The Right Brain Initiative


Regional Arts & Culture Council Staff

SarahDealSarah Deal, Administrative Assistant

Sarah is The Right Brain Initiative Administrative Assistant. She provides general daily administrative support; in addition to working closely with Right Brain committees, professional development workshops, and volunteers to optimize logistics and communication. She is thrilled to return to RACC three years after her time as an Outreach Apprentice. In the interim, she graduated from Portland State University (PSU) with a B.A. in English, worked at a boarding school in New Zealand, and guided trail rides in Argentina. When not in the office she serves as the Head Coach for PSU Crew and can usually be found navigating the Willamette.


Phoebe Ebright, Development Manager

Phoebe has more than a decade of nonprofit fundraising, volunteer management and event coordination experience. Her responsibilities include the planning and implementation of development strategies related to government, foundation, business and individual fundraising. Early in her career, she worked in sales/marketing within the Yamhill County wine industry and also served as a counselor and mentor for at-risk youth. With a B.A. in Art and Sociology from Linfield College, Phoebe is excited about marrying her fundraising expertise with her passion for the arts and youth education. A native Oregonian, Phoebe enjoys cooking, photography and hiking with her husband and two young children.

katefagerholm_intisar_fall_2016-crop-200x200Kate Fagerholm, Development Assistant 

Kate serves as the development assistant for Right Brain Initiative by coordinating grantwriting efforts and supporting development strategies. She brings experience in non-profit development, grantwriting, special events, community relations, and program administration from her work with organizations including AmeriCorps*VISTA, American Red Cross, First Unitarian Church of Portland, Basic Rights Oregon, and most recently Portland Jobs with Justice. Kate studied English literature with a writing emphasis at the University of Iowa and is currently studying political science at Portland State University. In addition to work and educational pursuits, Kate claims to have a personal life consisting of singing karaoke, biking, and writing. She also enjoys throwing things — mostly footballs.


Sinéad Kimbrell, Program Manager

Sinead oversees long-term partnerships with schools, teaching artists and educators. She uses her background of assessment and curriculum design, professional development and research to build strong relationships with stakeholders, as well as deepen program impact for students. Sinéad participated on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards’ review committee for the new Core Arts Standards and has consulted as an arts assessor for Columbia College’s i3 grant from the Department of Education. She has also had articles published in the Teaching Artist Journal, the Journal of Dance Education, and the Schools: Studies in Education Journal out of the University of Chicago. She is a former teaching artist and arts administrator with multiple organizations, including the Oregon Ballet Theatre, the Obo Addy Legacy Project and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and she has even dabbled in the world of professional development for design and manufacturing engineers through Boundary Systems.


Maya McFaddin, Arts Education Community Engagement Associate

Maya is the Arts Education Community Engagement Associate at the Regional Arts & Culture Council, responsible for the department’s public presence, including all communications and community engagement programming. She manages the arts education department’s media and branding, communications, volunteer engagement, equity initiatives, community partnerships, and public events. Maya is a thinker, creator, and lifelong scholar. Building on a background in fine arts and Spanish at Willamette University, she earned a degree in graphic design from Portland State University (you can view her work at Maya is an Oregon native who appreciates all the great things in life: the Trail Blazers, traveling, coffee, and a good story.

MarnaStalcup_Intisar2016_600Marna Stalcup, Director of Arts Education

Marna oversees all aspects of The Right Brain Initiative. She is responsible for engaging the community in the planning process, overseeing program design and taking the project to full implementation. Marna joined the Regional Arts & Culture Council staff in the fall of 2007, bringing to her position a 25-year career in arts education. At Portland’s Jefferson High School she served as Events Manager and Performing Arts Magnet Program Coordinator. In Vancouver, Washington she was a founding faculty member of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and part of a small team of educators that established The Communications Academy. Most recently, Marna was Managing Director of Caldera, a local non-profit arts organization that provides programs for middle and high school students and professional artists. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Textiles, Clothing and Art from the University of Washington and completed additional coursework at Portland State University in early childhood education.

