Danielle Brutto is a painter – including commissioned work such as signs, murals, and scenic pieces – and an Artist In Residence for Community Guilds. As a working artist, she doesn't spend time with children on a daily basis, so it’s that contact that most excites her about working on STE(A)M Truck projects.
"Just to spend time with them, and to see their excitement over being able to make things is incredibly satisfying," says Danielle.
Art making almost never stops with Danielle. In her spare time, she enjoys weaving and playing music; she even has her own band, Din, the music of which she characterizes as "experimental."
Artist in Residence
Keith Devries is a professional maker, and a Maker Mentor in the STE(A)M Truck program.
"I spend my free time making all sorts of things," says Keith. "I've built a wide variety of costumes, from Buzz Lightyear to Sulley from Monster's Inc., to a larger-than-life queen of a wine festival. I recently built a cargo bike and got to develop my skills as a welder a little further. I've always been interested in exploring new materials and tools and the possibilities they bring."
Keith is excited to share the love of making with kids and hopes his passion and enthusiasm rubs off. He views the hands-on practical skills that STE(A)M Truck teaches, as well as the non-cognitive traits such as grit and optimism, as being essential and highly transferable, so much so that he wants to see all young people have the opportunity to develop them.
Domenic Liggett is the Operations Manager for Community Guilds, a role he describes as the MacGyver of the organization. "If you need if fixed, set up, made better, or created from scratch I'm your guy," says Domenic. "There isn't a problem I won't tackle, from laser cutters to automotive."
Domenic gets charged up by helping kids grow their self confidence. "It is very gratifying to be the one to show a child how to solder for the first time, how to measure and cut wood for the first time," said Domenic.
In his spare time, Domenic likes making things he's never made before, or helping others make whatever they want to make.
Jason Martin is the founder and executive director of Community Guilds. Prior to starting Community Guilds, Jason accumulated over two decades of school reform experience. His career began in the classroom through Teach For America. He then helped launch the first charter school in Harlem and then gained considerable experience with state and national educational policy.
Jason loves the potential for STE(A)M Trucks to positively and meaningfully disrupt public education across the country. "Most schools look exactly the same as they did 100 years ago," Jason states "so let's bring the change needed and park it right outside the school's front door."
Running an early-stage nonprofit doesn't leave much free time, but he loves hearing his two girls proclaim "I'm a fixer!" and then take over most of the household repairs Jason's wife has requested. When he does have free time it's either spent fly fishing or practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Mike Mooney is an industrial engineer turned professional maker, and a Maker Mentor on the STE(A)M Truck. He loves process, documentation, and iterative design, and hopes to share the knowledge of good engineering to a new generation of young builders and tinkerers through his work with Community Guilds. When not working with the mobile maker space, he co-owns and operates a makerspace/rapid prototyping facility for adults called MASS Collective, where free time is spent trying to “Learn ALL the Things.”
Nate is a second year student at Georgia Tech. He had many opportunities in school to engage in engineering and technology. He’s thankful for those experiences and that they got him to where he is now. Knowing that not everyone is afforded those same opportunities, he’s eager to share what he’s learning with others. He is a biomedical engineering student with experience running machine shops and believes that he can inspire young students to get as excited about making and engineering as he is.
Kris Pilcher, a professional artist and scenic designer, is an Artist In Residence for Community Guilds. His work, which focuses on community engagement and social change, has appeared in exhibitions and galleries throughout Atlanta and beyond.
What most excites him about STE(A)M Truck is “helping children explore their creative potential while working with cool technology, all while making the world a better place.”
Weatherly is a self-taught artist that plays in lots of mediums from paint to fabric to sculpture to miming! Ok, not miming.
She loves STE(A)M Truck for combining creative design thinking into traditionally STEM projects, putting the A(rt) in STE(A)M Truck!
Prior to working with STE(A)M Truck, Weatherly worked as an innovation consultant, and as an ESL teacher in South Korea.
In her spare time, Weatherly is busy trying ALL THE THINGS, from installation sculptures to movie making to studying languages, and she loves picking up new hobbies. See a redhead practicing Korean and learning taxidermy? That's probably her.
With strong passion for ensuring educational support organizations like STE(A)M Truck are aligned with school and community priorities, Annie is helping STE(A)M Truck integrate its programs into the curriculum and classroom activities in the schools that STE(A)M Truck serves. Annie is a Teach For America alum and former educator working in both traditional public and charter schools. Prior to joining STE(A)M Truck, Annie worked for the TFA Institute training the next cohort of teachers with a particular focus on cultural competency, diversity inclusion, and social emotional learning. In her spare time, Annie enjoys throwing dinner parties and trying to keep plants alive.
Entrepreneur Bill Schnitzer, whose company Quality Fabricators serves the apparel retail, fabric care, and manufacturing industries, is Community Guilds’ CFO. He is drawn to the work of STE(A)M Truck because it targets kids who might not otherwise have a meaningful exposure to STEM education. Bill enjoys biking, hiking, cooking, traveling, and yoga in his spare time.
Sculptor Mike Stasny is an Artist In Residence. “I teach kids to get weird,” says Mike, which is perfect since his profession also calls upon him to be weird.
“I learn as much from the students, if not more, as they learn from me because they solve problems in ways I never would have thought of,” says Mike. “My goal: keep them fearless by making room for exploration and failure.”
Mike professes not to have free time, an upshot when one makes “fooling around” his profession . “I play the same as I work, so I guess sleeping is my free time activity!”
Melanie is the lead STEM designer at STE(A)M Truck, where she works closely with makers, students, teachers, artists, and administrators to facilitate collaboration and ensure that our programs engage, excite, and transform while aligning with educational standards. Melanie’s background includes over a decade of experience in education, research, and self-taught making; she holds a graduate degree in cognitive science, with a focus on the cognitive and developmental processes that underpin learning. Melanie is a firm believer that, with a bit of gumption and the power of Google, anyone can learn to do just about anything. She describes STE(A)M Truck as “an absolutely perfect intersection of all the things she’s ever done and the things that excite her.”
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Community Guilds c/o Center of Civic Innovation Third Floor, 115 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30303