Raquel Hurrieta has been an actress since she was 12 years old and has always had a passion for helping people. Her first act of inspiring the community was with the Athena Project when she was 12 where she had the opportunity to speak up and show other girls how powerful they are. She has been on 9News speaking about how girls should be encouraged to have a voice. When Raquel was 13 years old she reached out to Mirror Image Arts, and got involved with helping them build a six week after school program that would give kids the tools to stand up against bullying. She then grew her involvement and joined their Youth Advisory Team (YAT) in 2014. YAT was really inspiring to her and helped her grow and be able to speak out against unjust situations. At school, she is now able to speak out against kids that are making someone feel unwelcome. Through her experience with programs like Mirror Image Arts, she now has the confidence to speak up against bullying. She is excited to grow in her new role as Advisory Board member.
Brittnee Merritt is a Community Engagement Specialist at Fairview Elementary with the Office of Family and Community Engagement in Denver Public Schools. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in English and Spanish. She is a strong advocate of providing students with the tools to be successful in an academic setting and to become advocates for themselves. She has seen the impact of Mirror Image Arts’ programming with the students she works with, and understands the importance of cultivating self-esteem and self-expression in a creative space.
She has helped with the expansion of the Mirror Image Arts program throughout Denver Public Schools. Brittnee is excited to continue to support the development and growth of Mirror Image Arts through her role on the Advisory Board.
Grace is a passionate learning and development specialist. For Grace, being an Mirror Image Arts board member fulfills a dream of supporting children and her local community in pushing the boundary. She has seen its programs and feels they not only shine a light on limited view points, but also provide the tools for the participants to stand for something they believe in. In her current professional role as an Associate Program Manager at Academic Impressions, she designs and develops conferences and training webinars for higher education professionals working in the areas of accounting and finance, business operations, institutional effectiveness and planning. She has a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado, Denver. Over the last 10 years, she has taught and managed educational programs located at the Colorado School of Mines, and other universities in South Korea and Saudi Arabia. From her own educational experience as both a student and teacher, she fully supports the transformational power of story and theater in the learning environment and is so happy to find Mirror Image Arts harnessing the power of teacher and artist to facilitate change.
Kari Knutson is an educational professional with over 20 years of experience in K-12, higher education, community organizations, and state and local governments. She is a professional speaker, trainer, consultant and counselor. Her company, Knutson Consulting, is focused on helping people transform their organizations through developing interpersonal skills and bridging cultural and communication divides. Kari received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Cornell College in Iowa. After college she earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and then, another Master’s degree in Counseling from Gallaudet University in Washington DC. Kari later attended International Summer School at the University of Oslo in Norway where she received a Certificate in Special Needs Education. Kari is an avid traveler who has traveled solo to 13 countries and has a vast knowledge of different cultural practices and perspectives, as well as different signed and spoken languages. She is also fluent in American Sign Language.
Kari is currently the school counselor at Crown Pointe Academy, a fantastic charter school in Westminster, Colorado. In addition, she serves as the anti-bully consultant to the City of Westminster Park and Recreation Department where she gives presentations to parents, conducts workshops with staff, and serves as the intervention specialist.
Mark Ramont is Associate Professor and Head of Directing at California State University, Fullerton. Most recently, he, along with Richard Hellesen, adapted Frank Wildhorn’s The Civil War into Freedom’s Song for Ford’s Theatre where it received wide-spread acclaim in a production directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun. Mark served as Ford’s Theatre’s Director of Theatre Programming for seven years. He was the Associate Artistic Director of Circle Repertory Company in New York City, and Artistic Director of both the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY and Capitol City Playhouse in Austin, TX. At Circle Rep, he directed the world premieres of Walking the Dead, Dalton’s Back (both by Keith Curran) and The Colorado Catechism by Vincent Cardinal. For Ford’s Theatre, he directed The Rivalry and Horton Foote’s The Carpetbagger’s Children and is scheduled to direct The Glass Menagerie in January 2016. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence, the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Region VIII Excellence in Theatre Education Award, and holds a MFA in Directing from the University of Texas, Austin.
Patrick facilitates communication skills practice within a broad range of settings and clientele. The power of inquiry and curiosity informs his work in bridging the relationships between effective communication and creative response. A frequent provider of professional development within the medical, law enforcement, university/educational, and non-profit sectors, Patrick also works with theatre and literary professionals as a dramaturg. Patrick is based in Denver, CO, serves as Curriculum Manager for DCPA Education and is National Faculty for Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education.
Laura Adducci feels very strongly that all people deserve the opportunity to express themselves in a safe, creative environment. Because she has a personal conviction to create positive change through applied theatre, she is very proud to be a part of the work that has led to Mirror Image Arts’ to bullying prevention programming. Alongside her friend and colleague, Andrea Rabold, Laura was instrumental in elevating Mirror Image Arts’ mission and breathing new life into the organization. Her highlighted contributions to the organization are program development and implementation as well as cultivating and maintaining community relationships. Laura holds a BFA in Theatre from MSU and has spent the past decade performing, directing, coaching and teaching in Denver, Chicago and abroad. Laura is also a working voice-over artist and Mom to a kid that makes every effort worth it.
Allyx graduated from University of Colorado in Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2012. While there she worked with an applied theatre ensemble called Interactive Theatre Project.
She has performed at various venues in and around Denver including the work|space at The Laundry (LIDA Project) and Red Rocks Community College. She is very excited to be involved in this programming as her combined passions of theatre, psychology, and working with youth are present in Mirror Image Arts.