Meet the Staff
Celeste Beck Sagi, M.Ed. | Director of the Office of Arts & Creative Engagement | firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-322-0850
Celeste comes to Vanderbilt from Harvard University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Arts in Education. She is passionate about both visual and performing arts. Originally from North Carolina, Celeste completed her undergraduate degree in Language Education (Classics and English Literature) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a child, she was enrolled in an Arts Magnet School, performed in community theatre, attended North Carolina Governor’s School in Voice, and was selected as a delegate to the International Theatre Festival in the former Soviet Union. During college, she was awarded a Summer Study Abroad fellowship to study Classical Theatre in the United Kingdom at Oxford University. After college, she spent two years teaching English in Nagoya City, Japan on the Japan Exchange for Teaching (JET) Program, and performed with the Nagoya City Mozart Choir. At Harvard, Celeste was a Tutor in Drama, Psychology, and International Education, was hired to record voiceovers for corporate training modules, and performed with the Boston Choral Ensemble and Boston Lyric Stage Company. Celeste has traveled extensively, enabling her to view the works of master artists and be inspired by the creative spirit of diverse cultures. Her current interests include acrylic painting and examining how participation in theatrical exercises helps individuals develop cross-cultural fluency and practice compassionate empathy. In April 2012, she moved to Nashville, TN. She is pleased to be a part of Nashville’s thriving arts community.
Kelvin Amburgey, MFA | Assistant Director of Dance | email@example.com | 615-322-7076
Kelvin was born in southeastern Kentucky and started toward a career in the arts at the age of 3 when dance became a part of his life. He explored the arts worlds of dance, theatre, music and painting but found himself forever pulled back to his passion for movement.
Kelvin has taught in the Vanderbilt Dance Program since 1994 and as Assistant Director of the program since 2009. He has his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Morehead State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography and Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Kelvin has worked professionally in Theatre, Film and Dance as a performer, choreographer, director, and costume designer since the age of 5 and enjoys all aspects of the Arts. He was a member of Tennessee Dance Theatre for several years and danced with Acme Moving Company and Searching For New Dances in the Middle Tennessee area as well as his own company Shards Dance Project. As an actor he has appeared on stage with the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Cherokee Historical Association, Circle Players, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre and TV shows “One Tree Hill” and CMT countdown. Kelvin has had over 100 choreographic works performed on stages throughout the United States.
He has taught Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Auditioning Techniques, Dance Appreciation, Musical Theatre History and many other courses at colleges, studios and universities throughout the southeast United States, including Vanderbilt University for 18 years and Middle Tennessee State University and Cumberland University as well as Aesthetic Education for Nashville Institute of the Arts, and Wolftrap Early Childhood Education through the arts.
“I love exploring the world through the arts be it movement, theatre, painting, designing or building, I learn more about myself and my space in the world.” “Creating is Life and Life is Creating.”
David Heustess | Assistant Director for Visual Arts | firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-343-0491
David says that he knew when he was eight years that he wanted to be an artist; he just didn’t know how to tell anyone. His actual journey in the arts began with musical theater in high school. While studying theater and dance at Appalachian State University, he began to realize that he was being cast more as a dancer. So he focused his training on modern dance and in 1982 began performing with a company in Charlotte, NC under the direction of choreographer Mary Ann Mee. For six years David danced as a soloist in original works choreographed by Mee and other nationally recognized choreographers, plus the repertory works by Doris Humphreys and Charles Weidman. A highlight in David’s dance career is being involved in the first restaging of Weidman’s Christmas Oratorio. He also attended two summers at the prestigious American Dance Festival at Duke University on scholarship. In 1988, David moved to Nashville to join the Tennessee Dance Theater. This opportunity not only allowed him to continue to perform and choreograph, but also was the catalyst for his training in visual arts.
After studying pottery in Nashville area art programs, David attended the Appalachian Center for Crafts and in 1995 completed his BFA degree with concentrations in clay and fiber arts. David began teaching clay classes at Sarratt Art Studios and became director of the program in the spring of 2004. David has a passion for arts education and brings an array of educational experiences to Sarratt Art Studios from his involvement in various nationally known arts programs from the Lincoln Center for the Arts and Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.
David has exhibited his work locally in various fairs and events including the American Artisan Festival, and artclectic. David is working on a series of sculptural beaded vessels. An avid traveler, David has been site leader for two trips to Sri Lanka for Vanderbilt students. If he was not a visual artist, David is fairly confident he would be involved in culinary arts (who doesn’t love to eat?) and dreams of working in a small pastry shop in Paris, France.
Cindy Young | Assistant Director, Special Art Initiatives | email@example.com | 615-322-7077
Cindy is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey. She graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has a keen ability and strength to understand the needs and desires of young adults. As a result, she continues to build an impressive service-oriented career in student programming, community outreach and arts development at Vanderbilt for over 16 years.
As Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, Cindy works with more than 20 student performing arts groups as the liaison for the University to the Nashville community in arts and service opportunities. She provides mentorship to Vanderbilt’s undergraduate/graduate students and helps them navigates the extracurricular activities that drive scholastic achievement and interpersonal relationships.
In addition to her role as Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, she serves as the Artistic and Founding Director for Rhythm & Roots Performance Company on campus. Since its creation in 1994, Cindy has passionately invested in the organization, taking hundreds of students and supporters on a journey of self- exploration and community awareness through dance and drama. Along with the student performers, Cindy crafts original storylines through journaling using mediums such as song, dance, and poetry. The end result is an original theatrical production featuring the students’ talent, time and technique. She is not merely an advisor to the organization, but a mentor introducing today’s youth to meaningful forms of expression, making formidable and lasting relationships with tomorrow’s leaders while maintaining a connection to her artistic interest.
Cindy has taken the group to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to perform at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, as well as performances with world-renowned saxophone players, Kirk Whalum and David Sanborn.
From her years as a core dancer with the Teaneck Terpsichoreans, she knew she wanted to combine her love of the arts with the education of students and those in the community. The dance group traveled all over the country, performing at venues such as Rutgers University, Farleigh Dickinson University, University of Connecticut, Boston College, North Carolina A&T and even the world-renowned Cotton Club and Apollo Theater in New York City. Cindy’s early experiences and exposure from performing with this group were priceless and the reason why Rhythm & Roots was created.
Cindy is passionate about the performing arts and community action, using both to develop Vanderbilt’s students into the next generation of engaging community leaders. It is through her skill and guidance that Vanderbilt students understand the power of positive investment and community engagement.
Maryann Augustine Rainey | ACE Graduate Assistant, CCRF Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryann is a first year master’s student at Peabody specializing in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Communication from The Ohio State University in 2009, and worked as a proposal writer for Nationwide Insurance, and Huntington National Bank in Columbus. She got married in July 2012, and moved to Nashville with her husband, Rian. She enjoys traveling, cooking, photography and great conversations.
David Krenz | ACE Design Team Student Manager | email@example.com | 615-875-0611
David is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Arts and Science and plans to graduate in 2014. He is planning on double majoring in Studio Art as well as music. David runs the day-to-day operations of the student design team, ACE Design, as the student manager. He hopes to pursue a career in the graphic design or marketing sectors upon graduation. David is a saxophone player in the Spirit of Gold marching band as well as a sister in the Eta Phi chapter of Tau Beta Sigma at Vanderbilt University.