby is passionate about helping others through the power of music. As a musician, she has used songwriting as a means to cope with her own losses and emotions throughout her life. She is currently working on original music to be released later this year. Additionally, she recently launched a blog called, “Young and in Loss,” as another medium to express her experiences related to grief and loss as a young adult, and connect to others going through similar experiences.
I’m 21 years old and a senior at Roger Williams University where I am working towards my degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. When I graduate, I want to pursue a Master’s degree in either Literacy Education or Special Education. I have lived in Bristol, RI my entire life and have danced for over 12 years. I am passionate about arts being implemented in schools, because it is important for children to be able to express themselves in their own unique way. I believe that all students should have access to quality programs where they can engage in activities that they genuinely enjoy.
I have taken STEAM courses at RWU where I have worked with coding, robots, and offline activities. I have student taught at Rockwell School in Bristol, RI for the past two years where I was able to teach lessons involving STEAM myself. One lesson in particular that students loved was working with coding mice. I find that young students are so excited to work with technology of all kinds and STEAM allows them the opportunity to do so.
Last year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, UK for about three months. This experience was life changing, and I feel like I have learned so much about the world around me that will help me to incorporate all kinds of artistic activities into my teaching. When I am not teaching or working, you can find me writing, working out, doing DIY projects and spending time with friends and family.
Jess Huetteman (she/her) is a classical soprano, voice teacher, and church choir director living in Providence, RI with her partner and two cats. Jess enjoys a career singing with RI-based professional choir Collegium Ancora, teaching voice lessons at the RI Philharmonic Music School, and directing the choir at Bell Street Chapel UU. Active as a soloist and chorister, Jess has performed under the batons of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Pablo Heras-Casado, Simon Carrington, and Julian Wachner. Most recently, Jess performed virtually with the VOCES8 US Scholars in their 2020-2021 season. She is ecstatic to collaborate in-person with the Scholars for their 2021-2022 season. Originally from Rhode Island, Jess received her Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy with distinction from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. In addition to her music-making, Jess is passionate about mental health, trauma-informed yoga and voice
care, and dismantling white supremacy culture.
Sue Kent is a Freelance Illustrator, Product Designer, & Art Instructor based in Tiverton, RI. She holds a BA in Graphic Design with a concentration in Painting. Her professional experience includes Staff Artist positions at Paramount Greeting Cards, Hasbro Toys, School House Candy, and Fetco Home Decor. She has been teaching art to kids privately, as well as in after-school programs in Tiverton, Little Compton, & Westport, for the past 15 years – always encouraging creativity within the child! Sue is an avid runner and in her spare time you will find her running all over the town!
Amy Kinney is an artist, teacher, and mental health advocate. She holds a BA in Mathematics from Smith College and is a former middle and high school mathematics teacher. She has also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and completed the Expressive Arts Institute at Salve Regina University. She has an extensive background in merging the fields of education, art, and mental health, having taught expressive arts in schools, hospitals, and community programs throughout New England for the last 15 years. Amy has published two books, one a compilation of her own expressive artwork and one a training manual of group facilitation techniques and expressive arts workshops. She is an avid doodler, a nature lover, and storyteller.
Jen LaBonte was born and raised in Newport, RI., where she has been a paraprofessional for just over ten years; first working in Middletown, and for the last eight years in both Little Compton and Tiverton. Jen is currently working for both Newport County Regional Special Education and Fort Barton Elementary School in kindergarten and first grade. Within the last few years Jen has begun to expand her hobby of painting into a small, online business, From Farmhouse to Fancy . She has also provided painted materials for the THS Drama Club’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Jen is looking forward to combining her love of working with children and her love of painting and creating.
Ashley Lessa is a freelance writer residing in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She received her BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston. Her work has been featured in both local, print magazines and far-reaching online publications. When she’s not writing, Ashley works as the Congregational Life Coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven. Ashley loves teaching young people about magazines, creative writing, and self-expression. She also loves strong coffee, used books, road trips, and spending time with her friends and family, her girlfriend Paige, and their dogs, Fiona, Dixie, and Oliver.
Camille is a Providence-based mixed-media artist and educator. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Camille is passionate about community-centered arts education; she has designed and taught multiple digital art curricula for middle and high schools in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Providence. Her art explores our tangled connection with the natural world through the photographic process, drawing, sound, and community-collaborative projects. Camille has exhibited her work in the Pacific Northwest, North Carolina, and the Northeast; explore camillemontano.org for more.
Rob has played and taught drums and percussion for over 25 years. After graduating Middletown High School, Rob attended the University of New Hampshire, where he performed with the UNH Wildcat Marching Band, Pep Band and Symphonic Band. Upon graduation, Rob expanded his percussion
repertoire to include many styles and genres. Rob has played with the Pawtuxet Rangers Fife and Drum Corps, Rhode Island Highlanders Pipe Band, Navy Band Northeast, and Salve Regina University Community Concert Band. Rob played in the influential band, Bubblegum Villains, in the late 2000s, touring around southern New England and was nominated Best New Band 2008 in Motif Magazine.
