Conference Presenter Information
Carlton Turner works across the country as a performing artist, arts advocate, policy
shaper, lecturer, consultant, and facilitator. Carlton is also founder of the Mississippi
Center for Cultural Production. The MCCP uses arts and agriculture to support rural
community, cultural, and economic development in his hometown of Utica, Mississippi
where he lives with his wife Brandi and three children. Carlton is the former Executive
Director of Alternate ROOTS.
Carlton Turner is also co-founder and co-artistic director, along with his brother Maurice
Turner, of the group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early
Extinction). M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a Mississippi-based performing arts group that blends of
jazz, hip-hop, spoken word poetry and soul music together with non-traditional
Carlton is currently on the board of First People’s Fund, Imagining America, the Center
for Media Justice, and Project South for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide.
Carlton is a member of the We Shall Overcome Fund Advisory Committee at the
Highlander Center for Research and Education, a steering committee member of the
Arts x Culture x Social Justice Network, and former Network of Ensemble Theaters
steering committee member.
Carlton is a 2017-18 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow and a Cultural Policy Fellow
at the Creative Placemaking Institute at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute
for Design in the Arts. He is also a member of the Rural Wealth Lab at RUPRI (Rural
Policy Research Institute). In 2018, Carlton was awarded the Sidney Yates Award for
Advocacy in the Performing Arts by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.
Carlton has also received the M. Edgar Rosenblum award for outstanding contribution
to Ensemble Theater (2011) and the Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre
(2015). In 2013 Carlton was named to o the Kennedy Center honors Artist Advisory
Japanese-Danish performer and composer Kojiro Umezaki, originally from Tokyo, is renowned as a virtuoso of the shakuhachi, but his work also encompasses traditional and technology-based music mediated by various forms of electronics. His recent commissioned works and producer credits include those for Brooklyn Rider, Joseph Gramley, Huun Huur Tu, and Silkroad. Ko is currently associate professor of music at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a core faculty member of the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) group. He has been working with students in Lame Deer, MT, for over 6 years.
Award-winning Indian choreographer, performer, and educator Preeti Vasudevan is an exponent of classical Indian dance (Bharatanatyam), creating provocative contemporary works rooted in the Indian tradition. Preeti has worked as a Silkroad teaching artist in Queens, NY, and in Lame Deer, MT, and has been recognized with awards, commissions, and residencies by institutions including Lincoln Center, NYU, New York Live Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Preeti’s ground-breaking educational website, Dancing for the Gods (www.dancingforthegods.org), serves as a cultural bridge for creative learning in New York City public schools. Preeti holds a Master's in Dance Studies from the Laban Centre in London and is a Certified Movement Analyst by the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York. Preeti has worked as a teaching artist for Silkroad in schools in Queens, NY and in Lame Deer, Montana.
Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, known professionally as Supaman is an Apsáalooke rapper and fancy dancer who was born in Seattle Washington and grew up in Crow Agency, Montana. He began DJing in the 90s after hearing a Litefoot song (with the two touring together in 1999), In the fourth grade, Christian began dancing at powwows. While in elementary school he began to write poetry and later began to rap. He related to rap music because he felt he was going through the same issues that most artists were rapping about.Taking the name 'Supaman' at the spur of the moment in a DJ competition. Supaman began rapping in a more original style until he had a spiritual encounter that told him to live a better lifestyle and rap about more meaningful and inspirational topics.S upaman is featured, with MAG7, in the Taboo video "Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL" which won an award for MTV Video Music Award for Best Video with a Social Message in 2017. He has also been nominated for and received multiple awards for his work as a DJ, singer and rapper, and a fancy dancer including the Tuney Award which he won seven times, the Aboriginal Peoples Music Choice Award, and the North America Indigenous Music Award.
Deborah Brzoska is a leader in arts education who has worked with schools, districts and arts organizations internationally and in nearly all fifty states. She is a former dancer, arts specialist, and district arts administrator and was the founding principal of an award-winning arts-integrated public secondary school that has flourished in Vancouver, Washington since it opened in 1996. Currently, Deb supports three national programs of The Kennedy Center across the country: Partners in Education, Any Given Child, and Turnaround Arts.
