Our Artists

Meet the resident artists.

For an organization dedicated to bringing together career artists and children, there are few better places to be based than San Francisco.

We are fortunate to have so many talented practitioners in our midst, who also embrace our passion for education and belief in the power of art to transform young lives. All Artists-in-Residence undergo a rigorous interview process that includes live demonstration classroom work, and many are bilingual. Those artists who have worked with children in our programs for more than seven years—be it in the classroom, at summer camp, during after-school programs, and leading weekend workshops—all the while maintaining and expanding their own artistic practices, earn the title of SFArtsED Master Artist.

Jeanette Au

Visual Arts, since 2010

Jeanette Au was raised in New York and trained in visual arts at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts—also known as the Fame school. She holds a BFA in interdisciplinary studies from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA in knitwear design from the Academy of Art University. Ms. Au’s work blurs and transgresses the boundaries between fashion and art, exploring cross-cultural dialogues and liminal space. Her knitwear collection has been presented at New York Fashion Week, and she has taught undergraduate fashion courses at Academy of Art University and offers textile art instruction throughout the Bay Area. As an educator, she shares inspiration, process, and an exploration of material and techniques in order to discover—and to delight—in the unexpected.

Charlotte Baldiviez

Musical Theater, since 2017

Charlotte Horst Baldiviez is a New York based actor, dancer, and choreographer. She studied performing arts and social justice at the University of San Francisco with emphasis in both theater and dance and at Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA) in the two-year Professional Actor Training Program. Ms. Baldiviez’s love of theater and performance knows no bounds; she enjoys the work of William Shakespeare as much as Andrew Llyod Webber’s Cats as much as anything Dimitris Papaioannou can think up. She also is a co-founding member and artist director of `{`unsuper`}`vised children dance company, a bi-coastal interdisciplinary dance company. Recent theatrical credits include Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves (#13), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck), Peter Pan (ensemble/dance captain).

Agelio Batle, Master Artist

Visual Arts, since 1994

The investigative nature of Agelio Batle’s work may stem from his background in the sciences, as his BA from UC Santa Barbara is in Biology. Not wishing to pursue a career in science, Mr. Batle returned to his lifelong interest in art and earned an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA), graduating with High Distinction honors. Batle’s artwork includes stage design, art installation, performance art, drawing, and sculpture, and has been shown in museums and galleries across the United States—including the American Craft Museum in New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Mr. Batle’s work is in the collections of Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, George Lucas, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, among others.

Tajma Beverly

Music and Musical Theater, since 2018

Tajma Beverly began her career as a singer/actor/dancer performing in musicals and operas with American Conservatory Theater, LA Opera, TheatreWorks, Chicago’s Marriot Lincolnshire Theatre and many other companies. As a composer/lyricist/librettist, Ms. Beverly writes musicals and operas about the history, current conditions, and complexities of everyday black people. Her first musical, TRANS, is a docu-musical that chronicles a young, Nigerian girl’s survival of the Transatlantic slave trade’s middle passage. She is a lead teaching artist with San Francisco Opera and works towards making opera a more inclusive art form. She has directed productions of Is There Life After High School?, The Vagina Monologues, Cabaret, Into the Woods, and Hair. She conceived, compiled and directed Culture Shock!, a collection of musical theater songs that explore cultural identity. She is currently developing a musical about post-civil rights America and the virtues of bacon grease. Ms. Beverly holds an MM in the Evolution of American Popular Music from California State University-Los Angeles and an MFA in Musical Theatre Composition from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts.

Keta Bill

Music, 2001-2012

Keta Bill received her BA in theater and music from Western Illinois University. A performer and studio vocalist in the Bay Area for more than thirty years—with such bands as the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra and Big Bang Beat, and shows such as “Teatro Zinzanni,”—she continues to record for commercials, film, and CD projects. Ms. Bill teaches singing and chorus for Brisbane Dance Workshop, ODC, and Spindrift School of Performing Arts and offers private piano and guitar lessons. She has worked in early childhood music and movement for more than twenty years, and teaches at various preschools as well as the Blue Bear School of Music.

