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Home > Programs > Networking > Ambassador Program > 2017 Guild Ambassadors

2017 Guild Ambassadors

Susanne Baker 

Collegiate Divisional Ambassador

Susanne Baker is the founder and director of DePaul University’s Community Music Division, established in 1988 and currently serving 750 students in the Chicago area with a professional faculty of 70 teaching artists. Under her leadership, the school’s pre-college and adult programs have expanded substantially over the last twenty-seven years. She is also an adjunct faculty member in DePaul’s School of Music where she teaches piano pedagogy and is coordinator of the group piano program. She has extensive experience teaching both individual and group piano and is a registered Suzuki piano teacher. She teaches both traditional and Suzuki piano students in the pre-college program and is on the summer faculty of the Chicago Suzuki Institute. Susanne serves on the Members Council of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, is chair of the Collegiate Divisional Planning Committee, and was convener/co-convener of the Chicago Consortium of Community Music Schools from 2009-2013. In 2013, she received the Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild and a Staff Quality Service Award from DePaul University. Susanne holds a doctor of music in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University, a master’s in piano performance from American University, a master of arts in education and music from the University of Wisconsin, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Bucknell University.

Rodney Camarce 

ALAANA Ambassador

Rodney Camarce is the manager for youth development and engagement for the City Of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. Camarce oversees the ARTrepreneurs track, a unique program that teaches high school students how to start creative businesses, and also manages youth development initiatives with the goal of helping youth transition between program tracks and into new opportunities. Throughout his career he has worked with various non-profits as an artist, educator, community organizer, and administrator. Camarce has facilitated Undoing Institutional Racism and has worked with the Asian American community on numerous social justice issues. Follow him on Instagram and twitter @rodneycamarce.

Fiona Chatwin 

California Co-Ambassador

Founder and executive director, Dr. Fiona Chatwin completed a doctorate of musical arts from UCSD with a view to a joint career as both teacher and performer. With eighteen years of experience as a teacher of voice both here in San Diego and in Melbourne, Australia (where she is from), Dr. Chatwin has worked with students of all ages, backgrounds and vocal disciplines. As well as teaching, Dr. Chatwin has also dedicated a large portion of the past seven years to the founding and developing of Villa Musica – San Diego’s Community Music Center. Balancing the roles of educator and administrator, she has embraced the entrepreneurial challenges that have been placed before her and has guided the organization through significant growth in spite of the difficult economy. It is with a steady and unyielding focus that she maintains Villa Musica’s mission in her sights as she navigates the challenging terrain of the non-profit Arts organization of the 21st century.

Lara Davis 

ALAANA Ambassador

Lara Davis has been active in community arts for more than a decade. As arts education manager for the Office of Arts & Culture, she is the City's representative for the Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students. Lara also facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for arts educators and organizations, presenting locally and at national conferences. As an artist and administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change.

Valerie Heron-Duranti 

Georgia Co-Ambassador

Valerie Heron-Duranti has been a part of the arts education field for over 12 years with a specific focus on arts program development and management, performance and event directing and cultural diversity group building in the arts across demographics. She received her master’s in arts in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Valerie created and directed summer collaborative arts camp for youth and tweens, directing a performance company for public high school students, and the creating and implementing of the Harvard to Harvard Arts Symposium. In 2012, she was hired as a director at Boys & Girls Clubs of America to design and implement a Youth Arts Initiative in collaboration with the Wallace Foundation. Valerie is an alumnus of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI), Class of 2014.

Jon Hinojosa 

Creative Youth Development Ambassador

Jon Hinojosa is the artistic/executive director of SAY Sí, a multidisciplinary arts program for high school and middle school students. Jon is a 2007 fellow in the executive program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts, a joint program of National Arts Strategies and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Under his leadership, SAY Sí was the recipient of the 2002 Coming Up Taller award, presented by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the NEA. The award recognizes excellence in community-based, after-school arts and humanities programs that demonstrate the power of these disciplines to encourage young people’s creativity. Jon is also a producing and exhibiting visual artist, and the 2004 Ford Salute to Education honoree in the arts category for his commitment to San Antonio’s youth. He is a founding member and past co-chair of the San Antonio Arts in Education Task Force and a founding member and past co-chair and of the Cultural Alliance of San Antonio, a consortium of San Antonio’s cultural arts directors. Jon hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educate the next generation of our country’s creative leaders.

