2024 TATI Participants

Amy Ackerman (they/them) - Originally from California, Amy is a creative capacity builder, cabaret artist, art model, and body advocate. Their one person show Big Kitty in the Big City explores body liberation and navigating the theatrical industry as a person of size (the Tank, Club Cumming). As a member of Honest Accomplice Theatre, they have devised and performed numerous plays including ReconFIGUREd (the tank, University Settlement, college tours), Engineers not found, Unmuted and the Trans Literacy Project (YouTube, College tours). As an educator, they lecture at universities about fatness as a queer embodiment, teach body love workshops and dance classes and helped devise a gender and Trans inclusivity training with the New York Commission on Human rights. Amy founded and facilitates National Queer Theater’s Staging Pride Queer Youth Theater for LGBTQIA teens at the Center. They studied Performance Studies and Sociology at the University of California Berkeley and Applied Theater at CUNY.

Amy Ackerman

Jamie Thiessen (she/her) - I am Jamie Thiessen, a graduate student in Educational Theatre at CCNY and a pre-service theatre teacher. I’m originally from California, and currently live in the Bronx with my husband and our 4 year old son. I love dance and musical theatre, and look forward to teaching elementary theatre in a Special Education program here in NYC.

Jamie Thiessen

Kea Trevett (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based actor, writer and director, and proud alumnus of the NYC public school system. Kea teaches playwriting and theater, with an emphasis on classical texts, for institutions including Theatre for a New Audience, Lincoln Center, and her own company, Apocalyptic Artists. She was most recently seen on stage in "Smart" at Ensemble Studio Theatre, her first feature film (as a director), an adaptation of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" produced by Apocalyptic Artists, premieres in NYC classrooms this fall, and she is looking forward to upcoming rehearsals for Apocalyptic's co-production with Classical Theatre of Harlem, a school tour of "Romeo & Juliet."

Kea Trevett

Chengxin Liang (she/her) - My name is Chengxin Liang. I have a bachelor's degree in childhood education (K-6) and studio art. Right now, I am pursuing an MFA in Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I am passionate about conveying stories through art and creating fantastical worlds within my illustrations.

Chengxin Liang

Maude Wiltshire (she/her) - Hello, my name is Maude Wiltshire. I am originally from Richmond, Virginia but I have lived in NYC for 20 years. I work for the NYC Public Schools District 75 and I teach the Visual Arts to High school students with Autism and developmental disabilities. I believe all students deserve a quality visual arts experience. I practice photography and take studio art classes at the Art Students League. I’m interested in developing curriculum aimed at better preparing emerging art teachers for the Special Education Art Classroom. I enjoy traveling internationally and find that my explorations have become essential to my teaching practice!

Maude Wiltshire

Kerry Warren (she/her) is the Co-Executive Director of the Teaching Artist Guild (teachingartists.com) a national nonprofit that advocates for teaching artists, an Actor and Teaching Artists based in New York. She has taught at D75 schools and (ICT) classrooms with the 52nd Street Project, CO/LAB Theater Group, G!RLBEHEARD, and ArtsConnection. Proud member of NYC AieRoundtable, Art Equity's BIPOC Leadership Circle, AEA & SAG AFTRA. She has trained as a Consent Forward Artist from Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, facilitated workshops and contributed to the GIVE Guide (teachwithgive.org), a free online resource created for Teaching Artists working in Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) Classrooms in New York City and beyond. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School’s Drama Division, alumni of the Teaching Artist Project and completed Bartol Foundation's Trauma Informed Practice Training.  

Kerry Warren

Heaven Lei Lucas (she/her) is a Wisconsin native turned New York-based actress, dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She is a recent graduate from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, earning her BFA in Acting and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Additionally, Heaven has graced both the stage and screen, directing and starring in multiple projects dealing with subject matter such as equity, female empowerment, and international relations. Fostering her love for the arts and mentoring young people, Heaven began her career as a theatre and dance instructor in 2019 and has worked with students from ages 4-18. She is also a licensed special education aide and believes that accessibility, diversity, respect, and empathy are essentials for every classroom. Heaven works to ignite a passion for personal and artistic growth in each of her students and is thrilled to begin her journey with TATI!  

Heaven Lei Lucas

Betty Kean (she/her) - My name is Betty Kean, I'm from Plano, TX, now based in Brooklyn, NY. I'm a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist with a strong jazz background, working in multiple genres and disciplines throughout the city and country. In addition to freelancing in jazz and theater, I play woodwinds and sing backup vocals for singer/songwriter Leche Malo, I write poetry and original music for various small groups of mine, I'm the staff musician for young-audiences theatre company Flying Leap, I teach private saxophone lessons, and I am a songwriting Teaching Artist with New York City Children's Theater.

Betty Kean

Celeste Morton (she/her) is a Brooklyn based painter and visual arts teaching artist with Marquis Studios and Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx. She received her BA in film theory from the University of Vermont, her post baccalaureate from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her MFA in painting from the University of Delaware in 2018. She grew up in Tappan NY. Her paintings have been exhibited at galleries throughout the United States.

Celeste Morton

Ellen Carranza (she/her) was born in Mexico City and moved to New York in the 90s. She works in several mediums; such as printmaking, painting, drawing and ceramics. She has worked as an art educator since 2010.

Ellen Carranza

Brandon Lee (they/them) is a character designer and animator from queens who is most likely mispronouncing their Japanese at this very moment.

Brandon Lee

Sami Schwaeber (she/her) - My name is Sami Schwaeber, I am originally from Connecticut but have lived in Brooklyn with my wife and dog for the last 8 years! I teach music at p94m @361 with k-5th graders. I grew up playing piano in a big musical family!

