Brian Brandt believes that Pierce County shares a commonality in its desire to exhibit, interact, and share DIY locally-grown projects. Currently he runs the county fair exhibition for 4H, and is committed to creation for community members to get engaged. He also works statewide through Washington State University to support STEM learning in the K12 school systems and out-of-school spaces. Brian wants to bring more connections of Making to the greater community that also support youth development.
Joseph Colon is a local educator, home grown in Tacoma Washington. Joseph holds a Teaching Certification in Mathematics and a Masters of Science in Curriculum Design. His career has spanned a wide ambit of education, youth development, teaching, leading and community empowerment. Joseph is currently the Assistant Director of Collective Action at Graduate Tacoma a community backbone for systems change.
Debbie Kray, Education Manager Le-May America’s Car Museum Debbie Kray has focused her career on informal learning and building creative connections to spark curiosity and lifelong learning. Her passion and interest in the arts, museums, cultures, and how we learn, have led to a variety of experiences in Museum Education.
Debbie received a BA in Asian Studies and pursued an MA in Chinese Art History to focus in on museum learning and sharing cultural connections through the arts. In the 1990’s, she worked for the Seattle Art Museum educating docents on the Asian collection. She also created curriculum for the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) and then served as TAM’s Associate Education Curator, then Education Curator. A creative studio called Art Works at TAM was one of her favorite on-going projects to create hands-on learning expounding on changing exhibits.
As Debbie created her own family, she went on to be the first Education Director for the Children’s Museum of Tacoma (CMT). In her 13 years at the CMT, she built strong programs to highlight the power of play and the importance of early learning. She also created unique exhibits and programs to engage both children and their adults. As Education and Exhibit Director for the CMT, she led the renovation of a landmark building and created all new exhibits for the new CMT that opened in 2011. She was a part of the management team of the Museum overseeing all educational and exhibit goals while also developing an award winning outreach program called, Play to Learn. Kray left the CMT in 2012 after insuring a successful transition into their new facility and finishing the playscapes that continue to wow our community.
In 2013, she joined LeMay-America’s Car Museum to build another strong museum education program in Tacoma. Since coming to the Museum, she has built a hands-on Family Zone for the more than 150,000 visitors that flow through the Museum each year. She just designed, funded, and opened a hands-on learning lab, Powering the Future, to encourage visitors and students to seek sustainable solutions to fuel our future. She has established a growing school visitation program, lectures for adults, and hands-on workshops for families, scouts, and youth. Together with her team, she is excited to spark creative learning through the world of the automobile, inspiring lifelong learning.
Rev. Dr. Lorenz is and has been a stalwart in the Greater Tacoma community of Washington as a community leader. Some of her community-building accomplishments include the founding of the local Dickens Festival or the Cherry Blossom Festival contributing to healing community trauma from WWII mainland camps for American citizens of Japanese origin. She is a retired educator and superintendent, and also holds a doctorate in theology. Frances is a visual artist and the co-owner of Laughter Masters an entertainment company.
Hailed as “Tacoma’s top arts innovator” and a “visionary strategist”, Amy McBride has helped transform public art in Tacoma and has greatly increased support for the city’s artists and art organizations. Amy runs the Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality and manages the Tacoma Arts Commission. In this role she has established innovative programs and progressive approaches to community development that are changing the face of the city. The Murals Project fights urban blight and vandalism. Tacoma Arts Month is a month-long festival of the arts entering its 17th year. Spaceworks Tacoma has been such a success that cities across the nation have copied it. This exciting program, founded by Amy in 2009, cultivates creative community by training creative entrepreneurs and placing them in empty and underutilized storefronts and buildings, installing art exhibits and installations in the civic environment, and transforming neighborhoods through creative placemaking.
Amy has presented nationally on issues of public art, creative economy, temporary art installations, and civic democracy through Americans for the Arts. Post graduate work in jewelry and small metal sculpture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco spurred her participation as a maker and artist. Amy earned a Master’s degree with a focus on Urban Arts from the University of Washington-Tacoma in 2010 and was named the 2017 Distinguished Alumni of the Year.
Jennifer Quinn is a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. She earned her BA, MS, and PhD from Williams College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin, respectively. She has held many positions of national leadership in mathematics including Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics, co-editor of Math Horizons, Second Vice President of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and Officer-at-Large on the MAA Board of Directors. She received a Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching and a Beckenbach Book award for Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof, co-authored with Arthur Benjamin. She hopes to finish writing and illustrating a young adult novel described as “Hugo Cabret meet Griffin and Sabine and do some math.” For years she has been inspired by mathematical makers like Laura Taalman (mathgrrl), Helaman Ferguson, and Henry Segerman and has recently begun 3D printing some of her own designs.
Greg Smith is the director of the Tacoma Clubhouse, a member of the Clubhouse Network. The network was founded 25 years ago with the vision to offer underprivileged youth a safe space to learn, explore, and pursue their passions utilizing technology, arts and crafts. The Tacoma Clubhouse is one of the oldest clubhouses in the network and has been serving the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma for 15 years. Greg is passionate about youth and enjoys making.
Adam Ydstie is co-owner of The Warehouse aTacoma based production company committed to bringing high-quality music experiences to various locations around the city and beyond. He oversees the functions of Talent Buying, Contracting, and Production Coordinating. Adam is also known for his community engagement for creative economy and issues such as housing.
Tiffany Y’vonne, is an ardent maker and champion of Maker Education. She hails from one of the epicenters of making, the Bay Area, and is a proud transplanted local who constantly celebrates the robust Tacoma maker community rooted from the arts. By livelihood she is a Community Cultivation Practitioner recognized by the United Nations accredited International Association for Community Development. Tiffany is certified in SEED Methodology (Social Economic Environmental Design) and holds two interdisciplinary degrees grounded in experiential learning- B.A. in Social Issues and Public Policy and M.A. in Global Studies. Prior she worked at Maker Ed and led the national Maker VISTA Program. One of her favorite characters as a child and still as an adult is the original Ms. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus.
*And special thank you to Educator Kyle Roffler*