All Teaching Artists are trained in concept-based education, performance-based assessments, and coaching strategies to support a common approach to teacher professional development. Artist Mentors (AM) serve throughout year in our core programs: Voices from the Field and Creative Impact, teaching at Summer Institutes and providing one-on-one school year mentorships and residencies. We also contract Teaching Artists (TA) for Artist in Residence Programs, Early Learning, and other Professional Learning Programs.
Rachel Atkins (AM, TA)
Rachel Atkins, Theater Artist Mentor, is the Scriptwriter and Education Director for Living Voices, the educational theatre company with whom she has eleven different multi-media shows in ongoing national tours. Rachel has adapted numerous productions for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s mainstage and touring seasons, and was an Annex Theatre Hothouse playwright. Her plays have also been seen locally at Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Empty Space and 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theatre Festival. She currently works as a master teaching artist for Seattle Repertory Theatre and Book-It Repertory Theatre, and is a member of the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster. Previously, she was the Scriptwriter/Dramaturge and Director of Education for Ardeo Theatre Project in St. Julien l’Ars, France. Rachel has over sixteen years of writing, teaching and directing experience, working with preK-12 students and teachers in Seattle, New York and France. She graduated from Dartmouth College and holds her Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University. Rachel has been with Arts Impact since 2008.
Ana María Campoy is a Mexican-American theatre artist, educator, and advocate. She moved to Seattle in fall 2010 to participate in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Professional Arts Training Program and was part of TAT Lab’s inaugural class in 2011-2012. In addition to Seattle Rep, she has taught for the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Village Theatre. As an actor, director, adaptor, or dramaturg, she has worked for OSF, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Pork Filled Productions. One of her most cherished acting roles includes Catherine in a bilingual adaptation of David Auburn’s Proof, which she also produced and translated alongside director Arlene Martínez-Vásquez, and is now under consideration for publication. She has toured nationally in Living Voices’s solo show, La Causa. She’s developed multiple bilingual scripts for Seattle Shakespeare’s Touring Productions such as: The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and Hamlet, the latter two she also directed. Her fifth adaptation with Seattle Shakespeare Company, Romeo y Julieta, shall be premiering this spring. She currently serves as one of five Associate Artists with ArtsWest Theatre for their 2021-2022 Season and was recently named as Associate Artist for Seattle Shakespeare Company. She is a passionate and proud advocate of the performing arts, believing that performance provides communities a voice and individuals self-exploration. At the center of her work lives the driving desire to create opportunities for artists of color, to remove economic and geographical barriers for audiences and students, and to expand and deepen our American identity. In addition to her work within the arts, she founded and now runs the volunteer collective, WashMasks Mutual Aid to provide PPE, support, and advocacy for migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families during this current pandemic (www.washmasks.org; @washmasks on Instagram). She has been with Arts Impact since 2015.
Valencia Carroll is a passionate teaching artist, who combines her classical oil painting background with her training and experience gained while practicing as an art therapist. After earning her MA in Art Therapy at The George Washington University, she worked as a board certified art therapist with families and children for several years in locations such as public schools, special education facilities and mental health clinics. She then continued her art education by completing her studies in classical oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art.
In her studio practice, Valencia creates representational oil paintings using classical realism
techniques. She experiments with lighting, color harmony and composition in her figurative and
still-life works. Her goal is to create artwork that is beautifully crafted and that also serves as a
reflection of her worldview.
Valencia has exhibited, presented and taught at several locations throughout Washington
including the Frye Art Museum, the Washington State History Museum, Northwest African
American Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Maryhill Museum of Art and Seattle Theatre Group to
name a few. Valencia has also worked several years as Art Docent Program Coordinator in the
Northshore School District where she has enjoyed sharing the stories and techniques of art and
art making process with K-5 students and their parents. Valencia is an Artist Trust GAP award
recipient and she is active on several artist rosters including the Creative Advantage Community
Arts Partner Roster, ShoreLake Arts Artist Roster, and the ArtsWA Public Artist Roster.
Olissa Enrico-Johnson (TA)
Born into a family of music Olisa Enrico-Johnson played in family bands from the age of 4. A writer of expressive songs, Olisa offers Hip-Hop, Soul, and RnB with a funk-folk twist that stays rockin’. Olisa began exploring hip-hop and the art of eMCee at the age of 11.
