The Perry County Council of the Arts is one of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ 13 regional Partners, charged with the responsibility of implementing quality Arts-In-Education programs in 7 counties – Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Snyder, Union and Northumberland.

Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA) works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) to place professional artists in classrooms for residencies of 5 to 20 days.

RESIDENCY DETAILS

Become a Teaching Artist

PCCA invites professionally active artists of any discipline to apply for inclusion in a directory of rostered artists who are eligible to provide residencies in school settings. We can help you to:

  • Learn more about the Arts in Education Program
  • Understand the criteria the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has established for this state funded initiative
  • Obtain guidance in the application process
  • Acquire improved techniques in marketing your artistic excellence
  • Become a directory artist and earn income by providing a 5-20 day arts residency in an educational setting

SELECTION CRITERIA: Artists will be selected on the basis of artistic excellence, evidence of ability to interact with students, ability to implement a residency plan and availability to conduct residencies.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Artists may obtain an application by contacting Project Director Rebecca Myers at aie@perrycountyarts.org or 717-740-6953.

Host a Residency

Schools, community organizations, libraries and other public and private organizations are welcome to become a residency host site. PCCA serves as the liaison between the host and artist to ensure a successful and rewarding program. PCCA staff assists with contracts, handles housing and travel arrangements, and collects and disperses all fees.

Residencies range from 5-20 days and are jointly funded by PCCA and the hosting education system. Business, community and government leaders are encouraged to provide valuable monetary support to help make this cost-effective, quality education available.

Artists are carefully screened, qualified and guided to work cooperatively with teachers. Their programs typically include engaging, memorable hands-on activities including dance, literature, drama, visual arts, music and theater.

How Can My School Obtain a Residency Program?

1.  Choose a discipline that is of interest to you and your students. Dance, drama, visual Arts, music and theatre can be incorporated into any curriculum. Muralist working with history students to create a graphic local history?  Jazz musician teaching improvisation to the band? Fabric artist working with ag students?  Dancer in a gym class? Poet in a math class? Mobile for a big open space? Residencies such as these and scores of others have taken place under PCCA auspices in recent years.

Some Questions to Consider:
  • Are there specific interests that you and your students have?
  • Is there a culture that you and your students would like to explore in a new way?
  • Is there a possibility that an artist in residency program could evolve into a community project?
  • Which curriculum areas would you want to include in the artist-in-residency experience?
  • Are there resources in the community to help with funding and/or materials?

2.  Contact Rebecca Myers, PCCA’s Project Director, at 717-740-6953. PCCA will be responsible for contacting the artist, scheduling, negotiating, creating agreement contracts, and making payments. We make travel arrangements and publicize your project. Our program coordinator is available to work with you throughout the residency to ensure a most successful experience for all.

3.  Determine your source for funding the required match.  Typical sources include your school’s PTO/PTA/PTG, a district budget line item, student or teacher activity funds, donations from local organizations (Lion’s Club, Moose, Civic Clubs), businesses and fundraisers (Band boosters, sub sales, car washes, etc.)

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is a state agency charged with the development and promotion of the arts in the Commonwealth. To accomplish its mission, the PCA encourages educational excellence through participation in the creative process in schools and educational settings. Study of the arts provides Pennsylvania’s youth with positive models for teamwork, project management and goal setting, along with opportunities for academic achievement and intellectual and emotional discovery.

For more info: http://www.arts.pa.gov

CONTACT

To receive an informational brochure or to apply as an artist, host site or funding agency, please contact Project Director Rebecca Myers at 717-740-6953 or aie@perrycountyarts.org.

