Meet our Teaching Artists

 

 

 

Our current roster features over 150 artists and presents 165 programs in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and the visual arts. These programs include performances, workshops, and professional development seminars for teachers. 

 

Interested in becoming a KCYA teaching artist? Learn more here.

 

 

Maryanna Stark Adelman

Maryanna Stark Adelman has earned a B.A. in Theatre from Baker University, B.F.A. in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and a M.A. in printmaking and painting...

Paige Ahlenius

Paige Ahlenius holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Scene Design from the University of Virginia and has been investing in the Kansas City arts community since 1999...

Lisa Albright

Lisa Albright, founder and Artistic Director of Piccadilly Productions, has been a puppeteer since 1989...

Kara Armstrong

Kara has worked professionally as an actor, stage manager, director and teaching artist for 16 years before taking on the role of Director of Arts Education at KCYA from 2012-2018.

Romeo Bagunu

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Samarpita Bajpai

Samarpita Bajpai started training in dance at the age of seven. She trained in seven styles of Indian dance for three years. She went on to specialize in two of the most popular forms...

Erika Lynnette Baker

Erika Lynnette Baker is a local teacher, actress and puppeteer...

Kit Bardwell

Kit Bardwell received a Bachelor of Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music from the University of Missouri – Kansas City...

Barton, Para, Fraser

Dave Para and Cathy Barton-Para are vocal and instrumental musicians, storytellers, song writers and folklorists ...

Brasicultura

Born and Raised in Brazil, Luis Felipe Ninja Pinto moved to the US in January 2000...

Lauren Braton

Miss Braton trained at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City...

Harlan Brownlee

Harlan Brownlee understands the transformational power that the arts have to improve the quality of life...

Carla Buchheit

Carla Buchheit earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wichita State University. She has studied weaving and fiber art in Finland... 

Diane Bulan

Diane Bulan is a professional actor, director, acting coach, puppeteer, electrician, and stage manager...

Richard Buswell

Richard Buswell is an actor, director and fight choreographer. He holds a BFA in Drama from the University of Oklahoma...

Emma Carter

Emma Carter is a playwright, actress and teaching artist currently based in Kansas City...

City In Motion Dance Theatre, Inc.

City in Motion Dance Theater has been part of the cultural fabric of Kansas City for over 25 years. Incorporated as a Missouri not-for-profit institution in 1985...

Jane Christison

Janie Next Door® is also known as accordionist, singer, songwriter, Jane Christison...

Christi Coffey

Christi holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University. 

Courtney Collado

Courtney Collado is a professional dancer, Master Pilates Instructor, choreographer and dance educator from New York City.

Jean Cook

A native Kansan, Jean Cook grew up on the family farm helping with harvests and caring for the family cows, sheep and horses. Her artwork is inspired by her real-life experiences...

Jim Cosgrove

Award-winning kid rocker, Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove has been bringing communities together through music since 1998...

Culture Through Ballroom Dancing

William Jewell College dance instructors, Dr. Will Adams and Paula Marie Daub, began the program by teaching 5th graders to dance in four of the district's public schools...

DaLene DePriest

The artist, know locally as Day, has spent her life painting, sculpting,and creating, bringing the arts and puppets to the Kansas City Metro area...

Educational IMPacts, Inc

Married 40 years with two fabulous sons, Marty Porter retired after teaching in a deaf-blind classroom...

Karen Engebretson

Karen Engebretson, a Kansas City native, holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and has spent over 40 years as a director of music, organist, pianist, vocalist and accompanist...

Bobbi Foudree 

Bobbi Foudree started dancing at the age of 16 with Kim Shope and soon thereafter wished to pursue a career both in professional dance and as a dance teacher.

Bird Fleming

Bird Fleming developed his interest in music and drumming in his fifth grade band class. Since his parents could not afford a drum set, he played the bongos...

