AIMEE ORTIZ LOW

Arts Director

Aimee is a writer, actress, director, artist, musician, and graphic designer. While in college Aimee toured locally around California as a stand-up comedian.  She performed in many comedy venues including the world-famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. After completing school she began working as an event promoter, which led her to form a band for which she was singer and songwriter. Her band received much recognition from the college radio circuit, rotation on Fuse TV, and was featured in television shows on both Lifetime and Discovery Channels. 
More recently, Aimee served on the board of directors for Orange Park Community Theatre, at which she had the privilege of producing and directing several shows. She has also performed in children's theatre at the Jewish Community Alliance Jacksonville, and at other local theatres including Theatre Jacksonville, ABET, and The 5 and Dime. She currently writes and performs with the sketch comedy troupe Awkward Silence Jax. On her days off she enjoys painting, drawing, reading, and travel with her six-year-old son Jonas. She is excited to bring her love of the arts to Riverside Children's Arts Center. 

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GEORGE HAWKINS

Acting | Art

George graduated with a degree in theatre acting from Florida School of The Arts. He has worked with the Jewish Community Alliance of Jacksonville as an acting instructor, and children's theatre performer, and as an acting coach for students of Bishop Snyder High School. George also lends his talents to many theatre and film projects. In George's class, your children will learn to use their voice, movement, and expressions to create fun characters, and build confidence, poise, and self-esteem. Students will perform on stage for the Fall Showcase. 

ARVID SMITH

Guitar | Ukulele

A college music major, Arvid co-authored a best-selling book on acoustic slide guitar for Mel Bay Publications (Contemporary Slide Guitar pub. 1976 and a seller for 26 years)  With partner Lee Hunter, Arvid formed the alt-folk band Tammerlin in 1993. For the next 16 years, Tammerlin toured the US and Europe, receiving wide acclaim for their folk-inspired sound.

Kate McManus

Fitness & Fun | Crafting | Aerobics

Kate is an enthusiastic and multifaceted instructor with an extensive background in creative arts. She graduated from FSU with a dual-degree in Theatre and Media Production and spent six years in Los Angeles working as an Art Department production assistant and a certified group fitness instructor. Kate taught Drama in the Duval County Public School system for three years to both middle and high school students and continues to share her love of the arts with children as a teaching artist with ArtLife Studios. Kate is looking forward to having fun, staying healthy, and making cool stuff at the Riverside Children’s Arts Center in 2020!

JENNIFER JOHNSTON

Ballet | Tap

Jennifer is excited to teach tap for the Riverside Children's Arts Center!  Jennifer began her love of tap at age 4, and continued studying tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and musical theatre through college.  She has performed, competed, and choreographed routines for studios and theatres throughout Florida and Georgia.  She was a member of the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe in Gainesville, Florida and performed at the University of Florida's Gator Growl - the world's largest student pep rally.  Locally, she has performed at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, White Christmas, and Crazy For You.  Other credits include La Cage Aux Folles, Beehive!, Bloody, Bloody, Andrew Jackson, Memphis, and A Streetcar Named Desire. 

MARCO MELENDEZ

Strings

Marco Melendez is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Jacksonville University. He is a graduate of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Orchestra Program. While attending, he taught stringed instruments to middle and elementary school students. Marco has over ten years of experience and has performed in many community events around Jacksonville. In Marco’s class, children learn basic string techniques, music theory, music history, and fun songs. He is looking forward to seeing everyone in the fall! 

The Riverside Children's Arts Center

2841 Riverside Avenue | Jacksonville, FL 32205

904.389.1751  |  www.riversidechildrensartscenter.org

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