Yari Cervas

Theater, Since 2021

Yari Cervas (all pronouns) is a theater director, teaching artist, and somatic worker exploring artistic expression through intuitive movement, music, poetry, illustration, and meditation. They are inspired by yet untold stories steeped in restorative justice, cultural memory, queerness, and trauma recovery. As a developer of new plays they can be found nurturing young playwrights, devising site specific theatre, and creating docuplays in collaboration with local community. Inspired by a lack of Filipino voices in San Diego theatre they founded MaArte Theatre Collective and as the artistic director produced and directed nearly two dozen plays by emerging Pilipinx playwrights. MaArte’s work established Yari as a lauded director for the original docuplay The Fire in Me (Award of Recognition from the State Legislature of California) and the original one-woman show Your Best American Girl (Best of the Fest, Critics’ Pick, and Cultural Exchange awards.) Previously, they were also honored by the first ever Double Indy Award for performance as Dido in Dido Queen of Carthage and direction of the world premiere of Tar and Feather. Yari has had the pleasure of collaborating with organizations such as Amigos Del Rep, Asian Story Theatre, Blindspot Collective, Cygnet Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, the La Jolla Playhouse, People of Interest, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory Theatre, TuYo Theatre, The Old Globe, MOXIE Theatre, and Westmont Festival Theatre. They are most proud of their November 2019 docudrama, You’re Safe Here, produced in partnership with Allain Francisco M.D. with support from the UCSD School of Medicine to foster empathy for the experience of patients navigating their relationships with mental health care providers. As the creator of Practical Somatics, Yari teaches body-based meditations, especially for QTBIPOC, to empower them to overcome trauma in their daily lives. Yari believes that by practicing breathing, intuitive movement, and compassionate self-awareness individuals are better positioned to heal their relationships with themselves and their wider communities. yaricervas.com

Erin Coyne

Dance, Since 2021

Erin Coyne is a San Francisco-based dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Originally from the Chicago area, Ms. Coyne graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Education, BA in Dance and BS in Elementary Education. While at the U, she performed works by Maurya Kerr, Justin Jones, and repertoire of Martha Graham, while studying under the instruction of renowned artists Toni Pierce-Sands, Erin Thompson, Carl Flink, and Ananya Chatterjea. Her choreography has been presented at various venues in Minneapolis, Chicago, and the Bay Area. As a teacher, she has taught in an elementary education setting as a 4th grade teacher, as well as at many dance studios around the Midwest and on the West Coast. Most recently, she collaborated with a local music artist to create a dance film for a self-produced virtual dance event, which went on to become an award winner in the San Francisco Indie Short Film Festival.

Flo Dabokemp

Dance, since 2018

Flo Dabokemp is a hip-hop dance teacher and dancer based in San Francisco. After studying ballet, modern, and jazz, she began her hip-hop dance training at the age of 15 with Allan Frias, Director of Mind Over Matter dance company, with whom she also performed for six years. Soon after graduating high school, Ms. Dabokemp embarked as a performing artist and teacher in the youth program at Dance Mission Theater and Chinese American International School. Her recording career has led to appearances on shows such as BET’s “106th and Park,” and she has opened for major artists such as LLOYD and J Holiday. Ms. Dabokemp pursued studies in music business at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and continues teaching with Dance Mission Theater and producing music and dance projects with local and international artists.

Michelle Drexler

Theater, since 2019

Ms. Drexler has been a professional actor and teaching artist in the Bay Area sicne 2011, appearing on stages across the Bay from Theatreworks to SF Playhouse to Shotgun Players. She has worked as a teaching artist with many organizations including San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley Playhouse and currently serves as the resident acting teacher for GoogleArts. She is the resident child wrangler for the San Francisco company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which will be returning to the stage as soon as it is safe). She holds a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston with a minor in Dance.

Danny Duncan, Master Artist

Theatrical Director/Dramaturge, since 1991

Danny Duncan has served as Director of the San Francisco Arts Education Players since its inception. He wrote the libretti and song lyrics for eight SFArtsED Event of the Year performances and created three original musicals for the SFArtsED Players.

A native San Franciscan, Mr. Duncan has worked in the Bay Area most of his life, including as Founder and Artistic Director of Duncan & Company, which toured the West Coast for seven years. Mr. Duncan's writing career began in 1969 with Uhuruh, which appeared Off Broadway in New York at the City Center Theatre. Since then, he has authored and produced eight original musicals, including Billie’s Song—winner of six Bay Area Critic Awards, including Best Musical of 1982.

Mr. Duncan is also the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for his choreography for the TheatreWorks production of RAISIN—a musical adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play—as well as the Dean Goodman Choice Award for outstanding achievement in theatre. Mr. Duncan has served as Artistic Director for the Mayor's Summer Youth Program (Bayview Hunter's Point) and for United Projects, an arts organization that trains young people in the performing arts. Mr. Duncan has taught at American Conservatory Theater and was a longtime member of the faculty of the Oakland School of the Arts, where he also directed their main stage musical.

