Speakers & Presenters

Brent Hasty, PdD
Brent Hasty, PhD

Dr. Brent Hasty serves as the Executive Director of MINDPOP, a solutions-based consultancy that builds creative learning systems in communities nationwide. Under Dr. Hasty’s leadership, MINDPOP leads the design and management of Austin’s Creative Learning Initiative – a collective impact effort with Austin ISD, the City of Austin, and 100+ arts organizations – that has significantly increased student access to the arts, increased academic achievement and engagement through Creative Teaching, and doubled the arts partnerships students experience in schools.

MINDPOP recently developed a national professional development model for Creative Teaching and Special Education, in partnership with VSA at the Kennedy Center, AISD, and VSA Texas.  Dr. Hasty’s research has been presented internationally and published in peer reviewed journals. He is the principal investigator on a series of three statewide arts access and impact studies commissioned by the Texas Cultural Trust, describing the state of arts learning in Texas. His speaking engagements include keynote addresses at the National Dance Education Organization, the Hawke Center for Social Justice (Adelaide, Australia), and National PTA Arts Education luncheon, along with presentations at the American Education Research Association, Yad Vashem International Holocaust Education Conference, National Council of Social Studies, SXSWedu, Arts Education Partnership, and the Kennedy Center, among others.

Formerly the Director of Arts in Education at Big Thought (a Young Audiences affiliate), a high school teacher at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education, Dr. Hasty combines practical experience with instructional and learning theories when designing system-changing supports for classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. Brent volunteers on the Advisory Board for the Boniuk Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education and the Art committee for Contemporary Austin and is proud to have been awarded the Young Audience National Staff Member of the Year Award in 1998. Brent and his partner, Stephen Mills, collect contemporary art and were honored to receive Austin’s Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award.

He is speaking Friday, April 5, at the 11:45 am – 1:45 pm Luncheon. (Grand Ballroom, 22nd floor) 


Eileen Edmonds has 27 years’ professional experience in the arts and nonprofit organizations as a teaching artist, program manager, arts administrator, and inclusive arts educator. She is currently the Assistant Director of Educator for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and has overseen The River Performing Arts and Visual Arts Center for nearly 12 years.

The River is an Education Program of TUTS providing an accessible, affordable fine arts education for individuals with disabilities and their siblings. Eileen has taken The River from its arts enrichment origins to include a touring performance troupe, an annual production in TUTS Inclusive Arts Showcase, and mainstage opportunities for performers with disabilities. 

Motivated by challenges navigating the special education system for her oldest son, she joined the board of Family To Family Network three years ago. In large part to her work at The River and history of advocacy, Eileen was appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner to serve as a Commissioner, Position 11 for for City of Houston’s Commission on Disabilities in 2018.

Prior to moving to Houston, Eileen served as the Cultural Arts Director for the Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) for 15 years. In 2000 she was honored with BCNY’s inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in recognition of her exemplary performance above and beyond her job description. Eileen studied Studio Art with a minor in Art History at the University of Houston and Queens College. Her passion for the arts was ignited in her childhood in Long Island, NY, through visual arts and her weekly classes in tap, jazz, and ballet. 

She is speaking April 5, at the 9:15 – 10:00 am Plenary Session. (Grand Ballroom, 22nd floor)


Vickie McMillan-Hayes is a prolific wildlife artist known for her technique and capturing the subject in its true habitat. Her works can be seen in hospitals, schools, and other public buildings, and have been exhibited in art museums and galleries throughout the country and abroad.

A native Texan, McMillian-Hayes creates large-scale paintings and public installations that aim to advance global wildlife conservation causes and address timely social issues. She conducts art-based global outreach initiatives where she works with young people and adults in underdeveloped nations. McMillan-Hayes’ impressionistic impasto technique was developed over time due to a disability she has called Essential Tremor. Her decision to embrace her disability and allow it to work for her – not against her – has defined her unique artistic style. When working on large-scale collaborative pieces, she hopes to inspire others to reach their full potential.

She is facilitating a collaborative mural-making project during Thursday’s lunch, held from 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm. (Grand Ballroom, 22nd floor)

Glenn Bailey 1
Glenn Bailey, Jr.

