Joyce M. Bonomini, Vice President Education and Community Engagement
Joyce Bonomini began her professional arts career as a theater designer, production manager and stage manager. In 1981, she took on the challenge to create and implement the Design and Technical Theater Department for the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati, Ohio which evolved into a seven discipline Ohio vocational program. In 1995, Ms. Bonomini took a position with the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) as their first Director of Education, establishing CAA’s arts education department and programs. It was during this time, 1995-1999, that Joyce worked with Sr. Joan Leonard, a pioneer in the field of Creative Aging on developing programs for and about persons 55 plus. In 2000, Ms. Bonomini was recruited by Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida to open The Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute and elevate The Eckerd Theater Company (ETC) to national recognition. During her tenure at Ruth Eckerd Hall, she continued to work in the field of creative aging with the field’s national leader Gay Hanna, expanding into the discipline of arts in medicine.
Joyce returned to Cincinnati in 2014 to work once again with the Cincinnati Arts Association. ”I was drawn to the opportunity to develop an Arts in Healing Initiative for Cincinnati while expanding CAA’s presence in the community. Through the Arts in Healing Initiative, the intersections of arts and youth development, arts and public welfare, and arts and health and well-being are being explored and programs designed and implemented. I am delighted and honored to continue my life journey of seeking the connections between an individual’s ‘creative center’ and human fulfillment” with the Arts in Healing Initiative and CAA teams.”
Amy Dennison, Musician Teaching Artist
Amy is the Associate Director and the Director of Education for Preparatory and Community Engagement for the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to being an experienced teacher, Ms. Dennison is a professional musician, specializing in woodwinds with additional experience playing several folk instruments. She is learning cello in the CCM New Horizons String Orchestra and performs in a variety of venues and groups. She has been active in the field of music and wellness for several years. Amy received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from Eastern Michigan University, a Master of Music from Michigan State University and a Master of Music Education from CCM.
Amy Tuttle, Pones Specialist and Creative Art Making
Through her MA Arts in Transformation, Amy Tuttle is a passionate practitioner of Arts & Healing. She views art-making (visual arts and creative movement) as a beneficial tool for communities and individuals to process difficult experiences, build resilience, and cultivate their sense of purpose. She loves guiding art-making experiences for individuals and groups with a range of themes like: community-building, storytelling, trauma-healing, celebration, processing grief, and working with life's various transitions.
Amy has worked internationally in the Arts & Healing field, providing workshops around the world, guiding public art installations in Haiti & Philadelphia, developing and teaching curricula for "Arts-Based First Response" for disaster-relief scenarios with BuildaBridge International, and training arts practitioners in trauma-informed best practices via UNICEF Haiti and various organizations in the US.
Locally, Amy has worked with Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center as Education Director and Price Hill Will as Community Engagement Coordinator. She currently works with Indigo Hippo as the Director of Programming. Amy is thrilled to be teaching with the Cincinnati Arts Association's Arts & Healing Initiative as it provides a wonderful service to the community and directly engages her deepest interests.
Annie Ruth, Poet, Visual Artist, and Arts Educator
Annie’s work has positively impacted audiences in Europe, Africa, and throughout the United States for over 30 years. Although she has traveled extensively, she is proud to call Cincinnati home and works tirelessly in the community as a servant leader and advocate. Annie Ruth integrates the arts into other areas and uses innovative strategies to make the arts experience both rewarding and relevant. She has used her voice throughout the years to advocate for abused and neglected children and has often drawn inspiration from her experiences.
She is an award-winning poet and author who has published over twenty volumes of poetry, articles, and books for both children and adults. Her arts and education curriculum sets are utilized in educational and cultural institutions across the country.
Annie Ruth attended the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Graphic Design and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Business Studies from National University in San Diego, CA. She is a military veteran who served in United States Air Force Reserves and worked as a graphic artist for eight years. In 1993 she created her fine art company A Ruth Creations to sell and distribute her art and literature and in 2001 established Eye of the Artists Foundation, Inc., a 501(c) 3 public charity, to connect more arts programming and arts education to underserved communities. In 2005 she created "Dada Rafiki" (Dah-dah-RAH-fee-kee), a special sisterhood celebration to honor diverse women that serve in the community. Dada Rafiki means "sister friend" in the Kiswahili language of East Africa. Annie Ruth owns the trademark to these sisterhood celebrations and plans to expand her reach across the globe-uniting and celebrating multicultural women.
Annie Ruth emphasizes youth involvement and building collaborations among artists in the community. A few of her awards include: the Athena International Leadership Award, NAACP Innovative Educator/ Arts Award, YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, Cincinnati Herald Nefertiti Award, Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, two Ohio Senate Commendations, U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Recognition, and a featured Black History vignette by Fox Network, narrated by Tyra Banks.