Stephen Ingle 

Texas Co-Ambassador

Stephen Ingle is co-founder and creative director of Creative Kids Inc., Creative Kids is dedicated to providing a high-quality youth development program utilizing the visual arts to empower the youth of El Paso. Creative Kids has developed a nationally recognized track record over the past fifteen years in positively reconnecting disadvantaged and “under-resourced” youth with society, as well as working with young people challenged by cognitive and physical disabilities, children battling cancer and related life-threatening diseases, as well as the societal challenges embedded in juvenile delinquency prevention programs. Stephen Ingle has been instrumental in developing Creative Kids programs that have a nationally recognized track record over the past fifteen years in positively reconnecting “under-resourced” youth, young people challenged by cognitive and physical disabilities and children battling cancer by implementing the valuable resource of the visual arts. Most recently, Creative Kids received the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award given by the First Lady Michelle Obama in a ceremony that took place at the White House on November 21st, 2013.    

The most important role Steve Ingle plays in Creative Kids is the design of the curriculum and tailoring the arts program to the various youth Creative Kids serves. He is also responsible for soliciting funding and working in the public relations and networking capacity as it is important to the ongoing operation of the organization and at the same time, disseminate information and make others aware of the program’s impact and value. The experience of growing Creative Kids as a viable arts and cultural education program has been a source of great professional and personal satisfaction for him. Creative Kids has seasoned Mr. Ingle with important life skills, abilities and new perspectives, which has allowed him to teach others the important of reconnecting to the “making a difference” and “transforming lifes” attitude embodied in Creative Kids, Inc.

Nancy Kleaver 

Arts-in-Education Co-Ambassador

In her current role at Lincoln Center, Nancy Kleaver is building a department charged with engaging communities throughout NYC through partnerships with libraries, shelters, juvenile justice facilities, and other community organizations. Two new initiatives, Boro-Linc and Family-Linc, involve collaborating with Lincoln Center’s 10 resident companies to collectively bring world-class arts programming to the outer boroughs and to welcome families to the Lincoln Center campus for performances, tours, and special workshops. Prior to Lincoln Center, Nancy was an interim executive director and consultant. Her clients included Young Audiences New York, Lamb Advisors, Milestones NYC, Urban Arts Partnership, Young Voices, and Lincoln Center Education. Previously, Nancy served as Executive Director of Manhattan New Music Project (MNMP). In partnership with NYC DOE’s District 75, MNMP was a recipient of one of the first i3 grants awarded by the US DOE for their Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE) curriculum. MNMP was also a presenter of new musical works, including free public concerts that promoted emerging composers and ensembles. During her tenure as director of school programs for the DreamYard Project, Nancy oversaw partnerships in over 30 Bronx schools and designed the Bronx Arts Learning Community, a network of educators dedicated to providing consistent pathways of arts learning for their kids. Nancy also served as the associate program director for Young Audiences New York, director of the New York State's Council on the Arts' Empire State Partnerships, and education director of the Hangar Theater in Ithaca, NY, where she managed all of the theater's school and community outreach programs. Nancy has studied sociology, acting, and vocal performance at Binghamton University and earned a masters in public administration from Baruch College.

Karen LaShelle 

Texas Co-Ambassador

Karen LaShelle began working at Creative Action as a volunteer in 2003, and has helped the organization grow from a budget of $40,000 and service to 800 young people, to its current reach: 20,000 youth and a budget over $2.25 million dollars. Karen was a member of the Create Austin Cultural Planning Task Force, is a member of the Leadership Austin Class of 2010, won the “Austin Under 40” Arts and Culture award in 2011, and was a 2012 and 2013 finalist for the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Karen holds an M.A. in community-based arts from New York University.

Travis Laughlin 

New York Ambassador

As the art education director for the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Travis Laughlin serves as the visionary of all the Foundation's art education initiatives. Prior to his role as director, he worked with the Foundation as the professional development program coordinator - a position he was specifically hired to create. Travis began his career in education by teaching United States History at an alternative high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has also worked with the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House as a program coordinator for their after-school pregnancy prevention program and acted as the liaison for all their art programming. A North Carolina native, Travis earned his B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.S. in education from Bank Street College in New York City, where he currently resides.