Marcus Dyson, Master Artist

Music, since 2005

Marcus Dyson, the Minister of Music at Calvary Hill Community Church in San Francisco, has been leading choruses since the age of twelve. Mr. Dyson has also served as Minister of Music at Monument of Love Fellowship in San Diego, making musical appearances on BET and TBN with top recording artists such as Andrae Crouch, Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, Destiny’s Child, and Kelly Price. Mr. Dyson’s debut CD was released in August, 2007. As Minister of Music, Mr. Dyson started the first youth choir for True Hope COGIC in San Francisco, and has taught Chorus class at Eugene McAteer High School.

Laura Elaine Ellis

Dance, since 1990

Laura Ellis is a member of faculty of the Theater and Dance department at Cal State University East Bay, for whom she has choreographed numerous productions. With colleague Kimiko Guthrie she co-directed and co-choreographed A Chorus Line—which garnered critical praise and was the catalyst for CSUEB’s Musical Theater program. Ms. Ellis has also staged productions for Open Opera, Festival Opera, George Coates Performance Group, Douglass Morrison Theater, and Theatre Rhinoceros. A principal dancer with Dimensions Dance Theater, she has appeared in works by Emily Keeler, Donald McKayle, Garth Fagan, Deborah Vaughan, Joan Lazarus, Anne Bluethenthal, Kim Epifano, and Robert Moses; and is co-founder of the award-winning Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now. In the summer of 2017 Ms. Ellis was a co-choreographer of Ragtime—a co-production of SFArtsED and the SF Bay Area Theatre Company performed at the Nourse Theater.

Zoe Farmer

Ceramics, since 2014

Before moving to the Bay Area in 2012, Zoe Farmer spent twelve years teaching at a diverse public school in London. A practicing artist since 2007, Ms. Farmer has shown her work in both London and San Francisco and earned an MFA in Fine Sculpture at California College of the Arts. Ms. Farmer’s art practice is interdisciplinary, and she works with a range of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways. A scuba diver with a life-long interest and investment in marine biology and a strong belief in our connection to the ocean, Ms. Farmer’s work seeks to explore the instability created when social constructs influence the fabrication of scientific truth. Ultimately, the social constructions of our society become conspicuous and limiting against the adaptable, fluid bodies of the animals and organisms that she observes.

Erin Gentry

Musical Theater, since 2010

Erin Gentry studied at the University of San Francisco, graduating with a BA in Performing Arts and Social Justice with an emphasis on dance, and has training in tap, jazz, and contemporary styles. A longtime musical theater lover, she is a choreographer, performer, and collaborator, and has performed onstage from a young age. Favorite past shows include Cabaret, Chicago, Urinetown! The Musical, Hairspray, and—most recently—her role as Cassie in A Chorus Line. During her time at USF, Ms. Gentry staged such musicals as Songs for a New World and Reefer Madness, and also worked with incarcerated men in the Resolve to Stop The Violence Program. As part of the SFArtsED family, Ms. Gantry has been an Artist-in-Residence, an instructor for the Broadway Bound summer camps, and a co-choreographer for the Players musical theater troupe.

Natalie Greene, Master Artist

Dance and Musical Theater, since 2003

Natalie Greene is a performer, teacher, and choreographer who explores both traditional and innovative combinations of dance and theater. She is part of the adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco, where she co-directs the Dance Generators with Amie Dowling. Ms. Greene also teaches through SFArtsED and the ODC School, and has served as Dance Faculty at San Francisco State University. She has performed with Kim Epifano, Deborah Slater, Emily Keeler, Kelly Kemp, Leyya Tawil, and Mary Armentrout, and her choreography has been presented locally at ODC Theater, the Garage, John Sims, Shotwell Studios, and Dance Mission, as well as at venues across the country. Ms. Greene also creates performances with youth, teens, seniors, incarcerated adults, and college students, which have been performed in such venues as the Eureka Theater, the de Young Museum, the Marsh, the Fromm Institute, County Jail #8, College of San Mateo, and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts.

Nasha Harris Santiago

Dance, since 2021

Nasha Harris Santiago is a proud SFArtsED Players alumna. She is a performer, choreographer, and dance teacher born and raised in San Francisco. She is a Posse Scholar and a recent college graduate from Boston University, where she studied communications and arts leadership. She was executive director of the top hip-hop team at Boston University, Fusion Dance Troupe. Her time at BU reawakened her passion for teaching and opened a door for leadership. Most recently, she is the associate choreographer for San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO) where she choreographed pieces for I, Too, Sing America (Othello Jefferson). She is expanding her knowledge and experience as an artist to find her role in the industry where change happens and progress continues.

Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr.

Theater, since 2019

Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon after graduating with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. He was last seen performing in the Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud, and previously traveling North America in the first national tour of Motown: The Musical. A San Francisco native who was discovered in his public elementary school at age 9 by SFArtsED (Emily Keeler & Danny Duncan), Mr. Jackson continued his theatre and performance education at Rec and Park’s Young People’s Teen Musical Theater Company (Diane Price, Anne Marie Bookwalter & Nicola Bosco-Alvarez) and graduated from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts’ theatre department (Phillip Rayher & Donn Harris). As the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of BATCO, he is a proud art-activist passionate about telling untold stories.

Danielle Kellstedt

Visual Arts, since 2018

Danielle Kellstedt was born and raised in France, where she studied Art History. She has been living in the United States and the San Francisco Bay area for many years. She has a BA in photography, experience with printmaking, cyanotypes, transfers and multiple craft mediums. Crafts and art are her passion, and she also enjoys experimenting with printmaking/photography/jewelry and encaustic. Ms. Kellstedt has taught multiple craft classes at the Brisbane Elementary School as well as craft/set design for the Brisbane Dance Workshop.

Jennifer Kesteloot

Visual Arts, since 2021

Jennifer Kesteloot ran an interior design studio for many years, during which time she fell in love with the tools, materials, and processes used to create the objects that surround us. In 2015 she closed her studio to focus on art full time. In her work, she uses various media to unite and explore Reason & Wonder, science and nature, and man-made objects in combination with and in contrast to elements of the natural world. She is passionate about working with children and teens, encouraging them to work with different tools and materials, and giving them the confidence and familiarity to explore the worlds of art and making.

Barry Koron

Musical Theater, since 2003

Barry Koron is from Great Neck, New York. He has theater degrees from SUNY Buffalo and UC Irvine. He produced and directed shows in North Beach. He has played or worked for most of the major performing arts organizations in the Bay Area. He is Minister of Music at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Diamond Heights. His production of Trial By Jury will be seen for the third consecutive year at the Dickens Fair later this fall.

Angelina Labate

Dance, since 2018

Angelina Labate is a dancer, choreographer, storyteller, “artivist,” documentarian, and founding director of Snowflake Productions, which “celebrates our dance communities and their stories through choreography, videography, and photography.” She teaches hip-hop and house dance throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Ms. Labate holds an AA and an African Heritage Dance Certificate from CCSF, and a BA in World Arts and Cultures/ Dance with a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education from UCLA. She is passionate about working with youth to pass on the knowledge and history that has been shared with her, while providing a space where young dancers can hone their craft and fully express themselves. For Ms. Labate, the best parts of teaching dance involve building technique, supporting freestyle and free expression, pushing dance as political action, embracing community, encouraging joy, facilitating the learning process, and respecting the gift that each dancer brings to the floor.

G. Scott Lacy

Musical Theater, since 2014

G. Scott Lacy has directed more than 150 productions for such companies as the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse, the Lamb’s Players Theatre, the Musical Theatre Guild of Los Angeles, Diversionary Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Diablo Theatre Company, 42nd Street Moon, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Opera, North Coast Repertory Theatre, Malashock Dance Company, and many others. Mr. Lacy was also honored with a 2009 Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Musical Direction for his work on Dames At Sea at NCTC.

Mr. Lacy has had the honor of working with some of the theater’s finest directors, including Des McAnuff, Michael Greif, Neel Keller, Peter Schneider, Les Waters, and Regina Taylor. A sought-after vocal coach, he has worked with Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Golden Globe- Award-winning performers and his younger students have attended such prestigious universities as NYU, Harvard, Carnegie Melon, North Carolina School of the Arts, UCSD, UCLA, and Sarah Lawrence. Also a celebrated cabaret performer, Mr. Lacy is the creator and founding partner of Society Cabaret in San Francisco.

Kyle Limin

Dance, since 2013

Kyle Limin received his BA in dance from San Francisco State University. He has been a dancer and contributing choreographer to several Bay Area groups, including FunkBeyond Control, Mind Over Matter, and Project Em. He is a principal dancer with Funkanometry SF, and teaches for Brisbane Dance Workshop as well as workshops throughout the country.

