VAPAE Faculty and Staff
Kevin M. Kane
Director & Lecturer, VAPAE Program
Kevin M. Kane received his Ph.D. In Cultural Studies, with an emphasis in Arts Education, from Claremont Graduate University and his MFA in Dance Choreography from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance (WACD). Throughout his career, Kevin has focused his research, practice, and activism on designing and implementing inclusive multidisciplinary performing arts programs for youth in his community. He is a long time instructor in UCLA WACD where he designed and directed the award winning summer High School Dance Theatre Intensive program from 2006-2013. A former credentialed language arts teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Kevin taught theatre arts and dance for eight years at John Marshall High School, where he created numerous original dance theatre productions in collaboration with his many students. Along with his childhood friend Monica Horan Rosenthal, Kevin co-founded and served as Executive Director of The Flourish Foundation from 2005-2014, before joining the UCLA VAPAE Program as Associate Director and Lecturer. Kevin is committed to using performing arts and arts education as a tool for individual and social transformation, creating student pipeline programs that allow youth of all backgrounds to feel connected and inspired through the arts, empowered to imagine and realize bright futures for themselves.
Program Coordinator, VAPAE Program
Amorette is an arts educator, visual artist, and administrator. With a foundation of critical visual literacy and influences of art therapy, Amorette has developed and implemented multiple visual arts-based curricula focusing on a social justice praxis in various educational and museum settings throughout California. She has had her work on display in galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Amorette received a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude from UCLA with a major in Art History and a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE).
Community Engagement Coordinator, VAPAE Program
Raymundo Baltazar is a multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, and fashion industry consultant. Baltazar has been an active volunteer in the nonprofit sector, most notably working with organizations such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and The Huntington Library. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a focus on World Arts and Cultures, and a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE); and an A.A. in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (F.I.D.M.).
Public Events & Special Projects Coordinator
Lindsey Kunisaki is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and VAPAE alumna. She earned her Ed.M (Master’s of Education) in Arts in Education at Harvard University, and her B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in an individual major in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Since 2010, Lindsey has been producing arts and academic programs in collaboration with schools, communities and other entities (including UNESCO, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Sustainable Little Tokyo, and local governments, among others). Driving her work in curriculum design, teaching artistry, and organizational strategy is a commitment to building and sustaining equitable arts learning spaces in and outside of classrooms.
VAPAE Program Assistants 2019-2020
Jane E. Kim, Graphic Designer • Tigran Nersisian, Videographer • Matthew Broking, Graphic Designer • Belinda Adams, Program Analyst (not pictured)
Lecturers 2019 - 2020
Sue Bell Yank
Sue Bell Yank is a writer, producer, and arts educator. She currently works in online digital education. Formerly Associate Director of Academic Programs at the UCLA Hammer Museum, her writing on socially-engaged art and public cultural practice has been featured in exhibition catalogues, the Liverpool Biennial journal Stages, UCSD’s Field Journal, n.paradoxa feminist journal, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, the Huffington Post, KCET Artbound, and various arts blogs including her ongoing essay blog entitled Social Practice: Writings about the social in contemporary art (www.suebellyank.com). She is currently an advisor for the Asian Arts Initiative's Social Practice Lab and the granting organization SPArt, and is a board member of the arts organization Clockshop in LA.
Desi Cameron, Ph.D.
Dr. Desi Cameron is the Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Westside Neighborhood School, where she received an Eddy Award for being one of Los Angeles' outstanding teachers. As an educator for the past twenty years, she’s focused on arts integration, arts education, classroom management, and social and emotional learning. She earned a B.F.A. in theatre from the University of Miami, an M.A. in elementary education from the University of South Florida, an Ed.M. in arts in education from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University. For three years, Desi was an instructor, student teaching supervisor, and academic advisor for the program in Educational Theatre at New York University and was honored to receive the prestigious NYU Teaching Excellence Award. Before NYU, she taught 3rd-6th grades, worked as a K-12 teaching artist, and taught theatre to all ages in various community organizations. Desi is also the President and Founder of www.artfulteaching.com
Jantré Christian is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, organizer and administrator. She brings two decades of professional experience to VAPAE, beginning in the classroom where she taught Theater and English to grades K-12. As an instructional coach she assisted fellow educators to create engaging instructional learning experiences for high school Math, English, History, and Special Education classes. Her experience also extends to being an instructional leader in middle and high schools as an Assistant Principal, and at the district level as an Arts Education instructional leader supporting entertainment industry partnerships and professional learning experiences for Arts teachers citywide. She received her Master's in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from CSUN, studied advanced Meisner technique in a conservatory setting at Playhouse West, and earned her Bachelor's in Theater Arts with a minor concentration in African and African-American studies from Earlham College.
Charla Freeman Elizabeth earned an A.B. in Art from Brown University and an M.Sc. from Pratt Institute. An award-winning sculptor and painter, Charla has exhibited in solo shows at the June Kelly Gallery, NYC, and in many group exhibitions, including several at the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles, CA. She has won two Pollock-Krasner awards for her nature-referenced sculpture and several notable awards for her frottage painting technique. Charla is an adjunct professor at USC in Los Angeles, CA, where she teaches Drawing and Design. She is also a Visual Arts Teacher/Mentor for the Theatre of Hearts Youth First - providing visual arts education for diverse groups of students, including at-risk and incarcerated youth.
