Aaron Walker-Loud is an artist, band director, composer, producer and educator. He is the founder and director of Big World Breaks (a production company built for performance, studio and education), that has shared stages with Janelle Monae, Kool DJ Red Alert, Digable Planets, DJ Qbert, Macklemore, Reggie Watts, Saul Williams and many more. B.W.B. has also produced live show backing for various artists such as: Grammy Nominated vocalists Wayna and Rocky Dawuni, Sy Smith, Zo!, Dynamq, Choklate, Kimberly Nichole, Massive Monkees and Xperience. Aaron is a proud alum of the CD Music Factory (Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Robert Knatt, and Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble / Drumline, under the direction of Mr. Clarence Acox). Aaron began working with youth and families in 1999, eventually becoming the Education Director for Seattle JazzED (2010-2016), a teaching artist for Arts Corps (2008-present) as well as the drumline director for Washington Middle School (2008-2016) and O’Dea High School (2012-present). Most recently, Aaron became a member of the Creative Advantage roster; and in partnership with Jazmyn Scott (Langston / The Town Entertainment), co-founded 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide (est. 2012), co-founded the award-winning intergenerational BWB Drumline (est. 2015) and co-curated The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI (with over 31,000 attendees and 20 co-produced events), which won the 2016 American Association of State and Local History Leadership in History Award, “the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history”.Born in the Philippines, Carina A. del Rosario immigrated to the United States as a young girl. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Santa Clara University in 1991. She has studied photography with Magnum Photographer Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Raul Touzon and Eddie Soloway, and a variety of visual arts media at Pratt Fine Arts, Cornish College of the Arts and other cultural institutions. In addition to her own creative and documentary projects, she is a teaching artist and helps youth use visual arts and digital media to explore their communities, advocate for what matters for them, and express their own experiences. She works with a number of schools, cultural institutions and community-based organizations to help students develop 21st century skills through the visual arts. She collaborates with non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help illustrate issues such as poverty, education, health and civil rights. She also founded IDEA Odyssey, a collective that promotes cultural diversity, community development and economic prosperity in the International District/Chinatown neighborhood through visual arts. In 2013, the International Examiner honored her with a Community Voice Award for an Individual Artist.
Love and aloha are the two main ingredients singer/songwriter Daniel Pak stirs into the songs of freedom that stem from an upbringing on reggae and uplifting island melodies. Born and raised in Hawai`i, Pak has dedicated his life to embodying the warmth and soul of the islands in his music of healing and joy.
"Storytelling is a big part of kanikapila (jamming), and that’s what we’d do every weekend back when we were kids," Pak explains. "When the `ukulele came out, everybody sang, our feet in the sand and the waves crashing in. Participation was part of the culture, not something you had to ask permission to do. We told stories and shared information through music, unlike the smartphone culture of today. We were so much more human."
In nearly ten years as the leader of Kore Ionz, Pak performed four times at Bumbershoot Festival and shared the stage with The Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse, Sly & Robbie, and many more of reggae’s founding fathers. “Love You Better,” his “poignant love letter,” as The International Examiner calls it, went to #1 on commercial radio in Hawai`i. Pak has also performed with reggae artists from Hawai`i including J Boog and The Green.
When he’s not on the road with his eight-piece band, Pak spends his time amplifying the voices of young people in his community. As co-founder of Totem Star, a record label for youth, part of his life’s work is to ensure that young people have a safe and encouraging space to create music and build community.
Pak serves on the Seattle Music Commission as Chair of the Youth + Community Committee, as Governor for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy (Grammys), and as a Trustee for The Bush School.