Vanessa & Rodney Gibbs

Since 1987, Vanessa Gibbs has taught West African dance. Working with Bird Fleming, she helped found The Traditional Music Society...

Fax Gilbert

Fax Gilbert is a performance artist and educator who uses mime, masks, magic, physical comedy and audience interaction to create programs that connect with his audience...

Milton Gray

Actor and Storyteller Milton Gray has been sharing his talent with children through his work with Kansas City Young Audiences for many years...

Larry Greer

Larry Greer is a theatre artist who has worked as an actor, director, and instructor in the Kansas City area since 1987. Larry has performed on every professional stage in Kansas City...

Happy Faces Entertainment

Nadine Civitello has been performing since before she can remember...

Bill Hargraves

Bill Hargraves is an award-winning silversmith whose designs and jewelry can be seen throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe...

Brian Hawkins

Brian Hawkins is a pianist and visual artist from Kansas City, Missouri...

Lisa Henry 

Dazzling and dynamic, Lisa Henry represents the best of Kansas City’s current Jazz era...

Frank Higgins

Frank Higgins was a member of the first graduating class of UMKC’s Professional Writing Program. He has published two books of poetry, two books of haiku, and...

Valda Hsu

Valda Hsu was born and raised in Taiwan. She came to America in 1983 to attend college and study art...

Danny Diallo Hinds

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Chris Hudson

Chris Hudson received his Bachelor of Music in 1996 from the UMKC Conservatory of Music. He has given solo performances in various concert series...

LaTeesha Jackson

LaTeesha McDonald Jackson performs throughout the region in musical theater, cabaret and opera...

Anthony Jappa

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Anthony Jappa, creator and author of Panda Oki, has been drawing and illustrating books and comics for over 20 years...

Jay & Leslie Laughing Matters

Jay and Leslie Cady have been full-time performing artists since 1980. They have given over 6000 performances in 34 states and seven countries...

Joel Jenkins

Joel Jenkins, is a storyteller. He enjoys using his imagination to help people laugh, inspire learning, and look beyond their everyday lives...

Kacico Dance Company

Kacico Dance, Kansas City Contemporary Dance, is a not for profit professional modern dance company of the highest quality in Kansas City...

Kansas Settlers Band

The Kansas Settlers Band consists of Diane Bulan, Kit Bardwell, Chris Hudson, and Sam Wright...

Sharyn Brooks Katzman

A lecture or demonstration with Sharyn Brooks Katzman is dynamic and engaging...

Ziggy Livnat

Ziggy Livnat is an independent, multiple international award winning filmmaker, presenter, conservationist and educator...

Lit-Hop, Ink.

Lit-Hop is an experience: --with lots of interaction and movement-- that casts an inspirational vision for a lifelong learning journey of good relationships, unity in diversity....

Leayn Losh

G. Leayn Losh is presently the Director of Choral & Debate at Rosedale MS...

Jaime Lyon

I spent 15 great years working in the commercial photography and production industry when I realized my heart was leading me in a new direction...

Marimba Sol de Chiapas

Committed to the authentic performance practice and spirit of the marimba heard throughout Mesoamerica...

Danielle Mays

Danielle began playing flute at age nine and was teaching private & group classes by the age of twelve...

Austin Meyer

Austin Meyer is a theatre educator, acting coach, director, and actor from Michigan. He received his BA in Drama from the University of Michigan...

Myrna Minnis

Myrna Minnis has been inspiring children through classes in clay...

Dianne Moran

Dianne Moran is an award-winning storyteller who has worked with audiences as a folklorist/naturalist since 1992...

John Mulvey

John Mulvey holds a Bachelor of Theatre Arts degree from Benedictine College...

Alyssa Murray

Alyssa Murray is a jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter currently residing in the musical mecca of Kansas City...

Maya Murthy

Pianist Maya Murthy earned her Masters degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music...

New World Connnections

New World Connections is a trio made up of: Tom Aber, Gregg Briggs, Mark Cohick, Ron Hathorn, and Pat Conway...