Marissa Magdalena Sykes
Marissa Magdalena Sykes is a cross genre conceptual artist with more than a decade of professional experience in creative education. She has worked across the Los Angeles area in classroom, museum, and alternative education contexts with child, adolescent, and life-long learners. Marissa has partnered with community, gallery, and classroom educators including Otis College of Art and Design, Urban Arts Partnership, Artworx LA, The Getty Museums and others to develop and enact arts based curricula for diverse populations. She is currently the Creativity Lab Teaching Artist at Inner-City Arts. Marissa's teaching practice is fueled by an active studio practice that she exhibits regionally and internationally. She is a recent recipient of a Woman's Building fellowship through Metabolic Studios for her work on under represented identity. Marissa is a graduate the Arts Community Teaching Program at Otis College of Art and Design where she also studied Sculpture and New Genres.
Nam is an itinerant visual arts teacher, servicing public schools in a variety of socioeconomic neighborhoods. She has taught thousands of students in more than a dozen Los Angeles Unified schools, where she has also been a coordinator, instructional coach, and classroom teacher. Drawing from her varied experiences, she has developed art curricula that supports students and classroom teachers in discovering how art can be used to express, question, and connect ideas. Nam received a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in Education.
Sabra Williams has received international acclaim for her work as an actor and co-founder of The Actors' Gang Prison Project, including being named by President Obama a, “Champion of Change” in 2016, and being honored with a British Empire Medal by Queen Elizabeth in 2018. As former Director of The Prison Project, for thirteen years, she oversaw the program from one California State Prison to thirteen, as well as programs in two Reentry facilities, girls Juveniles Camps and a new Correctional & Probation Officer program. She is currently the Executive Director of a new Social Justice initiative, Creative Acts. www.creativeacts.us
Graduate Student Teaching Assistants 2019-2020
Amy Alterman • Jackie Amezquita (not pictured) • Zena Bibler (not pictured) • Jingqiu Guan • Lindsay Lindberg • MiRi Park • Sam Richardson • Charles Snowden (not pictured)
UCLA VAPAE Teaching Artists 2016-2019
Get to know our Teaching Artists here!
Tali Aires, Dance B.A., VAPAE minor 2015
Belinda Adams, Anthropology undergraduate
Angelina Attanasio, Art History B.A., VAPAE minor 2014
Raymundo Baltazar, World Arts and Cultures B.A., VAPAE minor 2017
Kevin Belisario, Dance B.A., VAPAE minor 2015
Matthew Broking, Design | Media Arts B.A., VAPAE minor 2018
Phoebe Brown, World Arts and Cultures B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Rob Tom Browning, Design | Media Arts B.A., VAPAE minor 2017
Christyana Cabal, Ethnomusicology B.A., VAPAE minor 2014
Sally Chung, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2014
Vanessa Chung, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Aya Fathallah, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Emmanuel Galvez-Machuca, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Jamie Gonzalez, Design | Media Arts undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Bella Granados, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2018
Elias Hernandez, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Quincy Irving, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Ria Julian, Dance undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Jane Kim, Design | Media Arts B.A., VAPAE minor 2018
Brittany Ko, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2013
Lindsey Kunisaki, Independent Major B.A., VAPAE minor, 2015
Sage LaCroix, Dance undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Lily Raven Leon, World Arts and Cultures B.A., VAPAE minor 2017
Jade McKenzie, Art History undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Kevin Michini, Art History B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Amorette Muzingo, Art History B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Tigran Nersisian, Film B.A. 2019
Jackie Oka, Dance B.A., VAPAE minor 2015
Brian Pea, Design | Media Arts undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Brianda Perez, Design | Media Arts B.A., VAPAE minor 2015
Jessi Pontillas, Dance B.A., VAPAE minor 2017
Valentina Quezada, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2012
Claudia Rosas, Art Department B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Alyssa Scott, World Arts and Cultures B.A., VAPAE minor 2018
Zo Shay, Ethnomusicology B.A., VAPAE minor 2015
Sara Simon, Architecture and Urban Design B.A., VAPAE minor 2016
Amanda Sutton, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Annie Titan, Art History undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Rachel Tu, Design | Media Arts undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Maria Vazquez, Chicana/o Studies undergraduate, Education minor, VAPAE minor
Ago Visconti, Art undergraduate, VAPAE minor
Yue Wang, Art B.A., VAPAE minor 2017
Owen Weitzel, Design | Media Arts undergraduate
Founding Director, VAPAE Program; Associate Dean of Community Engagement & Arts Education; Professor, Department of Art
Barbara Drucker received her MFA from UCLA, where she is currently the Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Arts Education, and Founding Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE) for the School of the Arts and Architecture and Professor of Painting and Drawing in the Department of Art. From 1996-2001 she was the founder/director of The Living Room, an alternative exhibition space in Santa Monica, California. Her creative work includes painting, mixed media installation, sculpture, photography and video. It has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Mazzocchi Gallery, Parma, Italy; Academy of Fine Arts, Brescia, Italy; Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria; Kennedy Gallery, Athens, Greece; Bouzianis Gallery, Athens, Greece; Center for Book Arts, New York; and Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA. Drucker’s work is also included in numerous public collections such as the Smithsonian Archives of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.; the Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry and Artists’ Books, Miami, Florida; UCLA Special Collections/Artists’ Books; the Museum of Greek Folk Art, Film Archives, Athens, Greece; and the Museum of Greek Popular Instruments Center of Ethno-musicology, Athens, Greece. Drucker is a recipient of the Howard Foundation Award for Contemporary Art, Brown University, Providence, RI.