PCCA ARTIST ROSTER
JANICE BAILOR | La Rue de Fleurs

Fiber Arts & Quilting

Counties
Perry, Mifflin, Juniata

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, senior

Biography

As an artist, Janice views teaching self-value and personal growth just as important as teaching artistic skills. A century’s old tradition, quilting has many iterations and genres, allowing for a wide selection of inspiration and skill level from which to draw, capturing and making accessible the medium for a larger audience. Through traditional and modern techniques, Janice aims to help students explore their best works in the fiber medium, with the firm belief that quilting and fiber arts are great mediums which teach not only artistic expression, but also daily life skills applications. Even those students who may not walk away enthusiastic quilters will have gained basic sewing and fiber skills they can use throughout life in preservation and restoration of the variety of everyday fiber goods, perhaps even with a little artistic flair.

LINDA BILLET

Fused glass mosaics

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Linda Billet is a glass artisan working in two disciplines: fusing and mosaic, which offer her much creative freedom. Her greatest love is to be in her own shop, using the tools she has accumulated over the years, while working with her own hands. In 2011, she began sharing her love of glass in residencies. But, just as she has combined mosaic and fusing, she is working toward projects with a large enough budget to combine her own skilled glass work with residency work. In the past, she has directed 30 groups of people with little or no glass experience to create amazing mosaics that they are proud of. Her goal is to always surpass the last project.

BLOOMSBURG THEATRE ENSEMBLE

Theatre

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union and Montour

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult

Biography

BTE Theatre School offers a range of classes, workshops, and camps designed to teach the fundamentals of the theater arts on an age-appropriate basis: critical reading, aesthetic analysis, creative thinking and problem solving, collaboration, theatre technology, oral interpretation, movement, and more.

BRIANNE CROTEAU | Croteau Creative Strategies

Painting, self-portraiture

Counties
Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Brianne Croteau is a Central PA transplant by way of her New York roots. As a freelance artist and designer, she strives for the perfect resonance of emotion, fascination and impact in her work. Part Figurative Expressionist, part Modern American Realist, her paintings, illustrations and designs explore bold use of color and light to evoke a sense of presence.

As a founding artist of the Arts Underground Studio and Gallery, Brianne is helping to cultivate a new “creative class” within the Greater Susquehanna Valley, transforming the local landscape into a burgeoning collaborative and innovative artists’ community. As a teacher and coach, Brianne believes that art can empower and emphasize a means of storytelling that is both personal and authentic.

Her classes are geared toward all ages and ability levels, focusing on breaking away from convention and expectation so that artists are free to be inspired and energized by the act of creating. Brianne has taught a variety of painting classes for children and adults and is a frequent lecturer to students of all ages on empowerment, personal branding, storytelling and authenticity.

She has guest lectured for Bucknell University’s Freeman College of Management, Bucknell’s Office of Admissions, The United Way’s Diversity & Inclusion Series, The Union County Public Library (Human Library Project) and is the Co-Founder and Producer of the Milton Fringe Festival. Her art has shown in gallery spaces from New York to Washington, D.C., and her designs continue to be commissioned by businesses, organizations, and private collectors across the country.

GAMUT THEATRE GROUP

Theatre, drama

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Elementary

Biography

Gamut® Theatre is the combined company of Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre and Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, with a mission is to tell classic stories in new and exciting ways. The theatre company envisions a world in which all people cherish classic stories and share them with future generations.

Each year, Gamut presents approximately 250 performances to 30,000 people. Moreover, 20,000 students per year enjoy their theatre classes, workshops, residencies, and shows. Since its inception in 1993, Gamut has cumulatively reached more than 575,000 children and adults through our touring and educational programs and is consistently voted “Best Drama/Theatre Classes” as awarded by Central Penn Parent magazine.

The theatre group has been recognized by the press and the public for the quality of its productions, the breadth of its programs, its reach into all segments of the community, and its ability to keep classic stories relevant and alive.

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DARRELL GREENE

Music composition, audio recording, hip hop

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Coming Soon.

