The Right Brain Initiative


New teaching artists!

April 11th, 2016 by Right Brain Team


We are delighted to introduce eight of the newest members of our teaching artist team, now featured on our artist roster. These talented artists made it through a competitive application process, proving themselves to be experienced educators who are versed in integrating the arts with other subjects. Right Brain teaching artists work at Right Brain partner K-8 schools around the Portland area, collaborating with classroom teachers to make curriculum come to life through music, digital media, movement, visual art and much more. This work is part of our effort to help classroom teachers develop the skills to integrate creative thinking throughout their teaching on a daily basis.

Click on the name of each artist to see their full profile on our roster.

Midori Hirose
Midori is a multi-media artist who specializes in using approachable, multi-purpose visual art materials to help students create their own interpretations of an object and explore new stories. With natural connections to science, literacy and social studies, Midori invites students to the table to share their stories using visual representations as the medium.  Midori was recently honored to be one of 34 regional artists selected to participate in the Portland 2016 Biennial.

Nancy Judd
Nancy Judd uses recycled art and fashion as a means to encourage young people to see that there is no such thing as waste, only wasted resources. She believes fashion is a fun, positive and interactive lens to view issues related to resource use, climate change and the future of human habitation on earth.  Nancy’s elegant eco-fashions are exhibited in venues such as airports, museums, and shopping centers – one of her pieces, the Obamanos Coat, is part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

Brian Kettler
Using elements of drama and storytelling, playwright Brian Kettler works with students to bring everyday school subjects to life. He believes that learning about acting and drama will help students in whatever life path they choose:  helping them to be more comfortable speaking in public, giving them permission to be silly, take risks and make big choices.  Brian says “As a theater educator, I am dedicated to sharing the tools of self-expression with populations who are new to writing or performing — because self-expression is a right, not a privilege.”

David Loitz
David Loitz is a multimedia artist and (almost) licensed classroom teacher who works with students to help bring their learning to life using a range of digital and dramatic arts including stop motion animation, photography, filmmaking, theater and acting. His philosophy is that media arts can enhance collaboration, deepen learning and inquiry, allow reflection, and express student voice.

Alisa McDonald
A licensed classroom teacher with a background in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), Alisa uses visual arts experiences to help students wonder, discover, experiment, and create. With a focus on celebrating diverse cultural traditions like mask-making and batik, Alisa takes inspiration from the environment and personal stories to create meaningful and collaborative arts experiences for students of all ages.

Believe in Wonder Publishing: Brian and Josie Parker
Brian Parker is a children’s book author/illustrator and his publishing group, Believe in Wonder, is a family enterprise run jointly with his wife Josie. While working with students to communicate personal ideas on paper, they aim to promote imagination, inspiration and positive thinking in students. This multi-media art form will help students to develop their own unique voice and to tell their personal stories.

Luciana Proano
As a Peruvian dancer and artist, Luciana works with students to learn about cultural heritage through movement and creativity. Whether it’s exploring geometric patterns through dance, history subjects expressed through the body, or rhythm in connection with math, Luciana works with students to input their own self-expression into a traditional form or subject. Available to teach in Spanish-immersion classrooms!

Darlene Solomon Rogers
Darlene, aka Blacque Butterfly, is a renowned poet, spoken word artist, singer/songwriter, and motivational speaker with deep native Oregonian roots.  Individually and collectively, Darlene’s students have the opportunity to exchange stories, traditions, and history, to connect to the past and current social justice events.  Her goal as a teaching artist is to create intercultural awareness and understanding through theater, music and storytelling:  “I love to see students share what they learned with friends and family as we are all woven into the same story”.


Right Brain partner schools work with a total of nearly 50 individual artists and arts organizations. See our full artist roster here.

Want to be part of our teaching artist roster? We’ll have more information this summer about our application for the 2016-17 school year. To receive all the latest updates, please join our email list.


Right Brain Team