Who We Are

Meet the Arcata Arts Institute faculty and staff:

Director, Founder and Media And Visual Arts Faculty Anne Bown-Crawford

skype photo

Anne has been a teacher for almost 40 years on a Secondary level. She teaches visual and media arts classes.

She is the Director of the Arcata Arts Institute and the Innovation Design Institute, both are programs within Northern Humboldt Union High School District and is the Fine Arts Department Chair at Arcata High School.

Anne is also Chair of the CREATE CA leadership council, a coalition of organizations, CCSESA, CAEA, CDE, and CAC, whose mission is to rethink and create an educational environment for all California students that features arts education as a central part of the solution to the crisis in our schools. In this capacity she was appointed by Superintendent Torlakson to help write his Blueprint For Creative Schools.

She is a new media studio artist and a freelance graphic designer whospecializes in branding non profit organizations via print and web.


Visual Arts/Media Arts  Johanna Mauro

mauro (2)

Johanna has been teaching art and photography since 1998. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz, with a major in art, and her teaching credential from HSU. She loves supporting high school students in their exploration of personal creative expression.



Melanie grew up in Three Rivers, a small town at the base of Sequoia National Park, where she initially began her pursuit of theatre arts.  She spent a short jaunt of time in Los Angeles where she received her undergraduate degree from Occidental College in psychology and theatre while working both onstage and backstage for theater and film companies.  In 2002 she found her way to Arcata and shortly after began to perform within the local theater, dance, spoken word and performing arts circles. She has been involved in performances with North Coast Repertory Theatre, Redwood Curtain Theatre, A Reason to Listen Poetry Collective, 2Left Feet Dance, BigNorthWest Dance, Chakra Nation Hoopers, Circus of the Elements, Nightshade Serenade, and Free the Beasts.  Melanie has been teaching math and performing arts since receiving her credential from Humboldt State in 2003. In addition to teaching and performing, Melanie actively choreographs pieces for local dance productions. She is a certified Chakra Nation Hoop Dance Instructor who may currently be seen with the Redwood Rings Hoop Troupe and Kitty Inferno Fire.

Music Cassandra Moulton

Cassie Pic

Cassandra Moulton has been a music educator for six years both locally and in Central California. Ms. Moulton’s experience as an educator includes: Beginning and Advanced Orchestra, Beginning and Advanced Band, Beginning and Advanced Vocal Ensembles, Guitar, and Music Appreciation. During her undergraduate work at Humboldt State, Cassandra also co-taught String Pedagogy classes for music education majors, volunteered at the Blue Ox School as an Enrichment Teacher for the arts, and helped bring music to rural schools through the Northcoast Music Mentors. As a Humboldt County native, Cassandra grew up participating in many ensembles and was a product of the Humboldt Music Academy. Now a part of the AAI teaching staff, Cassandra is excited to help foster the next generation of music lovers.


Makers Instructor Jason Sidell

Jason Sidell Pic

Jason Sidell – Arcata High School CoLab Director, Robotics, Game Design, Maker Course, Computer Programming/AP Computer Programming Teacher

Jason Sidell has been teaching for the last 13 years in Humboldt County. He began his teaching career running an after-school program CyberTribe, which focused on building youth technology skills. He then joined the Humboldt County Regional Occupational Program (HROP) as a Career Technical Education (CTE) instructor teaching classes related to technology/computer science. Jason has created and implemented three original high school courses: a Maker course, Robotics, and Video Game Development which he currently teaches. In addition to these courses Jason teaches computer programming at the Secondary level, and video game development and interactive media at the college level. Jason has a BS in Biology, MA in Education, and a California Occupational Education teaching credential. You’re most likely to run into Jason on the Hammond Trail or in the Arcata Community Forest when he’s not in the classroom

Figure Drawing  Joyce Jonte


Born in Berkeley, California in 1957, Joyce moved to Arcata in 1974 to study art at HSU. She graduated in 1979 with an emphases in life drawing, representational drawing, and watercolor painting. Her paintings have always been inspired by the exquisite world we live in. The subject matter varies, but her response to form, contour, light and shadow remains constant.
She studied the human form since she was 16, intent in her pursuit to express the vitality and mood of every gesture. Her work with the students of AAI allows her to share inspiration with young artists.


Visual Arts Tim Clewell

Tim CSA Photo

Tim holds degrees in Art Education, Studio Art, and Art History. He received his teaching credential from HSU in 2011.  He is currently teaching Art 1 classes at Arcata High School, Six Rivers Charter School, and Pacific Coast. He has also  has taught at Mattole Valley Charter School (Campus House) and has taught drawing courses through HSU’s Extended Education. He was a member of Empire Squared Gallery for Contemporary Art and Giant Squid Ink Printmakers. He has shown his artwork locally in several galleries including the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Piante, First Street Gallery, Hunter Plaid Gallery, the Ironside Gallery, Empire Squared, and at several small businesses throughout the community.



