FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Barbara holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from The University of Wyoming and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from The University of Maryland. She is a candidate for the Master’s of Art Education degree from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Barbara received the Outstanding Scholar Award from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania for her work advancing art education nationally through her publication efforts and national speaking engagements. Click here to read more >
Kelly Weiss spent most of her early life growing up between Florida and Georgia and holds a BS in Elementary Education from Florida State University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching Museum Education from George Washington University. She has 10 years of experience working with students of all ages (pre-k through adults) in various educational settings, and has been working in DC-based museums and non-profits for 2 years. She brings a life-long appreciation for the arts and passion for arts education. Her experience in the hospitality industry provides Kelly with a unique skill set that brings together educational expertise, administrative and customer service skills, and an ability to think globally about organizational needs and strategies.
director of Administration
With over twenty-five years of experience in the nonprofit sector, VerNitta brings a great deal of expertise to the Art Works Now team. VerNitta has worked in a variety of roles including development, marketing, and administration. She served as Interim Director of The Ellington Fund for Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and in several important roles of leadership at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing and IONA Senior Services in Washington, DC. Her passion for the arts and her command of the skills needed for nonprofit administration are essential to the future success of Art Works Now.
Christine Monaco Williams
Director of Education
Christine Monaco Williams is a Maryland native and was raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Christine received her B.A. in Studio Art and holds a M.Ed in Art Education from University of Maryland, College Park. She is certified to teach Art for Prek – 12th grades in the State of Maryland.
Christine has been working in education and art non-profits since 1999 and has taught preschool through middle school aged children. She believes that art programs should be accessible to every child regardless of socioeconomic status or learning style and that by using a variety of art materials and teaching strategies, every child can generate original concepts and experience authentic art making that is personally meaningful.Christine develops art curriculum that is child centered, balanced between skill development, exploration and independent choice.
Christine’s creative studio practices include painting, photography and mixed-media sculpture.
Director of Outreach & Partnerships
Melissa Glasser grew up in the Washington, DC area. She was exposed to painting at an early age by her father, the artist and teacher, the late David T. Glasser. In 1997, she received a BFA from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in painting and ceramics. She moved to New York City where she created and exhibited artwork that emphasized the female figure through color and pattern.
In addition to her artistic expertise, Melissa brings more than 13 years of professional experience in customer service, management, press relations, and design. In 2004, Glasser moved to the Gateway Art District in Mt. Rainier, MD. She has been a pioneer in the Gateway Arts District arts movement as lead artist for 5 large scale exterior community murals and serves as an arts advisory board member for the district. In addition to her career in hospitality and public arts, Melissa built a fine arts practice in oil, acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media with 18 individual and group shows between 1998-2016 in Brooklyn, NY and the Washington, DC areas.
Natalie Zeitz was born and raised South of Atlanta in Peachtree City, GA. She earned her BA in Visual Studies from Tyler School of Art, Temple University of Philadelphia, PA in 2014. After spending time in Washington State and Yosemite National Park in California, she arrived in Maryland in 2017. Natalie adores the arts community here, and has worked in a variety of environments including art focused institutions, camps, and as a childcare provider. She is skilled in database management and has strong customer service and logistics skills.
Marketing & Communications Associate
Nori Sakha is a graphic designer and native of Hyattsville, Maryland. She holds a BA in Graphic Communication from University of Maryland University College and has studied Studio Art at University of Maryland. With experience in both creative work and child teaching, Nori manages the social media, marketing, and graphic design needs of Art Works Now. She has a deep appreciation for the visual arts as well as art history. And as an illustrator, she enjoys taking part in several mediums such as painting, drawing, and crafting.
Our Teaching Artists
Rachel Ann Cross is an artist, musician, and educator who has been working in the DC area for over 25 years. Her vibrant artistic vision and sense of social justice are heavily informed by her experiences growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s.
As a musician, educator, and visual artist, Rachel has had the distinct pleasure of working with people of all ages and abilities including at-risk elementary school students, children and adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, deaf actors and choreographers, political activists, incarcerated teenagers, teenagers in mental health facilities, college students, musicians, dancers, and visual artists from all around the world, senior citizens, folk singers, and kindergarteners.
Rachel holds a BFA in fine arts from the Corcoran School of Art. She also studied in N.Y. and Paris through Parsons School of Design. Rachel is currently artist-in-residence for the City of Greenbelt, MD.
Kaz King is a young artist and native of Prince George’s County. He is currently studying at Prince George’s Community College, Kaz has worked in the community with children since 2008. Inspired by many different forms of art, Kaz grew up admiring the variety of styles and techniques of popular comic book artists and animators. Kaz currently leads our Feed Your Imagination Program and assists in several other community partnerships.
Meghan Graham was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Meghan graduated from Delaware College of Art and Design where she received her Associates in Fine Arts. Shortly after graduating, Meghan moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in art. While in California, she taught ceramics to elementary school children across Santa Monica. Little did Meghan know, teaching art to children would bring her so much joy. After a year of living in Los Angeles, she moved back to Maryland to continue her newfound love of teaching art. Meghan has been with Art Works Now since October 2016, and loves working with students at Mount Rainier and Thomas Stone Elementary along with teaching private lessons.
Brandon was born in Washington, D.C and reared in Maryland. Even at a very young age Brandon had a fascination with art, specifically character design and animation. He would eventually take his passion and attend the former Capital Children’s Museum's Animation Program. In this program, he worked on a collaboration clay animation project called the “Looney Toon”, which would win a Nickelodeon Telly Award. He would later serve as one of the counselors, in which he helped students realize their own art ideas.
Brandon attended Savannah College of Art & Design and graduated with a BFA in Animation. He has a strong love for art, and relishes teaching children different ways to approach and see art to help them discover the artist within them.
Corey Disher is a Deaf artist. From Winston-Salem, NC, Corey has lived all over the Eastern Coast. They went to Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts to take some art classes, then transferred to Gallaudet University in 2016. Corey is obsessed with H.R. Giger’s artwork, and makes pen and ink drawings exploring queer, Deaf, and alternative communities. Corey currently works at Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center since 2017.