Arts Alive is an educational non-profit 501(c)3 organization

About Us


Kings and Clowns, Inc. 501(c)3 DBA Arts Alive provides fundamental arts education and
performance opportunities to young people in music and the performing arts.  Every effort is made to ensure
that every child has access to quality arts education in our community, in schools and after school.  (c) 2000

Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson has a wide experience teaching woodwind and guitar students of all ages under the master teacher Phil Sobel, whose legacy she continues. She performs in different venues ranging from theatres to rock clubs. She played on a wide range of recordings including Chester Whitmore’s Opus One to Texas Terri Bomb. Miss Jennifer attended San Francisco Art Institute and is a fine artist also.

Sofya Ershova, Dance

Sofya Ershova grew up in Russia, where she began her training with Contemporary Ballet Theater “Steps”. She extensively trained in ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz. After successfully touring in Russia, Sofya participated in various modern dance competitions across Japan. Sofya took part in an International dance program at Broadway Dance Center where she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip-Hop and Street Jazz. Sofya is an accomplished dancer and teacher and has led several through several successful dance competitions.

Michael Sevilla

Michael Sevilla is a professional musician who has been educating all age levels and skill sets in both New York and California over the last five years. Michael studied Music Education at SUNY Fredonia as a classical guitarist and has performed with various rock bands, quartets, musicals, and worship groups on both local and international stages. In addition to his multi-genre performance background, Michael has taught Rock, Jazz, Classical, and Blues guitar programs at Covenant House California, Extreme Drum & Guitar School (NY), and to students of his own private studio. Michael is a dedicated educator with a passion for inspiring every student to love guitar!

Josanne Hutchinson, Drama

Ms. Josanne is an acclaimed actress, playwright, teaching artist and poet. This Jamaican born multi-talented artist is a NAACP Awards winner for Best Solo Show, which she wrote and performed. Ms. Josanne was a member of the New York City touring ensemble, Family Life Theater, where she toured for three years uplifting youth through acting and has inspired youth through the performing arts since 2009. Josanne is a graduate from the prestigious Acting Studio Conservatory in New York. Through teaching and performing her work transcends age, ethnicity and speaks to the heart of humanity.

Marisol Williams, Polynesian Dance

Marisol Williams first began learning Polynesian dance at the age of 11 and since then she has performed at a multitude of events including competitions, festivals, and weddings. She has choreographed award winning performances and has had years of experience teaching the distinct techniques of Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tahitian to a wide range of students. She is currently part of a mainly Tahitian dance group known as Te Varua Ori where she assists with Samoan choreography as well as designs and fabricates costumes for productions. Outside of dance, Marisol attends California State University Long Beach as an undergraduate pursing a degree in Civil Engineering.

Alfonso Pimentel, Woodwinds

For Al Pimentel, music was always a part of his everyday life since he came from a family of musicians. He started his formal musical studies at El Camino College he had picked up other instruments along the way that were not in the woodwind family such as Euphonium, Trombone, and Tuba. A versatile musician, Mr. Pimentel has had the pleasure to work in a variety of musicals where he has been able to show his range by being featured on saxophone, flute and clarinet. Mr. Pimentel enjoys teaching children and adults of all ages and levels. He has experience teaching both classical and jazz.

Elizabeth Gaydowski, Visual Art

Elizabeth has shared her love art with the children of San Pedro since 2005 by conducting art lessons in public schools through the volunteer group Art To Grow On. She has served as a docent, school coordinator, and board member. Elizabeth obtained her degree in Art Education from Cal State Long Beach in 1991 and has also worked on the retail side of the art industry.

Pashyo Sarkin, Drums & Percussion

Pashyo Sarkin has been a drum enthusiast, teacher and performer for 30 years. She is specializing in West African rhythms that are played as interlocking patterns of supporting drums, solo drum, bell and bass patterns. But her love for rhythm and drumming also includes Brazilian and Cuban rhythms and general drum kit technique. She performs with her world music band ‘SangomaBeat’.

Caitlin Olsen, Strings

Caitlin Olsen began playing viola at age 10. She holds a BA in music from Pomona College and a Master of Music in viola performance from the University of Redland. Caitlin has performed as a member of the Redlands Symphony and the Scripps Music Festival Orchestra in Austria. Caitlin’s true passion, however, lies in music education. She teaches group violin classes for elementary-aged students through several programs and she believes that studying music goes well beyond the notes on the page, and challenges her students to consistently practice creativity, community, and personal integrity.

