About: Project Create Teaching Artists

Princess “HipHopMomma” Best

Teaching Artist, Performing Art

Princess Best is an experienced, multi-faceted artist and arts educator who has dedicated her many talents to advocating for the enhancement leadership, health and communication of young girls and women. She joined Project Create in 2015 as a Teaching Artist, and is the founder of Princess Best Speaks (PBS) and R.O.Y.A.L. Voices (Readying Our Young Aspiring Leaders). Best’s platform and programming focus on expanding the leadership capacity of the feminine voice of color through hip-hop theater, storytelling and public speaking. Her highly engaging presentations speak to the physical, mental and spiritual wellness and interactive techniques cultivate an environment and spirit that ignites cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogue. Formerly known as the hip-hop ARTIVIST Princess of Controversy; she has released two music albums entitled Soul Hop & Personal Messenger and is preparing for her SHAMEL-LESS tour. Princess is a Theater Arts graduate of The University of the District of Columbia and was featured on TV One’s reality show “David E. Talbert’s Stage Black”, HBO’s “THE WIRE” and Ford Fiestas “Inspired by Color” radio campaign. www.princessbestspeaks.com

Chanel Compton

Teaching Artist, Visual Art

Chanel Compton is an active artist and arts educator. As an artist, Ms. Compton has created murals and led art projects with coammunity participants both nationally and internationally. Internationally, she was selected as the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Envoy, where she created 3 murals with community youth in cities throughout Brazil. Locally, she has created murals with youth for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Perry Center Inc, Albus Cavus, and Extreme Home Makeover’s Home Addition. Ms. Compton is a member of the artist collective Albus Cavus, and has exhibited her work regionally. As an arts educator, Ms. Compton has coordinated and directed youth programs for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the Perry Center Inc. Under the belief that art, art expression, and cultural education can heal and revitalize communities, Ms. Compton is passionate about her work as the Community & Youth Education Coordinator.

Tarik “Konshens” Davis

Teaching Artist, Hip Hop and Spoken Word

Tarik ‘Konshens The Mc’ Davis, Hiphop Artist, songwriter, educator and Youth Advocate born and raised in Northwest Washington, DC. Konshens was recently accepted as a Voting Member of the Grammy Recording Academy, appointed as Co-Chairman of the Academy’s Hip-hop (regional) Committee, and has received many accolades including the Appreciation award from the City Council of Baltimore for youth voter awareness. His company, Edutainment Unlimited, inspires/empowers urban youth via exploration, engagement, and demonstration of the hip-hop genre, spoken word, creative songwriting, and interactive performances. With a vision to instill the values of love, peace, acceptance, and positivity through music and personal expression, Konshens teaches song writing and story telling as a means of shifting mindsets and shaping realities.


Ray Champagne

Teaching Artist, Illustration

Ray Champagne is a newcomer to the DMV and Project Create. Hailing from South Carolina, Ray pursued traditional and digital arts since childhood, inspired by comics, cartoons, and videogames. A graduate of SCAD with a degree in interactive design and game development, his skill set revolves around concept art, story boarding, technology design, 3D modeling, animation, and graphic design. Ray has published educational comic books for the history departments of school districts, designed for magazine covers, and worked on award winning videogames. When he’s not investing in the youth or sculpting his newest game character, he’s most likely practicing martial arts.

Andrea Bowman

Teaching Artist, Graphic Art and Illustration

Andrea Bowman is a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Animator and founder of the P.M.ers, a online and live show competition platform creating opportunities for all creatives in art, design and culinary. Bowman has collaborated with many clients from all over the world to produce award-winning Design and Illustration work. Her work is featured in various websites including the TED conferences in Washington DC, world renown PSD Tuts and Footaction “Own The Stage”. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and Ringling College of Art & Design. Her abilities in creative marketing and promotions have allowed her to consistently devise innovative, and effective solutions.

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Lindsay “QueenLin” Howard

Teaching Aritst, Dance and Expressive Therapy

Queenlin is from Prince George’s County, MD. This dancer, choreographer, teacher, moving artist and mentor has been trained in Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Afro-modern and contemporary dance styles for over 10 years. While receiving a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA; Ms. Queenlin performed as a company member of Kariamu & Company. Queenlin has recently received her Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Drexel University. She is also currently performing in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Fillmore Theatre and the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. Queenlin is always striving for perfection in her craft and continues to advocate and encourage others to support the arts in their communities.

Brittney Washington

Teaching Artist, Art Therapy

Brittney works as a Teaching Artist for Project Create and serves as Senior Art Therapist for Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, DC. She helps familiarize students with different media and techniques in the service of encouraging genuine self-expression and self-discovery through art. Additionally, Brittney is interested in community mental health and wellness promotion achieved through creative arts application, empowerment programming, and holistic, systemic approaches to physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual health.