Dance Lindsay Bond

Lindsay Bond has always made room for dance in her life. Born and raised in central Texas, she studied intensively with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin until graduating high school. She moved to Northern California shortly thereafter and began dancing, teaching and performing with Trillium Dance Studios. She has also produced and managed dance productions since 2008.


Poet/Wordsmith Susan Clark-Luera

Microsoft Word - Susan.docx

Susan Clark-Luera has been an English teacher at Arcata High School for 18 years.  She has been the Junior English teacher for the Arcata Arts Institute for 10 years. She is a graduate of Humboldt State University, where she earned her teaching degree in English, and a supplementary authorization in art.  Susan is a lover of family, nature, farming, art, teaching and the written word.  Her aspiration in life is to make her community stronger and healthier through education, art and locally produced food.

Composer, Sound Design
Tim Gray



Composer, sound designer, audio engineer and musician, Tim is the resident composer and sound designer for the Dell’Arte Company.  His recent credits with the company include Mary Jane: The Musical, Blue Lake: The Opera and Three Trees  Other credits include Amerika, Or the Disappearance at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Minneapolis,  and I Afton Skrack och Skratt at the Kulthurhuset National Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden.  Mr. Gray also composes and records music for film and television and is the owner of Myrtletown Records recording studio in Eureka, CA.  Tim Gray is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers 2005-2007 and his work from Paradise Lost: The Clone of God has been awarded with inclusion in the United States National Exhibit to the Prague Quadrennial 2007.  Nominee – 2006 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards – sound design, Tartuffe, Marin Theatre Company.

Set Designer Production Manager Calder Johnson

Calder Pic

Calder Johnson holds an MFA in Scenography from Humboldt State University, where he was also employed as the Properties Master and later the Master Electrician. He is currently the Technical Director and Resident Scenic/Lighting Designer for the North Coast Repertory Theater. Additionally, he is the Executive Director of SkyClad Theater, a project of the Ink People Center for the Arts, that recently debuted Plays in the Park at Redwood Park, Arcata.

Fashion Designer/FLOW  Annie Liedstrand

Annie Pic II

Annie brings 28 years of experience in industrial sewing to AAI. She began her apprenticeship as a sailmaker in the Bay Area for ten years and then started her own business, Techno Sewing in 1999. Annie specializes in prototyping and has solved a vast array of unusual problems including a bullet-proof money bag, a life size fabric dragon and set designs for the Grateful Dead. She also works as an instructional aide in kindergarten at Jacoby Creek Elementary.



Actor, Puppeteer Pratik Motwani

Pratik Pic

Pratik Motwani is an actor, theatre devisor and educator originally from Mumbai, India with a specialization in eastern and western forms of physical theatre, mask performance and devised work. He holds an M.F.A. in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Blue lake, CA.
As a voice over artist, Pratik has lent his voice to actor Dev Patel (the protagonist) in the Indian version of the oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Pratik has been a company member and educator of mask performance technique with IMAGO theatre based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. With IMAGO pratik has toured nationally and internationally as a lead performer in their world renowned physical comedy/mask performance/puppetry shows – FROGZ and Zoo Zoo. As a teaching artist with IMAGO theatre Pratik has designed their Spirit of The Mask workshop series/intensive program and has been invited as a guest artist to teach physical theatre, mask performance and puppetry styles/technique’s in university programs across the United States including Pennsylvania State University, PA; University of California in Berkley, CA; Virginia Tech University, VA. Pratik is also an actor and company member with the Dell’Arte Company, Blue Lake, CA and was recently seen playing leading roles in their production of The Big Thirst, Mary Jane – The Musical and Mary Jane – The Film. As a self producing actor/creator Pratik continues to remain passionate about collaboration with other artists to create original works of devised theatre and is interested in the intersection of visual and performing arts within a theatrical setting.

Painter/Watercolorist Alan Sanborn

Alan Pic

Alan Sanborn is a local watercolorist who has shown his work both locally and nationally. He received his MA in Art from Humboldt State University (HSU) in 1983. He has been a local art instructor through HSU, College of the Redwoods, and other local organizations. He is a founding member of The Ink People Center for the Arts. His work can be seen across Humboldt County and is the featured artist on Farmer’s Market posters every year.

Fashion Designer/FLOW Margaret Uemura

Processed with VSCO with n2 preset

Margaret has been working with AAI students for the past nine years since returning from Woodbury University where she studied Apparel Design and Marketing. She specializes in pattern drafting, textile design experimentation, and using these mediums to foster an empowering and conscientious workshop experience. Outside the classroom Margaret enjoys baking, gardening, traveling, and silk screening with her husband Robert.


HSU Art Education James Woglom

James Pic

James F. Woglom is an Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University. He received his PhD in Art with a focus in Art Education from the University of Georgia. His current research revolves around the investigation of the intersection between service learning and socially-engaged art practices.