Saturday, March 26, 2016

Oklahoma Arts Institute Staff: keep it up, you rock!


Julie Cohen, President & CEO
405.605.7500, ext. 0
Julie CohenJulie Cohen is the first alumnus of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute to serve as OAI’s president. Originally from Tulsa, she attended OSAI as a photography student, where she studied with French photographer Bernard Plossu. After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, she worked as a staff member for U.S. Senator David Boren, then earned a juris doctorate from the Tulane School of Law. Prior to coming to OAI, Cohen worked as a federal court law clerk, as an attorney for a Wall Street law firm, and as the director of landscaping at the University of Oklahoma. Cohen has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations. She has been the president of OAI since 2007.
Emily Claudé, Vice President & Director of Programs
405.605.7500, ext. 306
Emily ClaudéA native of Norman, Emily holds a degree from the University of Oklahoma, where she was initiated into Pe-Et, an honor given to the university’s top ten seniors. After graduation, she moved to Boston and worked at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Emily served as president of the board for the Center for Children & Families in Norman upon return to Oklahoma, and currently serves on the advisory committee for the Oklahoma State Fair’s Visual Arts Scholarship Event. Her family’s ties to Norman include a longstanding involvement in the local arts community, which has given Emily a deep appreciation for the arts. Her personal artistic experience has been well-rounded, pursuing interests in dance, photography, and acting. But Emily found her true calling when she began working at the Oklahoma Arts Institute in 2005. She has been creating educational opportunities for others for over nine years and continually strives to feel half as interesting as the talented artists she meets every year.
Shana Gibelyou, Director of Development
405.605.7500, ext. 303
Shana GibelyouA native of Ponca City, Shana Gibelyou holds a bachelor’s degree in dance management from Oklahoma City University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received the “Outstanding Graduating Senior in Dance Management” award. As a dancer, Shana is an experienced performer, teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator. She has performed at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Wiesbaden, Germany and has performed and taught ballroom, Latin, swing, and country dance at the largest ballroom studio in Oklahoma City. She is also experienced in aerial dance. Shana is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that provides food, clothing, and medical care to nearly 200 orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She has visited the orphanage ten times over the past six years. Shana and her husband, Justin, welcomed their daughter Elise into the world last September. Shana attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain for three years as a modern dancer in high school. This year marks Shana’s 12th summer as a staff member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
Anne Ezzell Peters, Director of Public Relations
405.605.7500, ext. 304
Anne PetersAnne joined the Oklahoma Arts Institute staff in 2013 and is excited for her second summer at Quartz Mountain. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Oklahoma, with an emphasis in printmaking and ceramics. Anne is from Enid, Oklahoma. While she used to be eager to move far away (and very briefly did) she has become gradually, increasingly attached to this state. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Adam, and Clementine, the cat, where she makes the world’s best lemon meringue pie on a regular basis.
Jennifer Hilger, Director of Outreach & Music Coordinator
405.605.7500, ext. 308
Jennifer HilgerJennifer Hilger graduated from Oklahoma City University, where she was selected as “Outstanding Student in Music Education” for the class of 2007. For seven years, Jennifer was the co-director of bands in Purcell, OK. In 2012, she was selected at the Purcell Public Schools District Teacher of the Year. Jennifer joined OAI full-time in 2014 as the Director of Outreach and Music Coordinator. She enjoys traveling the state to tell high school students and educators about the life changing opportunities with OAI’s summer and fall programs. Jennifer married her husband, David, earlier this year at Walt Disney World. They ran the “Dopey Challenge” for their honeymoon – 48.6 magical miles together! Jennifer lives in Norman with her husband, David, their cat, ZaZu, and their two dachshunds, Leia and Padmé.
Carson Misner, Director of Program Operations
405.605.7500, ext. 307
Carson MisnerA lifelong resident of Oklahoma, Carson’s involvement with the arts has been long-lasting and diverse. By first grade, he was already an award-winning artist and sand art master. While attending Sapulpa High School, Carson was a percussionist for the honor band and a member of the drumline. Carson went on to graduate summa cum laude with honors from Oklahoma Baptist University, and performed in a number of stage productions while at OBU, ranging from opera to sketch comedy. For two years, he was head script writer for Campus Activities Board, where he helped produce up to four shows per year. Carson also studied private voice under the direction of Dr. Louima Lilite. Currently, he enjoys singing on the Civic Center stage with the Canterbury Choral Society and on the karaoke stage with his boisterous friends.
Maggie Boyett, Office Manager & Executive Assistant
405.605.7500, ext. 301
Maggie BoyettAn Oklahoma Native, Maggie grew up in Tulsa, OK and Philadelphia, PA. Her love for dance and the arts began as an infant, attending powwows and stomp dances with her family. That love developed and was fostered while studying under Tulsa Ballet Founder, Moscelyne Larkin. Maggie attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute from 2008-2010 as a modern dance student and returned as the modern dance liaison in 2014. She holds a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma School Of Dance where she was a member of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. During her three years at OU, she served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council, was selected for an international performance tour, and co-produced an evening-length dance and music concert. Her choreography has most recently been commissioned for music videos, stage performances, and public performance art projects. In addition to her role with the Oklahoma Arts Institute, Maggie spoils the daylight out of her beloved pets and continues to teach, choreograph, and perform around the state.
Jezy Gray, Office Manager & Executive Assistant
405.605.7500, ext. 301
Jezy GrayBorn and raised in southern Oklahoma, Jezy Gray earned his Master of Arts in English from the University of North Texas with an emphasis on 20th century African American literature and culture. He then completed a one-year graduate fellowship in the Department of American Studies at Indiana University, where he taught classes on popular culture, worked as a research assistant at the Black Film Center/Archive, and served as a grant-writing intern at the Indiana University Cinema. He joined OAI in the fall of 2015 because he firmly believes in the Institute’s mission to develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. In his spare time, Jezy writes reviews, profiles and feature stories for publications like This Land, PopMatters, and D Magazine. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and two cats.

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