|CARY CLARKE 503-225-5900 Ext. 228
|BRIANA LINDEN 503-225-5900 Ext. 235
The Right Brain Initiative Program Implementation Manager
Mr. Clarke has been a dedicated champion of the arts, education, and community throughout his career. He served youth and their families as an English Language Learners (ELL) educator in East Portland’s Parkrose School District and, as co-founder and co-director of nonprofit organization PDX Pop Now!, he worked to broaden young people’s participation in and access to Portland’s thriving music community.
Most recently, Mr. Clarke was the Arts & Culture Policy Director for the City of Portland in the Office of former Mayor Sam Adams, where he managed partnerships with local school districts, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, independent artists and arts organizations. He oversaw major initiatives including the creation of a dedicated public fund for arts education and access, and the implementation of an equity initiative to ensure that the full diversity of Portlanders receive the benefits of the arts in their communities. Mr. Clarke is a musician who has recorded and toured nationally, is fluent in Russian, and holds a B.A. from Yale University.
Amy Botula, The Right Brain Initiative Implementation Coordinator, is a writer and former educator. For sixteen years, Amy worked as a classroom teacher—beginning her career at Peninsula Year-Round School and concluding it at Wilson High School. As a classroom teacher, she witnessed firsthand the power that the integration of the visual and performing arts has on learning. She watched once reluctant students thrive when given the opportunity to express themselves visually or through performance. And, as a high school student who transferred between her sophomore and junior year, taking an Introduction to Humanities class helped Amy to find a sense of place and purpose. That one class inspired her to study art history at Oberlin College and to be a teacher. Recently, Amy returned to the classroom as a student and participated in the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Writing Certificate Program. For her final project, she published a collection of essays entitled GLOSSARY. Prior to becoming Implementation Manager, Amy worked as an Arts Integration Coach for The Right Brain Initiative, bringing together many of the things she loves—collaboration, inquiry, creativity, and the arts.
As a young boy from the Philippines, Fidel Devera was fascinated by the place called United States, based on the Reader’s Digest copies he read. Since then, the allure to go to “this place with lots of snow” became a dream. He learned to speak English in Grade 1, a skill that was polished by Australian and British teachers during high school years. Fidel graduated from Jose Rizal University with a degree in Accounting. He was a Philippine Certified Public Accountant. In his senior year, he interned with the World Bank’s MASICAP project that helped small and medium start-up entrepreneurs. This was followed by his first post-college job as Analyst for Small Business Advisory Centers, also a World Bank project. He then worked for Procter & Gamble Philippines as Senior EDP/Internal Audit Manager. This job fulfilled his US dream after attending a conference in 1985 at his company’s Cincinnati headquarters. After a brief stint with Avon Cosmetics Philippines in the 90’s (Note: Fidel strongly denies performing make-ups), he decided to go to USA for good in 1999. In the US, he worked for General Motors and T-Mobile, before, shifting career in the non-profit world as his way of giving back to the community. Fidel has various certifications in QuickBooks, has a 4th Degree with Knights of Columbus and is currently in quest for his Distinguished Toastmaster title with Toastmasters International.
Adam Friedman originally hails from the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. His passion for nature and the great outdoors has manifested itself in his artwork and other personal interests. Since 2006, Adam has worked in the arts as an educator, administrator, and advocate. He holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art institute, and his work has been exhibited across the United States. He is currently represented by the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco, CA.
Julie Hammond has worked in arts administration and support since 2002 including stints with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and as an assistant to performance artist William Pope.L. She has completed professional development programs in grant writing and arts management through Creative Capital (MAP Fund/Doris Duke) and the Network of Ensemble Theaters, and brings her enthusiasm for the arts to her role as a member of Young Audiences’ Development Department. Julie received a BA (Suma Cum Laude) in Theater from Bates College in Lewiston, ME. She has studied with theater makers in London, Budapest, Mexico, and Poland; performed in festivals and venues in Mexico, Poland, NYC, and along the west coast. She is a proud company member of Portland’s own Hand2Mouth Theatre.
Jamie Houghton is a poet, musician, and performer from Bend, Oregon who has spent the last seven years teaching and coordinating creative writing workshops for youth and adults in a diverse range of educational settings in the high desert. Her sites ranged from Deer Ridge Correctional Institution to the Museum at Warm Springs to Paulina Elementary School in the small ranching community of Paulina. Her poetry has been featured in several journals including Folly, qarrtsiluni and Abramelin, and she has performed in poetry slams throughout the country. She was honored to receive an Artist Fellowship Residency at Playa Arts in Summer Lake Oregon in 2014 and spent five weeks alone with her own writing and music. Since then, she has relocated to the lush side of the mountains and is continuing to pursue her own writing practice as well as teaching for Literary Arts and coordinating for The Right Brain Initiative. In her spare time she writes book reviews for High Desert Journal, mountain bikes and spoils two large dogs.
Music has been an important part of Josephine’s life from an early age, starting with violin and then classical voice. She received her Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Master’s in Arts Administration and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon.
As School Liaison, Josephine Kuever assists over 200 schools each year with their arts planning and scheduling needs.
