JONAS ARTISTS 2022-2023
Based in rural middle Georgia, Ron Anglin is still “Having a ball!” Now in his 23rd year as a full-time performer, Ron juggles and entertains audiences with his act: “Quite a Catch” Primarily performing in schools, libraries and churches, he also entertains at festivals, corporate events, the Atlanta Braves, and at 6 Flags! Ron, a former Army helicopter pilot who taught high school for 9 years, has delighted young and old with his juggling feats and comedy! Ron was a performing artist for Young Audiences at Woodruff Arts Center from 2000-2012. He taught circus arts for Cirque du Soleil’s outreach program: Cirque du Monde from 2001- 2016 when the program ended. He has performed over 7500 times in 32 states, including thousands of shows for National School Assemblies, Dakota Assemblies, FABArts, and the Fulton County Teaching Museum. He also works as DR. tiny for Humorology Atlanta at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is their site supervisor at Piedmont Columbus Regional.
Ron’s program titled F.I.G. Newton, explores Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. The program also gets students up and moving, tapping into their concentration and balance. Students explore physical science concepts by juggling scarves, spin and toss Chinese yoyos, spinning plates and other activities.
Carmen Deedy – Bilingual Storyteller
Carmen Deedy, who was born in Cuba and then moved to the United States as a child, has many real-life experiences to share with students. As a bilingual story teller, she is able to converse with students in Spanish as well as English. The moral values she incorporates into her stories are important for all students to hear and learn from.
Although she is best known for her beloved children’s books, Deedy is also an accomplished lecturer, having been a guest speaker of the TED conference, the Library of Congress, and Columbia University. Her NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title, Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia. According to Carmen, her favorite audience is school children. We anticipate that Carmen’s focus on literacy and Latino culture will inspire our students.
Sean Driscoll is a proven innovative educational entertainer that reaches over 16,400 children through hundreds of
shows and workshops each year. Shows and workshops meet curriculum standards in math,
science, STEAM, character education, reading, language arts and social studies, and include
comedy-theater, animation, puppets, music, storytelling and/or gaming. Venues include
theaters, museums, schools, libraries, resorts, and festivals. Additionally, a professional
classical guitarist with experience as a university professor, recording artist and performer.
He has performed for live audiences up to 10,000 people and continues to produce educational videos and virtual shows during these challenging times.
Brian Engel is part of an exciting new community helping to revive and promote the enchanting art of glass music. His instrument is a glass harp, consisting of 50 glasses of different sizes, which he plays by carefully rubbing their rims with moistened fingers. Brian’s school programs include the incorporation of Science, History and Cultural Studies and Music and how they correlate to the current curriculum. Brien’s extensive repertoire includes his own originals, popular songs, Jazz standards, and classical music.
Manga African Dance
Their program, titled “RHYTHM IN MOTION”, is a dance story that compares the similarities of dances of the Diaspora – from West Africa, Central Africa, the Caribbean to the new world and beyond. The “Drum Call” song will be followed by a demonstration of “Sunu,” which is a social dance. The market place dance from Congo, Central Africa, as well as Reggae (Caribbean) dances will be performed. Demonstrations of Modern, Hip-Hop, and Charleston dances and their comparison to Sunu will be observed and discussed. There will be an audience participation component with song and dance steps of African, Modern and Hip-Hop dances. The program concludes with a Sunu dance performance.
The objectives of the program include: preserving and maintaining African culture through dance, drums, songs, and adornment, teaching the community about the connections between various American dances and African cultural dances, building self-esteem and universal connection between individuals of all races and ethnic groups through dance, and bringing awareness of the link between the Arts and classroom subjects.
Laughing Matters – Theatre and Improvisation
One of the featured artists this year is Laughing Matters. Laughing Matters began in 1985 as a group of students learning improvisational comedy. They grew, expanded, morphed and evolved into a professional troupe operating under the now semi-famous name Laughing Matters. That was thirty-five years ago. Over the years they developed into an educational resource for industries, corporations and, first and foremost, schools and youth groups.
