Danielle Gahl
Danielle GahlExecutive Director, Staff
Hometown: Cascade, Idaho

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.

Cecilia Liang
Cecilia LiangSerial Professional for Fundraising Resources
Hometown: Beijing, China

Currently: Seattle, WA

Most Memorable Performance or Art Piece Currently Inspiring You: Got my scuba diving licenses of Open Water!

Current Art Endeavour: Recently, I watch talk shows every day and think of becoming a comedian. I’m passionate about any chance of dancing as well.

Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced You: When I was in primary school, my art teacher and music teacher were very professional and amazing. They cultivated my appreciation capability of music and fine arts and taught us how to draw different kinds of pictures and sing songs with professional skills. They taught me aesthetics and historic meaning behind form and style. These two beautiful and elegant teachers told me without any language that how arts can influence people’s life.

I also learned Chinese folk dance for many years when I was young and waacking in my 20s. Dancing taught me how to express myself and show my attitude.

Erianne Viray
Erianne VirayVisual and Graphic Design Hypnotist
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Currently: Seattle, WA

Notable Achievements: Contribution to communally-made wlw zines whose proceeds have gone to disaster relief funds and charities

Most Memorable Performance: Standing in front of my senior class and discussing very intimate things about my life through the medium of personal art.

Current Art Endeavour: Accurate portrayal of human anatomy, with consideration for lighting, in portrait art and personal illustrations!

Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced: The ability to present my art as valuable academic work has not only made my education more interesting, but has improved my self-esteem and interest in art. Being able to do art growing up molded who I am as an adult, in my view of the world but also my creative outlook in regards to work.

Kube Warner
Kube WarnerGeek Liaison to Github
Hometown: Seattle, WA

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.

Melissa Herana
Melissa HeranaDream Alchemist (and Operations Intern)
Hometown: Born in Bremerton, WA but I spent my childhood moving around: From Keflavik, Iceland, to Oak Harbor, WA, to Ayase, Japan, to where I am now!

Currently: Mill Creek, WA

Notable Achievements: Survived 2 decades of life, graduated K-12, got into UW… hopefully, more to come!

Most Memorable Performance: Belgian musician Stromae’s concert in Seattle back in 2015 – amazing vocals/sound, stunning visuals, fun stage outfits from the artist’s own fashion line, and awesome crowd engagement despite the language barrier!

Current Art Endeavour: Journaling, photo booking, sketching my travels

Influential Art Teacher: My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, was someone who really encouraged me to draw, create art, and learn about art history. I wish I had more of that influence and push in my later years of education, but it’s never too late to dive back in! I’m still re-discovering art through my college classes and personal life- learning more about its significance and the potential it has to effect change and healing in everybody.

Amanda Ebert
Amanda EbertEnforcer of the Oxford Comma
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Currently: Tacoma, WA

Notable Achievements: Fitting everything I own into my tiny car and moving across the country (twice). Launching a small business in 2018. Once made a room full of standup comedians laugh.

Most Memorable Performance: Sateen and Mr. Twin Sister at the Barboza. The ladies of Sateen were awe-inspiringly vibrant and authentic, and they established a catwalk during their set, inviting individual audience members to strut the catwalk and dance until everyone was on the floor. Mr. Twin Sister had such raw, groovy energy and built a deep, honest connection with the audience. It felt like we were all old friends by the end of the night. Such a joy to experience fearless performing artists helping people connect – it has stayed with me since.

Current Art Endeavour: Creating a video poetry project.

How Arts Learning Influenced You: I was fortunate enough to attend public arts schools for middle school and high school, and a public arts education was life-saving for me. My focus was Theatre, but studying multiple artistic disciplines taught me to view life through an observant, critical lens; opportunities to create are everywhere. An arts education gave me the confidence to be exactly who I am, the courage to perpetually explore the world around me, and assured me that even if I couldn’t always find my place in the world, I could always create my own. I want to make sure more young people have exposure to appreciating the arts, and more access to practicing them.

Chris Langeler
Chris LangelerGrantwriter & Positivity Prestidigitator
Hometown: Portland, OR

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!

Jinchao Su
Jinchao SuIntern of Inquisition
Hometown: Hangzhou, China

Currently: Seattle, WA

Notable Achievements: Full Scholarship for a Master Degree in University of Washington, China National Scholarship, Excellent Student Leader, Zhejiang Province Government Scholarship for Outstanding University Students, ZJU First-class Merit Student Scholarship, and ZJU Academic Excellence Scholarship

Most Memorable Performance: Zhejiang Provincial-level and University-level Outstanding Graduate Award, Outstanding Volunteer Certificate, Maldives (2018), Outstanding Intern of Culture Homestay International, and Best Glamour Award, Zhejiang University Model United Nations

Current Art Endeavour: learned to play the piano and ballroom dance

Influential Art Teacher: leaning to dance relaxes me a lot and makes me more outgoing.

