BalletMet is committed to being a leader in collaborative arts education efforts designed to enlighten and inspire today’s young people. It believes that dance is most valuable to the community when it is supported by quality educational initiatives. BalletMet’s Education and Community Engagement programs positively affect the lives of children and adults throughout Central Ohio. The organization makes available to a large and diverse population the opportunity to learn about dance as a viable subject for intellectual growth, health and well-being, social development, and lifelong learning. As the need and demand for arts education programs and services has increased, schools and community organizations have been forced to reduce or eliminate programs due to funding challenges.…
Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld
Multidisciplinary Creative Writing
Born and raised in New York City, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld has been teaching people of all ages and backgrounds for her whole teaching life—through programs such as Headstart and Upward Bound—from early childhood programs to senior communities, from prisons to hospitals, elementary schools, high schools, and higher education institutions. She has presented programs in creative education in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Great Britain. She has written numerous poems, stories, articles, and books. Her children’s novel, The House At 12 Rose Street, was adapted for a TV special and nominated for an Emmy.…
Richard Duarte Brown
Visual Arts, Design, & Creative Writing
Richard Duarte Brown, known as Duarte, is a master artist with the TRANSIT ARTS Youth Arts Program and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s Art in the House program. For more than 30 years, Duarte has dedicated his talents to helping young people in Columbus, Ohio, through countless programs including CAPACITY (CAPA’s youth arts program), the Short Stop Youth Center, the King Arts Complex, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education’s (and formerly GCAC’s) Artists-in-Schools program, GCAC’s Children of the Future, Ebony Boys, Art Safe, and VSA Ohio. Duarte has also worked as a high school art instructor at the Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus.…
Music, Dance/Movement, & Storytelling
Joanie Calem has been a performing musician and music teacher since 1983. She graduated from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, Israel, with a major in piano and went on to study music education at the Levinsky Teaching Seminar in Ramat Aviv, Israel. She studied composition with composer Hagar Kadima in Tel Aviv, Israel, and completed her degree, music in community building, at DePaul University in Chicago, Illiinois. Having lived overseas for 23 years, Joanie is well versed in multi-cultural experiences and cross-cultural interchanges. Joanie moved to the Columbus, Ohio, area in 1998 and has been teaching music and performing all over the Midwest ever since.…
West African Drumming & Dance/Movement
Sogbety Diomande, (Sow-beh-tea Gee-oh-mahn-day) was born in the village of Toufinga, a small farming community located in the northwest region of the Ivory Coast near the border of Guinea in Africa. He is a professional drummer and dancer and has been performing since he was a child. He has been a member of Ballet National de Cote d’Ivoire and Kotchegna Dance Company, and he has been featured with many troupes in New York City and around the U.S. Sogbety spends most of his time performing solo and conducting workshops in schools, libraries, festivals, and community events all over Ohio and surrounding areas.…
Tom Evert has been a creative force in creating and performing original choreographic works with a company of dancers, working intensively in arts-education programming and creating festival-like community events in Ohio for 33 years.
Tom currently serves as artistic director of DANCE EVERT, which he founded in 1986. He holds BFAs in both painting and dance from Ohio University and has enjoyed a world-class touring career with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City. He has created a major body of work for which he has received eight Individual Excellence Awards in choreography.…
Visual Arts, Textiles, Mask Making, & Collage
Heavily influenced during the early part of her artist career by the work of Romare Bearden, Wendy Kendrick has applied her years of work with collage and mixed media to her current work with quilted portrait masks. In 2010, Wendy was selected by the Arts Council Lake Erie West to travel to the East African country of Tanzania as a U.S. delegate for a women’s artist exchange. In addition, she was invited to speak to college students regarding her artistic journey at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Wendy received her BA in visual studies from Dartmouth College and has furthered her studies through additional coursework taken at the Dayton Art Institute, Columbus College of Art and Design, and Quilt Surface Design Symposium.…
Sara Lawrence-Sucato, from Columbus, Ohio, graduated with honors from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, with a degree in dance and is currently working in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the Dancing Wheels Company and School’s director of outreach and community engagement, rehearsal director, tour manager, and a 10-year-plus company member. During her professional performance career with the Dancing Wheels Company, Sara has performed works by noted choreographers Marc Brew, Nai Ni Chen, David Dorfman, Christopher Fleming, Catherine Meredith, Stuart Pimsler, David Rousseve, Ginger Thatcher, Michael Uthoff, and Robert Wesner, as well as by internationally renowned choreographers Donald McKayle and Dianne McIntyre.…
Visual Arts, Painting, Sculpture, Jewelry, & Recyclable Materials
Eric Marlow is a visual artist: painter, sculptor, jewelry designer, craftsman, and inventor. He has his mother to thank for her encouragement early in life in making him the artist he is today. Eric remembers painting his first watercolor when he was six years old. Art was his favorite class in school.
In 1960 Eric attended the Ohio State University where he received his BFA 1964 and while in graduate school, taught beginning drawing and sculpture. After working as an art director in advertising, Eric started making jewelry full time because of his love for working for himself and seeing his ideas come to life from his imagination.…
For more than 35 years, Candace Mazur Darman (MEd, Univ. of Northern Colorado) has been a successful teaching artist in central Ohio. She is the founder of Dramatic Impact, a nationally acclaimed children’s theatre company. As a teaching artist for VSA Ohio, the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, and for education programs supported by the Ohio Arts Council, Darman works in inclusive classrooms to enhance teaching and learning through arts-integrated residencies and differentiated curriculum. She was recognized by the Greater Columbus Arts Council as the 2015 Outstanding Arts Educator.
Throughout her long and active career, Darman has vigorously advocated for the promise of arts education and the lifelong learning it inspires, for the importance of honoring and celebrating play, natural creativity, imagination, and improvisation.…
Eric Paton (MM) is a world percussionist fascinated by the intersection of movement and music. He accompanied Afro Caribbean dance classes for ten years, including technique and Dunham techniques classes with April Berry Burkey. He founded the Hiuchi Taiko Ethnic Percussion Ensemble featuring the music of Cuba, Haiti, Brazil and Japan, the KataBomba Drummers, co-directed Sambateria (a community samba percussion ensemble), and directs Yumbambé Salsa Jazz.
He specializes in percussion from the African Diaspora and Japan and is dedicated to providing interactive learning experiences for all learners and educators.
Paton has performed with national and international artists including Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente Jr., Sir Roland Hannah, Bobby Shew-Salsa Caliente, Earl Klugh, Milano La Scala (Italian National Opera), Eitetsu Hayashi, and Burnadette Peters.…
Matt and Nicolette Swift
Nicolette Swift is the founder and owner of Nicolettecinemagraphics. Her roles include general business operations, production management, cinematography, color grading, editing, and much more. Her background includes a Bachelor of Arts in both Film Studies and Art History from the Ohio State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science with a focus in digital collections preservation and access from Kent State University. Since 2003, Nicolette has been providing an array of media production services to businesses, non-profits, and residents of the Central Ohio area. Nicolette is a well round digital and analog media specialist handling film photography, digital photography, videography, web and media installation and consultation, as well as producing her own projects which have shown at festivals and competitions across the US and abroad.…