NAEA LGBTQ+ Board

Carlos CruzPresident
Carlos A. Cruz is a secondary art teacher, GSA advisor, and yearbook editor at Evolutions High School in Providence, Rhode Island. With a background in animation, video editing, and photography, he focuses on creating  digital art experiences for his students, regardless of their socio-economic background.  Carlos earned his Bachelor’s Degree at RISD in Film, Animation, and Video in 2003 and recently graduated from Rhode Island College with his Master’s Degree in Art Education.  “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out!” – Dr. Seuss Website: Check out Cruz’s website at: iamanartteacher.weebly.com and contact him via email: carlosacruz77@gmail.com

Tara Rousseau – President Elect
Tara has been the Visual Arts teacher at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School, at OISE, University of Toronto since 2009. She has been a member of NAEA’s LGBTQ+ interest group executive since 2017.

Jess Graff – President Elect
Jess Graff is a freelance artist, educator, curator, and playworker who has been working with community programming for over a decade and a half. Jess has participated in numerous gallery shows and residency programs at schools, art centers, museums, and a correctional facility. She has recently worked as the Artist in Residence Manager at Portland Children’s Museum, the Curator in Residence at Vancouver City Hall, and as a Teaching Artist with numerous arts organizations. Articles authored by Jess have been included in publications across the nation. She is passionate about creating equitable classroom spaces and artworks that invite people of all ages and backgrounds to collaborate and communicate together. As an artist with both Western European and Middle Eastern heritage, Jess draws inspiration for her artwork from her personal history, the natural world, and from moments of shared creative exploration with the families she teaches.

Barry MorangPast President
BFA, Photography, Rhode Island College; MA, Art Education, Rhode Island College; certified Arts Integration Specialist. Barry is a state licensed K-12 art educator, currently teaching at the elementary level. Barry considers his teaching style to be a collaborative exploration of the medium and subject, which creates an ongoing transfer of knowledge and cohesion amongst disciplines and participants. Barry believe’s that understanding how gender, identity development, sexuality, and biases impact art education and student learning can improve how we as teachers and students we can make sense of our experiences, solidify our person, and further our learning in and out of the classroom. 

Dr. David Garfield MeadeMembership Liaison
Dr. Meade teaches in rural Northeast Tennessee in a PK-2nd school as a visual art teacher and is also the Lead Art Teacher for his district. Meade has lived in NETN for the past eight years and is involved in many local art and education organizations. He is also involved in Tennessee Art Education Association. Dr. Meade enjoys presenting and working with educators from all avenues to bring them new ideas. In his free time he likes to paint and work on fiber arts. Visit his website at: tiedyedartroom.com and email him at: meadearts@gmail.com.

Newsletter Editor: OPEN POSITION

Sharon Stephanie Tang – Social Media Sharon Tang has been involved with the arts for over ten years – five of them being in the art education field. She currently lives and works in the Los Angeles area. She is a 3D artist and believer in social justice. She believes that every student deserves a chance, teaches her students the importance of standing up for themselves and empowers them to create art that speaks volumes and pushes boundaries.

As the social media coordinator, she oversees all posts for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and hopes to reach other teachers that share our values in order to produce safer spaces for all people in our schools and society. 

Lorien Leyden – Curriculum
Originally from Oregon, Lorien moved to the east coast in 2009. She recently graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with her Masters in Art & Design Education with the goal of obtaining a teaching position in Vermont. Lorien’s thesis centered around art teachers’ access to LGBTQ+ content and resources for their students and school communities. She is passionate about sharing resources and having discussions around making learning spaces inclusive for all students, especially in the art room! 

Learn more about Lorien at www.LorienGrace.com or by contacting her at LorienGrace@gmail.com.