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2018-2019 TAP Anthology

Presenting the Graduates of the 2018-2019 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 21st 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, particip

Melissa Liu, Visual Artist

Melissa has worked at the intersection of arts and social change work through different roles as a cultural worker/administrator, organizer, and educator while also developing a creative practice as a artist. Melissa contemplates culture, identity, and place, especially in relation to being part of the Asian diaspora, and explores cross-racial solidarity, language and interpretation, and the practice of listening through artistic process. Melissa has learned and collaborated with Asian American Arts Alliance, College Art Association, Kelly Street Community Garden in the Bronx, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, Zines4Equity, and Arts/Admin, and was part of Arts & Labor and its Alternative E

Phoenix Luk, Writer

Phoenix was born in Manhattan but raised in the suburbs of New Jersey. Her first poems were about cutting boards and aliens. She followed her heart back to the city, where she earned her MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from The New School. In addition to the Teaching Artist Project, she is part of the New York City Teaching Collaborative to earn her master’s in English Education. Phoenix hopes to create a classroom culture that fuses a new-age style of reading and a creative atmosphere that supports analytical thought. In between teaching and rock climbing, Phoenix is shopping around a young adult novel and writing her next YA novel and a chapbook that showcases the struggles and

Saba Sebhatu, Writer

Saba Sebhatu was born in Italy and raised in Washington DC where she completed a BA in journalism. She is a writer and photographer and believes in the arts and its ability to build confluence between cultures and societies and uses these methods in centering her teaching practice. She moved to Eritrea where she began working as a peace-building practitioner in conflict resolution initiatives in the Horn of Africa. A previous Callaloo Fellow, her current work focuses on the African Diaspora and their geographies. In Spring 2018, she was selected as a mentee by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She received her MFA in nonfiction from The New School in New York City. TAP Work: "

Sara Knudson, Writer

Sara Knudson was born, raised, and attended university in Sacramento, CA. Her first short story was written about a horse, and she has spent the last twenty years riding, training, and teaching students how to ride horses. With an interest in communication, whether it be silent kinesthetic communication between horse and rider, or a story conveyed through language, Sara decided to move to NYC to pursue writing and teaching the craft of writing in greater depth. She attends Sarah Lawrence College, where she is pursuing her MFA in speculative fiction. TAP is her first Teaching Artist program and internship, and she has enjoyed translating her previous teaching skills and experiences into the c

Sasha Warner-Berry, Writer

Sasha Warner-Berry is a writer and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a Cave Canem fellow, and her poems have appeared in Blueshift Journal and Muzzle Magazine. In addition to writing, her creative pursuits include theater, photography, and dance. She has experience teaching and developing curricula for both children and adults, and has also worked in community organizing, interpretation and translation, and hospitality. She holds a BA in Africana Studies from Brown University. TAP Work: "Participating in TAP was a chance for me to explore new territory as a teacher and as an artist. I did my internship at PS/MS 279, where teaching artists Chaya Babu and Tanya Everett used the

Shakeva Griswould, Writer

Keva G is a native of The Bronx, NY. She is a poet, spoken word artist, and most recently, an emcee. She has performed at The Apollo Theatre,Nuyorican Poets Cafe. and The Schomberg Library. Currently, she is attending college in pursuit of an A.A. in Communications. Her dream is to have several collections of poetry published and drop a mixtape.

Tiffany Ramos, Visual Artist

Tiffany Ramos, born and raised in Queens, New York, attended Boston University for Fine Art with a focus in Painting, primarily utilizing oil paints, while experimenting with sculpture, printmaking, collage, and illustration throughout her process. Living in a densely multicultural environment and working with multiple communities has greatly influenced her interest in identity, social communication, and connection. She has a powerful interest in how cultures change over time, how people identify with others and themselves, individuals’ distinct perspectives, and the various connections between them all. In her work she aims to empower audiences through the embodiment of dramatic, unapologet

Trace Howard DePass, Writer

Trace Howard DePass is the author of Self-portrait as the space between us (PANK Books, 2018) and editor of Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2017. He served as the 2016 Teen Poet Laureate for the Borough of Queens. His work has been featured on television and radio—BET Next Level, Billboard, Blavity, and NPR’s The Takeaway—and in print—Anomalous Press, Entropy Magazine, Platypus Press, Split This Rock!, The Other Side of Violet, [SAND] Journal, & Bettering American Poetry (Volume 3). DePass is a 2018 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador as well as Federal Hall, Teaching Artist Project, & Poets House Fellow. Most Memorable TAP Moments: "TAP has taught me so many things. But one of the most bea

Yael Ben-Zion, Visual Artist

Yael Ben-Zion is a New York-based visual artist whose work considers the relationship of the personal to the political and social. She usually works on long-term lens-based projects that involve extensive research and continuing collaboration with her subjects, on or off camera. Yael was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Israel. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (LL.B/MBA), Yale Law School (LL.M; J.S.D) and the International Center of Photography (GS). Yael’s work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Israel, and is included in the MTA-Artists Unite Subway Elevator Poster Project. She is the recipient of ICP’s Directors’ Scholarship Award, the Internat

Zoe Papaeracleous, Dancer

Zoe Papaeracleous is a dance artist originally from Baltimore, MD. She has presented her work in NYC at THE PIT Loft and Movement Research as well as in Baltimore and Allentown. Zoe has attended numerous notable dance programs, including most recently Bates Dance Festival (Maine) and Impulstanz (Vienna, Austria). As a freelance dancer, she has performed works by Sarah Carlson, Deep Vision Dance Company, Lynne Price, Joya Powell, Melinda Ring and Ella Dawn W-S/dancews. She also had the pleasure of participating in a workshop manifestation at the MOMA as a part of Judson Dance Theatre: The Work is Never Done under the direction of Ishmael Houston-Jones. Zoe currently teaches dance for WR Arts

