Katie is an Eckerd College graduate with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. She has been a professional actor and teaching artist, working with students of all ages in the Tampa Bay area for over 10 years with American Stage, Patel Conservatory, and the Carrollwood Cultural Center. Theatre credits include three of American Stage’s School Tour productions; Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Charlotte’s Web, and The Wind in the Willows. Most recent acting credits include Fahrenheit 451, Hay Fever, Taming of the Shrew, Crimes of the Heart, All New People, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo at Jobsite Theatre, Biloxi Blues at Stageworks and Musings of a Postmodern Romantic and The Children’s Hour with Tampa Repertory Theatre.
Gilad Ben-Zvi (b. 1977) is an Israeli/New York composer and guitarist, currently based in Tampa, Florida.
He is completing his undergraduate degree in classical guitar performance at the University of South Florida under the guidance of Dr. Erol B. Oszever. Ben-Zvi studied at Rimon – School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Israel and completed four years of Jazz and general performance, afterward he became involved with the local Israeli music scene and played with some of Israel’s front-line musicians. In the summer of 2005, Gilad relocated to New York and formed the Acoustic Guitar Duo Isra-Alien with Oren Neiman. Isra-Alien perform their own music with a Mediterranean-Gypsy, Balkan, and Eastern-European flavor, and released three albums to date. They have toured across four continents, including Europe, South America, North America and Asia, and have been collaborating with some of the leaders of the Klezmer scene in New York (the Klezmatics) as well as in São Paulo, Brazil. Isra-Alien awarded “Best Independent New Artist” by Music Connection Magazine in 2009. Mr. Ben-Zvi was an Artist-in-Residence at the Makor artists program of the 92nd Street Y between the years 2005 and 2007. Some of Gilad’s compositions includes Circus (for grade 1 band), The Audrey Hepburn Smile (for acoustic guitar duo), Who’s Looking? (for electric guitar, Keyboard, electric bass and drum set), The Shofar Blower (for flute and marimba) and I Had a Dream (for guitar and electronics).
Devan is a life-long dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She grew up in Virginia where she took ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop, and ballroom at the Concert Ballet of Virginia, Shuffles Dance Studio, and Valarie Simpson’s School of Dance Arts. Professional training includes Ballet, Jazz, and Modern at the University of South Florida. Along with teaching classes at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, she choreographs for the dance team at St. Leo University and took them to competition in their first year as a program. She is a graduate from the University of South Florida, College of Pharmacy.
Marjorie was a Professor of Fine Arts at St. Petersburg College for 21 years. During that time she taught drawing, painting, printmaking and design. She has a BFA in printmaking from The University of the Arts and a Masters Degree in Art Education from Temple University. Her work can be seen at numerous galleries and also on my website www.offtheblockpress.com
Marjorie live in Tampa, Florida with my husband and rescue dog Kepi.
Ashley has spent most of her career as an educator, performer, and artist. She holds a current K-12 license to teach music and drama to grades 6-12. Ashley has a Level 2 Certificate in Intermodal Expressive Arts from Expressive Arts Institute Florida and has expertise in dance, visual journaling, and sound circles. She began dancing at the age of 3, formal training at 7, and continues to dance for her own health and happiness.
With more than twenty-seven years of teaching experience, McCaskill has taught classical ballet throughout the U.S. and Europe. As the Director of Ballet Conservatory of Orange County for more than ten years, he taught open professional class in Los Angeles as well as company class for the San Diego City Ballet. A Professional Ballet dancer for over sixteen years, McCaskill danced in the States with such renowned companies as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Chicago City Ballet, and the San Antonio Ballet. He has guested with numerous companies from the Los Angeles Ballet to the Southern Ballet Theatre in Orlando. While in Europe, Mr. McCaskill had the privilege of dancing with the Hannover Staats Open Ballet; Hannover being The Royal House of Germany.
Sharon graduated from USF in 1982 and has lived in Tampa ever since. Sharon has been a preschool teacher for 30 years and has loved every moment. She has an Early Child Care Association certificate, and is certified in CPA and first aid. Sharon is also a certified Yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance, a National association for yoga teachers. She has been with the Carrollwood Cultural Center since 2009.
Ana Rubenstein is a Brazilian who is passionate about dancing and mindfulness. Since moving to Tampa in 2009, she has taught ballroom dancing at Arthur Murray Studio and for 10 years now she has been teaching Zumba. Ana lost her mother to Covid-19 during the pandemic, which brought her even closer to Yoga, Meditation, and Therapeutic Writing. It also strengthened her relationship with well-being tools such as breathwork and intuitive painting. Ana teaches well-being workshops for women and Gentle Yoga at the YMCA. She holds a degree in Mass Communication, is trained in Chair Yoga and Silver Sneakers, and completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lotus Pond Center in Tampa.
John is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Florida International University and performed his undergraduate work at the University of South Florida. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. His debut novel Running to Graceland won a gold medal in popular fiction in 2019 from the Independent Book Publishers. He has performed numerous lectures and readings on the subject of creative writing, and he is currently a reviewer with the New York Journal of Books.
John lives in Carrollwood with his wife Sandra and their dog Langston.
Michele has created art for events at the Straz Center, curated art at the Shimberg Playhouse, painted cakes at Cakes by Marie, painted faces at Publix and Whole Foods, won awards at the Tampa Bay Business for the Arts Chalk Walk, painted residential and commercial murals in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Wesley Chapel, chaired Reflections Committee at the Northwest Elementary PTA, taught adult classes at the West Tampa Center for the Arts, Costa Del Sol Assisted Living Facility and children’s classes at the Bob Sierra YMCA, Wilderness Preserve Lodge in Land O’ Lakes, Centre for Girls various schools through The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and the Carrollwood Cultural Center. (Michele also teaches private lessons.)
Prior to being hired as Development Director at the Center, Dana worked at Hillsborough County Public Schools for 20 years; seven years as Supervisor for K-12 Art Education, and 13 years as a high school art teacher specializing in sculpture and photography. Before working for the school district, Dana was the Assistant Curator of Education at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, FL, and Curator of Education at the Florida Gulf Coast Art Center in Belleair Beach, FL. Dana earned a master’s degree in Art Education and a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of South Florida.
Miriam attended the University of Florida, graduating with a degree in Interior Design at the College of Architecture. While in college, she took many classes focusing on art and design. Miriam has always been drawn to art and clay, taking classes in drawing and sculpture throughout her life. Several years ago, she returned to her education in wheel thrown pottery under the tutelage of Master Potter, Gilda Butler. It is here at the Carrollwood Cultural Center that Miriam has rekindled her love of clay and all that it can do. She welcomes the chance to be able to share her love and knowledge of the art of crafting pottery on the potters wheel.