Mariposa’s Art

I find Mariposa’s Art helpful because it gives me confidence in myself and it helps me to give confidence in others. I also like Mariposa’s Art because it’s fun and I love art. It gives me a chance to speak my opinions and be expressive in my art.” – Olivia, age 11

Through Mariposa’s Art each year more than 2,000 students learn, create, and blossom – serving schools that have little or no funding for the arts during the regular school day.

The Teach Model

An inter-generational model, Teach programs engage teaching artists, highschoolers, and elementary and middle school students. High school students find their voices and discover their creative gifts through training that steeps them in the arts and supports development of powerful life skills such as public speaking, lesson planning, and classroom management.  Together with professional artists, they co-teach lessons, share creative experiences with younger students, and become leaders, mentors, and role models.

This model has been so impactful, that in 2008 the Pajaro Valley Unified School District purchased the curriculum to apply it to subjects including science and physical education.

Current Teach Programs include:

– Art Teach

– Guitar Teach

– Mural Teach

– Drama Teach


Art & Leadership: Encourages the development of artistic skills, knowledge of the arts, and community service. Students explore themes such as:

Express Yourself: Realizing talents and strengths, and using them

Body Image: Redefining beauty as a quality of self-love, care, and being a good friend

Conflict Resolution: Learning to speak up and manage conflict in powerful ways

Dreaming Big: Setting goals and talking about how to make dreams come true

Guitar AmpUp: Introduces playing, performing, and writing music on guitar, and analyzing popular American music genres from the last 60 years, from blues and country to heavy metal and hip hop

– Hip Hop Poetry: Inspires expression through writing, public speaking, stage presence, improvisation, and critiquing skills while obtaining a supportive network of inspiration and resources

– Drawing & Design: Focuses on drawing, caricature, screen printing, and claymation

Meet the 2015-16 Staff & Teaching Artists

Adrian Torres

Adrian Torres is a Watsonville native and has been a part of Mariposa’s Art since 2006, leading Art Teach and Drama Teach at various elementary schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. He is a 10+ year ensemble member of the world renowned El Teatro Campesino (ETC) theater company in San Juan Bautista, founded by artistic director Luis Valdez. There, he has been featured onstage in roles such as “Henry Reyna” in Zoot Suit, “Satanas” in La Pastorela, and “El Diablo” in La Carpa de los Rasquachis.

Adrian is a trained workshop leader for “Theater of the Sphere,” a unique approach to theater based on ETC’s principles, and has built and tailored curriculum to fit different grade levels for the migrant education programs in King City, Salinas, Monterey, and Watsonville. Adrian added “director” to his credits in 2008 when he co-directed the ETC’s beloved holiday show “La Virgen del Teyepac.” In collaboration with Watsonville High School, Adrian directed the first ever Watsonville & Pajaro Valley High production of Luis Valdez’s “Zoot Suit” at the Henry J. Mello Center in 2009. Adrian can also been seen in a number of independent films; his most recent “The Crumbles” will be making its premiere Spring 2012 at the Asian American film festival in San Francisco.

Andres Ortiz

Andres Ortiz

Andres Ortiz was born in Pomona, CA and raised in San Antonio, TX. He started performing in talent shows and school plays at the age of 10. Andres attended high school at a magnet school in San Antonio called the North East School of the Arts where he majored in musical theater. Also during high school, Andres received additional acting training at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on the Westside of San Antonio.

He attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where he graduated with a BFA in Acting in 2010. During his time in Texas, Andres performed with many different professional companies such as the Dallas Theater Center, Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, and Amphibian Stage Productions. After graduation, Andres began teaching and working with inner-city youth as a means of supporting his acting career. He has also worked as a substitute teacher, basketball coach, and an after-school arts and activities instructor.

Since moving back to California in 2012, Andres has worked with Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino on their recent production of “Valley of the Heart,” where he played the role of Benjamin.

Don Davidson

Don Davidson

Don Davidson brings the same depth of passion and commitment to community drum circle events that made his courses in drum music of the African Diaspora at the University of California at Santa Cruz a truly remarkable and transformative experience for twenty years for thousands of people. Don enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, presenter and performing musician and has brought drum circles to tens of thousands more people worldwide.

As a facilitator with Village Music Circles from since 1987, Don has led communities as diverse as Smithsonian Magazine, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, Rutgers University, and the Boys Scouts of America to the joy and power of drumming. He has trained through Village Music Circles hundreds of the drum circle facilitators around the world today.

The founder of Rhythm Well, Don has additionally created music-based programs and trained organizations to acquire skills in issues of cross-cultural and inter-personal communication, team & community building, creativity and personal excellence across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is one of the international team of drum circle facilitators named as Artists and sponsored by Remo Drum Company.

Don has completed training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming through NLP University at the Practitioner, Master-Practitioner and Training levels with a special emphasis in business and organizational development. He has completed training in Ericksonian hypnosis through Pace Personal Development and NLP University.

