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Learning Through the Arts

April 30, 2013—

Mr. Donald T. Lunsford


A graduate of Temple University with a degree in Horticultural Science, Donald T. Lunsford began dancing as recreation, performing in studio concerts, campus plays and musicals. His formal training began at the University of the Arts from which he received a B.F.A. in Modern Dance, during which time he entered PHILADANCO’s training program.

Ultimately, he became the featured dancer and guest artist for the company. He has choreographed for the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Glassboro State College, Drexel University, LaSalle College and the Pennsylvania Governors School of the Arts. Presently he serves on the faculty of the University of the Arts. Since 1977, Mr. Lunsford has inspired dancers through his artistic direction with Danco 2 (D/2) the Philadelphia Dance Company’s apprentice performance group. Under his leadership many dancers have moved onto other companies such as; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Garth Fagan Dance, The Washington Ballet, Julliard School, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, African-American Dance Ensemble, Inc., Muntu Dance Theatre, Transitions, Koresh Dance Company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre and PHILADANCO.

Winner of the American College Dance Festival Award, Mr. Lunsford is listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. Mr. Lunsford has received a certificate of appreciation from the Mayor’s Office of Community Service and a fellowship grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He was honored with the African American Theater Arts Award in association with the National Create-A-Drama Laboratory for research in the related arts.

Dr. Miriam Giguere


Dr. Giguere has directed the dance program at Drexel University since 1992. In this capacity, she directs the Drexel University Dance Ensemble, a 60 dancer company, and FreshDance, the freshman only dance company, each of which performs two professional caliber dance concerts each year at the Mandell Theater. She is the author of the dance major curriculum at Drexel, which tracks students to graduate degrees in education, dance/movement therapy and physical therapy. She has also developed the community outreach programs at Drexel also known as the Youth Performance Exchange, which brings college students into multiple Philadelphia schools every year to teach in residency projects, and houses the YPE Touring Ensemble, which performs lecture demonstration assemblies in 20 public schools every year.

Dr. Giguere is a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship recipient and frequent Artist in Residence for Philadelphia and surrounding area public schools.  She has taught and directed dozens of school residency projects in public schools for regular education and special education students. Her residency projects have connected dance to curriculum in language arts, social studies, music, physical education and the visual arts. She is an experienced presenter on subjects relating to integration of the arts into academic curricula.  Dr. Giguere has presented at regional conferences of the American Association of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, and at national conferences for the National Dance Educators Organization, American Educational Research Association, the American Creativity Association and the American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association. Her research on cognition during the creative process in dance has been published in Arts Education Policy Review, the Journal of Dance EducationSelected Dance Research Volume 6, Arts & Learning Journal, International Journal of Education and the Arts and Research in Dance Education.  Dr. Giguere was the keynote speaker for Dance Education Conference 2010, Singapore and a presenter at the Dance and the Child International conference in Taiwan in 2012. Her forthcoming book, Beginning Modern Dance, published by Human Kinetics, will be available in December 2013.

Dr. Giguere graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania earning both a BA in psychology and an MS in education in four years.  She earned her PhD in dance from Temple University, where she was awarded the Emerging Doctoral Scholar award. Her dissertation was recognized nationally by the American Educational Research Association with their 2009 National Dissertation Award for Arts and Learning.

Before coming to Drexel, Dr. Giguere performed and toured nationally and internationally with professional modern dance companies Ann Vachon / Dance Conduit, South Street Dance Company, Body Language Dance Company, and Terry Beck Troupe. Dr. Giguere was a soloist with Terry Beck Troupe when the company was awarded the prestigious Scottish National Critics Award at the Edinburgh Festival.  While with South Street Dance Company, Dr. Giguere directed that company’s lecture demonstration program for school students before becoming assistant director.  Dr. Giguere served as artistic director of Body Language Dance Company for five years.

Ms. Megan Giampietro


Megan Giampietro has been an art educator in urban schools for 20 years. Her accomplishments include developing award winning art programs in fledgling schools at the K-12 level, as well as directing Moore College of Art & Design’s nationally known Young Artists Workshop, and being the lead Visual Art teacher at the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School.  Ms. Giampietro developed the course Expressive Arts K-4 through 4th Grade, which is a core-required course for Drexel’s Goodwin College of Education’s K4-4th grade certification program for undergraduate and graduate students. She is also a contributing author to the national publication SchoolArts Magazine, publishing several articles that feature her work with children, including her arts advocacy for arts in schools. Ms. Giampietro is currently the Vice Principal for the Philadelphia Charter School for Arts & Sciences at H.R. Edmunds, a Philadelphia Renaissance school in its first year, who’s mission is to bring the arts to urban youth.

Dr. Youngmoo Kim


Youngmoo Kim is Director of the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Assistant Dean of Engineering for Media Technologies at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT in 2003 and also holds Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Music (Vocal Performance Practice) from Stanford University as well as a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Music from Swarthmore College. His research group, the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab) focuses on the machine understanding of audio, particularly for music information retrieval. Other areas of active research at MET-lab include human-machine interfaces and robotics for expressive interaction, analysis-synthesis of sound, and K-12 outreach for engineering, science, and mathematics education.
Youngmoo was named “Scientist of the Year” by the 2012 Philadelphia Geek Awards and was recently honored as a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2013. He is recipient of Drexel’s 2012 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. He co-chaired the 2008 International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (hosted at Drexel) and was invited by the National Academy of Engineering to co-organize the “Engineering and Music” session for the 2010 Frontiers of Engineering conference. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Youngmoo also has extensive experience in music performance, including 8 years as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a former music director of the Stanford Fleet Street Singers, and has performed in productions at American Musical Theater of San Jose and SpeakEasy Stage Company (Boston).

Mr. Steve Wills

WillsSteve Wills, Coordinator of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Education Resource Center, has overseen the final development and the first six years of operation at the center.  Prior to joining the staff of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Steve worked as a high school English teacher and department chair in an area district.  In addition to being National Board Certified, Steve has worked as a freelance writer, completing three books, over a hundred magazine articles, and two decades of newspaper columns on topics in education and science.

Mr. Jamarr Hall


Jamarr Hall is a poet and actor, who was on the 2011 PYPM Slam Team that won the world championship at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival. His primary belief is that one must create change within oneself in order to witness social progress.


The Philly Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM)

Philly Youth Poetry MovementThe Philly Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a safe space for Philadelphia teens to discover the power of their voices through spoken word and literary expression. PYPM was founded in 2006 at a time when there were no local poetry events dedicated to youth poets who wanted to write and perform. PYPM offers literary arts education and youth development programming for youth ages 13-19 that promotes creative expression, critical literacy, life skills, and civic engagement. Through free weekly workshops, monthly slams, national/local performance opportunities, mentoring and community service, we provide a space where youth use their voices to bring about both personal and social transformation.