Sydney Lozier

Musical Theater, since 2013

Sydney Lozier is a Bay Area dancer and teacher who has found so much joy in working with the SFArtsED Players. A graduate of the Performing Arts and Social Justice program at University of San Francisco, she is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Education at the same institution. With more than seventeen years of technical training in jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance, Ms. Lozer has had the opportunity to perform with choreographers such as Eli Nelson, Jenny Mcallister, Natalie Greene, Amie Dowling, and Brenton Cheng. Recent works include an ensemble role in South of Market: The Musical, ODC Pilot with dance collective Hers and Hers, and presentation of solo work Exploration of the Face at the Theater of Yugen Noh.

Christine Lyon

Visual Arts, Since 2021

Born in Los Angeles, Christine Lyon earned her Liberal Arts BA (Art, Literature, and Social Sciences) at Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating, she worked as an illustrator and scenic artist for live, televised, and filmed productions. Credits during this time include Michael Bublé's Christmas Special at Radio City Music Hall and Universal Studios' production Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts. During her MFA candidacy, she worked closely with tenured faculty as a teaching assistant in the Painting and Printmaking departments. Her pieces stand out for their rich visuals combining punchy graphic designs with soft, relatable stories. She works with oil, acrylic, etching, silkscreen, and soft sculpture. Drawing from her creative armory, she explores representation and the many methods of figurative art. Through her experimental use of color and texture, she looks at elements of human psychology. Her palettes prompt emotional resonance, while her trembling brushstrokes elicit an immersive sense of touch. She has enjoyed contributing to community projects, exhibitions and private collections across San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and New York City.

Rachel Major

Visual Arts, since 2017

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Rachel Major is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ms. Major lived and worked in Paris for two years before moving to San Francisco in 1994 and receiving an MFA from Mills College. In her work, which has been shown in France, Canada, and the United States, Ms. Major investigates our complex and often fraught relationship with food using a variety of media—including sculpture, painting, and photography. She has been making art with children for more than ten years, and enjoys connecting art with science and working collaboratively with open-ended materials—exploring everything from airplanes to zoetropes.

Tom Mayock

Dance, since 2010

Tom Mayock, brings the dance arts to thousands of children annually in the form of standards-based curriculum in elementary schools. With his unique K-5th grade curriculum of Jazz, Creative Moment, and student generated-composition, he helps students to be better critical, collaborative, and creative thinkers. He is the co-artistic director and choreographer of The World Dance Festival and the Classroom Connections Festival. He has been an Artist Mentor with SFArtsED for more than a decade. Mr. Mayock has attended Cornish College of the Arts, and performed, choreographed, and taught professionally in Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Alaska, the Bay Area, and Washington DC.

Mallory McDaniel

Visual Arts, since 2019

Mallory McDaniel graduated from the California College of the Arts, receiving her BFA in Fashion Design. While at CCA she won a competition for sustainable fashion design sponsored by the prominent San Francisco nonprofit, ReMake. This led to her being the center of a documentary produced in Sri Lanka where she was introduced to the many issues surrounding the pipeline of overseas garment production.

Before fashion Ms. McDaniel studied film and taught at the multimedia youth nonprofit, Spy Hop in Salt Lake City. While there she completed three documentaries, one winning her a Student Emmy. She has a special love for the medium of stop-motion film due to its detailed hand-crafted artistry. She has worked with all ages, from teaching art to toddlers (working on fine motor skills and early childhood development), to 3-month summer intensives, creating 20-minute film projects with high school students. Her interest in art started from a young age, as she began to gather and combine a variety of artistic materials, styles and techniques and remains passionate about creativity, playful exploration, sustainability, and up-cycling, a focus that she applies with great excitement in all areas of her life.

Peter Meredith

Musical theater, since 2019

Peter Meredith is a pianist, choir conductor, singer, and music educator who enjoys helping people of all ages experience the joy of making music. He is currently finishing his Master’s of Music Education at Holy Names University, where he studies vocal pedagogy and the Kodály method. He works as a director and accompanist for Ragazzi Boys Chorus in Redwood City, and as a piano instructor at Spindrift School of Performing Arts. He is the music director at College Heights Church in San Mateo, First Congregational Church of Redwood City, and Mission Bay Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. He also performs regularly as a jazz and salsa musician, leading the Golden Gate Jazz Trio and playing with several Bay Area salsa bands.

