Alexandria was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and moved to Rhode Island in 2019. She has always been a performer ever since she was a little girl. Her sister would always joke that she was a Disney character. When the movie "Encanto" came out, Alexandria was in awe by the main character Mirabel. She said “wow, finally a Disney character that looks like me”. As it turns out Alexandria really resonated with Mirabel, realizing they were one and the same.
She joins us from the Infinity & Beyond Character Entertainment Company.
Samantha is the proud owner of Infinity & Beyond Character Entertainment. She is surrounded by many other talented individuals that help create magical memories every week. Her inspiration for the company first came from her love of cosplay and bringing her favorite characters to life.
Now, she gets to see the magic in little ones’ eyes when they get to meet their heroes! Thank you for supporting her dream!
Kathi Bradford is both a traveler and an educator. As the Director of Alumni Relations at Westfield State University, she coordinated all the Alumni Travel experiences along with an annual two-week service-learning class in numerous countries of the world. Currently retired, she serves as the Director of the Creative Arts Center and believes that everyone is a traveler when they allow themselves to experience new cultures, foods, music, sights and sounds. Kathi also believes that the kind of trip the center is offering is geared to people who want to enjoy the most they can in a relaxing, fun way with other interested travelers. She is a huge supporter of both individual and group travel and has traveled her entire life and plans to continue as long as she can. She hopes you will join the monthly classes to experience different countries from the vantage point of 105 Elm Street, the WOW Creative Arts Center.
Yoga and Meditation have been a part of Chaitali’s life for the past 18 years. Chaitali completed her200 Yoga Teacher Training in December 2019 from Karma Yoga in West Springfield, MA and is registered with Yoga Alliance. She has worked with various students with different skill levels and from different walks of life. She also enjoys teaching students about breathwork and meditation and its benefits. Chaitali offers a very authentic practice to her students. She is able to meet each student where they are at and provides guided instructions. Chaitali lives in Westfield, MA and works as an Academic Counselor in TRIO STEM H-S Student Support Services at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA.
Marie Crane Yvon is an artist who is dedicated to the transformative power of color and the limitless possibilities of expression. For more than 30 years she had developed paint techniques that explore the expansive field of contemporary abstract expressionism.
Many of her artistic influences originated in the work of artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Joan Mitchell.
She has also worked as a decorative painter and designer. In 2007 Crane-Yvon interiors was launched with her husband Jim. The couple specialize in cabinet refinishing, well-established as C.Y. Cabinet Painters. In early 2019, a 15-year passion project launched illustrations for four children's books, specially created for Sweet Echo Stories.
Marie's work has been featured in magazines, and awards have been granted to five unique commercial projects. Marie's design and color prowess has been featured on Channel 22's program, Mass Appeal. Marie approaches each work of art with an experiential and intuitive style, driven by a deep passion for the creative process.
She employs a combination of materials that are traditionally associated with construction projects. Such materials as plaster, stains, dyes, spray paint, and urethane are employed in original ways in order to develop a unique vision and explore uncharted territory.
Marie's work evokes deep emotion and a visual journey through the interplay of color, texture, and form. Marie stated that,
"As an artist, I hold a strong belief in the healing energy of our creative spirit. I am drawn to moments of beauty that can be found in contrast and connection, veiled shadow and glimmering light."
Cathy Giudetti grew up in Huntington, Ma and has always been inspired by the artistic creative process. Art is Cathy’s passion. It has driven her to work in many different mediums including oil, acrylic, scratchboard, watercolor and pen & ink. After studying with local and nationally known watercolor artists, Cathy developed a special passion for transparent watercolor. Her work has been accepted in regional juried shows in which she has won awards. Cathy currently lives in West Springfield with her husband and is the mother of two sons.
Denise Griffin is a local artist/illustrator with over 25 years of teaching experience. She has taught in the private school system, in her home studio, through adult ED and many workshops. Her yoga inspired artwork is sold across the country as greeting cards, yoga mats, vinyl stickers and as giclée prints. You can view her images and products on her website: Dgriffinpaints.com and on Instagram : @dgriffinyoga
Alexandria, or Alex as she is often called, established Something Royal Party Company in 2021. Alexandria holds a BA in Acting from Centenary University and has spent the last four years in the party princess industry. She has now opened her own company to spread magic throughout Western MA. When asked what her main goal as a performer was, Alexandria says, "...to always put a smile on someone's face". She is incredibly excited for this partnership with WOW and looks forward to teaching all of the children about their community through her many characters.
Doug James is a retired electrical engineer living in Westfield. His longstanding appreciation of nature and attraction to nature photography led him to study with the New York Institute of Photography. Doug’s photographic Interest had begun to wane when it was rekindled by the introduction of digital photography and the limitless creative opportunities it provides. Doug’s Photographs have since won several awards, including Best in Show in the North American Nature Photography Association 2016 competition. He and his wife have collaborated in publishing two children’s books highlighting his photography and her poetry.
Chris Lyons is a stained-glass instructor who has worked in the medium for over 30 years with a focus on the copper-foil technique and Tiffany lamp creation. Chris has also worked in many other types of glass work including lead-came construction, hot glass, mosaics, glass art pattern design, flat panel creation, 3D object development (including candleholders & terrariums) and both panel and rounded Tiffany-style lamps. He has a deep understanding of stained-glass manufacturing techniques and a wealth of knowledge regarding glass types and how to make glass selections for projects. His studio, Glass Visions is now located in downtown Springfield and Chris offers a full set of specially designed stained-glass classes from Intro to Advanced Lamp Making. He also offers stained glass & supplies, does repair work and is available for commission work. Chris also offers a complete electronic book on the copper-foil technique covering all aspects of the art form which is used as the basis for his Beginning Stained-Glass class.
