Amy Chase Gulden, Director
Amy joined VTS in 2006 as Regional Director for New York, starting her path as a VTS trainer and building partnerships with public schools and cultural organizations in the city; then taking on more national/global training and consulting before becoming VTS Director in 2015. Prior to joining VTS, she was Director of Studio in a School’s Long Term visual-arts residency program, and since 1997 has consulted on arts-education program design, assessment and evaluation for numerous federal- and state–funded projects. She is a practicing artist and lives in NYC. Email Amy
Yoon Kang-O'Higgins, Senior Trainer & Special Projects Manager
Yoon joined Visual Thinking Strategies in 1997 after studying art history and studio art at Barnard College, Columbia University (NYC), Leith School of Art (Edinburgh, Scotland) and University College London. As VTS Senior Trainer, she specializes in developing programming to support the global community of VTS practitioners and leading long-term projects with partners such as the University College Cork (Ireland), the New York Times Learning Network, Reade Center (Amsterdam), University of Oregon and the Wild Center (New York). Her expertise includes professional development design and delivery for teachers, university faculty and museum staff. Yoon’s interest in education and public programs started while a curatorial intern in 1996 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC, where she learned about the research and work of VTS co-founders Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine. She has also worked as an administrator at the Parsons School of Design and the Tony Smith Estate. Yoon is based in Seattle, Washington where she lives with her husband and two young sons. Email Yoon
Gretchen Baudenbacher, Regional Manager, New York
Following completion of a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Gretchen Baudenbacher worked in museum education at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, and the Gallery of Photography in Dublin, Ireland. After relocating to New York, Gretchen began working with VTS in 1999. Her interest in young people’s interaction with visual images led her to complete the MA program in Media Ecology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and subsequent work within the youth media field. She is happy to be a part of the Visual Thinking Strategies team and supporting VTS programs in NYC. Email Gretchen
Robyn Muscardini, Regional Coordinator, Sonoma/Napa
Robyn was first introduced to VTS in 2006 at California College of the Arts. Soon after, while completing her masters degree in Education, she met Oren Slozberg (former VTS Executive Director) and suggested they work together to bring VTS to schools in Sonoma County. A graduate of California College of the Arts, she has taught visual arts in both Berkeley and Sonoma public schools. She has worked with Sonoma Valley Museum of Art bringing visual arts to the schools and has served on the Board of Directors of Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in Oakland, California. Email Robyn
Liz Harvey, Regional Director, San Francisco Bay
Liz joined Visual Thinking Strategies in July 2009 after working with San Francisco Bay VTS for two years. Harvey's work in education encompasses work with children, families, and adults, linking communities with museums. Liz spent eleven years bringing schools and university students together in programs at a university art museum. More recently, she managed artists working with youth in San Francisco schools and juvenile hall, and created public art in programs with underserved children in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Since her first teaching job in Koreatown, Los Angeles, Liz has long been drawn to facilitation as a route to equitable and powerful teaching, while centering her educational work around artworks both in and out of the museum, and their resonance for all students of all ages. Liz has coached and taught pre-service and in-service teachers in arts integration, including working with the faculty of East Oakland School of the Arts high school for three years. Liz also ran Artful Weekends, a summertime family art program for the J. Paul Getty Museum; coordinated a school program for the Los Angeles County Art Museum; and served as a gallery educator for adults at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She taught courses in art education for California State University, Long Beach preparing elementary teachers to utilize art and museums to explore critical thinking. Her work in sculpture, often preoccupied with feminist history and memory, has been shown since 1993 in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces in California, New York, and Italy. She is a recipient of the California Arts Council Fellowship in Sculpture (1996) and two Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Artist in Residence grants. Currently, she is collaborating with dancers/choreographers on new work. Email Liz
Regional Manager, Portland OR
Kim first joined Visual Thinking Strategies in 2009 with the goal of bringing VTS to Oregon. She earned her Masters of Education at The Ohio State University as member of the Educators for Collaborative Change cohort. After teaching in both arts impact & Afrocentric school settings Kim shifted her practice and became a museum educator at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Now Kim is the VTS Regional Manager in Portland, training teachers & providing VTS programming to local organizations.Working with VTS is a phenomenal opportunity to synthesize reform education goals and constructivist strategies Kim pursued as a teacher and museum educator. Email Kim.
Mirka Jablonski, VTS Trainer, Portland OR
Mirka joined Team Portland in 2013 after completing a yearlong fellowship with VTS. She was first introduced to VTS while managing the library at Forest Park Elementary. As librarian and VTS school-lead, Mirka had the opportunity to work with all grade levels and observe VTS shift both teaching practice and student thinking throughout the school. After earning her degree in fine art and art history from the University of Minnesota, Mirka interned and worked at the Walker Art Center, and taught visual arts to both children and adults. Mirka has spent most of her life connecting with people through art, and is delighted with this unique opportunity. Mirka believes this is a particularly dynamic moment to be working in Portland when both Common Core Standards and Equity initiatives, which align so beautifully with VTS, take center stage. Email Mirka.
Em Miller, Training & Administrative Coordinator
Em was first introduced to VTS in 2012, while a docent at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. An elementary classroom teacher at the same time, Em made VTS a central part of her practice as an educator, working with students and public learners. With a degree in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University (2008), VTS was a natural fit for Em, aligning with her educational philosophy that forefronts creative problem-solving, social justice, and experiential learning. When she is not in the VTS New York office, or out and about coaching teachers, Em also works as the Education Coordinator at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, and is completing the Arts & Cultural Management masters degree program at Pratt Institute in Manhattan. Email Em.
Tracy Cathcart, Operations Manager
Tracy Cathcart joined the North Bay VTS team in September 2012. Having graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, Tracy brings over 20 years of business experience to the VTS team. Tracy’s program and project management skills have benefited a diverse assortment of organizations and individuals. Since 2007, Tracy has worked closely with Old Adobe Elementary and the Old Adobe Union School District helping to enrich the educational experience of numerous students. During this time, Tracy was introduced to VTS, and personally helped with the funding and support of VTS in her children’s school and district. With a passion for advocating and helping to sustain arts in education, Tracy is delighted to be part of an organization that promotes the fostering of critical thinking in people of all ages, especially children. Email Tracy