Amy Appleton/ Weekly Mentor Program Coordinator
Amy received her BA from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a double major in Studio Art and Spanish. She received her MA in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD and considers herself a community artist, educator, and organizer. She has served a year in AmeriCorps' Community Art Corps branch and believes wholeheartedly that visual art can be used to create positive change in the lives of children and their communities.
Although a trained painter, Amy has benefitted from a mentor in the art of mosaics and a liberal arts education that allowed her access to art practices such as printmaking, photography, drawing, clay, sculpture, and animation. With this mixed-media foundation, she has taught summer art camps, after-school art programs, and family workshops in NJ, NY, PA, MD, and Juarez, Mexico. She is currently an artist-on-call at the Center for Arts Education in NYC.
Before joining Free Arts NYC, Amy worked in education and program coordination at arts non-profits such as the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, PA; Creative Alliance in Baltimore, MD; and CITYarts, Inc. in NYC. She has also initiated public art projects with youth at faith-based organizations, community centers, and playgrounds. Examples of Amy's personal and community-based artwork can be found on her website www.amappleton.com.
Kate Barton/ Grants and Communications Manager
Kate Barton is a native New Yorker who received her BA from Wesleyan University in English and Dance. After graduating, she spent three years in Venice, Italy, where she worked in film production, as a dancer and dance educator, and received her Masters in Nonverbal Communication and Languages from The University of Venice, Ca' Foscari.
After returning to New York she attended NYU's Silver School of Social Work Graduate Program. She is currently an LMSW on the track to attain her clinical social work license. She has worked as a mental health professional both in the South Bronx and Harlem. Kate is happy to partner her love of writing with her commitment to social justice
and youth development at Free Arts NYC.
Kelsey Bates/ Materials Coordinator
Kelsey received her BA from the University of California Berkeley, with a major in Art History and three Varsity letters from the Division I women's rowing team. While at school, she served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, working in elementary schools in Oakland, CA to mentor students in literacy and athletics. During college, Kelsey taught stop-motion animation at summer camps in the California Bay Area. She studied art restoration in Florence, Italy, focused on fresco techniques and preservation. She also practices photography, collage, knitting, quilting, and has worked in stained glass.
Before coming to Free Arts NYC, she served a year as an Americorps Coach Across America with Row New York, based in Queens. While at Row New York, she coached, tutored, and mentored middle school and high school girls, while incorporating art into their academic curriculum. Kelsey is also actively involved with the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, in memory of her teammate Jill Costello, who passed away from lung cancer in 2010 at age 22. The Foundation works to raise awareness and funding, and erase the stigma that surrounds lung cancer.
Mary Baxter/ PACT Program Coordinator
Mary attended Concord University in southern West Virginia where she received her BA in Communications with an emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations. During her time at University, Mary acted as President of her school's chapter of the theatrical honors fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, and led the chapter to participate in numerous theatrical events and community outreach projects. She believes in the power of the arts to create positive social change within individuals and communities.
To that end, Mary founded and serves as the Executive Director and contributing artist for Dramatic Adventure Theatre, an international theatre project that supports art education, theatrical production, and international development. Her contributions with Dramatic Adventure Theatre have led to the establishment of successful ongoing programs across Zimbabwe, Ecuador and Slovakia.
Meghan Bulfin/ Free Arts Day Program Manager
Meghan graduated from the University of Vermont in May 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art. As an undergraduate student, Meghan worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Psychology Department, as well as a Research Assistant for a study on children with ADHD. She was also involved in a service-learning course at UVM where she tutored "at-risk" youth at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, VT. During the summer of 2008, Meghan volunteered with Burlington City Art's Art from the Heart program at Fletcher Allen Hospital, where she administered arts and crafts for the children in the pediatric unit. Meghan is also very involved in art and has spent time studying Jewelry Making in Florence.
Meghan joined Free Arts NYC as a volunteer in the Weekly Mentor Program in 2009. Shortly after, she began as a Program Intern before becoming a staff member.
Allison Burns/ Special Events Manager
Allison graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. As a student at the Colleges, Allison worked as a Teaching Assistant in an Economic Development seminar for first year students, where she ran review sessions, as well as taught classes. In addition, she also volunteered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Geneva, tutoring Middle and High School students in the fields of Mathematics and English.