ELLEN JAMIOLKOWSKI

Clay & Ceramic Arts

Counties
Union, Northumberland and Montour

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Ellen Jamiolkowski is an artist who was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Being surrounded by nature all her life, it has become an endless source of inspiration for her. Ellen attended Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. She also holds a Teaching Artist certificate from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a Teaching Artist, Ellen provides a hands-on learning experience with clay. It helps build confidence and is an active approach to learning, which engages students and allows for a more meaningful experience. Working with children, teens, and adults in schools, with nonprofit organizations, and in community settings, Ellen teaches essential hand building with clay techniques and decoration. Students also experience the organic qualities of clay and make their own discoveries just by pinching, pulling and rolling the clay in their hands. Through this exploration, Ellen’s hope is that each student finds their own creative voice and expression.

GAIL JONES

Visual arts, Ceramics, Mosaics

Counties
Montour

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Born in Germantown, PA and raised nearby in Ambler, Gail Jones’ artistic future was further shaped being enrolled at an early age in art classes at Heritage House of North Philadelphia, an artist-based community center which her grandfather was involved in establishing. Later, Jones spent her school years using all her class electives in creative environments, metal, woodworking and sewing. After the birth of her first son, Jones enrolled at Montgomery County Community College, focusing on Ceramic Arts. She fell in love with the hand-building process and another part of Gail Jones, the Artist, was activated. This was the last of any formal training, as she launched into the following decades developing as an independently trained artist.

Jones spent much of her early years as a batik artist, creating a wearable art line from the shapes and designs that flowed out of her. She then created flat pieces which began to display in shows and galleries. More than twenty years ago, Jones returned to working with ceramics, opening her first studio inside a rented space in a tiny little village named Forksville, in North-Central Pennsylvania until moving to an equally obscure location in Muncy Valley, PA, where she currently resides.

URIE KLINE | Lyco Taiko

Music, percussion, Taiko drumming

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Middle, secondary, adult

Biography

As a drummer and percussionist for 15 years, Urie Kline’s goal is to empower students through the art of percussion. Currently, he performs in several Williamsport-area bands and teaches at Lycoming College. He is also the founder and chief performer of Lyco Taiko, a group dedicated to traditional-style Japanese drumming. He currently teaches residencies on taiko, in which students learn to combine drumming with movement, and learn about Japanese culture and art as well. In the future, he hopes to share the wide world of rhythm with his residency students. Urie is proud to contribute to the artistic development of his native Pennsylvania.

MARY KNYSH

Music, drumming, movement

Counties
Union, Northumberland, Montour

Age groups
Early childhood, senior

Biography

Mary E. Knysh is the founder of Rhythmic Connections, an innovative company advancing education, health, and creative development through drum circles and music improvisation. An international teacher/trainer with the Music for People organization, Mary is also an Orff Schulwerk clinician, professional musician and international teaching artist. She is endorsed by Rhythm Band Instruments and Remo corporations. Mary travels throughout the United States and internationally offering conference presentations, clinics, teacher-trainings, performances and workshops.

EVGENY KRAYUSHKIN | Zheka Art

Painting, sculpture, ceramics, mosaics

Counties
Perry, Mifflin

Age groups
Elementary, middle, secondary, adult

Biography

Evgeny Krayushkin is an artist who strives to tell a story in a variety of mediums. Often, he develops the narrative with the group and the setting he is working in. His approach is strength and competency based, so that every member of the group can benefit from and enjoy the process. Creating an art project is a journey and it is his goal to make sure that at the end of the journey, there is a discovery!

CHERYL KUGLER

Visual art

Counties
Perry

Age groups
Senior

Biography

Cheryl Kugler is a life-long artist from South-central Pennsylvania. Rich colors and gentle compositions of nature’s flora and fauna inspire her canvases. Versed in oils, pastels, acrylics, gouache, charcoal, and graphite, she equally enjoys naturalistic lifestyle photography and she dabbles in clay. While creating, it is not uncommon that her beautiful and well-loved cats nap on her studio desk. A resourceful and skilled “creative aging” teaching artist, Cheryl brings artsy goodness to her classes at senior centers and in long term care communities. She holds artistic skills that easily adapt to one-on-one sessions too, to enhance quality of life for individuals in healthcare and home care settings. Her openness to the creative process enables artists to experience classes that are infused with self-expression, reminisce exploration, discovery and more.

