The Summer Arts staff brings years of dedication and experience to students as working artists and/or teachers. Most Department Heads have earned Masters degrees in their chosen field and all teachers have a proven track record working with children as well as being accomplished in their art form. Here's a look at some of the Summer Arts staff for Summer 2017.
Andres Abenante is a musician living in Boston, MA. He was born in Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish and French. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Music (M.M.) Degree at the New England Conservatory and plays both guitar and bass in a range of musical styles. He enjoys playing video games and reading in his spare time, but mostly likes to go on tour with his bands.
Keren studied nursing science at the University of Pennsylvania. After, she worked as a nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for several years on a step-down unit. Later, she moved to San Francisco to gain managerial experience as an Operations Manager at an organic, local food delivery company. Last year, Keren and her husband, Chris, traveled for 8 months, backpacking through Central and South America, and volunteering on farms and animal rehabilitation centers. Now Keren works in Winchester as a substitute school nurse. Though Keren is a nurse, the arts are her passion, and she's greatly looking forward to spending her summer around the inspiring students and staff!
Patricia Biagini is trained in many styles of dance, including jazz, tap, musical theatre and modern. She has danced professionally in New York City, Boston and the Caribbean. She has taught in such schools as Boston Arts Academy, Concord Academy and Plymouth State University and has also taught in dance programs including Aileycamp Boston, New Friends Through Dance and the Metca program. Patricia is very excited to be on the staff this summer at Summer Arts and can't wait to meet and get to know the students.
Courtney Bent is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker whose work has taken her from Masaii camps in East Africa to Civil War reenactments in the United States. Her most recent film, Shooting Beauty, a documentary about a photography program she started for a group of individuals with disabilities at United Cerebral Palsy, was the winner of over 20 best documentary and audience awards at film festivals throughout the country. To see her work, visit http://www.ShootingBeauty.org and http://www.BentPhoto.com
Linda is an English teacher at Dana Hall school, where she has taught English and Journalism classes for 12 years. Her favorite things to teach are short story, memoir, and poetry writing. In addition to her love of literature, Linda is an avid singer, knitter, dog-lover and mom. She will teach journalism and creative writing this summer and is so excited to help young writers work toward their writing dreams.
Alicia Dewey is attending Mount Ida College and is majoring in Veterinary Technology. This is her 7th year at Summer Arts at CSW. Alicia spends most of her time with Art Squad and also teaches make up and art squad dance. She enjoys working with younger kids and teaching dance.
Toby Dewey will be teaching Theatre of the Absurd this summer, a class near and dear to his heart. After being an arts administrator for over thirty years and director of Urban Improv for nineteen, he has experienced the absurdity of life at many levels.Toby especially looks forward to collaborating with the students in the class who will bring their own vision, insight and creativity to a new wacky piece of absurdist theatre. Toby is the Founding Director of Summer Arts at CSW.
Peter Diamond returns to Summer Arts for his third summer. Throughout the Boston area, he has written and directed award-winning plays and musicals for actors as young as 7 and as old as 60. Currently, he is the choreographer and assistant director of the Freelance Players troupe in Newton, MA. Other achievements include presenting his original plays in the Boston Playwrights' Theatre's "New Noises" Festival and the Boston Theatre Marathon's "One-Minute Sprints"; producing three festivals of new plays written by youth; and directing a production of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs. This summer, he looks forward to directing the musicals and coaching young theatre-makers.
Tom Evans is an accomplished artist and art teacher. He has been nationally recognized for his sculptural work and his teaching .He has served as head of the art departments at the Brimmer & May School and at the Cambridge School of Weston. Tom has collaborated on the creation of 6 children’s musicals. This summer Tom will be teaching ceramics and performance art. He will also be working with the teenage apprentices, interns and student teachers. “Making art is the best way to make friends. See you this summer !”
Raewyn is currently a student at Bennington College in Vermont. She loves to swim outside and go for long walks in the sun. Knitting is her favorite past time. Raewyn enjoys making her own clothes and recently did an internship at a costume production company located in Somerville, Massachusetts. This will be her second year working as the Director of Swimming at Summer Arts although she graduated from CSW in 2015.
Manny is an alum of the Cambridge School of Weston and currently an undergraduate at Lasell College in Newton, majoring in History with a concentration in Secondary Education. He is also the Head Coach of CSW's girls junior varsity basketball team, coaches in the AAU basketball circuit during the spring, for Beast 'Em Basketball. Along with his love of basketball, he is passionate about social justices issues and discussions around how we can make our communities more accepting and equal.
Tina Johnson is a stage director with decades of experience directing youth musical theatre. She has founded children's theatre companies in Florida, Maine and Massachusetts and currently directs for The Freelance Players. She has served as drama department head and stage director for Creative Arts at Park in Brookline, MA and Breakwater Creative Arts in Portland, Maine.Tina is a seasoned arts administrator and is a Founding Associate Director of Summer Arts at CSW.