Mariella Morales

Dance, since 2019

Mariella Morales attended the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, where she was introduced to Dunham Technique and African Haitian dance. Ms. Morales received an A.A in Dance from City College of San Francisco, a B.A. in Dance from San Francisco State University and an M.S. in Kinesiology at SFSU. Ms. Morales is also a Certified Dunham Technique instructor and teaches African-Haitian, African-Brazilian, Dunham Technique, Salsa, Yoga, Zumba and Hip Hop. Ms. Morales has taught at Chabot College, City College of San Francisco, San Jose State University, and Escola de Danca da Fundacao Cultural do Estado de Bahia. She is Co-Artistic Director of Alafia Dance Ensemble, which sshowcase the beauty of African Haitian dance and culture, was founded by Valerie Watson, whom Ms. Morales acknowledge as the most influential woman in her life.

Melinda Neal-Cofresi

Dance, since 2008

Melinda Neal-Cofresi is a BFA candidate in dance at Saint Mary’s College. She trained at the Oakland Ballet Academy under Ronn Guidi and studied locally at Shawl Anderson and the San Francisco Dance Center. She is certified to teach ballet by the Dance Masters of America, and has performed with Simply Pasquale, Napoles Ballet Theatre, California Ballet, Udance Electra, New Trails Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Academy, and Solano Civic Ballet. Ms Neal-Cofresi is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Halal Ballet Theatre, a non-profit youth ballet company and also teaches for Dance Network.

Tiersa Nureyev, Master Artist

Fashion Design, since 2006

Ms. Nureyev's body of work resides in the intersection between art, design and craft. Her entry point into these disciplines is typically textile-based, materials driven, hands-on, and coupled with an emphasis on artistic inquiry and collaboration.

Ms. Nureyev has designed costumes for film, musical theatre, dance, and performance art; and has worked with fellow artists to create fiber-based elements, structures, and garments for gallery projects and set design. She is the co-founder of the collaborative design studio Stella Fluorescent, which works with natural dyers, wood artisans, metal smiths, and painters to create sustainably created collections that are sold in fashion boutiques and design stores. She also leads summer youth programs that explore the nature of fashion as identity, and regularly collaborates with artists residing in San Quentin Prison. An active SFArtsED Artist-in-Residence in the public schools, Ms. Nureyev also sits on the SFArtsED Board of Directors.

Richard Olsen, Master Artist

Visual Arts, since 1993

Richard Olsen is an artist, writer, and art educator. He has taught art education at the San Francisco Art Institute, and was also the head of the art department at Gateway High School in San Francisco. Mr. Olsen has curated many shows with the San Francisco Arts Education Project, including at the Rena Bransten Gallery, Southern Exposure Gallery, the SF Arts Commission Gallery, and SFMoMA.

Mr. Olsen also curated the wildly successful INTERNATIONAL ORANGE: The Bridge Re-imagined at the Mills Building (and in 75 “bridge” galleries around San Francisco). At SFArtsED, his students’ work has won a number of awards—including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s “Best of Design” award (with a subsequent exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.). He has lectured on art and education at UC Berkeley, SF State, the College of Notre Dame, SFMoMA, and other institutions. Mr. Olsen received his BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Laura Pacchini

Visual Arts, since 2017

Laura Pacchini is a painter and designer and an MFA candidate at the San Francisco Art Institute. Borrowing from her experience as an art director in print and photography, she creates paintings that are evocative of the world in which she raises her young son—adding and deleting images and information much as one might do in the process of educating a child. Her work is an effort to express her role as a parent—in love with her child, yet mindful of the world in which he was born and his privileged position as a white male.

Erik Parra

Visual Arts, since 2007

Erik Parra is a San Francisco-based visual artist and educator who holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including Brazil, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and New York. Locally, Mr. Parra’s work has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, The Headlands Center for the Arts, The Berkeley Art Center, Johansson Projects, and Eleanor Harwood Gallery. In addition to having over 15 years experience working as a teaching artist he lectures extensively at universities and colleges including at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, North Seattle College, Hastings College in Nebraska, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, and the California College of the Arts.

Aidaa Peerzada

Theater, since 2018

Originally from the Baltimore/ Washington area, Aidaa Peerzada attended the Baltimore School for the Arts and went on to get her BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her regional credits include LuLu (u/s) Between Riverside and Crazy, RY (u/s) in BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Kitty Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and the ensemble in Othello (American Players Theatre) Young Woman in The Golden Dragon (Quantum Theatre), Othello (u/s) in Othello (Titan Theatre Company.) She co-starred on the HBO series GIRLS and is featured in the film Gorenos. Her play Scheherazade was produced at Carnegie Mellon's PLAYGROUND festival and subsequently at The New York Fringe Festival. She also produced ChoreoSlam and Remember me, or: Change at CMU's PLAYGROUND. Her piece Things Change received a workshop as a part of The Ground and Field Theatre Festival at UC Davis. She was associate director of Salt Pepper Ketchup at The San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company, where her play One Googol & One was produced in 2018.