Rob is an active instructor in the marching percussion world. He has worked with Portsmouth High School, Johnston High School, Andover High School and New Bedford High School as Drumline/Front Ensemble Instructor, competing in US Bands and NESBA circuits. Rob is also an active instructor with Bagpipe Bands, instructing Sutherland Pipe Band, Brian Boru Pipes and Drums and the Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums. When Rob is not teaching private lessons in his studio at the American Drum Company, you can find him performing with Bristol County Fifes and Drums and St. Edmund’s Pipes and Drums (Drum Sgt and Lead Tip) as well as his four-piece band, Weird Dad. Rob also competes in the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association as a Grade III Snare Drum Soloist. Placing at events and earning Drummer of the Day accolades, in 2014 Rob took the EUSPBA 1st Place Overall Points Winner for Grade IV Senior Snare Drum Soloists. He placed second overall in 2015 before moving up to Grade III, where he placed third overall in his first year. Rob is a proud member of The Company of Fifers and Drummers, Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, Percussive Arts Society and the National Association for Music Educators (including RIMEA and MMEA).
Jennifer Sousa Ramirez
I grew up in Bristol, RI and received a degree in Applied Linguistics from UMASS Boston in 2001. Since then, I have taught ESL and bilingual Spanish education in Massachusetts, Illinois and currently Kickemuit Middle School. I have never felt happier working in my community teaching our children and helping families to enrich their children’s lives. Culture and language are my passion and I especially love the Spanish language and all that encompasses Latin American culture. I enjoy spending my time reading, walking my poodle and listening to world music.
Ashley is a recent graduate from Roger Williams University with a degree in Elementary Education, a double minor in mathematics and psychology, and a STEAM certification. Ashley is currently a first year, first grade teacher in Connecticut and is pursuing her Master’s degree in STEM education at Central Connecticut State University. She plans to return to Rhode Island to teach after completing her program. When Ashley is not in the school, she can be found spending time with her family and pets, taking photos, baking, or traveling.
Bethany St. Pierre
Bethany St. Pierre is a Pre-K through 12 certified art educator in Newport, RI. In January 2010, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhode Island College in Art Education, with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design, and a minor in Psychology. Bethany has taught in multiple Rhode Island school districts including Barrington, Central Falls, and Cumberland. She is particularly enthusiastic to return to her hometown of Tiverton, to now teach and share her passion for the arts. She strongly believes in introducing her students to as many tools, materials, and techniques to help support their creative process, while challenging them to solve artistic problems. Bethany was previously a dance teacher for 15 years, teaching in the styles of acro, ballet, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, and tap. Now she enjoys working as a teaching artist for CORE after school, teaching art and dance. During her free time, Bethany enjoys spending time on the water with her husband and working for her parents at Standish Boat Yard, Inc in Tiverton.
Ashley Schwebel is an artist/designer living and working in Providence, RI. Originally from NY State- she studied Architecture at SUNY Buffalo before earning her BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2013, she started Design WhatHaveYou, a multidisciplinary creative design studio, featuring Ashley’s handmade concrete jewelry. In her work she explores a variety of processes, materials, and design elements. She utilizes a structured workflow, but one that allows for experimentation and random occurrence to contribute to the aesthetic of the finished form. While her primary creative output is jewelry, she also tackles sculpture and oil painting among other pursuits. Ashley has been a teaching artist for many years at various nonprofits and community organizations in New England, including CityArts in Providence, RI and the Umbrella Center in Concord, MA. She looks forward to having more opportunities to teach young artists ways to explore their creativity. Her favorite shape is the Penrose triangle, and her favorite color is fluorescent green.
Liv Souza is a recent graduate of Stonehill College in Easton, MA where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Studio Arts. She plans on getting her Masters in Art Therapy and pursuing a career as an art therapist. During her time at Stonehill, she mentored a group of middle schoolers from the Brockton area and created weekly art projects with them. She believes that creativity, art, and imagination are essential in an individual’s life. She enjoys photography and abstract painting as well as Asian cuisine and dogs. She is looking forward to inspiring individuals to create art and be creative.
Hello! My name is Samantha Travis, but everyone can call me Sam. I am a student at UMass Dartmouth studying English Literature. My long term plan is to get a master’s degree in teaching. I was in drama for 4 years with Gloria at Tiverton High School, and I have a true passion for theater and fine arts. I am so excited to teach students this beautiful art, and give them the same outlet I was lucky enough to have because of Gloria. I also think this will be great practice for when I am finally a teacher one day!
Maida Burns Vandale
Maida Burns Vandale graduated from the Maryland Institute of Art in 1998 with a B.F.A. in Sculpture. After college Maida worked as a manager to an Art gallery and as a florist. After a bit of traveling, she settled back in Tiverton, R.I. to raise her family. Maida has been working on private commissions, exhibited work in local galleries and began teaching in the Tiverton schools eight years ago.
Amanda Vincenti is an Elementary Ed graduate of Roger Williams University. She’s had teaching experience throughout the years in various capacities (such as Religious Ed, summer camp, and youth theatre), and she has been in love with theatre, music, and performance since she could plug a couple of notes together on her father’s accordion. In the coming years, she hopes to combine her passion for children’s education and theatre with a graduate degree in Theatre Ed and a career in bringing theatre to children of all abilities and backgrounds.
Founded and serves as the Artistic Director of the Newport County Youth Chorus (RI). She has worked with community children’s and youth choirs for more than 13 years in Denver, Colorado, Columbus, OH, New Haven, CT and most recently in Brooklyn, NY with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. During her career, she has conducted ensembles of varying ages (5-70+) and abilities. Elizabeth has prepared ensembles for performances at Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as well as for a national PBS Kids Commercial.