Danny Duncan, Theatrical Director/Dramaturge, since 1991
Mr. Duncan is a native San Franciscan who has worked in the Bay Area most of his life. As founder and Artistic Director of Duncan & Company, he toured the West Coast for seven years. Mr. Duncan's writing career began in 1969 with Uhuruh, which appeared Off Broadway in New York at the City Center Theatre. Since then, he has authored and produced eight original musicals including Billie’s Song—winner of six Bay Area Critic Awards, including Best Musical of 1982. He is also the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for his choreography for Theatreworks production of RAISIN the musical in 1998 as well as the Dean Goodman Choice Award for outstanding achievement in theatre. For five years Mr. Duncan served as Artistic Director for the Mayor's Summer Youth Program (Bayview Hunter's Point) and for ten years with United Projects, an arts organization that trained young people in the performing arts. Mr. Duncan has written the librettos and song lyrics for eight of The Event of the Year performances, and three original musicals for the SFArtsED Players. And, he’s served as Director of this musical theater company since its inception. Mr. Duncan has a long association with the School of the Arts Alternative High School and has taught at the American Conservatory Theater. He is on the faculty of the Oakland School of the Arts as drama teacher and is Director of their main stage musical each year.
Marcus Dyson, Music, since 2005
Mr. Dyson has been teaching choruses since the age of twelve. He is the Minister of Music at Calvary Hill Community Church in San Francisco. Mr. Dyson has also served as Minister of Music at Monument of Love Fellowship in San Diego making musical appearances on BET, TBN with top recording artists including Andrae Crouch, Shirley Caesar, Dr. Bobby Jones, Destiny’s Child and Kelly Price. Mr. Dyson’s debut CD was released in August, 2007. As Minister of Music, Mr. Dyson started the first youth choir for True Hope COGIC in San Francisco. Additional experience includes teaching Chorus class at Eugene McAteer High School.
Zoe Farmer, Ceramics, since 2014
Before moving to the Bay Area in 2012 Ms. Farmer spent 12 years teaching at a diverse, coed, public school in London, UK. Ms. Farmer’s undergraduate degree is in sculpture, and she recently completed her MFA at California College of the Arts in fine sculpture. She has had an active studio practice sine 2007 had has show work in solo and group shows in London and San Francisco. Her art practice is interdisciplinary and she works with a wide range of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways. She embraces a variety of processes and enjoys discovering the potential of materials through experimentation and play. The material reactions that become a starting point for a new body of work are those that convey transformation, transience and throw up unforeseen surprises. A scuba diver with a life-long interest and investment in marine biology and a strong belief in our connection to the ocean, Ms. Farmer’s work seeks to explore the instability created when social constructs influence the fabrication of scientific truth. The realities of diversity found in the ocean environment challenge scientific truths and pop-cultural attitudes toward the animal kingdom. The social constructions of our society become conspicuous and limiting against the adaptable, fluid bodies of the animals and organisms that she observes.
Erin Gentry, SFArtsED Players, since 2010
Ms. Gentry studied at the University of San Francisco, graduating with a BA in performing arts and social justice with a dance emphasis. A longtime musical theater lover, she is a choreographer, performer and collaborator, and has appeared onstage from a young age. Favorite past shows include Cabaret, Chicago, Urinetown! The Musical, Hairspray, and most recently her role as Cassie in A Chorus Line. During her time at USF, Ms. Gentry staged such musicals as Songs for a New World and Reefer Madness and worked with incarcerated men in the Resolve to Stop The Violence Program, before joining the SFArtsED family as an instructor for the youth summer camp Broadway Bound and co-choreographer for the SFArtsED Players. She also greatly enjoys her in-school musical theater residencies throughout the year. With training in classical Broadway styles of dance, including tap and jazz, and interests in contemporary styles, Ms. Gentry's variety of interests are all a part of her diverse approach to teaching.
Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr., Musical Theater, since 2019
Mr. Jackson made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon after graduating with a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. He was last seen performing in the Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud, and previously traveling North America in the first national tour of Motown: The Musical. A San Francisco native who was discovered in his public elementary school at age 9 by SFArtsED (Emily Keeler & Danny Duncan), Mr. Jackson continued his theatre and performance education at Rec and Park’s Young People’s Teen Musical Theater Company (Diane Price, Anne Marie Bookwalter & Nicola Bosco-Alvarez) and graduated from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts’ theatre department (Phillip Rayher & Donn Harris). As the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO), he is a proud art-activist passionate about telling untold stories.
Rachel Major, Art & Design, since 2017
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Rachel Major is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ms. Major lived and worked in Paris for two years before moving to San Francisco in 1994 and receiving an MFA from Mills College. In her work, which has been shown in France, Canada, and the United States, Ms. Major investigates our complex and often fraught relationship with food using a variety of media—including sculpture, painting, and photography. She has been making art with children for more than ten years, and enjoys connecting art with science and working collaboratively with open-ended materials—exploring everything from airplanes to zoetropes.
