Susan is the founder and Executive Director of ArtWell since its inception. Her long-standing interest and practice of the intersection of creativity, spirituality, healing, and social transformation led her to envision with others the birth of ArtWell in November 2000.
Susan has extensive experience as a community organizer, educator, artist and chaplain, and began exploring the power of the arts to heal from trauma over 30 years ago. She has presented on the relationship of the arts and transformation at various local, national, and international conferences and venues. Susan received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and her B.A. in psychology, sociology and religion and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Cathleen Cohen is Education Director of ArtWell, which brings poetry and arts workshops to thousands of children of diverse cultures and faiths in the Philadelphia area and abroad. Cathleen’s poems have appeared in such publications as Apiary, Baltimore Review, East Coast Ink, and Philadelphia Stories. She has received the Interfaith Relations Award from the Montgomery County Advisory Board to the PA Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Award from the National Association of Poetry Therapy. Cathleen holds a Ph.D. in Learning Disabilities from Northwestern University, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, an MD and BA from The Johns Hopkins University and a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Julia is a visual artist and an award-winning multicultural educator with experience in teaching and developing curricula for infants through high. As Program Director, Julia trains teaching artists, coordinates and oversees implementations, develops and helps evaluate activities and impact for all Artwell programs. Julia is also the creator of ArtWell’s Art of Growing Up program.
Julia received her B.A in Studio Art and Youth Development from Hampshire College. Through her studies there, she was able to do research on female puberty rites in Ghana, where the Art of Growing Up curriculum was conceived. Julia received her Master of Art Education at Tufts University.
Rae Pagliarulo works as Development Manger for ArtWell, combining her skills in relationship building and fundraising with her passion for the art of writing. In her role, Rae manages all aspects of resource development, including individuals, corporations, foundations, and events. She started her career at Philabundance, and later moved on to build her skills and talents as Development Manager of Career Wardrobe. Rae holds her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College, and her essays and poems have appeared in such publications as Philadelphia Stories, Full Grown People, bedfellows, and The Manifest-Station. She is the 2014 recipient of the Sandy Crimmins National Poetry Prize and is a Pushcart Prize Nominee.
Kris is a visual artist and facilitator. Kris joined the ArtWell team as a social work intern and teaching artist. Since graduating with a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, Kris has transitioned into the role of Program Associate and supports ArtWell’s curriculum design, professional development, and program administration and evaluation.
Kris’s passion for youth work and social justice was previously ignited while working with the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in New York City. Kris continues to create and facilitate workshops around racial and gender equity, queer identity, violence prevention, and immigrant experiences.
Sarah is a visual artist and dancer. Sarah has a BFA in Painting from Texas Woman’s University and is working towards her MFA in Community Practice at Moore College of Art and Design. She has over ten years of experience working with youth through Parks and Recreation, as an instructor and program coordinator. As a Teaching Artist she continues to interact and encourage youth in the classroom. Sarah also helps support ArtWell’s mission with her fellow creative colleagues by strengthening relationships with partner sites and providing administrative assistance. Sarah continues to grow with the ArtWell team while she explores her passion for community dialog and creative expression among youth.
Justin has an economics degree from Brandeis University and is also a real estate developer and entrepreneur. Justin also has a passion for community work, specifically working with youth, as he ran a youth leadership program in West Philadelphia for three years and continues to mentor several youth.
Marcos has a BFA in Visual Communication and has more than 12 years of experience in the arts and communications field. Before joining ArtWell in June 2015, Marcos worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland (OR) as development manager and most recently for the Philadelphia division as communications officer. With distinguished achievements in the creative field and special events, as well as having collaborated extensively in development and administrative management, Marcos specializes in organizational growth and sustainability through design, branding and marketing strategy.