Art and Dance Instructors
Tiara Mcknight is a visual storyteller based in Waldorf, Maryland. She is a military wife, and mother of five handsome small boys. Because there was once a time in her life where she felt hopeless in life, she made it her mission to empower people through art. Art has been a huge part of her journey through life’s ups and downs and each piece she creates, she pours her heart in it. Her style of art has a wide range anywhere from “Still Life” to abstract to portrait, and you never know what brilliant colors she will use next. Working with many different mediums, she does not believe in staying in one box and isn’t afraid to try new things and styles of art. She started self taught, but later developed her skills while she attended Savannah College of Art and Design. Her art tells visual stories that are meant to make you reflect on yourself and help instill hope and inclusion. Currently, her art is publicly displayed all over the state of Maryland. Even though she is passionate about creating art, she is also passionate about teaching art to children. She believes each child is an artist; they just need someone to help them realize it. She has had the opportunity to teach art at a local homeschooling co-op as well as private lessons in many homes. She has discovered that when children create art it becomes their therapy and they are able to work out some of their challenges. She knows God has gifted her with creativity and great talent and she plans on sharing every bit of it with the world through art. She says, “My overall goal is to be the support that I wish I had, and that starts through teaching and mentoring the children in your community.” You can see more of her artwork on her website: www.ArtworkByTee.com
Marianna Elrayes is a muralist and art educator. She graduated from Penn State University with a BA in sculpture, and received her master’s equivalent in Art Education from Kutztown University. Trained by Mike Miller, an avid believer in the uplifting effect of murals in communities (Mike Miller, Art Evangelist), Marianna has led students in every step of creating a mural. She has helped create murals on 2-story buildings as part of the Mural Arts Philadelphia program, as well as on school walls and windows. She served as a studio artist, muralist, and art teacher at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Marianna has also taught middle school and high school in Fort Worth, Texas. Her curriculum included Art I - Art III, and Advanced Placement Art, where students could earn college credits by submitting a portfolio to the college board.
After having her daughter she focused on community art. She founded an art collaboration group with three of her graduated standout art students called Juxtaposse. Juxtaposse created murals in public schools, banners for local theatre groups, hosted pop ups at open mic events, and designed and printed t-shirts for local bands and artists. She recently relocated with her family to the area and is excited to continue supporting her community through the arts.
Monique Walker is originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, and has traveled the world as a performer, educator, and choreographer. She has studied under many dance masters and institutions including Dr. Charles "Chuck" Davis, Dr. Katherine Dunham, and Dr. Kariamu Welsh. Based in southern Maryland, Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration, is a Master Teacher of the Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique, an adjunct faculty member in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at the College of Southern Maryland, and the Executive Director of the National Association of American African Dance Teachers (NAAADT). She also teaches at CityDance’s Conservatory and Studios and The Viva School of Dance. Monique has served as a guest lecturer at Drexel University and the University of Illinois, and on the dance faculty at North Carolina State University and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. She is the former Assistant to the Artistic Director of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble (NC), a former apprentice with Urban Bush Women (NY), and former principal dancer with Kariamu & Company: Traditions (PA). Her choreography has been presented at the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA), Dance Place (DC), and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD). Monique continues her mission of using dance, music, and theater as a vehicle for the preservation, promotion, and innovation of African Diasporan dance through her work as a choreographer with her project-based performance company, MoDance Works.