Shannon Merenstein is the owner of Hatch Art Studio in Pittsburgh, Pa, and a mom of two little boys. After nearly a decade as an art teacher and instructional coach in a local elementary school, Shannon opened Hatch with the intention of bringing joyful, imaginative art making to young children. She is also the author of the recently published book Collage Workshop for Kids, a process-focused collection of ideas made in collaboration with the Eric Carle Museum studio educators in Amherst, MA. Shannon loves to tinker and play with process art experiences that spark delight and wonder, while also promoting collaboration, risk taking, mistake making, new ideas, and new ways of seeing the world.
Frances Samarripa is the founder of ProcessEd and owner of Line+Form Art Center located in Indianapolis, IN. Frances facilitates art classes for children as young as 18 months through adults. She also provides art groups for the female residents of an in-patient addictions recovery center, has partnerships with several schools across central Indiana, and is currently finishing a degree in art therapy. Frances' passions are making process art accessible to everyone and creating a true sense of community through art making and creativity!
Frances is mama to a bright and creative 7 year old, and two feisty chihuahuas. She and her family reside in downtown Indianapolis.
Jessica is a researcher in child development and an entrepreneur. Her objective is to partner with diverse industries to design social ventures that increase everyday opportunities for young children to engage in high-quality play experiences in their neighborhoods, public spaces, homes, schools, and community. A physical realization of her commitment to this purpose can be seen at The Urban Chalkboard Play Cafe and Learning Studio in Carmel Indiana through intentionally designed play environments, programs, and materials.
Ashley Flaumenhaft is the Early Childhood Director at the Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis. She earned her bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in 2006 in Music Therapy with an early childhood emphasis. She has worked as a developmental play instructor, educator and most recently as mother to three young boys. In 2011, Ashley began her Reggio- inspired journey at the Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis. She has worked throughout the early childhood program with all age groups, and currently teaches music to children 18 months to 3 years old in addition to supervising the early childhood staff. She also leads the Indy Reggio-Inspired Educators group and presents on developmentally appropriate practice throughout the city of Indianapolis. Her interests include early childhood development, singing and creating invitations to play.
Hi! I'm Liz Smallwood, Momma to Charley(7) and Oliver(5) and a Kindergarten teacher of 13 years. I am also the creator of Artful Play Studio, a process-art studio run out of my home. I host art play sessions for young children that focus on process-art, sensory play, and open-ended exploration of materials. A thoughtful environment, student-led learning, inquiry and PLAY are at the heart of my teaching, in my classroom, in my studio space and with my own children.
Katie Pellerin consults with families and schools on mindfulness-based approaches to reducing the increasing amount of stress and behavior challenges among children and caregivers. She utilizes sensory exploration, breathing techniques, art, nature, storytelling, environmental design and more to bring peace to homes and classrooms.
Katie is a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor for adults and children as well as a trained Behavior Therapist for children with special needs. Her mission is to bring peace and mental wellness to teachers, parents and children of all ages. She lives in Irvington with her husband and their two daughters, Amelie (6) and Lucy (2.5). You can learn more about her practice at katiepellerin.com.
Kim Frazier-Pirog is the executive director and founder of the non profit Side by Side Studio located in Louisville, KY. Side by Side is dedicated to empowering individuals of all ages to develop confidence and compassion through creative arts based approaches to advocacy and education. She has helped to create programs developed from process based art, purposeful and child led learning, and project based learning philosophies.
She has a family with two dogs named Rainbow and George that like to ride around in a heart covered Art Bus!
Kristi is a board certified art therapist with experience in a diverse array of job settings, and has practiced art therapy with various ages and populations. She received her undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Bloomington and her M.A. in Art Therapy from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon. She has provided art therapy and mental health services to adolescent females with developmental, emotional and behavioral challenges at Damar Services, Inc. Kristi also has experience working with adults in a state hospital setting, homeless youth and elders. Currently, Kristi provides individual and group art therapy sessions in a private practice setting specializing in the treatment of trauma, anxiety and behavioral issues with both children and adults. She also facilitates mindfulness-based art therapy groups. Kristi believes in the healing quality of the arts and strives to help others express themselves in order to gain personal insight and make meaningful life changes.
Kristi is a Positive Discipline Parent Educator and offers workshops, classes and private parent coaching. As a mother and an in-home childcare provider, Kristi enjoys providing developmentally stimulating art experiences for young children and teenagers.
Crystal Harrison is co-founder of Playful Solutions, a local company that offers educator and family workshops on a variety of child-led learning topics. Crystal was also a lead teacher at Winding Ridge ELC before opening up her own Reggio-inspired learning community in the Westfield area, where she currently still teaches.
Sheena Birt is the owner of Color Story Studio located in Indianapolis, IN. Color Story Studio creates custom visual displays for retail and other commercial businesses as well as one-of-a-kind immersive art installations. Sheena believes that your surroundings are an extension and an expression of your style. She believes that the best spaces are inspiring and memorable. Sheena is passionate about making an impact in the Indianapolis area through art and design.
Sheena and her husband, Ezra, share a home filled with books, art, plants, and an adorable cat named Maddie.