*Alessandra Mantovani (Co-Director, Teaching Artist) is an enthusiastic jewelry designer, linguist, cook, and camp counselor! She has finished her studies at Concordia University, studying design. In addition to having assisted with workshops at Pyramid Atlantic, ArtSpring, and at Gala Artisans, Alessandra has worked as an event coordinator and camp counselor, and loves to get creative when it comes to camp games and crafts. Alessandra speaks French, Spanish and is currently learning Italian. She was among one of the first graduates from Sligo Creek Elementary School’s French Immersion program, and it was her collage-painting that was selected from Christina Campo’s 5th grade art class as the artwork for Carpe Diem’s concert poster for “Songs of Hope and Freedom.” Alessandra learned Spanish while living in Puerto Rico and continued her studies throughout high school. This is Alessandra’s fifth year working with Carpe Diem Arts Camp and she looks forward to another great experience!
*Binta Coulibaly (co-director) is an undergraduate student at Columbia University and she loves all things arts-related. She has participated in several Carpe Diem events in the past few years and has loved every art-filled and fun-packed moment! Since 2006, Binta has been an active member of the Lumina Studio Theater company as an ensemble member and an assistant director, and has participated in over 20 productions. In addition to being a Carpe Diem counselor, Binta has also worked at the Lumina Summerstock camp, and the Trawick-funded Camp Wings project with Class Acts Arts. She is a graduate of the SCES French Immersion program, and has spent 8 years, including a month spent in Costa Rica, learning Spanish. Binta’s family is from Senegal and Ivory Coast, and she loves sharing and her culture. Binta’s specialty is theater and movement games, and she can’t wait to work with campers again this summer!
*Busy Graham (Founder/Director, Carpe Diem Arts) began her career in the arts first as a teacher of music and dance in Vermont, North Carolina and overseas, next as founder/director of Five Corners Music, an international artist management and booking agency, and then in the non-profit arts arena. While serving as the executive director of the Institute of Musical Traditions (1992-1995), Busy founded Class Acts Arts, an arts outreach organization which currently works with over 100 artists, bringing more than 2,200 programs each year to 300,000+ children and youth, seniors, and special needs populations throughout Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia. During her 10 years as founder/director of Class Acts Arts, she launched numerous initiatives including Project Youth ArtReach (serving youth in detention and correctional settings), Carpe Diem Choral Arts Residency Project (a cross-cultural, multi-generational workshop and performance-based program), Jump Start with the Arts (outreach to pre-school age children and teachers), and several public performance series. Busy also co-founded the international arts management agency, Class Acts on Tour. She is a founding board member of Lumina Studio Theatre, and serves on the advisory board of the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation (AIRF). In 2011, she launched the AIRF Youth ArtBeat Summer Weeks. As the founding director of Carpe Diem Arts, she continues to facilitate workshops, community dances, and song gatherings, along with visual, literary and performing arts retreats and residencies on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in the D.C. area. Awards include the Montgomery County Community Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities and a Certificate of Honor from the Smithsonian Discovery Theater for a “Legacy of 20 Years of Excellence in Service to the Arts and Education of Young People.” In 2013 Busy received the County Executive’s Award for “Lifetime Impact” c/o the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.