Her journey with music brought her to theatre in 2003. It was at Seattle Central Community College under the genius of Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates that she was schooled in the Acting methodology of Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum and where she became a part of www.TheConciliationProject.org (TCP) (501c3) whose mission”…to promote through active and challenging dramatic works, open and honest dialogue about racism in America in order to repair its damaging legacy. Olisa believes that artists and art are vital to the state of culture and society and hopes to share her soul through performance.
Olisa earned her BFA, magna cum laude, in performance from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. She stayed at VCU to study with her mentors Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates and Professor Janet Rodgers. In 2010 She earned her MFA in theater pedagogy with a dual focus in Acting and Directing and Voice and Speech. She is a certified instructor in RPDWAC , Archetypes for the Actor and the Oxyrhythms.
Her appetite for the stage is immense and is satisfied through teaching, directing and performing. Some favorite performances include “Billie Holiday” from Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by Lanie Robertson. “Rose” from Fences by August Wilson, “Lady in Blue” from For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, “Nell” from Ain’t Misbehavin and “Anita” from West Side Story.
Teal Farías (AM, TA)
I am Mexican queer dancer and community organizer that lives for pleasure activism and building community through dance.
I moved to Olympia almost 5 years ago from Mérida, Yucatán, México, searching for a big chance and when I arrived, realized there was not much dancing and decided to pursue music as DJ Siempre Bruja and play intercultural Latinx beats in the PNW.
I am a creative movement artist that uses their body as a social justice canvas.
Luna Garcia started dancing Folklorico at age seven with the dance group Joyas Mestizas. In 2007, she started teaching with Joyas Mestizas, and she started dancing with Bailadores de Bronce. Dancing and teaching with both organizations, she has been able to promote and present the beauty of Folklorico throughout the Seattle area. She has taken classes and workshops with renowned Folklorico teachers such as Jose Tena from New Mexico State University and Samuel Cortez from Los Lupeños, San Jose.
Debbie Gilbert (TA, Curriculum Editor)
Debbie Gilbert, Dance Artist Mentor & Curriculum Specialist, is the Co-Artistic Director of the Whistlestop Dance Company. Whistlestop has earned a reputation for excellence in creating dance experiences for people of all ages and abilities. The Dance Educators Association of Washington awarded Whistlestop its 1996 Honor Award for outstanding contribution to dance education in Washington schools. Gilbert performs, choreographs, and teaches students, educators, and teaching artists both nationally and internationally. She has developed training courses and manuals for the arts, has presented at national and international conferences, and has served on the Arts Implementation Task Force (OSPI/WSAC) and the Arts Endorsement Committee (OSPI). Ms. Gilbert has also written dance curriculum for the Washington Alliance for Better Schools, and the Seattle and Anacortes School Districts. In 2009, she was a keynote co-presenter for the UW Jackson School of International Studies K-12 Mosaic. She also performs with the Tickle Tune Typhoon and Light Motion Dance Company, showcasing wheelchair and stand-up dancers. She is the Project Director for Whistlestop’s Dancing Math, Dancing Science, Dancing Music, and Dancing Times and Cultures Programs. Debbie has been with Arts Impact since 2003.
Rachel Glass (AM, TA)
Rachel Glass, teaching artist and artist mentor, has worked all over the country as an arts educator and specialist in theatre, creative movement, voice, and music. She has taught for over 30 years, working directly with thousands of children and youth, ages 0-18, from New York to Hawaii. She has received extensive training in the Aesthetic Education philosophy from some of the top arts learning scholars, practitioners, and institutes in the US (Lincoln Center Education, the Teaching Artist Development Labs, The Bernstein Center, The Kennedy Center). Rachel has worked in association with the following Arts and Early Childhood organizations: Nurturing Pathways, Powerful Schools, Arts Impact, Nashville Institute for the Arts, and Wolf Trap Institute. Rachel is also currently a professional actor and has worked in the film, TV, theatre, voice over, radio, and audio book industries since 1987.
Carol Gould, Artist Mentor & Curriculum Specialist, has been a teaching artist in the Snoqualmie Valley for 30 years. She is a graduate of Scripps College with a double degree in Visual Art and Theatre Directing/Design. She completed her MA in Education at Claremont Graduate University. She loves sharing her joy of the arts with K-12 students and teachers in the Riverview School District and at Forest Ridge. Carol has been delighted to be with Arts Impact since 2010. When not in the classroom, she enjoys sharing the magic of mud with students ages 6 to 86 in her pottery studio.
