Meet our seven Teaching Artists that are trained in the Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts Model. The Wolf Trap model integrates performing arts into curriculum to teach science and math concepts, language, literacy and build confidence and cultivate imagination in young children.
Teaching Artists and Pre-K classroom Teachers collaborate on goals, formal planning, classroom implementation, and assessment. Once the Wolf Trap teaching artist leaves, the Teacher has learned how to develop their own lesson plans, a toolbox of arts-integrated techniques, and hands-on experience. This method of professional development improves Teacher's classroom management skills, and their satisfaction from the new methods they learn to engage their students.
Joy Jiménez is a multi-disciplinary artist, poet, educator, and mother of a young son. A San Antonio native and a performer/storyteller from a young age, she has exhibited her art and performed her improv and written poetry in venues around San Antonio, including Jump-Start Performance Co., The Guadalupe Theatre, The San Antonio Public Library, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, Gallista Gallery, Urban15, Gevers Street Studio, LadyBase Gallery and San Antonio PuroSlam.
Joy became an arts educator in 2012, spending four years at the nationally-recognized creative youth development organization, SAY Sí, where she co-led the ALAS Youth Theatre Company in the production of over 30 different original shows created by and for San Antonio youth. Her students have won National Scholastic Arts and Writing Medals as well as performed work around San Antonio. It was at SAY Sí that she witnessed the empowering effect of the arts in engaging young people with their world and culture. During this time she also spent a year as a preschool teacher experienced first-hand the preschool teacher’s need for support in integrating arts education into the learning environment. Joy is currently a teaching artist for Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities program and The Magik Theatre.
“Arts education has unlocked my imagination as a teacher and a parent, and provides endless tools and avenues for children to practice 21st century skills in the classroom. These skills include creative problem solving, curiosity and imagination, collaboration, critical thinking, abstract thought, and emotional intelligence. The confidence gained from using their bodies to create art through physical movement, emotional expression, oral communication and performance will definitely have a positive effect on their future experiences as students and community members. San Antonio Wolf Trap is making sure that more young learners have access to essential arts education in their classrooms."
Katrin Blucker Ludwig- With a degree in Theater from Northwestern University, and further education at the Drama Studio London-Berkeley, the Henson Group and Madcap Puppets, Katrin has served as an artistic director, stage manager, co-producer of award winning one-acts, stage tech, as well as performer from Ohio to California. Growing up in Chicago, she was immersed in arts and cultures by way of the wealth of the city’s offerings with an emphasis on those of indigenous peoples.
In Illinois, she co-founded a touring puppet theater company: Walkabout Puppets. This company used creative drama and audience participation with their K-8 audience. Walkabout Puppets had an arts-in-education component and provided residencies to underserved communities in the Midwest. These residencies incorporated visual arts, music, drama, writing and the class curriculum designed to support Illinois State Standards.
“Art encourages freedom and provides a method to express individuality. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience and/or create art, whether visual, written, musical or dramatic.” In teaching, Katrin encourages integrating different art forms with other subjects demonstrating that art, history, science, etc. interrelate. “The arts are part of a lifelong education; informing us of other cultures and perspectives thereby broadening a life view, life thinking and life paths.”
Katrin is excited to be part of the network of Wolf Trap teaching artists – sharing best practices and brainstorming ideas. She was drawn to the Wolf Trap coaching model and residency outline which provide structure and flexibility to help ensure that goals are set and met that support the arts and the educational components. Using puppetry, movement and creative drama, she has developed residencies with teachers at San Antonio area school districts focusing on reading, colors, self-esteem, behavior and family. Teachers and students may learn to use and create puppets. Texts used include The OK Book, Too Many Tamales, The Very Busy Spider and The Five Little Monkeys.
“I believe this methodology could help to bring arts back as a strong component of education in Texas – by having more teachers, administrators, parents and educational institutions see the value of the arts in action. I am excited to share my love and artistry of puppetry with Texas."
Danielle Martinez is a teaching artist that specializes in dance and musical theatre from the San Antonio area. Danielle began taking dance classes in an after-school program during Kindergarten and by age 9 was dancing in a studio. She spent close to ten years competing and training at Amy’s All Star Dance Studio. With the competition team, she was able to perform at community events, NBA and WNBA games, and even at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
In the past five years, she has been involved in close to forty productions in the San Antonio/New Braunfels area, most of which she has choreographed. Fifteen of these productions were working with students ages 4-19 to bring classic favorites to life. She is a graduate from Texas State University, where she holds a BFA in Theatre (Performance and Production emphasis) and a Minor in Music. She is also a proud member of the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Council of Scholars, in addition to multiple honor societies.
Danielle brings ten years of teaching experience between dance and theatre. She primarily works with ages 2-12, but has taught ages 13 and above, as well. A fun fact about Danielle is that she works at Walt Disney World during the summer at Disney Springs (formally known as Downtown Disney.) She is looking forward to sharing her passion for the arts and the confidence it has given her (on and off stage) with her future residency students and teachers! Thank you for reading and have a great day!
C.T. Rhames made her San Antonio main stage debut here at the Jo Long Theatre in The King as Sarabi. Since then she has performed in the following San Antonio productions: A Little Touch of Soul, Steel Magnolias, Silent No More, Backstage Alley, King and I, Oklahoma, Legally Blonde, Hello Dolly and Tarzan. She has had the immense pleasure of directing numerous productions, as well as, facilitating as the artistic director for the organization Choose to Dream.
