Jill Brighton

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Dance / Choreography / Yoga

Jill A. Brighton (Director, Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop since 1994) teaches a variety of dance styles to children and adults.  Jill began dancing at age four, and graduated form Penn State University (1991).  She has extensive experience teaching diverse populations including children with special needs and senior citizens, and is an active practitioner and instructor of Pilates and Yoga.  Jill has danced professionally in Michigan, New York, and with the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre for many years. 

Introduce your students to the art of dance through a collaborative and exploratory creative movement experience.  This process fosters individual self-expression as well as group cooperation and synergy to ultimately generate a specific performance piece.  Any area of the curriculum, from history to literature, math to science, can be used as a creative seed and thus be reinforced kinesthetically.  Jill’s career as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher with more than 21 years experience is a testament to her passion to share her art with as many people as possible, particularly those who might never have the opportunity.  Jill has been actively involved in more than 15 residencies, as an individual artist and with the PA Dance Theatre.


Phone: 814-237-0658

Email: jillabrighton@gmail.com

Website: http://www.cpdw.org/

Staci Egan

Galaxy Teaching Artist


PA-based nature lover and jewelry designer/instructor specializing in wire-working techniques featuring semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, and assorted metals.   Staci began creating jewelry in 1999 and is mostly self-taught.  She has taught classes to kids and adults throughout PA. Her work has been featured in Beading Daily, Beadfest Philadelphia and JCK magazine’s blog. 


Phone: 814-769-9398

Email: staciegan@gmail.com

Website: https://contempojewelry.bigcartel.com/

Cathy Ann Herrera

Galaxy Teaching Arist

Music / Flute

Over the course of two decades, Cathy Herrera has performed in ten countries spanning three continents.  Her doctorate in flute performance, coupled with a Certificate in World Music, leads her performances and teaching down many avenues.  While a Fulbright scholar to Peru, Dr. Herrera studied a variety of Andean flutes and worked with Peruvian composers, which inspire her “Flute Garden”, a didactic recital.  The world’s flutes, displaying many materials and dimensions, reveal opportunities for scientific, mathematical, practical and aesthetic analysis.

Cathy uses her education and her international performing experience to take students on a multicultural tour while exploring scientific properties of sound.  Students will discover mathematical, cultural, historical, technological, multilingual, and artistic elements surrounding world flutes and other native instruments, as well as the music-related traditions of specific cultures.  One option, suitable for non-music students, offers a hands-on opportunity to make and play instruments indigenous to South American.  Other options are designed to inspire and encourage flute students through master classes and chamber music ensembles (flute choir or mixed ensemble) and a possible concerto with the school band. Tone quality, technique and musicianship are highlighted.


Phone: 814-234-8786

Email: flutegarden1@gmail.com

Website: https://youtu.be/mCqdU4mFZ6o

Terry Johnston

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Mosaic Murals / Tile Art

Terry holds a B. F. A. from the University of North Texas and an M.F.A. from Penn State. She served on the faculty of Penn State Altoona from 1995- 2002. Since this time, she has been a rostered artist for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

A busy artist /teacher, Terry has been invited to design 50 plus residencies throughout Central Pennsylvania and has facilitated more than 40 public glass and ceramic murals and mosaics.  Public works including the 4 cross roads markers for the history of the Kittanning trail, can be viewed across Pennsylvania in schools and public buildings. Her passion is collaboration with fellow art enthusiasts of all ages. Her most recent delight is teaching and working with the rich beauty and history of mosaic art forms.


Phone: 814-237-6670

Email: terryjtiles@gmail.com

Evgeny Krayushkin

Galaxy Teaching Artist

My art form is the meaningful visual narrative, that is exploring the complexity of a personal narrative with its conflicts, triumphs, journeys and the individual discoveries. Individual story is a powerful spiritual art form that is especially significant during certain pivotal stages of the human development-childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, “the golden years”. In my residencies thus far, I was able to focus on the adolescent stage and the process of development of the individual identity with the help of the meaningful visual narrative. 