Their current interactive improvisational show is structured around the theme of Conflict Resolution. Based on grade level, recent events, and/or ideas given by students and sometimes teachers, scenes are improvised and a myriad of conflicts arise. Students learn ideas for avoiding conflict, cooperation, how to be aware of different emotions, the importance of making positive choices, and who to come to when they have questions. Improvisational actors start each scene and frequently ask the students to play a key role. Although the topic is serious and treated as such, the group always remember our roots in comedy.
Tim Oliphant – Cartoonist
Tim Oliphant (professionally known as Mr. Ollie), has been a professional cartoonist since 1983. He’s done comic strips, editorial cartoon, humorous illustrations for magazines and ad agencies, caricatures, greeting cards, and gag cartoons for magazines appearing in local, state and national publications.
Some publications that have published Mr. Ollie’s cartoons and illustrations include The Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, Highlights, Ebony, American Legion Magazine, and more. Beginning in 1986, Mr. Ollie began his work as a “teaching artist” by traveling to schools as an Artist in Residence. He has been an active member of the National Cartoonists Society since 1984 and is its former Education Committee Chairman.
The Kinnigans serve up a heaping helping of foot-stomping, roof raising Irish music and dance goodness! The Kinnigans’ comfy stage presentation compliments the mastery of their music. The powerful combination of fiddle, uilleann pipes, melodeon, flute, tin whistle, banjo, guitar and vocals offers the classic traditional Irish sound best experienced live to appreciate. Their school program touches on Irish history, culture and language and encourages student participation.
The Irish have a long, rich folk arts history. Music and dance are integral to Irish arts, culture and tradition. The Kinnigans begin the program by familiarizing and warming students to Irish music and dance with a brief, lively demonstration, showing a variety of musical forms, instruments, songs and dances common to the tradition.
Students will experience and learn:
To value traditional music and dance.
How to sing a simple Irish folk song.
Cooperation through singing, dancing and playing instruments together.
Several words and phrases in the Irish language. And several volunteer students will experience:
A brief introduction on how to play the bodhran (Irish drum).
Participating in an Irish band onstage.
A simple Irish dance.
Michael is the co-founder of The Learning Groove (TLG), which offers music classes, preschool music curriculum, and an extraordinary line of educational music. He also is the music producer of The New York Times bestselling “Pete The Cat” books by Eric Litwin and James Dean, and he regularly performs “Pete The Cat” stories and TLG songs at concerts, workshops and keynotes throughout the nation.
As a singer-songwriter, he has won many awards and has opened for such acts at Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, Live, Joe Walsh, and many more. As a performer for children, he plays guitar, bass, and percussion, and he uses the latest hip-hop technology to create live music loops and beats.
During school performances, participants sing, dance, shake, laugh, wiggle and learn together. Michael shares his music and storytelling inspiration with children as they sing interactive songs.
Michael has been performing at schools, libraries and festivals for over 14 years in the southeast, and is a member of Young Audiences of Atlanta at the Woodruff Arts Center.
Carmen Deedy – Bilingual Storyteller
Carmen Deedy is a noted bilingual storyteller and children’s author.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Deedy came to the U. S. As a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia where she lives today. Deedy began writing as a young mother and storyteller whose NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title, Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia. Many of her stories are true experiences that occurred to her as a result of her immigration to the United States.
In addition to being a wonderful storyteller, Deedy is also well know for her beloved children’s books. Each of her books is beautifully illustrated and exhibits wonderful morals and values. Many of her books are written for elementary students, but have an important lesson for all ages.
Deedy is also an accomplished lecturer, having been a guest speaker for the TED Conference, the Library of Congress, Refugees International, the Kennedy Center, and Columbia University. She has also been the host of the Emmy-winning children’s program Love That Book! Although she has shared her stories with a wide variety of people, school children are still her favorite audiences.