"Maybe if we realized we all share the same collective energy, we'd be more open to seeing each other through an empathetic, compassionate lens. Maybe we'd put down our dumb phones and start singing together again. Maybe we'd be more human."Eduardo Mendonça — multi-talented musician, producer and composer — is a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Mendonça received his degree in arts education from the Music Institute of the Catholic University of Salvador and has performed for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, Brazilian President João Baptista Figueiredo and Pope John Paul II. In 1991, Mendonça was featured in Paul Simon’s music video, "Born at the Right Time." Eduardo is founding member of Arts Corps, Artistic Director for international performance ensemble Show Brazil!, and heads his own Kirkland-based company Show Brazil Productions, which promotes Brazilian culture and provides Portuguese voice-over talent for CD-ROMs and videos exported to Brazil. Eduardo is a voting member of the Grammys and 2007 winner of “Outstanding Brazilian Male Singer based in the U.S.” by the Brazilian International Press Award. Eduardo Mendonça received from the Congressman Jim McDermott the 2009 Ethnic Heritage Council "Spirit of Liberty Award", as recognition for his outstanding contribution to his adopted country, the U.S.A., while maintaining his ethnic heritage.Erica Merritt began singing and performing at 5. In middle school, she was featured in a band called “Starlighters,” which consisted of three student vocalists and a few members of the faculty. At 14, she joined theatre and music performance groups at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She studied voice and music in college, and began teaching choir through Northwest Folklife in 1998. She has continued to teach voice, songwriting and choir intermittently through various art organizations over the last 10 years. Erica has also worked in the field of social and human services for over 15 years and has enjoyed the amazing opportunity to combine her passions of social well-being and music through the art of teaching.Florentino began working with out-of-school programs in 2000. Most of his experience comes from his involvement with school age and middle school children. He enhances programs by implementing what he calls the 3As: Academics, Activities and the Arts. Flow started B-Boying (breakdancing) with friends in 1995, and is one the founding members of the 2004 world B-Boy champion Massive Monkees Crew. They consistently give back to their local community by offering a safe place for youth and workshops to anyone else who wants to groove. In FlowFunk's class, participants will learn basic B-Boy/B-Girl moves and the fundamentals of Funk Styles (Popping and Locking). They will also get a chance to express their creativity on the dance floor in what is called a Cypher.Jeromeskee started break dancing in 1996 and has been performing in b-boy events and competitions ever since. Jerome is a member of several competitive, successful b-boy dance groups: World champion Massive Monkees, Legendary Rocksteady Crew N.Y., and the NBA Seattle Sonic's BOOM Squad All Stars. Jerome has participated and won numerous b-boy titles throughout the world: London, France, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Canada and areas throughout the U.S. He has performed, taught and worked for many corporations, publications, and universities worldwide. Jerome, along with the Massive Monkees crew, was recently featured as one of the coaches on “MTV Made: I want to be a b-boy."Lauren Appel has worked as an arts educator at many cultural institutions in Seattle and New York, including Seattle Children’s Theater, Youth Theatre Northwest, Rubin Museum of Art, Abrons Arts Center, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and also currently works at Hilltop Artists in Tacoma, where she runs a visual art program for court-involved girls in Pierce County. She has worked with students of all ages as a visual arts educator, a theatre teaching artist, and a museum and gallery educator. She has a particular interest in curriculum-integrated arts learning and collaborating with classroom teachers and school administrators. Lauren holds a BA in theater from Smith College and a MSEd in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Even as a young girl, Lena Garcia knew she had to create. Because of this desire, she explored a variety of medium, which ultimately led to her true artistic passions of oil painting and puppetry. Her love of art has inspired her to teach, create and perform. She currently teaches at the Frances Anderson Center, at Edmonds Heights K-12, private lessons and now for Arts Corps. In Lena's life, relationships are priority -1, and while art is a key ingredient, you will find that her time is focused on family, friends and serving the community.I am 25 years young from South Seattle, WA. I graduated from Franklin High School in 2010 (Seattle, WA) and Bowdoin College in 2014 (Brunswick, ME). At Bowdoin I majored in Visual Arts with an interest in Graphic Design. When I am not teaching painting to the students at the Southwest Interagency . I mentor