Aaron is an actor, director, designer (lighting & sound), and practitioner of Commedia Dell’Arte. His other varied interests include gardening, cooking, basketball, superheroes, sci-fi, the great outdoor, and the greater outdoors (outer space).
A native to Austin, Aaron attended two of Creative Action’s partner schools: Gullet and Bryker Woods – which is where he will be teaching this Fall. The son of a contractor, he “learned to use a hammer before he learned to walk!” Besides woodworking, Aaron’s other skills are in leatherwork and costume-making, creating elaborate costumes every year for both Halloween and the Renaissance Festivals.
Amanda is a theatre-centric creative artist and teacher working with Spark Schools, Social Creativity, and OST this school year! Coming from a musical theatre background she uses acting, movement, voice and dance to both create and teach. She specializes in working with special communities and hopes to continue playing a role is helping those voices be heard.
Annie is a graduate of Agnes Scott College (BA Theatre) and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (Musical Theatre). She’s lived in Austin for two years and is the VP of programs for the Central TX Region’s Jane Austen Society , a member of the Austin Ukulele Society, and on the programming board of 2015 Austin Asian American Film Festival. She likes writing stories, costuming, cupcakes, kittens, Muppets, Newsies, scrapbooking, and exclamation points!!
Ashley is a comic artist, illustrator, writer, and painter. She has been featured in some local art shows and has self-published several comics and zines. She likes journaling, collage, cooking, cartoons, fine art, stories about magical girls and mythology, dogs, and collecting fancy pens and indie comics. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Texas Pan American, where she minored in visual art.
Florida-born and Texas-raised, Cameron studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and received his BFA in Acting from Texas State University. He focuses on theatre that focuses on social justice, such as the children’s show Liberty, Equality, and Fireworks with Pollyanna Theatre Company. Cameron looks forward to learning, sharing and growing with the Creative Action and Austin communities.
Caroline enjoys creating communal spaces of tenderness and sharing through performance, improvisational movement, immersive installation, and radical object making. She has spearheaded a number of community artistic projects, including a printing press and cross-country artist residency exploring the relationship between plants and humans. Caroline graduated from the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, and continues to be a life-long learner.
Cecil David Lockwood
Cecil is a Producer & DJ from the Tri State Area, he has toured nationally with Jasmine Sullivan & SOMO, and has even hosted a residency in his hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey where Kanye West made a surprise appearance. He has created original songs with 2nd graders, and taught DJ basics to Pre-K & Kindergarten. Mr. Cee looks forward to working on new Music Exploration projects in the 2017-18 school year.
Christopher is thrilled to be joining Creative Action for his second year as a Teaching Artist. This academic year, Chris will be working as a Collaboration Teaching Artist in Residency at Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary, and as an OST Teaching Artist At Sunset Valley Elementary. When not working at CA, Chris spends his time working for Texans for the Arts, our statewide arts advocacy organization. Chris also spends his summers as the Executive Director of the Derryfield Repertory Theatre program in Manchester, NH. Chris graduated with his MFA from Texas Tech University in 2016 with a concentration in Arts Administration focusing on community engagement and advocacy.
Dave is an improviser and musician from Austin, Texas. Having begun performing improvised comedy at Brandeis University, he now combines his two passions of music and improv to perform improvised musicals at local Austin theaters, including the Hideout Theatre and Institution Theater. He currently plays guitar for improvised singing classes at Merlin Works. Dave now brings his bilingual abilities to The Heroes/Los Héroes performance with Creative Action.
Deonna Loper-Van Loan
Faustinus Deraet is a photographer born, in Antwerp, Belgium and immigrated to Mexico City at a young age. He obtained a degree in Computer Systems from Universidad Iberoamericana and after working seven years for IBM-Mexico, he returned to school to study photography at Escuela Activa de Fotografia. As a commercial photographer he has worked with Think Street, Tribeza mazagine, Noi Organics, Univision, and more. As an art photographer, Faustinus has two published books taken with a Holga (plastic toy camera) and is represented by Dauis Gallery in Austin. His photography is part of the Wittliff Collections, Mexic-arte Museum, and several private collectors. Faustinus loves music and to watch flemish TV series and movies. He also has a passion for travel and photography.