As an educator, she has directed many school productions for school age children. She knows firsthand the vital importance of arts integration in the core education curriculum. Integration of this curriculum leads to the awesome honor of pioneering the teaching artist concept in the state of Texas. Furthermore, C.T. is also a creative playwright and has written several works, some of which were included in the 2013 Rags to Riches summer camp production and a Harriet Tubman Reenactment. A crowning moment for her was when she co-starred with Anani, her daughter, in The King and I, at the San Pedro Playhouse. She credits all her gifts to God and thanks her family for their awesome support! As a true advocate of the arts and its pivotal role in early childhood development, implementing this invaluable tool for the development of life skills is pivotal. She continues to utilize every avenue possible to promote this platform.
“Extraordinary happenings are within reach. Every great feat that has occurred on this planet thus far has been the result of belief and persistence.”- CT Rhames
Aurelia Rocha -Combining her experience in arts administration, music education, and her research in arts for social change, Dr. Aurelia Rocha works to improve the quality of educational and arts experiences for all youth. A native of San Antonio, she serves as a member of the Engagement Committee for the Excel Beyond the Bell Out of School Time Collective, and she serves on the board of directors for El Sistema USA. Dr. Rocha holds degrees in fine arts, education, and cello performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Texas Tech University.
Her expertise in music and education will prove beneficial as teachers integrate performing arts strategies in their classrooms. Her choice to work as a San Antonio Wolf Trap Teaching Artist will allow her to continue work that is vital to teachers and children. Thus far, Dr. Rocha has completed one Wolf Trap residency at Hidden Cove Elementary in the Southwest Independent School District. This spring 2017, Dr. Rocha will work in residency at the Pre-K 4 SA North Education Center.
"I believe that the arts can help very young children to begin a life of learning, creativity, and success in whatever endeavor they choose."
Kacey Roye -
Kacey is a Southern California native, performing since the age of five, and teaching for over ten years. After college, she relocated to Portland, OR, where she continued to work as an actor in theatre, commercials, TV and film. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of Chapman University's College of Performing Arts, receiving her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance.
As an educator, she has worked at The Music Room School of Performing Arts in California as a teacher and choreographer for the Show Biz Kids. At The Magik Theatre, she has served as the Education Programs Manager, and as a company member, directing the Teen Repertory’s productions of Hairspray Jr. and Into the Woods Jr., and choreographing Magik’s mainstage productions of Shrek, and Freckleface Strawberry.
As an actor, she has worked in several theaters spanning the West Coast and San Antonio. Her recent credits include Classic’s upcoming productions of A Doll's House, as Nora Helmer, Bus Stop, The Tempest, Crime and Punishment, Venus in Fur, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Grease, and Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! Some of her favorite credits on the West Coast are Little Shop of Horrors, A Diner, A Shiner, A Flea in her Ear, Cabaret, Our Country's Good, Dog Sees God, The Shape of Things and The Robber Bridegroom.
"Since being a Wolf Trap teaching artist, I have been given the opportunity to experience first-hand, the importance of introducing arts integration at an early age. Arts-based practices allow children the resources necessary to succeed beyond the classroom; developing empathy, resourcefulness, creativity, and creating opportunity. San Antonio is one of the most economically diverse cities in the nation. We are in danger of widening the economic divide with limited arts funding. The solution to bridging the economic gap is to provide accessible arts funding, which is exactly what Wolf Trap offers: professional development for teachers, alongside creative learning."
"I strive to work with individuals and schools who seek to promote ever-evolving, socially aware, honest theatre education for young people. Becoming a Wolf Trap teaching artist gives me a platform to accomplish my education goals. My teaching philosophy is to cultivate brave learners, and prepare children for life in school and out of school, where they will be faced with challenges that demand self-confidence, honesty, and a little bit of humor."
S.T. Shimi is a writer and performance artist who combines text with a variety of movement styles (including Middle Eastern, aerial & flow arts). Her play Southern Discomfort is part of Jump-Start Playworks (Wings Press), a multi-cultural anthology of new performance work. She has performed on multiple stages locally and around the country. A former staff and company member of Jump-Start Performance Co., she appeared in and collaborated on many original company productions.
S.T. Shimi has been an artist-instructor for the past twenty years, specializing in long-term multi-disciplinary projects in a variety of community settings. As Jump-Start Performance Co.’s Arts-Educator in Residence, she helped to pioneer and develop several after-school programs focusing on long-term tracking of selected participants in various projects that focused on identity, social awareness and community engagement. She co-founded The Girl Project, a program that provided young women between 5th and 8th grades with the tools they needed to navigate gender and gang-related issues. As an Arts Resource Instructor, Shimi engaged with elementary through high school teachers in creating art lessons that bolstered their in-school curriculum needs. Many of her lesson plans are included in Jump-Start’s Curriculum Guide that was distributed free of charge to SAISD teachers. She also teaches adults with chronic mental illnesses through Family Endeavors, and children with special needs on local military bases, through VSA Arts.
Shimi has come to realize, appreciate and honor that she is her father’s (a career educator) daughter, in that teaching brings her great pleasure and feeds her inspiration as a creating artist.
A native of Singapore, S.T. Shimi received a B.A. in Theater and Women’s Studies from Dartmouth College.