Deja is a Utah native who grew up in its rich dance culture. While pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Modern Dance at Utah State University, she was introduced to African dance. That serendipity became one of her passions, and she continued to seek opportunities to study with many African artists. In 2006, Deja put down roots in the Ogden community and began teaching at Eccles Community Art Center. In 2008, she became an adjunct instructor at Weber State University and expanded her range by adding classes for senior citizens at Weber County Library and children at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, as well as being an artist in residence at schools and many local groups. Deja performed with Africa Heartwood Project and Wofa Afro-fusion Dance Company. She was honored with the Ogden Mayor's Award for the Arts in 2008 and has been a member of Ogden City Arts Council and a board member for Imagine Ballet Theater since 2013.
Dr. Ruby Chou is a classical pianist, educator, and arts executive based in Salt Lake City. She was one of 14 speakers selected out of 364 applicants for TEDxSaltLakeCity 2019– she shared how intergenerational learning fosters social empathy and mitigates social isolation (available on TED.com). Her expertise on adult learners and intergenerational learning environments developed through her doctoral research studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is familiar with the nonprofit sector through her work as the executive director of Mundi Project, a community music nonprofit organization, and as the board member of Utah Nonprofits Association. Dr. Chou can actualize your organization’s creative aging initiatives through curriculum development, compiling research data, and make music with your adults within your community.
I am a certified art teacher for Weber School district. I have taught all ages, from pre-k all the way to adult. I love working with all mediums. I have a kiln and a wheel at home, but love painting and drawing just as much as ceramics.
Shelby Rickart is the director of Puppets in the City, a non-profit puppet company. After twenty-seven years of teaching jr. high school language arts, she turned to a passion she had as a child; puppetry. Puppetry is a great way to help everyone and anyone express themselves and tell stories. Shelby teaches classes for all ages in puppet building, script writing, mask making and puppetry skills. She has consulted churches, businesses, libraries, theatre companies, and musicians making videos, helping them to include puppetry in performances and advertising. Her favorite thing to do is introducing people to the art of puppetry to foster creativity and help them tell their stories.
As a certified Montessori teacher ages 2-7, I always included art in my curriculum. I taught art in the communities of SLC Co. and Sanpete Co. I returned to DSU and then SUU for a BS in Art in drawing, painting, and printmaking. I taught at the Mohave Community College for 15 years. I taught students from high school, college, and returning students; including art history, drawing, watercolor, design, and oil painting. I've taught for Creative Aging seminars, taught at the Mesquite Museum, and art organizations. The St. George Art Museum commissioned me to create 3 installations. I founded WOW: Women Out West Professional Artists of Utah and The Business of Art. I create curriculum and programing for Evening for Educators. I develop programing and helping artists through my job at DSU as the Director/Curator of the Sears Art Museum. I retire in Feb 2023 when I turn 70. By then my studio will be finished and I plan to make my own art again and focus on teaching Senior Citizens!
Juan Carlos Claudio
Co-founder and COO of Minding Motion for Graceful Aging, and the Founder and Co-director of GREY MATTERS: Dance for Parkinson’s- Utah, the first program of its kind in the State, Juan Carlos has been teaching dance and creative movement to all ages for over twenty years. Juan Carlos obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah, Department of Modern Dance, where he also later held the position of Assistant Professor from 2009-2016. He serves as an Adjunct Faculty at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He holds a Creative Arts and Aging Teaching Artist Certification from the National Center for Creative Aging, Basic Life Support Certification from the American Heart Association and The Basics from the Alzheimer’s Association which include: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, Effective Communication Strategies and Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior and The Many Faces of Dementia.
I’m an artist, photographer, creator. and art teacher. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. My passion for art and creating has taken me down so many incredible paths and continues to do so, which has lead me to where I am today. I am teaching at local art studios and teaching private art lessons to all ages. I am creating commissioned pieces, working on murals for individual clients and interior designers, booking photo shoots, and designing websites with companies and individuals. When working with students, clients and companies, I strive to provide a positive, fun, friendly and relaxing atmosphere for a successful and creative experience. I believe art is both powerful and empowering. It’s a form of therapy; a stress reliever + that the-doing-of-art is healing.
Kandace Steadman has worked in the visual arts for most of her professional career, either as a curator, educator, or professor. She has an understanding of art history, what works aesthetically, and how art continues to push boundaries from what was previously created. She has moved from the classroom to the studio. Kandace has taught workshops through Lifelong Learning at the University of Utah, Art Access, and attendance at Summer Snow at Snow College. Each class has taught her new skills and opened my eyes to the possibilities of creation. Since she started making art, she has exhibited in group shows at the Springville Museum of Art Salon, the Utah Arts Festival Gallery, Art Access, the Eccles Art Center, Salt Lake Community College President’s Art show, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, and Salt Lake Acting Company, among other venues. A solo exhibition of her work was held in the Salt Lake City Library in 2018.
Elizabeth Gunter, aka EL, believes art can transform the world by forging new connections within a single mind, a small group, or an entire community. This led her to open ART Provides, her studio, event space, and gallery in the heart of Saint George’s historic district. Raised in New York, educated in Chicago, and drawn to the red rocks of Utah, art has been a part of her life from the beginning and shapes her present. She enjoys art, of course, but also traveling, the outdoors, meditating, spending time with two adorable children, and meeting real people with flaws, dreams, and talents all their own. She swears in Spanish when surprised, breaks into solo dance parties to de-stress, and obsesses over fancy inks. She can’t help it. Art supplies and those who use them have her heart.
I am a dance artist, educator, advocate, and scholar with over 25 years of experience as a teaching artist. I am both a professional dance artist and a certified speech and language pathologist. With this interdisciplinary perspective, I remain passionate about the various forms of human expression. My creative research focuses on “the unexpected dancing body,” advocating for underrepresented bodies in the field of dance. I am currently the chair of the dance program at Westminster College, and have enjoyed dance faculty positions at The Ohio State University, Princeton University, Temple University, University of Utah, Bates Dance Festival, Now + Next Dance Mentoring Project, and BalletMet’s Summer Dance Intensive. As a teaching artist, I carry experience working, teaching, learning, and playing in non-profit early intervention, educational, and mental health sectors as well as a variety of community and professional dance settings.
JASON BOWCUTT - Completed the University of Utah Actor’s Training Program in 1994. Upon graduation he moved to Washington DC and spent two years with the Shakespeare Theatre and then began working with Virginia's Signature Theatre. At Signature, Jason starred in "Never the Sinner" for which he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. The show subsequently moved to New York and during that run Jason was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and the play won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play. After that Jason began working as an actor for Theatres across the country including: The Shakespeare Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Rep Theatre of St Louis, Pioneer Theatre Company, and many others. Jason moved to Utah in 2008 and has continued to work as an actor and director for many companies including; Pygmalion Productions, Plan-B Theatre, The Lab Theatre at the University of Utah, and Salt Lake Acting Company.
Alanna Styer (b.1993) is an artist who uses photography, book-making, and moving images to engage with omitted histories and documentation of cultural change. Styer uses these mediums to tell personal stories and histories of trauma, myth, and tradition as they relate to land and geography. Styer earned her MFA in Experimental and Documentary arts from Duke University and a BFA in photography from Watkins College of Art, Design and Film.
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