Found by the great river on a night of falling stars, the strange foxlike creature known as “Gustavo” took it into its head to try to make this magical world a better place. Having worked for various nonprofit endeavors—teaching literacy, sustainable agriculture, and working with the homeless—Gustavo’s latest (and favorite) such endeavor is youth development. Gustavo enjoys creative writing, dramatic performance, and pantomime. In spare time, Gustavo wanders through the green belt, plays video games and cooks big tasty meals.
Jacob is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College who is passionate about music, filmmaking, film history, animal rights, LGBTQ rights, religious studies, and reading. He enjoys playing and learning a variety of instruments, consuming novels and graphic novels, and is a strong believer in film’s capacity for emotional and intellectual growth and socio-political awareness.
Janice received her teaching certificate through Texas State in 2003 and has since been working within AISD on art in education ever since. Primarily a 2D artist, her work has been on display at the Daughtery Arts Center and the Up Collective Gallery. She likes grackle swarms, stormy skies, non-sequitur and for the last year has been trying to construct a tiny house.
Jess is a visual artist and musician who has lived in Austin since 2005. She graduated with a BFA in film from The School of Visual Arts (NYC), and has been a teaching artist with Creative Action since 2010, as well as the Program Director of Girls Rock Austin from 2011-2014. She loves helping to empower youth with the tools to share their unique voices. Her favorite media are sewing, textiles, stop motion animation, and puppetry.
Kyrie grew up in Austin and loves this town. She received her B.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago where she was awarded the President’s Fellowship, and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois. Her paintings evoke open narratives in which she invites the viewer to create their own story out of the scenes and characters represented. She is also a print maker, working primarily in lino-cut relief printing. She loves painting murals and large scale mosaics. Kyrie has been teaching art to children and adults for over 10 years. Teaching art is her calling. She is excited to be working for Creative Action because of the emphasis placed on community engagement and the social and emotional development of young people through the arts.
Whether from the pages of a book, the stage, or sprawled on a canvas, creativity and imagination form the roots of Lauren’s passions and pursuits. She earned her BFA in drawing in painting in 2015 in Los Angeles, CA.; shorty after she migrated to Austin and have since worked in the animal industry and with youth in nature. Lauren has a hankering to create and inspire joy in students through, story telling, humor, drawing and painting.
Lillian is a multi-faceted and passionate performance artist specializing in hoop dance, ballet, circus arts and ballroom dance with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Louisiana State University. She has graced many stages across the United States, some include the ones at Euphoria Music Festival as well as the basketball court at a Houston Rockets halftime show. When Lillian isn’t teaching or performing you can find her playing among the faeries with hula hoops near the river.
Maggie is an artist, educator, and musician from Memphis, TN who is currently finishing her master’s degree in Art Education at UT Austin. She specializes in K-5 visual arts education and teaches a variety of media including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and animation. Artistically, she works mostly in drawing, screen-printing, and writing music. She plays the synthesizer and drums in local bands.
Margaret is a Florida native who has lived in Austin for almost three years. She has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Central Florida— one in French and one in Theatre. She spends much of her time teaching, rehearsing and performing improvised theatre at the Hideout Theatre downtown. Margaret enjoys travel and good coffee. She spends most of her mornings touring local schools with Creative Action’s interactive performance residency “Courage to Stand.”
Mary Christina Cisneros
Mary Christina Cisneros aka Christy has had multiple years of experience as a caregiver/Nanny. She graduated with a BFA in painting and is now a working artist.
Matilde Trujilo Gonzalez
Matilde came from Northern Mexico, is a mother of 5, holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and studied Special Education in Madrid, Spain. Previously she taught Mosaic at the Colegio Montessori in Chihuahua, México . She is partial to expressionism and Pablo Picasso. Her favorite mediums include painting and mosaics. She enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, painting and children. She would like to introduce Mosaics into her lessons! Apart from Creative Action, she teaches drawing at Young Rembrandts, and also work as a Teacher Artist at VSA of Texas, working with children with disabilities. She spent part of her summer teaching art to adults with dementia and will begin teaching an art class for teens with disabilities this fall.
Mei Makino attended the University of Texas at Austin where she graduated with a BS degree in Radio-TV and Film. She’s most interested in making films about people who are traditionally underrepresented or have been silenced in cinema. Besides film, she enjoys photography, cooking, and being amazed by her students’ creativity and wit.
