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2017-2018 TAP Anthology

Presenting the Graduates of the 2017-2018 Teaching Artist Project (TAP). This anthology is a compilation of their work, experiences and the fun we've all had together during this academic year. Community-Word Project's TAP is in its 20th year and is the longest-standing professional development program open to the Teaching Artist field by a non-profit organization in New York City. TAP prepares Teaching Artists to provide high-quality arts education to underserved youth in New York City public schools. The rigorous training involves intensive seminars in curriculum design and teaching techniques, led by CWP staff, Teaching Artists and the TAP Cohort. During this yearlong training, participan

Xiaolin Li, Visual Artist

Xiaolin Li is a visual artist. She joined Community-Word Project in the fall of 2017 as a trainee in the Teaching Artist Project (TAP). She is currently completing her BA in Childhood Education and English at Hunter College. She creates Japanese influenced anime/ manga art using a variety of mediums, such as Copic markers, watercolors, oil paints, acrylic paints, color pencils, graphite pencils, and digitally by means of photoshop, SAI, etc. She is a first-generation Chinese immigrant who moved to Brooklyn, New York at age seven. She is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Taishanese, and English. In 2014, she began to work as a private art tutor for a student with autism. Since then she continued

Valérie Hallier, Multimedia Artist

Multimedia artist Valérie Hallier came to the US with a Fulbright Scholarship after graduating from the ENSAD (Video, Cinema, Animation) in her native Paris, France. In NYC, she received a MFA from SVA. Conceptual and project based, her work consists of series and installations. - “As a child, I was obsessed with the idea of drawing every single thing that exists in the world.” Valérie’s projects explore the absurdity and the poetry of exhaustive study. Her work is being shown internationally. Main solo shows include “Screened Calls & Slow Portraits” at Medianoche gallery (NYC) and “Portraits Lents” at the ESAM, Caen, France. Group show locations include the LMCC Arts Center, Brooklyn Arts

Seánan Forbes, Multidisciplinary Artist

A poet, writer, storyteller, photographer, actor, and mixed-media artist, Seánan has performed, taught, and been published around the world, and has been fortunate enough to win merits on two continents. As a workshop leader, teacher, and activist, Seánan has worked with people from seven to eighty years of age, in international communities dealing with issues as wide-ranging as the human mind. For Seánan, it is a privilege to create brave spaces, bear witness, boost creativity, and amplify voices, every time. As a TAP graduate, Seánan is newly in love with teaching artistry, with a mind full of new skills, ready to approach and expand a brave new world. See more from Seánan here: Website 50

Reilly Horan, Technical Theatre Artist

Reilly Horan is a Brooklyn-based stage manager, technical director, scenic carpenter, storyteller, writer, and teaching artist, working with Blue Man Group, the Public Theater, Signature Theater, HERE Arts Center, the Moth, and the DreamYard Project. Both in New York and in a touring capacity, her work focuses on devised and multimedia collaborative theater and dance, theatrical community engagement projects, arts accessibility and working with young people, and disrupting and reimagining the profound lack of diversity and equity in the technical theater industry. TAP Work: In being a part of the TAP 2017-18 cohort, Reilly assisted at PS 316 in a first-grade writing and comic illustration cl

Philip Berezney, Visual Artist

Philip Berezney is a teaching artist with with a focus on mixed media visual arts. His work in arts education has brought him from co-developing expressive-arts programming aimed at acknowledging trauma in post-Katrina New Orleans public schools, to introducing arts curriculum in a science-focused summer school for multilingual migrant students in coastal Maine, to teaching in schools all over NYC. Philip has taught visual arts classes as a teaching artist with Community Word Project, Marquis Studios, and Wingspan Arts (to name just a few...). As a facilitator, Philip has led training and professional development sessions on topics including: positive and preventative classroom management st

Noelle Lorraine Williams, Mixed Media Artist

Noelle Lorraine Williams use craft, sculpture, photography and performance to engage audiences in conversations about community. She has exhibited her work, given artist talks and lectures at Newark Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, Jersey City Museum, Rutgers University, Kean University and other galleries in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Louisiana. Her work has also mentioned in the New York Times, Star Ledger and she was lauded as one of the “100 Women We Love in Go Magazine!” Noelle brings together more than twenty years of cultural activist organizing and working with student and community groups to her art practice. The heart of her work is reimagining our contemporary lives throug

