The Collaborators

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for more info on partner involvement, review the FAQ page

Barbara Ellmann, Artist

Barbara Ellmann was born in Michigan and lives and works in New York. Originally trained as a dancer, Ellmann has been working as a visual artist for more than 30 years. Ellmann has been a teaching artist at Lincoln Center Education since 1980. A consultant for universities, orchestras, theaters, private schools, and arts programs, she conducts professional development for teaching artists and faculty members. Currently, she is also a museum educator at The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as a teaching artist in the Kennedy Center’s National Partnership Program. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the country and beyond including the Haslla Art World Museum, Bellevue Art Museum, the Montclair Art Museum and the Parrish Art Museum.

Barbara Ellmann’s Website

Sophia Marisa Lucas, Curator

Sophia Marisa Lucas is based in New York and practices curatorial methods that emphasize collaboration and transparency. Her research has been concerned with exhibition history, alternative pedagogies, activism, and Contemporary Femiqueer and multisensorial works. She has contributed to programming, publications, research, and exhibition development for The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, among others. Her work for the experimental curatorial platform, The Artist’s Institute, is featured in the recently released text, Today we would be thinking about (2016), edited by former director Anthony Huberman. Lucas currently holds the position of Curatorial Assistant at the Queens Museum, and is co-curator of a Linda Mary Montano retrospective that will be mounted later this year.

The Richmond Center at Western Michigan University

Don Desmett is Founding Director of Exhibitions for the Richmond Center for Visual Arts at Western Michigan University.The Richmond Center is composed of three large gallery spaces: the Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery for temporary exhibitions, the Rose Netzorg and James Wilfrid Kerr Permanent Collection Gallery for special exhibits from the School of Art’s permanent collection and the Atrium Gallery is primarily for sound and video art. The Eleanor R. and Robert A. DeVries Student Art Gallery is dedicated for students and alumni. A calendar of year-round events is planned to invite thousands to learn, enjoy, and be educated to regional and national topics in modern and contemporary art.

Western Michigan University Galleries

BFA in Art Education Program at the Gwen Frostic School of Art, UWM

Art education is a professional, career-oriented program that prepares students for positions as educators and artists in the community. Graduates of the WMU Art Education program occupy leadership positions in schools, colleges and universities, non-profit arts organizations, art museums, and professional associations. By integrating studio skills with knowledge of historical and contemporary arts, critical theory, learning theory, and pedagogical practice, the art education curriculum guides students to a deep understanding of the creative process and the personal and cultural value of visual expression. Students engage in pre-internship teaching experiences through the Saturday Morning Art program and service learning in the community. Successful completion of the Art Education program, including a fifth-year of internship in the schools, can lead directly to K-12 teacher certification and the Visual Arts Education endorsement, and/or to graduate studies. Faculty Bill Charland and Christina Chin have contributed to the development of the collaboration model.

Education for the Arts (EFA)

Bryan Zocher  is the executive director of Kalamazoo RESA’s Education for the Arts(EFA) which provides arts education programs and residencies, professional development and re-granting programs to Kalamazoo County school districts through partnerships with national and local arts organizations and individual artists. Earlier in his career (1997-2006), Zocher served as EFA’s playwright-in-residence and Associate Executive Director. From 2006-2012, he served as the Senior Program Officer for the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation. Previous staff positions include: United Arts Council of Calhoun County, Kellogg Community College, Mad Hatters Educational Theatre, and New Dramatists in New York City. Zocher has served in board and leadership positions with the Council of Michigan Foundations’ (CMF) Arts Affinity Group, ArtServe Michigan, Michigan Youth Arts Association, and several others, as well as numerous grant panels and steering committees.

Nick Mahmat is the Aesthetic Education Program Coordinator for Kalamazoo RESA’s Education for the Arts Program. Originally trained in the Lincoln Center Institute’s model of aesthetic education in 2002, he has worked with countless students ranging from pre-kindergarten to college level.  Currently as the Coordinator of Education for the Arts, Aesthetic Education Program, Nick works closely with over 20 professional teaching artists and more than 200 classroom educators in Kalamazoo County organizing and overseeing the creation of educationally and artistically rich experiences with professional works of performing and visual arts for students kindergarten through Junior High.  Additionally he has worked with Education for the Arts and Lincoln Center Institute to design and facilitate many professional development and training workshops. Independently, Nick has worked as an instructor or artist educator consultant devising and leading programs in arts exploration and technique with several arts and education organizations.

Education for The Arts Website

Alexandra Miletta, principal investigator

Alexandra Miletta is an assistant professor in the Department of Childhood Education at Mercy College. She has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she studied teacher education, and a MA from Syracuse University in Art History. While a professor at The City College of New York, CUNY, she participated in the partnership with Lincoln Center Institute and has previously collaborated with Barbara Ellmann on museum visits for her graduate students, as well as in a two-year summer program for teachers and young people interested in the arts based at Hofstra University and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


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