Director of Arts Integration
Lauren Appel has worked as an arts educator and administrator at many cultural institutions in Washington and New York, in addition to Arts Corps, including Hilltop Artists, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, Rubin Museum of Art, Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. As a theatre and visual arts teaching artist and gallery educator she has worked with students pre-k through adult, with a particular dedication to integrating the arts into classroom curriculum and collaborating with teachers, school administrators, and families. Lauren served as a theatre teaching artist in Arts Corps’ Highline Creative Schools Initiative from 2015-2018 and joined the program staff as Arts Integration Manager in 2017 before entering her current role. As an administrator Lauren has managed programs at community-based arts organizations and museums, including long-term partnerships with elementary schools and high schools, and for five years she was the manager of Hilltop Artists’ Arts Connect program for court-involved girls. Lauren holds a BA in theatre from Smith College and a MSEd in Museum Education with elementary teaching certification credentials from Bank Street College of Education.
Teen Leadership Manager
Ebo Barton is a Transgender and Non-Binary, Black and Filipino poet and artist. They have aspired to be a Youth Speaks Seattle poet since 2007, but have always been too old. So, instead, they decided to be part of the family, always hoping to support, empower and love the poets and poetry of Youth Speaks Seattle. They compete in the adult poetry slam circuit; represented Seattle on 5 National Slam Teams and 3 Individual World Poetry Slams. Their most notable poetry slam accolade is placing 5th in the World in 2016. Their work touches on political issues from a personal point of view and often is birthed from the struggles of living in the identities that they are. Ebo believes in the power of language and art as a tool for revolution.
Arts Integration Manager & Visual Teaching Artist
Sabrina Chacon-Barajas graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Studio Art. She used her senior art show to challenge the SPU community on stereotypes of the Latinx community. Her work incorporates multi-media art to represent the intersectional identity of being a brown femme. Her work mostly consists of creating illustrative profiles of people and diving into the issues and experiences of the Latinx diaspora. Sabrina is a teaching artist that cares about representation in the classroom and closing the achievement gap through the power of the arts. She centers her curriculum around sense of belonging in the classroom using culturally responsive pedagogy. Sabrina speaks Spanish and empowers her students to speak and write in their language by being transparent in her experience as a first generation person who is more comfortable with Spanglish and translanguaging. Sabrina has taught with various art programs and non-profits in the PNW such as REEL GRRLS, SAM, Gage Academy of the Arts, South Park Community Center, Ailey Camp, Pratt Fine Arts, and Centrum in Port Townsend.
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.
OST Arts Manager
Cheryl is a Filipino American born and raised in Seattle. She is one of the co-founders of Au Collective. Delostrinos has presented many works for festivals and events in Seattle, Portland, and New York, including The CHIN Project at the 92nd st Y, the NW New Works Festival, SAM Remix, Risk/Reward, and the Beacon Hill block party. She is a cultural worker and movement educator with SAAS, Arts Corps, Yesler Community Center, and Coyote Central. Delostrinos has devoted her life to creating and fostering art spaces that are accessible to marginalized communities. She believes that art in not a privilege, it is a right. She passionate about creating a platform for the youth to access the tools they need in order to empower themselves to become the future leaders of this world.
LIT Program Manager
Michael Grant is an educator, facilitator, producer, and community organizer based in Seattle, WA. He is a fierce defender of youth–nourishing their intrinsic power, creativity, and resilience is his life’s work. Michael has worked with marginalized youth across the country to tear down oppressive structures in their lives and re-engage in their education, designing music intervention programs in Boston, Colorado, and throughout South Seattle/King County.
He organizes with the Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow, as well as with the National Center for Restorative Justice, helping schools transform their discipline systems and school climate into ones that foster belonging, connectedness, and healing. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.
Christa Mazzone Palmberg
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.
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’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.
Amy L. Piñon
Media & Communications Manager
Amy Lp is a vocalist, songwriter, photographer, videographer, and audio engineer. Through songwriting, video narratives, and documentary photography, she has crafted her life around storytelling across multiple art forms. She is currently Arts Corps’ Media & Communications Manager, with the honor of being able to take photos and produce videos capturing the unique stories of young artists and changemakers. She is actively composing new music after a long hiatus following the 2014 release of the single “Constellations” under London Tone Music, which was licensed to Starbucks, MTV, and Skype. Her music is written from an empowered point of view, focusing on self-love, representation, and the strength of being a womxn.
Finance & 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.
Program Operations Manager
Jaelynn is a community minister and former religious education administrator, she joins Arts Corps after a career as a professional religious educator with Unitarian Universalist congregations. In her community ministry she works as a consultant with religious organizations, writes curricula, and leads workshops on mindfulness, spirituality, and social justice. She received her Master of Divinity from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Jaelynn is currently pursuing a second Masters in Cultural Studies at the University of Washington-Bothell with a focus on critical media studies. She and her furry 14 lbs. companion Bodhi have lived in Washington since 2016.
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.
Teen Leadership Coordinator
Raised by Youth Speaks Seattle since she was a freshman in high school, Azura now finds joy in continuing and expanding its legacy for the next generation of Youth Speaks poets. Obviously, poetry is her thing. Her work centers around her identity as a young queer woman of Black and Indian descent, calling attention and dialogue towards injustice while daring to imagine a future without it. Her deep love for community, justice, and inquiry guide her as a writer, organizer and the 2018-19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate. Her idols include the Spokes Teen Leadership Board, almost everyone you’d find on Button Poetry, Audre Lorde, Mr. Rogers, and of course, her family at Arts Corps.
Program Operations Manager
Justin Yau-Luu is a mixed- race Asian American, poet, performance and visual artist born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Justin comes to Arts Corps after having recently completed a Master of Arts in English from Western Washington University. They drink at least three cups of green tea a day and think pit bulls are the cutest dogs in the world.Justin is committed to the work of social justice and doing the essential work to transform our world to ensure we are all able to thrive as we are.