Brennan Pickman-Thoon

Theater, since 2019

Acting professionally since age 9, Brennan Pickman-Thoon attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving a BFA in drama and a BA in English. Through NYU, he studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and has performed locally with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Cutting Ball Theater, Marin Shakespeare Company, Marin Theater Company, and New Conservatory Theatre Center. Mr. Pickman-Thoon was the resident drama teacher at Venitia Valley Elementary and co-taught theater at Richmond College Prep. He toured middle and high schools with NCTC’s OutSpoken, a play about teens and identity, facilitating talkbacks and learning moments for young audiences across the Bay Area. He also teaches summer Shakespeare intensives with Marin Shakespeare Company.

Jocelyn Reyes

Dance, since 2018

Jocelyn Reyes is a choreographer, performer, and teaching artist based in San Francisco. She earned a BA in Dance and a BS in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her choreography has been featured in venues around Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and she has performed in works by Ana Maria Alvarez, Gracie Whyte, Shahar Binyamini, Janie Gieser, Cheng Chieh Yu, and Daiane Lopes da Silva. Ms. Reyes is a teaching artist with the LINES Community Programs and a resident artist at SAFEHouse Arts.

Sangin Sara

Music, since 2019

Born the daughter of Donna and the late Pastor Samuel Williams Sr., Sara has been singing since the age of 2. At the age of 11, she became a member of NANM Inc., and began to study classical music. In high school and college, Sara discovered a love of jazz music and began to study such notables as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. An alumna of Dartmouth College, Sara served as Gospel Choir Director and was the featured lead in “Lotus Blooming in a Sea of Fire,`` written and directed by Mike T. Roberts.

She has performed for San Francisco’s Japanese Consul General, the SF Public Defender Swearing-in Ceremony, as part of Mayor London Breed's inauguration, the SF Juneteenth Festival, and the SF Black History Month Closing Ceremony. She also performs at many local venues including Level 13 Lounge, Q’s Lounge, and Yoshi’s, San Francisco and Oakland. She is an international touring background singer for 12-time Grammy-nominated artist Ledisi and can be heard on her EP “The Intimate Truth.`` Sara also sings background for Dave Hollister and Ms. Anita Wilson.

Sara has performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Queen Latifah Show,” “The Tonight Show,” at the Essence Festival, and with various shows on VH1 and MTV. She has served as the background vocal director for many local and national artists, and for shows including the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.

She also lends her talent in the studio with such esteemed producers as Carl Wheeler and on stage with performers such as D’Wayne Wiggins, Eric Roberson, Rahsaan Patterson, Syleena Johnson, Jennifer Holliday, and Grammy-winning songwriter Gordon Chambers.

Sara has curated and presented many choir workshops and works with various youth and religious organizations, serving as director and/or consultant.

Michael Schroeder

Music, since 2019

Michael Schroeder received his Bachelor's degree from Indiana University and his Master's degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Conte and Conrad Susa. He was a professor at the Conservatory from 1999 to 2014, where he taught musicianship and music theory. He sang several seasons with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus under Vance George. He has served as music director of the Lawrence Pech Dance Company and more recently with the Boxcar Theatre’s The Speakeasy. Michael teaches piano and ukulele.

Nathan Schwartz

Theater, since 2018

Nathan Schwartz is a director, writer, actor, designer, and educator new to the Bay Area. His original work—rooted in clowning and experimental theater—seeks to disrupt, disturb, and dismantle the establishment through controlled theatrical. He has worked with or performed at Abrons Arts Center, Prelude Festival, Dixon Place, 59E59th, The Brick, Theatre for the New City, and Incubator Arts Centre in NYC; PuSh, The Harbourfront Centre, The Theatre Centre, SummerWorks, Centaur, GCTC, and Touchstone Theatre in Canada; and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has taught with Town Hall, Park Avenue Armory, The Museum of the Moving Image, and BAM in New York City. He holds a master’s degree in educational theatre from the City College of New York and completed the professional theatre training program at Studio 58 in Vancouver, Canada.

