LeAp has over 200 outstanding teaching artists and educational experts from around the world. LeAp brings professional artists, including Fulbright- Emmy-Obie-and Oscar-winning specialists, into the classroom to inspire, engage, and educate. LeAp teaching specialists include architects, batik artists, capoeira experts, cartoonists, dancers, environmentalists, filmmakers, graphic artists, historians, illustrators, jazz musicians, landscape designers, musicians, naturalists, opera singers, photographers, poets, quilters, robotics instructors, storytellers, therapists, urban archaeologists, writers, zoologists, and more.
LeAp sends teaching specialists into classrooms across the greater New York City area each year, where they facilitate a variety of programs that infuse art into the traditional curriculum. LeAp teaching specialists work with students of all ages and backgrounds and regularly attend ongoing workshops to share best practices and learn about new tools and strategies. As a result, their depth of knowledge and wealth of experience is an invaluable resource to other educators. Meet a few of the professionals who could educate and inspire your students.
Villi Vilhjalmsson - Visual Arts
Villi Vilhjalmsson is a visual artist who holds degrees in textiles, industrial design, and fine arts from the Icelandic Academy of Arts and Pratt Institute. Villi works in mixed media and has exhibited his work in both the United States and Europe. He brings his visual arts expertise to many LeAp programs in printmaking, book arts, and mask making, among many others.
Jim Pugliese - Music
Jim Pugliese is an accomplished percussionist and international recording artist who has recorded over 60 CDs, tours with the Philip Glass Ensemble, and has performed with the New York City Ballet, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Vermont Symphony, among many others. He began as a teacher 20 years ago and now runs the R.A.V.E. afterschool program at JHS 22 in the Bronx, which received a 2010 Metlife Afterschool Innovator Award---one of six chosen afterschool programs in the nation---and the 2009 PASEsetter Award for Jim's ability to revitalize the failing middle school.
Shobana Ram - Dance
Shobana Ram has trained in the South Indian traditions of Bharata Natyam Dance and Carnatic vocal music both in India and the US, and has performed in venues such as the Joyce SoHo, Construction Company, and Lincoln Center. A former elementary school teacher, Shobana has a MA in International Education Development.
Dennis Green - Theater
Dennis Green is a professional actor who, for 20 years, has taught children and youth numerous forms of theater performance, including directing, acting, and creative writing. Dennis earned his MFA from Yale University's School of Drama. Dennis has created a writing and performance curriculum of dramatic plays for LeAp, as well as a curriculum using Shakespeare as a primary text. He has worked on LeAp's Fidelity FutureStage Program, guiding students in the creation of 10-minute plays, and LeAp's August Wilson Program.