Young Audiences Staff


Deann DuFreneDeann DuFrene, Arts Integration Coach 

Deann is a teacher at heart.  She has always believed that teaching is both an art and a science and those teachers that can skillfully combine the two, are the teachers that leave a lasting impression.  Inspired by one such teacher, Deann entered the profession earning an Elementary Teaching Credential from California Polytechnic State University with an Art Minor.  As a lifelong learner and artist, she continued her training at Oregon State with a Master of Education and Reading Endorsement.

Over the past 23 years, Deann has continued to challenge herself to blend the art and science of learning.  She has taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, volunteered as an Art Literacy Presentor, mentored AVID students and tutored adults working towards a GED.  In each new experience, she encourages students to take ownership of their learning and find creative ways to express their understanding.  As an arts integration coach with the Right Brain Initiative, she will help teachers and artist blur the lines between their crafts to achieve lasting student experiences.

Emily FitzgeraldEmily Fitzgerald, Arts Integration Coach

Emily Fitzgerald has worked in the US and abroad as an interdisciplinary artist and educator for the past 13 years. An unequivocal emphasis on relationship bridges her work which exists at the intersection of social engagement, visual art and education. Through her practice she explores collaboration, integration, ethical representation and dynamic storytelling processes. With projects that often manifest outside a traditional exhibition space, her intention is to transform public sites into a place for civic engagement and dialogue. Emily’s recent community collaborations have included the Hollywood Senior Center, Beaumont Middle School, Portland Art Museum, Zenger Farm, TriMet, the City of Portland, King Public School, Multnomah County Health Clinics, and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, and she is currently working on an intergenerational project with some of the oldest homeowners in Portland. As a coach with the Right Brain Initiative, she hopes to apply her experience as an artist and educator to effectively facilitate collaborative, integrative partnerships between schools and teaching artists. Emily is in the final stages of finishing her MFA in Art and Social Practice, and teaches undergraduate courses in Design Thinking and Art at Portland State University.

LornaKrierLorna Krier, Arts Integration Coach & Implementation Assistant

Lorna Krier, a versatile keyboardist, composer and music producer, is an active advocate for the creation of new music and has worked with some of the nation’s finest young composers and performers to create and premiere exciting new works. Having a background in new classical, experimental, electronic, pop and indie music, Lorna has quickly become a go-to spokeswoman for new music audiences nationwide.

Her professional background is in non-profit grants management with the artist-serving organization New Music USA as well as directing NYC-based community development for Found Sound Nation, a collective of musicians and artists who leverage the unique power of sound-making to help build strong, just, healthy communities. As a teaching artist, she has been sought after to help build and facilitate community-serving afterschool programs and is currently an instructor at Ethos Music Center.

Ms. Krier has received commissions and toured internationally and is currently represented by New Amsterdam Records in Brooklyn, NY. She has attended NYU for an MFA in Piano Performance and is eager to become a part of the rich fabric of the Portland arts scene.

 maiaMaia McCarthy, Teaching Artist Coordinator

Maia McCarthy, Teaching Artist Specialist for The Right Brian Initiative, has worked as an actress, writer, teaching artist and teacher trainer. Maia had an “aha” moment as an educator when she realized she tapped the same skills working on a theatrical production that she used when training teachers toward excellent, value-based, culturally relevant teaching practices. Maia believes that all quality arts and educational experiences are borne from challenging and collaborative relationships founded on shared values and playful inquiry. Maia has worked with organizations such as Seattle Children’s Theatre, The French American School of Puget Sound, and Profile Theatre in Portland. Most recently Maia spent 7 years with Growing Seeds Learning Community, the last four as the school’s Director. She received her degree BFA in Acting, with a minor in Literature from NYU.


Kim Strelchun, Coach Team Lead
503.225.5900 Ext. 229

Kim Strelchun, The Right Brain Initiative Coach Team Lead, has devoted the last 15 years to education and arts advocacy. Kim gains her inspiration from her children Ali and Lucas who opened her eyes to the power of arts integration. She has worked closely with parents and educators in her roles as Parent Director at Creative Children’s Center, Team Coordinator at Stand for Children, PTA President and Hillsboro School District Board Member. In her free time, she enjoys fusing glass, spending time with her family and watching live theatre. She received a BS in Social Sciences/Political Science from Portland State University. After volunteering with the Right Brain Initiative for six years as a Parent Advocate, Kim joined our coaching team in 2014.