JON LAIDACKER

Painting, mural arts

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Jon Laidaicker is a painter and a storyteller, who designs narratives that express within one composition the passage of time for the people and culture that call the relevant space home. In preparation, he conducts extensive research on the history, walking and listening to the sounds of the area and its people. He also conducts extensive research on the architecture and environment that surround the proposed work of public art. The end product is a realist painting with trompe l’oeil elements that capture the historical narrative along several visual axes: with portraiture, color, and diagonal movement. Historical elements are often subtle but they often build in the evolution of the image.

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SANTO D MARABELLA

Filmmaker, playwright, producer, director

Counties
Perry

Age groups
seniors, adult, college, high school

Biography

Santo D. Marabella, MBA, DSW, The Practical Prof® and the 2018 Reading Eagle Entertainment Newsmaker of the Year, is an author, playwright, filmmaker, speaker and educator with writing, directing and/or producing credits that include books, television pilots, a musical, short films and plays. He was a producer of This Is Reading by Lynn Nottage.  He co-founded and executive produced ReadingFilmFEST (2015 through 2017), as well as co-founded and served as Film Commissioner, ReadingFilm (2006 to 2018).

Current projects include: executive producer, Il Mio Posto a Tavolo (My Seat at the Table), documentary film, shooting in 2024; writer/director, Rocky Road Ain’t Always Sweet (production of one act plays), scheduled for May 2024;.

Past projects include:  producer, “Ava” feature film (October 2023); and, producer, “Flashlight” feature film (December 2023); director/co-producer, workshop for “Love Is Afoot!”, an original musical (August 2023); producer, “Take Five on 5th” visual arts show (March 2023); writer/producer, “The Caregiver”, short film (August 2022); director/producer, “This Machine”, video/audio play (September 2021); and, writer/producer/creator, “Franklin Street Station” TV pilot (May 2018).  Non-produced projects:  writer, “Barbara Saves Herself” feature screenplay; and writer/creator, “Raising the ‘Rents”, TV pilot.

Marabella is Professor Emeritus of Management, Moravian University where he continues to teach part time.  He is a member of The Lambs®, The Dramatists Guild of America and Theatre Communications Group.  More information can be found on his IMDB profile.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Villanova University; an MBA from St. Joseph’s University; and, a doctorate in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

RACHITA MENON

Dance, movement, storytelling

Counties
Perry, Mifflin

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary

Biography

Rachita is a professional Bharatanatyam artist with more than 35 years of experience in this classical dance style from Southern India. She is currently using this art form in “Creative movements and storytelling.” This program enables her to bring movement and storytelling into a classroom setting using Bharatanatyam hand gestures and facial expressions providing a creative outlet for emotional growth and learning. Rachita is an artist in residence and has successfully completed an Artist residency with Derry Preschool in Hummelstown, PA in 2020. She is also working with Gamut Theatre to bring Bharatanatyam to the theater stage, in the spring production of “Panchatantra Tales.” Rachita is the founder and artistic director of Rasika School of Dance and has performed extensively all over the United States and India.

EMILY NELL

Papercutting, watercolor

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

“Once you know where you come from, you have a better understanding of where you’re going.”

Emily Nell marches to the beat of her own drum, creating pieces that are whimsical and unique. Just like her Pennsylvania German ancestors, she weaves paper-cutting and watercolor, painting the many charms of nature.

As an artist and teacher, she provides Artist-in-Residence programs to K-12 students across the nation. Subconsciously, the words she shares with students have a direct impact on her artwork. She felt a deep need to learn about the Folk Art of the Pennsylvania German people, also known as Pennsylvania (PA) Dutch.

