Olusola "So" Adekunle (James Lockett-McCants III) (African drumming) So comes from a family of artists and was introduced to African cultural arts at a very young age. Since 2000 he has been involved with his family's Afojabe Afrikan Village, helping to organize festivals, assist in day camps and with community service, and take students on black history tours around the country. He taught digital photography and Photoshop to after-school students at Christ Enrichment Center (Flint, MI); returning to Cleveland, he had a teaching internship in photography at NewBridge Center for Arts and Technology with filmmaker Robert Banks, and, in 2015, taught African drum and dance at Citizens Leadership Academy. He is photographer for the annual Juneteeth Celebration presented by Djapo Cultural Arts. He teaches for BSMA in its after-school arts program at University Settlement.
David Betts (recorder, trumpet, trombone, beginning piano and keyboard). MM, Case Western Reserve University, BM, Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. A long-time faculty member at BSMA, Mr. Betts is also on the faculties of Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music and Cuyahoga Community College. An accomplished musician with performances at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Play House and Playhouse Square, he performs in the "Music for 2" Ensemble specializing in recorder duets from all eras and in the BW Alumni Brass Ensemble. He also appears in a variety of ensembles in performances throughout Northeast Ohio, including for many community theater performances.
Hector Castellanos-Lara (visual art) Hector Castellanos-Lara was born in Guatemala, studied at the Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala City, the Roslyn Museum of Fine Arts and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Inspired by art from a young age, he has been making and exhibiting his art for over 30 years in a wide variety of venues, including the Latino Art Exhibit at Cleveland State University, the United Way: Guitar Mania exhibit at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie College, Cleveland City Hall, and Wright State University. In addition, he has facilitated a plethora of workshops for the past 18 years at schools and organizations like St. Edwards High School, Hathaway Brown, Shaker Heights High School, MetroHealth Hospital, Church of the Savior and many others, providing a unique cultural and artistic perspective. He has also been a Parade the Circle and Chalk Festival artist with the Cleveland Museum of Art for many years, is an organizer of the annual Day of the Dead Celebration presented in conjunction with Cleveland Public Theatre, and has created murals and other artworks with Ohio's Immigrant Worker Project.
Dwayne Dixon (drum corps, drums and percussion). Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Cleveland State University; Bachelor's in Music Education, West Virginia University. Since 1992, Mr. Dixon has been a music teacher at Oliver H. Perry Elementary School (CMSD) in Cleveland, where he also conducts the school's Choir and Instrumental Band, and leads the Drum Corp and Drill Team. He has taught music to children in many other venues throughout the city, including at U.M.A.D.A.O.P (where he is currently Drumline Instructor), Boy's and Girl's Clubs, Fatima Center, Nottingham Branch of Cleveland Public Library and others. He was a musician and Ensemble Director at Shiloh Baptist Church, currently plays drums and keyboard at Elizabeth Baptist Church, and enjoys composing and recording songs in his home recording studio.
Sister Yvetta Eley (African drumming and dance, ballroom dance). Sister Yvetta studied at the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Southeast Academy of Theater and Music in Atlanta, Case Western Reserve University and Karamu Theater. Since 2001 she has been director of the Kenyetta Company, performing African-based dance and drumming. She has been an Artist in Education through the Ohio Arts Council, and she has directed cultural arts ensembles in local charter schools. In addition to teaching for BSMA at University Settlement and Community Assessment and Treatment SErvices, Inc., she is the Cultural Arts Director for the "Voices in the Valley" children's musical group at Garden Valley Neighborhood House.
Dwight Fleming (voice). Currently completing coursework at Cuyahoga Community College. Mr. Fleming was a voice student of Barbara Mattox at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, Helen Baker at Cleveland Institute of Music's Preparatory Division, and John Fleming, and African-American singer who had a successful opera career in Sweden. Mr. Fleming has performed as a tenor soloist throughout the region in operas, musicals and recitals. He has performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Festival Chorus, Near West Side Chorale Singers, Mount Pleasant Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Duffy Liturgical Dance Company, Blossom Music Festival Chorus, and the Shaker Civic Orchestra. He was a recipient of the Albert Rees Davis Vocal Scholarship from The Singer's Club of Cleveland. Mr. Fleming has been on the faculty of the Music Settlement, St. Vitus School and the Rainey Institute.
Mark Kmit (keyboard, piano, synthesizer, guitar). Studied organ, flute and classical guitar at Cuyahoga Community College before majoring in music theory and harmony; studied composition, advanced harmony, counterpoint and orchestration at Cleveland State University. He has been a composer and musical director in the film industry. Mr. Kmit has produced film soundtracks for The Hoods (1981) and other feature films as well as CDs Another Listen is in Order (1989) and Clearing the Air (1990). He has taught at Beck Center for the Arts, the Bedford Schools and Cuyahoga Community College.
Agnieszka Kotlarsic (Eurhythmics). Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Master’s degree from Radziwillowiczowa Teacher’s College #1, Warsaw, Poland. Her education includes studies in Orff, Kodaly and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She also earned an instructor’s degree through the National Institution of Culture in Warsaw, Poland. She has completed extensive studies in folk dance, and choreography. Ms. Kotlarsic performed with several Folk Song and Dance Ensembles in Poland; in Cleveland she is choreographer for "Piast", the Artistic Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the Alliance of Poles in America. Through BSMA, she teaches Eurhythmics classes at Villa Head Start (CEOGC) and for several child care centers, and has also conducted a variety of after-school music classes for young children at University Settlement.