Mikayla Morin, Playwright

Mak Morin is a native Vermonter and 2016 graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied Dramatic Writing and Educational Theatre. Since graduating, she has worked for screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson, Archer Gray Productions, Double Take Comics, Rebel Playhouse, and Nickelodeon. Currently, Mak is serving as a Teaching Artist Resident at VOYAGES Prep high school in Queens as a part of AmeriCorps' ArtistYear of National Service. In September, she will return to NYU to study Drama Therapy as a graduate student. A person of simple pleasures, Mak loves authentic maple syrup, very snowy winters, sweet coffee, bitter tea, women’s hockey, listening to and making music, staying up all

Michelle Houslanger, Poet

Michelle Houslanger is a poet and current MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. She graduated with a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 2015, concentrating in poetry and classics. She currently lives in Yonkers, New York. TAP Work: "Through TAP I had the opportunity to intern in a fifth-grade classroom at P.S. 279, Captain Manuel Rivera, Jr. in the Bronx. Observing and working with Katie Rainey and T. Scott Lilly was a wonderful experience. Watching them work together was a joy and an inspiration, and receiving feedback from them on my own teaching was fantastic. I feel I have learned so much both about structuring a lesson plan and how to deviate from it to make room for spontaneous gro

Michael Feldman, Playwright

Michael Feldman is a playwright from Dallas, living in Brooklyn. Prior to pursuing politics, Michael worked in politics, interning at the White House as an intern on the Domestic Policy Council’s education team and on the advance team for President Obama and then working as a researcher at Everytown for Gun Safety. Michael was a member of Field Research Team and Strategic Planning Committee of The Civilians. Current projects include a musical about a Baptist church and a play about a delicatessen. TAP Work: Michael has been interning in a 1st grade classroom at PS 316, in Shawn Ferreyra and Mary Cinadr’s visual arts and writing residency. With Malia Braithwaite, he created and taught a lesso

Meher Manda, Writer

Meher Manda is a poet, short story writer, and journalist from Mumbai, India currently exploring the literary possibilities in New York City. She is a recent graduate of the MFA in Fiction program from the College of New Rochelle and the founding editor-in-chief of the college's first MFA curated literary journal, The Canopy Review. As a teaching artist, she has taught poetry and writing workshop to undergraduates at the College of New Rochelle, and has interned with Community-Word Project in a fifth grade classroom in Astoria. She specializes in teaching writing workshops that are centered around individual narratives and stories. At the moment, she is working on her debut prose poetry coll

Mariana Vily, Theatre Artist

Mariana Vily is an Argentine theatre artist. She trained in her home country at Andamio 90 and at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. She also received training from the Center for Performance and Civic Practice/Sojourn Theatre in partnership with The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. In New York, Mariana’s work has appeared at Wild Project, INTAR, The Bushwick Starr, Theatre East, One-Minute Play Festival and Inwood Art Works, among others. Mariana likes exploring issues of cultural exchange, both in her artistic practice and in the classroom. TAP Work: "Through TAP I had the opportunity to intern at PS 171 in Astoria, Queens. It was a Poetry and Theatre class for 2nd and 3rd grad

Malia Braithwaite, Theatre Artist

Malia participated in Opening Act for 2 years during high school, in which time she was a part of SLC and the Summer Arts and Leadership Conservatory, and performed at New York Live Arts and HBO headquarters. The Guyanese actor has worked alongside amazing talents Uzo Aduba, Kenny Leon, Zazie Beetz and more. She has also been in workshops with The Civilians and worked with Shakespeare In A Parking Lot as a stage manager. Malia‘s dream is to become a professional actor and one day establish her very own theater studio. TAP Work: "Malia interned at PS 316 with Mary Cinadr and Shawn Ferreyra with 1st graders." Most Memorable TAP Moment: “The memory that keeps replaying in my head goes back to t