Sarah Nickerson

Sarah received her BFA in Directing and Technical Theatre from Avila University.

Jackie Niekamp

Jackie Niekamp holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an emphasis in printmaking and fiber...

Dinosaur O'Dell

Whether he's counting monsters, fixing spaceships or swimming in peanut butter, Dino's interactive songs and tall tales engage curiosity and inspire the imagination...

Cynthia Pederson

Cynthia Pederson is an experienced writer, researcher, and teacher. She takes great joy in passing along knowledge through the many workshops and presentations she leads

Picadilly Productions

Lisa Albright, founder and Artistic Director of Piccadilly Productions, has been a puppeteer since 1989...

Roger Pitts

Roger Pitts is a native Kansan, attending school in the greater Kansas City area...

Leslie Pollock

...

Kim Ratliff

Kim Ratliff has been a performer and educator for over 14 years...

Matt Rapport

Matt has been an actor and performing arts teaching artist in the Kansas City area for over 20 years...

Janell Rinne

Janell has been with Kansas City Young Audiences (KCYA) since 2015...

Jamie Root

Growing up in a talented and creative family, Jamie was encouraged to express her artistic tendencies in paint and sculpture...

Katie Schilling

Katie Schilling is a graduate of UMKC with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a former Kansas City Ballet student apprentice and faculty member...

Susan Schurman

Susan Schurman has offered activities for elementary and secondary students through Kansas City Young Audiences since 2008...

Susansylvia Scott

Master Teaching Artist Susansylvia Scott is a creative and innovative storyteller...

Brad Shaw

Brad Shaw, a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, is considered a “Renaissance Man” in the theater world

Lem Sheppard

I began performing as an artist in residence in public schools in 1985...

Kim Shope

Kim's Ballet training began at age nine in Jackson, MS with Thalia Mara...

Stacy "Reach" Smith

Reach, born Stacy D. Smith, hails from Kansas City, Mo. Five short years after being introduced to Hip-Hop culture in 1986 ...

Vania Soto

Kansas City Local artist Vania Soto was born in Juarez, Mexico and began selling paintings at age 13...

StoneLion Puppet Theatre

Heather Nisbett- Loewenstein is the Founder, Artistic Director, and a Company Puppeteer of StoneLion Puppet Theatre...

Jaisson Taylor

C. Jaisson H. Taylor lives in the Kansas City area, with its rich musical heritage. He has used these influences to further his musical aspirations...

Madeline Thelen

Madeline grew up in Wood River, Nebraska and danced at The Dance Company in Grand Island starting at 4 years old. 

Traditional Music Society

Bird Fleming developed his interest in music and drumming in his fifth grade band class...

Trio Folklorico

Bird Fleming is a professional percussionist, educator, and performer and Pablo La Rosa, a native of Cuba, is a musician, writer, and photographer...

Tri-Percussion

Percussionist Mark Lowry is timpanist for the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and is a frequent percussionist with the Kansas City Symphony...

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TurpinTyme Ragsters

Who are the TurpinTyme Ragsters? The TurpinTyme Ragsters are a 7-Piece Ragtime music ensemble based in Kansas City...

Vodvill Entertainment 

The Vodvill Entertainment Company was born in 1988 as a way to promote the lively art of circus skills and street performing...

Nicholas Ward

Nicholas Ward is a filmmaker, poet and painter. He has studied at the KID Puppet for Film Animation School in Prague, CZ...

Antonia Washington

Antonia Washington is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City...

Wendy Elle Productions

Wendy Elle has always had a passion and heart for the performing arts...

Pippa White

Pippa White turned to solo performing in 1994. Previously she had an extensive career in theatre and television on the West Coast...

Franci Witte

Franci Talamantez-Witte is a local performer, teacher and director

Mike Worley

On Christmas Day, 1979, Mike received a copy of How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way...

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