NOTE: All adult classes have been suspended until further notice.
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Abigail has directed the Eliot School since 2007. She brings to the school over 30 years experience in nonprofit administration, focused on community-based arts and media, including time as Program Coordinator at Forest Hills Educational Trust and, before that, Director of Somerville Community Access Television. She serves as a member of the Boston Cultural Council, and on the Advisory Council of Wee the People. She also makes drawings, pop-ups and small objects as a form of social exchange.
Titi Ngwenya, Director of Development & Communications
[email protected] • 617-553-9206
Titi Ngwenya is no stranger to the Eliot School, having served on the Advisory Board since 2017. She has worked in the arts (performing and visual) for over 20 years and believes in the value of material intelligence and the transformative power of “making things.” She comes to the Eliot School having devoted 10 years as Director of Communications at Fuller Craft Museum, the 2020 recipient of an Award of Distinction from the American Craft Council. She has an English degree from Yale University, a Master’s in Music from the New England Conservatory, and most recently a Core Leadership Certificate from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. As a Boston native, she feels fortunate to have grown up surrounded by so many institutions dedicated to the arts and arts education.
Iris is an Afro-Dominicana American native of Jamaica Plain who previously worked as Assistant Program Coordinator for Massachusetts College of Art and Design with the Center for Art and Community Partnership's sparc! the ArtMobile. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Bridgewater State University. Through her involvement with nonprofits within Boston, she grew an appreciation for collaboration and community activism. As an avid art enthusiast, she has been supporting and curating art-making spaces with the intention of social and emotional processing for children as small as one to seasoned folks aged 92. She is currently working as Development & Communications Assistant under the leadership of Development Officer Alicia Chick.
Kate Finn, Bookkeeping: Payroll/Audit
Kate is a partner at Green Oak Financial, with clients in non-profit arts, education and other fields.
Alison is an accomplished educator and woodworker, whose elegant sculptures and furniture combine lamination and coopering, most recently profiled in American Craft magazine. She holds a Preliminary License to teach Visual Art to Grades 5–12. Previously, as Education Director for Red Rabbit (New York City), she developed and led interactive cooking and gardening programs for teachers, parents and children. As Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Denver CO), she developed, managed and taught art programs for all ages. She has also been Wood Shop Assistant at Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass Village CO), Catalyst Arts Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design and Fabrication Assistant for Situ Studio (New York City). When time allows, she also teaches woodworking and visual arts both in our schoolhouse and through our School Partnership Program.
Amber Torres is an artist, curator and podcaster with over 12 years of fine arts practice. Before joining the Eliot School staff, she served as Outreach Manager of Boston Arts Academy, where she was responsible for recruitment, summer programming and workshops for international arts educators. During that time she also worked as Art Assistant at the Boys and Girls Club of Boston. Amber has curated exhibitions at City Hall and The Strand Theater Gallery, facilitated lectures and workshops with nearby colleges and high schools, sat on panels, and continues to contribute to the city's grassroots art and media scene. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Hamilton College and is a proud alumna of Boston Arts Academy.
Jennifer teaches for the Eliot School, both in our schoolhouse and through our Partnerships, in addition to coordinating training and support for teachers. She is also a fiber and mixed media artist, incorporating organic movement into her work. She brings to the Eliot School over 15 years of experience working with people with a wide variety of disabilities as well as people with dementia. She has always focused on creating positive experiences based on everyone's unique preferences and ensures that all are regarded with dignity and respect. She has overseen services and led activities for MAB Community Services, Brightview Senior Living, Boston Center for Independent Living, Walnut Street Center and elsewhere. She holds an AA in Psychology from Newbury College and a BA with a focus in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University.
In addition to her arts practice, Jennifer is a registered yoga teacher, and a musician. She volunteers with Girls Rock Campaign Boston, BEATS/After School and Ladies Rock Campaign.
Camila Bohan Insaurralde is an Interrelated Media artist. She earlier supported the Eliot School's Teen Bridge program through the Center for Art & Community Partnerships at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Before that, she worked as an Arts Facilitator for Sociedad Latina's STEAM Team, as an organizer for the Public Education Network of Massachusetts, and in visitor services and community engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. She holds a BFA in Painting and Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) with honors from Mass Art.
Ian Haines, Summer Program Coordinator
[email protected] • 617.553-4687
Ian Haines is the Summer Program for Children Coordinator as well as a teacher in the School and Community Partnerships Program. They were born and raised in Boston and are excited to be a teaching artist in the city that raised them. Ian has been working at the Eliot School in various capacities since 2018, prior to which they worked as an Arabic language translator at the MFA in the Egyptology department. They graduated from Earlham College in 2016. Their primary mediums are wood and fiber, and have worked under artists/builders such as Barry Hazard and Mitch Ryerson.
[email protected] • 617.553-4684
Our tuition-based program for adults is currently un-staffed while it is closed during the period of COVID-19.
Andrew designs and creates custom furniture through his company, Riiska Design. He has been Shop Technician/Woodworking Specialist at Southern California Institute of Architecture, Head Shop Technician at Parsons New School of Design (New York City) and Woodworking/Furniture Intern at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snow Mass CO), as well as creating custom cabinetry, furniture and architectural models for Elshopo Studio (Brooklyn NY), Frank Fitzgibbons Architecture (Los Angeles) and elsewhere. A Creative Writing major in college, he has also done editorial work for Tribes Literary Magazine and Naugahyde Donkey.
Jasmanie Gonzalez, Shop Assistant
Jazz teaches classes through our School & Community Partnership Program as well as working as our Shop Assistant. He started woodworking by making small furniture and continues to expand his skills. In his free time, he collaborates with other artists on murals and graffiti projects, including recently at Crimson Jam with Geo and Tak. His mural art can be found at the Egleston Square Peace Garden and elsewhere throughout Boston.
Charles Sandler, 1932–2021
Charlie worked at the Eliot School from 1966–2012 as Director, Instructor and Superintendent, and remained on call for consultation til the end of his long life. Charlie was certified in Vocational Education and Industrial Arts and held a Master’s of Education. He taught and supervised teachers at Hubert H. Humphrey Occupational Resource Center, Fitchburg State College, UMass, Roxbury High School, Dorchester High School and elsewhere in addition to the Eliot School. Charlie stewarded the Eliot School through half a century, infusing it with his warm, inclusive approach to life and work. The Eliot School's wood shop bears his name, and friends are encouraged to contribute to the Charlie Sandler Scholarship Fund in his honor: DONATE TO C. SANDLER SCHOLARSHIP FUND.