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Community Engagement Manager,
Tampa Museum of Art
Kessanda Abel has been a member of the Tampa Museum of Art Education Department since 2013, taking on the role of Community Engagement Manager in 2015. She received a Bachelor of Art in Art History with a minor in French from University of South Florida in 2008. In 2010 she was awarded a Master of Letters with Merit from Christie’s Education, London.
Program Coordinator, Arts for Health Florida;
Administrative Assistant, National Organization for Arts in Health
Aly is the Administrative Assistant for NOAH. A visual artist currently living and working in Florida, she is interested in the intersection of art and health, and frequently explores a variety of mediums including photography, illustration, painting, ceramics, and fiber art. She is a current graduate student in the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine’s Master of Arts in Medicine program, and will be completing her Capstone and graduating in the Spring of 2018. Aly recently traveled to Rwanda on an Arts in Health outreach trip.
Arts Coordinator, PARC
Alexis Arrazcaeta is the Arts Coordinator at Parc a center serving over 800 adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Alexis holds Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Art Therapy and Fine Art from the University of Tampa. She is currently a Graduate student at the University of Florida studying Arts in Medicine. Her undergrad experience includes creating art with the Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit at Tampa General Hospital, along with a silk scarf dying workshop offered to adult patients in the rehabilitation unit of Tampa General.
Alexis currently coordinates and facilities all art activities/workshops at Parc providing the clients that they serve with new opportunities as well as capabilities through the art experience and practice. At Parc, she helps others create using a variety of mediums such as, painting, sculpture, clay hand building, wheel throwing, drawing, paper making, candle/wax art, beading, mix media, and digital art. Her main passion is to spread the love of the arts to everyone and demonstrate the power the arts have to help others connect and express themselves in a way words cannot.
Director of Programs, VSA Florida.
Wendy Finklea ensures excellent community-based involvement throughout all 67 counties of Florida through management of five regional coordinators and three state affiliates, coordination of the Florida Young Soloist and Student of the Month competitions, development and stewardship of cultural and civic partnerships, and coordination of the community art programs. Mrs. Finklea received her Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology from the University of South Florida and worked for many years as a clinical microbiologist. Having always been an art enthusiast, she made a career change to the arts when she joined VSA Florida in 2009.
Certified Music Therapist & Arts Director for the Inspired Artist Studios, PARC
Mattie Mingst has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities. She is the Arts Director for the Inspired Artist Studios @PARC in St. Petersburg where she designs and produces all arts programs including music, visual, and performing arts that serves 800 children and adults with disabilities. As a parent of a son diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and a Certified Music Therapist, she has been actively involved with special education programs in the arts around the country and in Australia. She has produced award-winning visual and performing arts productions that have been recognized by the Broward County Board of Commissioners for their promotion of disability awareness and has been featured in the Tampa Bay Times Amazing Stories for her work with expressive arts therapy for children with autism. She is an advocate for accessibility in the arts and offers educational support for music and art therapy interns. She also holds certifications in both music education and music therapy.