Contact Art & Learning Center

3972 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742




Mustapha Braimah (Intro to Hip Hop)  is a musician, choreographer, and dancer from Ghana, West Africa. He is currently an MFA candidate and Teaching Assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds B.F.A, Dance from the University of Ghana, an M.A, International Studies from Ohio University, focusing on African history and performing art forms. He also studied and performed in American Dance Festival, 2010. 

Barbara Bernstein (Salsa) received a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland, and has extensive dance training including Ballroom, Salsa/Rueda, and Foreign Folk dance. She has taught all over the DC area, as well as performing and/or teaching in Puerto Rico, Canada, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, etc. She produced and performed in shows for the Kennedy Center, the Verizon Center, the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, and countless other local venues. For her efforts she received the "Annual Tribute To Women in Salsa" Award for "outstanding dedication to the promotion of a vibrant Salsa community."  And she was chosen to judge the "World Salsa/Rueda Championship Contest" at the first two annual competitions (in 2004 and the 2005) at the Salsa Rueda Congress in Miami.  In August 2007. Learn more at Barbara's website

Dan Calloway (Beginning and Intermediate International Ballroom Dance) has been competing professionally, coaching and judging for thirty-five years, repeatedly earning the distinctions of “Professional of the Year” and “Top Teacher” at many national level events and within numerous dance organizations. In 1985 Dan was the youngest dual fellow in the world with highly commended fellowships in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, the London-based society, which embodies the world’s acknowledged leaders of the dance profession. He has served as the Chairman of Judges at the North American and USA Dance United States National DanceSport Championships and many other national level events. Dan is also the DanceSport coach for the competitive DanceSport teams at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, as well as serving as guest coach at numerous other universities, congresses, and dance camps, including moderating the professional discussion panels at key events in the United States. Dan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Religion and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature.

Luisa "Luy" Cortes (Introduction to Brazilian Samba) is the founder, artistic director, choreographer and principal Samba dancer, 'Passista' of Samba Passion Troupe which represents the authentic Brazilian Samba from Rio de Janeiro. Luisa was the he Coordinator of the Passistas of the Samba School, VaVá United School of Samba, Washington DC for Fiesta DC on 2015.  Luy specializes in training new Samba dancers and choreography. Luy also practices Capoeira, a Brazilian Martial Art. Luy began training in Samba and Salsa, in Colombia and Brazil during her teenage years. She mastered the traditional styles quickly and developed her own style that she found more natural. From age 16 she has been teaching others to dance, and has remained a gifted and committed teacher since that time. Luy was a member of the successful Bogota Samba troupe and performed during 5 years in Colombia receiving several performance awards. In addition, she choreographed many of the most famous award winning Samba performances in Bogota. Luy has trained at the Samba Schools in Brazil and she teaches Samba dancing for kids, and adults at the ALC, different dance academies, and privately. Luy enthusiastically states that the Samba Passion dancers 'Passistas' evoke the essence of the rainhas and musas of carnaval. Luy loves sharing the energy, tradition and passion for the Afro- Brazilian Culture, music and Samba.

Gudrun and Myat Nyunt (Beginning and Intermediate West Coast Swing) are avid West Coast Swing dancers, competitors, and teachers. Gudrun and Myat both have professional dance instructor experience and are currently active competitors on the West Coast Swing circuit. They are known on the dance floor for their unique dance style and their joy in dancing with each other. They are new instructors at the ALC starting Fall 2017, but have been teaching in Baltimore, MD at the Ministry of Swing since 2016 and with Arthur Murray since 2013. They welcome all skill levels to join in the fun of the West Coast Swing community! 

Lucia Lima (Yoga and Latin Modern Dance) has an M.A. in Dance from New York University. She has been teaching yoga, modern dance and Brazilian forro (new class) for five years at the Art and Learning Center. Lucia's yoga training is Hatha yoga based. Her yoga practice is informed by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo which she has studied for many years. She has been a dance and yoga instructor at the Jewish Community Centers of Rockville and Washington D.C., at the Black Rock Center for the Arts and many studios and schools in the area. She has also taught extensively in her native city Recife, Brazil.

Valerie Nilson (Evening Yoga, Yoga Break) is trained in Whole Yoga from the Shambhava Yoga lineage. Her style is heart-centered, meditation-focused practice that is gentle and meets participants at all levels for an approachable introduction to healthy body movement, stretching and awareness of the present moment. Her practices are geared towards relief over everyday and built up stress, becoming centered and reaching balance in our busy lives. Visit her website at

Kaseam Carr (Taekwondo) From the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jackie Chan, and Bruce Lee, Kaseam has been exposed to the world of martial arts. In the fall of 2002, he began taking Taekwondo. Kaseam earned his Black belt in 2008. Kaseam has competed and coached in several tournaments. Kaseam says "Taekwondo has had a profound impact on my everyday life and through teaching I hope to share that experience."

