Artist-in-Residence: Meet the Artists

The Albemarle County Public Schools Department of Community Engagement is proud to present the current Artist-in-Residence Program artists. These talented individuals represent a broad range of cultural, educational, and technical expertise that ties into our multi-cultural school curriculum. Their focus is to broaden the educational experience students are engaged in by providing them with a more in-depth understanding of the many cultural differences.

Michael Moxham

Michael Moxham

"The very definition of a Renaissance Man", Mike is a music producer, audio engineer, and sound designer in Charlottesville, VA.  He teaches music production, DJing, and keys to students of all ages.  Mike also leads/coaches bands at Bach To Rock in Herndon, VA, works as a freelance studio consultant all across the DMV area.  Mike performs regularly as a DJ and as an educator, drawing from over 25 years of experience with music and sound in various forms.  He demonstrates sound science concepts in an easy to understand format, enriching the learning process.  Mike will primarily work in partnership with Artist-in-Residence Munier Nazeer.

"...the first thing I did when I was born was make noise"​

Anthony Amos

Anthony Amos

Anthony Amos will model his skills as a videographer, DJ, and open microphone poet. Mr. Amos has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Virginia as biology major with a strong concentration in Math. Imagine your students learning about great figures in history like Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Napoleon, and Caesar - and being able to relate these figures’ stories to their peers in way that is relevant and exciting to their peers. How about having students being able to relate classic playwrights to modern day poets, singers and rappers - and telling these stories? How about being able to tell these stories in less than 5 minutes on video using their own vernacular (with music, drawings, poems, singing, rap, etc) to share with their peers?

Profile and Lesson Plan

Christine Davis

Christine Davis
Ambassador of West African Dance

Christine has been dancing for her entire life. Her journey as a dancer has taken her to the majestic native land of Guinea where she participated in an intensive dance study. Her certifications include: children’s yoga, adult yoga, and licensed massage therapy practice. Christine has innovated and currently teaches a new form of dance called “AFRI-CArdio”.

This particular form of dance intricately connects movement/ fitness, human physiology, and the learning process. Christine’s teaching embodies African history, mathematical poly-rhythms, and storytelling through movement. Christine will include specific exercises using Brain Gym techniques. As students’ flex their physical muscles, their minds are sure to stretch with Christine’s academic dance instruction.

Profile and Lesson Plan

Hilda Ward

Hilda Ward

Hilda Ward is an African American mother of three; grandmother of four; and a great grandmother of two. She taught in High School and college for 24 years in New York. She co-facilitates the Curry School’s multicultural education program. Host of local TV show “Artistic Expressions” and member of Live Poets, she has 2 CDs (Images and Oh! How I Praise) and poetry in the The Blue Ridge Anthology and Streetlight. Hilda will share experiences of her African American culture through storytelling and poetry. Student participants will be given opportunities to develop oral communication skills and will become more knowledgeable of the effects of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in oral communication.

Profile and Lesson Plan

Jim Gagnon

Jim Gagnon

Jim is a well traveled musician, storyteller, and performer extraordinaire. He is also an educator, performing in schools, resorts, and festivals around the world. Jim is fascinated by the diversity and the wisdom of the native cultures, especially in music and stories. Jim will use African drumming and the traditional instrument of the aboriginal tribal people of Australia to facilitate the building of bridges and creation of a broader understanding of incorporating the relevance of African and Australian cultural heritages into our homes and schools.

Press Kit
Profile and Lesson Plan

Munier Ahmad Nazeer

Munier Ahmad Nazeer

Writing music as narration involves evolving a style out of your limitations" -Paul Bowles 

Munier Ahmad Nazeer is an educator and musician in the Charlottesville, VA area. His ability to connect the performing arts with sound student teaching techniques has made him a highly sought after instructor. Having performed and recorded with two successful acts; Unspoken Heard featuring Asheru, and Blue Black and currently performing with the "rock science" collective known as the Beetnix, allows him to bring real world music experience to a classroom setting.

Nazeer - Agnor Hurt 12-2012
Nazeer - Red Hill 11-2012
Profile and Sample Lesson

Whit Whitten

William "Whit" Whitten

William “Whit” Whitten, founder of the Drum Call Center and director of the ensemble Drum Call and Friends, is lead drummer for Chihamba, a traditional African dance and drum troupe. Whit is also a percussionist with the ensemble Afrikan Drum Festival. Whit has studied with master drummers in North America and West Africa. He was sponsored by the U.S. government to tour Europe with the Cultural Music African Dance Company. Whit is a member of the Virginia Commission of the Arts’ Artist in Educator Residency Program. He is masterful at working with diverse people of all ages. Whit uses his drums and himself as tools to facilitate the building of bridges and creation of harmony within homes, schools, and communities.

Profile and Lesson Plan

Stacey Evans

Stacey Evans

Through photography, students gain skills to explore and share their environment. Looking at photographs from distant places, students write in various forms about these scenes. Equipped with cameras, they will frame their environment, photographing subjects they care to share for a specific reason.

Subjects: English, Mathematics, History and Social Studies

Profile and Lesson Plans

Blue O'Connell

Blue O'Connell

A Certified Music Practitioner, singer/songwriter,  guitarist, storyteller and teacher based in Charlottesville, VA. Originally from Chicago, Ms. O’Connell got her start as a professional musician nearly 30 years ago accompanying jazz and wedding singers. Since relocating to Charlottesville in 1989, she began composing her own music and immersed herself in the local music scene. In addition to performing in the acoustic music venues, she was a folk radio announcer at WTJU for 20 years.

Blue O'Connell's website
Blue O'Connell Profile - Lesson Plan

Teachers and Diversity Resource Teachers (DRTs) click here to reserve one of these artists to present lessons to their students.

Sessions should be at least 2 - 3 days allowing the artist to expand his/her knowledge and give the students a hands-on approach that will enable them to understand and become more engaged with the subject matter being taught. For more information, contact Community Engagement at 434 293-0288.​​​​​​​​​​​​​