Edwin Link 

Georgia Co-Ambassador

Edwin Link joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in May of 2013 to lead the Innovation & arts team. In this capacity Edwin is responsible for management and leadership over arts and innovation program development to support more than 4,000 local Boys and Girls Clubs in their efforts to ensure all members are on track to graduate from high school well prepared for their future.

A passionate leader in youth development and arts, Edwin has over 10 years of experience in the non-profit, arts and education sectors, primarily focused on developing and managing arts education programs for children in under-resourced communities. His work in integrated approaches to teaching art and literacy included the development of brand new programs that leveraged digital media and narrative theory. This work expanded into larger efforts to create models in which teaching artists and educators co taught to effectively meet standards while engaging students. He managed a roster of over 75 contracted artists and helped direct programs that served over 250,000 young people while working at Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center.

Edwin, his wife and 2 children have called Atlanta home for 12 years. He has a B.S. degree in theatre from Radford University and a masters in education in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University.

So Young Lee 

Colorado Ambassador

So Young Lee, executive and music director at Rocky Ridge Music Center, received her doctorate in musical arts in piano performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has held director positions at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory Adult Education & Preparatory Department, Millikin University Preparatory Division, and the Boulder Arts Academy & Boulder Ballet. A strong believer in the concept of artist as entrepreneur, she cofounded two organizations: Colorado-based AirTurn, a company dedicated to empowering musicians through technology; and Notes at 9,000 at Winter Park, a multi-genre music competition that launches emerging musicians by providing concert opportunities, funding, and mentoring. She is passionate about building community through the arts, and serves currently as a trustee on the board of Boulder County Arts Alliance and as a member of the Estes Arts Presents Task Force.   

An award-winning pianist and a Regents scholar, So Young is a recipient of the Ernő Dohnányi Piano Prize and the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Accompanying Fellowship at University of Southern California. She recently released a CD In This World with flutist Claudia Anderson. Equally at home as a teacher, she served on the music faculty at Millikin University and State University of New York, Fredonia, and was a visiting piano pedagogy faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder. SoYoung enjoys her multi-faceted career as a performing artist, administrator, teacher, producer, and arts advocate.

Maria Mathieson 

Washington D.C. Ambassador

Maria Mathieson is the head of music education at Levine Music in Washington, DC, a position she has held since 2011 having previously served as the acting and assistant dean for the school. Originally from Scotland, she moved to Oklahoma City, OK as a short term adventure after graduating from the University of Glasgow with a bachelor of music (Honors) to become the divisional music director for The Salvation Army within the States of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Looking for a new direction and challenge, in 2002 she became the director of community relations, special events and volunteer manager for The Salvation Army initially in Knoxville, TN and then in the Washington, DC. While working in development, she remained an active performer, conductor and teacher and in 2006 returned to full time music and arts administration at Levine Music.

Indi McCasey 

White Allies Co-Ambassador

Indi McCasey believes in the power of the arts to catalyze social change. Indi has spent nearly 25 years as an educator in experiential and informal learning environments with over a decade of non-profit program management experience in the fields of public access, community health, and arts education. Their work is grounded in their identities as a performer, teaching artist, and event producer. As the director of creative learning at Destiny Arts Center, Indi designed Destiny’s Creative Youth Development Framework, connecting social emotional learning with creative inquiry practice. Indi holds an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and facilitates courses for local, national, and international educators through the Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program and Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.

Tarah Ortiz Durnbaugh 

Emerging Leaders Co-Ambassador

Tarah Durnbaugh has been part of Urban Gateways for over a decade, where her work focuses on exploring the role of live performance in arts education. As the performance programs manager, she creates access for students and teens to arts experiences that broaden their perspective of the world around them through multiple performing arts-based programs.

Her background includes over two decades of dance training and a degree in theatre from Northwestern University. Tarah brings a unique perspective to her work in arts administration as she is also a choreographer, dance instructor, and professional dancer with multiple companies in Chicago. A passionate arts advocate, she finds joy sharing her love for performance on stage, in studios, and classrooms throughout the Chicago area.

