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Artist Roster

The VSA arts Rhode Island Artist Roster is a list of artists from all artistic disciplines who have a strong background in their art forms and extensive experience in working with children and/or adults with disabilities. These artists provide artist residencies for the VSA arts' Access The Arts program as well as other programs and events for VSA arts Rhode Island.

A listing in this roster does not constitute an endoresement by VSA arts RI to be employed in every program. We urge individuals to research the artists to ensure that their educational and artistic goals are in agreement for their project. We also encourage people to explore the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts artist directory available online at www.risca.state.ri.us

Dance and Creative Movement


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Dance and Creative Movement

Everett Dance Theatre
7 Duncan Avenue
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 831-9479
Contact: info@everettdancetheatre.org

Everett Dance Theatre is a professional dance theatre company whose members have expertise in a wide variety of dance, athletics, theatre, video, martial and circus arts. Their teaching programs work to meet the physical, expressive and intellectual needs of students. Because their dance is also narrative, they can work with school curriculum such as history, literature and science. All their teaching emphasizes creative thinking. Everett Dance Theatre has many years of experience working with students with disabilities and all their collaborations are tailored to the specific needs of the specific site. Everett also runs its own after-school program at the Carriage House School in Providence’s Mt. Hope neighbor.


Adele DeLyle Goss
47 Dexterdale Road
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 274-6277

Dancer/Choreographer. Ms. Goss brings children "Learning in Motion" in which creative movement is used to promote personal growth, mutual respect, spontaneity and self-control. "Encouraging children to move their bodies is a wonderful way to promote overall physical well being. Through movement exploration, children learn that they are their own personal work of art to protect and value." Ms. Goss is a certified K-8 teacher with a Masters degree in Communications with Children. Teacher training is available upon request.

Doug Victor, MSArt Ed, CHC
103 Princeton Ave.
Providence, RI 02907
Phone Number: 521-0546

Creative Dance / Movement. Through the study of the art of creative dance, students learn to experience themselves/each other in an authentic and integrated manner, which speaks directly to the acquisition of social skills, life skills and specific curricular material related to educational standards. This improvisational approach to movement expression is for everyone. It leaves no student behind and honors all levels of contribution to the creation of dances. It provides a vehicle for whole body learning and interpersonal relatedness. Kinesthetic learning experienced in the study of creative dance supports the development of the whole student. Doug who teaches nationally, holds a Masters in art education, has a special education background and extensive experience working with both teachers and children/adults with disabilities. He is an experienced teacher of creative dance, founder of the International Association for Creative Dance, and Director of Creative Dance Providence.


Annamaura Silverblatt
Pojac Point
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Phone Number: 885-4901

Dance/Creative Movement. Ms. Silverblatt has worked with children of all abilities. For many years she worked as a recreational therapist for the Veteran's Administration Hospital, where she has designed recreational programs that range from movement to poetry and storytelling, and is currently teaching and choreographing at Brown University. Art forms and disciplines such as music, literature, visual arts and social history can be incorporated in her residencies as students learn to look for dance subjects in daily life and inside themselves.

Clare Vadeboncoeur
Good Heart Productions
2420 Plainfield Pike
Johnston, RI 02919
Phone Number: 943-2159
Email: goodheartpro@cox.net
Web site: www.goodheartpro.com

STORY ALIVE! is an expressive arts experience for children. This program integrates body, mind and spirit through a poetic blend of creative movement, drama & storytelling. The goal is to provide a safe, loving environment to empower children to give physical form to their ideas and feelings.

Clare Vadeboncoeur is an artist/educator with over twenty years experience working with children. Clare brings a rich and diverse background to her work by combining her talents as a dancer, actor, storyteller, writer and teacher. She is a Certified Elementary Education teacher with life certification in dance and drama for grades K-12. She holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Theatre and Dance from the Trinity Rep Conservatory and a C.M.A. (Certified Movement Analyst) from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York. She enjoys working with teachers and designing residencies that can be integrated into the curriculum.


Toba Weintraub
10 Exchange Court, Unit 304
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone Number: 475-4701
Email: toba48@gmail.com

Movement / Dance / Visual Arts. Artist, Dancer and Special Education teacher, Ms. Weintraub uses the arts as a doorway to open up the creative world to individuals. Through movement and visualizations children and adults can reconnect with their bodies and their creative spirit. Her dance programs are accessible to everyone and involve low impact activities. Ms. Weintraub also combines dance and movement with visual arts activities including painting, ceramics and 3D art. Combining visual arts and dance challenges the intuitive creativity we all possess. She meets with teachers to design programs that complement the curriculum. Other projects Toba is interested in exploring include arts based service learning and intergenerational workshops. Toba holds a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Boston University and a Masters in Education from Rhode Island College. She has experience teaching art education at the RISD Museum as well as working with students of all ages and abilities.