Liting Zeng, Visual Artist

Liting Zeng is a visual artist and writer. She keeps a dream journal and hopes to turn them into picture books someday. She is currently completing her BA in Childhood Education and English at Hunter College. She wishes to share her passion for art and writing with all her students. TAP Work: "Liting interned at PS 316 with Mary Cinadr and Shawn Ferreyra with 1st graders." Most Memorable TAP Moment: “As a super shy person, TAP has made me more brave and confident. Communicating with teaching partners, reaching to mentors, and interacting with students are all very novel experiences for me. They pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a Brave Space." Check out Liting's Lesson Plan she creat

Li Stefan Reina, Visual Artist

Li Stefan Reina is a first-generation Colombian-American comic artist and illustrator based in Queens, New York. He is a teaching artist for children’s after-school art programs at the 92nd Street Y and holds a BFA in Cartooning as a SVA alumnus. Currently, he is working on a zine regarding social anxieties and mental health, and is passionate expanding his daily polaroid collection, "panel shots", documenting the journey/discovery of identity and memory one frame (or panel) at a time. TAP Work: Under Community-Word’s Teaching Artist Project, he has interned at P.S. 17 under Teaching Artists Alex Velozo and Maria Schirmer, learning how to bring energy, positivity, and validation into the c

Leigh Beaulieu, Theatre Artist

Leigh is a theatre artist born in the United States and raised in Canada. In her small hometown, arts programs were scarce and she was constantly told “the arts” and her “singing ambitions” were not feasable career choices. All it took was one great teacher in her junior year who put on the first musical her high school had seen in ages. The following year, after successfully directing and starring in her own student-led production of Chicago that won multiple provincial awards, Leigh pursued a degree in theatre at the University of Ottawa. She moved to New York City in 2010 where she earned her conservatory diploma from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, as well as a BFA from the Ne

Kurt Nelson Peloquin, Spoken Word Artist

Kurt Peloquin is a poet, teaching artist, and multimedia producer from Brooklyn, New York who believes that everyone is an artist. Over the past 10 years Kurt has helped organizations including Humans Rights Watch, Microsoft, The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, and many more to tell their stories through the collaborative production of films and shared experiences. As an emerging performance poet and musician Kurt has entertained audiences at The Inspired Word, BK Voices, Queens Lit Fest, The Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Rockwood Music Hall, Just Beings: Stories for Humanity, The Secret City, and Oz Arts Nashville. In the fall of 2017, Kurt developed Thrive Poet, an arts

Julienne Brown, Theatre Artist

Julienne “Mizz June” Brown is a transgender woman of African descent who lives in the Bronx. Her artistic disciplines include Music (songwriting, singing) and Theater. She has been an activist, an educator, and an advocate within the Transgender community (and other marginalized communities) for over a decade. She was the first out transgender woman of African descent to appear as a guest on a daytime soap opera (All My Children). She has performed on various stages around NYC and the within the country, including (but not limited to): Mixed Blood Theatre (Minneapolis), The Public Theater, LaMama Experimental Theater Club, Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is currently an honor roll student at

Jean-Luc Fontaine, Poet

Jean-Luc is a recent graduate with a B.A in Creative Writing and minor in Religion and Psychology from Florida State University. Jean-Luc is currently attending Sarah Lawrence College where he is completing an M.F.A in poetry. Jean-Luc’s poetry has been published in such journals as The Apalachee Review, Naugatuck River Review, Eclectica Magazine and is forthingcoming in Dialogist, Drunk Monkeys and Spillway. Through his poetry, Jean-Luc explores themes of trauma in hopes of reaching out to those who are suffering. As he navigates the classroom, Jean-Luc seeks to utilize joy and humor to help weave themes of social justice, and empathy into his curriculum. TAP Work: "Through TAP, I had the o

Jane Elias, Theatre Artist

Jane Elias is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her solo play Do This One Thing for Me debuted in the 2013 EstroGenius Festival and later ran at both the Access Theater and TBG Theatre in Manhattan. In 2015 DTOTFM won the Producer’s Choice Award at the Secret Theatre’s Flying Solo Festival in Long Island City. Other recent acting credits include Max Mondi’s Personhood at Columbia University’s Shapiro Theatre, the New York premiere of Arlene Hutton’s Letters to Sala, and Dean Imperial’sAdults Only at the TBG Theatre (with Core Artist Ensemble). Jane’s plays have been developed with Naked Angels Tuesdays@9, Access Theater Writers Group, Core Artist Ensemble, Stony Brook Southampton, Th

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