Yara Cordeiro (Capoeira) came to the Washington DC area to found the Abada-Capoeira DC program. One of the most highly-ranked women in the worldwide Abada-Capoeira structure today, Professora Yara had been practicing and teaching capoeira for more than twenty years in Brazil before moving the United States. Pursuit of technical mastery of capoeira movements is intended to promote discipline and mental and physical awareness.  With mastery of movements, students gain the ability to participate in group capoeira play in a “roda”, or circle, which requires and helps players to develop creativity.  As students progress in skill, they transform into the teachers of the next generation, developing their leadership potential and building a closer community. Yara welcomes all to her classes, no prior experience necessary and through the art of Capoeira, Yara strives to promote personal integrity, community, diversity.  See more at


Gina Mai Denn (Courses include Intro and Intermediate Ceramics: Wheel Throwing) has been teaching the pottery wheel to beginners for 10 years, as well as intermediate wheel and hand building with clay. She graduated from Alfred University in upstate New York in 1991 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts with Ceramic Art as her major. She moved to Maryland a couple of years after college and found a place to do pottery at the University of Maryland's Art and Learning Center. Within a couple of more years she started teaching at the Greenbelt Community Center's new ceramics studios. We are pleased to have Gina back at the ALC.

Peter Holden (Courses include Intro and Intermediate Ceramics: Wheel Throwing)has exhibited clay sculpture in group and solo shows in New York and Maryland beginning in 1987. He has also participated area craft shows with functional stoneware and majolica glazed pottery. He maintains a home-based pottery studio and has taught at the Art & Learning Center for twelve years.

Leah Schaperow (Intro to Ceramics: Wheel Throwing, Painting the Natural World) is a multi-disciplinary artist currently majoring in studio art at the University of Maryland. She focuses on nature in all her mediums with the purpose of connecting students to the beauty of the natural world. She is masterful in multiple mediums including ceramics and painting. Visit her website at

David Brosch (Printmaking)  received his formal training at the University of Maryland, where he graduated with degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts. For the past two decades he has made printmaking his primary artistic focus. A resident artist at Montpelier Arts Center, he has taught printmaking classes there for many years. David has exhibited in numerous venues around the Greater Washington region. Currently, his prints are on display for the month of January at the Glenview Mansion Art Gallery in Rockville. His classes welcome all skill levels and allow students to be creative and expressive through the carving and printing process. Past students have enjoyed David's attention to detail and the time he spends with each student to develop their style. 

Bruce Ignatius Campbell (Drawing, Figure Drawing) is an active visual arts instructor and professional artist based in Maryland. He has held the prestigious role of copyist at the National Gallery of Art for over 20 years and is a member of the National Portrait Society and Oil Painters of America. Bruce's exhibitions can be found throughout the DC where he has received multiple awards and recognition for his masterful classical realistic style. Bruce is a current faculty member at the Stone Branch School of Art in Rockville, MD and offers private lessons through his studio, Atelier BIC. He directs a weekly local figure drawing studio and instructs multiple workshops all designed to share the wonders of fine art and creative expression. His passion and effective teaching style have made Bruce a beloved teacher to many student artists. See more at Bruce's website

Milena Spasic (Sustainable Art Practices, Beginning Painting) Milena Spasic has a BFA from Concoran College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Milena began her career as a figurative painter, primarily interested in depicting the human form in a non-specific way, with little reference to time, place or even gender. War broke out in Milena's homeland of Serbia in the late nineties, dramatically changing her life. Currently Milena explores the balance between referencing specific subject matter and my prior interest in depicting the human figure in a non-specific way in an effort to create images that may simultaneously evoke personal as well as universal human experiences. She has great knowledge of materials and sustainable eco-friendly best practices in the arts.

Ben Barker (Creating the Sketchbook, Portraits, Gouache, En Plein Air) attended Savannah College of Art and Design and Watts Atelier of the Arts in San Diego. He worked for years in the animation industry for companies such as CafeFX and Blizzard Entertainment. Currently he lives and works as a fine artist in University Park. See Ben's work on his website

Marissa Hill (Into to Ceramics Hand Building and Wheel) Recent Graduate in Environmental Science and Policy, Marissa has been actively making pottery for 6 years. Marissa enjoys spending time throwing and hand building making creative objects like ceramic french presses for coffee, incense holders, and even her UMD class ring.  Marissa loves spending time outside and finds inspiration from the natural world. Appreciation for the natural world and the communities that live within it has prompted her to seek a career in Geospatial Information Science. Pottery is the creative outlet that keeps her rooted in one of the physical foundations of the Earth, clay! 