 

Marty Sprague
P.O Box 11
Slocum, RI 02877
Phone: 294-3179, Available Summer Only

Marty Sprague is a professional choreographer, performer and dance educator with over 35 years of experience. She has created dance works with varied populations and taught all level from early childhood through higher education. Marty believes that dance integrates the body, mind, and emotions, and that one can learn througgh movement, prior to any conscious thought process. Creativity in dance involves the whole person. Movement makes meaning and communicates without words. Dance is enabling, energizing, inspirational, and healing. Also, dancing is just plain fun and integral to being human.

Marty is currently teaching at Providence Academy of International Studies, a high school in Providence RI, but welcomes any summer workshops or residencies. Sprague has been involved in program and curriculum development, professional development, policy development, and advocate support for arts education in Rhode Island. Marty holds an MA in dance education the Teachers College, Columbia University. She is co-author, with Helene Scheff and Susan McGreevy-Nichols, of Building More Dances (Human Kinetics, 2001), Building Dances, 2nd edition (Human Kinetics in press), Experiencing Dance (Human Kinetics, 2005) and Dance About Anything (Human Kinetics, 2006). Marty has been honored by Dance Teacher magazine as 2004 Dance Teacher of the Year, K-12 and by NDEO as the 2005 Dance Educator of the Year, K-12.

Marcia Spindell
Expressive Therapies Center, Inc.
852 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone: 421-1147

Expressive Therapist/Movement Specialist. Ms. Spindell uses the arts as a vehicle for education and therapy. She accompanies participants on a journey of growth and healing. Her model is psychotherapeutic and incorporates both verbal and non-verbal expression and communication. The process is more important than the product or outcome. Emphasis is not on talent or skill as much as it is on imagination and taking positive risks creatively. The journey addresses feelings and helps people identify choices and make their own decisions.

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Music

Atwater-Donnelly
19 Walker Road
Foster, RI 02825
Phone Number: 392-1909
Contact: Aubrey Atwater

Email: aubreyfolk@aol.com
Web site: www.atwater-donnelly.com

Traditional American Folk Music / Dance. Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly present captivating programs of traditional American folk music performed on the guitar, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Irish tin whistle, old-time banjo, mandolin, harmonica, percussion and other surprises. Aubrey and Elwood have traveled extensively throughout the United States and beyond to perform and research their American heritage repertoire. They intertwine interactive explanations of the music with humor and stories and encourage participants to sing, clap, use body movements and play instruments. They also incorporate clogging, square, contra and circle dancing when desired and appropriate for the group. Aubrey and Elwood both have strong backgrounds in education, have worked for years with people of all ages and have extensive experience working with children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. They have presented music and dance programs in schools, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes and festivals for over twenty years. Aubrey is also available for programs in a solo capacity.

Michael Bresler
857 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 273-9814

Musician/Folk Artist. Music and musical instrument making. All ages and all abilities. Michael has performed for many years on the clarinet, mandolin, flute and guitar. He has taught music in both public and private schools and has conducted numerous music programs for VSA arts of RI at a variety of schools and ARC agencies. He has the ability to reach all students of all ability levels and to motivate and educate staff regardless of previous musical knowledge or experience. Michael has been an apprentice to master Jewish folk musician Andy Statman to learn Klezmer music, celebratory instrumental music of eastern European Jewry. Also see theater listing.


Becky Chace
31 Hanson Rd.

Barrington, RI 02806
Phone Number: 378-0065
Email: beckychace@cox.net

Becky Chace is an award winning singer/songwriter who has released seven independent CDs and performed her music throughout New England since 1998. Becky offers a songwriting workshop where students of any age can participate in the craft of songwriting from the very beginning stage of fleshing out topic ideas through recording the song and putting it to CD. Becky also offers performances where interaction from the audience is encouraged.

 

Fiddle-Dee-Dee
24 Fourth Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 272-3942
Contact: Cathy Clasper-Torch

Musicians/Singers/Educators perform on fiddles, guitar, banjo, dulcimer, mandolin, Chinese er-hu, string bass and percussion instruments such as the 'bones', jawharp and bodhrain. Fiddle-Dee-Dee is a lively and engaging program for children K-6th grade. The program demonstrates and educates the children on a wide variety of traditional instruments and songs, encouraging their participation through movement, clapping, singing, dancing and simple rhythm instruments. Fiddle-Dee-Dee is both entertaining and educational.

