Teaching Artist Bios

Teachers can choose from two programs designed to make learning come alive both in and out of the classroom.

The Museum of Pop Culture has the pleasure of working with some of the finest teaching artists in the state to offer high-quality yearly programming for schools, teachers, and youth.

Below is a list of the exceptional teachers you may work with while participating in programs at MoPOP:

  • TEACHING ARTIST BIOS

    Travis Bingaman

    Travis Bingaman is a local Seattle artist, musician, and educator. He has worked with MoPOP's Experience: The Band and the museum’s summer Teen Artist Workshops for the past six years. He is a Washington State certified teacher, with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. In addition, Bingaman is a local performer/musician who plays guitar, bass, melodica, banjo, mandolin, and the ever-popular musical saw.

    Workshops

    Songwriting
    Guitar Tutorials
    Science of Sound
    Got the Blues

    Ali el-Gasseir

    Ali el-Gasseir is a Seattle based director, actor, producer, and teacher. He serves as the Associate Producer and Casting Director for The Intiman Theatre Festival as well as Co-Artistic Director of Washington Ensemble Theatre. He has directed regionally in Seattle and California, and as an actor has performed with companies such as Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and Theatre Rhinoceros. El-Gasseir holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz with an emphasis in directing, and a Master of Arts in Theatre History and Criticism from San Francisco State University.

    Workshops

    Theater Skills, Acting, and Script Reading

    Karen Harp-Reed

    Karen Harp-Reed, professional singer and actor, has been teaching music, dance, and theater in Washington for the past 33 years. From early childhood education to adult mastery classes, Karen works with K-12 schools in districts and private schools throughout Washington, and with performing arts organizations such as Shoreline School District, Bainbridge Island School District, Seattle Schools, Tacoma School District, MoPOP, Seattle Art Museum, Powerful Schools, and Bertschi School, to name a few. Providing a rich professional development experience is a hallmark of Harp-Reed’s work with teachers, as is her deeply effective and empowering work in the classroom with students.

    Workshops

    Theater Skills, Acting, and Script Reading

    David Lasky

    Seattle artist David Lasky has been writing and drawing comics for over 20 years. He has created a number of critically acclaimed comic books, including a nine page mini-adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses, eight issues of Boom Boom Comics, two issues of the award-nominated Urban Hipster, and numerous short comics for anthologies. With writer Frank Young, he co-created two graphic novels: Oregon Trail: Road to Destiny and The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song (for which they won the 2013 Eisner Award). Lasky has also been a graphic novel instructor at venues such as 826 Seattle, The Art Institute of Seattle, Richard Hugo House, and the Seattle Public Library, as well as teaching weekly after-school comics and art classes through Arts Corps. Working with King County Public Health, he has illustrated the comic book No Ordinary Flu, and the series Survivor Tales.

    Workshops

    Cartooning in Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Erica Merritt

    Merritt began performing at the age of five. In middle school she was featured in a band called Starlighters, which consisted of three student vocalists and a few members of the faculty. At 14, she joined theater and music groups at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She studied voice and music in college, and began teaching choir through Northwest Folklife in 1998. Over the last 15 years she has taught voice, songwriting, and choir through various art organizations. Merritt has also worked in social and human services for over 18 years and has enjoyed combining her passions through teaching.

    Workshops

    Voice, Body, and Rhythm
    Power of Your Singing Voice

    Carla Moreno

    Carla Moreno earned her BA in Music and her MA in Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. She was a member of the award-winning Jazz Singers, sharing the stage with world-renowned musicians including legendary jazz singer Jon Hendricks. Having served as a public school music teacher for 14 years, she is a certified Kodály and Orff-Schulwerk instructor. Her musical adventures continued as master teaching artist for Seattle’s largest nonprofit youth arts organization Arts Corps, and training aspiring actors and singers at the esteemed Seattle Talent agency.

    Workshops

    Voice, Body, and Rhythm
    Power of Your Singing Voice

    Jason Parker

    Jason Parker has been involved in some aspect of the arts his entire life. He has worked with youth in various capacities, from teaching private lessons, workshops and master classes, to teaching music and recording for The Right Brain Center for the Arts, YMCA, and Arts Corps. Parker makes his living as a working musician, playing trumpet, flugelhorn, guitar, and bass in a variety of regional bands. He currently leads the Jason Parker Quartet—one of Seattle's busiest jazz bands—and occasionally sits in with Crooked Fingers, DeVotchka, and many others. Find out more at jasonparkermusic.com.

    Workshops

    STAR Coach

    Nisi Shawl

    For the last six years Nisi Shawl has taught writing as part of Centrum’s Young Artists Project. Her science fiction and fantasy story collection Filter House won the 2009 James Tiptree, Jr. Award ($1000, two pies, and a ceramic duck). Her Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming in 2015 from Tor Books. Shawl is a board member for the prestigious Clarion West Writers Workshop; a co-founder of the Carl Brandon Society, which advocates for the presence of minorities in speculative fiction; and co-author of Writing the Other: a Practical Approach, which helps authors create believable characters of other races.

    Workshops

    Story writing in Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Greg Stump

    Greg Stump has been working as an artist, writer, and teacher in Seattle for more than a decade. A former editor and critic for The Comics Journal, his comics and illustrations have been published regularly in The Stranger, City Arts, The Portland Mercury, and other publications. His work includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the comic book series Urban Hipster, which was nominated for multiple industry awards. In 2010, Cartoonists Northwest named him Illustrator of the Year. He teaches students of all ages at a wide range of organizations and schools, including Seattle University, where he is an adjunct lecturer.

    Workshops

    Cartooning in Science Fiction and Fantasy

    Tai Shan

    City Arts magazine describes Tai Shan's music as "like hugging a total stranger, kind of awkward and totally wonderful." Her music has been featured in international film series such as Highlander, and radio shows like Our Roots are Showing, and NPR. She has performed at regional venues like Bumbershoot and Benaroya Hall. Recently she has been performing with the Bushwick Book Club along with the Seattle Rock Orchestra as a featured singer. Shan teaches at Dusty Strings in Fremont and MoPOP. Her students have performed regionally, received record deals, recorded albums, and won contests such as the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Find out more at taishanmusic.com.

    Workshops

    Songwriting
    Guitar Tutorials
    Science of Sound

    Amy Stolzenbach

    Amy Stolzenbach is a Seattle-based musician, songwriter, and producer. She has played with many of the Northwest's most beloved artists including Carrie Akre and Kim Virant, and is the founder of the renowned all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles. She has been teaching group guitar lessons and private guitar lessons in the Seattle area since 1998. Students from beginner through professional can learn from Stolzenbach’s 20 years of live performance experience and education, including a degree from Musician's Institute in Los Angeles. Find out more at amystolzenbach.com.

    Workshops

    Songwriting
    Guitar Tutorials
    Science of Sound