Kennedy Center Any Given Child Partnership Site: Portland The Right Brain Initiative-Marna Stalcup
Marna is the founding program manager of The Right Brain Initiative, an arts education program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) that supports arts integrated teaching and learning in K-8 classrooms in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. In 2014 she was named Director of Arts Education to oversee all arts education programs including RACC’s role in coordinating services to Portland school districts provided by the voter- approved Arts Education and Access Fund. As Portland’s site liaison for the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative, she is responsible for shepherding the vision of an equitable and comprehensive arts education in the region’s school districts, and developing and maintaining effective relationships with community stakeholders and national arts education partners alike. Marna brings to her position a 37-year career in arts education including coordinator of Portland's Jefferson High School Performing Arts Magnet Program; founding faculty member of the award-winning Vancouver, WA School of Arts and Academics; and managing director of Caldera, a local nonprofit supporting youth development through the arts.
Kennedy Center Any Given Child Partnership Site: Austin MINDPOP-Sloan McLain
Sloan McLain brings eighteen years of instructional leadership, expertise, and passion for creative learning to her role as Education Director of MINDPOP in Austin, Texas. Applying the skills and insights gained as Austin Independent School District’s 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year, lead Creative Learning Instructional Coach, and designer of creative teaching professional development for thousands of teachers nationally, McLain is a thought leader on arts-based instructional strategies that deepen critical thinking, imbed cultural relevancy, and strengthen socioemotional skills. McLain is a key innovator and contributor to Austin’s Creative Learning Initiative collective impact. Her creative vision and pragmatic approach to positive change allow school systems and those who work in them to use and develop rigorous creative teaching strategies, ensure equitable access to arts learning, and integrate arts organizations into school culture to reinforce campus and district goals. McLain also collaborates with the Parks and Recreation Department and Cultural Centers to secure creative learning opportunities off-campus and after school, expanding the arts-rich educational experience for children at the classroom, district, and community levels.
Lame Deer District- Susan Wolfe
Before moving to Montana Susan Wolfe served as a Senior Art Director for Carmichael Lynch Advertising in Minneapolis where she designed and produced ad campaigns for clients such as Harley-Davidson, McDonalds, WCCO TV and Jostens. In 2010 Susan became the Visual Arts Educator at Lame Deer Jr/Sr High School on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. The following year Lame Deer Jr High was selected as one of eight schools in the nation to participate in the Turnaround Arts Initiative. The program was spearheaded by The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with the US Department of Education, corporate sponsors and professional artists from a variety of disciplines. It focused on the implementation of arts integration to help increase student achievement. As a result Lame Deer students have benefitted from an extraordinary seven-year partnership with musicians from Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble. Susan was a member of the 2015-2016 Montana Teacher Leaders in the Arts. In her spare time, she serves as a local coordinator for the Montana Shakespeare In The Parks summer tour.
MAPS Media Institute
The MAPS Media Institute provides a hands-on program designed to instill a lifelong passion for learning and to equip students with the skills and confidence for academic, social and professional success. Fostering creativity and building communication skills is part of what led to MAPS being honored as one of the “Top 50” after-school programs in the U.S. by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Dancing in the One Room Schoolhouse: Susan Luinstra and the Bynum School students
Susan Luinstra, a national Outstanding Rural Educator of the Year, is the heart and soul of Bynum school. She didn’t start the tradition of music and dancing here, but she learned its value from Ira Perkins, who established a unique curriculum of vocal and instrumental music, ballroom dancing and gymnastics during his 53-year tenure at the school.Luinstra taught with him for five years and then returned to the school in 1986, when he retired. She continued the tradition, she says, because she believes in the power of music and dance to enrich students’ lives, to start their days out on a positive note, and to pass history and culture from generation to generation.