Utilizing her skills and knowledge obtained as an undergraduate, Allison worked as an Associate for the Director of a private foundation in New York City. Prior to joining Free Arts, she worked within the Investor Relations Department of a hedge fund in mid-town Manhattan.
Daniela Cancellieri/ Bookkeeper
Daniela earned a BA in Accounting and Information Systems from CUNY Queens College. She began her career at Deloitte and Touche in the Audit Division and moved on to Citigroup for the next 12 years in the Corporate and CitiCards Reporting and Analysis groups. After starting a family and looking to re-enter the workforce, she found Free Arts NYC in early 2009. Her role primarily includes Bookkeeping, Audit preparation and review, and Budgeting and Forecasting.
Bernadette DeAngelis/ Marketing Manager
Bernadette DeAngelis received her Bachelor's degree in Marketing and International Business from NYU's Stern School of Business in May 2006. She also studied Art History, spending time living abroad in Florence. Additionally, Bernadette has pursued several different styles of dance throughout her life.
Originally, Bernadette joined Free Arts as a Special Events and Development intern during her last year of school, before eventually assuming a full-time position. She taught dance and movement classes for several years and was very active in student-run community service organizations. She has been a volunteer with the Weekly Mentor Program since 2006.
Kai Fierle-Hedrick/ Director of Programs and Community Partnerships
Since 2003 Kai has worked to promote collaborative creative practices and their capacity to inspire and support positive youth/community development. In her previous position as Free Arts NYC's Weekly Mentor Program Manager, Kai oversaw a 300% expansion of the Weekly Mentor Program; trained hundreds of staff and volunteers in best practices in arts education and youth development; co-developed/launched Weekly Mentor's aesthetic education based curriculum and protective factors evaluation strategy; piloted Free Arts NYC's first team-teaching and diversity training modules; and worked with teen Weekly Mentor graduates to develop and pilot TAP, Free Arts NYC's first dedicated Teen Arts Program.
Kai has provided professional development on arts integration and community arts for organizations in the US, UK and the Bahamas; and from 2010 to 2011 served as Co-Founding Director of NYC Gives Back - a consultancy that facilitates partnerships between communities, educational organizations and artists, guided by the belief all stakeholders in a creative partnership have something to learn and something to give.
Prior to moving to NYC in 2007 and joining Free Arts NYC, Kai lived in London, UK where she worked as a project coordinator and teaching artist supporting cultural regeneration and educational programs, and facilitated community-based visual art, digital media and writing projects for organizations including General Public Agency, Arts Council England, Creative Partnerships and the East-Side Educational Trust. From 2006 to 2007 she also taught as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Kai holds a BA in Art History & English Literature (McGill University, Canada), an MPhil in Architecture & the Moving Image (University of Cambridge, UK) and a post-graduate certificate in Teaching to Inspire Learning (Royal Holloway University of London, UK) - and is a graduate of the Lincoln Center Institute's National Educator Workshop, Big Brothers Big Sisters' Mentoring Supervisor Certificate Program (for which she received a JP Morgan Chase Fellowship), and the Arts & Business Council's 2012 Arts Leadership Institute. She is also a poet published/exhibited in Canada, the US and Europe, and further information about her writing can be found at: http://oriuminprocess.blogspot.com
Liz Hopfan, MSEd/ Executive Director
Liz Hopfan began her career in service to children and families in the early 1990s as an elementary school teacher in South Central Los Angeles, where she also first encountered Free Arts. As volunteer in both the PACT and Free Arts Day programs there, Liz saw first hand the positive impact of art in the lives of children. In 1997, Liz returned to the East Coast, where she saw the need for arts programming for at-risk youth in New York City. In 1998, with a budget of $100,000 and a staff of one, Free Arts NYC began bringing its programs to children and families throughout the city.
Today, under Ms. Hopfan's continued leadership, Free Arts NYC employs a staff of eighteen committed professionals and has an annual operating budget of over $1,400,000. Liz remains actively involved in all areas of the organization's operations, from program development to fundraising to volunteering. She is also a member of the National Society for Fundraising Executives, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Art Table, a national nonprofit organization for professional women in the visual arts.