 

Annie Geissinger, MA LMHC
168 Fourth Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 274-2765

Email: annie@dancedrumstory.com

Web site: www.dancedrumstory.com

Annie leads drumming workshops for people of all ages and abilities in schools, conferences, camps, mental health agencies and other settings, including ongoing groups for adults with developmental disabilities. Most recently she did programs in 39 libraries as part of the 2007 Summer Reading Program for children. A musician and expressive arts therapist, she has studied West African drumming masters since 1987, including journeys to Senegal and Mali. Currently music teacher at Meeting Street School in Providence, RI, she taught for 7 years at Salve Regina University's Graduate Holistic Counseling Department Expressive Arts Program. She is a licensed psychotherapist and has worked in the mental health field for over 18 years. Annie is on the Education Roster of the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts for her individual work, as well as part of Dance Drum Story, a program where she collaborates with storyteller and dancer Abigail Jefferon. As drummer and flutist, she has performed with Brown University's New Works/World Traditions Ensemble, R.A Fish's Global Jazz Ensemble, and her own group, Drum Sisters. She holds a masters degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University.

OPERAtunity
Opera Providence
83 Park Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: 331-6060
Contact: Loriana DeCrescenzo,
Email: Loriana@operaprovidence.org

OPERAtunity education and outreach programming provides professional performances, in school artist-in-residence programs, enrichment and after-school programs with an interactive and arts integrated approach. Led by Loriana DeCrescenzo, OPERAtunity is designed to educate all audiences about opera and operetta through staged and abridged musical performances in English given to schools with students from K-12.

Loriana, Executive Director of Opera Providence, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, Theatre Studies at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and advanced music studies at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College. She has experience working with adults and children with disabilities at Meeting Street School, Trudeau Vocational Center and the Exeter/West Greenwich Special Education Department.

 

The Rhythm and Roots Project
Nisha Purushotham, Artistic Director
Phone:  (401) 941-1371
Email: nishap@cox.net


In the Rhythm and Roots Project performance workshop, percussionist Nisha Purushotham takes participants on a journey through the Caribbean using the rhythms of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Columbia. In addition to seeing these rhythms performed, participants get an opportunity to feel, hear and play a wide range of Afro-Caribbean instruments including congas, tambora, bata drums, claves, guiras, maracas, bells and shekere. This performance workshop culminates in a lively community rhythm created by participants. Nisha Purushotham has lead Afro-Caribbean percussion performance workshops in public and charter schools, non-profit arts organizations, religious institutions, group homes and the Rhode Island Training School since 2000.

Edward Rashed
53 Fort Avenue
Cranston, RI 02905
Phone Number: 785-0587
Fax: 785-1587
Email: ed@bigtreehouse.com
Web site: www.bigtreehouse.com

Workshop- The Art and Craft of Song Writing - See and hear the development of student conceived songs from concept to finished product as Mr. Rashad assists students in developing ideas, drafting and editing lyrics and melody, adding accompaniment, all the way through the process of producing and recording a simple demo. Possibilities include original songs, parodies, jingles, etc. Mr. Rashed is the writer and producer of 2 CDs of his own music and has had his songs recorded by several artists. He has written and/or directed music for more than a dozen theatrical productions and his current pursuits include directing music for RI's Chance to Dance school dance program. Limited availability.

Jason Roseman
560 Mineral Spring Avenue #BR32
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone Number: 726-7731
Email: Jason@steelpantech.com
Web site: www.steeldrumtech.com

Folk and traditional artist specializing in steel drums. Steelpan player and maker. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Jason started performing on steel pans at age eight and has traveled extensively, sharing the indigenous art from his beloved country with the rest of the world. He learned his art form from his father before moving to the United States and has taught steelpans at secondary schools in Trinidad, England and recently for RI Services for the Blind. Jason works with children and adults in small groups of 10-12 participants, teaching the rudiments of steel drumming in a fun-filled experience for all.

The Young Fish World Drumming
P.O. Box 40052
Providence, RI 02940
Phone Number: 419-6869
Contact: Diana Young or Bob Fish
Email: dianayoung@youngfishschool.com
Web site: www.youngfishschool.com

Global Drumming/Percussion Music. Bob and Diana utilize percussion instruments and rhythms from around the world, as well as voice, movement and musical accompaniment to take their participants on an exciting exploration in being creative. These workshops are designed to relax the body, teach new coordination skills, focus and quiet the mind, and uplift energy levels. Bob and Diana bring a wide range of experience and compassion to their work with children and adults. Programs are tailored to the specific needs of the individuals, schools, and curricula to integrate multi-cultural diversity, ages and abilities in an educational and creative setting.

Arleen Sherman
The Grand Piano
649 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI 02828
Phone Number: 949-3988 / (401) 447-9420

Arleen Sherman is a piano and music educator with over 23 years experience. She teaches all ages, preschool to adult and all levels of abilities. Arleen has extensive experience teaching students with developmental, behavioral and physical disabilities in both private and group settings. She has a degree in the Psychology of Music and Creativity from Lesley College, and specializes in a creative, individual approach to each student’s needs. Arleen currently works at Bradley Hospital in East Providence teaching a therapeutic music program. She was co-founder of the former Purple Piano, from which the educational component evolved into the Grand Piano. She is the owner and director of the present facility, where there are currently 400 students studying with over 18 teachers. Lessons are offered in all instruments in a relaxing, home-like atmosphere, and priority is given to the learning styles and abilities of the students.