Sami Schwaeber

Courtni Wilson (she/her) - With extensive training and performing experience, Courtni received her BFA in Ballet Performance from The University of Oklahoma. She is a classically trained professional dancer with a career specializing in ballet, jazz, and musical theater with numerous national, regional and fixed companies, tours, ensembles, workshops, and festivals. Skilled in modern, lyrical, contemporary and hip-hop, she is also a dance teacher and coach with demonstrated experience delivering high quality instruction to all levels of children and adults in ballet fundamentals through advanced technique, creative movement, pointe, jazz, and stretch. Passionate about bringing the performing arts to life through performance and storytelling, Courtni an accomplished actor in TV, Film, and New Media.She has dedicated her life to creating a culture of inquiry and exploration that activates the creative spirit and the intellectual voice, and remains committed to artistic excellence, providing access to the arts, and exploring the impact that the arts have in inspiring creativity, enriching the world, and connecting and engaging communities! With joy in creating community around a shared appreciation for dance and music, Courtni is eager to leverage the power of arts, culture, education and entertainment to make a lasting contribution and change in the world.

Courtni Wilson

Gamze Alkan (she/her) - My name is Gamze and I'm from Istanbul. I am an artist, theatre maker, video maker, writer, and researcher based in Brooklyn. Currently, I am honored to be serving as a supporting artist at People's Theatre Projects. My academic background involves studying theatre at Studio Oyunculari and contemporary dance at ÇATI Çağdaş Dans Sanatçıları Derneği in İstanbul. Having been on stage since I was 13 years old, I am deeply passionate about both psychology, which I am majoring in, and art, which I am minoring in. Through my volunteering experience at TEGV, I have had the opportunity to teach youth in Istanbul through after-school programs. Currently, I am working on a fellowship funded by the city council, where I am conducting research on the history of the LGBTQIA+ community and its impact on civil rights and social action at Wagner Archives. Additionally, I am involved in developing a curriculum on the history of the LGBTQIA+ community for public schools. Moreover, I serve as a Student Success Mentor at the City University of New York, where I assist college students in accessing the resources they need to thrive academically and personally. I am participating in a Student Experimental Research Project under the guidance of my professor. Our project delves into the effects of adverse childhood experiences on student success and overall life experiences. I truly believe in the transformative power of art and the importance of amplifying the voice of our community. As an advocate for artistic expression, I strongly believe that art positively shapes us.

Gamze Alkan

AnaVito (she/her) - Born in Puerto Rico and currently living in New York City. AnaVito creates oil and mixed-media paintings which reflect the strength and frailty of the human connection. The resulting creations are figurative in nature and allow her to experiment with new materials and techniques. "In my artistic journey, I'm dedicated to unlocking emotions and crafting intimate connections. Each canvas I create serves as a portal to a world where love takes shape, and connection emerges as the masterpiece. Join me in experiencing the art of intimacy, where every stroke whispers the language of the heart and where love becomes a canvas of boundless connection."

Ana López-Vázquez

Joell Baxter (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator whose work moves between printmaking, collage, sculpture, and painting. In 2024 she will complete a permanent commission as part of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art for Public Schools program. In addition to a full time studio practice, Baxter currently teaches visual arts in NYC public schools through Partnership with Children and is a participant in Community Word Projects's Teaching Artist Project cohort for 2023-2024. She holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana.

Joell Baxter

Justin Gunter (he/him) is a percussionist from Albuquerque, New Mexico with a wide range of performance and education experience. He has a formal background in contemporary classical performance, but has maintained an interest in global percussion styles and popular music. Justin has experience teaching students of all ages in classrooms, summer camps, after school programs, private lessons, libraries, and community events. Justin is currently a Teaching Artist with Marquis Studios and is focusing his creative energy on electronic music production.

Justin Gunter

Rebecca (Becky) Killy (she/her) - NYC DOE/District 75/Movement Cluster. My students range in age from four to eleven and their challenges are many and varied, including autism, Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, speech and hearing impairment, vision issues and seizure disorders. My class lessons and their inherent games and physical activities that I offer are chosen with an eye to strengthening our students cognitively, socially and physically, as well as bringing them joy. Before becoming a teacher, I was a working actor, having the privilege of working on and off Broadway and in regional theater.  

Becky Killy

Lola Kaplan (she/her) - I am a native New Yorker, multimedia artist, storyteller and educator. I work mainly with textile, pottery, painting, and film. As an environmentalist, I reuse materials and give forgotten objects new meaning and life in my art practice. I graduated from McGill University with a bachelors degree in Anthropology and minor in Psychology. During my degree I focused mainly on human/nature relationships and anthropological film. I currently work at Art 101, an art afterschool program based in Greenpoint where I spend my days playing and crafting with children aged 4-10.

Lola Kaplan

Kaytie Eaton (she/her) - is Media and Theatre Arts teacher and artist living and working in Brooklyn. She has worked as both a teaching artist and classroom teacher with the DOE, where her curriculum focuses on the art and tools of storytelling -- integrating animation, puppetry, devised theatre and performance into her elementary school classrooms.

Kaytie Eaton

Margaret Ivey (she/her) - is an actor and a teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a teaching artist with Theatre For A New Audience and Epic Theatre Ensemble. She has led in-school residencies as well as Epic's Shakespeare Remix after-school program at schools throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx. As an actor, some of her favorite projects include playing Philinte in The Misanthrope (Moliere in the Park) and Perdita in The Winter's Tale (Alley Theatre). Margaret cares deeply about showing young people the power of their voices and about making art that serves diverse communities.

Margaret Ivey