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 >
Svetlana Durkovic holds a BA degree in Anthropology with a minor in Art History from Longwood University, and a MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She has worked in a non-profit arena for almost 20 years both nationally and internationally. Svetlana received human rights training and has done human rights assessments and research in Bosnia and Herzegovina while working with UNOHCHR, UNDP and UNICEF. In 2002, Svetlana co-founded the first LGBTIQ organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, serving as its President and then Executive Director until 2011. She has conducted research and co-authored publications and reports dealing with discrimination and social exclusion of LGBTIQ population, namely in the areas of human rights, education, media, legislation and health.
Juliana was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She began working with Art Works Now in the Spring of 2012 after completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Juliana's creative studio practices include photography, ceramics, and pottery.
Juliana was a pioneer in our Toddler Time program where she developed innovative curriculum to encourage our youngest artists’ expression and development. She expanded to teaching in our Art Works @ School Programs, Kids Create Programs, Art Club Programs, School’s Out Programs, and School Break Camps.
In 2014, Juliana transitioned to our administrative team, running our Marketing and Communications while supporting the Programs Department. In addition to several years of experience of program support at Art Works Now, Juliana is trained and certified in childcare.
marketing & communications associate
Bio coming soon.
Melissa Glasser was raise in the DMV. Growing up in Washington, DC, 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.
Christine monaco williams
director of educational after school and school group programs
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.
Our Teaching Artists
As a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alma was raised in Sarajevo where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Her work in LGBTQ activism there proved to be quite dangerous and in 2009 Alma sought and received political asylum in the United States. Alma later enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 2013 where she received a Masters of Fine Arts in 2015. Alma is currently an artist at the Otis Street Arts Project. She is a tremendous artist and teaches in many of our programs.
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.
Erin Cassell is a tie dye artist from Columbia, Maryland. She started teaching in 2011 and created a community engagement and outreach program called Colorful Abandon, through her company Roll Up N Dye! Erin's mission is to use tie dye and other arts to encourage kids to be more kind to themselves and others. She hopes that kids learn that by choosing self-kindness we are able to make better decisions and in turn release positive energy into our community.
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 Parents’ Night Out 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.
Rachel Cross is known for her high energy performances and positive vibes. She has performed at countless venues, house concerts, colleges, and festivals including The Kennedy Center, on board The Green Peace Rainbow Warrior, and at the Mid-Atlantic conference for The National Organization of Women. She has been fortunate to share the stage with many luminaries including Shawn Colvin, The Neville Brothers, Los Lobos, and political comedian Al Franken.
Rachel has received many awards including 5 WAMMIES from the Washington Area Music Association. Rachel was awarded a position by The National Folk Alliance’s outreach program to lead a world folk music assembly program for children in Nashville, Tennessee. When not performing, Rachel is in high demand as a teacher, composer, and session vocalist. Her soulful vocals have been featured on many soundtracks including National Geographic’s “Tiger Sharks”, “Babylon”, and “Self-portrait”, and the theme for the ITV Network. Rachel and her husband Henry Cross have composed original music for 10 productions of the nationally acclaimed Deaf Access Theater company.
Rachel has been teaching and leading workshops in the Washington, DC area and beyond for over ten years. She worked as Music Atelierista at School-within- school in Washington, DC for 12 years, as well as facilitating songwriting/recording residencies with her husband Henry for incarcerated teens inMaryland.
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 with mental and physical disabilities, deaf actors and choreographers, political activists, incarcerated teenagers, teenagers in mental health facilities, college students, Maasai tribesmen, musicians and dancers from all around the world, senior citizens, folk singers, and kindergarteners.