Her ancestral quest took her to the Heritage Center in Kutztown, Pa., where she was introduced to Scherenschnitte, German paper cutting, and Fraktur, family records such as births. She instantly made a connection with these two forms of expression and used them as a vehicle to drive her work in a fresh, personal direction, creating a stronger sense of self and excitement as an artist.

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Thomas Oakes

Visual Arts, Pottery, Metal Work

Counties
Perry

Age groups
Elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Thomas enjoys creating and teaching in a variety of art mediums from drawing, painting, arts & crafts, printmaking, copper Repousse’, copper enameling, metal works from jewelry to large steel works, woodwork, ceramics in wheel throwing, hand building, casting, and art history. Thomas teaches and creates through his personal studio, Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC), Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA), public / private schools, and universities. Many programs are funded through foundation grants.

Restoration Artist & Installation Technician, provides services in art repair, art restoration, creative reflection, exhibit installation, kiln repair, art studio planning & design, equipment installation, consultant in studio safety & safety equipment.

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JASON REED

Dance

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Jason is a graduate of the Julliard School in dance.  Even as a “late bloomer,” the short and long term affects the arts can have in one’s life became apparent to him in his early twenties.  Visual and Performing Arts are essential for a well-rounded education for students.  The impact of participating in the arts — the discipline, the joy of rhythm and movement, the relationship to many cultures — reaches beyond formal education to their future employment, family and life.  It was this realization that set in motion his career path of bringing the arts to students.  Whenever he is working with students of any age, he tries to not only share his passion but encourage them to feel good about moving with being self-conscious, to take risks, and to embrace grit and tenacity.  In his classes, young dancers don’t fail — they try.  Fear of failure inhibits learning.  The ability to confront fear allows for greater growth, focus, and joy.  In the end, he believes each student will be happier and more successful — on the dance floor, in other classes, and ultimately, in the family and community.

TODD TABB | Hometown Potters' Studio

Clay, pottery

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder

Age groups
Secondary, adult

Biography

As a kid, Todd Tabb was given the nickname of Earth/Water/Fire because he was constantly playing with at least one of the three elements. He is a lifelong resident of Juniata County, and after high school attended Lock Haven University. It was there that he learned the basic building blocks for the pots he now creates. Todd has been a practicing studio potter for more than 12 years. His pots are wheel-thrown and embody a simple, yet elegant, functional style. Todd’s use of several different clay bodies gives him the ability to tailor-fit a pot’s function to the best clay for the job. Employing both modern and traditional methods of glazing, he adds yet another layer to the aesthetics to the work. He has committed to several green initiatives which make his work not only pleasing to the eyes and hands, but more environmentally friendly than most other ceramic art.

KATIE TRAINER

Painting, mural arts, mosaics

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult

Biography

Katie Trainer is an award winning muralist certified as a teaching artist in 2020 by the PCA and UARTS and has taught over 12,000 students in 14 different school programs in 6 different counties since 2017. She has created over 100 solo mural projects since her start in November of 2016, and has assisted in over 300 public art projects, mostly educational or community oriented projects, during this time as well. She has 6 murals in museums as well. Her ambitious creative attitude blends her former history as a traveling magician with her current endeavors as a professional community revitalization muralist. She focuses on enthusiastic hands-on interactive teaching to create a lasting impression of multi-sensory experiences.

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LARA VRACARICH | Creative Spirit Fusion

Multicultural & expressive dance, drumming

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adults, senior

Biography

Lara Vracarich is passionate about all forms of dance and rhythm, the creative arts, holistic healing, and environmental awareness. She offers classes and events that include expressive and multicultural dance, Flamenco dance, body percussion, drumming, vocalization, mindfulness, embodiment practices, and self-care, while integrating the visual arts and writing, to explore the healing power of self-expression.