Noel Kanalley/ Civic Corps/Volunteer Associate
Noel hails from Niskayuna, New York, and is a graduate of Bennington College in Bennington, VT. As an undergrad, he majored in Drama (with a special focus on Directing and Dramaturgy), and minored in History. He received his MA in Theatre Studies from Hunter College, CUNY, where he focused on playwriting, directing, and theatrical interpretation. In his spare time, he writes plays and short stories, particularly historical fiction.
He is also an assistant marketing and outreach coordinator at Planet Connections Theater Festivity, a performing arts festival that seeks to support local non-profits and charities through eco-friendly, socially responsible theatrical productions. Noel is excited to be a part of the New York City Civic Corps, an AmeriCorps program run through the Office of the Mayor, and to have been placed at Free Arts NYC for his 2012-2013 service term.
Stephanie Klocke/ Volunteer Coordinator
Stephanie Klocke is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a minor in Economics. As a student at Allegheny, she discovered her passion for service through her participation in many volunteer organizations and worked to recruit and manage new volunteers in order to help those groups make a stronger impact. During a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Stephanie was thrilled to combine her passions for international culture and volunteer work when she was selected as an intern for Un Techo para Mi País, a non-profit organization that strives to improve the standard of living for families through the construction of new homes.
Before coming to Free Arts NYC, Stephanie served as an AmeriCorps member with the refugee resettlement office at Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to guiding newly arriving refugee families through their adjustment to life in the United States, Stephanie coordinated and participated in many service initiatives to help improve the city of Pittsburgh.
Brittany McVicker/ Senior Manager of Special Events
Brittany received her BA from Saint Bonaventure University with a major in philosophy during which time she also studied abroad for a semester in Perugia, Italy. Upon graduation, Brittany enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology where she received an AAS degree in fashion merchandising management.
Brittany joins Free Arts’s special events team with a background in fashion public relations having worked at online luxury marketplace Vivre.com, Behnaz Sarafpour and most recently at Michael Kors where she managed philanthropic initiatives as well as regional and online press. Prior to joining Free Arts NYC Brittany was a Free Arts Day volunteer.
In addition to Special Events Brittany makes a small collection of handmade jewelry under the name bybritt. To learn more about her jewelry line check out bybritt.com.
Vicki Raines/ Director of Engagement
Since 2004 Vicki has worked in the field of volunteer organizing and management, creating opportunities and providing support for volunteers committed to making a difference. She has worked on regional and national political advocacy and electoral campaigns, including MoveOn.org and President Barack Obama's campaign. From 2004 to 2008, Vicki oversaw MoveOn.org's effort to build local activist chapters in 5 states by recruiting and training hundreds of local leaders and recruited and managed local teams tasked with organizing their neighborhoods for the 2004 and 2006 elections.
In 2008 she managed Barack Obama's Campaign for Change get-out-the-vote efforts in Pittsburgh, PA that resulted in contacting 160,000 voters in the last 4 days of the campaign. Following the 2008 election, Vicki decided to take the skills she learned in the fast-paced world of politics and put them to work for a non-profit. In 2009 she joined the Free Arts team, focusing on updating volunteer infrastructure, overhauling the volunteer application process, and ensuring that all volunteers are well supported as they provide much needed arts-education and mentoring support to under-served New Yorkers.
Vicki graduated with a B.A. from Wellesley College with a major in English. She is actively involved in the New York Association of Volunteer Administrators and serves on their Professional Development Committee.
Sarah Sabourin/ Director of Development
Sarah Sabourin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Education from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. She also received a BFA in ceramics from Alfred School for Ceramic Art in Alfred, NY.
Sarah has managed and taught in community centers focusing on arts education in Plattsburgh, NY at the Plattsburgh Housing Authority Community Center and at the Brookline Adult Education Program in Brookline, MA. Sarah ran the Clay Studio at Bucks Rock Arts Camp where she also taught classes for children and teens. Currently, Sarah teaches Adult Beginning Wheel Throwing at La Mano Pottery in NYC.
Prior to joining Free Arts NYC, Sarah worked at The 92nd Street Y's Art Center, which offers classes for children and adults in ceramics, jewelry and fine art mediums. She assisted in the overall administration of this large community center in programming and exhibitions.