Mylen Huggins is a visual arts artist mentor, a teaching artist, and an arts advocate passionate about bringing more arts into public schools. She studied graphic design and illustration at College for Creative Studies-Center for Art and Design in Detroit, MI. She also studied ceramics in Chicago for two years; holds a certification in Museum Interpretation through the Smithsonian Institute of Technology in Washington, DC; is a trained practitioner of Visual Thinking Strategies; and is a graduate of WA State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Training Lab. Teaching through visual art gives her an opportunity to creatively collaborate with young students, teachers, and groups from a variety of cultural backgrounds within and beyond Seattle’s diverse community. Her teaching artist practice began in 1996, as an educational exhibit interpreter at Seattle Children’s Museum. Mylen has been with Arts Impact since 2014.
Michael B. Maine (AM, TA)
Michael B. Maine is a Seattle-based, socially engaged artist and creative consultant. Primarily working as a freelance photographer, he focuses on learning about and addressing issues of social inequity through media, concerned with studying the images that already exist and working towards being additive to the field in a way that increases representation both in front of and behind the lens.
In addition to his professional photography work, Michael makes a point to always have at least one personal project that explores something that keeps him up at night. Past work has focused on youth experiencing homelessness, stereotypes and the concept of deviance, and the mental landscape. Current work is focusing on race and class.
Michael feels strongly about investing in the community and does so primarily through volunteering—including board service and mentoring. He served as the president of the board for both Reel Grrls (a youth media organization) and Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (an organization creating public/private partnerships to help reduce instances of sex trafficking by creating policies, programs, and partnerships designed to reduce demand and access). Additionally, he takes a multidisciplinary approach to mentoring younger people who want to learn more about media literacy and production, seeking out literature representing a range of age, sexuality, gender expression, race and ethnicity, physical and mental ability, and other forms of identity.
His ultimate goal is to help create a media landscape that is more fairly produced and representative of humanity and the range of human identities and experiences.
Eduardo Mendonça (TA)
Eduardo Mendonça —musician, producer and composer—is a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Eduardo received his degree in Arts Education from the Music Institute of the Catholic University of Salvador. He is the Music Director for iBuildBridges Foundation and is the Artistic Director for the international performance ensemble Show Brazil.
Erica Merritt is a singer, vocal coach, teaching artist and social and human services specialist with more than 25 years of experience as an artist and youth development worker in the greater King County region. She began teaching choir in 1998, and has continued to teach voice, songwriting and choir with organizations such as Langston Hughes, Arts Corps, MoPOP and the Creative Advantage. Erica is a social justice advocate who believes Arts Education can close the opportunity gap for underserved youth. Erica’s work focuses on the belief that art changes the lives of those who experience it’s healing powers, just as art was a catalyst to change in her own life. Her teaching style includes laughter, critical thinking, self-reflection, transparency and fosters a growth mind-set. Her student-centered pedagogy creates a learning space where the student becomes the teacher. She has enjoyed the amazing opportunity to combine her passions of social well-being and music through the art of teaching. Erica takes great pleasure is supporting her students in becoming the best version of themselves.
Joanne Petroff (AM, TA)
Joanne Petroff, Dance Artist Mentor, is co-founder and co-artistic director of Whistlestop Dance Company. In addition to her work as a performing artist and choreographer, she has co-authored several dance education publications and is a sought-after presenter for professional development workshops and educational conferences. She is currently on the Washington State Arts Commission Artist-In-Residence roster, a member of the Powerful Schools teaching team. Joanne performs with Light Motion, a dance company established to develop the artistic expressions of both disabled and non-disabled artists. She has been instrumental in bringing integrated wheelchair dance to the forefront of new trends in dance. Joanne has been with Arts Impact since 2003.