As my teaching philosophy, I combine my experience in mental health cognitive therapy, art therapy and my visual art forms to assist the individual in the process of Personal Discovery. This focus on the Discovery is a visual and intellectual Journey, through which an individual is encouraged to discover original ideas, personal inspirations and beauty, new ways of coping and expression, personal strength and competencies, all meant to help them during the difficult times along the journey of life. 

I employ a variety of techniques and art forms and custom develop my lesson plans to accommodate the community of my art residency. My goals for the community of my residency are 100 percent inclusion and each individual being able to experience a degree of the Joy of personal Discovery!

I work with various mediums, including all types of painting (including murals) and all types of sculpture, from small individual projects to clay and wood. I am also available for mosaics of any type and linno cut print making.

My professional goals are:

  •  Always work in partnership with the community I am placed into, the co-teacher/co-artist, adapt my skills, ideas and mediums to the unique setting of each residency
  • To learn and be inspired
  • To help the individual experience the Joy of a meaningful Discovery


Phone: 814-251-3037

Email: zje8ka@yahoo.com

Website: http://zheka-art.weebly.com/

Diane Maurer

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Visual Arts / Paper Art / Papermaking

Diane has taught marbling and paste paper design (beautiful historic decorating techniques often seen on hand bound books) as well as collage and bookbinding throughout the United States.  She has made guest appearances on several television shows including Martha Stewart Living.  An artist and teacher for over 30 years, she is the author of thirteen books about paper art.  Her work is in many library and museum collections including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Paper artist Diane Maurer will help students design original works of art as they discover historic and contemporary ways of creating decorative paper.  For example, students will explore Japanese suminagashi marbling, paste paper design, nature printing and/or Japanese paper dyeing.  Finished pieces can include bookmarks, greeting cards, collages, and unique hand-bound books, to name just a few.  Cross-curricular links can be made to science, history, math, etc.  Diane not only has more than 30 years of experience, but she is also the author of 13 books about paper art.


Phone: 814-422-8651

Email: diane@dianemaurer.com

Website: http://www.dianemaurer.com/

Cynthia Mazzant

Galaxy Teaching Artist


Cynthia Mazzant is a professional actress, director/choreographer and playwright and a professional member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers and the Dramatists Guild.  She has been working in theatre for over 30 years and has a master’s degree in theatre from New York University.  She as performed and toured throughout the United States, Europe and South America and is the Co-Artistic Director/Founder of Tempest Productions, a not-for-profit professional theatre company operating in NY/NJ/PA.  She is the artistic director of the Bard in Bellefonte and the Bellefonte Journeys and teaches at Penn State University.

Students learn in a fun, experiential format as they create cross-curricular drama-based explorations of language, literature, visual art, music, movement, design, and performance.  Cynthia is a professional director/choreographer, actor and playwright with over 20 years experience working with all age levels.  Past residency themes have included American History, Famous Faces, Fractured Tales & Myths, Stories from Around the World, Cultural Awareness, and Conflict Resolution through Drama.  Theatre residencies meet Standards in Arts & Humanities, R-W-S-L, and can be linked to History, Math and Science & Technology.


Phone: 814-404-6027

Email: cmmazzant@tempeststudios.org

Website: http://www.tempestproductions.org/

Abby Minor

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Poetry/Creative Aging/ Mental Health Art

I have taught poetry-writing and storytelling workshops in low-income nursing homes, senior centers, and personal care facilities since 2012. My award-winning programs honor the voices and imaginations of older adults from all walks of life. My students have been farmers, dancers, teachers, mothers, fathers, artists, hunters, mowers of graveyards, and more. I specialize in working with adults who have physical and cognitive disabilities, including memory loss—my classes meet people where they are at and celebrate each person’s contributions. Each program responds to the specific interests and needs of participants, but the goal is always to learn more about ourselves, each other, and poetry. Through discussions, readings, listening, and sharing, we gain a deeper sense of who we are and what the world is.

