To dovetail with National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 12 - 18, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announces additions to its Rhode Island Teaching Artist Roster. The Roster is a list of teaching artists and arts organizations who have been reviewed by public panels and selected based on their mastery of an artistic discipline, experience and training to work in educational settings.
The Roster is widely used as a public resource by education sites and individuals looking to engage an artist for an arts learning residency or project. The 11 additions reside in the following cities and towns: Bristol, Middletown, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence and Warwick. (The listing is below.)
"We are pleased to announce these eleven additions—all of whom are incredibly talented and a resource to punctuate the message that the arts are an essential part of every student's education, particularly during a pandemic, when so much else has been changed or lost," said Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA. "These new teaching artists exemplify National Arts in Education Week, which celebrates the arts in education and honors arts educators."
RISCA's Roster is housed on the New England Foundation of the Arts' CreativeGround website. The new additions will be added to the website in the coming days or weeks.
The new additions are: Stephan Brigidi, Bristol, photography: "Through my travels I have come to observe the greater diversity of people, and my interests are in addressing our linkage in humanity. …By my image-making, I want to explore our common bonds and express my strong beliefs in the importance of this."
Joy Prentice, Middletown, dance: "Movement helps move the mind. One of my guiding values is integrity through grace. To that end, I devote my creative time to inspiring students to healthy living, mental and physical flexibility and equity awareness."
Cindy Wilson, North Kingstown, photography: "Discovering the unique; finding the extraordinary in the mundane; honoring the forgotten; and recording the soon to change are the fuel of my journey."
Everett Hoag, North Providence, multidisciplinary theatre, fiber arts and design: "Through color, form, language, sound and movement, skilled artisans help interpret our past, understand the present, and envision our future. Our work breaks down barriers and helps us appreciate what it means to be human."
Ricky Katowicz, North Providence, multidisciplinary visual arts, crafts and performance art: "While creating, I find myself to be acting in one (1) of three (3) states of being at all times: One: playing; Two floating; and three focusing. These actions can take on many different forms, such as: dancing, sound making, singing, walking, cooking or washing dishes."
MacKenzie Kugel, Pawtucket, music and theatre: "My love for teaching is rooted in my commitment to community-building; this was solidified three years ago teaching in Sri Lanka at an organization facilitating healing through music. … My devised theater pedagogy prioritizes art-making that is fundamentally inclusive and grounded in cultivating community."
Damont Combs, Providence, multidisciplinary poet: "I teach youth life lessons through poetry. This helps them inside the classroom and outside the classroom by building skills such as confidence, the ability to speak up, researching topics of interest, dedication, and to overcome certain fears."
Ravi Shankar, Providence, interdisciplinary theatre: "As a writer of color, diversity, inclusion and cultural responsiveness are key components of my work, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell, which can be healing and revelatory."
Chris Monti, Providence, music and healing arts: "My goal is to keep new music and influences coming in, to let those influences simmer in their own time and emerge in original compositions and performances, and to foster connections with audiences and students.
Seth McCombs, Warwick, visual arts, media arts and literature: "I work to create a vision of Rhode Island as a magical place in which all children can see themselves. I mine local history and folklore and weave imaginary elements through these stories to lift them from fact to myth."
Christine Kellerman, Moonstone Art Studio, Warwick, visual arts: "Enjoying the sensory, hands-on process of art making is just as, if not more important than, a 'perfect' finished piece."