Ellie LaCourt is an animator and visual artist from Arlington, MA. She is currently pursuing her BFA in Studio Art at Northeastern University & The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her animation work has been screened at film festivals in the US and abroad. She's excited to begin her first summer teaching art, animation, and filmmaking with Summer Arts at CSW.
Joy is a musician, conductor and music educator. She is from Taiwan and is currently working on her PhD degree in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. Joy has taught music to all ages and performed in many schools in Taiwan as well as around CT. and MA.. She looks forward to returning for her third year at Summer Arts @ CSW as the Assistant Director for the International Creative Arts Program.
Kate Martenis is finishing up her first year at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she studies math and history. She hopes to become a math teacher after college, and loves Summer Arts for the educational experience it provides for both campers and counselors. Kate has been the music director of musicals, acapella groups, and choruses, and also has experience working backstage. In her free time, she likes to read, longboard, and watch movies with friends.
Julia Ottenberg is a student at UMass Amherst, majoring in Sustainable Community Development and Visual Arts. You can usually can find her swimming, drawing or making handcrafts. Julia will be working with Raewyn Fairless to run the pool this summer as a lifeguard and swim instructor.
Merle Perkins received training at Boston University and Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. She is an actor/educator and director with Urban Improv, an interactive, violence prevention, moral development program for young people. She has taught singing and acting at Charles River Creative Arts Program, Wheelock Family Theatre, Zumix and Walnut Hill School. She has played a variety of roles at regional theaters in New England. Merle has been requested to sing at city and state events by Mayor Menino of Boston and the Boston Red Sox organization.This summer Merle will be teaching acting and singing.
Laura is a life-long artist and dancer. She specializes in Hip Hop and has instructed for ages five to adults. She is also experienced in Belly Dance, Modern, Lyrical, African, Ballet, Dance Creation and grew up doing Tap and Jazz. She received a BA in Arts Management and Anthropology from Mass College of Liberal Arts. She served as an Executive Board member and choreographer for the college’s Dance Company which performed on the Mass MoCA stage. She studied with dance professionals from Williams College, Jacob’s Pillow and visitor dance groups from around the world. Aside from dance instructing, she also works as a Special Education teacher. Summer Arts at CSW is an incredible inspiration in her life as she believes arts and education go hand-in-hand.
Nancy Popper is a printmaker living in Cambridge, MA. She earned an undergraduate degree from Bard College, and a graduate degree from Mass College of Art, as well as a certificate in printmaking from the Institute d'Arte in Venice, Italy. Her prints have appeared as illustrations in several publications, including the New Yorker Magazine and the Boston Globe Magazine. She has exhibited locally, ,as well as in New York and Japan.. She has taught studio art in both public and private schools, including Nashoba Brooks School of Concord and the Graham and Parks Alternative School in Cambridge. She currently teaches classes in printmaking, drawing and painting at the deCordova Museum School and the Maud Morgan Visual Arts Center.
Jim Rest is the Chair of the Mathematics Department, Student Council Moderator and Admissions representative at St. Sebastian’s School, where he has been teaching Math and coaching basketball and cross country for the past 22 years. His work with young people has continued during summers at CRCAP since 1991. Jim’s signature class, Batter Up, was always his personal favorite and reflects his longtime devotion to the Red Sox. In addition to heading the Sports department at CRCAP, Jim also helped direct the CIT program. He brings his infectious enthusiasm and energy to the Arts at CSW.
Carol likes to garden, and has an edible flower garden,tea garden and kitchen herb garden. She always visit local farms in the summer to gather the best of the harvest. She also loves to swim at Walden Pond!
Sophie Steck recently graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design receiving a BFA from the 3D sculpture department. She graduated from the Cambridge School of Weston in 2011. Sophie currently lives in Boston and works as a nanny as well as a studio assistant and teaching assistant for several of her professors from MassArt. She enjoys building with wood, metal, wire, and paper. Her favorite way to make art is by problem solving with any material she can get her hands on, often using found and recycled objects. Sophie loves to teach and hopes to get an MFA in the future. She also loves to read, draw, swim, and walk in the woods with her dog.
Zoë Sundra is a textile artist and singer-songwriter based between New York, Boston and Clarksdale, MS. She has been sewing for over 20 years and teaching art and textiles in various programs since age 15. She attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, studying Fibers and Performance Art. Zoë has released four albums of original songs and has toured both nationally and internationally with her music.
Po-wei Weng is an ethnomusicologist, a conductor, performing artist, and an instructor in the field of ethnomusicology, Chinese music and theater, popular culture and technology, and teaching Chinese as a second language. As a musician, Po-wei had a ten-year professional training in Peking opera as both musician and actor and was a winner of several Chinese flute competitions in Taiwan. He also served as a conductor of Chinese Music Ensemble at Wesleyan university for four years. Po-wei is currently the Director of the International Creative Arts Program for Summer Arts and also a Mandarin teacher at CSW.
Grace is an artist currently residing in Waltham, MA. Her areas of expertise include textiles, jewelry, fire dancing, photography, and modeling. In the future she hopes to have her own organic farm.
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