My past programs include Being Heard, a poetry-writing program for older adults that was selected as one of four “Best of the Best” projects in the commonwealth from among the 1,175 projects funded by the PA Council on the Arts between 2013-2016. Collaborative writing, story-sharing, and nourishing creative challenges are at the heart of this program, which culminates with a poetry chapbook, colorful poetry posters, and often with a public reading and celebration. I also teache a program called “A Poem in Our Eyes” for those who live with memory loss. “A Poem in Our Eyes” invites participants to respond to visual art works by local artists; the “spontaneous utterance” poems and stories that result are written down and celebrated for all to enjoy. Both Being Heard and “A Poem in Our Eyes” encourage participants to see themselves as people with valued voices, meaningful experiences, and imaginations to share. These programs can both be adapted to suit end of life care.  

I was born and raised in Centre County, where I still live. As well as being an alumna of Smith College and the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State, I am a poet, an artist, a gardener, and a community writing teacher. I believe in the power of poetry to cultivate empathy, knowledge, and joy.

Mailing Address

PO Box 162
Aaronsburg, PA 16820


Phone: 814-441-4507

Email: abbyminor@gmail.com

Adam Swartz

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Interdisciplinary/ Puppets

Puppetry is an excellent yet often overlooked way for anyone to express creativity and imagination.  With a degree in Integrative Arts from Pen State University, professional puppeteer, Adam Swartz, will challenge students to understand and appreciate the many artistic mediums that work together in puppetry.  During the residency, students will create, using store-bought, gathered and/or recycled materials, either hand puppets (K-12) or marionettes (4-12), and be engaged in a discussion, acting exercises and, if applicable, script writing.  Each residency can be adapted according to current classroom studies, with virtually any area of study used as a focal point; and can culminate in an original performance for small or large audiences.


Phone: 814-360-2969

Email: acswartz@gmail.com

Website: http://adamswartzpuppets.com/

Ann Van Kuren

Galaxy Teaching Artist


Creative dance explores the elements of space, time and energy/force, to communicate through movement.  The human body is the instrument, and when it moves eloquently it expresses thoughts, feelings, or ideas. I have been a dancer, choreographer, teacher and arts administrator in Pennsylvania for over 25 years.  I received a B.A. in Dance and Mathematics from Butler University and her M.A. from The Ohio State University.  I have performed, toured internationally, and conducted AIE residencies with VanDance Inc. and Pennsylvania Dance Theatre.


Phone: 814-238-5918

Email: vandanceinc@gmail.com

Website: https://youtu.be/QLKEsILv5Sg

Lynne Anne Verbeck

Galaxy Teaching Artist


Lynn Anne Verbeck, mother of two, received her MFA in ceramics at the State University of New York in New Paltz, NY in May 2011.  She is highly qualified in all technical aspects of pottery making.  She teaches everything from hand-building to mold-making and slip-casting.  She has extensive wood firing experience as well as electric, gas and soda-firing.  Lynn Anne was born and raised in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania.  Growing up in this rural area gave her a close connection with the rhythms of nature; an earthy sensibility can be seen in her work as an artist.  After completing her undergraduate work at Penn State University, she moved to NYC and opened a studio where she lived, taught and sold her work for 17 years.  Living in the city and being immersed in the Arts there gave her perspective; Lynn Anne has much to offer budding artists.

Residencies are offered for Wheel Throwing and Hand Building pottery.  Students can focus only on the making; with underglaze or slip decoration that the art department fires in the electric kiln after the residency is over, or they can also focus on glazing bisque ware.
An Alternative Firing Residency is offered where the students will make forms out of clay, then learn the technique of using low-fire glazes on a high-fire clay body which allows carbon impressions while having bright glossy colors simultaneously.  Trash cans for barrel firing will be supplied.

Another Residency offered is Mold Making and Slip Casting.  The art department needs to be set up for this kind of work.  Please contact the artist to discuss.


Phone: 814-321-2385

Email: lavaclay@hotmail.com

Website: http://lavaclay.blogspot.com/

Bruce Young

Galaxy Teaching Artist

Music/Folk Arts

Bruce Young is a folk artist specializing in traditional fiddle and dance styles.  His expertise is the result of fourteen years of classical training followed by thirty years of folk music performance.  Mr. Young continues to play for and call at public dances across Pennsylvania with different bands to teach in his studio, Fiddle Fantastick.


Phone: 814-237-1602

Email: bryfiddle@aol.com

Website: https://www.smashthewindowsband.com/