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stART Osceola : a springboard for creative minds

July 9th, 2014
arts schools network is the resource for arts schools leaders

summer spotlight on osceola students + juilliard teaching artists, register now!

faaestART osceola: a spring board for creative minds
thursday, july 17 (45 minutes duration)
1:30-2:15pm eastern
11:30am-12:15pm mountain
10:30-11:15am pacific

Offered in collaboration with The Florida Alliance for Arts Education   

Description: You will be inspired by stART Osceola, a free summer arts camp for students of Osceola County Florida School District.  The program, started in 2010 by high school student Evan Todd and his Drama teacher Janine Cocharn; and is led by ten students from The Juilliard School in New York City. Hundreds of Osceola public school students been immersed in rigorous and creative arts training that they never dreamed of having.

In this webinar, you will hear the voices of Osceola students and their parents, school administrators, and Juilliard students turned teaching artists. You will learn how a community has come together to provide funding and other support for this amazing program. Heart-warming stories of how the program is changing lives will be shared. Follow @stARTOsceola


bios + photos below 

  • Nina Cochran, stART Osceola Co-Founder and Artistic Director
  • Debbie Fahmie, Fine and Performing Arts Specialist, School District of Osceola County
  • Marcus Crawford Guy, Drama Teaching Artist + Juilliard Graduate
  • Pam Haas, Visual Art Instructor, stART Osceola + Ringling Graduate
Dr. Mary Palmer, ASN Chair of Elementary & Middle School Committee + President of Mary Palmer & Associates, LLC, Consultants in Education and the Arts

Bios + Photos:
Nina Cochran, stART Osceola Co-Founder and Artistic Director, is proud of her early professional training in regional theatre at Missouri Repertory Theatre with memorable roles in Bus Stop, Much ado About Nothing, The Heiress, The Little Foxes, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Christmas Carol to name a few. She moved to New York City and found her niche in teaching and creating new works at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn. While there, producers backed her in her own company called Bread & Circus.
Nina has been working both professionally and in educational theatre for the past thirty-four years including Faculty Director, Instructor and Director for Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. Nina worked in collaboration with the Steamboat Art’s Council and the Middle School to create ‘Jump in the Middle’ creating and developing a strong drama community in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado school system where she directed The Point, Oliver!  The Miracle Worker, Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story at the High School. A strength of Ms. Cochran’s productions has been her ability to work with a large cast, including an entire middle school in a production of Peter Pan with ZFX Flying Company.
Nina Cochran is celebrating her fourteenth year working in the Osceola County School District where she has directed such productions as The King & I, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, The Wiz, The Little Prince and Our Town. Mrs. Cochran currently serves as Theatre Director of St. Cloud High School Drama Department. In her first year, her musical adaptation, ‘Alice’ based off of Alice in Wonderland , written with NY composer Rob Schiffmann was chosen to be performed on the Main Stage for the State Thespian Competition in Tampa and received the Critiques Choice award. She also directed The Elephant Man and Godspell with her wonderful St. Cloud HS company.
A sense of community and commitment to the arts has been the passion that has driven Nina throughout her acting, teaching and directing tenure in Kentucky, Missouri, and New York, Colorado and now in Florida.   This passion is instilled in each and every one of Ms. Cochran’s students past and present. All students know that Mrs. Cochran’s belief of technique and process is the heart of her work.
Debbie Fahmie, After serving as an elementary music teacher for twenty years, Debbie Fahmie is currently the Fine and Performing Arts Specialist for the School District of Osceola County in Central Florida. She has served as President of the Osceola Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the Osceola Arts for a Complete Education Coalition and the Osceola Center for the Arts. Debbie also serves as a Past President of the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association and the Central Florida Orff Chapter. She is the Awards Chair for the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) and serves on their Mentor Program, the FMEA Assessment Task Force and Writing Team, the Grade Level Expectations Writing Team and Project Manager for Start With the Arts Curriculum Writing Team. She currently serves on the Task Force and as a writer for the Florida Performing Arts Assessment Project funded through a Race To The Top grant. Debbie served with the Florida Department of Education as an evaluator for the Florida Music Demonstration Schools. She is a trainer for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has taught through Stetson’s Community Outreach Program and is the contemporary choir director at Holy Redeemer Church in Kissimmee. She also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Central Florida. Debbie represented Osceola County as the 2008 Teacher of the Year and was selected as a state finalist.

Marcus Crawford Guy
 hails from Lochwinnoch in rural Scotland and is a recent graduate of the Drama Division at Juilliard in New York City. Marcus has just finished working on an interactive production of the Russian folktale FIREBIRD at La Mama Kids and won Best Actor in the 2014 West Village Musical Theatre Festival for his performance as Prince Ikea in “Wicked Frozen: a musical parody mashup!” Marcus finds respite from the egoism entailed in a life of performance by giving back to communities throughout the world. He has been actively involved with Art Powers Arusha, formerly the Arusha Arts Initiative, since 2011 and this summer marks his fourth summer in Osceola County hosting masterclasses with stART. Upon graduating from Juilliard, Marcus was awarded the Joseph W. Polisi ‘Artist as Citizen’ award.
Pam Haas, Visual Art Instructor, stART Osceola:  After graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, she began her career as an interior designer, where she worked for many years in commercial interior design.  Pam designed interior environments throughout the United States.  Among her notable clients were UBS, for which she created interiors across the Southeast and high-end medical spas coast to coast, including a Manhattan spa in a building owned by Robert DeNiro.  During this time, Pam had also volunteered as a Special Olympics Coach and an Odyssey of the Mind coach.  Working with students in a creative capacity through Odyssey of the Mind inspired her to use her talents to continue to enrich young people artistically.
In 2010, Pam’s passion for teaching the arts was realized, as she became the Visual Arts Instructor for Bellalago Academy, where she works with students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Having forever been an advocate for the arts, she believes that the arts have the power to unite us as a human race.  Pam is most proud to be a founding member of Art Riot, a collaborative, multi-artistic creative group reaching out to the community through the arts.  She fully believes that the arts have the ability to transform and unite the world.  In 2013 Pam was named the Gaylord Palms Rookie Arts Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Mary Palmer is President of Mary Palmer & Associates, LLC, Consultants in Education and the Arts. She has extensive experience in education and the arts and holds Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Illinois. She has taught music and the other arts in a variety of school and community settings to people of all ages from birth through senior citizens. After her successful career as Professor of Music Education, Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music Education and Dean of the UCF College of Education, Palmer was distinguished as Professor Emerita at the University of Central Florida – Orlando. She has served as President of professional organizations including MENC: National Association for Music Education Southern Division; VSA Arts of Florida; Florida Music Educators Association; and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. In addition, she serves on various community boards of directors including Florida Theatrical Association, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, A Gift for Teaching, and A Gift for Music.

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