Emmanuel Garcia

Emmanuel Garcia is a painter, dancer, poet, lyricist, and facilitator. They are passionate about community transformation through the arts and embody the intersectionality of artist and activist. They studied Developmental Psychology at UCSC, have over 8 years of experience working in student-centered educational settings, and are certified in both creative facilitation as well as curriculum development for a wide range of learning styles. When they are not coordinating the Mariposa's Art after-school programs and events or teaching, you will likely find them engaged in collaborative community arts projects focusing on youth empowerment and social justice issues. In their free time, Emmanuel loves to work in the garden or go hiking.

Katelyn Byrne

Katelyn focuses on the visual aspect of artistic expression. Her primary styles are drawing, painting, and photography with an interest in metal fabrication. Katelyn grew up in Tulelake, CA, a very small inland town four miles from the Oregon border. She moved to Santa Cruz in 2009 to attend UC Santa Cruz and graduated with a BA in Sociology and Latin American/Latin Studies Combined. Katelyn is in her fourth year of engaging youth in various capacities from after school programs to working with incarcerated youth. Katelyn's other interests range from social justice to riding her bicycle around town.

Kyle Morris

Kyle Morris hails from the San Fernando Valley and is an artist in multiple media: drawing, painting, illustration, murals, screen printing, pottery, stop motion, and clay animation. His artistic achievements include: coordinating and painting a mural at UCSC; a 15-minute claymation short about genetically modified foods; teaching art and animation in Los Angeles for three years; and painting a mural in Zambia.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American and Latina/o Studies, and is now pursuing a degree in Biology. He loves to experience the beauty of nature of Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Kyle is fascinated by the environment and social justice, and hopes to rehabilitate wild salmon habitat and restore the ecology of the California coastal rivers and streams.
His favorite things to do are fishing, kayaking, camping, gardening, and scuba diving. He loves to sing and play music; he also writes lyrics and poetry.

Nathan Elias-Kocivar

Nathan moved to Santa Cruz from San Diego to pursue his passion in music. After studying at Cabrillo College, he earned a B.A. in music from UCSC. An instrumental wizard, Nathan enjoys playing guitar, sax, piano, flute, and percussion. You might have heard him play in Santa Cruz-based Boostive and Pure Roots.

Nathan believes strongly that the arts are essential to education and he would like kids to have a positive experience with many art forms. Nathan thinks that everyone deserves music in their lives because he’s a firm believer that music is a catalyst for elevating the way we think and feel.

Paul De Worken

Paul has worked with many media throughout his life, but he prefers mural painting. “You have to put your whole body into painting a large painting on a wall and when you are outside in the public's view you become a performer painting live. I also enjoy connecting, receiving feedback, and having participation from the community as we paint.” In addition to being Mural Teacher with Mariposa’s Art, Paul has worked with PVUSD for 9 years and is currently an Enrichment Specialist for the After School Program at Rolling Hills Middle School.

He graduated from Cal State University of Monterey Bay in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual and Public Art with a concentration on Mural Painting and Arts Education.

Paul is also very involved with the arts community, including organizations like Santa Cruz County Arts Commission, Santa Cruz Art League, and Pajaro Valley Arts Council. He is recent recipient of the California Peace Award for Santa Cruz County 2014.

Paul co-founded The Mural Alleyway Project to paint murals in alleyways in an attempt to beautify and inspire an area that normally doesn't have access to art and murals. He also owns and operates Monterey Bay Murals in Watsonville.

Sarah Brothers

Sarah Brothers grew up in Ithaca, New York. She was exposed at an early age to museums, arts and music festivals, art classes, community theater groups, and music lessons, making an enormous impact on her own personal appreciation for the arts.

She received her Bachelor’s in Fine Art and Graphic Design at the State University of New York, Oswego, and minored in anthropology and music. She has attended the Masters of Art Education Program at Florida International University, and completed her Masters in Arts Management at the University of Oregon.

Sarah has held leadership positions in non-profit arts and education organizations in New York, Florida, California, and Oregon. She has a strong background in strategic planning, program and arts curriculum development, staff and volunteer management, marketing, events planning, and evaluation. Working with youth, teens, and adults from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, she has developed and provided engaging, enriching, and supportive art and educational programs that meet educational, social/emotional, and artistic needs.

Throughout her time as an arts educator and facilitator, Sarah has continued to create her own art. She enjoys painting, printing, and mixed media.

Veronica Madrigal

Veronica was born and raised in Watsonville. She graduated in 2010 from Sacramento University with a Bachelor's Degree in Photography, and Minor in Art education. She's passionate about making a difference in other people's lives, especially children. "Teaching is a powerful and essential means through which students and the educator alike can grow and strive to become the best representation of themselves that they can be, and ultimately inspire generations to come." She also enjoys painting, reading, and traveling.