Bickley has a passion for children and art. Her most recent profession for 25 years and before starting ArtReach was Marriage and Family Therapy/Mental Health Counseling, working with addictions, leading group therapy and therapeutic camps for the children of addicts who were in treatment.
After retiring, Bickley literally had a dream about creating a safe space for the children in an underserved area where children could come and do art. The only rules: do not paint on the walls, and do not paint on one another! This dream came to pass in 2012, when ArtReach Orlando was established as a 501(c)3. She has maintained her Marriage and Family Therapy license in order to be qualified to help the children when issues that need attention come up during the art.
Sarah was born and raised in Germany in a very creative environment that fostered her artistic endeavors. She studied Psychology and Studio Art at Rollins College in Winter Park, graduating with her B. A. She is thrilled to combine her passion for the arts and young people in her role at ArtReach Orlando. Sarah is detail-oriented, organized, and a wonderful communicator. When she is not organizing and managing programs from inception to completion, she enjoys being with her family, yoga, and traveling.
Jenn Benner is an art educator and ceramic artist who deeply believes that art has the power to transform lives and build stronger communities. She received a B.A. in Art History from the College of Charleston and expanded her education through work-study scholarships and fellowships from Penland School of Crafts, the John C. Campbell Folk School, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She has over 15 years experience providing innovative and transformative visual art programming to marginalized youth. Her passion for community arts engagement began during a three year artist residency for the Charleston Public Housing Authority through Creative Communities, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Guild. Through various museums and non-profits such as the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, The Icehouse Center for Creativity, Craft, & Design, and Misty Forest Enrichment Center, she has developed and taught programs based on exhibitions, after-school art programs, in-school residencies, trauma-informed family workshops, summer art camps, and expressive arts therapy workshops for classroom teachers. She is a mindfulness practitioner and is trained in non-violent and conscious communication techniques. For the past six years, she has served as ArtReach Orlando’s Curriculum Director and Lead Teaching Artist. Jenn gains inspiration from seeing what her students create when given the tools, support, and freedom to be themselves and believes that the artistic process empowers all young people to reach their full potential through creative expression.
Emily Freeman was born and raised in Winter Park, Florida. She received her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth Communities from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in Theatre from Northwestern University. Emily has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations including: Adventure Stage Chicago, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Imagination Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and most recently at Orlando Repertory Theatre. Emily is an applied theatre artist, director, produced playwright, program manager, and freelance grant writer. She loves advocating for the work ArtReach Orlando accomplishes in the community.
Meghan Hedrick originally joined ArtReach on a project to refresh our website, but she fell in love with ArtReach’s mission and has been with us ever since! Meghan has 15 years of experience in nonprofit development and communications, and her goal is to help nonprofits deliver an excellent experience to clients, donors, and the community through mission-oriented marketing and intuitive CRM/integrations. Meghan believes that every child should have access to life-changing art programs and the encouragement they need to develop their own creative process. Through her work with ArtReach, Meghan was inspired to share her own healing art project, which previously sat in a box for years!
Dr. Mark Freeman is an organizational behavior consultant, executive coach, and psychotherapist. Mark was approached by Bickley for an engagement to conduct strategic planning and organizational evaluation several years ago and never left ArtReach. He loves the passion and dedication of the staff and the founder. Once he witnessed the programs in action he saw the impact of art in action transforming the lives of children and was “hooked.” Mark helps with the development and fundraising efforts for ArtReach.
Alyssa Garoogian is a writer and animator with a passion for encouraging creativity and storytelling in children. She received her B.A. degree in Film, Video, and New Media from Florida Atlantic University, then going on to graduate from the University of Central Florida with a M.F.A degree in Emerging Media. Alyssa has worked for organizations such as Art & History Museums: Maitland and UCF CREATE, and is currently a freelance animator, illustrator, and video editor. She finds inspiration for her work in animation through the imaginative children she teaches at ArtReach Orlando, and hopes in turn to inspire them as well.
Kim Sager began her career hand painting tee shirts in New York City.
She continued to pursue her passion designing and developing cool products for kids, working for Disney, and Sesame Workshop, in the products division. Kim moved to Winter Park in 2013 to continue her career working for Nickelodeon.
She continues to pursue her passion for ceramics and teaching kids in underserved communities with Artreach Orlando. Thrown By Hand was born in 2015, creating handmade ceramics focused on functional but beautiful tableware for chefs, restaurants and home cooks. Kim also launched an app for babies; “The Birthday Baby, A Newborn’s Guide to the Stars” in 2015.
Arius West graduated from the University of Central Florida with his bachelor’s in Theatre and Education with a concentration in Stage Combat. He seasonally works in Entertainment at Sea World and he is a teaching artist and performer with The Orlando Repertory Theatre. Arius is also a coach for a high school step team, he serves as a lead and assistant teaching artist for Michelee Puppets & ArtReach Orlando, respectively, that integrate the arts within school curriculum, and he joined The Orlando Magic’s coed Hip Hop Dance team, The 407. Considering the impact of Covid-19 on all of this, Arius now spends a lot of his free time virtually connecting and collaborating with other artists and helping with producing content for virtual productions, performances and more!
David is a portrait photographer and most importantly, a human being. He was born and bred in the Florida heat. He spent 3 years living in Seattle and as of 2014 found himself back in Central Florida.
He currently lives in Winter Park, loves cats, and tries to eat his veggies and live as healthy of a life as he can.
He started taking photos 9 years ago while living in Seattle. His cousin gave him an old Pentax K1000 film camera and it all began from there. His work as a portrait photographer is influenced by wanting to celebrate people and the stories they bring. He seeks to make honest portraits that truly show a person's humanness and personality.
David has been working with ArtReach Orlando for close to 3 years as “Artist in Residence” in their “Arlington Arts” building just outside of Downtown Orlando. When not creating his own work he can be found attending ArtReach’s local programs and documenting their students and work. His work with Art Reach has not only given him the ability to work as a full-time photographer, but also in turn given ArtReach an abundance of visual imagery to document and promote their work in the community.
More of his work can be found at www.iamdavidlawrence.com.