Episode 1: Nina Silver and Jen Maxcy

 

Open Admission Episode 1

nina-headshotNINA SILVER is the Head of Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Nina balances life as a museum educator, actor, puppeteer and mom. She was born and raised in New York City and now calls Los Angeles home with her husband and 2 kids.  Nina has a B.A. in Theatre and Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. Prior to her work at the Skirball, Nina was a teaching artist in L.A. area schools for Pre-K through 6th grade students. She is a longtime actor and theater creator with the award-winning Rogue Artists Ensemble, a multi-disciplinary theatre and puppetry company. Off-Broadway, Nina has appeared with PTP/NYC at Atlantic Stage 2, the NY Fringe Festival, and Theatre for the New City. In L.A. she has appeared at the Getty Villa, South Coast Repertory, L.A. Theatre Center, Pasadena Playhouse and many, many more. Bringing people together to share stories in eye-opening ways is a passion and priority in her life.


jen-headshotJEN MAXCY
 is currently the Head of Family Programs and Community Engagement at Skirball Cultural Center where she develops and manages educational programs for family audiences connecting to a wide range of exhibition content.  With a mission to inspire wonder and create connections between and across communities, Jen’s work spans from managing a drop-in art studio, an outdoor archaeology dig, a weekend program for pre-k children and families, large family festivals like The Skirball Puppet Festival, to programming a summer amphitheater series.  Prior to her role as Head of Family Programs, Jen worked for three years as the Associate Educator in Family Programs at The Skirball where she gained experience in developing curriculum as a museum educator.  The path leading to the Skirball for Jen was paved with many years as a professional actor in Boston, New York and Los Angeles—doing theater in countless little houses, acting in dozens of commercials, and a handful of independent film projects.  Along the way Jen discovered a love of jewelry design and operated her own company (Jen Maxcy Designs) where she handcrafted every piece.  Rounding out Jen’s work experience over the last decade was a stint as PTA President of Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica where she oversaw a budget and programs that helped to fund arts and enrichment programs.  Jen lives in Santa Monica with her two children, Benjamin (14) and Juliette (12), her partner Timm and his son Gear (13), their two doggies. and one rabbit.

Meet Your Hosts

 

JENNY GILLETT is an educator and actor with a strong performance background in puppetry and movement.  As an educator, she focuses on teaching through the arts, and is especially interested in causes rooted in humanitarian work, world cultures, and social justice.  She currently works as the Lead Early Childhood Educator at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.  Previously, she has held positions at the Skirball Cultural Center where she planned and facilitated the award-winning Build A Better World School Program, in Los Angeles Unified School District as a Teaching Artist through East LA Classic Theatre, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County where she developed and presented educational curriculum using performance and puppetry, and at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum where she operated a life-sized Saber Toothed Cat puppet built by the Jim Henson Creature Shop.  In addition, she teaches kid’s yoga, is a proud member of Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Theatre at New York University.  jennygillett.com

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Photo by Troy Blendell

 

 ZOE SILVERMAN is a museum educator in Los Angeles. As Specialist for University Audiences at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, she designs and coordinates programs for student and campus audiences, including the gallery educator program, internships, student organizations, and class visits. She has worked as an educator and program coordinator at a variety of arts institutions, including the Skirball Cultural Center, the Bakalar & Paine Galleries at MassArt, and the Harvard Art Museums. Recently, she received her Masters in Learning and Visitor Studies in Museums and Galleries from the University of Leicester. In prior lives, she was a medieval historian and a high school teacher. These days, she is thinking about mindful approaches to arts education, social-emotional learning, and object-based instruction. She blogs (occasionally) at Wandering EMP.

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Photo by Tim and Jess Rodriguez