Jennifer Aguirre

Jennifer Aguirre’s love of puppetry began as a child and blossomed through her own children~ experience of Waldorf Education. She performs puppetry throughout our greater community and teaches the art to both adults and children. She teaches a curriculum-based “Puppetry Through the Grades” program for Sierra Waldorf School.


Kandi Angermiller

Kandi Angermiller taught kindergarten at Curtis Creek Elementary for 31 years. She had great success with this program in her classes. She attended the Institute of the Arts workshops held at the University of the Pacific. She believes everyone is an artist, and that this program gives children an opportunity to experience the artist within.


Sifu Berchtold

Sifu Berchtold grew up in Switzerland and has been teaching pottery to groups of children and adults for many years in her studio, in classrooms, and at Amazing Glaze, now Out of Hand Creative Arts Center in Sonora. Her work is sold commercially throughout the local area.


Molli Cantrall

Molli Cantrall holds degrees in Fine Art and Child Development. This combined training allows Molli a unique capacity to teach the fundamentals of art to children and youth of all ages. She has also been designing and painting murals for 18 years, and has worked on numerous private, commercial and community projects in the area.


Dianna Craig

Dianna Craig holds a BFA from Humboldt State University and has been making and performing with masks for more than 20 years. She performed with the Constance Street Stage Company, based in New Orleans, for three years, and has taught for the Davis Art Center and Davis Waldorf School in California. She is currently a member of the Voice of the Wood, a storytelling, music, and mask movement performance group.


Mark and Bear Dyken

The Dyken brothers have been playing music together since childhood, touring steadily since 1987 with their band Clan Dyken. They have released six albums on the Forward Productions record label and are considered a local treasure here in the Sierra foothills, performing in both large and small venues, as well as teaching in schools. Their work is influenced by a wide variety of music including Native American, African, Latin and Reggae.


Judy Grossman

Judy Grossman holds a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco and received a credential to teach art from San Francisco State University. She is an accomplished commercial and residential muralist, working as large as 20′ x 50′. She founded the Golden Chain of Murals project in Tuolumne County to promote local history and community pride.


Marilyn Hobbs

Marilyn Hobbs holds a BA degree in English from Portland State University and has taught in California for 35 years. She has had a career-long interest in introdUcing students to art and great artists in the classroom, and she has assisted in the development of programs and teaching tools for arts education projects at both Sonora and Soulsbyville Elementary Schools.


Patrick Karnahan

Patrick Karnahan has been playing music for more than 30 years. He is a professional musician and painter whose instrumental repertoire includes banjo, guitar, concertina, melodeon, and trumpet. He is a master storyteller through his vocals and songwriting, and his Black Irish Band is included in the California Arts Council’s Touring program.


Tracy Knopf

Tracy Knopf was born in Turlock, California. She Graduated from California State University at Stanislaus in 1992 with a degree in Fine Art. Tracy is a quilter, mosaic artist, sculptor and muralist, and just recently completed the mural at the Tuolumne County Childrens’ Library. She loves working with children and is hoping to share her art with the children of Tuolumne County. “Protecting wildlife and preserving our clear streams and alpine lakes is of utmost importance to me. From found hubcaps to broken fine china, making art from recycled items helps me, in a small way , to give back to nature.”

209- 586-4397

Louise McPeeters

Louise McPeeters earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and theater and has done graduate work in music and visual art. She is a certified Orff-Schulwerk Instructor. She was a teacher of the Visual and Performing Arts at Curtis Creek School for 33 years. Since her retirement in 2008, she has been teaching various arts classes including Orff-Schulwerk, a music education technique, voice, piano, guitar and visual art. She also teaches teachers through the California Arts Project and is involved in advocating for the arts in education.


Ian Nandhra

Ian Nandhra and Jolene Alquist run the “Steps To Dance” studio in the tranquility of Sonora in the California Gold Country foothills. We are fortunate enough to have a 1500 sq ft purpose-built facility in a very tranquil area – “its like dancing in the trees” commented one couple.

DVIDA Certified in American Smooth, Latin and Rhythm styles, we continue to study and certify as Professional Instructors under the mentorship and instruction of Diane Jarmolow, the founder and director of the nationally acclaimed Ballroom Dance Teachers College. Diane is widely regarded as the nation’s premier expert on dance teacher training.