 

Nicole O'Malley, MT-BC, NMT
Hands in Harmony, LLC
P.O Box 5333
Wakefield, RI 02880
Phone Number: 345-1738
Email:
NicoleMTBC@yahoo.com

Music Therapist. Nicole (Boucher) O'Malley is a Board Certified Neurologic Music Therapist with a practice in RI (Hands in Harmony, LLC). She uses music in the treatment of cognitive, social, communicative, behavioral, psychological, sensory motor and physical needs of a group or individual. She has experience working with both groups as well as individuals in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, early intervention, home based, and nursing homes. Nicole specializes in working with children and in the medical setting which has been the concentration of her work since 2003. She is the founder of Hands in Harmony, LLC and the co-founder of the Expressive Arts Summer Camp, an integrated expressive arts summer camp for children with and without disabilities.

Celebration of World Culture
70 Chestnut Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879
Contact: Cynthia Burke
Email:
cburkeuu@yahoo.com
Phone Number: 262-4266

Theater / Storytellers. Children are brought together in a multi-cultural fun-filled environment. Through the power of creative expression and imagination, an audience of children and educators is transformed into a global village. Children become characters in a story, musicians, drummers and dancers while they are introduced to cultural artifacts, textiles, ethnic foods and customs. Richly educational and deeply joyful, this program is accessible to all populations. Simple rhythms and gentle movement allow participants to enjoy a new element of human experience in community. Cynthia has worked as a teacher and performer at Camp-E-Huntee, RI State Corrections, Hasbro Hospital, Shake-a-Leg and schools throughout New England. Celebration of World Cultural includes artist collaboration with Abigail Jefferson (see listing)

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Theater

Big Nazo
PO Box 5742
Weybosset Hill Station
Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: 831-9652
Contact: Erminio Pinque
Email: bignazo@ids.net
Web site: bignazo.com

“Creature-Creation” is a combination puppet and mask making performance residency. Artistic Director & RISD professor, Erminio Pinque and BIG NAZ0 Creature-Creators have worked with students with disabilities in elementary and high school as well as older adults in assisting them to bring to life the characters that exist in their imaginations. By projecting student drawings onto cardboard and using foam rubber, fabric, and a variety of other ingredients, participants create original and extraordinary masks and giant cutout characters. The process develops drawing, painting and 3-D building techniques, and encourages experimentation with materials, creative storytelling and collaboration with fellow students. The final project is to form a play, parade, or environment for video or live performance.


Michael Bresler
857 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 273-9814

Actor/Theatre Artist/Storytelling/Musician. Using skills from his classical music training, mime training, and years of experience in performing and teaching, Michael lovingly and laughingly guides students through a variety of activities. Students research a topic of choice, and then develop a creative performance presentation using acting, mime, puppetry and music. Creative movement, storytelling, and understanding the language of music are some of the experiences he will share. Performances of Michael's "Old Time Medicine Show" can be scheduled and various ethnic music programs can also be conducted. (Also see Music Listing)

 

Bernice Bronson
75 East Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: 272-3049

Play writing / Creative Dramatics / Directing. Ms. Bronson’s approach to projects is to be sensitive, pragmatic, and to make certain that everyone is having fun while enjoying a feeling of success. Her aim is to develop skill and genuine pleasure in: language, the ability to generate ideas, interrelate ideas, and improvise. Bernice was Director of Looking Glass Theatre for ten years. Her work experience with students with disabilities is quite extensive and includes: teaching theater workshops and directing a theater company of adults with developmental disabilities, conducting drama projects with special education students and teaching play writing at Harmony Hill School.

 

Amy Lynn Budd
12 April Court
Providence, RI 02908
Phone Number: 965-5198

Theatre Director / Acting Teacher. Amy believes that the imagination is a muscle. Everyone can build it up and make it more agile. She uses physical, behavioral and observational acting techniques to engage students in creating original performances. Scripts are used when appropriate for the group. Recent clients include RI Youth Guidance, Girl Scouts of South Eastern MA, All Children’s Theatre, Jonah Community Center, and public schools. Amy enjoys collaborating with people age 7-70+ and has worked with children with a variety of behavioral and developmental disabilities in mainstream classrooms as well as institutional settings. She holds a B.A in Theatre from Indiana State University. Amy is involved with various professional theatres in Providence and independent solo performance.

 

Constance Crawford
Phone: 263-2630

Email: Constance_Crawford@brown.edu

Theatre/Creative Performance and Literacy. Constance graduated from Vassar College with an A.B in English and Theatre, and from the Juilliard School for acting. Workshops include focusing energy, collaborating and communicating successfully with others using improvisation, movement, and vocal techniques to practice releasing stress and channeling energies efficiently. Physical exercises include animal work, echoing, focused play and pressure & release activities. Speech work can include diction, phrasing, breath control, vocal production and bringing texts to life. Physical and verbal exercises are supported with research and writing through plays scripted by others or original pieces written thoughout the workshop. Constance works closely with teachers and students to develop a program that suits their specific needs. Most recently she worked with the South Coast Educational Collaborative with elementary and high school students with ADD, ADHD, PTSD and moderate to low levels of autism and Asperger's syndromes. Constance also teaches classes at Brown University in the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance, as we as at Perishable Theatre in Providence.

