KID smART teaching artists are professionals in their field with experience working with children in classrooms in New Orleans’ public schools. They have an indispensable role as catalysts for creativity, and inspire children to make positive changes in their own lives.

KID smART is committed to building the capacities of teaching artists through on-going research of best practices. Teaching artists meet twice monthly forming a learning community to grow their practice, assess student progress and to evaluate their work with students and teachers. 

Chica Alexander

  • Afterschool Enrichment at Hynes
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Chica Alexander has been teaching art for the last seven years. She is the studio manager of the old Louisiana Children’s Museum, where she implemented the “Self Engaged Learning Exploration Stations”, influenced by the Reggio Emilio Pedagogy. The stations were based on the museum’s theme and rotated throughout the studio each month. She is also a member of Education Exhibit Tour Board for newly opened City Park location.

Erin Barnard

  • Media Arts Enrichment Instructor at The Net
  • Professional Development Presenter
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Erin Barnard specializes in teaching and curriculum development in photography and youth media. She is a founding director of Exposures, a photography-based arts and cultural program facilitating creative dialogue between youth from diverse communities across the country. Prior to her work with New Orleans youth and teachers, Erin coached and taught alongside teachers in arts integration programs in Chicago, where she also presented professional development and studio workshops with programs including the Art Institute of Chicago’s Teacher Workshops. Erin studied Literature and Photography at Marlboro College and Arts Management in the Arts in Youth and Community Development program at Columbia College, Chicago.

Martin ‘Bats’ Bradford

  • Theatre Residency at ReNEW Therapeutic 
  • Theatre Enrichment at Center for Resilience 
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Martin ‘Bats’ Bradford is an actor, writer and filmmaker. He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Dillard University where he studied Mass Communications and Theatre Arts. His film credits include Tales from the Hood 2, Venom, The Dirt, Blaze, Greenbook, NOLA Circus and When We First Met. His television credits range from American Horror Story: Coven, Zoo, and Scream Queens to recurring roles on The Oath, Containment and NCIS: New Orleans. ‘Bats’ is an actor of film and stage alike. His theatre credits include Macbeth (as Macbeth), Sweet Bird of Youth (as Chance Wayne), TopDog/Underdog, Porgy, Father Comes Home From the Wars, Miss Evers’ Boys, The Angola 3, Fences, Fishers Of Men, Clybourne Park, Measure for Measure, and Orphans.

“I live to tell stories through my art, specifically bringing heart and truth to the stories of those society trains us to ignore.” – Martin Bats Bradford

Mary Carol Chenet

  • Dance Enrichment at Success Academy
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Mary Carol Chenet began her performing artist career as a  dancer with Ballet Joyeux in Lake Charles, LA and the Fort Worth City Ballet. Ms. Chenet earned her Bachelor Degree from California State University of Long Beach in ENG/Creative Writing while studying theatre and modern dance techniques of Limon, Cunningham and Graham. In New Orleans she has performed with New Orleans Dance Collective, Barbara Hailey, Nicole Colbert, Monique Moss, Anne Burr Dance Theatre, Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre and Eddy Villalta and her most recent role as Blanche Dubois in Last Stop Desire, as a part of the Tennessee Williams Festival.  She has co-produced and acted in the Films, The Amateur and A Happy Place.  She has choreographed the works entitled, Destination Evacuation, Take Care, Lovely, and Affinity, all performed at the CAC. She believes that a performing artist is always a student and is always in training.

Kelly Couch

  • Theatre & Visual Art Residency at ReNEW Schaumburg & ReNEW SciTech 
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Kelly Couch is a textile artist, clothing upcycled, and all around arts enthusiast. She studied Theater at Tulane University and Interior Design at Delgado Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in women studies from the University of Oklahoma. She also holds a master’s degree in Practical Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary and is pursuing a master’s degree in Special Education at Xavier University of Louisiana. Kelly’s primary focus in the classroom is to help each student discover a passion for self expression and a wider vision of their life beyond their years in school. She believes that the arts open pathways in the mind that enable students to learn new things in ways that connect learning to thriving in life.

Julia DeLois

  • Afterschool Enrichment at ARISE 
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Julia DeLois hails from Concord, New Hampshire, but has called New Orleans home for the past ten years. She attended Tulane University for theatre performance, and works frequently on New Orleans stages such as Le Petit Theatre, The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans, The NOLA Project, and most frequently, the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. She has studied acting at Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington, D.C., as well as improv at Washington Improv Theater, Dojo Comedy, and iO Chicago. She is thrilled to be using her acting and comedy experience to bring joy and levity to young people’s exploration of the performing arts!