We aim to make our classes fun, entertaining and instructional in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our results speak for themselves.

209 533 2384

Lisa Nelson

Lisa Nelson, Native American artist, owns and operates Crow Girls Beads in Sonora where she teaches beading. Lisa’s Blackfeet heritage is evident in all of her creations, and she is one of the few artists who continues the authentic Northern Plains beading technique. Lisa has contracts with Doth Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.


Shelley Oeverndiek

Shelley Oeverndiek specializes in using music as a tool to teach and help children learn and love the world around them. She began performing and writing children’s music over 25 years ago for schools, libraries and benefits. Shelley later became a Music Consultant, Juther developing her skills, teaching music fundamentals and music theory in the classroom, as well as establishing two of the first keyboard programs in Tuolumne County. As founder of “Making Music,” a community music program, she has provided private and group instruction in voice, songwriting, guitar and keyboard. She currently works as a teacher at Sierra Outdoor School and is converting California State Science Standards into easy “repeat after me” chants that enable her students to understand content and vocabulary.

209-532-2826; 209-532-5021

David Rainwater

Dave takes everyone on an exciting musical journey back to the days of the California gold rush and historical times of the 19th century. Using a variety of folk instruments Dave includes songs from the mining days, frontier favorites and adds important historical anecdotes which complement  3rd, 4th and 5th grade curriculums. In addition to presenting  lively, musical history, Mr. Rainwater’s class repetoire  includes a participatory show for grades 3 through 8, that will  inspire  young students to pursue learning to play the instrument!

Download a pdf of Dave Rainwater’s 2015 Arts in Schools Programs HERE


 Cynthia Restivo

Cynthia Restivo combined her love of tales with her dramatic flair to become one of the most cherished treasures of both children and adults in Tuolumne County. She has taken her stories to festivals, libraries, social and professional gatherings, campfire circles and schools. She received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award for a CD she released with the Story Quilters. Cynthia performs regularly throughout the Western States and in 2005 performed at the National Storytelling Festival. She conducts storytelling/theatre residencies throughout Central California.


Peg Reza

Peg Reza is the youngest of ten children. Her mother, a school teacher, immersed her own kids in a life filled with imagination, artistry and delightful fun. As a result, Peg was born to create! She has been playing music professionally for 37 years. In 1990 she founded the Blue Shoes Band, and shortly after she picked up the ukulele and made it a star of the band. Together the Blue Shoes Band toured throughout Central California, Florida, Hawaii and was featured at the Strawberry Music Festival. In 2005 Peg started teaching private and group ukulele lessons. Very soon she founded the Blue Shoes Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra, a community ukulele performance group with 15 performers giving shows extensively year-round. Peg teaches for the Asilomar Ukulele Retreat & West Coast Music Camp in Pacific Grove, CA, California Coast Music Camp in Auburn, CA, and Camp ookoolaylay in Pinecrest, CA.


Bill Roberson

Bill Roberson was a preschool and kindergarten teacher for 30 years with San Francisco Community College Parent Education Department and Sierra Waldorf School. For the past four years he has been an adult educator working with teachers, parents, board members, administrators and after school-care providers. Bill holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University in Psychology and Child Development. He has been a musician, singer, and storyteller for over 25 years, working in schools, Forest Service interpretive programs,festivals, churches, libraries and public parks. His CD with The Storyquilters won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and he has recorded a solo CD of original and traditional songs. Bill is committed to keeping alive the rich tradition of songs and stories that have served us as part of our whole education.


Diana Sanders

Diana Sanders is an enrichment teacher who believes in delivering concrete and aesthetic experiences to kids. Knowing that she has helped increase the development of sensory perception in children of all ages is the most rewarding process imaginable for her. Children learn to express their ideas and share their knowledge in her classes. She uses C.R.I.S.P.A. elements in all  lesson plans; Connections, risk-taking, imagination, sensory experience, perceptivity and active engagement.  These elements, when consistently applied to classes, ensures that classes are memorable, which improves a child’s ability to learn. Diana tailors the learning experience to the student’s ability and creates a very positive environment in her arts and craft classes. She is currently the director of Learning With Crafts, whose mission is to bring the joy of crafts and hobbies to children.