Anne-Marie Forer
Tunes-n-Tales
160 Medford Street
Warwick, RI 02889
Phone Number: 739-4171
E-mail: tunesntales@hotmail.com
Web site: www.tunes-n-tales.com

Storyteller / Musician. Anne-Marie Forer is a storyteller and musician who performs in pre-schools and elementary schools. Her multi-sensory programs are designed to promote literacy, communication, language and social interactions. She uses iconographic pictures, puppets, rhythm instruments, flannel boards, movement activities and more to encourage participation, sharing and cooperation. She is especially well known for her Mother Goose programs.

Anne-Marie has degrees in Special Education and Library Science. Her experience includes working with children whose diagnoses include developmental disabilities, autism, emotional behavioral disorders and speech and language delays. She was the children’s librarian and music teacher for Bradley Hospital from 1988-2000. She has provided music programs for schools in the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative and the Massachusetts South Coastal Collaborative. She is currently teaching music for Bradley Hospital in their Pediatric Partial Program and their Developmental Disabilities and Autism Unit. She is a registered Music Together teacher providing music and movement classes for pre-school aged children and their families. Her Music Together classes often include children with disabilities enrolled in Hasbro’s Early Childhood Intervention Program.

Gyre and Gimble
337 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
Phone Number: 421-3219
Contact: Terry Perrino

Juggler / Object Control. With lots of practice, discipline, and creativity, Gyre and Gimble have lifted the fundamental skills and techniques of juggling to the level of an art form. Gyre and Gimble has designed many projects for students with disabilities and each project is adapted to meet the specific needs of the students and site. The interest of students in object control is peaked through a demonstration of juggling techniques. Juggling is an exciting way to introduce concepts; it also increases timing, balance and physical control. Simple ball rolling has been used as the key to participation in a program, while juggling has highlighted the basic laws of motion and physics. Students have fun while they experience different forms of timing, balancing, physical control, manipulation and improved motor skills in a creative program. Available for all day workshops and in school residencies.

Laurie Heineman
Phone Number: 782-2464
Email: lauriehei@cox.net

Theatre / Language Arts. Laurie, an Emmy award-winning actress has years of experience teaching acting and creating theatre projects in libraries, schools, and hospitals. She has worked with all ages and abilities. Students can be turned on by greatness: classics, modern works and combined programs in English and Spanish are on the menu. Her projects include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Zambarano Hospital with all actors using wheelchairs; MacBeth with a team combining over 100 general and special education sixth graders; and Hamlet with eighth graders in a remedial summer program. She has also worked with high school students in alternative programs and elementary students in psychiatric hospitals, enjoying guiding her students through creative outlets. Her work can integrate teams of teachers and the curriculum with students’ IEPs that can help schools achieve proficiency based graduation requirements. Laurie is a licensed Special Education teacher with a BA from Harvard and a Masters degree in Art Therapy from Pratt. Laurie is currently only available for one day weekend Shakespeare workshops for all ages.

 

Abigail "Ifatola" Jefferson
PO Box 176
Peacedale, RI 02883
Phone Number: 783-4982, 932-6565
Email: abijef@cox.net
Web site: www.AbigailJefferson.com www.dancedrumstory.comwww.dancedrumstory.com

Storyteller. Abigail promotes multi-cultural awareness through creative expression. Through a unique blend of story, dance, song and rhythm, Abigail brings to life traditional stories from around the globe. Her performance presentations are highly interactive, educational and fun-filled. Audiences of all ages have described her performances and workshops as inspiring, informative and energizing! Abigail has conducted workshops in schools, hospitals, group homes and festivals. Locally her workshops took place at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the Society for Arts in Heath Care Conference, Rhode Island Northern Collaborative, Brown University and the RISD Museum. Abigail has a BFA from Howard University, as well as an M.Ed in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. She is a member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, co-director of “Celebration of World Culture”, and an adjunct professor for Lesley University.

Claude Leboeuf
183 Maryland Avenue
Warwick, RI 02888
Phone Number: 732-3757
Email: Greylock1952@verizon.net

Storyteller/Creative Movement. Through creative movement that may include juggling and rhythmic activity, Claude leads students in exercises that improve timing, precision, and coordination. Movement skills can be used to integrate words, thoughts and actions. Students learn new skills in a safe emotional atmosphere as they gain confidence in their abilities. Claude holds an Associate Degree in Special Education, and has worked with a variety of students with learning disabilities. He has extensive experience working as a juggler, storyteller and actor, performing in a wide range of venues. Claude is presently preparing for testing for certification in the field of Occupational Therapy.