Myranda Harris is an active percussionist, music educator, and ethnomusicologist based in Austin, Texas. Currently a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at UT Austin, she holds a M.M. and B.M. from the University of North Texas. As a musician, Myranda has built a diverse music vocabulary by studying a number of music traditions around the world. As an educator, she believes music offers a unique platform for young minds to develop awareness about self, diversity, collaboration, and leadership. She is passionate about the ways music unites people and communities from diverse backgrounds.
Nate is an actor, writer, and educator who has taught theater, acting, and storytelling to hundreds of children across the Austin area.
Rebecca graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in theatre, and most recently attended the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre where she studied clowning, commedia, and tragedy. Before Austin, she lived in Chicago for 8 years where she worked as an actress, completed The Second City training program, taught clowning to kids at The Second City, and worked at Blue Man Group as a Group Sales Associate. In Austin, she’s worked as an assistant director for ImprovEd Shakespeare, a kids acting company, and tutored for AVID at Travis HS. She has a dance background and loves hip hop, ballet, modern and would like to learn more tap. Rebecca is happiest playing games, dancing or reading.
Roman is a Teaching Artist with Creative Action. He began Music Studies at an early age. He went on to train in dance at Ballet Austin and Austin Community College earning his BFA in Dance from Texas State University. Roman was a member of Merge Dance and Opening Door Dance Company in S an Marcos, TX. Roman is the recipient of the Joan Hays, Opening Door Dance Theatre, Austin Community College Fine Arts, and Galaxy Dance Studio Scholarships. He has performed with Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company for 4 award-winning seasons. He has also performed with Ellen Bartel’s Dance Collective, Allison Orr Forklift Danceworks, Charles Anderson, Kate Warren, Sally Jacques and in works by Darla Johnson. Roman is currently a Learning Assistant Teacher for Austin Community College. Roman teaches for Leaps and Bounds, Leap of Joy, BTruarts, Dance Another World, and AISD. Roman has been the resident co-choreographer for Austin Community College Summer Dance Showcase series. He is also a Guest Choreographer for MJ’s Fly Dance Crew. Roman has taught and choreographed, American College Dance Festival, among many Regional Dance Festivals. He teaches privately working with novice dancers, musicians and actors in the community.
Sean is an Austinite of 6 years, but originally hails from Galveston Island. Since graduating from UT in 2013 with a bachelors in Theatre and Dance, he’s blended his passion for acting with his love of teaching. When he’s not doing a play, Sean spends his free time hanging out with friends, binge watching shows on Netflix, and hiking with his puppy, Indigo.
Simone descends from a long line of artisans and know-it-alls, and has been a talker and storyteller all her life.Although she is a vocal music graduate of the Fiorello H LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts (the “Fame” school) in New York City, she did not sing and dance on tabletops with her friends in the lunchroom. Well, maybe once. She thinks it’s funny that she earned a degree in Criticism (technically, a BA in English Literature and Criticism from UMass Dartmouth), and also has a not so funny EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was born and raised in New York City. She now lives in Austin, in the great state of Texas, where she is told that pee cans are things one goes to the bathroom in, so instead she is reluctantly learning to eat pecans. When she’s not writing creative non-fiction, starting conversations about art at the Blanton Museum, or teaching laughter yoga, she’s listening to children read to her old 5lb therapy dog named Razz.
Tree (TreeAndrea) Grundy
Valarie is a filmmaker, photographer, and media instructor teaching hands-on camera skills, film production, and media literacy.
Veronica Mognato studied visual and performing arts in Venice, Italy. She has worked in contemporary art organizations for several years, particularly for exhibitions related to the Biennale of Art of Venice. Veronica believes in the power of arts as a medium for education, and developed a social theatre workshop for kids to help them express themselves and to build an environment of respect and trust. She is always juggling between different techniques like drawing, watercolors, photography, installations and graphic illustration. She is currently working on a children’s book graphic and learning to play drums. Veronica is fascinated by orca whales, loves to travel, and though she is Italian, she is also fluent in English and Spanish.
Victoria is from San Antonio, which is where she fell in love with theatre, creative writing, visual art, and activism. She received her Bachelors at UT-Austin in Radio-Television-Film. In Austin, she found a spoken word poetry community that has fostered and encouraged her art and her role as an advocate. She is passionate about equality, public art, the way we tell stories, representation, and most of all- the meeting between art, advocacy, and education. Her dream job is with Creative Action, and is so excited about the upcoming year.