Photo by Shawn O'Connor

Photo by Shawn O'Connor

Barbara Reese

FOUNDer & BOARD PRESIDENT
 

It is my belief that the arts are the voice of the soul.  As a Montessori teacher, I watched the exuberance and enthusiasm with which the young children in my classroom expressed their voices, but was heartbroken to see these same bright lights dim as they grew older. 40 years later, I’m still in touch with some of the kids I taught in my first years as a Montessori teacher, and I’ve grown my passion for education and working with schools to offer arts opportunities that amplify youth voices. In each place I’ve lived, including Zimbabwe, I have volunteered with schools. Locally, I serve on the board of Aspen Words and have helped bring numerous poets into the Roaring Fork Valley schools. I’m an active member of the Aspen Poets’ Society, and I continue to learn and grow my own writing every day. Now, more than ever, I feel that the voice is one of our most precious resources we have as individuals and communities. 

 
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Renee Prince

Executive director
 

I have seen the power of the arts to build bridges, open hearts, and brighten futures, and I have a passion for creating dynamic arts programs with schools and communities. I began my career as an actor and theatre artist, then quickly fell in love with teaching. I was the Education Director at the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, CO from 2007 to 2014 and then the Education Associate with Aspen Words, the Aspen Institute’s literary organization, from 2014 - 2016. I hold a Bachelors degree in Theatre from Northwestern University and a Masters in Theatre Education from University of Northern Colorado. I love to learn, and recently returned from an intensive workshop in Italy with the mask-theatre company Familie Floez. I am inspired by Voices' mission and thrilled to be part of this brilliant team.

 

Kristin Carlson

Board member

I am a writer and teaching artist. My writing has appeared in The Asheville Poetry Review, Shark Reef Literary Magazine and Writer’s Digest Magazine. My play, “The Job Interview” was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Minnesota Shorts competition. “Eudora’s Box,” a 2010 new play pick, was produced at Thunder River Theatre Company in 2012, and my award-winning drama,“Unmarried in America,” has been produced statewide and nationally. I am a Bronze Tablet graduate of the University of Illinois and hold a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where I was selected as an outstanding instructor.  I was awarded a Dramatists Write Change Scholarship in 2015 and serves as a Colorado teaching artist in residence. I am currently at work on my first novel.

 

Shere Coleman

Board Member

I am a lifelong working and exhibiting artist. I believe in the power of the individual voice in the chorus of humanity and that our creative works are windows to the soul. I have worked in costume design and construction at University of Notre Dame, Purdue and University of Kentucky theater departments. In Portland, OR, I taught TAG and after school art programs and was an adjunct faculty member at the Art Institute of Portland. I was also a costumer for LAIKA Animation Studio. Locally, I was project manager/curator for Aspen Summer Words, exhibited at the Red Brick, and was a featured artist in Aspen Art Museum’s 2011 Roaring Fork Open. I have a Master of Arts in Education from Argosy University in Seattle and a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art. I make puppets and plays, and I love to travel the world to see puppet theatre. 

 
Angelica Breña
 

Angelica Breña

Board Member

I have devoted more than half of my life to teaching literature to young people and adults because I believe we can touch the hearts and essence of human beings through fiction and story-telling. I have a MA in Humanities, and what I enjoy most is promoting opportunities for reflection about modern and contemporary fiction, so that people can understand each other a little better. This has helped me to co-ordinate and lead workshops which sensitize us to the eradication of violence towards women, as well as to encourage gender equality in the work place. I am the co-founder of El Placer de Leer, “The Pleasure of Reading”, a social project aimed at young people in the rural area of San Juan Atezcapan, in the Valley of Mexico. For three years we have been holding Saturday reading sessions with under-privileged children in this small village and producing an annual play, presented and acted by and for the community.