Brandon Hawkins, Visual Artist & Instructor
Brandon Hawkins is the Lead Artist of Soul Palette with more than 20 years of artistic expertise. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies and a certificate in Fine Arts. Brandon has been passionate about art since his youth, and considers drawing, painting and graphic design to be some of his best talents. Brandon dreams have become a reality with the opportunity to use his gifts and talents every day to empower others to find their inner artist. www.paintwithyoursoul.com.
Dan Erdman, Musician / Composer
Dan loves life and the human family. He shares that passion in the songs he writes, and in his performances of originals and covers. His desire for his audience-community is for greater appreciation of oneself and the beauty of life, each day having a song in the heart. Dan’s music sharing locally has included: Reiki Sessions at the Blue Ash Cancer Support Center, XU’s Annual Alternative Gift Fair, A Walk From Darkness for Suicide Prevention, International Yoga Day, as well as performing for numerous fundraisers & church services, in hospitals, restaurants, schools, & more. He’s also performed in Denmark in a community school, hospice & nursing centers, & restaurants. His main instrument is guitar, but he also plays Native American flute, piano, bass guitar, & banjo.
Dan minored in classical guitar at Edgecliff College, and majored in English, Secondary Education. As an educator, he taught English & Language Arts in Tri-State area schools, then served as Principal of Poinciana Day School in West Palm Beach, Florida. From there, he migrated to work in the computer software field. Throughout those years, he continued to perform, write, and record music. He retired in April, 2019 from Rippe & Kingston in Mt. Adams to devote his energies more fully to music & writing.
Dan’s composed over eighty songs and released four recordings of his originals, including one for children. He also created a meditative, multi-media concert he calls Oasis, which he’s performed numerous times. In addition, Dan has also authored & published two books: Caterin’s Story and Yoga and the 21st Century Man, Fitting Yoga into a Busy Man’s Life (co-authored with mentor, Roger Null).
David DeVita, Improv Guide
David majored in psychology and minored in theatre at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. He interned with Navy Child & Youth Programs with direct care on base at Kings Bay, GA and at headquarters in Millington, TN. He did his graduate studies on Performance, Theatre and Practice at Miami University in Oxford, OH. He works at Lil's Bagels, Flying Axes and Bircus Brewing Company when he's not teaching improv. He also produces theatre and events with his partner at Kaos Studios. He happily resides in Covington, KY.
Donna Rubin, Pones Movement Specialist
Donna has been in love with the arts for as long as she can remember. She discovered her passion for dance as a teenager when she started training at Point Park College prep department in Pittsburgh PA. She earned a BFA in theater performance at UC's College Conservatory of Music. After spending a year as an acting intern at Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, she co-created a multi-disciplinary performance-art troupe called 'The John Body Players’ through which she provided choreography, writing and art direction for numerous productions in greater Cincinnati and in San Francisco. While living in San Fransico she continued her training, mind body centering practices, explorations in performance, and became certified to teach Yoga – a Moksha Shastra – liberation science. Donna’s work focuses in release technique, improvisation, contact improvisation, and chi-cultivation techniques, all of which inform her teaching in the healing arts.
In 2008, she formed a healing arts space called 3 Legged Dog Yoga Collective in her community of Northside. She is a songwriter/musician in the indie rock band Fists of Love, a company member and educational teaching artist for Pones Inc., and a teaching staff member of Contemporary Dance Theatre. She helped develop the Movement & Healing class for CAA’s Arts in Healing program at the VA hospital, is a certified Health Rhythms facilitator, and spends extensive time working with school age children both in the arts and as a pre-school classroom teacher.
Donna continues to study, train, teach, and create work as a mulit-disciplinary artist. She believes imagination, dance, movement, and all arts to be a powerful force for evolving, healing, and supporting strong communities. She is thankful for all opportunities to serve, inspire, and create connection.
Erin Carr, Pones Movement Specialist
Erin Carr is currently working as a professional actor, physical theatre creator & theatre activist out of Cincinnati, OH. She has studied physical theatre at NYU-Tisch’s Experimental Theatre Wing and ArtsOasis – International Residency for Performers in Italy, among other programs throughout the states. Along with performing and collaborating, Erin works as a teaching artist, director of educational theatre, and advanced physical theatre practitioner with multiple theatre companies in Cincinnati, including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Actor’s Studio & Academy and Cincinnati Music Academy, as well as around the U.S. with the Educational Theatre Association. In addition, she is the Co-Artistic Director of the feminist-centric theatre company, ReVamp Collective, based in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the Co-Founder of Solasta Theatre Lab in Cincinnati, OH.