As Creative Spirit Fusion, she performs multicultural and expressive dance and music and offers experiential workshops, and as Alma Fuego Flamenco (Soul Fire Flamenco), she offers Flamenco dance and gypsy fusion dance performances and classes, as well as school residencies in both.

She has performed in many locations, including:

  • Harrisburg City Hall
  • Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center
  • The Harrisburg Dance Festival
  • Kipona Festival
  • Little Buffalo Festival
  • Yoga Love Festival (performed with Bumbada Women Drummers and offered a workshop)
  • Lower Paxton Middle School Diversity Day
  • Hershey Foods Inclusion Festival
  • The Multicultural Cruise
  • The Firebird Festival
  • The Community Education Center (CEC) in Philadelphia
  • The Theatre and Dance festival of State College

Lara has a BA degree in “Human Development: Dance Therapy” from Prescott College & Naropa University, has completed The DansKinetics/ YogaRhythmics™ Teacher Training through Kripalu Center, and has studied 5 Rhythms® Dance in a 4-Week Rites of Passage program and beyond. She has also studied traditional, multicultural, and improvisational dance, traditional African drum technique, music improvisation with Music for People and sound healing with Jim Donovan.

Lara is a rostered teaching artist with The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), through Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA) and has a teaching artist certification from The University of the Arts. She also completed the Penn State Health, Artist in Health Training.

She has offered school residencies, both virtually and in-person, including Newport High School, Juniata Elementary School, and for the greater community. She has been teaching Flamenco dance at Penn State Harrisburg as a visiting artist, once per semester for about 4 years and has taught masterclasses in State College and beginner classes locally on the Moore Pavilion, in Perry County. Lara is the Pennsylvania State Representative (and board member) for the Teaching Artists of the MidAtlantic (TAMA) organization and has been a committed Buffalo Committee member providing programming for Little Buffalo Festival’s Youth area and workshops for over 10 years.

As a teaching artist, Lara’s mission is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for students to get comfortable in their bodies and explore self-expression. Lara aims to assist students in discovering that exercise/movement can be fun, while introducing healthy creative outlets that can release tension and emotion, assist students in becoming more grounded/embodied, enhance their body-mind connection, and ideally strengthen their self-acceptance and acceptance of others. Lara’s classes also focus on increasing listening skills (sensitivity to others), learning about group dynamics through rhythm and movement activities, and learning mindfulness techniques and coping skills to strengthen the ability to self-regulate and return to calm, stillness, and quiet after having the freedom to make a lot of sound and be very physically expressive.

Lara has worked as a Creative Arts Therapist at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia, as a TSS: Therapeutic Staff Support with TW Ponessa and Associates, and has taught at the Danzante School for the Arts, PCCA Summer camp, The Movement Center, The Growing Lotus Studio, Just Plain Yoga Studio, Amethyst Retreat Center, Feet First Dance Studio, Penn State Harrisburg, and at multiple festivals, retreats, and conferences.

RAND WHIPPLE | Box of Light Studios

Film, animation

Counties
Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Northumberland, Union

Age groups
Elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Box Of Light is a company immersed in technology and the digital arts. From educational performances to  collaborations with teachers, Box Of Light constantly explores the use of film and animation in education. Rand Whipple and Box of Light are proud and happy to teach young and old how to use computers, cameras and digital technology as tools of expression and communication.

HUA HUA ZHANG

Visual arts, puppetry

Counties
Perry

Age groups
Early childhood, elementary, middle, secondary, adult, senior

Biography

Hua Hua Zhang was born in Beijing, China where she studied as a performer in the classical art of Chinese puppetry. She has received many awards for her performance. In 1996, Hua Hua came to United States and earned a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in the Puppet Arts program of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in 2000. She founded her company, Visual Expressions, in 2002. It is committed to using Asian and Western puppet art to explore universal themes and ideas through visual cross–cultural expression using theatrical performances and educational programs.