Rebecca Noon
Email: rebelnoon@gmail.com

Rebecca Noon is an actress, theatre-maker and educator with a strong sense of movement, improvisation, and play. She has brought an array of skills into a variety of classrooms across the country, including: staging short stories as plays with elementary and middle school students as well as directing and choreographing a production of Little Shop of Horrors for an all-boys summer camp. Ms. Noon has applied her theatre experience through her work with children and adults with both developmental & physical disabilities. She has worked in various group home & HBTS settings in Rhode Island as both a Residential Instructor and a Behavior Specialist. Using her enthusiasm, collaborative training and belief in creative play, Rebecca can create a curriculum to work with the needs and aspirations of a variety of students and settings.


Diane Postoian
130 Wentworth Avenue
Cranston, RI 02905
Phone Number: 461-1322
Web site: www.dianepostoian.com

Theatrical Arts Educator for Reading and Health School Curricula. Diane Postoian is half kid, half educator and all performer. She has spent 25 years working with and performing for children. Playful classroom workshops demonstrate the ways in which humor and pretend can generate in children an active interest in books and reading. Entitled, Acting Naturally About Reading, these workshops use participatory stories to instill a new excitement for the Language Arts Standards. For older children, a program called Ask Olga!, complements the Health Curriculum by comically addressing issues of exclusion, body image, diet and health, bullying, violence in entertainment and expressing feelings. Students gain critical thinking skills while laughing their way to an inner-strength workout. Diane's humor and energy is available for short and long-term residencies.

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Visual Arts

Brent Bachelder
195 Lenox Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
Phone Number: 467-5277, 467-8731

Visual Artist / Muralist / Sculptor. Brent has a BFA in Sculpture from RISD, a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island College and has worked for over 16 years with community groups, schools and numerous agencies throughout Rhode Island to create murals and three-dimensional art pieces. Participants at all levels of artistic experience can create artwork; Brent believes we all have the ability to creatively express ourselves, and that our “base ability can be honed”. He involves everyone in the design process and has developed a simplified system that enables everyone, regardless of disability or skill level to participate. Brent has worked with diverse populations including older adults, adults with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, youths (ages 3-18) with learning disabilities, ADD and Autism as well as incarcerated women in a prison art program. He is available to assist agencies in brainstorming, proposal development and grant writing for applications that involve him as an artist.


Ellen Blomgren
11 Verndale Circle
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone Number: 254-6096
Email: ellen.blomgren@gmail.com

Ceramic Sculptor / Muralist. Ellen has worked with several area schools creating murals with students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Project sites include Meeting Street and Silver Spring School in East Providence, C.I.T.E. in Providence as well as schools in Bristol and Barrington. She collaborated with other artists to create a mural for Rhode Island Hospital in 2001. Ellen involves all students in the process also including families and staff when possible. She has taught an after school ceramics program and worked with adults as well.

Nancy Brown Garcia
40 Toledo Avenue
Warwick, R.I. 02888
Phone Number: 463-5043

Folk Artist. Narragansett Indian beadwork, feather work, history and leather work. For all ages and ability levels. Nancy developed an interest in the traditional arts at an early age. She embellishes her residencies with stories about her Native American culture. Nancy also owns many artifacts which she is willing to display.


Steve Brosnihan
Fly By Knight Designs
P.O. Box 111
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone Number: 253-5909
E-mail: stevebfly@msn.com
Web site: www.stevebcartoons.com

Cartoonist. Steve earned his degree in Visual Studies from Dartmouth College. His cartoons and illustrations have been seen in RI's newspapers since 1984, including the Providence Journal and The Phoenix. As VSA arts' resident cartoonist at the Hasbro Children's Hospital, Steve has invented an easy to learn, easy to remember, method of drawing cartoons which uses letters of the alphabet. He has taught this method of cartooning successfully to children at schools, libraries, and hospitals throughout both Rhode Island and England. With Steve's program anyone can easily learn to draw fun cartoons from common familiar shapes: the letters of the alphabet. Stimulation of creativity and artistic confidence are naturally inherent in this program that stresses diversity and individuality of results.

 

Susan Clarke
67 Wilbur Road
Lincoln, RI 02865

Phone Number: 724-8878
E-mail: susanclarke@cox.net

Decorative painter/muralist/quilter. Susan has taught in the Pawtucket School System for 33 years. She received certification in Decorative Painting from RISD and now is co-owner of Lime Rock Design Studio where she offers art classes to adults and children. She has worked at Potter-Burns Elementary School on a quilt integrating art and social studies, and a book writing/illustrating project that integrated language arts and art. Susan involves all students, faculty, staff and parents when possible in the total process from brainstorming ideas and integrating academics to the final project. Susan has worked with diverse populations especially elementary students and feels all students regardless of disability or skill levels can successfully create art. The artist has completed a school wide project, exploring the connections between art and math, including designing and installing a mosaic floor at the front entrance of the school. This past year Susan has taught students life science concepts through art, resulting in a school wide science and art festival, and an enhanced science curriculum.