Ian Forsgren Pones, Movement Specialist
Ian Forsgren shares his work with, “I have the privilege of experiencing movement in various ways all the time. When I get to teach, there is nothing more empowering and beautiful than seeing all types of people experience and engage their body, mind, and spirit, taking the time to be present and aware, getting one step closer to a deeper connection to the self and environment, and at the same time gaining strength, flexibility, clarity, coordination, bits of wisdom and insights, and ultimately walking away feeling better than before. This is what keeps me moving. The knowledge and growth from every experience is infinite, always. I live in a world where we come together, care about our bodies and our energetic beings, encourage one another in the process of fine-tuning our unique instruments, and have a blast doing it! I live in a world that dances, is energetically charged and full of endless possibilities and am forever thankful to be involved in such a motivating moving community.”
Katherine Tobin, Artist
Katherine graduated in 2015 from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. While at UC, she maintained Dean’s List Honoree for all semesters, had 2D work selected for the Accreditation show by National Association of Schools of Arts and Design, had 3D work place second in the annual Avon Ohio Duck Tape Festival, and completed an extended certificate for expressive arts and healing with a focus in Art Therapy. Tobin works primarily in 2D and 3D as a painter and mixed media artist. Through the use of repurposed imagery, found objects, and recycled materials, her work aims to abstract and transform recognizable imagery to create entirely new forms and compositions. Katherine seeks to use her artistic training and education in Fine Arts and combine it with her passion for mental well-being to help facilitate artistic exploration as a therapeutic and healing outlet for others.
Kelly Richey, Musician & Self-Care Provider
Kelly Richey is an award-winning blues musician, poet/songwriter, guitar teacher, life coach, spiritual director, and inspirational speaker. She has made her mark through the power of her voice – figuratively and literally. In 2009, Kelly began her journey as a life coach and gained certifications as a Dream Coach and True Purpose Coach. In 2015, she graduated the WWf(a)C Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy and weaves writing practices into her coaching and teaching practice. Kelly founded Women Writing for (a) Change + Mobile, an affiliate school that takes the WWf(a)C circle practices on the road. In 2019, Kelly completed her training in the Art of Spiritual Direction, at Wellstreams, through the Spirituality Network, in Columbus, OH. Today Kelly is a Health and Wellness Professional and is a member of the International Association for Wellness Professionals, working with clients to take a 360 Wellness approach to a balanced holistic life.
Kelly holds several life-coaching, personal, and spiritual development certifications, including:
Certified True Purpose Coach™ and True Purpose Coach Group Leader™
Certified Dream Coach™ and Dream Coach Group Leader™
Certified Facilitator, Women Writing for (a) Change®
Trained in Parts Work, Voice Dialogue, and Shadow Work
Spiritual Director, trained at Wellstreams Spirituality Network, in Columbus, OH, and a member of Spiritual Directors International (SDI)
Health and Wellness Professional, and a member of the International Association for Wellness Professionals
Kim Popa, Pones Movement Specialist
Kim Popa has studied dance for over 30 years and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in theatre and dance from Northern Kentucky University. She is a professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, teaches dance classes at The Carnegie, Springer School and Center, SCPA, and multiple dance workshops around the tri-state region. She has worked internationally at the Sri Lankan Institute for Buddhist Studies in Sri Lanka in 2017, the Crisis Art Festival in Arezzo, Italy in 2014, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania in 2007, and performed in multiple mainstage productions and modern dance concerts.
In addition to teaching and performing, Kim is the Executive Director, co-founder, and performing member of Pones. Beyond Pones, she has choreographed for multiple award-winning productions at NKU, New Edgecliff Theatre, and Know Theatre. She is a trustee on the board of and serves as a “big” for , and has a passion for art and volunteerism in many forms.
Kyle Meadows, Hammered Dulcimer
Kyle has worked as a potter, scientist, and teacher. He now plays the hammered dulcimer full time and is known locally and nationally as one of the finest hammered dulcimer players available. A performer with the Kentucky Arts Council, Cincinnati Artswave, and the Cincinnati Arts Association, Kyle has shared the stage with such internationally known acts as Mark O'Connor, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Homer Ledford, and Ralph Stanley, Jr.
Kyle plays for a variety of events including festivals, parties, weddings, and receptions. He also performs healing music in hospices, hospitals, and oncology centers for the Arts in Healing Initiative. Kyle has a comfortable, almost effortless approach to his instrument, and to the variety of songs he adapts to it.
To hear his music is to be soothed, uplifted and delighted: www.kylemeadows.com
Lauren Schloemer, Multi-instrumentalist and Vocalist
Lauren Schloemer is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, earning a degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Orchestral Studies. She currently teaches lessons at the historic Herzog Studios in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University where she instructs fiddle, violin, viola, cello, and beginner mandolin.