Lezette is a Western Massachusetts native. She has her M.Ed.in history and a minor in psychology. Physical fitness, dance and self expression have been passions of her’s since she was 5-years-old. As she grew into adulthood, she desired a deeper connection with her body, soul and mind, which led her to the world of yoga. Her love of movement translates to a proactive teaching style that is both strong and graceful, challenging and grounding.
Lezette has been teaching yoga since January, 2019. She welcomes all levels of practitioners and embraces supports and modifications during class. In her classes, she leads a style of Hatha Yoga with a heavy focus on tuning into the body and pranayama, or breath work. Over the years, her practice has become much more than just physical, taking on a more spiritual and esoteric role with meditation and other distinctly inward-focused practices at the very center.
Lezette is well-known for her intuitive and somatic work, helping people connect deeper with themselves in a grounding, healing, and expansive way. She has a passion for helping everyone she encounters — both in her classes and off the mat — to find their unique path to their most fulfilled life. In her life, yoga was one of the most potent avenues to achieving this and it is her honor to share the practice with others.
Stacie McWhirt is the owner of Stacie’s Cookie World located in Cheshire, MA. She is a self taught baker who uses traditional recipes passed down from her Grandmothers and other family members. From cookie baking, decorating, teaching classes, and consuming she loves it all! She lives with her husband who is a retired Police Sergeant and main cookie taste tester, 24 chickens, and cat Margo. Blended together they have 8 grown children and 5 grandsons! They currently reside in the heart of The Berkshires at the base of Mt. Greylock. She started solely baking cookies and other sweet treats after closing her cafe and moving toward baking happy food for happy people! She’s always had a love for sweet treats, and knows others do too! What career can possibly be better than making and sharing sweet treats?
Selena Miller, know as "Cindy", is a cosplayer/content creator based in the New England area. She’s newly entered the character entertainment industry and is looking forward to bringing various characters to life. As the child of a Cambodian immigrant, Cindy feels that representation is important, especially for children's entertainment. She’s looking forward to meeting everyone, and maybe even sharing her love for dragons along the way!"
Richard Nowak is a New England artist who paints in oils, acrylics and watercolors of New England landscapes, harbor scenes and gardens in an impasto impressionist style utilizing a combination of brush work and painting knives. Richard is known for his textured application of paint and high-keyed colors and is influenced by the Pennsylvania Impressionists or New Hope School as well as the French Impressionists. He has been featured in area galleries and public areas for the past twenty years and is a current member of the Tobacco Valley Art League, the Holyoke Art League and past member of the Oil Painters of America, the Springfield Art League, and the Deerfield Art League.
Working on location and from photographs, Richard handles the paint loosely, allowing the paint strokes to convey the feeling of delight and joy that the act of painting inspires in him. Local flower gardens such as Stanley Park, Amelia Park and Grandmother’s garden in Westfield are a constant source of inspiration for this impressionist oil painter and he can often be seen painting on location.
Christine Southworth is a nurse and rediscovered her passion for art about 11 years ago. She attended Salve Regina University where she completed facilitator training at the Expressive Arts Institute in 2012 and a graduate certificate in the Practical Applications for Expressive and Creative Arts in 2015. Her passion is helping people relax through creativity, fun and connection. She is currently a facilitator for Hartford Hospital’s Arts in Healing program and Results in Wellness and has facilitated groups for The Cancer Connection, Rick’s Place, The Garden and many housing communities through Mass Housing. She enjoys creating fun, interactive workshops for businesses, groups and individuals.
Andrea’s country of origin is the Dominican Republic, an island in the Caribbean Sea. She is the mother of three adult children and grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters. She lived in New York City for 29 years, where she worked, raised her children and furthered her education. She became a Certified Paralegal, Interpreter and Translator earning a Master of Arts degree from Queens College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
While living in New York, she had the opportunity to put into action her talents and passion for social justice She founded a community group in Briarwood, Queens where many of the residents came together to work for the betterment of the neighborhood. Andrea said, “It was a joy to work together with adults and school children who learned how to become better human beings by caring about other people and our community”. Because of this work, Andrea received the John Linakis Scholarship Award from Queens College for her excellent community service in 2012.
In 2016, she moved to Massachusetts where her childhood dream of learning how to paint started to take shape. She started her training as a painter at the Hill Institute in Florence, MA, and continued at Holyoke Community College. For Andrea, painting brings pure joy to her soul and renews her spirit each time she brings life to a plain canvas with the vivid colors of her palette.
Writing, as an art expression, is another important way of expressing her nner-self. She enjoys writing stories for children and thinks about them as if they were her grandchildren and likes to entertain them with stories that are also a learning experience. Andrea shared, “Children learn more and better when they are engaged in activities they love and share with friends. I believe that children that grow in a nurturing environment will develop into the best they can be in society”.
Andrea is a member of the New England Children's Books Association and the Westfield Wordsmiths and looks forward to sharing her most recent book with you!
Karen West is a visual art teacher atWestfield High School. She has been teaching art for over twenty-three years to grades K-12 and has also taught adult classes through the years.