Joined AMA in May, 2017
Bachelors of Fine Arts, 2009, University of Dayton
Masters of Fine Arts, 2012, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Emily is from Bowling Green, Ohio. She earned her degrees in the Fine Arts, specifically for painting. After graduating and moving back from the St. Louis area, she began teaching art and art history classes at Terra State and Owens Community Colleges. When Emily found Awakening Minds Art in 2017, the change in careers made sense. “I began teaching at AMA to continue my passion for art and to spread an appreciation for the arts to as many people as possible. Art is an important part of everyday life, not just as an outlet for emotions or as a way of expressing ideas, but as a way to improve your mind and body. I am so happy to work in a place that celebrates that!” In addition to teaching, Emily is the in-house grant writer and directs the operations and development of the organization.
Joined AMA in June, 2012.
Bachelors of Art Education 2010 University of Findlay
Bachelors of Studio Art 2010 University of Findlay
Minor in Art History 2011 University of Findlay
Originally from a small town outside of Defiance, Ohio, Megan first decided to come to Findlay to attend the University of Findlay on a golf scholarship. Graduation led her to a job working with Children on the Autism Spectrum for 5 years where she worked her way up from being a classroom aide to a classroom teacher. It was in these 5 years that she grew her passion for working with children with special needs. “I have always used art as a personal outlet and I think that is why I was always implementing art into my general education classes I taught to children with special needs. Art was used as a multi-faceted tool in my classroom. To learn, as incentive, and as a way to build trust, connection and understanding. When I found Awakening Minds Art it kind of just clicked and the organization was a natural fit for me…We give them the tools to accomplish feats, build confidence, and grow in not only their art but in life!” Megan is the lead instructor for the Therapeutic Department at Awakening Minds. She is also the Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator, in charge of creating, staffing, and overseeing Awakening Minds’ programs.
Joined AMA in October, 2021
Associates of Applied Science, 2012, Marietta
Originally from Marietta in Southeastern Ohio, Ms. Mackenzie has always been drawn to artistic endeavors. Her love and appreciation for the arts was cultivated at a young age by her parents and grandparents.
Mackenzie earned an AAS Industrial Design Drafting in Marietta in 2012 and was employed by a local manufacturer. After graduating, art became a hobby. Mackenzie and her family relocated several times, and Mackenzie became a stay-at-home mom. They moved to Findlay in 2016, and it was during this time that Mackenzie’s love for art was able to resurface. She began leading art at a summer camp and fell in love with art education. “It is the most amazing experience to witness a student learn a new technique and create a work of art. I am eager to share my love and appreciation for art through my work with AMA”
Art benefits everyone! Mackenzie says, “Art Makes Me Calm”
Joined AMA May 2017-2021 & September 2022
Bachelors Degree in Psychology, Minor in Art from Bluffton University
Courtney is from Jenera, OH. She obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in art from Bluffton University. When she graduated college in 2017, she began working at Awakening Minds Art, and got married to her husband that same year. She worked at Awakening Minds Art until March, 2020 when the pandemic forced the organization to take a small break. She now has 2 children with her husband and decided to come back in 2022. She says: "I decided to take a step away from Awakening Minds, which was a very hard decision, but I am excited to be back to re-join the Awakening Minds Art family! Awakening Minds gives me fulfillment in helping others and being creative. It is exactly what I want to do with my degree!"
Congratulations to Sarah Crisp - Ricker for being a 20 Under 40 Award Recipient in 2019!
"Sarah Crisp - Ricker serves as the Founding Executive Director of Awakening Minds Art in Findlay, a nonprofit organization created in 2009 that provides therapeutic and educational programs to all ages and abilities. Crisp has helped grow the organization to serve over 10,000 people in northwest Ohio, leading a full board of directors that assists with governance and fundraising. The organization has fundraised to a total income of $1 million since it's inception, and it recently completed a capital campaign that allowed it to move into a new custom-built facility.
Over the years, the organization has won a variety of awards, including the "Go Local" Small Business Champion award; the Arts Partnership Community Arts Awareness award; and multiple Findlay Area Family awards.
Crisp earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Findlay in 2008. She is active in the community and serves as the vice-chair of the Hancock Leadership Alumni Association, a member of The Arts & Heritage Council in Findlay, and volunteers her time advising start up charities."
-Toledo Business Journal Vol 35, No. 11