Ana Flores
PO Box 96
Wood River Junction, RI 02894
Phone Number: 364-0087

Visual Artist. Art and nature are the foundation of each project, as well as the use of community resources. "Town (or City) Sketches" explores the basic concepts of architecture and applies them to students' exploration of the community around them. "Myth and Art" is a residency that involves the reading of creation myths of Africa, Oceania, and South America, looking at the primitive art of these cultures and then creating sculptural pieces related to the ideas and symbols explored. Some of the mediums explored are papier-mâché and hand building in clay. Ana is bilingual (Spanish).

Susan Guerard
348 Iron Mine Hill Road
North Smithfield, RI 02896
Phone Number: 678-6858

Multi-Visual Artist. Sue has a BFA in Illustration and a MAT for Art Teaching from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently teaches art at the RISD Museum. She is able to design programs that enhance existing curricula and create new ones tailored for the specific needs and capabilities of individuals and groups. The range of mediums she employs includes painting, ceramics, sculpture and quilting. Sue is an art instructor for VSA arts programs and has extensive experience working with children, adults, and older adults with a wide range of disabilities.
LIMITED AVAILABILITY.


Meg Little
PO Box 1105
Newport, RI 02840
Phone Number: 847-6899

Rugmaker. Meg makes rapidly constructed large hand-tufted rugs with colorful, graphic and pictorial designs. Concepts such as pattern, color interaction, scale, design sources, history of textiles can easily be addressed with groups working in a variety of media to produce designs, drawings, needlework and rugs. Projects can be designed for a variety of ages and skill levels. Meg will set up and work at a rug-making studio at the school so there is ample opportunity for the school community to observe and participate in her creative process from beginning to end. Meg is most interested in coordinating her art projects into the curriculum of the school.


Denise Melucci
Phone Number: 647-3784

Visual Artist. Denise offers a wide variety of painting and drawing lessons to students. Her work has been displayed at Rhode Island's State House and she is a member of the Wickford Art Association. Denise has also illustrated four books for an exhibit held at the Children's Museum in Providence. She has worked for 15 years with individuals with disabilities and is available to work with individual students or small groups of adults and children.


Nina Memi
523 Charles Street
Providence, RI 02904
Phone Number: 751-3647

Multi-Visual artist. Nina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from RISD. She has worked with a variety of sites providing arts-in-education programs through VSA arts, the VISTA program at AS220's Broad Street Studio, at the Tides Program and also the Training School. She has experience developing thematic standards-based instructional units which incorporate arts into Social Studies, Mathematics, English and the Sciences. Past projects have included murals, clay work, painting and the use of recycled materials in artwork.


Heather Minto
455 North Road
Jamestown, RI 02835
Phone Number: 423-0005

Folk Artist. Yankee shearing, spinning, weaving wool. Heather and her family maintain and run a 280-acre historical farm established in 1796 that raises a special breed of sheep that are known for their long wool fibers. Heather provides very fun and informative classes at the farm including a tour and discussion of shearing, spinning and weaving. This program appeals to all the senses and is appropriate to a wide variety of ages, physical and developmental disabilities. Heather will tailor classes to their specific goals.

Keith Munslow
PO Box 40173
Providence, RI 02940
Phone Number: 273-9176, 823-9777 ext 2 (for bookings)
E-mail: keith@as220.org, kerrilyndailey@yahoo.com (agent)
Web site: www.keithmunslow.com

Illustrator/ Creative Writing. Keith has performed for over 15 years entertaining thousands of children by storytelling, composing music for various shows and participating in Rhode Island's summer reading program. His Build-A-Book literacy workshops provide students with the tools and techniques to enhance their creative writing skills. Through group exercises and writing games students are introduced to the elements of story writing such as generating character, setting and plot ideas. Once the story is completed, the students will create accompanying illustrations. The final product will be an oversized book with all the stories and illustrations created by each class and bound into one multi-story volume.


Gloria Merchant
49 William Henry Road
N. Scituate, RI 02857
Phone Number: 647-3725
Email: gloria_l_merchant@yahoo.com

Visual Artist/drawing, painting. Gloria has worked with students of all ages and abilities. Her teaching orientation is multi-cultural and interdisciplinary. Residencies are designed to meet the needs and interests of each school or adult group. The focus is on drawing and painting from the natural world. Nature walks, landscape studies, interpretation of natural objects and animals, use of preserved specimens as models are all possible workshop orientations. Residencies could include coordination with Roger Williams Park Zoo and/or Museum of Natural History, Audubon Society nature trails and/or their education center. Visits to the RISD and Haffenreffer museums would provide examples of how different cultures artistically interpreted the natural world. Projects could result in either group or individual products.


