imagine That! Staff
Founder & Director | Drama
Lola started these camps in 1993 and after all these years, Imagine That! is still the highlight of Lola’s summer, a perfect antidote to her more serious other life as a therapist. She loves watching the magic of a group of children collaborating with each other and a crew of inspired teachers in creating a shared playful vision. Limitations slip away as we all spend time in this realm of possibility. Again and again, this journey enlivens campers and teachers alike, Imagine That! restores our faith in what is possible when people work together and treat each other well. Lola will be teaching drama at the first camp with Rachael Barrows and co-teaching with Anthony at the fourth camp.
Lauren is an artist and arts educator that has worked in the education and social work fields for over 15 years. As a museum educator, Lauren discovered her true passion for teaching, and after working for several years on the administrative side of the world, she realized her heart belonged with the kids. Now a student at Pacific University, Lauren will earn her MAT in 2017 and hopefully be teaching art at a public school near you! In addition to painting and printmaking, Lauren is a part-time yogi, cat mom, events contractor, house and pet sitter, and lover of cooking, astrology, and walks in the woods. She is thrilled to begin her first summer at Imagine That! and has been in love with the camp since attending last summer’s performance. Lauren will be teaching art at the fourth camp.
John Munyaradzi Mambira is involved in many forms of art – acting, singing, dancing and playing music, from regions of southern Africa including Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. He has worked with various groups, both amateur and professional, and has taught workshops at many festivals. He is a phenomenal drummer, marimba player, and singer with a wide vocal range who has performed with his band, Bongo Love, all over the world, as well as with local groups in Eugene.
In 2016 John became a permanent resident of Oregon, where he continues his lifelong journey to teach people of all abilities and aspirations. Combining his talents for creativity, patience, nimbleness, flexibility, lightness of heart, and kindness of touch, John has quickly become an endearing figure through his work at St. Vincent de Paul in Section 8 housing units, at Lane ESD as an educational assistant in special education classrooms, and on the streets of Eugene as a member of the city’s cultural services department, staffing EugFun activities in parks and streets all summer long.
More than just a cultural arts teacher, John has a natural ability to address difficult situations with rapid response while shifting the environment back to a place of learning and positive transitions.
John will be teaching dance at the fourth camp
Nate K. Beard
Nate K. Beard is a writer, performer, and educator who has championed art-based youth empowerment for over a decade in Oregon. Currently a teaching artist at Hamlin Middle, he is a collaborating member of ArtCore, a 4-year arts integration and research initiative designed by local creatives, Lane Arts Council, and EPIC. Previously, the lead facilitator for the Courageous Kids Theater troupe at PeaceHealth, Nate has a passion for art with meaning! When he’s not collaborating with other artists or young people, he is enjoying the beauty of nature. He has been on the Imagine That! team since 2011. Nate will be teaching drama at the second camp.
After having experienced Imagine That! as a camper from the ages of 8-14, Rachael is excited to return to the magic as a drama teacher. Born and raised in Eugene, she is now studying environmental science and creative writing at Western Washington University, but is thrilled to go back to her roots in Eugene for the summers. Her passions include writing, travel, outdoor adventure, and playing ultimate frisbee. During the school year she works for the YMCA as an after-school educator, and finds working with the younger generation to be one of the best ways to keep life creative and fun. Having done theater through her childhood and into high school, she is excited to combine her loves of drama, creativity, and small friends during the first and third camps this summer. The Imagine That staff has been consistently blown away by Rachael’s expert assistance at camps over the last few years and we got clear that Rachael has the spirit, energy and talent to come on board as a drama teacher. Rachael will be co-teaching drama with Lola at the first camp and teaching drama solo at the third camp.
Jonathan Bilenki is a man of music. He has been working in Eugene since 2000. Primarily a teacher, Jonathan also enjoys writing, recording, playing, learning, preparing and arranging music. Over the years, he has played various instruments in a handful of local bands. His most prestigious and unusual job title is “Ballpark Organist.” Jonathan played Eugene Emeralds’ home games for four summers straight! Nowadays, when not teaching, he enjoys focusing his musical creativity of producing electronic music. You can hear some here: https://soundcloud.com/washingtonalleystudio. He is excited to return to the Imagine That! teaching staff in 2019. Jon will be teaching music at the fourth camp.
