our people

The Shenandoah Valley Art Mobile is currently run by a five-member board of directors. Our team includes
passionate educators, artists, and community advocates.

 
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the founding Board of Directors

Over the course of the spring and summer of 2017, our group coalesced around the common goal of
enhancing and expanding arts-based services available in the Shenandoah Valley.

 
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emily reese

president

Emily Reese received her B.S. in Studio Art from James Madison University in 2014. In addition, she completed a year of coursework in a Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program. Emily’s education includes coursework in a wide variety of visual art forms, art education, psychology, and leadership. The populations that Emily has facilitated art lessons or interventions with include school-age children, incarcerated youth, older adults with dementia, adults with autism, inner-city at-risk youth, adult day care center participants, and university students. Emily has an intense passion for the importance of art in our lives. The Shenandoah Valley Art Mobile is her brainchild and life's work.

 
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maressa cortes

secretary

Maressa Cortes is a young, aspiring artist with a passion for human expression. She has been involved in community volunteer work ranging from running school community service clubs to events with local grassroots organizations. Maressa is currently enrolled in university studies, double majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and Art History.

 
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amelia guido

programming coordinator

Amelia Guido is affectionately known to her friends as Mimi. She is an art educator, photographer, and crazy cat lady residing in Harrisonburg, VA. Mimi loves collaborating with others in creative ventures and advocating for the importance of art.

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leah gingerich

vice president

Leah Gingerich served as Arts Director of Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg City in the early 2000s, supervising projects with youth in the community, and collaborating with local artist galleries and art venues for community youth art shows. Leah recently graduated with an MAED focused in Restorative Justice in Education. She believes strongly in the value of the arts and its implications for learning processes, applications for community building, and in creative processes not only as means of self-expression, but as a way for youth to process and understand their relationship to the world around them.

 
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leons Kabongo

treasurer

Leons Kabongo was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  The United States has been his second home for the last 14 years. Leons always felt a strong call to work for social justice and empowerment, and being involved in his community gives him great satisfaction. He believes that as we encourage more of our community members who have suffered from traumatic experiences to participate in artistic expression, together we revive creativity and possibility. Art is in everything that is around us, and art making helps us to acknowledge and transform our experiences.

 
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