Santina Protopapa 

Arts-In-Education Co-Ambassador

Santina Protopapa is the founder and executive director of Progressive Arts Alliance (PAA), a Cleveland, Ohio-based nonprofit organization that integrates the arts into other academic subjects. She leads a design process that ensures PAA’s programs are being refined to stay relevant to the current needs of students and teachers. Nationally recognized for its expertise in the field, PAA works in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to integrate the arts into STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Prior to launching PAA in 2002, Protopapa spent five years in the education department at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, where she eventually served as education programs manager and oversaw a wide variety of programs that examined topics ranging from hip-hop culture to social justice. She is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she received a B.A. in communication studies and music and participated in the joint music program with the Cleveland Institute of Music. She also received a certificate in nonprofit management from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve. She recently completed her Ed.M. degree in arts in education at Harvard University, where she was a fellow in the prestigious Catherine B. Reynolds Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship. She was a member of the founding board of trustees of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture from 2007-2009 and currently serves on the board of trustees of Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. She is a classically trained percussionist and a jazz vibraphonist who is active as a performer in Cleveland.

Marie Tai 

Large Schools Co-Ambassador

Marie Tai is the associate director at Community Music Center of Boston where she oversees the school’s operations, human resources, information systems and registration. Prior to her position, Marie served as registrar, early childhood coordinator and administrative director at CMCB and held staff positions at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her commitment to ensuring access and inclusion in the arts is influenced by the music education she received as a high school student at CMCB and Berklee City Music. She believes in the power of the arts to inspire social change and finds joy in working with students, from the young to the young at heart. Marie holds a B.M. from Berklee College of Music as a clarinet principal and majored in music business. Marie received an M.B.A. from University of Massachusetts. She is a community volunteer, tennis player, traveler, and ukulele student.

Jeannette Tremblay 

White Allies Co-Ambassador


Jeannette Tremblay has over 12 years of experience as an educator, arts administrator, and independent curator based in Chicago, IL. She currently works as Director of School and Studio Programs at Hyde Park Art Center and as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago. Tremblay’s work has a focus on building equity and anti-racism in the arts; promoting the gallery as an inclusive space for learning; and supporting intentional reciprocity between studio practice and teaching practice in the field of teaching artistry. Tremblay is a 2016 alumna of the National Guild for Community Arts Education's Leadership Institute. She holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; an MS Ed in Urban Special Education from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY; and a BA in Fine Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.

Rebecca Tuynman 

California Co-Ambassador

Rebecca Tuynman, education manager, oversees all Ryman Arts classes and student activities. She has 20 years of experience in arts education, having worked prior to Ryman Arts in a variety of community organizations, schools, universities, and museums. Rebecca is a graduate of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI), produced by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She earned her M.F.A. in studio art from U.C. Santa Barbara and a B.A. in history of art from Bryn Mawr College. She has been with Ryman Arts since 2005.

Leo Van Asten 

Small Schools Network Ambassador

Leo Van Asten is executive director at Rhapsody Arts Center. In 1997, Leo enrolled at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where he began his formal music training. In addition to piano, Leo also studied composition. Studying under Dr. Charles Young, Leo composed a diverse portfolio, which appealed to the sizeable audiences at the student composer’s concerts. After graduating in 2002, Leo studied musical aesthetics and performance practice with Keith Hill and ear training with Marianne Ploger in Michigan. After five years of study with Keith Hill, Leo was accepted to study harpsichord with Keith’s brother Dr. Robert Hill at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. Leo successfully completed his “Künstlerische Ausbildung” degree (equivalent to a performance masters) in July of 2010.  As part of this degree, Leo studied baroque performance practice, harpsichord maintenance and tuning.

Leo began teaching in 1998 through the Conservatory for Creative Expression at UWSP. In the 18 years since, he has taught many ages and abilities and has seen countless students blossom and even go on to study music in college. In addition to a love for teaching, Leo has a love for learning. He constantly seeks out new areas to study, or to deepen existing knowledge and enjoys learning from his students.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.