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Below is a list of teaching artists in the state of Michigan. This list is to be used as a reference. Please contact Teaching Artists individually for professional references. If you are a teaching artist interested in being included in the database, CLICK HERE for the application.
Jenifer StraussTraverse City Grand Traverse
Dynamic and thought provoking, engaging and educational, heart-warming and sometimes outrageous, Jenifer Strauss uses stories to enrich lives. Offering a unique brand of energy-injected performances, workshops, trainings and keynotes, she captures interest, motivates learning and inspires writing. A former environmental and elementary educator, Strauss discovered that people think, learn and imagine in narrative. In 1993 she combined her love of teaching and story and founded Story Be Told Productions, helping educators, businesses, organizations and individuals use story to connect, communicate and clarify their goals. Strauss is the creator of the Turning Points Personal Narrative Model and co-founder of The Center for Imagination.
Cultural, Instrumental Music
John ChurchvilleAnn Arbor
John Churchville is a two time Grammy Nominated Music Educator, Music Education Consultant, and national presenter for the Bureau of Education Research (BER). He holds a BFA in World Music Performance from California Institute of the Arts, and a Masters in Music Education from The University of Michigan. John is also an award winning musician, producer, engineer and founder of the Indian music fusion group Sumkali, who released their 4th album in 2018 and continue to perform and tour throughout the US.
John specializes in Indian tabla drumming. His experience in the music industry has been incredibly diverse. In addition to hosting over 130 monthly Indian Music Nights at the Crazy Wisdom Tearoom, John has also been a featured performer for the Michigan Pops Orchestra, performed at a wide array of venues including festival stages, churches, temples, schools, boats, floats and more. He has played in steel drum groups, Bollywood groups, rock bands, funk bands, bar mitzvahs, weddings, corporate events, private parties, live radio, and much more.
As an educator, John started and directed for 11 years an award winning music program for Infant-8th grade music students at Go Like The Wind School in Ann Arbor, MI. His work at that school has been nationally recognized and has compelled John to present his work at the Association for Popular Music Educators National Conference, the NYU IMPACT conference, the Michigan Music Education Conference, and as a provider of professional development seminars for Elementary music teachers nationwide.
Keir JacksonDetroit Wayne
Keir is a spoken word poet who performs his encouraging, positive and inspirational works with music. He is also a spoken word poetry workshop facilitator. In his sessions, Keir covers a variety of poetry genres and provides instruction on how to perform them.
Cultural, Visual Arts
Kelly ChurchHopkins Hopkinds Township
Kelly Church weaves the Native American traditions of Michigan Anishnabe into her engaging and informative presentations, demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Her talents and training were passed down through her unbroken family line of black-ash basket makers. Church also works with cattails, basswood, cedar, birch bark and sweetgrass to make both modern and traditional woven works. Programs are designed for all ages and may be tailored to specific age groups.
Cultural, Visual Arts
Krasl Art CenterSt. Joseph Berrien
Krasl Art Center’s ArtTouch program brings hands-on multi-cultural kits full of art and artifacts to schools for engaging cultural presentations.Led by one of the teaching faculty, school and community groups are engaged in a 45-60 minute presentation from: Ancient Greece, Hola Mexico, Potawatomi: Keepers of the Fire, Discovering Islam, African Odyssey, Sculpture Alive, or Far East Fantasies. Customized 45-60 minute art projects are available for an additional fee.
Cultural, Instrumental Music
Linda Lee and the Golden-AiresMidland Midland
Linda Lee is the "House Entertainer" for the world-famous Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and is also their "good-will ambassador," promoting German hospitality wherever she goes. Linda Lee became affiliated with Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn fulltime in 1991. She is affectionately known as "Bavarian Inn's Linda Lee" where she entertains five days a week!
Cultural, History, Literary Arts, Theatre
Lois KeelClarkston All Michigan Counties
Storyteller Lois Sprengnether Keel’s lively style enriches her large repertoire of international folklore, historical reenactment and Michigan tales in stories from around the world and back in time. Keel, who performs as Lois, matches programs to audiences’ age and interests. Her entertaining, educational programs are often participatory and may include music, sign language or puppets.
