Hey there! I'm Elli. I spent my early years in the pink mountains of New Mexico, searching the sky for double rainbows and breaking open rocks in search of fossils. Most of my childhood days were passed in Southern California, however, where I learned as much as I could in school, played soccer, and enjoyed time passed with friends and family. I spent four years studying art history and integrative medicine at UC Berkeley, except my junior year where I lived and learned in Bologna, Italy. I taught moviemaking in New Orleans schools for a few years, after which I relocated to the Pacific Northwest where I took up circus arts and mentoring Native American youth with equal zest. My greatest artistic feat to date is a documentary film I made on the healing process of Native youth on a tribal canoe journey. Now I'm grateful to be in the Arts in Education Master's program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where I’m learning things I never knew I never knew.
What are your favorite pastimes?
"I love to laugh, which means I spend a great deal of time with my friends and family. I love to wander in nature, hike, run, dance, do yoga, sing and play music."
If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
"My old boss and kids I used to mentor saw Wreck it Ralph and told me 'the main character is you!' I watched to movie and thought, 'yep, that's pretty much me.'"
You are trapped on an island. What three items do you want to have with you?
"A boat, a chart and a musical instrument. I'm gettin' off this island! (And gotta have some tunes, of course.)"
Do you have any uncommon talents or quirks?
"I have a compulsion to combine words to make puns. Say two words and my brain will find a way to smash them together. I should probably work for an advertising agency."
What brings you to VSA?
"My love of kids! Making art with young ones is one of my favorite things. I love their unbridled creativity, helping them through the process, and ultimately, seeing the end product. I have a collection of kid art I've saved over the years; it is some of my favorite art to date!"
What are you doing during your internship?
"I will be assisting Teaching Artists in the classroom, helping with teacher professional development and creating media content for the website."