Our Team

Adriana Maritza, Teaching Artist, is an Afro-Latinx artist who was born and raised in the East Bay. Her love of visual and performing arts as a child inspired her to study Art History at UC Berkeley and earned a Master’s degree in Museum Studies & Interpretation from John F. Kennedy University. Adriana has worked in the education departments at the De Young Museum, Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the New Children’s Museum in San Diego. Through these experiences, she developed a passion for teaching and decided to leave museum work in favor of working directly with children. Adriana believes that the barriers that keep children from the daily practice of art-making are artificial, social constructs that disenfranchise young people from their human right to self-expression. She dedicates her work to providing children with the critical thinking and attuned powers of observation that are inherent in art-making experiences.
  Erik Parra, Teaching Artist, is a 4th generation Mexican American who was born and raised in the border metroplex of El Paso-Juárez. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from The University of Texas, Austin and completed a Masters of Fine Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Erik has exhibited in many Bay Area galleries and internationally in alternative spaces, commercial galleries, and museums in Berlin, Brazil, Los Angeles, London and New York. Most recently, Erik was selected as the recipient of a Liquitex Research Residency grant partnering with the Minnesota Street Project, culminating in a solo show, “Erik Parra: History by Choice” at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery.  Erik teaches students from preschool through college and reflects that his work with young people provides him a feeling of being part of the fabric of the community. He feels both the responsibility and the rewards of nurturing creative growth in the lives of his students, their families, and the larger community. 
  Gail Tarantino, Teaching Artist, holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has been engaging children in the creative process at the San Francisco Children’s Art Center since 1991. Gail is a visual artist whose work has been shown at Fouladi Projects, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, the Oakland International Airport, and Kala Art Institute. Her work is also included in a number of Bay Area private collections. Gail is trained in the Reggio Emilia approach to arts education, engaging in two professional development study tours to the Reggio Emilia region in Italy. A member of the American Reggio Emilia Alliance, Gail has engaged as both presenter and participant at multiple sessions of the organization’s annual conference. Gail is smitten by the poignancy of children’s language and the visual impact of their representations. She believes that each child’s aesthetic choices are particular to their own unique way of absorbing the world around them. She feels privileged that as a teaching artist, she can be an active participant in children’s path to self-discovery.
  Steph Kudisch, Teaching Artist, is an artist, teacher, and art preparator based in the Bay Area. Focusing in screenprint, sound, and ceramics, Kudisch received their MFA San Francisco Art Institute in 2018 where they were awarded the Isaac M. Walter Prize for Sculpture. Kudisch is a non-binary artist who reinterprets Jewish myth and ritual, continuing in the queer tradition of reimagining possibility. They are a member of the San Francisco Poster Syndicate, where they create and live-print screenprinted political posters. Steph teaches ceramics at SOMArts as well as screenprinting in the San Francisco Art Institute’s Public Education Department. As a genderfluid, hard of hearing teaching artist, Steph is an advocate for accessibility and equity. In every classroom, they work to build generative and safe environments where students can fully explore art-making. They believe in art as a vital means of self-discovery, emotional expression, and community building.
  Amy Balsbaugh, Programs Director, has devoted her professional and personal life to enhancing the lives of children through creative self-expression. Amy is trained in integrating arts and innovation into formal and informal education settings using methodologies from Harvard University’s Project Zero and Stanford University’s d.school. Prior to joining SFCAC in 2016, Amy served for seven years as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator at Rooftop School, an SFUSD K-8 School with a long history of integrating inquiry-based arts learning into the academic curriculum. Amy has developed visual arts curricula for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Galileo Learning. She has also worked on arts education projects with the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Stanford University d.School’s K12 Lab Network, San Francisco Film Society, and Tonko House Animation Studio’s Dam Keeper Education Project. Amy considers equitable access to the arts to be at the heart of a just society. She believes that the arts empower unheard voices and provide opportunities to listen, experience, and deepen understanding, allowing all members of our diverse culture to develop to their fullest human capacity.