Currently: Seattle, Washington
Notable Achievements; Galena Park ISD Bilingual Teacher of the Year, Red Cross Spirit of Service Award, Patent for a Photosynthetic Bioreactor used to treat wastewater, once fought a raccoon with her bare hands
Most Memorable Performance: Crispen Spaeth’s “Dark Room Trio” where the dancers were entirely in the dark and the audience was able to watch the performance with night vision goggles.
Current Art Endeavour: Trying to learn Queen’s greatest hits on the ukulele.
Influential Art Teacher: Mr. Bill Leaf. As a teacher, Mr. Leaf led all of the bands and choirs in town, from 5th graders to seniors, and he nurtured my love of music (though, sadly, the saxophone never really did take.) It is now that I am deeply thankful for the work he did as an administrator as well. He wrote all of the grants that made arts integration and truly innovative instruction a possibility at our rural school– it was largely invisible work, but it made a significant difference.
Currently: Auburn, WA
Notable Achievements: I started working for my first non-profit (environmental advocacy) when I was 6 and I’ve been heavily involved in at least one since.
Most Memorable Performance: The first time I saw Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Seattle in 1995. The music and performance were incredible and seeing that opera made me fall in love with Seattle and move here.
Current Art Endeavour: Working with the Emerald City Supporters to create “tifo” – the massive painted displays at Sounders FC soccer matches.
Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced You: I got my first piano teacher when I was about 3-4 years old and studied piano with her through junior high. I always learned and played just for enjoyment, but took great strength from it through the trials and tribulations of being a kid. To this day, I have to have a piano in my house and playing is one of the best ways I have to relieve stress on a bad day, or just relax on a good day.
Notable Achievements: Living as a Black Womxn in America till age 65
Most Memorable Performance: Emcee of the Womxn’s March in Seattle
Current Art Endeavour: Creating a beautiful home
How Arts Learning Influenced You: Self-taught appreciation for the arts
Currently: Seattle, WA
Most Memorable Performance or Art Piece Currently Inspiring You:
Ragtime at the 5th Ave Theater last year. Incredible moving and still inspiring my work today!
Current Art Endeavour:
Making hip-hop dance a regular part of my life again.
Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced You:
Mrs. Bruening-Wright (“Bee-Dub”) was both my calculus AND my hip-hop dance teacher in high school. Through her instruction and subsequent dance classes, groups, and experiences, hip-hop became a source of expression and community for me for many years. That’s why my “current art endeavor” is to get back into it!
Currently: MPA Candidate, 2019 Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, UW
Notable Achievements: Current graduate student pursuing an MPA with an emphasis in Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Managed projects with the mission to ensure integral economic development within the cultural sector in Mexico, for example, coordinated an economic and fiscal analysis for the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso museum and the National Auditorium entertainment center.
Most Memorable Performance: My thesis in “The International Song Festivals as Projectors of Soft Power: Spain, Russia, and Turkey at Eurovision” where I examined the underlying political origins and the weight of soft power at one of the most successful and oldest international song festivals in Europe and the world.
Current Art Endeavour: Among researchers, it is common to talk about the “art of politics,” but we never listen to the “politics of art.” I’m expanding my understanding of the cultural sector and working for the development of the artistic and cultural expressions in the society. Also, I’m on learning to be a great baker!
Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced You: My interest in the cultural sector began since childhood when my parents exposed me to the diverse artistic communities of Mexico and the world. I had art courses that included drawing workshops, traditional Mexican music and ballet classes in Mexico City. As I grew older, I became interested not only in the aesthetic part of the art but also in its social and political features.
Currently: Seattle, WA
Notable Achievements: 2016 MPA graduate from Seattle University, 2018 Institute for a Democratic Future Fellow, visiting the Alhambra of Granada
Most Memorable Performance: Yoyoi Kasuma: Infinity Mirror at the SAM. Specifically, Infinity Mirrored Room- Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009). I often think about the experience of being in that room and the symbolism it hold for life, love, and eternity.
Current Art Endeavour: Picking up Latin dancing again.
Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced: I grew up in the Middle East and was always surrounded by traditional Arabic music, art, and dancing. In undergrad, I took an Islamic Humanities and Art class taught by my favorite professor James Toronto. His class taught me that music, art, and dancing tells a story that connects communities together. Since taking his class, I look deeper into art and what it represents.
Currently: Seattle, WA
Current Art Endeavor: I’m currently learning to draw, but am also a Maker. I’m working on an Infinity Mirror that changed color to tell the time and a device to strum all of the guitars in the house when someone rings the doorbell.
Influential Art Teacher: My theatre teacher Steve Carnes at Bremerton High School. Some days, the only reason I went to school was for his class and it directly affected my career path.
Currently: Seattle, WA (Recently graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington)
Notable Achievements: Justice and Diversity Research Prize from the Evans School for my co-authored capstone project “Reimagining King Street Station through a Racial Equity and Social Justice Lens”
Most Memorable Performance or Exhibition: Henri Matisse “Cut-Out” at Tate. It was a total coincidence that my first day in London was the last day of the retrospective “Cut-Out” exhibition at Tate back in September 2014. I’d been admiring his paper cut-outs since I took the Western Art History class in my sophomore year at college. His work greatly influenced my taste of shapes and colors in artworks.
Current Art Endeavour: Ballroom Dancing with my partner. Juggling with West Coast Swing, Bachata, and Lindy Hop.
Influential Art Teacher: Professor Jin who taught Western Art History at my college. I didn’t realize how much I learned from his lecture and the extensive class notes until I shared my faint memory from that class with my friend when we were at the Orangerie Museum in Paris and she told me that was the best museum experience she’d ever had.