with MBK (My Brothers Keeper) students at Mercer Middle School. I am a part-time Uber/Lyft driver. I am a Freelance Artist (graphic design, painter, and photography). I chose to teach painting because painting is one of my passions that I have fallen in love with. What I know I want to pass onto the next person. "Each one, teach one" . I also always wanted to give back to the youth one day. I just want to see positive and successful things out of people. It takes the youth to help the youth!Meredith is a writer, visual artist as well as a teacher/facilitator from New York City. As a teacher and artist, she is interdisciplinary, making work that ranges from photographic imagery to drawing to sound collage. She has also dabbled in some performance. She is interested in creating work that can tickle a range of senses and fluidly move between the abstract and concrete. This is because she is deeply aware of both the poetic/silly nature of life as well real suffering caused by social injustice. This makes her work with youth able to be at once playful, engaging and critical. Meredith creates and implements curricula that develop life-skills, creativity, social consciousness and mindfulness using movement, writing and visual arts.Kalei began dancing Hula and Tahitian in 1997 and has been performing professionally and competing in Heivas since she was 13 years old. In Hawai’i, Kalei danced and taught with Polynesian dance group Ma’ohi Nui, having performed in shows across O’ahu and on tour in Japan. Kalei also performed hula with the Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian Ensemble in the 2008 Rose Bowl Parade and Disneyland parades. Since her move to Washington in 2009, Kalei continues to teach originally choreographed Tahitian dance classes at Seattle University for the Hui ‘O Nani Hawai’i club. She aspires to continue dancing, teaching, and sharing her passion for the Polynesian culture.As a first generation Latina I have found art to be empowering and a means for discourse and education. As an artist I explore social issues in the Latino community through illustration and mixed media. I graduated from Seattle Pacific University where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art. I was involved with the SPU community as an educator on issues of race and reconciliation. During this time I was also able to work with incredible youth and I had the amazing opportunity of mentoring young female students from Mexico. I have a strong desire to combine the arts and social justice to empower youth. I dedicated my Senior Show to the strong individuals of the Latino community in the United States and my own mother’s journey as an immigrant. I was recently involved in building a holiday float with South Seattle students to celebrate the Day of the Dead. They were able to gain artistic and technical skills to better equip them as they begin thinking about college and career paths. Currently, I am also working with South Park Recreation Center as an Artist and Art Teacher.Sharon Birzer believes in art as a medium for expression, communication, and transformation. She is an artist and natural science illustrator whose artwork is inspired by the diverse ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. In her work, Birzer employs close observation and utilizes traditional media including watercolors, pen and ink, and woodblock printing. She shows her work nationally and internationally. Sharon greatly enjoys teaching art at a diverse range of organizations such as Seattle Elementary Schools, Seattle Pacific University, The National Botanical Gardens in Maui, and the Youth, Student and Teacher Programs, Frye Art Museum in conjunction with Seattle University.As Teen Artist Program Manager, Shelby is excited to support the growth of Youth Speaks Seattle and honor its history of community resistance. With their roots in the Denver Minor Disturbance Youth Slam, Shelby is dedicated to carving out authentic political art spaces. Outside Arts Corps, they bring this dedication to arts and movement building to their work with the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites.
Caxambu is a sunny optimistic Capoeira Angola artist/dancer/musician. Spent countless years in rigorous training honing his art, working with kids and adults, in schools, academies, churches, community centers, mainly in Brazil and the U.S. Longtime productive member of International Capoeira Angola Foundation, Show Brazil!, Brazil Center, and BrasilFest.Vicky Edmonds is a poet and teacher who uses the art & practice of writing to bring the deepest and most authentic parts of ourselves to the page and to the world. Over the last 22 years she has worked in hundreds of facilities at the elementary, middle and high school levels, with at-risk populations, arts organizations, teachers and parenting groups. Her published books include Inside Voices, used to the dark, once drunk / opening, unpredictable as breathing, lucid moments and the first two volumes in the Writes of Passage series. She has also been published in numerous other books and anthologies nationally and has compiled over 250 books of the poetry of the children and at-risk youth she has taught.