She is a sought after studio musician as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist and performs regularly in various bands, mainly Hickory Robot. Hickory Robot is an original newgrass band that has been nominated for several Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for “Best Bluegrass Band” (2011- 2018) and “Album of the Year” (2012) for their sophomore release, “Sawyer”. Lauren joined the Arts in Healing team in late fall of 2015 and enjoys performing a variety of styles of string music for the patients, friends and family, and staff. When not rehearsing or performing, Lauren enjoys gardening, hiking, and camping.
Liz Wu, Musician
Liz Wu is a professional musician (CCM graduate), fitness instructor, and published writer with a passion for bringing people together. She spends her days teaching fitness and music to all ages, and loves finding ways to combine the arts and wellness.
Three of her bigger personal projects include #Kindflash, a grassroots volunteer effort that organizes ongoing community outreach events; World Music Fest, a celebration of world cultures through music, dance, art and food; and rEVOLUTION Cincy, an original music video and website that encourages individuals to create the change they wish to see. Liz welcomes any opportunity to implement the arts as a platform for community building - for example, she curated the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's One City, One Symphony Event Speak Truth Through Art in November 2017.
Liz enjoys all forms of creative expression, and has a deep respect for the power of the arts to challenge, inspire, and heal. She loves to travel and to learn from people of all walks of life. In all her endeavors, she considers herself a lifetime student.
Onstage, you can find her performing with Acarya, an original acoustic rock project: www.acaryaband.com
Pam Jurgens, Harpist
Pam Jurgens is a Celtic harpist with the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Arts in Healing Initiative. She plays her harp at Hospice of Cincinnati, The Cincinnati Veteran’s Hospital and the Good Samaritan Hospital Infusion Center. Her deepest intention is to offer a healing, comforting, and calming presence, for patients and families as they face a most difficult and stressful time in their lives.
Pam is also a music educator. She taught elementary school music for over twenty-five years and presently teaches at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center. In addition to her solo work she is also the harpist for Midnight Rose, a harp, flute, violin trio that performs in the Cincinnati area.
Nat Chaitkin, Cellist
Nat enjoys a wide-ranging career as a cellist, teacher and advocate for concert music. He has made several appearances as a soloist with orchestras and has been heard in recitals on CBC Radio, on WFMT Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, at the National Gallery of Art and the Banff Centre. He has recorded for Albany Records. He teaches at the Preparatory Division of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
In 2012, Nat was awarded the City of Cincinnati’s Artist Ambassador Fellowship, giving him the opportunity to reach new audiences. His program, called Bach and Boombox, places classical cello pieces alongside pop recordings. He is the co-founder of 4-Way, Cincinnati’s community-based string quartet, whose education program, The 4-Way String Project, offers free lessons and chamber music instruction to economically disadvantaged youth.
Nat graduated from the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Ardyth Alton. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, as well as a B.A. in History at the University of Michigan, and a doctorate at the University of Maryland. His teachers included Jeffrey Solow, Nina deVeritch, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, Evelyn Elsing and David Soyer.
Roberta Schultz, Musician, HealthRhythms Facilitator
Roberta, MA, BA and Rank I in Education, is a singer songwriter and poet from Wilder, KY. She performs regionally with critically acclaimed Raison D’Etre, a women’s harmony trio specializing in swing harmonies, cowboy anthems, and American music. Raison D’Etre has 9 recordings and one concert DVD to their credit. The group is featured in Kentucky’s Performing Arts Roster.
As a solo performer, Roberta is included on arts rosters in both Kentucky and Ohio. She is a Trained HealthRhythms Facilitator with over 9 years’ experience leading wellness drum circles for seniors, veterans, recovery treatment centers, and schools.
Like an original “bard,” Roberta is both singer songwriter and poet. Her work has appeared in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Still: the Journal, Motif, Kudzu, The Notebook and other anthologies. Her two chapbooks, Outposts on the Border of Longing (2014) and Songs from the Shaper’s Harp (2017) are published by Finishing Line Press.
Wild Carrot: Pam Temple & Spencer Funk - Musician
These are the connections that are formed and the intimate sharing that goes on between Arts-in-Healing participants and Wild Carrot (Pam Temple & Spencer Funk). Pam and Spencer are at the "root" of this Cincinnati-based, award-winning group, who has what it takes to please all types of Americana and Roots music fans. With a foot in traditional American music, their repertoire branches in diverse directions: from award-winning original tunes to swing, blues and traditional songs, using guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, concertina, and vocals. Wild Carrot’s entertaining and moving performances have often been described as “honest, soothing, uplifting and fun all at the same time”, moving an audience from laughter to tears and back again in a way that makes the listener feel like they’re in a conversation with old friends. All of this adds up to a musical experience that’s been described as “seamless”, “life-sized complex, subtle and powerful” and “a joy”. They are humbled and honored to be doing this important work.
www.wildcarrot.net | Facebook and Instagram: wildcarrotmusic