Peter Musante works at the nexus of immersive theater, dance, music and technology to invent unique performance-based experiences that transform space and create community. His approach, as both a creator and an educator, is highly physical and focuses on discovering new points of connection that allow us to celebrate the complexity, and diversity, of human experience. His original works have toured internationally and are created collaboratively with a diverse group of artists - most notably Andrew Schneider (YOUARENOWHERE - OBIE Award), and Trusty Sidekick Theater Co. (Lincoln Center, Park Ave Armory, Abrons Art Center) where he is a Resident Artist. Peter is also a founding member of Fixed Agency (Brooklyn Navy Yard), a cast member of Blue Man Group (Astor Place Theater) and a frequent collaborator with Spring Street Social Society. Peter studied at UCLA and Brooklyn College's PIMA (Performance & Interactive Media Arts) program.
Retired Art educator of 38 years Kalispell Montana. Developed Media arts labs and programs at both high schools in Kalispell. Involved in media arts education for over 25 years. Member of the National and state review and development of the new Montana media arts standards. Developed Learning HUB course Media Arts 101 for Montana Office of Public Instruction.
Jenny Bevill began collaborating with NYC public school teachers to integrate visual arts into the classroom in 1992. Before joining the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art program in 2004, she worked with the Brooklyn Museum, and other cultural organizations, both as an artist and as an educator. During her decade as a teaching artist at the Guggenheim, her classrooms were involved in many research studies including “Guggenheim for All,” which studied special needs and art, and “The Art of Problem Solving,” which explored teaching for creativity. She co-created a mentorship program with Success Academy, the largest charter school network in NYC, which is on-going and focused on mindfulness and creativity. Jenny earned her BFA from Parsons School of Design and her MA in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Since relocating to Montana in 2014, Jenny has been traveling the state leading creative arts workshops with students and teachers. She presents regularly at the National Art Education Conference on topics such as creativity, arts integration, art and special needs, and mindfulness in the classroom. She is an adjunct professor at Flathead Valley Community College, a speaker for Humanities Montana, and a content developer for OPI’s Learning Hub . She lives with her son, and many animals, in Whitefish, MT.
Jennifer Combe is a mother, artist, and associate professor of art at The University of Montana. Her artwork investigates gender, contemporary motherhood, and children’s development. She is invested in teacher education programs that integrate community arts and teaching from a social theory perspective. Her work has been featured in The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education and The Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement. More of her work can be found at www.jennifercombe.com.
Lindsey Ratliff is an Art and History Teacher at Havre High School. She graduated from Concordia College-Moorhead, MN in 2013 and the Creative Pulse Master’s program in 2017. In her spare time Lindsey enjoys painting, organizing her school’s Close Up Washington D.C trip, and currently serves on the Havre City Council.
Kristin lives and teaches in Bonner, Montana. She has been teaching since 2011 and is currently going through the Creative Pulse Graduate program. She enjoys singing and playing music at home as well as at school with her first grade students. When they aren't singing, her class can be found exploring curriculum through movement, creating visual masterpieces, or out on a nature walk.
Kia Liszak has been the director of the Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC) for over 6 years. The ZACC is a nonprofit arts community center that provides all-ages art and music education, artist studios, a community art gallery, a pottery studio, public printshop, and all ages music space. Kia also serves on the Missoula Public Art Committee and was a past member of Missoula's Community Arts Team which worked with The Kennedy Center to create Spark, a program dedicated to improving any given child of Missoula access to arts education. Kia is ecstatic to be a part of the ZACC where she can focus on her passion for the arts, youth, and community development.
Sondra Hines is the Curator of Education at the Holter Museum of Art has been a teacher and educator for 31 years, working at the Holter Musuem and in arts education for the past fourteen. She is a trainer of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) where she studied with Phillip Yenawine, former Curator of Education at MOMA. She has been practicing VTS for 9 years, now training educators to use the strategy in their classrooms.