Erin Doherty

  • Visual Art Residency at Arthur Ashe
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Erin Doherty is a native New Orleanian, visual artist, and arts educator. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on the handmade. Her mediums include painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, bookbinding, and weaving. Since 2012, she has been teaching visual arts at several nonprofits in Chicago, New Orleans, and rural Mississippi. In the classroom, she develops creative skills that will allow students to grow, not only in the arts but in other aspects of life. She strives to create a safe, supportive creative space to nourish the souls of our diverse community here in New Orleans.

Aminisha Ferdinand

  • Professional Development Presenter
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Aminisha Ferdinand is a theater & dance artist-educator. She coaches teachers and teaching artists on integrating arts into the classroom. Her teaching experience includes work in Atlanta, New Orleans, New York and Gulu, Uganda. Before entering the field of arts education, she performed in theater and film in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.  She is re-emerging as a performing artist with a developing lens on decolonized expression. She has an MA in Educational Theater from NYU and a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Miami.

Alex Frosch

  • Enrichment Instructor at Edward Hynes
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Alex Frosch teaches workshops in mime, clowning, musical theater, commedia dell’arte (masked comedy), puppetry, magic and circus arts to kids of all ages, and has served as the director of production at the New Orleans Opera and also off Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater.  Alex dances with the Reese Johannson collective, and is an ensemble member with New Orleans branch of the American Immersion Theater —regularly performing in interactive murder-mysteries.  Also, Alex writes and illustrates children’s books.

Bonnie Gabel

  • Professional Development Presenter
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Bonnie Gabel is an arts educator, theater maker, and creative consultant. She is passionate about helping students and teachers in construct their understanding and tell their own stories through performance and digital media and has nearly a decade of experience working with youth ages 3-18 in various settings. Her arts integration workshops for teachers focus on using theater techniques to reach different learning styles in the classroom. Her original performance explores social justice through dance, theater, sound, and visual art and has been nationally supported and presented in galleries and at regional festivals.

Leslie Goldberg

  • Professional Development Presenter
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Leslie Goldberg has been working in elementary schools in New Orleans since 2012. In the classroom, she specializes in building community and deepening personal connections to learning through drumming, song-writing, and creative movement. Before moving to New Orleans, she taught K-12 music in the suburbs of Chicago and in rural Arkansas. In addition to her work in schools, Leslie enjoys performing all types of music from singing with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to playing funk and jazz on Frenchmen Street. Leslie holds a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Zeb Hollins III

  • Drama Arts Coach
  • Theatre Residency at International School of Louisiana – Olivier
  • Professional Development Presenter
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Zeb Hollins III studied Speech/Theatre at Southern University and worked and studied Educational Theatre with New York University’s Creative Arts Team as a Master Actor/Teacher for six years. While in New York, he performed in numerous productions at The Billie Holiday Theatre, The Negro Ensemble Company, and Woodie King’s New Federal Theatre. He conducted violence prevention and arts in education workshops throughout NYC public schools with The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, and The Leadership Program Inc. He has performed with several New Orleans arts organizations including The NOLA Project, Southern Rep, Goat in the Road Productions, The Bayou Playhouse, LePetit Theatre Du Vieux Carre, and Anthony Bean Community Theatre. He recently completed Visible Thinking, Programs in Professional Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Meghan Johnson

  • Afterschool Enrichment at Hynes Lakeview
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Meghan Johnson (she/her/hers) is a teacher, massage therapist, and ceramicist here in New Orleans. Meghan has an extensive background in education and completed her Master’s in the Arts of Teaching at Xavier University of Louisiana in 2012. She went on to extend her education into the field of massage therapy in and began building her own practice in the St Roch neighborhood in 2017. Over the years, Meghan has taken several local pottery classes at Byrdie’s and has been studio member artist there for two years. The summer of 2019, she taught ceramics to children aged 4-14 and began offering ceramics to students with KID smART the following fall. Infusing her love of teaching with her creative side and love of clay has been a fulfilling and joyful adventure; she’s excited and grateful to learn more and work with the fabulous students and staff of KID smART!