Layla Al-Jamal Judkins
Layla Al-Jamal JudkinsDevelopment Docstar (and Development Manager)
Hometown: West Monroe, LA

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.

Rosie Minier
Rosie MinierMaster of Data
Hometown: Bozeman, MT

Currently: Seattle, WA

Notable Achievements: I started working for my first non-profit (environmental advocacy) when I was 6 and I’ve never not 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 was 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.

Charmaine Slye
Charmaine SlyeStrategic Advocacy Advisor
Hometown: San Bernardino, CA

Currently: Seattle

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

Qi Deng
Qi DengQueen of Data-Dragons
Hometown: Sichuan Province, China

Currently: Seattle, WA, U.S.

Notable Achievements: Selected as Cargill Global Scholar

Most Memorable Performance: Bravely change major after undergraduate years

Current Art Endeavour: Go to art museums often and try to increase my ability to enjoy the arts.

Influential Art Teacher: My guitar teacher took me into the music world and opened up my enjoyment of music.

Kris Bien
Kris BienGalactic Viceroy of Events
Hometown: La Palma, CA

Currently: Redmond, WA

Notable Achievements:
+Produced the first Enhanced (interactive) TV prototype for Microsoft; Case study of my work and examples were published in two books, The Inside Story of Interactive TV and Microsoft WebTV for Windows and a developmental psychology book, Children’s Journeys Through the Information Age.
+I helped a friend get an endorsement from Diane Sawyer for his book
+Some of the most important work I’ve ever done was as a volunteer art docent for 8 years – encouraging K-6 students to get creative and enjoy art, designing over 50 PowerPoint art lessons, and working with over 60 sixth grade students to install a mosaic glass art project in concrete
+Researched and produced a live television show at The White House
+Worked on a live, televised Presidential debate and produced television shows with several First Ladies and many female politicians

Most Memorable Performance: Being a speaker at my high school graduation

Current Art Endeavour: Right now, I’m into car karaoke and shower singing. I took six months of singing lessons, and I’d love to do more.

Influential Art Teacher or How Arts Learning Influenced You:
I moved to a new school when I was 10 and sadly left my best friend in the world. My new teacher gave my 5th-grade class a lot of writing assignments. She noticed right away that creative writing perked my interest and nurtured my love of writing stories and making books with hand drawn pictures. I began doing reports with drawings in my free time. My teacher even arranged for me to get out of class so I could share and read my stories aloud to kindergarten students! This was a gamechanger. I began to love school again. Her action gave me the confidence to become a student leader the following year, influenced my class choices for the next 7 years, got me much more engaged in school, and ultimately determined my career path. I want every child to experience an *art encounter* in elementary school!

Luqian Wang
Luqian WangHeart-Felt Data Analyst and Human
Hometown: Chengdu, China

Currently: Seattle, WA

Notable Achievements: Selected as the “Outstanding Volunteer in Shanghai Award” for docent volunteer work in “Soong Ching-Ling’s Former Residence” and organized charity fund-raising events with Shanghai China Social Organization Service Center

Most Memorable Performance: Participated in the 2017 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability, and also enhanced public speaking skills as keynote speaker delivering a 30-minute English speech at the UMEP forum

Current Art Endeavour: Recently I’ve been taking Zumba classes twice a week which are always full of fun

Influential Art Teacher: I feel so fortunate that I was free to choose my favorite art lessons (including the piano and calligraphy lessons) when I was young, alongside the great support I received from my parents. Thus, all art lessons brought me great joy, interest, care, and love. Besides, art seems to be another way to communicate for me. It triggers both my emotional and logical thinkings, and this development has vividly impacted my personality.

Tyson Walker
Tyson WalkerCaretaker of Magical Creatures (interns)
Hometown: Castle Rock, CO

Currently: Seattle, WA

Notable Achievements: BFA – Theatre Teaching

Most Memorable Performance: Stage Management Presentation – International Thespian Convention

Current Art Endeavour: MFA – Arts Leadership

Influential Art Teacher: Kelby McIntyre-Martinez – she taught me how theatre teaching can be a vehicle for social change through the lens of social justice and equitable opportunities. She sparked my passion for creating spaces to break down systemic barriers. Because of Kelby, I’m working to transition communities and schools from a paradigm of arts education only being accessible by the elite to access for all.