Kate DeCiccio, Project Create, Teaching Artist

Kate DeCiccio

Teaching Artist, Street Art

Kate DeCiccio is a street artist, and arts educator.

Kate holds a MA in Arts & Healing & a BFAS in painting & a Teaching Credential in Art. Her experience includes teaching Art at Leadership HS in San Francisco, San Quentin State Prison & The John Howard Forensics ward at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Over the last year, Kate has dedicated much of her creative practice to the Black Lives Matter movement by painting a series of portraits of parents who have lost their children to police brutality. Her curriculum invites students to consider art as a tool for story-telling, self-examination, expression, celebration & resistance. http://kdeciccio.wix.com/k8deciccio

Sadiqua Iman

Teaching Artist, Theater

Sadiqua Iman is an interdisciplinary artist that challenges preconceived notions of marginalized identities through theater, dance, and poetry workshops and performances.  She is the Artistic Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer womyn of color artistic social justice organization, and works as a massage therapist and health coach in her private practice, What You Knead Massage and Bodywork. She believes in holistic healing and that the arts are an imperative part of that process. With 15 years of stage experience in production, directing, wardrobe, and company management, she freelances as a creative consultant with various artists and businesses.


Ralston Smith

Teaching Artist, Film and Photography

Ralston Smith is a digital content creator and consultant specializing in helping entrepreneurial creatives and brands use storytelling, still photography, and documentary filmmaking as a business tool. He has directed, produced, shot and/or edited content for various networks and organizations including National Geographic, PBS, AfricanAncestry.com, RedBull, TheRoot.com, and the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). Ralston considers himself blessed to have also been able to combine his love of travel and music. He has worked internationally in countries such as Cuba, Morocco, Cameroon, Ghana and Anguilla, and on music projects such as the Afropunk Liberation Sessions, Gregory Porter’s “Be Good” music video, and Robert Glasper’s upcoming documentary “Of Dreams to Come”.Ralston is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Commerce, and founder of globaleyes productions, LLC, a digital media production company.

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David Ibata

Teaching Artist, Painting

David Ibata is a Washington metropolitan based figurative painter born 1985. He received his BFA at the Corcoran College of Art and Design (2008), followed by his MFA from the New York Academy of Art (2010) and been an official copyist at the National Gallery of Art since 2012. In fall of 2013 David, along with fellow Corcoran and Howard University alumni, co-curated a DIY art show, “Countenance” and co-founded the Washington DC based artist group D.D.A.Y collective with the aim of creating innovative show opportunities for local black artists.

Chris Bantum

Teaching Artist, Visual Arts

Christopher Bantum has been with Project Create since Fall 2010. Bantum is the owner and operator of Blue Robin Designs (BRD). An accomplished graphic designer, Christopher helps organizations and individuals attract and engage with those they want to reach—customers, clients, supporters, fans, stakeholders, or constituents—through custom visual messaging. Bantum has a fine arts background which he puts to use in all of his designs.

Lisa Luo

Teaching Artist, Photography

Lisa Luo is a freelance photographer and multi-media artist who is passionate about promoting individual growth and community change through the arts. With a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, Lisa has over three years of experience conducting research and evaluation for social programs, particularly in the field of education and coalition development. Lisa joined Project Create in 2013 as a teacher assistant in the Photography class and is involved in the Project Create Evaluation Task Force. She is dedicated to the mission of spreading positivity, big ideas, and self-empowerment – one person at a time.

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Krystiana Bonheur

Teaching Artist, Arts and Crafts

Krystiana Bonheur joined Project Create January of 2015 as a teaching artist. Krystiana graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Special Education and Walden University in 2011 with a Masters of Science in Special Education.  Krystiana currently holds an advanced certificate for grades K-Adult in the areas of Special Education and works as a Special Education Coordinator for Prince George’s County Public Schools. Bringing nine years of experience working with student with emotional and academic disabilities, Krystiana enjoys working with youth to create a positive learning environment that incorporates literacy and different elements of art.

Candice D. Napper

Teaching Artist, Visual Art

Candice D. Napper is a founder of a grass-root art project based in Washington, DC called EYL 365 Project. Her mission is to revive the HOPE, DRIVE, and PASSION back into disadvantaged youth through the various forms of ART and CREATIVE EXPRESSION. She inspires youth to explore innovative ideas, while encouraging social and economic advancements in their community through the form of ART. She has worked as a teaching artist for the past 4 years voluntarily enhancing and informing students’ awareness about up­cycling, entrepreneurship and the importance of being socially conscious in the youth centers of Washington, DC.