In her wide range of Michigan programs, Lois reenacts such historic figures as a woman who grew up on an Underground Railroad Station and aided Civil War home front efforts or another serving in World War I. She also conducts storytelling workshops for all levels.
Magical Rain TheaterworksKalamazoo Kalamazoo
Magical Rain Theaterworks creates theatre experiences exploring story, myth, movement, wisdom of the heart and body, and the creativity of diverse peoples and cultures. Performances, workshops, and residencies for K-12, college, and adult audiences are available. Repertoire includes Palabras Luminosas (Latino luminous language, laughter, and lore), Mythic Blacklight Student Productions, Anima (team building workshops), Latinas in Myth and Legend, El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead Presentations), and more. Programs explore Latino culture and heritage, inspire creative minds, and foster emotional and social intelligence. Our goal: Collaborative, creative work, joy, mutual respect, and competence.
Cultural, Instrumental Music
Peter Madcat RuthAnn Arbor Washtenaw
Folk Music, Blues, Jazz, and World Music with an underlying theme of Cultural Diversity and World Brotherhood performed on harmonica, guitar, ukulele, kalimba, penny-whistle, jaw-harp and other folk instruments from around the world. Madcat's kids' concerts are "kid tested and approved."
"Since 1980 I have had the pleasure of playing folk music, blues and world music for school assemblies throughout the United States. In my assembly programs I use harmonicas, ukulele, guitar, penny-whistles, jaw-harps, kalimba and other folk instruments from around the world to demonstrate a variety of musical styles. The students are encouraged to ask questions and to participate in the program by clapping out rhythms, composing blues lyrics, and by singing along."
"My assembly programs run about fifty minutes in length. When I perform at a school I bring with me a portable sound reinforcement system (P.A.), and a large assortment of musical instruments. It usually takes me about an hour to unload my equipment, set it up, and tune my instruments. Then it takes another hour to pack it up and reload it into my car. For this reason I can do no more than two assembly programs per day. I usually charge $400.00 for an isolated assembly program, $500.00 for two shows in the same location, and $300.00 per school if I perform in two schools in one day. I like to book my engagements a few months in advance."
Cultural, Vocal Music
Rackham Symphony ChoirGrosse Pointe Wayne
Rackham Symphony has 3 outreach programs. The first is Singing it Real which is The Reluctant Dragon performed with life-sized puppets followed by a puppet making workshop and preceded by in class activities that are presented through an in service with teachers. Rackham also offers master classes. Lastly, RSC offers Voices of the Homeless which is a program on homelessness.
Cultural, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music
Red Tail RingKalamazoo Kalamazoo
Red Tail Ring is the Americana roots duo of Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo. Whether rendering a traditional tune or one of their original compositions, the duo infuses each song with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry on fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, jawharp and plain-old foot stomping. Three years and 300-plus shows into their partnership, Beauchamp and Premo have traveled increasingly farther in their musical ramblings, playing shows throughout the Midwest, East Coast and Southeastern United States. In the summer of 2011, the duo added Denmark to their list when they performed and taught as cultural ambassadors through the American Embassy.
Reg Pettibone’s Native American Dance-Cultural ProgramLivonia Wayne
Champion powwow dancer and full-blooded Native American from the Ho-Chunk Nation, Reg Pettibone presents an engaging cultural program that amazes, entertains and educates audiences. Along with his wife Marca, who is from the Paiute Nation, Pettibone draws on his traditional upbringing to provide the audience with a better understanding of true Native American culture through dance, song, stories, audience participation and a hands-on artifact display.
Cultural, History, Theatre
Ring of Steel Action TheatreDexter Washtenaw
The swords of heroes walk into your classroom with a display and/or workshop of theatrical fighting along with a collection of over seventy historical weapons (safely dulled), wearable armor, and combative props from well-known movies. Presentation is tailored to class type (Theatre, English, Humanities, History, or Foreign Language) and includes a lecture on the historical context of theatrical combat, safety techniques that protect performers, and presentation of selected scenes from classic plays or duels between historic character types.