Tricia Hersey is a Chicago native living in Atlanta with over 15 years experience working with youth and communities as a teaching artist, poet, performance artist, puppeteer and theater maker. She believes impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Her theater work is greatly influenced by liberation theology, creative empowerment and community organizing. Tricia has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Eastern Illinois University and will graduate in 2016 with her Masters of a Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Leah Sobsey is an artist and educator raised in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina. She works in traditional, digital and alternative-process photography, mixed media installations and public art. Sobsey has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums and public spaces, and her work is held in private and public collections across the country. Co-founder of the Visual History Collaborative, she received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Guilford College. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Maine Photographic Workshops, and now teaches at the Center for Documentary Studies and UNC-Greensboro. Her current work includes Collections, a photographic series on endangered specimens from the National Parks Museum collections.
Radhika Rao is an actor, writer and theatre teaching artist currently based in the San Francisco Bay area. She graduated from HGSE in 2009 with an Ed.D. in Culture, Communities, and Education, where she focused on how theatre could be used in fostering youth citizenship and transforming communities. Radhika has over 10 years of experience teaching theatre to hundreds of children, youth and adults at the school, community, and university level. She cherishes the opportunity to integrate theatre in various educational settings, such as the teaching of academic subjects like history, math, or literature; peace-building/community building; medical school education, and corporate leadership and teacher training. Radhika believes the teaching of theatre imparts not just the technicalities of dramatic performance to the learner, also and equally, life-skills such as confidence, empathy, cooperation, leadership, imagination, creative and critical thinking.
Steve Seidel is director of the Arts in Education Program at HGSE. At Project Zero, he was principal investigator on projects that study the use of reflective practices in schools, the close examination of student work, and documentation of learning. This research currently included The Evidence Project, a study using student work as evidence of learning and teaching, and Making Learning Visible, a study of group learning and assessment in partnership with the Reggio Emilia early childhood schools in Italy. He recently completed Arts Survive, a study of the sustainability of arts education partnerships. His teaching and writing for the past decade have largely focused on arts education and the improvement of teaching and assessment across elementary and secondary settings. He also convenes a monthly discussion group on collaborative assessment for educators: ROUNDS at Project Zero. Before coming to the School, he taught high-school theater and language arts in the Boston area for 17 years.
Cynthia Weiss is a public artist, painter, and arts educator and a leader in the field of arts and education. Cynthia is an adjunct faculty member in the Education Department at Columbia College Chicago, a member of the Chicago Public Art Group, an artist in the Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center and was selected as member of the Education Leaders Institute Illinois team, a program of the NEA. Cynthia received a Chicago Artist International Award and various residency awards from the Ragdale Foundation and helped to co-create the Teaching Artist Development (TAD) Studio that supports the next generation of teaching artists in Chicago. Cynthia holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is co-editor with Gail Burnaford and Arnold Aprill, of the book Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning, and co-editor with Amanda Lichtenstein, of the AIMprint: New Relationships in the Arts and Learning.
Jamie Topper is artist whose practice spans public sculpture, ecological design, and music. She has worked as a Teaching Artist in Chicago schools and community settings for over 12 years for nationally renowned arts organizations such as Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), Snow City Arts, Columbia College's Center for Community Arts Partnerships and Project AIM (Arts Integration Mentorship), Urban Gateways, After School Matters, Northeastern University's Chicago Teacher's Center, and Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries. In 2010 Topper was awarded the acclaimed 3Arts Teaching Artist Award for her work (http://3arts.org/artist/jamie-topper/). She recently earned a Masters degree in Public Humanities at Brown University.