Mallory McDaniel, Visual Art & Design, since 2019
Ms. McDaniel graduated from the California College of the Arts, receiving her BFA in Fashion Design. While at CCA she won a competition for sustainable fashion design sponsored by the prominent San Francisco nonprofit, ReMake. This led to her being the center of a documentary produced in Sri Lanka where she was introduced to the many issues surrounding the pipeline of overseas garment production. Before fashion Ms. McDaniel studied film and taught at the multimedia youth nonprofit, Spy Hop in Salt Lake City. While there she completed three documentaries, one winning her a Student Emmy. She has a special love for the medium of stop-motion film due to its detailed hand-crafted artistry. She has worked with all ages, from teaching art to toddlers (working on fine motor skills and early childhood development), to 3-month summer intensives, creating 20-minute film projects with high school students. Her interest in art started from a young age, as she began to gather and combine a variety of artistic materials, styles and techniques and remains passionate about creativity, playful exploration, sustainability, and up-cycling, a focus that she applies with great excitement in all areas of her life.
Melinda Neal-Cofresi, Dance, since 2008
Ms. Neal-Cofresi is a BFA candidate in dance at Saint Mary’s College. She trained at the Oakland Ballet Academy under Ronn Guidi and studied locally at Shawl Anderson and the San Francisco Dance Center. She is certified to teach Ballet by the Dance Masters of America, and has performed with Simply Pasquale, Napoles Ballet Theatre, California Ballet, Udance Electra, New Trails Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Academy and Solano Civic Ballet. Ms Neal-Cofresi is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Halal Ballet Theatre, a non-profit youth ballet company and also teaches for Dance Network.
Tiersa Nureyev, Fashion Design, since 2006
Ms. Nureyev's body of work resides in the intersection between art, design and craft. Her entry point into these disciplines is typically textile-based, materials driven, hands-on and coupled with an emphasis on artistic inquiry and collaboration. She is interested in the how and why when making work. She applies this thinking to three distinct yet related fields: costume/visual design, textile/fashion product design and art/design education.
Ms. Nureyev has costumed for film, musical theatre, dance and performance art and has worked with fellow artists to create fiber-based elements, structures and garments for gallery projects and set design. She is the co-founder of collaborative design studio Stella Fluorescent, which creates fashion collections emerging from partnerships with Bay Area designers and artists. Stella Fluorescent works with natural dyers, wood artisans, metal smiths and painters to create sustainably designed collections that are sold in fashion boutiques and design stores.
Ms. Nureyev sits on the SFArtsED Board of Directors as the Artist Representative. She is an active teaching artist (via SFArtsED) within the San Francisco School District, leads summer programs with youth exploring the nature of fashion as identity and collaborates with artists residing in San Quentin Prison. www.tiersanureyev.com
Richard Olsen, Visual Arts, since 1993
Mr. Olsen is an artist, writer and art educator. He was the head of the art department at Gateway High School and taught art education at the San Francisco Art Institute. Mr. Olsen has curated many shows with SFArtsED including at Rena Bransten Gallery, Southern Exposure Gallery, the SF Arts Commission Gallery and the SF Museum of Modern Art. Most recently, Mr. Olsen curated the wildly successful INTERNATIONAL ORANGE: The Bridge Re-imagined at the Mills Building and in 75 "bridge" galleries around San Francisco. At SFArtsED, his students’ work has won a number of awards including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s “Best of Design” award with a subsequent exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. He has lectured on art and education at UC Berkeley, SF State, the College of Notre Dame, the SF Museum of Modern Art and other institutions. He has also taught in public and private settings, including children deemed “severely emotionally disturbed.” Mr. Olsen received his BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Tom Shaw, Musical Theater, since 2007
Mr. Shaw is a singer-pianist with extensive musical theater experience as a music director, accompanist and actor. He has also composed music and acted for television and film. His jazz trio, the Tom Shaw Trio, performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is often sought out to accompany other vocalists, cabaret performances, musical theater productions and shows, and can be seen regularly performing in San Francisco at Martuni's among other venues.
Bongo Sidibe, Rhythms, since 2018
Alpha Oumar “Bongo” Sidibe is a traditional drummer from Conakry, Guinea in West Africa. He is musical director of Duniya Dance and Drum Company. Mr. Sidibe studied with Master Drummer Mamady Keita at his school, Tam Tam Mandigue, Guinea, and participated in his workshops in Conakry and Balandougou, Mamady’s village. He performed with Ballet Jah Karlo in Dakar, Senegal, and recorded the CD “N’dguel Fall” and toured with Orchestre Baye Fall. Before leaving Guinea, he was co-director of Balandougou Kan, a group of traditional percussionists and dancers. Since arriving in the U.S., Mr. Sidibe has performed with Rhythm Village, Joan Baez, Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead, and Black Nature from the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars. He is also a singer and percussionist with Dogon Lights band and a teaching artist.
Jamie Yuen-Shore, Broadway Bound, since 2016
Jamie Yuen-Shore is a proud alumna of the first generation of SFArtsED Players. In addition to SFArtsED, she has taught musical theater and theater education with the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Fulbright Program in Montevideo, Uruguay, Aim High, and where she teaches at San Francisco Day School. She serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (SFBATCO), where most recently she co-created and directed I, Too, Sing America (Othello Jefferson). She has previously choreographed with SFArtsED for Building Broadway, Carnival, Ragtime, Seussical™, and West Side Story.
Jesus Zamarron, Visual Arts since 2016
Jesus Zamarron has more than ten years experience teaching art in after-school programs at Holy Name School and Mission Dolores Academy. He graduated with an MA in Art Education from the Academy of Art in 2013, and holds a BFA from Complutense University in Madrid and a Pedagogical Adaptation Certificate (CAP) from University of Almeria, Spain.