Claire LaRose is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and arts administrator, devoted to creative exploration and observation through interactive, process-based learning. She has been a Visual Arts Teaching Artist with ArtWorks for 6 years and has taught at numerous museums and arts organizations including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art and the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Before moving to Santa Fe, Claire served as the Artists in Education Director at Southern Exposure in San Francisco. Claire received her teaching degree from Bradley University and her Masters in Art History at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Melinda Baker (Visual Artist) is a watercolorist from the Monterey Bay area and began teaching art to children and adults with the SPECTRA Visting Artist Residency program after receiving her BFA in printmaking from University of California at Santa Cruz. With additional studies in illustration, textiles, and education, Melinda taught in Northern New Mexico with FACT (Fine Arts for Children and Teens) and accepted the Presidential Arts and Humanities Award during the Obama Administration. She also teaches with ARTsmart New Mexico, and the Santa Fe Community College where she developed a series called “Fearless Creativity”. Melinda enjoys developing art curriculum which encourages choice and strives to create an atmosphere of freedom and inspiration in her classrooms. Her work can be seen locally at Fine Art New Mexico.
Kristine Banh (Musician) is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned a degree in music, Africana Studies and a certificate in race and social justice. Originally from Sitka, Alaska, Kristine worked at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp for many years where she played alongside world-renowned jazz musicians, taught/mentored several music groups, and worked on the logistics staff. She teaches a number of private lessons online and works as a contractor teaching classical and jazz saxophone for various public schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Additionally, Kristine is a part of the Yūgen duo with her partner Sam McClung. Among her music endeavors, Kristine is passionate about incorporating social justice with any project she can. She is working on writing several pieces that connect her love for music and commitment to social justice.
Melissa Briggs-Bransford (Dancer) is a graduate of New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and Smith College. For over 20 years, she has taught young people ages three to university age in schools and arts programs in New York City, Brooklyn, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Albuquerque. Melissa is currently on faculty at both NDI New Mexico and UNM. A former New York City resident, she was listed as one of “Gotham’s finest dancemakers” by The Village Voice, and has enjoyed artist residencies from several organizations, including the Joyce Theater Foundation and The Yard. Melissa has had work presented by numerous New Mexico organizations, including the Center for Contemporary Art, the N4th Theater, the University of New Mexico, the Railyard Performance Space, and in PERPENDICULAR.
Wendy Chapin (Visual & Theater Artist) is the Artistic Director of Adobe Rose Theatre and has taught acting to ages 7 – 70 for over 30 years. She directed such plays as Good People by David Lindsay Abaire and Gideon’s Knot by Johnna Adams. Wendy is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellowship.
Alejandro Jimenez (Poet) is a formerly-undocumented immigrant, poet, writer, and educator from Colima, Mexico, living in New Mexico. He is the 2021 Mexican National Poetry Slam Champion, he is a two-time National Poetry Slam Semi-Finalist (US), multiple time TEDx Speaker/Performer, and regional Emmy-nominated poet. In May 2022, he was featured in TIME Magazine as “one of 80 Mexican artists shaping contemporary Mexican culture”. His work centers and touches on cultural identity, immigrant narratives, masculinity, memory, and the intersections of them all.
Lucy Ranney (Lead Teaching Artist) is a fiber and visual artist and a native of Santa Fe, who currently works in the public schools as a visiting artist and has been teaching in the community for a number of years. She studied Fine Art at the University of New Mexico and has a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies, as well as an MA in Spanish from Colorado State University. Lucy is passionate about connecting students to art in a hands-on, cross-cultural and multi-dimensional manner.
Dana Winograd (Musician) originally from Los Angeles, received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in performance from the Juilliard School in New York where she studied with Harvey Shapiro and Channing Robbins, as well as members of the Juilliard String Quartet for chamber music. After graduation, Dana led an active freelance career in New York City, including performances at Carnegie Hall with the American Composer’s Orchestra and the American Symphony, Broadway appearances (both in the pit and on stage) with Phantom of The Opera, Cats, Beauty and the Beast,and Once Upon a Mattress, as well as playing backup for Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Lyle Lovett, Manhattan Transfer, and Harry Connick Jr.
Since moving to Santa Fe in 1999, Dana has been a member of the New Mexico Symphony (now New Mexico Philharmonic), Santa Fe Pro Musica, and is principal cellist of the Santa Fe Symphony. She has appeared as soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, the Plainfield Symphony in NJ and the Julius Grossman Orchestra in NY.
An active chamber musician Dana plays regularly with Chatter, the Santa Fe Symphony quartet, Taos Chamber Music Group and Serenata of Santa Fe. She is the orchestra director at St. Michael’s High School, and works in the Santa Fe Symphony’s mentoring program, helping young string students in the SFPS. Dana and her husband Gil live happily with two great dogs, Riley and Lily.
Liberty Yablon (Visual Artist) is a Santa Fe native with over 10 years experience in creative industries including visual art, fashion, film production, and 5 years with local art collective Meow Wolf. She attended the University of Southern California on a Fine Arts scholarship where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005 with a BA in Visual Arts. Before that she attended Santa Fe High, Alameda junior high, and Carlos Gilbert Elementary. She believes that visual art can be a great tool for attaining creative problem solving skills that can be applied to all aspects of life; as well as art being an invaluable tool to cope with mental and emotional difficulties. She worked as a public school art and theatre teacher for 3 years before joining ArtWorks and loves working with children and young adults of all ages and backgrounds.