After spending a decade in Los Angeles, Audrey Kuo moved to Portland in early 2014, just in time to miss the snow and settle in to an uncharacteristically sunny first year here. A poet, writer, and community organizer, Audrey is deeply committed to racial, economic, and social justice. In Los Angeles, Audrey worked in development for the Downtown Women’s Center, an agency that provides permanent housing and supportive services for homeless and extremely low-income women. Previously, she worked with middle school students both in schools and through a weekend leadership development program.
From 2013 to 2014, Audrey also served as stage manager for Tuesday Night Cafe, a free volunteer-run and donation-based public arts series rooted in the Asian American community. Audrey enjoys creating pop-up writing workshops, watching live performances, reading, fantasizing about competing on Top Chef, and baking bread from a live sourdough starter that has been shared across a network of community organizers.
Briana Linden, a Portland native, has worked in regional non-profits since 1997 including the Oregon Zoo, Portland Art Museum, Artists Repertory Theatre and Blue Sky/Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts; prior to that she was a preschool teacher. She brings almost 20 years as a leader, educator and teaching artist to her work at Young Audiences as Teaching Artist Program Manager for The Right Brain Initiative, where she manages and supports teaching artists and arts organizations in bringing creative, meaningful, arts-rich experiences to children. Briana received her bachelor’s of fine arts with a focus on works on paper from Marylhurst University in 2005. A practicing artist, Briana works in encaustic, printmaking, drawing and photography. She and her husband spend as much time as possible out in the lush Northwest landscape with their son Jasper and daughter Astrid, and all the rest of their time in the kitchen whipping up feasts drawn from their prolific garden.
Lin Lucas is a visual and performing artist who specializes in comics and butoh respectively. Lin has a BA in elementary education from Western Washington University and has taught students K – Adult for a variety of schools and community arts organizations in the Seattle since 1996. Lin served as the Diversity Coordinator for Northwest School from 2005 -2010. He has engaged social justice and equity based trainings with National Association of Independent Schools, The National Coalition Building Institute, Red Cross, Facing History and Ourselves, and Seattle Race & Social Justice Initiative.
Maia McCarthy, Arts Integration Coach, 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. Maia works with Highland and Kelly Creek in the Gresham Barlow School District, Spring Mountain and Sunnyside in the N. Clackamas School District, Minter Bridge and WL Henry in the Hillsboro School District, and Naas in the Oregon Trail School District.
David Meesenburg coordinates Young Audiences’ Run For The Arts program, manages the day-to-day operations of the office, works on social media, and assists with special projects and events. He worked for four years with an event planning company as Office Administrator and has an extensive background in technology support. Originally from the Bay Area, David has called Portland home for two decades. He has travelled to Asia, South and Central America, and Europe. David is an information junkie and voracious reader; he lives in his head.
Marie Schumacher is an experienced arts administrator and teaching musician who brings her backgrounds in developmental psychology, music education, classroom teaching, and small business to her work as Community Outreach Manager at Young Audiences. She is the founding director of PDX Vox, a community a cappella singing program that teaches all-vocal arrangements of pop songs to adults and teens. She has worked with several Portland-area arts organizations as a fundraiser and grant writer. While living in the Bay Area, Marie worked as a classroom teacher for seven years, then as a teacher trainer with the Mills College School of Education. Marie has a master’s degree in developmental psychology from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. from Harvard University. She is a songwriter who plays guitar and piano, and she has released four CDs of original music.
Emily Stone, Arts Integration Coach, is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is situated on the threshold of dance, theater, and visual arts. While she has been a performing artist and educator for nearly 15 years, Emily recently earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art with a focus in experiential education from Goddard College. Professionally, her collaboratively devised projects have been presented by experimental theaters, contemporary art galleries, new dance, video and time-based art festivals, academic conferences and colleges throughout the Northwest. As an experienced arts educator, she has worked with pre-K/12 students in a wide variety of settings — in the classroom, onstage and backstage at numerous children’s theaters, and outdoors in wilderness therapy programs. Most recently, Emily has served as drama specialist for the Opal School at the Children’s Museum. Emily works with Ardenwald, Concord, Happy Valley, Linwood, Milwaukie/El Puente, Scouters Mountain and View Acres in the North Clackamas School District and Oregon Trail Primary Academy in the Oregon Trail School District.
Kim Strelchun, Arts Integration Coach, 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 joins our team as the coach for Clackamas River and Eagle Creek in the Estacada School District, Chief Joseph Ockley Green and Vernon in the Portland Public Schools and Deep Creek Damascus, East Gresham, Hogan Cedars, Hall and Kelly Creek in the Gresham Barlow School District.
As Programs Director, Allison is responsible for the development of new programming, evaluation of existing programming, teaching artist and classroom teacher professional development, and the Arts for Learning Lessons Program, a supplemental literacy curriculum. Her work involves outreach to schools on the district level as well as coordinating projects and partnerships such as the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant with Beaverton School District. Allison worked for Young Audiences previously as a School Liaison from 2008-2009. A NW native, Allison holds her B.A. in theatre arts and a minor in dance from Central Washington University and is a proud graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Studio and the Actor’s Movement Conservatory in New York City. When she’s not teaching or promoting the arts, she spends her time playwriting, performing, and rock climbing.