Staff

Angela Brown
angela_brownCreative Schools Digital Media and Evaluation Manager
Angela Brown is a writer, photographer, and socio-cultural communicator. Over the last 17 years she has supported multidisciplinary communications projects for small business, government, nonprofit, and global media organizations in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Seattle. After pursuing her arts education, over a 14-year period, Angela earned her graduate degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University. She worked as an intern at Facets Multi-Media and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and relocated to Seattle to work in television research for Nielsen TV Ratings. Angela identifies as a queer, black, woman of color and is passionate about the intersection of media literacy and social justice in the arts. She uses her own intersectional experience to influence her work and storytelling.   

Leslie Collins
leslie_collinsDeputy Director
Leslie Collins oversees operations, financial management, and human resource management for Arts Corps. Leslie’s background includes public sector experience in the areas of budget, finance, program development, and technology. In late 2000, Leslie left her management career in the public sector to write poetry, explore her spiritual path and be with her family. She joined Arts Corps in the fall of 2005 to help us build capacity to bring the arts into the lives of more young people. Leslie is committed to race and social justice and is a passionate supporter of the power of arts education to help students discover their unique voice.

Shelby Handler
shelby_handlerTeen Leadership Manager
At age 15, Shelby Handler performed at a poetry slam for the first time and upon finishing their piece, immediately ran off the stage. Since then, Shelby has been running back and forth from the stage and supporting the next generation of poets to take the mic. Raised in the Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Poetry Slam, Shelby is honored to call Youth Speaks Seattle and Arts Corps their second home. As manager of the Teen Leadership Program, Shelby believes that youth art will transform dominant culture towards liberation. As a writer and performer, Shelby explores ritual, queerness and an endless search for home. Their work has been featured in books, public buses, literary journals and stages across the country. In their spare time, Shelby is an aspiring witch, Yiddishist and stand up comic.

Julz Ignacio
julz_ignacioProgram Operations Manager
Julz Palad Soriano Ignacio is a maker of sorts, weaving sounds, shapes, and colors into musical and visual stories. As a storyteller and kultural practitioner, Julz draws inspiration from their Ilokano ancestry and centers on healing, love, grief, diaspora, memory, transformation, and the ocean. Julz believes that storytelling is a sacred way to authentically witness and connect with one another. As Program Administrative Lead, Julz supports the creative cultivation, administrative infrastructure, and needs of the OST Program, teaching artists and classroom assistants.

Christa Mazzone Palmberg
christa_mazzonepalmberg_001Development Manager
Growing up, Christa studied voice and theatre with hopes of someday becoming a professional performer. Volunteer experiences during her college years in Chicago, however, led her away from music and toward a career in community organizing. Christa worked for several years as the National Field Organizer for Sojourners, a progressive Christian social justice organization. Following her time in DC, Christa completed a Masters of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. After moving to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Christa worked as an organizer with Sound Alliance, a coalition of religious, labor and community organizations working for the common good. Christa is delighted to come full circle at Arts Corps, a place that integrates art and social justice with impressive amounts of creativity and joy.

Eduardo Mendonça
eduardo_mendoncaDirector of Creative Youth Development
A veteran master teaching artist, Eduardo has been with Arts Corps since its inception. As the Director of Creative Youth Development plays a key organizational leadership role by supervising and supporting the Out of School Time and Teen Leadership programs, building coalitions with community organizations, providing effective and supportive leadership for program staff, providing budget and management oversight, and acting as a spokesperson for Arts Corps. 
Eduardo is a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and he is graduated in Arts Education from the Music Institute of the Catholic University of Salvador. He is Artistic Director of the international performance ensemble, Show Brazil! and heads his own Kent-based company, Brazil Arts & Education DBA: Show Brazil Productions, which promotes Brazilian culture and provides Portuguese voice-over talent for voice overs and videos exported to Brazil. Eduardo is also Co-Founder and Co-Director for BrasilFest, the annual Brazilian festival part of the Festál sponsored by the City of Seattle.
Throughout his travels in the US, Canada, Nepal and Brazil, the talented musician, composer, arranger, and musical director has explored the many and varied genres of Brazilian popular music, entertaining such notable personalities as the 14th Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. Eduardo appeared in the PBS “American Masters” documentary: “Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time” which aired in 1993.
In May 2016, Eduardo performed as guest artist with the jointly sponsored Seattle Symphony-Carnegie Hall project “Link Up: The Orchestra Moves,” exploring the creative process of this passionate composer through melody and motif.
Eduardo feels fortunate to be part of Arts Corps’ past, present, and future and is confident and excited for what is in store.