Bob Kuebler (woodwinds and woodwind ensemble conductor, piano). BFA in instrumental music, Ohio University; MA Ed in reading, Bowling Green State University. Mr. Kuebler has been a music director, and obtained "Superior" ratings at County and District Solo and Ensemble contests for bands and orchestras he conducted, in parochial schools throughout Northeast Ohio. His performances include bassoon in numerous community orchestras, and the entire range of woodwinds at community theatres area-wide. Mr. Kuebler has taught music at the Agnon School and reading for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. His students at BSMA consistently receive top "I" and "II" rankings in Solo and Ensemble contests through the Ohio Music Education Association.
Angelique Lipford (dance) BFA in Dance Education, Kent State University. Ms. Lipford is an Adjunct Faculty in Dance at Cuyahoga Community College. She is familiar with both school and after-school environments, having worked closely with and encouraged students in a range of settings: as Assistant Site Director for the Champions after-school program at Lee Eaton Elementary School (Macedonia, OH), as an instructional aide at Woodland Academy (Cleveland, OH) and as a Dean of Students at Hathaway Brown School (Shaker Heights, OH). She teaches dance to youth in BSMA's after-school arts program at University Settlement.
Claudio Orso-Giacone (printmaking, papermaking) MFA, Bowling Green State University; BA, summa cum laude, Cleveland State University; also studied at Mesa Community College (San Diego, CA) and University of Torino, Italy. Mr. Orso-Giacone has been active as an artist and art educator throughout Northeast Ohio. He has been Artist in Residence and Outreach Coordinator at Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation, and since 2008 has been Coordinator for Apollo Outreach, a program of Oberlin College's Cinema Studies Program. He has taught at FAVA (Oberlin), and through Art House and Zygote Press (both in Cleveland). In fall 2016, he was an Artist in Residence at the Rasmuson Foundation in Homer, Alaska, through an exchange program with Zygote Press. Through BSMA, he taught printmaking and papermaking to teens in University Settlement's after-school program at Washington Park Horticulture Center, and involved them as participants in Slavic Village Development's 2016 Rooms to Let event.
Shayna Rhodes (violin, viola, cello). MM, Violin Performance, Cleveland State University; BM (cum laude), Violin Performance, West Virginia University; AA, Early Childhood Education, Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, FLA. Ms. Rhodes' has extensive experience in both music and early childhood education, which come together to shape her expertise as a music educator for young children and beginning string players. Her music teaching background includes: Director of the Suzuki Strings Program, and a private and group music instructor, at Cornerstone Music Conservatory in Los Angeles; instructor of string players in the Mentor High School Orchestra Program; instructor of Musicianship and Music Appreciation classes at Cleveland State University; and private teaching in violin, viola, cello and piano since 1987. She has performed with the Youngstown and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras, among many others.
Meredith Ruble (visual art). BA in Fine Arts, with a Studio Art concentration, Kent State University. Ms. Ruble has worked as an artist-in-residence in Cleveland Metropolitan School Distric K-8 schools through Young Audiences (now Center for Arts Inspired Learning), International House of Blues Action for the Arts Initiatives, Art House, Inc. and Progressive Arts Alliance. She has also taught art enrichment classes through KidzArt in schools in Lakewood and Westlake, OH. She was Program Coordinator with the International House of Blues Foundation (Cleveland, OH), Education Coordinator at Art House, Inc. and Outreach Coordinator for BSMA. She teaches visual art in BSMA's after-school arts program at University Settlement.
Christine Ruppe Hill (visual art). MA in Art Therapy Counseling, Ursuline College; BA Psychology, magna cum laude, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Hill has worked as a Head Start teacher in Appalachia, and as an art therapy intern with both Shaker City Schools and Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, she helped to implement public health programs in HIV and Malaria prevention. She is currently a mental health therapist and certified trauma practitioner at Ravenwood Health in Chardon, working with individuals aged preK through adult. Through BSMA, she conducts visual art classes for preK children at Villa Head Start (CEOGC).
Gina Washington (visual art). MFA in Photography, Ohio University; BA, University of Rochester. Ms. Washington considers herself “a child of the Universe” and has traveled to many places collecting images and connecting artists. She has won many awards for portraiture and creates art “by any means necessary” as she combines many different mediums. As a master collaborator she co-created an exhibition at the Ingenuity Fest Cleveland in 2010 where she showcased poetry, storytelling, music and visual arts. She has exhibited her work at Lakeland Community College, the Riffe Gallery (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Public Library, and in the Westmoreland Art Nationals (Greensburg, PA). In 2010 she was an apprentice with the Creative Filmmakers Association, and she has been a featured artist several times on WCPN's Around Noon show. In 2007 she was an artist in residence at the Global Arts Village in New Delhi, India.
Her goal is to make art accessible to all people and to connect the world globally by bringing more international artist to Cleveland, Ohio. She teaches at Rainey Institute, and through BSMA she teaches art to after-school students at University Settlement.