Media Center

Archives by Day: August 21, 2014

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning Launches Resident Teaching Artist Program, Adding 5 More Positions to Staff


After celebration of its 60th anniversary, change in hiring strategy strengthens the Cleveland non-profit team; adds new jobs to NEO creative landscape

Cleveland, OH (August 21, 2014)—For over 60 years, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (former Young Audiences) has worked with some of the top talent in Northeast Ohio. Building a roster of over 100 teaching artists, CAL has been able to pair working artists with area educators to benefit youth education. In the last year alone, CAL’s roster of contracted teaching artists engaged students in 5,432 programs.

This week, CAL grew its staff by 1/3, adding 4 resident teaching artist positions. This uniquely positions the Center amongst its peers by including teaching artists as part of the permanent staff. The Center looked to the regional artistic community with the goal of keeping top talent in Ohio and provide an opportunity to hire artists as artists. The response to the positions was high with over 70 applicants considered. Coming from a variety of artistic backgrounds, this group was assembled to work as a team and has been challenged to build new programs for CAL that are innovative, multi-disciplinary, and teach 21st-century skills to students. The resident artists will also work directly with the incredible artists on CAL’s roster who have helped grow its reputation as the authority on arts-infused education. Candidates for a team-leader position are still being considered.

The possibilities of working with these artists on a day-to-day basis has energized the staff. Director of Programs Mike Obertacz, who spearheaded the change in hiring, said, “This change creates a very exciting new structure for the organization. Professional teaching artists are central to the quality and success of programs and partnerships at CAL. This investment infuses the organization with creativity and innovation that not only makes us more successful today, but in creating a stronger vision for the future.”


Carla Carter

Carla LynDale Carter is a mother of three, a filmmaker and an educator from the Cleveland area and had taught a variety of film production and Game Design courses. She received her BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Chicago and her MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. While in Philadelphia, she served as Video Facilitator at Scribe Video Center teaching various community groups how to make documentaries that promote social change. These programs were broadcast on PBS as part of the Precious Places Series, WHYY TV 12 and started her passion for using media as a tool for activism and change. Carla has been a Visiting Instructor at Oberlin College, teaching courses in Video Production, Black Cinema, Editing, and Media Literacy Pedagogy. In 2013, she started the organization Focused.Arts.Media.Education. (FAME), which engages youth in documentary filmmaking to create media that matters in their communities while teaching media production curriculum that promotes Social and Emotional Learning. She has a sincere passion in using her filmmaking and technology expertise to excite, engage, and promote self-expression in youth. Carla produced several documentaries that have screened in film festivals throughout Philadelphia and Cleveland and enjoys producing documentaries that engage whole communities.

Mark Yasenchack

Mark Yasenchack is a teaching artist who grew up in Parma, Ohio. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College he pursued a career in art and teaching, combining subject matter and natural forms from his biology background with the craft of ceramics, mosaics and collage and his love for teaching children. Currently his focus has been on mosaic murals that combine hand-made clay tiles with the traditional stone and glass tesserae. He has been delighted and inspired by the magic of working side by side with preschoolers and teenagers to create murals, the goal not being a take-home item but a shared collaborative experience.

Jimmie Woody

Jimmie Woody is a professional actor, director and teaching artist who has worked with many diverse age groups and cultures throughout Cleveland and New York. As an actor he has performed at historic venues such as Karamu House, Cleveland Playhouse, La Mama ETC and The New York Shakespeare Festival. As a director he’s translated Paul Fleischman’s “Seedfolks” for the Tri-C JazzFest and the Cleveland Public Library. And as a teacher Mr. Woody taught drama at The Cleveland School of the Arts, Warrensville Heights High School, Cleveland Heights High School and the High School for Global Citizenship in Brooklyn, New York. He currently teaches acting for the camera and stage at Cuyahoga Community College and enjoys working with various community outreach programs throughout Cleveland. In 2012, he received the Community Workforce Fellowship Grant. Mr. Woody studied at Columbia University in New York, where he earned an M.F.A. in acting.

Lisa Yanofsky

Lisa Yanofsky is a choreographer, performer and educator working across dance, music and theatre. Most recently, she received her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, Lisa was named a Project Zero Artist-In-Residence and was commissioned to create an original piece merging movement, text, and music. As a singer, Lisa has performed in the United States, Italy, Austria, The Czech Republic and Germany. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Dance from Oberlin College and a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Embodying Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

About the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education. Organized in 1953, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is the only multi-arts resource for schools and communities in the region whose primary purpose is to make learning through the arts an essential part of young people’s education. Programs take place in public, private, and parochial schools as well as libraries, hospitals and other civic spaces, reaching nearly 220,000 young people each year. For more information visit