Sabian T. Pleasant was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Through time, Sabian has been privileged to teach and choreograph dance all throughout the city of Jackson, Mississippi. In 2001, Sabian moved to Tacoma, WA and instantly began to teach and dance for Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma for 10 years, under the direction of Damaris Caughlan. There he participated in performances such as “Celebrate his Birth”, “Those Who Trespass”, “Dance Me to the End of Love”, and many more. In 2008, he was given the opportunity to teach Hip Hop at Surrender School of the Arts and is currently still there. Sabian is now the Executive Director of his very own Dance Company called PleasantMovement. “I am excited to give a little bit of myself to our future (through the Arts Impact program) here in Washington State & afar!” Sabian has been with Arts Impact since 2015.
Dave Quicksall received a BA in Theater at the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to receive an MFA in acting at UCLA. In Seattle, Dave has worked in the professional theater as an actor, director, and writer for ACT, Seattle Repertory Theater, the 5th Avenue, Intiman, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Book-It Repertory Theatre. In 2015, Dave performed in Robin Hood (originally produced by the Seattle Children’s Theatre) at the New Victory Theater in New York City. This year will find Dave performing roles in three different plays on three different stages in Seattle: Hamlet for the Seattle Shakespeare Company, The Man of La Mancha for the 5th Avenue Theatre, and The Cherry Orchard for the Seagull Project at ACT.
Most recently, Dave directed a critically acclaimed production of Titus Andronicus for the Seattle Shakespeare Company. As a Teaching Artist, Dave has worked all over the country, including the Wolftrap Institute, the Nashville Institute for the Arts, and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. Dave has been with Arts Impact since 2002.
Amina Quraishi is an Artist, an Educator and a Blessed Mother. She graduated with HBSc from University of Toronto alongside an Advanced Diploma in Art & Art History. She is currently based in Seattle, Washington.
Her art is inspired by her personal connection to the rich cultural and artistic history of the Islamic lands. She exhibits this passion by elaborating the beauty of conventional Islamic Art and Architecture using traditional tools in her artwork.
Ardent to share my love for Islamic Art with others she began teaching in 2017. She has been fortunate to work with fellow artists, religious leaders, librarians and teachers. She wants to continue contributing to the awareness and inclusion in art education by the medium of Islamic Art.
Gary Reed is a dancer and a creative movement specialist with over 30 years experience teaching dance to all ages. He began teaching in 1977 with the NEA Artist in Schools program in Ohio, South Dakota, and California. He graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Modern Dance in 1978, where he studied teaching techniques with Shirley Ririe, Ann Riordan, and Joan Kingston. He has been a rostered Teaching Dance Artist with the Washington State Arts Commission for the past 22 years, and has also worked with Very Special Arts, Washington. He co-authored EALR based dance curriculums for Washington Alliance for Better Schools (co-sponsored by WSAC) and Anacortes School District. Gary danced with Co Motion Dance Company for 15 years and worked with many nationally known choreographers. He has performed works by Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Clay Taliafero, Wade Madsen, Jesse Jaramillo, Lee Anne Hartley, and has performed with various local theaters including the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. Gary choreographs and performs with Tickle Tune Typhoon, a nationally recognized children’s music group. He is a co-producer of Against the Grain/Men In Dance, which is a biannual showcase featuring the art of men dancing. Gary has been with Arts Impact since 2008.
Marisol Rosa-Shapiro is a Philadelphia, New York, and Seattle-based performer, director, teaching artist, and creator of original works of theater. She is a graduate of Princeton University and of Giovanni Fusetti’s Lecoq-based Helikos School of Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy.
Her specialties include mask theater, mime, clown, commedia dell’arte, improvisation, physical comedy, movement-and ensemble-based creation and more. Marisol has been a director, assistant director and producer for numerous theatres, arts centers and schools throughout the country, and currently serves as a Board Member for Clowns Without Borders USA.
Kris Vermeer (TA)
Kris Vermeer is an internationally known visual artist who now lives in Tacoma. Her work is collected by David Attenborough, several Nobel Prize winners, and can be found in the main office of AT&T (Phoenix) as well as permanently displayed in the Las Vegas airport. Her work has also been featured in books by Jean Ray Laury and Jackie Vermeer.
She is a self-taught artist who has been selling professionally since 1985. Kris works in a variety of mediums, such as fused glass, sculptures (steel and stainless), and acrylic painting. Kris is an artist in residence for Tacoma schools and teaches classes for children and adults. Kris has been with Arts Impact since 2012.
Are you interested in becoming a Teaching Artist or an Artist Mentor? Please contact us!