Emmy Fansler – Program Director
Emmy Fansler dances, teaches, and choreographs from a core belief in the transformative power of dance. A relative latecomer to dance, Emmy began intensive ballet training at the age of fifteen and has since developed a unique style based on interpersonal connection. She persistently defies the exclusionary paradigm of the ballet world, creating radically inclusive dance spaces and choreographing to highlight each dancer’s unique story and strengths. She hopes to teach compassion, connection, and creativity through dance, knowing it has the ability to break down barriers and build communities. Emmy has experienced first-hand the life changing effects of dance, and her gratitude shines brightly in her teaching style.
Alison Herron – Executive Director
Alison Herron is known throughout Snohomish County as a long-time dance & musical theatre instructor / choreographer, choral director, event coordinator, and performer. She is co-owner of Applause Studio (Mill Creek), where she spent many years as Director & Performance Team Coach. Two terms of service with AmeriCorps & Workforce Snohomish as a Youth Career Navigator gave thousands of county high-schoolers a chance to learn from her in their classrooms, including several affiliated with Denney Juvenile Justice Ctr. These worlds came together in early 2017, when she spearheaded the birth of the Arts with a Purpose program inside Denney’s detention unit, where she is now happily employed as a para educator.
Marissa Lautenslager takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development. She intuitively sees the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, brings them together, helps others extend their thinking, and drives positive change. She is a leader who uses the stories of others to inspire action and at the same time she is grounded in her project management skills that will help the organization realize success. Marissa has worked in non-profit healthcare for many years and brings her experience of fundraising, event planning, and overseeing large-scale projects to Arts with a Purpose. She is excited to be on the board and looks forward to supporting the mission and expanding the programs so more youth can be impacted by building positive relationships through the arts.
Tori Campbell has over 8 years of experience supporting and advancing the mission of Nonprofit organizations. Her love for nonprofit work started when she was a student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis working toward a degree in performance psychology. Throughout these years she worked for various nonprofits, working within operations and development roles to advance their unique missions. She fell in love with the passion of these organizations and their vision for their communities. After graduating, she started her own business, F.U.S.E. Dance Collaboration, a business founded on the principles of Love, Acceptance, and Integrity, dedicated to creating opportunities and unifying artists throughout the northwest. During this time, she continued her work in nonprofit development and marketing for a large nonprofit in Boise, ID. After receiving an offer to move to Seattle, she sold her company and is now working for a Seattle nonprofit in their advancement and development department. Tori is excited and humbled to have the opportunity to advance and support the mission and vision of Arts with A Purpose, working to progress the important work done by the organization!
Ian Terry brings a passion for the arts, an ongoing drive to enhance the community for all and tangible work experience in finance to help further the AWP mission. Ian has spent the last 12 years leading finance and analytics teams in a large Seattle based technology company. Born and raised in Ohio, Ian holds a Bachelors in Mathematics (West Virginia University) and earned his MBA in 2006 at the University of Virginia (Darden). Along with his 3 daughters and Lab-Dane, he’s experienced life across the United States and 3 years in Switzerland. Outside of work, you’ll likely find Ian with his daughters (most often at their 2nd home at the dance studio), at a yoga studio (practices 4-5 times per week, and currently in teacher’s training) or out exploring the mountains. Ian initially joined AWP as an early donor and is now excited and honored to be a part of the board.
Karl Watson has spent much of his life working in the arts, specifically dance and dance education. Currently, Karl dances professionally with Whim W’him, a Seattle-based contemporary dance company. He also serves as the company’s Rehearsal Coordinator. Karl also teaches dance throughout the Seattle area to students from age 5 to 65. Prior to moving to Seattle three years ago, Karl lived and worked in Chicago for four years. Karl worked at Visceral Dance Chicago. He was a member of the company and served as Associate Director of the Studio Company and faculty for the school. Karl continues to work with a number of dance schools across the country as well as a nation dance competition, VIP Dance. Karl has been a guest teacher at George Mason University and Loyola University Chicago. Karl attended Butler University in Indianapolis, graduating in 2012 with a B.F.A. cum laude in Dance Performance. He is grateful to be part of the Arts with a Purpose board and looks forward to supporting the organization’s growth.
Mari Engel received her early training at Makie Naoi Ballet School. During her Ballet studies, Mari was accepted to a prestigious performing arts academy in Tokyo where she studied acting and theater, and majored in dance. After leaving the performing arts academy, she joined Nakura Kayoko Jazz Dance Company, performing as a dancer with several well-known artists on the stage, in concerts, and on television. She went on to meet Kazco Takamoto and was a founding member of the modern dance company Dance Venus. While a member of Dance Venus she performed at several Concurso De Dance, and performed professionally on stage and television. Continuing her studies in modern dance’s Martha Graham technique, Mari traveled to Germany to study with the Wurzberg Dance Theater, where she also performed. Mari then moved to Pensacola Florida where she became active with Ballet and Modern dance with Kaleidoscope under the famed Dorothy Lister. While with Kaleidoscope and Ballet Pensacola she performed Lester Horton- and Martha Graham-inspired pieces. Mari went on to form SWERVE, a modern dance company that toured throughout the south. Returning to Japan, she was the sole dance contractor for all Naval Forces Japan Morale Welfare and Recreation. Since moving to Seattle, Washington, Mari has studied ballet under Elaine Bauer. Mari teaches and continues to choreograph for local dance studios and has choreographed and performed with a collaboration of local Seattle dancers in the Converge Dance festival, Northwest Children’s Festival, and in a Seattle Dancers Collaboration “Standing in the Storm.” When in Japan, Mari continues to perform with Dance Venus and has produced shows for visiting dancers from the United States. She has an undying passion for dance and loves bringing that passion to her students.