Alex Becker, Theater Artist

Alex is an NYC-based performing artist and writer with roots in Nashville, New York, and New Orleans. After having grown up immersed in the arts, Alex spent her early twenties invested in learning about the world, always seeking creative outlets to combine her love for music, film, dance and theater with her interest in social justice and community-based work. She received her degree in anthropology and moved to New Orleans where she spent an amazing four years working in education nonprofits, start-ups, and arts organizations whilst swing dancing, eating lots of oysters, biking under the oak trees, and mothering a family of backyard hens. As an actor and theater-maker, Alex has trained with

Alexandra Neuber, Visual Artist

My experiences as a teacher, which is build on twenty-seven years of photography work, have been among the most meaningful and rewarding of my professional life. Watching children find their artistic voice and self- assurance in the art classes that I have taught has been truly inspiring. For three years I have been teaching photography, film making and animation in New York public schools. I work for Marquis Studios, a non- profit that brings arts education to under-resourced schools. Since last October I have been participating in the Community-Word Project’s Teaching Artist Training program, which emphasizes critical thinking and social justice-based pedagogy. I also taught children in Qu

Amanda Newman, Dance Artist

Amanda Newman is a community-engaged dance artist working at the intersection of the arts and social work. After completing her master's in social work with an emphasis on Community Organizing, Planning and Development at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in May 2019, she will continue working with Community-Word Project as Program Assistant. Originally from Utah, Amanda earned her BFA in Modern Dance at the University of Utah, but did her most important learning about dance, education, and organizing while moving and making in museums, summer camps, living rooms, and parking lots. Before coming to New York, Amanda was a resident artist, youth programs facilitator, and commun

Amy Oestreicher, Multidisciplinary Artist

Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD specialist, mixed media visual artist, author, writer for Huffington Post, TEDx and RAINN speaker, award-winning health advocate, actress and playwright. Amy has headlined international conferences on leadership, entrepreneurship, women’s rights, mental health, disability, creativity, and domestic violence prevention. Gutless & Grateful, her one- woman musical autobiography, since its NYC debut in 2012, has won seven national awards. Her writings have appeared in over 70 online and print publications, and her story has appeared on TODAY, Cosmopolitan and CBS. She's currently touring a mental health advocacy/sexual assault awareness program to colleges nationwide and

Benji Hom, Multimedia & Theater Artist

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Benji Hom is a New York based filmmaker, photographer, writer, and educator. A champion for visual literacy in the classroom, Benji believes that images are an integral form of communication, and people of all ages should learn how to dissect and interpret visuals, especially in the digital age. Benji Hom wrote, directed, and edited “Vecinos,” a short shot on 16mm film about two neighbors who connect over a shared experience. As a photographer, Benji specializes in portraiture and travel photography. He has done product work for the streetwear brand Herb N Fresh and has shot internationally in the streets of Havana, Hong

Emma Greer, Writer

Emma holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied fiction and poetry. For the past two years, she has worked with the Marymount Manhattan College’s Bedford Hills College Program, first as a tutor and now as an administrator. She is also an Instructor-In-Training with GallopNYC, which offers therapeutic horseback-riding programs for people with disabilities. Prior to pursuing her MFA, she worked in philanthropy supporting social justice and human rights organizations. She has taught high school English conversation classes in France and facilitated creative writing workshops for women and young men in prison. Originally from Missouri, Emma loves living in Brooklyn, w

Francisco Roldán, Guitarist

Colombian-born guitarist Francisco Roldán has performed in Russia, Argentina, Spain, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Paraguay, Portugal and throughout the United States. He has played various concerti with orchestra and has participated in numerous chamber music recitals with singers and instrumentalists. He has five recordings available: Almost All Bach, in which he interprets the music of Bach and Scarlatti; Latin Guitar, in which he performs music of Barrios, Lauro and Landestoy; ZigZag, with his ZigZag Quartet, with music of Boccherinni, Bolling, Gnattali, Landestoy and Piazzolla; Interweaving, with soprano Gretchen Farrar, with music from the Renaissance to today’s music. All

Hannah Beresford, Poet

Hannah Beresford, originally of the Helderberg Escarpment of upstate New York, earned her MFA from New York University after spending four years on red dirt at Oklahoma State. Her poems are published or forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Mid-American Review, Sycamore Review, Pleiades, among others, and she is the recipient of a 2017-2018 fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She serves as poetry editor for No Tokens and teaches poetry at Drew University. TAP Work: "I spent my residency at the Young Women’s Leadership school in Jamaica, Queens under the mentorship of Katie Rainey. The curriculum moved in the vein of creative writing and poetry but always with an inclination to

Ilaria Ortensi, Visual Artist

Ilaria Ortensi is an artist and art educator with an interest in architecture, urban landscape and the representation of contemporary spaces. Most recent art residency programs that she participated in include More Art - Housing Justice, 2016, where she collaborated with Eviction Intervention Service to teach an art class to people with hoarding disorder and ProjectArt, 2017-18, where she taught a yearly after-school art class at the Flatbush Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Ilaria has also completed the Teaching Artist Fellowship, 2018-19, at the Center for Urban Pedagogy where she also taught a City Study at ICHS in the Bronx. She is currently an Adjunct Professor in Photography at L

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