Glenn Bailey, Jr. is the Community & School Partnerships Director for Young Audiences of Houston, one of the largest direct service providers of arts learning programs within the Greater Houston area. He oversees a scope of programming that employs over 200 professional artists and teaching artists, brings 3,500 programs into the community, and impacts over 237,000 youth annually. Prior to his appointment, he was the Program Director for FotoFest International’s Literacy Through Photography school and community education program (Houston), and served within education departments of various non-profit institutions across the United States: the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), The Light Factory (Charlotte, NC), Arts Education Collaborative and Future Tenant (Pittsburgh, PA), all the while maintaining his personal artistic practice and role as a community artist, educator, and advocate for arts learning.

He is first presenting alongside Lares Feliciano and Keri Jhaveri, Art’s for Learning San Diego’s Professional Learning Programs Manager. He is next presenting alongside Sophia Torres, Young Audiences of Houston’s Special Project Coordinator, and Becky Valls, Artistic Director of Becky Valls Dance Company. 

Matt Barinholtz

Matt Barinholtz is the founder of FutureMakers, which brings hands-on learning experiences with real tools and creative technologies to PK-8 classrooms. His team of visiting experts are experienced educators, makers, and youth developers who believe that small hands with big ideas grow confidence through discovery, play, and the highest quality coaching. Based in Baltimore, FutureMakers is proud to be a part of Young Audiences of Maryland since 2013. Learn more at www.kidsmakethingsbetter.com or on all social media at @futuremakerkids.

Renee Benson
Renee Benson

Renee Benson has nearly 20 years of experience working in education in North America and Europe.  She develops and implements K-12 instructional practices, engaging youth in rigorous yet stimulating programming through multidisciplinary arts-integrated lessons. Working in inclusion classrooms, she has reached a 100-percent classroom participation rate with 90 percent mastery of content. Renee teaches, lectures, and consults for programs in Canada, Austria, and the US (specifically New York and New Orleans). In 2012, she founded in MY WORDS (www.inmywordsbronx.org), an arts-intensive workshop in the South Bronx, New York, for young girls and women in partnership with New Settlement Apartments.

Harlan Brownlee
Harlan Brownlee

Harlan Brownlee has worked since 1984 in the arts education field as a performing artist, teaching artist, and administrator. He is on the Kennedy Center’s national touring roster for the Partners in Education program and has conducted master classes, professional development workshops, and residencies extensively in the Midwest and throughout the United States. Harlan has designed and implemented hundreds of lesson plans integrating dance and movement with an emphasis on science and literacy.  His Weather on the Move was originally developed for Kansas City Young Audiences as a workshop for students in the mid-1990s, and it was further developed in collaboration with the Kennedy Center as a professional development opportunity for classroom teachers in 2002.

Mary Dell'Erba 2
Mary Dell'Erba

Mary Dell’Erba is the Project Manager with the Arts Education Partnership. In this role, she primarily focuses on STEAM, as well as on the intersection of school choice and arts education. Since joining AEP in Fall 2018, Mary has done research and analysis on state policies that support effective STEAM education. Prior to joining AEP, she worked for the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance where she developed professional development programs, including those related to STEAM and arts integration, and led advocacy initiatives for arts education. Mary holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Lares Feliciano
Lares Feliciano

Lares Feliciano is an artist, filmmaker, and Programs Director at Think 360 Arts for Learning in Denver. She holds an M.F.A in Cinema Production from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Film & American Studies from Smith College. In December 2011 Lares served as the Artist in Residence at Grand Canyon National Park, and she is currently a member of the Artist-in-Residence Program at Redline in Denver. As Programs Director, she oversees Think 360 Arts’ collaboration with the Denver District Attorney’s office serving students who are first-time offenders.

She is presenting alongside Glenn Bailey, Jr. and Keri Jhaveri, Professional Learning Programs Manager at Arts for Learning San Diego.  

Jenny James 2
Jenny James

A graduate of Tulane University, Jenny James has been Young Audiences of Louisiana’s Director of Education and Programs since 2008, overseeing arts-in-education programs serving children and families from birth through high school. Jenny is the Project Director for three U.S. Department of Education grants, providing intensive professional development in arts integration for Jefferson Parish Public Schools. She is a founding member of the Young Audiences National Teaching Artist Credential working group. Jenny’s passion for her work stems from her dedication to providing equity in access to arts and education. She has presented at several national and local conferences.  

