Y-Arts is comprised of a team of Artist Educators, professionals who are as committed to our community as they are their art.
MARGARET EDWARTOWSKI—Director of Arts
A local actor, director, improviser, playwright and teacher, Margaret has dedicated the last fifteen years to arts education and cultivation in Detroit. She graduated Wayne State University with a BFA in acting and immediately went on to join the resident cast of The Second City Detroit where she performed/wrote for three years downtown and later another year when the theatre moved to Novi. Margaret created an improv program (Planet Ant Improv Colony) at Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck where she has been on staff for over ten years. Joining Y Arts in 2007 as an improv teacher, Margaret gained a passion for youth development through the arts and became Director of Arts in January of 2011.
STEVIE ‘SOUL’ ANSARA – Musician and Designer
Stevie Soul’s shows are filled with more “oohs” and “ahhs” than you can expect to hear at any Las Vegas magic show. His unique and dynamic vocal performance always draws audiences to the edges of their chairs, no matter where he performs. Maybe that’s what happens when you mix live percussion, scat singing, blues, and soul all into the same vocal box. Stevie’s records are equally impressive. Stevie holds a degree in Fine Arts from the International Academy of Design. His music and designs have featured and been published in reputable media outlets such as Fox News, Channel 955, Detroit News, Metro Times and more. Stevie also teaches Music & Movement for the YArts Outreach Program; which was designed for K – 12 and encompasses experiments in rhythm, sound, movement and dance, body instruments and voice. www.steviesoul.com
NATHANIEL MULLEN – photography
Nathaniel attended the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Admitted on a photography portfolio, his studies evolved to include a wide array of media and subject matter, ranging from utility-focused ceramics and social events to printmaking and gender dynamics. After finishing his BFA at the University, Nathaniel enrolled in the Michigan AmeriCorps Partnership (MAP) placed in the Visual Arts Department of the Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor Teen Center. He spent the year redeveloping the digital arts program, expanding the exhibitions program, and broadening community outreach. Two of the largest projects included a week-long service-learning project in Detroit and an exhibition titled Frame of Mind, which collaborated with the Depression Center at the University of Michigan to bring light on issues surrounding youth mental health
BYRON NEMELA—Pottery Artist
A graduate of the University of Michigan Fine Arts Program, Byron Nemela has established a ceramics program in YArts for all ages. He has studied at the New York State College of Ceramics, trained in Germany, and researched Southwest Native American pottery. Byron is also an instructor at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
JOYE OPOKU OFEI—Visual Artist
A native of Ghana, West Africa, Joye Opoku Ofei teaches multi media arts to the YArts after school program students as well as West African clothing design to adults. His works are on display at the Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit, and at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
JOHN OPIO – Artist and Musician
A native of Uganda, John has been a fine artist and macramé specialist all his life. He is a trained Screen Printer and plays African music. John decorated the tables in the lobby of the BOLL family YMCA and is an honorary member of Y Arts.
BOBBI THOMPSON—Deep River Choir Director
A longtime singer and musician on the Detroit scene, Bobbi Thompson leads the 35 member YMCA Deep River Choir. She has recorded with many of Detroit’s finest musicians and performs at services in Central United Methodist Church.