Teaching Artist, Drumming

YUMA BELLOMEE is a West African Djembe Drummer, Poet, Hip Hop Artist, & Certified Wholistic Wellness Consultant. Yuma’s drummed for Kokayi African Dance Troupe, Akosua African Dance Troupe, other groups and organizations across New York State, and Passport Project Global Music & Dance Collective in Cleveland, Ohio (a non-profit dedicated to cultural diversity and awareness through the medium of the arts).  He’s taught at Tayari Casel Martial Arts Academy in downtown Silver Spring, MD; at Covenant House in Southeast Washington, DC; and at Mamasita Wellness & Movement Studio in DC; and drums for Coyaba Dance Theater in DC, as well as a variety of local dance classes and performances in the DC, Baltimore, and New York areas with his groups.

Amy Boccardi

Teaching Artist, Zumba

Amy is passionate about education, as both a student and a teacher, and has worked in DC Public Schools for 18 years. That passion for teaching and learning carries over into her other love- health and wellness. So becoming a certified Zumba instructor was a natural meshing of these two areas of her life. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm for living a active and healthy lifestyle, along with her teaching prowess and compassionate listening to every class.


Melissa Muttiah

Teaching Artist, Visual Art

Over the last ten years, Melissa Muttiah has worked in the DC-metro area in youth development serving in a variety of roles including teacher, education program coordinator, mentor, and art therapy intern. She is currently pursuing an art therapy graduate degree and plans to graduate in 2016. She hopes to share her passion and her belief in the healing power of art to enrich and empower the lives of people of all ages.

Brendan L. Smith

Teaching Artist, Visual Art

Brendan L. Smith is a mixed-media artist based in Washington, D.C., who uses recycled and reclaimed objects in unconventional artwork that combines elements of painting, sculpture, and assemblage. His work examines political and social themes, including love and war, religion and patriotism, icons and demagogues, and our dehumanizing obsession with personal technology. Brendan has shown work in many juried exhibitions and alternative venues in the D.C. area and at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. He is a member of the Sparkplug artist collective organized by the D.C. Arts Center. He also is an arts writer whose reviews have been published by many newspapers, magazines, and websites. He also was a founding member of the Read Street Fine Art Gallery in downtown Santa Fe.

Maryam Fatima Foye

Teaching Artist, Performing Art

Maryam Foye is the founding artistic director of the Hissing Black Cat Theater Company, LLC and

the Den | Reading Room and Artist Exchange. She is a creative empath, who has dedicated her talents to collecting and retelling the stories of people of color, women and children. The results are always beautifully people centered, tactile and immersive, filled with ancestral support and fueled by optimism. Maryam lives her art on the front line as an educator, community organizer, activist and mother.


Maryam’s motto for all of her students and artistic family is: “When your heart tells you one thing and your head another; give the deciding vote to your dreams.”

Kimberly C. Gaines

Teaching Artist - Visual Art

Kimberly C. Gaines is an arts administrative professional with a background in visual

art, arts education and development. Her educational and nonprofit experience includes

media empowerment facilitation for youth, curriculum development and management.

Kimberly has facilitated projects and workshops for youth with NBC 4, the National

Council of La Raza (NCLR), and various other organizations.

She was co-producer and creative director of DeanwoodxDesign, a $75,000 ArtPlace

Temporium in Washington DC. Kimberly continues to work with youth bridging creative

sciences of photography, film and graphic design; most recently, as a City Producer for

the Inaugural High School 48 Hour Film Project.

Charneice Fox-Richardson

Teaching Artist - Media Art

Charneice Fox-Richardson is an award winning producer, screenwriter, playwright, published poet, children’s story author, and director of film and theater. She is most known for her documentary The MLK Streets Project, which currently airs on AsPIRE TV and her off-Broadway play Rose Bushes and Machetes.  Most recently Charneice directed the National Education Association’s Public Service Announcement campaign, “Do You Hear Me?” Charneice serves as the Program Director and Producer of the High School 48 Hour Film Project, an international teen film program that promotes exploring our similarities by sharing our stories through film. She is a mother of 5, a master bread baker and a avid storyteller.

Alexandra (Alexa) Miller

Classroom Volunteer at Girard Street

Alexandra (Alexa) Miller is the Issue Networks coordinator at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Corporate Citizenship.  Alexa assists with the programmatic efforts and contributes to the research and event planning of the core issues valued by the CCC team and business network. Alexa graduated in 2015 with her Master’s in Public Affairs with an emphasis in public policy and organizational change from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs. She also holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Missouri.