Beto Sepúlveda/ Weekly Mentor Program Manager
Originally from Chicago, Beto holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master's of Art Education from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. Before joining Free Arts NYC, Beto was a teaching artist for several leading NYC organizations including El Museo del Barrio, Urban Arts Partnership, City Lore and more, teaching K-12 students art forms as diverse as graffiti, digital photography, sculpture, printmaking, murals, and mask-making.
Prior to moving to NYC in 2009, Beto apprenticed in the art of traditional Vejigante mask-making in Puerto Rico. These experiences led him to develop and pilot a comprehensive art education program for K-12 students incorporating folkloric arts, indigenous history, team building, and conflict resolution. An alumni of Public Allies Americorps program, Beto worked for 4 years as the Volunteer Coordinator and Program Manager of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning in Chicago, supervising and training over 200 volunteers, managing tutor/mentor programs, and teaching Art and Spanish classes for child care providers. Beto was also a co-founder and youth organizer for the Crib Collective in Chicago, a youth-led hip-hop arts and grant-making organization.
Loren Serfass/ Database Specialist
Loren has completed coursework and qualifying exams for a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Indiana University Bloomington, where he also earned a Master of Music in Music Theory and taught undergraduate students. Loren plays the cello and, to some extent, the piano; he plans to learn several other instruments.
Recently Loren has discovered that he enjoys tutoring high-school students in mathematics and physics. His experience also includes work as a reference librarian. He has strong interest and expertise in computer programming, having studied the theory and logic of relational databases, as well as several computer programming languages. He was a Database Analyst at the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, where he maintained an online database of audio tracks, text, and images.
Jennifer Tamayo/ PACT Program Manager
Jennifer Tamayo is a writer, artist, & educator. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Fundamentals: Issues & Texts from the University of Chicago and her Masters of Fine Arts from Louisiana State University. Before joining the Free Arts NYC team as the PACT Program Manager, Jennifer served as a Professional Facilitator for both the Weekly Mentor and PACT programs working with youth and families in East Harlem, Inwood, and the Bronx. She also worked as a Writing Specialist at the Harlem Children's Zone with middle school and high school youth.
In addition to her youth service experience, Jennifer's art and writing has been widely published. Her hybrid collection of poems and images, Red Missed Aches, Red Mistakes, Read Missed Aches, Read Mistakes was selected as the 2010 winner of the Gatewood Prize and was published in 2011 (Switchback Books). She also serves as the Managing Editor of Futurepoem Books, an independent publisher of innovative prose and poetry.
Tali Weiss/ Free Arts Day Program Manager
Tali Weiss holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Studio Art, both from New York University. She became involved in art therapy through volunteer efforts and quickly realized that working in this field would become her professional passion. In May 2009, she earned a Masters degree in Creative Art Therapy from Pratt Institute. She has completed art therapy internships at the Continuing Day Research Center and PS-22 K-5 in Jersey City. She has also worked as an Associate Creativity Enthusiast at Make Meaning, a company that offers an environment in which kids, families and adults can use a large variety of art mediums for fun and creativity, and went on to take on a lead role in their Events Department.
Tali first came to Free Arts as a Volunteer Mentor and Table Leader in 2010. In 2012, she joined the staff as a Program Coordinator for the Free Arts Days program.
Brittany Ungerleider/ Civic Corps/Volunteer Associate
Brittany Ungerleider graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a minor in Women's Studies. In college, she gained invaluable experience with planning art related events as the Director of Arts programming for Hillel. In addition, she interned as a Peer Advisor for her school's academic advising office where she assisted students in various aspects of academics.
She also interned for a semester with the preschool on campus, assisting the teachers in the classroom of approximately fifteen three-year-old children. During her final year of college, she also volunteered as a counselor for her school's crisis hotline. Brittany is currently serving a term with the Americorps program NYC Civic Corps.
Michael Wooten/ Development and Events Associate
Michael Wooten is a native New Yorker, hailing from Clifton Park, NY. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Applied Design. Post-college, Michael discovered an interest in fostering community, and bringing people together while spending the next few years in Burlington, VT.
He managed a Creperie (The Skinny Pancake) which specialized in sourcing food from local farms and vendors, as well as bringing together community artists and musicians to display and perform their art. Leaving his post as Marketing Coordinator there in 2010 he moved to New York City to join Free Arts NYC, where he hopes to continue to bring people together through his passion for Social Media.