Gini Seibert

Gini Seibert’s focus has been on pottery for over 30 years. She owned and operated Pottery Plus, a retail pottery shop, for 21 years, and developed a successful line of wholesale pottery while teaching both children and adults in schools, camps, and  hospitals. She currently directs Out of Hand, a nonprofit creative arts center, in Sonora. Her focus is to serve community groups by integrating innovative clay experiences into programs and curriculum.


B.Z. Smith

With training in Visual Arts Education and 36 years as a professional storyteller, B.Z brings a large repertoire of stories, participation activities and personally designed art curriculum to her work. In addition, B.Z was trained in classical piano and choral music throughout her childhood, which led to a strong interest in a wide spectrum of musical styles and genre.

In 1973 B.Z. moved to Tuol Co from SoCal. A year later she became the local “Children’s Library Lady” at age 24. She has worked actively in the arts and literature community ever since. As one of the “Story Quilters” she toured throughout California, performing for schools, universities, libraries, community concerts, festivals and intimate gatherings.

With 20 years in public education, B. Z. was one of the Arts Lead teachers for Sonora Elementary School, and served as a Teacher Leader for Valley Sierra California Arts Project, a region of TCAP. After retiring from the classroom, B.Z. served as Central Sierra Arts Council’s Community Arts Programming Specialist from 2005-2008. B.Z. is at home on the stage or in the classroom, in theater, music and visual arts. Currently she is a specialty teacher at Connections Academy for “The Art of Storytelling for Film Making.”

209-532-7697; 209-559-7697


Dianne Stearns

Dianne Stearns has been a Fine Art Instructor in Tuolumne County for twenty-two years. She is well known for her watercolor paintings shown in galleries and private collections around the United States. Dianne’s initial career of being a nurse was changed by the skill of Calligraphy. The art allowed her to change her professional focus to become a graphic artist and freehand glass engraver. Designing business cards for hospitals, Doctors and many other businesses, it met her objective of creating a home based business so she could raise her son at home. Her artistic career blossomed and finally le to her passion of teaching. Although Dianne still creates and shows her paintings in galleries, she is devoted to teaching children and adults how to truly See this beautiful world through the arts.


Mark Stoltenberg

Mark Stoltenberg released “Tuolumne County Fathers and Sons” in October of 2005. This 80 minute radio play on CD features local actors and musicians and has been received with enthusiastic acclaim. The educational show is a 40 minute version of this radio play and includes three of the original songs.

209-928-3436; 768-3441

Ilene Tassano

Dancing is a great way to exercise, stimulate the brain and learn social skills.  Students of all ages will learn dance steps, including frame, technique and styling.

The instructor, Ilene, has had 18 years of dance experience and has taught the Ballroom and Swing dance classes at Columbia College for 10 years, danced in showcase performances and judged at local events.   Ilene teaches with her husband, Jim, so both leader and follower parts can be observed in relationship to the dance.



Michelle Tennant

Michele Tennant’s enthusiasm for the craft of story and illustration and her easy way with children and teens makes language arts and joy. Mrs. Tennant’s Digistration workshops incorporate the art of writing with illustration concepts and digital illustration. Tennant grew up in the town of Sonora where she began painting as soon as she could keep the brush out of her mouth. She has been awarded a best of show ribbon from the Tuolumne county fair for her work in acrylics. After high school Michele majored in theater at Columbia College. This background helps her to question her characters motivation when she began writing stories for children. Mrs. Tennant joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) over 15 years ago. Shorty after she was awarded Calaveras Arts Council’s first ever grant, which covered her tuition to the SCBWI National Conference. This artist has penned several poems and stories for children’s magazines like Cricket, Ladybug, and Boys Quest. Michele Tennant currently is currently working toward a bachelors of fine arts with a focus in illustration.

202 West Sunset St.
Sonora CA, 95370

Vicki Vermeer

Local horsewoman Vicki Vermeer specializes in creating fun, funky, unique gemstone, metal and natural jewelry and embellishing  horseshoes.