Our Profiles


Leonard Epps

Leonard Epps

Leonard Epps is a 1991 Yaboo Rites Of Passage Initiate who has been an educator in Hartford Public Schools for the past 32 years. He specializes in African/African American history and percussion.


Reynolds Jr

Scholars were given pre/final assessments on retaining and understanding of proper fundamentals, techniques, and different styles with Hip Hop Dance. Scholars showcased what they’ve learned during special school performances and end of year examinations


Jaeme Brennan McDonald

Jaeme Brennan McDonald is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and music production engineer. Jaeme received his bachelor’s degree in music production from Berklee College of Music, and is a teaching artist at the CREC Academy of the Arts Middle School and recording instructor for Capital Community College Continuing Education. Mr. McDonald has toured internationally with blues dub project Little Axe, and has worked with a myriad of established regional and national acts including The Bandshes, Tang Sauce, Jeff Pitchell, Unlocking the Truth and Doug Wimbish (bassist of Living Colour). He writes and performs music under the stage name JME Strchild, and was also the founder and musical director of Purple Luscious Love, a tribute to the music ofPrince from 2017 to 2019.

Priscilla Machado-Daniels

Priscilla Machado-Daniels’ life was transformed in 2006 when she was lead back to dance. She graduated in 2005 with a M.ED. in Psychology/Higher Education from Springfield College in pursuit of a promising career in sciences and higher education. After a 10-year hiatus from studying dance, she felt she had to return. Performing arts is an amazing tool to connect and share with all people. Her dance background includes training at Neighborhood Music School, Isadora Duncan Dance Company, Broadway Dance Center, Matthew Westerby Dance Company in New York, local community dance programs, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Central Connecticut State University Dance department, and the Morning Glory Christian Dance Academy . She has also studied Horton technique for seven years under the mentorship of Freddie Moore Faculty at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

Lynda Costen

Born and raised in Hartford, CT, I was active in church, school, sports and music (vocal &instrumental). While in elementary and junior high school my teachers taught me academic discipline and the importance of a varied education.  I sang in choirs and played in school orchestras.

 Upon graduation from HPHS, with honors, I attended Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences receiving a BA in Psychology and later a MBA from the University of Hartford College of Business.  Professionally, I was employed in computer analysis, then in community and economic development, and partner in a hot air ballooning company.

 My parents were entrepreneurs, owning their own business in the Northend of Hartford for whom I worked on weekends and summers until age 14.  They loved and provided many things for my older brothers and me.

My summers  were spent riding my bike around the city finding playgrounds playing board games, tennis, swimming and mentoring younger children taking them to concerts, museums and teaching them how to play sports, dance, design and sew clothes  for dolls and singing groups.  

As a Connecticut Valley Scout brownie, then a girl scout when I was very involved in community outreach, fundraising and making toys for children in the hospital.   I was trained as a Candy Striper at Hartford Hospital and learned about many careers in healthcare. Presently, it is a rewarding experience volunteering at the Artists Collective.

Jay North

Jay studied Piano performance, composition, instrumentation, orchestration and Music History at the Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Ct. where he was a was a Music Theory Major. He was trained in Youth Ministry through Young Life of Greater Hartford and taught music at The Master’s School in West Simsbury, Ct.                                                                             

Jay has directed music at Catholic, Presbyterian and Congregational churches for over 35 years and continues to train and lead youth and adults in vocal and instrumental performances for regular worship services. He also continues to teach keyboard and guitar at the Artist’s Collective, Hartford where hundreds of his students perform many of his own arrangements of popular music every year.

Terri Morrison

Teri Morrison offering Crafts including:
– Painting
– Sewing
– Braiding
– Theatre production and design
– Floral designing


Stanwyck E. Cromwell

I am a Guyanese-born contemporary visual artist, and a retired adjunct art professor, who have lived and worked in the United States of America, for the vast majority of my adult life. Despite my lengthy absence from my country of origin, my memories of Guyana, are rich and abundant, but the most striking, are the physical, and aesthetics distances, between the cultures of Guyana and the United States of America. A visual kaleidoscope from this exotic place is referenced in my art. These references serve as visual footnotes to my artmaking practice, by allowing me a rich palette of sights to draw from. Saturated colors, patterns and textures reveal themselves in my collages, sculptures, paintings and drawings. Sometimes my subject matter is abstract forms, while other artworks are about self.


Jackie Bright

Jewelry designer/teaching artist, creating wearable art, Also teaching mixed media visual arts. Instructing participants in creating beautiful jewelry, decoupaged jewelry boxes, journals, and vision boards. These are all hands-on activities offered to children of all ages.


Ledisi Love Johnson

Jewelry designer/teaching artist, creating wearable art, Also teaching mixed media visual arts. Ledisi Love Johnson is a healthcare administrator and resilience coach, who has been working as an anti-racist healer and cultural educator for over fifteen years. In addition to being a proud nurse, her work includes results-driven group & individual coaching, arts education, organizational leadership development, and healthcare education and advocacy

She is a licensed practical nurse and holds a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration. She is a certified Results Coach through Spencer Institute and is pursuing a master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Social & Behavioral Sciences, Trauma & Resiliency.


Dr. Joseph Jones

tate of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation, recognition for the outstanding work in making the “Fourth for the Kids Benefit” a reality

Proclamation from the mayor of Windsor, CT, Mary K. Drost

Proclamation from the mayor of Hartford, CT, Michael Peters, declaring the First Friday of December of each year as “Windsor School of Self Defense Youth Appreciation Day”

The Archer Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church Community Service Award

Business/Community partnership with the Hartford School System and Director of Martial Arts after school program.

World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee 1994

Board member of the World Sokeship Council

World Union Martial Arts Hall of Fame Nominee 1995

World Christian Martial Arts Hall of Fame Nominee 1995

Appointed Commissioner over the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Karate Tournament 1995

Member of the Chamber of Commerce of Windsor

Member of the Business Alliance Association

Former Vice President of U.A.W.

Former Union Steward of U.A.W.

Certified U.A.W. Bargaining Representative

Certified Cable Television Director (WINTV-Community Television)

Teach special security officers of churches

Teach special police officers

Director of Windsor Police Athletic League (P.A.L.)

Traveled to South Africa and London, England, as assistant coach for kickboxing competitors Traveled to Trinidad, W.I., Canada, and throughout the United States with many children who competed in Martial Arts tournaments, and who had the great opportunity of meeting other children from various countries


Sylvia D. Reid

Our summer vocal instructor is Sylvia D. Reid, a Connecticut attorney and community activist. She comes to the Artists Collective as a professionally trained vocalist and pianist. She has over 20 years of directing choirs, and more recent years of writing, recording and producing music. She is an award winning script writer and has years of television and short movie production and acting. She is passionate about supporting and inspiring youth to be successful and excel at being the best persons they can be. She served the AC in previous years and is grateful to be back home working with the young people.