2023 SAER Speakers

The Summer Artist / Educator Residency (SAER) is a studio-based artist residency built for nationwide art educators and teaching artists. This year’s week-long program includes a keynote speaker series. Get to know each of the featured speakers below! 

Candy Gonzalez headshot

Candy González (2023 Academic Facilitator)

Candy Alexandra González (they/them) is a Little Havana-born and raised, NYC and Philadelphia-based. Candy received their MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the University of the Arts in 2017. Since graduating, they have been a 40th Street Artist-in-Residence in West Philadelphia, a West Bay View Fellow at Dieu Donné in Brooklyn, NY, Leeway Art and Change Grant Recipient and the 2021 Linda Lee Alter Fellow for the DaVinci Art Alliance. Candy is currently an Art + Art Education doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University. They are a graduate of the Bartol Foundation’s training in Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching Artists and Trauma-Informed Teaching Artist Practices and Identity. They are also certified as a Trauma-Competent Professional through the Lakeside Global Institute.

Jalen Law headshot

Jalen Law

Known for colorful and narrative mural projects, Jalen’s work utilizes a fascinating mix of technology and digital mediums to level the playing field for inclusive audience engagement. Jalen leads public art projects that incorporate unique ways to use art as a vehicle to connect with communities in a profound way for many nonprofit, education, municipal, and public benefit corporations. Jalen is currently developing a research-based art tool, the Emotional Intelligence Program (EQP) to equip students with social and emotional tools inside and outside of the classroom. This revolutionary tool uses a blend of music, creative writing, and visual art.

Bets Charmelus headshot

Bets Charmelus

As a facilitator, community advocate, auditory storyteller, and the National Program Director of ArtistYear, Betsaleel (Bets) Charmelus (he/him) makes the transformative power of the arts a reality. Bets works collaboratively to expand access to the arts in schools that receive Title 1 funding across America. Bets has worked as a music facilitator for survivors of sexual trauma with JJPI’s B.O.S.S Program, as the Program Director for the anti-violence non-profit Beyond the Bars, and as a founder & supporter of local grassroots men’s mental health support groups.

Debi West headshot

Debi West

As an art educator with 24 years of elementary and secondary teaching experience, Debi West knows firsthand that arts integration in education works. At the Summer Artist Educator Residency (SAER), Debi will work with participants to bring Project-Based Learning to life via creative lesson planning, hands-on workshops, interactive projects, and professional development.