James Miles
Executive Director
Originally from Chicago, James has just moved to Seattle from Brooklyn, NY where has worked as an actor and educator for the past 19 years. Before joining Arts Corps, he was the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership, in New York City. James has also facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. He is on the board of directors for the Association of Teaching Artists and the Teaching Artist Journal. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSWedu, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, Creative Tech Week, EdTech Europe, Google Educator Bootcamp, and has provided Professional Development to teachers across the world. His work has been covered by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, NPR, CBS, US Department of Education, and ASCD. James is a former accountant, model, and actor. He can be frequently found on Twitter, as @fresh_professor, writing about arts education, educational policy, and academic inequity.

Hillary Moore
hillary_mooreDirector of Arts Integration
Hillary’s work at Arts Corps is focused on supporting arts programming in the school day in order to enhance student engagement, learning and development, and to address inequitable access to arts education for young people. For four years Hillary developed and managed the Creative Schools Initiative, a program that places teaching artists in schools to collaborate with classroom teachers and provide project-based arts-integrated learning for students. In her new role as the Director of Arts Integration she oversees all of Arts Corps’ school day programs with a focus on integrating the arts in the classroom and providing professional development for teachers and teaching artists. Hillary grew up in Seattle and identified as an artist from a young age. She has her undergraduate degree in studio art and her graduate degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction.

Christina Nguyen
christina_nguyen-photoAmeriCorps Artist-in-Service: Teen Leadership Program and Youth Speaks Seattle Coordinator
Christina Nguyen has been a Spokes leader with Youth Speaks Seattle for two years and is now the Youth Speaks Seattle and Teen Leadership Coordinator. She an aspiring poet and multimedia artist. Christina is empowered to search and find her own voice with the resilient tools and new ideas she learns every day from her family in Youth Speaks Seattle. She hopes to channel her energy to others to help find and use their own power in the voices they were born with through the magic of assisting poetry classes, listening to and asking enlightening questions to conversation, and truly believing in others. Christina has worked as a facilitator for Seattle Participatory Budgeting: Youth Voice, Youth Choice in assisting youth delegates to write and pass proposals for the homelessness crisis in Seattle, classroom assistance with Spruce Street Crisis Residential Center, and freelances. On her spare time, you can catch Christina hanging out in the garden and picking leaves and lavender to give out to people she cares about.

Amy Piñon
amy_pinonMedia & Communications Manager
Amy is an audio engineer, vocalist, video producer, photographer, multimedia teaching artist and Seattle native. She has a passion for storytelling and putting recording equipment into young people’s hands to capture their own stories.
She has produced many pilot audio production programs, including the Mobile Audio Program for The Vera Project (where she now serves as the vice chair of the Board), Magnuson Park Radio’s youth radio production program, and the audio module for Blanket Fort Films Motion Picture Community Education Program. She is also the co-founder of the Womxn’s Creative Industries Forum, which brings together current and aspiring media makers, especially young womxn of color, to realize a pathway in media arts and to deepen their sense of creative resistance within their art practice.
As the Media and Communications Manager at Arts Corps, she produces an array of media content for web, fundraising, grants, and events – but what she enjoys most is interacting with youth participants and listening to their unique stories as young artists and change-makers.

Bernadette Scheller
bernadette_schellerFinance & Events Manager
At Arts Corps, Bernadette Scheller integrates her event coordination savvy, administrative, finance, and budget expertise with her passion for the arts and her belief in community service. She has created a balance in her work that includes managing small businesses and creating her own artwork in the form of sculptural glass. As finance & events manager at Arts Corps, Bernadette brings her multi-disciplinary skills to contribute to an organization she has long admired. Since joining the team, she feels the satisfaction of watching her vision develop into a meaningful and rich reality.

Carrie Siahpush
carrie_siahpushDevelopment Director
Carrie has been working in fund development and communications for 7 years. At Arts Corps, she works to build and sustain meaningful relationships with individual donors, foundations, and public agencies by offering enriching engagement opportunities that allow the community to feel closely connected to our work. Carrie comes to Arts Corps with a background in theatrical arts and a strong belief that access to an arts education is critical to a student’s academic and personal success. Prior to her work in fund development, she worked professionally as a makeup artist and costume designer.

Imani Sims
OST Arts Manager
imanisimsImani wrote her first story at the age of 6 about a tiny elephant named Tinka.  Tinka was smaller than all of the other jungle animals and took a journey through self-realization and actualization to find her personal power.  She has dedicated her life to coaching marginalized youth and adults to find their personal power through art, take up space, and thereby shift the social narrative.  Her role at Arts Corps supports the amazing teaching artists who do this very work.  Born and raised in the Central District of Seattle, she has a deep appreciation for #blackseattle. In her spare time she teaches poetry, public speaking, and afro-futurism, performs and MC’s events all over the country, curates performance art shows at museums, and cooks delicious cuisine while binge watching the latest Sci-Fi television series.