Chris Kamenstein

  • Professional Development Presenter
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Chris Kamenstein is an actor, writer, director and arts instructor. He has experience teaching improvisation, writing, acting, and movie making to students of all ages.Chris is co-artistic director of Goat in the Road Productions, a theater company devoted to creating new work, fostering the growth of local theater artists, and educational outreach. He has premiered work at the New Orleans Fringe Festival and State of the Nation. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University in theater studies.

Sam King

  • Theatre Residency at ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy
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Samantha King has been teaching theatre in New Orleans Public Schools since 2000. Trained in Arts Integration at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, she worked with elementary and middle school students at Lusher Charter School, and high school students at Edna Karr. She is also a member of The Greater New Orleans Writing Project, and has taught Creative Writing at Tulane’s Upward Bound program. She hails from Northern California, where she studied at The American Conservatory Theatre, The Academy of Media and Theatre Arts, and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Kevyn Miller

  • Music Residency at Benjamin Franklin Elementary
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Kevyn Miller is a music educator, singer, and drag artist in New Orleans. He studied Music Education at Louisiana State University and went on to teach K-8th grade general music in Baton Rouge. In the classroom, his goal is to build literacy and to foster a life-long love and appreciation for music and the values it instills. He loves sharing his knowledge and understanding of music with students in an exciting and creative way that makes them eager to learn more.

Tiana Nobile

  • Arts Coach
  • Poetry and Visual Art Residency at International School of Louisiana – Camp
  • Professional Development Presenter
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Tiana Nobile has been working in New Orleans schools since 2009. Starting as a paraprofessional, she then worked as a lead classroom teacher for several years before joining KID smART as a Teaching Artist and Arts Coach. In this role, she teaches in a collaborative artist residency at International School of Louisiana – Camp St. and coaches teachers on how to best integrate the arts in their classrooms. She also designs and facilitates professional development workshops on effectively integrating poetry and visual art with academic curriculum. She received her Bachelor’s of the Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, Master’s of Arts in Teaching in elementary and special education from the University of New Orleans, and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. As a professional poet, her writing has appeared online and in print, and she is a recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry, and a poetry fellowship from Kundiman.

Andrea Panzeca

  • Visual Art Residency at Esperanza Charter School
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Andrea Panzeca is a writer, cartoonist, sculptor, dancer, and teaching artist. She’s taught visual art and dance at the Contemporary Arts Center, environmental education at UNO’s Coastal Education and Research Facility, and modern dance at Lelia Haller School of Ballet. She’s developing a multidisciplinary project to foster environmental awareness, creativity, movement, and science by combining outdoor service, recreation, and reflection through art. She earned her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction writing at the University of New Orleans, where she was associate nonfiction editor of Bayou Magazine. She has published poetry, memoir, a scholarly essay on Zora Neale Hurston, and is the author of the poetry chapbook Rusted Bells and Daisy Baskets.

Jenn Potts

  • Professional Development Presenter
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Jennifer Potts is a photographer and art educator who has taught art and photography for the past eleven years. Jennifer encourages all of her students to experiment and to explore art as a way to communicate ideas. For the past 3 years, Jennifer taught art and photography at the International School of Louisiana. Prior to that, she taught at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and with numerous non-profits and community groups. She holds a BA from Tulane University and Masters of Arts in Teaching: Visual Arts from Tufts University in affiliation with the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston.

Jalisa Roberts

  • Dance Residency at International School of Louisiana – Dixon Campus
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Jalisa Roberts is a writer, educator, Black Studies scholar, singer, and choreographer. With more than 20 years of dance experience locally and internationally, she has most recently trained in modern and African forms of dance at Swarthmore College, and explores how all of these different artistic interests live in one body and influence each other. As dance has been an essential part of her identity and wellbeing, Jalisa’s mission is to use dance to create space for dialogue and change. Currently, she is a freelance artist, consultant, and educator in New Orleans and is the founder of The Cocoon: Youth Empowerment Program.

Sam VanTassel

  • Afterschool Enrichment at Hynes UNO
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Sam has been a puppetry teacher, carpenter and carnival parade sculptor in New Orleans since 2017. He grew up in Minneapolis, where he studied art and architecture at the University of Minnesota. Until moving to New Orleans he worked as a parade artist, puppeteer and set designer for the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and built cardboard kingdoms with talented young artists at Adventures in Cardboard summer camp.