Danielle Singman (Intro to Ceramics Hand Building and Sculpture)

Sarah Hyunji Lim (Intro to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering, Drawing Fundamentals) has a B.A. in Studio Art with a concentration in painting from Georgetown University. Though her first love was drawing, she has continued her engagement with visual arts both professionally and personally, through graphic design, hand-lettering and calligraphy, oil painting, watercolor, gouache, and illustration.

C. Edward Sellner (Comic Arts) is the founder and Chief Creative Officer for Visionary Creative Services, a production studio that packages comics and prose, as well as providing other creative services. C. Edward is a published writer, artist, editor, and project manager for multiple titles from multiple publishers, including overseeing a digital line of books. See more at C. Edward's website:

Paul Alejandro Guevara (Intro to Digital Drawing and Painting, Intro to 3D Modeling) is a graduate of UMD, and works primarily as a full-time web and graphic designer. In addition, Paul is a freelance as a 2D/3D digital artist, most recently working as a VFX artist and compositor in the film industry. Paul has 10+ years of Photoshop experience, and 3+ using the Blender 3D modeling software. You can check out Paul's work in film on IMDB. 


Michael G. Stewart (Beginners Film Photography)  is a master of photography and is nationally known for his photographs featured in National Geographic, The Washington Post, Guitar Player, The New York Times and many more. Clients include the National Endowment of the Arts and the Smithsonian Institution. He has done extensive work in music and portrait photography with his graphics appearing on over 300 CD and album covers. Visit Michael's website at

Tiffany Jachja (Digital Photography) is a student at University of Maryland College Park pursuing a B.Sc in Computer Engineering. Over the pass 7 years she has served the Washington D.C area as a freelance portrait and wedding photographer. Self-discovery, learning and teaching are core entities in her interests and pursuits. Her digital photography class welcomes anyone with an interest in learning how to use their digital camera and computer to capture and share the places, people and memories that matter most to them. Her work can be found at

Stephen W. Angelsmith (Digital Photography) has decades of photography experience and specialized in portraiture including dance, acrobatic and yoga photography. Stephen has significant travel and travel photography experience including from his time in the Peace Corps. Stephen is a current staff member at American University and began teaching for the ALC in Spring of 2017. Visit Stephen's website at


Stephanie Garibaldi (Strictly Storytelling) has enjoyed teaching storytelling and leading corporate story trainings for the past 10 years as Story District's Educational Director, plus she's performed stories, improv, & stand-up for even longer. Known as the hardest working story coach in the DC Metro area (and possibly the world,) Stephanie has personally coached over a thousand people in the art of storytelling--all part of her mission to spread story love worldwide.

Jackson Leas (Basic Guitar, Intro to Song Writing) My name is Jackson Leas and I have been playing guitar for 14 years.  I have taught private music lessons for 10 years and I have also taught lessons with Music and Arts, Reverb Music Lessons, Musika Music Lessons, and Richardson School of Music.  I have been teaching the Basic Guitar Class at the Art and Learning Center since 2014.  I have played in various Rock and Jazz bands over the years and have travelled to the Caribean, New Orleans, and Toronto with the Capital Focus Jazz Band.  We also played alongside actor Kevin Spacey at two of his Galas.  I currently play guitar in a rock group called Boss Company which features an eclectic mix of female vocals, cello, violin, guitar, and bass.  I am starting my Graduate Program at UMD at the School of Public Policy and am a recipient of the Non-Profit Leadership Fellowship Program.  I hope to one day work in the Non-Profit sector and incorporate my love of music into other philanthropic endeavors.

Shay Tyndall (Poetry) By receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing and being a member of the College Park Scholars Arts Program with a capstone focus on poetry, Shay Tyndall has had her experience with the creative process. In addition to being a member of various writing workshops, Shay’s English academic excellence allowed her to be inducted as a member of Sigma Tau Delta, an International English Honor Society during her time at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her free time, Shay enjoys reading her poems at open mic nights in both the Baltimore and College Park Areas.

Kevin Alexander (Audio Engineering) 


Jeremy Milliner (Intro to Jazz Improv) received his bachelor's degree from the UMD School of Music back in 2013 and has been teaching music privately for thirteen years. He mentors with a hands-on approach to jazz: Improvising, arranging, and composing, as well as active listening. He brings passion and enthusiasm to working live demos, sectionals, and clinics at schools in Montgomery County, as well as working in collaboration with jazz combos, big bands, and many musicians in the D.C. area.