Tom Shaw

Musical Theater, since 2007

Tom Shaw is a singer-pianist with extensive musical theater experience as a music director, accompanist, and actor. He has also composed music and acted for television and film. His jazz trio, the Tom Shaw Trio, performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is often engaged to accompany other vocalists, cabaret performances, musical theater productions, and shows, and can be seen regularly performing in San Francisco at Martuni's—among other venues.

Bongo Sidibe

Rhythms, since 2018

Alpha Oumar “Bongo” Sidibe is a traditional drummer from Conakry, Guinea in West Africa. He is musical director of Duniya Dance and Drum Company. Mr. Sidibe studied with Master Drummer Mamady Keita at his school, Tam Tam Mandigue, Guinea, and participated in his workshops in Conakry and Balandougou, Mamady’s village. He performed with Ballet Jah Karlo in Dakar, Senegal, and recorded the CD “N’dguel Fall” and toured with Orchestre Baye Fall. Before leaving Guinea, he was co-director of Balandougou Kan, a group of traditional percussionists and dancers. Since arriving in the U.S., Mr. Sidibe has performed with Rhythm Village, Joan Baez, Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead, and Black Nature from the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars. He is also a singer and percussionist with Dogon Lights band and a teaching artist.

Samantha Stone

Dance, since 2011

Samantha Stone received her BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. Upon graduating, she continued her dance studies in Brazil, Mexico and Europe as well as in the Bay Area, focusing on Axis Syllabus Dance. Most recently, she participated at the Luna Dance Institute, where she further trained in the field of children's dance education. She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers Kathleen Hermsdorf, Bianca Cabrera, Rosemary Hannon, Ashley Trottier, Aura Fischbeck, and Leyya Tawil. Ms. Stone is a co-founder of Viv dance company and her work has been shown in several local theaters, although she prefers enchanting the homes, galleries, and shops around her with movement and design. She engages in teaching, choreographing, and performing on both sides of the San Francisco Bay, always advocating for arts awareness and opportunities for all.

Trish Tillman, Master Artist

Theater, since 2005

Trish Tillman served as the Director of Artistic Learning at California Shakespeare Theater for five years. She has been a working actor, improviser, and theater arts teacher for 25 years, and holds an MA in Dramatic Performance and Teaching Theater from Antioch University and a BS in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Ms. Tillman has created artist teaching training programs for both classroom teachers and college education students, and has brought the world of Shakespeare to thousands of children through numerous productions and classes. She is the founder of two improvisational theater companies in San Francisco and is currently a staff and ensemble member of Un-Scripted Theater.

Lilli Wosk, Master Artist

Musical Theater, since 2005

Lilli Wosk is a vocal coach and music director. She teaches on the voice faculty at NYU Tisch’s Experimental Theater Wing and maintains a private voice studio focusing on rep, audition prep, and technique. She has toured nationally and internationally as the conductor of Broadway's Waitress (2017-19) and HAIR (2013). Regionally, she has served as music director at Transcendence Theater Company in Sonoma, Berklee College of Music, and SFArtsED. She has master’s level training in Speech Pathology and Voice Therapy. In her free time, Lilli and her husband write and perform family-friendly music with their duo Peanut Butter Jams www.pbjams.fun

Jamie Yuen-Shore

Theater, since 2016

Jamie Yuen-Shore is a proud alumna of the first generation of SFArtsED Players. In addition to SFArtsED, she has taught musical theater and theater education with the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Fulbright Program in Montevideo, Uruguay, Aim High, and where she teaches at San Francisco Day School. She serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO), where most recently she co-created and directed I, Too, Sing America (Othello Jefferson). She has previously choreographed with SFArtsED for Building Broadway, Carnival, Ragtime, Seussical™, and West Side Story.

Angela Yuen Uyeda

Dance, Since 2021

Angela Yuen Uyeda shares the joy of movement and music in dance studios, public and private schools and online. She studied ballet in San Francisco, Arizona, and Hong Kong and later danced with Peony Performing Arts for five years and Lily Cai Dance Company for ten years. A San Francisco native, she has enjoyed performing on stages across the nation, including Florida, New York, Texas, Minnesota, Nevada, Mexico, and more. Teaching with passion and patience, she looks forward to keeping the arts a priority in students’ lives.

Jesus Zamarron

Visual Arts, since 2016

Jesus Zamarron has more than ten years experience teaching art in after-school programs at Holy Name School and Mission Dolores Academy. He graduated with an MA in Art Education from the Academy of Art in 2013, and holds a BFA from Complutense University in Madrid and a Pedagogical Adaptation Certificate (CAP) from University of Almeria, Spain.

Remy Charlip

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