She is first presenting alongside Omote Ekwotafia, Director of Program Communications at Young Audiences of Louisiana, and Yvette Clinton, Principal Investigator at ICF. 

She is next presenting alongside: Valerie Branch, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Maryland; Chris Sheard, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Louisiana; Brian Scheller, Teaching Artist & Director of Technology, Young Audiences of Louisiana; and Stacie Sanders Evans, President & CEO, Young Audiences of Maryland. 

Andrew Karnavas
Andrew Karnavas

Based in Houston, Andrew Karnavas is a creative audio professional and the founder / CEO of YAWP Records, where he has written and produced studio albums as well as sound effects and ads for virtual reality video games. He is also the creator of Just Add Beats, a project-based learning program that teaches 21st-century skills through audio design and production. As a teaching artist, Andrew performs 100 music-based STEAM learning shows per year – as Andyroo and the Andryrooniverse – at schools, libraries, and museums nationwide. He has been a featured performer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.) and at the Health Museum’s Biorythm exhibition (Houston).

Michaelann Kelley
Michaelann Kelley

Michaelann Kelley is the Director of Visual Arts in Aldine ISD. She has been working the past year with Aldine Broadcast Network and district art teachers creating online professional development that inspires and informs teachers on ways to integrate literacy, math, science, and field experiences with area museums. The district has been focusing on creating equity in learning for ALL students. The team has been working creating online learning for teachers to provide students (87 percent of whom receive free or reduced lunches) with a well-rounded education that includes field experiences in the arts.

She is presenting alongside Alyssa Wagner and Matt Tomaselli. Alyssa is an Art Teacher at Mead Middle School in Houston. Matt is a Digital Learning Specialist at Jones Middle School in Houston. 

Eun Sung Kim
Eun Sung Kim

Eun Sung Kim is a passionate and dynamic educator and strings teacher at the Carter Academy in Houston. As Eun Sung is a huge supporter of arts and student learning, arts integration in school has been her focus of interest. She believes developing and implementing an arts-integrated curriculum can enhance student achievement.

She is presenting alongside fellow Carter Academy teacher Yvonne Lopez Taylor

Michelle Marigliano
Michelle L. Marigliano

Michelle L. Marigliano is the Arts Education Program Manager and Assessment Specialist at Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. She received her BA and MA degrees from Sarah Lawrence College. Michelle’s work and educational philosophy are grounded in the psychological theories of interpersonal relationships and foundational principles of Child Development, drawing inspiration from current teaching and learning research. As a master teaching artist and program manager, Michelle is responsible for the development and execution of several Young Audiences’ curriculum and professional learning projects and is a member of YA’s ADA planning team. Michelle’s role parenting children with atypical development has deepened her commitment to helping advance nurturing, collaborative relationships and systematic structures that inspire diverse, inclusive, and equitable programs.

Monte Mast
Monte Mast

Monte Mast is the Director of Fine Arts for the Klein ISD and was recently the co-chair for the 2018 Houston Arts Partners Conference, which focused on highlighting arts partnerships for students with diverse learning needs. 

He is presenting alongside Carole Mason and Fayla Curry. Carole Mason is the Principal of French Elementary, a fully arts integrated campus, and Fayla Curry is a dance teacher at Klein Oak High School. Both were also presenters at the Houston Arts Partners Conference.

Emma Parker 2
Emma Parker

Emma Parker is an artist and arts administrator and Artistic Manager at the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL), Young Audiences’ Cleveland-based affiliate. Emma is responsible for stewarding, growing, and professionally developing CAL’s roster of teaching artists. She contributes to program development, including the creation and expansion of CAL’s early childhood program, CALSprouts, and the teaching artist professional development series, which has now trained over 100 participants throughout Ohio. Emma is a summa cum laude graduate of Ball State University, and has a Master of Arts degree in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance and psychology. As a company member of Dancing Wheels Co. & School, Emma performed for over 10,000 audience members and reached over 6,000 students in integrated arts classes between 2010 and 2015. As director of the School of Dancing Wheels she oversaw program creation and implementation for over 4,000 inclusive classes throughout the Eastern United States. Emma is the proud recipient of a regional Emmy nomination for her work with the Indiana School for the Deaf in their documentary “Vibrations.” She is also one of the first seven Young Audiences’ artists to be nationally credential as a master teaching artist.