Jessilyn Brinkerhoff is a muralist, illustrator and teaching artist from the Pacific Northwest. She works to bring beauty and inspiration to the walls of communities, schools and businesses, and shares her passion for larger than life imagery as an artist-in-residence in local schools through Lane Arts Council. Inspired by the incredible history, nature and ecosystems of her Northwest home, her murals incorporate individual stories inherent to each place she visits. She is delighted to be joining Imagine That! for a second year, collaborating with the campers to transform the stage with epic scenes and costumes.
Hailing from the Big Sky State of Montana in 1988, Scotty Perey graduated from the University of Oregon School of Music (Composition, ’94) and proceeded to build a community of nearly a thousand students and their families over the past two decades, both privately and within the 4J School District, as well as from the ten past seasons of imagine That! Enjoying everything from music to reading to writing to hiking to skiing, playing with his band, “The Sugar Beets” or traveling all over the world, Scotty can safely say that there is no job in the known universe more custom-tailored toward the very essence of his being than teaching music at imagine That! Scotty will be teaching music at the first and second camps this year.
Kellee was born and raised in Eugene and she loves teaching Imagine That! in her hometown. She is the director of Moving Joyfully, and she enjoys using her imagination and fostering creativity and self-discovery in her students. Kellee feels that working with children is a blessing. She uses stories and play in her teaching so Imagine That! feels like home to her playful heart. Though life has allowed her to teach in many places such as India and South America, Kellee will always look forward to her summers with the wonderful team and super Imagine That! kids. Kellee will be teaching dance at the second and third camps.
Mari Livie is a fibers and ceramics artist. Her work can be seen in galleries throughout Oregon. Most days she is busy stitching, snipping, piecing, and building in her home studio. During the school year Mari is also an Artist in Residence for Lane Arts Council. The summer months, however; she sets aside for Imagine That, where she is ceaselessly inspired by the quirky costume creations and innovative set solutions of the imagine That! campers. Mari will be teaching art at the second camp.
I recieved my BFA in Acting from West Virginia University in 2004 and have been acting on stage since 2001. I began teaching acting in the winter of 2014 and fell in love with teaching. I started my own business in January 2016, The Dreamers Acting Studio, to share the benefits of acting and theatre with the children in our city. I have developed classes, summer and winter camps and workshops to bring the joy of theatre to our community. I am beyond thrilled to be joining the Imagine That family and look forward to the new adventures this journey will bring. Anthony is co teaching drama at the fourth camp with Lola
Born and raised in Eugene, Elise began attending Imagine That! with her sister when she was 8 years old. Her love for the magic of Imagine That! has been growing ever since. Elise is currently a student at Western Washington University studying Early Childhood/Elementary Education and learning in various creativity and play-based educational settings. During her time with the youngest humans, she enjoys wondering, exploring, and constructing knowledge through different artistic mediums in the great outdoors and in the classroom. At other times, she is traveling, creating, and outside playing, learning, and guiding with loved ones and with WWU’s Outdoor Center. She returns home every summer to immerse herself in the beauty of Eugene and the fun of Imagine That! Elise will be teaching art at the first camp.
Native Oregonian, movement nerd, lover of silly ideas, Amalia has noticed that dance is what spontaneously occurs when you are having the most fun. She danced and then taught with the EDGE (elite dance gymnastics exhibitions) for over 10 years, including 4 years as the pre-EDGE director. Amalia has dipped toes in many dance disciplines, exploring choreography, ballet, modern, charleston, swing, lindy hop, lyrical, and jazz. She worked for 7 years at Bounce Gymnastics and Circus Arts Center, has led classes in various styles for both kids and adults, and in one of her more inspired moments, created a class for people who think they can’t dance but maybe have always wanted to. Amalia is an RYT 200 hr., currently teaches yoga and loves it, but is so excited to carve out time for more dancing!
Other things Amalia loves are big group games, playing music, hiking, cold water dips, and family beach days. Amalia will be teaching dance at the first camp.