About Us


We are educators, artists, administrators and volunteers.

Now in its 55th season, the San Francisco Arts Education Project thrives in that extraordinary zone between children and their creative potential. Working with professional artists in the performing and visual arts, more than 300,000 children have participated directly in the arts through SFArtsED – nearly 7,000 kids last year alone. Nothing thrills us more than seeing a child participate in the arts, thriving, building self-confidence, honing communication skills and becoming the kind of broad-minded, open-hearted adults who will brighten our planet.

COVID-19 Health Advisory

SFArtsED Summer will follow health recommendations from the San Francisco Unified School District and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Our Leadership

Chad S. Jones, Executive Director

Emily Keeler, Artistic Director

Mia Waller, Program Manager

Kathleen Moore, Camp Registrar & Administrative Coordinator

Laura Bloch, Accounting Manager

Susan Tramontana, Glen Park After School/Summer Site Coordinator

Meet Our Artists

The following artists may be part of the SFArtsED Summer 2024 roster

Jeanette Au, Visual Arts since 2010
Ms. Au was raised in New York and trained in visual arts at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts—also known as the Fame school. She holds a BFA in interdisciplinary studies from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA in knitwear design from the Academy of Art University. Ms. Au’s work blurs and transgresses the boundaries between fashion and art, exploring cross-cultural dialogues and liminal space. Her knitwear collection has been presented at New York Fashion Week, and she has taught undergraduate fashion courses at Academy of Art University and offers textile art instruction throughout the Bay Area. As an educator, she shares inspiration, process, and an exploration of material and techniques in order to discover—and to delight—in the unexpected.

Noah Bossert, Musical Theater since 2022
Mr. Bossert is a passionate music educator, pianist, and vocal coach hailing from Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with degrees in both undergraduate study in Music Education and graduate study in Education Policy and Analysis. Focusing on access to music education-for-all is his top priority as an educator and advocate. He started his teaching career as a high school choir and general music teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, he provided musical opportunities to all students through accompanying and arranging for the choirs, leading hip-hop cyphers in the general music classroom, and music directing/keyboard conducting multiple different shows produced by the high school theater company (Tuck Everlasting, Fly by Night, and High School Musical the Musical). Mr. Bossert teaches as a private piano/voice teacher at McAllister Music Studio in San Francisco, offering lessons to beginner through advanced students. As a collaborator, he is pianist and vocal coach for the SFArtsED Players, while also performing as a dueling pianist at clubs throughout the Bay Area and Midwest.

Laura Elaine Ellis, Musical Theater, since 1990
Ms. Ellis is a member of faculty of the Theater and Dance department at Cal State University East Bay, for whom she has choreographed numerous productions. With colleague Kimiko Guthrie she co-directed and co-choreographed A Chorus Line—which garnered critical praise and was the catalyst for CSUEB’s Musical Theater program. Ms. Ellis has also staged productions for Open Opera, Festival Opera, George Coates Performance Group, Douglass Morrison Theater, and Theatre Rhinoceros. A principal dancer with Dimensions Dance Theater, she has appeared in works by Emily Keeler, Donald McKayle, Garth Fagan, Deborah Vaughan, Joan Lazarus, Anne Bluethenthal, Kim Epifano, and Robert Moses; and is co-founder of the award-winning Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now. In the summer of 2017 Ms. Ellis was a co-choreographer of Ragtime—a co-production of SFArtsED and the SF Bay Area Theatre Company performed at the Nourse Theater.

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.

Rachel Major, Art & Design, since 2017
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Ms. 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. She 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

Erik Parra, Visual Arts, since 2007
Mr. Parra is a San Francisco-based visual artist and educator who holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including Brazil, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, and New York. Locally, Mr. Parra’s work has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, The Headlands Center for the Arts, The Berkeley Art Center, Johansson Projects, and Eleanor Harwood Gallery. In addition to having over 15 years experience working as a teaching artist he lectures extensively at universities and colleges including at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, North Seattle College, Hastings College in Nebraska, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, and the California College of the Arts. Her currently serves as the artist member of the SFArtsED Board of Directors.

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.

Samantha Stone, Dance Artist, since 2011
Ms. Stone received her BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. Upon graduating, she continued her dance studies in Brazil, Mexico and Europe as well as in the Bay Area, focusing on Axis Syllabus Dance. Most recently, she participated at the Luna Dance Institute, where she further trained in the field of children's dance education. She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers Kathleen Hermsdorf, Bianca Cabrera, Rosemary Hannon, Ashley Trottier, Aura Fischbeck, and Leyya Tawil. Ms. Stone is a co-founder of Viv dance company and her work has been shown in several local theaters, although she prefers enchanting the homes, galleries, and shops around her with movement and design. She engages in teaching, choreographing, and performing on both sides of the San Francisco Bay, always advocating for arts awareness and opportunities for all.

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.