Jeff Poulin 2

Jeff M. Poulin joined the arts education team at Americans for the Arts in 2013. He works to empower local, state, and federal supporters of arts education to become effective advocates to advance policies supportive of equitable access to arts education for all students. In his role at Americans for the Arts, Jeff has trained over 10,000 advocates in all 50 states. He was also been instrumental in the publication of the 2014 National Core Arts Standards, a leader in the creative youth development movement, and a founding board member of the Innovation Collaborative. Before arriving in D.C., Jeff worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations in the U.S. and abroad focused primarily in production and programming, audience development, research, and policy. Notably, he was a chief advisor on the implementation of the first national Arts in Education Charter under the directions of the Ministers of Arts and Education in the Republic of Ireland. Jeff frequently speaks at many nonprofit organizations and universities. He hails from Portland, Maine and holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from University College Dublin, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Oklahoma City University.

Rovion Reed 2
Rovion Reed

Rovion Reed is an educator, music producer, and branding consultant from Illinois. He is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he earned his BS in African American Studies and MS in College Student Affairs. Rovion has been an active member of the Hip-Hop community for over ten years, playing a crucial role in multiple capacities as a producer, engineer, event organizer and curator. His work has been featured in notable publications including the Huffington Post, The Chicago Reader, and ThisIs50.com. Rovion’s passion for mentoring and education led him to Teach for America, where he became a corps member in 2014. He now serves as a 5th-grade Reading and Social Studies teacher to an all-male cohort in Houston, TX.

He is presenting alongside fellow Teaching Artist and Kinetic Vibez co-founder Rajesh Shekar. 

Troy Scheid

Troy Scheid has directed numerous world and regional premieres in Houston and is the founder of Brave Little Company – Theatre for Everyone, which creates and performs plays about, with, and for kids and their grown-ups. A teaching artist with over 16 years’ experience, she participated in London-based theatre company Oily Cart’s “Creating with the Cart,” a certificate program offered in partnership with Rose Bruford College, and Lincoln Center Education’s Big Umbrella Festival Artist Professional Development (both intensive professional development programs focused on creating transformative theatrical experiences for audiences with neurological differences). At Young Audiences of Houston, Troy coordinates the annual Houston Arts Partners Conference, which combines arts education advocacy with arts integration strategies, and which promotes partnerships between Houston’s arts organizations and 50 school districts in the region.

Adrienne Shearer
Adrienne Shearer

After graduating from The University of St. Thomas with a BA in drama, Adrienne Shearer served as a case specialist at a day therapy center for children with neurological differences. It was there she discovered her passion for working with special populations, and how theatre can be used to meet therapeutic goals. Adrienne was most recently on staff as an Education Specialist with the Ad Players Performing Arts Academy, where she launched an inclusive program called Arts for All. With a certification in Therapeutic Crisis Management, it is Adrienne’s goal to ensure that no child is denied their right to experience the healing power of theatre.

Yvonne Lopez Taylor
Yvonne Lopez Taylor

Yvonne Lopez Taylor is an elementary art teacher and advocate for arts education. She teaches art through literature, math, social studies, and science. She is constantly amazed by the work her students create and how they interpret the world. As co-host of AldineTVs “Lets T.A.C.O ‘bout it,” Yvonne considers collaborating to be one of her favorite things.

She is presenting alongside fellow Carter Academy teacher Eun Sung Kim

Sarah Tirey
Sarah Tirey

Sarah Tirey is a Program Director at Arts for Learning Indiana. She manages the Inside Arts Project at the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis, a program that brings professional artists and arts programs to incarcerated youth. Her work is informed by a social justice conscious and a passion for making the expressive arts accessible to under-served populations to improve quality of life. In addition to her work for Arts for Learning, she has taught a community arts course at the University of Indianapolis. Her class incorporates educating students on ethical approaches in bringing expressive arts programs to the community, and coordinating arts-based service learning projects at nursing homes, schools, community centers, and mental health facilities. She received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Pre-Art Therapy. She is working on her MPA in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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