Tell Us Something Executive Director Marc Moss was professionally trained as an English educator, certified in 1995 to teach English 7-12 in the state of Ohio and went on to teach in the world’s best classroom, Yellowstone National Park, as a seasonal ranger-naturalist from 1999-2001. He fell in love with storytelling listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion on long drives with his dad as a kid. Marc has been cultivating personal storytelling in Missoula in some fashion ever since. He brings his expertise in storytelling to recruiting storytellers and to the story coaching workshops that he requires of each storyteller before each Tell Us Something event.
Jordan Deline Burt
Jordan Dehline Burt has been teaching dance in the Missoula community since 2005. She is the co-author of Dance Integration: 36 Dance Lesson Plans for Science and Mathematics, released by Human Kinetics in June 2014. Jordan has taught in Missoula County Public Schools since 2008, integrating dance with the elementary school core curriculum, and has taught dance education classes at the University of Montana. Jordan presents workshops to dance teachers and classroom teachers nationally.
Alisha Meyer has earned her MA in Integrating Arts into Education and a MA in Art Education. She has been teaching for over 15 years with 10 of those years being a behavior specialist in special education. Alisha has been teaching 2nd grade for the last 5 years with the intent of trying to integrate more students with emotional challenges into the general education system.
Caroline Patterson, the executive director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative, published a story collection Ballet at the Moose Lodge in 2017. She has work appearing in upcoming anthologies including Montana Noir (Akashic Books, 2017) and Bright Bones: Innovative Montana Writing (Open Country Press, 2017). She lives in the four-square Prairie-style house that was built by her great-grandfather in 1906 with her husband, writer Fred Haefele,and her two college-aged children.
Jennifer Ogden is a K-12 Art teacher for Victor Public School, as well as SPARK Teaching Artist and Missoula Art Museum instructor. She has an interest in designing lessons that promote community-based experience through arts integration and recently had the wonderful opportunity to peer through a history lens while updating the Junior Ranger Booklet for Bear Paw National Battlefield as a Teacher Ranger Teacher.
Jeff Ross is the founder and director of the Belt Valley Shakespeare Players, a youth theatre organization. He teaches English, Drama, and Creative Writing at Belt High School. He earned an AB in English at the University of California - Davis, and a MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry), MA-English Teaching, and MA-Integrated Arts and Education from the University of Montana.
Matt Loehrke (Lurky) has been with MCT, Inc. for nine years, four of those years were spent on the road touring in one of Missoula Children’s Theatre’s iconic little red trucks to 40 states and 5 countries. He settled down at the home office of MCT in 2012 where he is now currently the Education Director. When he was not on the road for Missoula Children’s Theatre he spent a few years acting and teaching theatre in Portland, OR.
Matt holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Linfield College in McMinnville, OR and spent a season at the Seattle Repertory Theatre interning with their education department. He is currently working on his Masters in Theatre Education with the University of Northern Colorado. In his spare time, he participates in the other half of MCT, the Missoula Community Theatre; favorite productions include Willy Wonka, Jekyll & Hyde, A Christmas Carol and Sweeney Todd.
Rachel Gregg is the Executive Director of the Big Sky Film Institute, home of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. A communications specialist and producer with a MA in Communication and Environmental Rhetoric, Rachel was a PR specialist with the Montana Film Office where she coordinated public relations, marketing, communications, project development, and web & social media promotions, as well as event-based marketing and brand activation at film festivals including Sundance, SXSW and LA Film Festival. Rachel produced the first Montana Forum on Film and New Media and assisted in developing Montana’s film industry infrastructure through workforce development projects and administration of the Montana Department of Commerce Big Sky Film Grant program. Rachel joined Big Sky Film Institute in 2016 and as director runs all institute programs including the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Big Sky Film Series, the DocShop industry conference and the Native Filmmaker Initiative.