Gail Porter
152 Bayard Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone Number: 273-9529

Photographer. The artist arrives with darkroom equipment and cameras. After a brief photo history, students in fifth grade and up examine design elements, shoot, develop, print, and prepare prints for showing. Gail works with teachers to help design curricula with orientations toward writing skills, science, or social studies. These additional projects may include: a class book, portraits, documentation, a photo journal, or making photo paper and cameras. Shorter units for younger students utilize Polaroids. Porter's program has developed over a period of several years of working with young people and adults. She has adapted this program for students with multiple disabilities and has designed and worked in many successful artist-in-residence programs for VSA arts.


Maria Rege
21 School Street #2
Newport, RI 02840
Phone Number: 845-6923

Visual Artist. Maria is a Master level therapist and educator who has worked with people of all ages and abilities in educational, medical, mental health and community settings. Maria uses the arts to integrate and enhance the curriculum. Her teaching experience includes collage, ceramics, painting, drawing, multimedia classes, bookmaking and printmaking. She has studied and utilized individual and group approaches for creative enrichment as well as therapeutic and rehabilitative purposes. Her formal art training includes an Art Minor, graduate level studio work and continued study at the Newport Art Museum where she was employed as a teacher.


Dana Simmons
18 Imperial Place
Providence, RI 02903
Phone Number: 831-7360


Painting/Sculpture/Drawing/Photography. Mr. Simmons has eighteen years teaching experience with every age group and level of ability. Each residency is structured to meet the objectives of the individual site. Collaborating with administrators, faculty and students, a curriculum is implemented to reach each pupil at his/her own level of development. Critiques help the student to learn from their peers; exhibitions teach them to share in a cooperative effort. Mr. Simmons believes that a student is able to obtain greatest satisfaction when they are actively creating and afforded the opportunity to use mind and body to exact a change in his/her physical world. Monotony is the curse of creativity. Open communication with his students and stimulation through the positive reinforcement of constant progression is the key to his teaching style. Dana holds a MFA in painting, sculpture and graphics and has set up and taught art and photography programs in several schools and organizations via the Artist In Residence and Artist in Education programs and has worked with children and adults on all levels and special needs. Rhode Island and Massachusetts Certified K – 12.


Nancy Turbitt
52 Mann School Road
Smithfield, RI 02917
Phone Number: 575-7292
Email: artgirlri@hotmail.com

Quilt maker. Nancy has taught art quilting in the Providence School system for 6 years, producing six community art quilts with children ages 9 and up. Subjects for quilts have ranged from the 50 States and the State of Rhode Island to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Nancy likes to work with art teachers in support of history, literature and science curriculums, offering a creative and fun way to learn. Children learn the basics of sewing on a machine, art quilt techniques, and sometimes beading or simple printing methods, while incorporating the elements of good design. Children also learn to work cooperatively as they make their illustrations come alive with fabric. Nancy will also create art quilt banners herself in support of festivals, special occasions, openings or holidays. These art quilts are limited to indoor usage and can be no longer than 8 feet square.


Kurt VanDexter
1740 Stony Lane
North Kingstown, RI 02852

Phone Number: 294-7994
Email: asclepiask@aol.com

Visual Artist / Designer/ Registered Landscape Architect/ Certified K-12 Art Teacher.Connecting youth with the natural world of their community through hands on training and implementation in garden, landscape, nature trail design. Kurt has a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from URI and a Masters of Art and Teaching from RISD. Mr. Van Dexter has experience conducting garden programs for students of all abilities, and is currently working with schools from across the state to develop school yard gardens, outdoor classrooms and nature trails.

Ewa Stosik-Moers
Phone Number: 437-2727

Visual Artist/Art Therapist. As a visual artist and arts therapist, Ewa has extensive experience working with children and adults with physical, developmental and learning disabilities as well as specializing in providing sessions addressing the areas of adult psychiatric, substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Ewa has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of Visual Arts, NY as well as a Certificate of Art Therapy. She is skilled in painting, drawing, photography as well as relaxation and meditation techniques.

Pamela Malkoff Hayes
Phone Number: 274-5078

Visual Artist/Art Therapist. Ms. Hayes is a trained artist with a BFA from Parsons School of Design, NYC and also has masters degrees in both art therapy and family therapy. Art explores and can enhance expression of feeling and concerns to provide a creative outlet through verbal and non-verbal communication. Ms. Hayes has extensive experience in teaching a wide array of visual art and craft classes; specializes in addressing addictions, sexual abuse, behavioral disorders, and duel diagnosis; and has developed techniques for both groups of students and individuals. She also provides individual counseling in private practice as well as lectures for agencies or groups.

 

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"Working to create a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts."

VSA arts Rhode Island
| 500 Prospect Street | Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860
Voice & TTY: 401.725.0247 | Fax: 401.725.0397

programs@vsartsri.org