Mrs. Ayers has been working in theatre since she was a small girl. She grew up on stage at Grandstreet Theater in Helena, MT and went on to earn her BFA in Theatre and MA in Integrated Arts in Education at The University of Montana in Missoula, MT where she has been raising her children with her husband Michael for the last 17 years. Rosie has also worked with Carroll College Theater Department, and The Montana Shakespeare Co. in Helena, The Young Rep., The Montana Repertory Theatre/MRM, MCT, MAT and several other theater companies throughout Montana. Mrs. Ayers’ true passion is for Directing and Teaching in the Theatre Arts. Mrs. Ayers directs productions locally and regionally as well as currently teaching theatre for SPARK! within MCPS as well as regionally in schools around Montana and Teresa Waldorf’s Summer Theatre Camp. Rosie has performed recently as the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, directed the TYA production of Cinderella! Cinderella! at MCT and she also performs comedy regularly with her hilarious partner Teresa Waldorf.
Tom Bensen has lived in Missoula since 1986, and has been the executive director of Arts Missoula (formerly the Missoula Cultural Council) since June of 2004. He has directed First Night Missoula each New Year’s Eve since 1997. Before life in the nonprofit world, Tom taught high school history and was an owner of Freddy’s Feed and Read, one of Missoula’s legendary cultural institutions. He has served on several local non-profit boards. Currently he serves on the board of SPARK – Arts Ignite Learning, the Missoula chapter of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative. He has been a member of Dolce Canto and the Missoula Symphony Chorale, and is an occasional vocalist with the Ed Norton Big Band. He enjoys being outdoors, whether it is hiking, biking, skiing, walking the dogs, or mowing the lawn. His wife Susan works for Montana Public Radio, and they have one son, Peter, who lives in Portland and attends Portland State University.
Christy Mock-Stutz is the English Language Arts Instructional Coordinator at the Montana Office of Public Instruction. After earning her B.A. from Purdue University and her M.A. from National-Louis University, she was a recipient of a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Award. At the Office of Public Instruction, Christy is dedicated to building teacher leadership programs across Montana.
Monica has a combined 27 years’ experience working in the arts as an administrator, visual artist and educator, having earned her BA in Art at the College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University and an MA in Education from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Since returning to Montana for a second time in 2001, Monica’s experiences have included the positions of Executive Director of the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council and Visual Art teacher at Hamilton High School. With deep interests in multidisciplinary arts, community development through the arts and arts integration in K-12 education, Monica is very happy to be working alongside outstanding educators, artists, and community organizations to advance arts education initiatives in Montana for students of all ages.
Jackalynn Snow is the Director of SPARK!, Missoula’s chapter of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative to enhance K-12 arts education. Jackalynn coordinates arts education programming for Missoula students and works with artists and classroom teachers to develop arts integrated learning opportunities. Prior to stepping into this role, Jackalynn worked as an English Educator and Theater Director, engaging and challenging students through the arts at Skyview High School in Billings, and most recently at Surabaya Intercultural School in Indonesia. She is a University of Montana Creative Pulse Masters’ Program graduate, and she has trained teachers in Arts Integration at state and international conferences. Jackalynn loves hiking, exploring, cooking (and eating!) with her husband and two children. Snow is happy to dabble in arts of all kinds, and she is proud to be a part of the amazing arts and education community in Missoula, partnering with so many amazing people and organizations all striving to make a positive impact for students.
Jean Price is a Democratic Party member of the Montana House of Representatives, representing District 20 since 2011. Jean is an artist and retired art teacher. She is also the director of the Urban Art Project of 2008, Great Falls MT. Her works include: Three Thousand and Counting – A tribute to U.S. Troops killed in Iraq.
Dr. Tammy Elser is a full-time professor at Salish Kootenai College in the Education Division focusing on literacy and Indian Education. Tammy has worked nationally providing professional development, program design and evaluation, and strategic planning and facilitation for schools and organizations. The author of The Framework: A Practical Guide for Montana Teachers and Administrators Implementing Indian Education for All, and a dozen integrated Indian Education and Common Core aligned curricula, Tammy focuses on practical strategies supporting current and future teachers to achieve both equity and excellence for all students. Recent assignments include work for The Smithsonian Institution, the Montana Office of Public Instruction and dozens of K-12 schools. She enjoys long walks on Rattlesnake Creek and the company of her daughters and extended family.