Kathleen Jequinto, Business Development

Kathleen Jequinto graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a major in Communication and Ethnomusicology. She began taking piano at the age of 7, competing in international festivals for performing arts at age 14. Currently she is a vocalist for the “Fabulous Esquires Big Band” and teaches at her elementary school alma mater

Corey Watkins

Corey Watkins recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University Dominguez Hills. Currently he is a working musician who plays keyboard and tenor saxophone with real doctors in The Dr Dr Band, originating in north San Diego County. He has also been a musical director and voice coach for numerous shows in the central coast of California. Having been trained in Jazz music, Corey has performed for Dave Brubeck and Clint Eastwood in conjunction with the Monterey Jazz Festival. He hopes to be an ambassador for the arts and to encourage music as a language with which people can continue to develop their own voices..

James Gallo, Drama

James earned his MFA in Theater from UCLA after finishing his service in the US Army. He’s worked professionally with numerous Theaters across the country including: Geffen Playhouse, Theatricum Botanicum, Los Angeles Theater Center, Connecticut Repertory Theater, and The Hartford Stage. He is a passionate teacher, actor and director who feels most at home on his feet in motion. Most recently, he has appeared on Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers as a guest star. James is very grateful for the opportunity to join the Arts Alive Family this summer!

Naju Kim, Guitar & Keyboard

Naju is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. He has taught piano and guitar privately for over 7 years and have experience with all ages. He is very excited to share his teaching with Arts Alive students!

Diana Banh, Production Assistant/LA County Intern

Diana is a senior at California State University, Long Beach studying design with a minor in film. She is originally from San Diego, where she discovered her love for artistic expression in her early years. During this time, she performed in show choir, musicals, and plays in and outside of school. Once she began college, she narrowed her focus to the production aspect of theater and now has the pleasure of playing a part behind the curtains of Peter Pan!

Matthew Insco, Ukulele & Guitar

Matthew has been teaching guitar and music both privately and in groups for 8 years. He studied at Columbia College Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Contemporary, Urban and Pop Music. Matthew enjoys teaching in the styles of pop, rock, bossa nova, classical, funk and acoustic fingerstyle. Students are always encouraged to create their own music and melodies through his songwriting exercises. Currently, Matthew performs locally in solo acoustic guitar sets and accompanies singers with original music. He is excited to join the Arts Alive team!

Cheryl-Lynn Salamanca, Keyboard

Keyboard instructor Miss Cheryl-Lynn Salamanca has studied piano, voice, and violin since childhood. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Oregon State University, specializing in Choral Studies and Choral Conducting.

Jamie Carr, Dance

Jamie Carr earned her BFA in Dance from CSU Long Beach as a Magna Cum Laude. She has been teaching since 2012 in ballet, modern, jazz and composition for students young and old. Ms. Jamie is an avid performer and artist who enjoys sharing her love for dance with beginners, intermediates and building toward performances. She is excited to bring the arts to Maria Regina through ballet and jazz dance!

Jordan Walton, Drama and Dance

Jordan grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona where she started dancing and acting at age 6. After receiving her high school diploma at New School For The Arts And Academics she moved out to Los Angeles to fuller her education in the arts. She received her BFA in Dance Theater at AMDA and has been teaching ever since. Jordan is excited to share all that she has learned with our students.

Jenny Chun, Strings

Jennifer Chun is a cellist and multi-talented teaching and performing artist who has written, produced, and directed shows and events throughout Southern California. She is also a working actor whose work includes television, film and theatre. She has a deep love for music, creativity and the performing arts. Mrs. Chun has been teaching music, violin and cello for over 20 years through private and group programs throughout Los Angeles.

Debbie Wastling, Artistic Director

Debbie moved to LA sixteen years ago and has worked extensively in colleges and schools around the area. Grounded in the classics, she holds qualifications with LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) together with a BA and MA in Theatre and Educational Drama. She believes every school age student should have access to quality music and arts training and to that end, she formed Kings and Clowns in 1999 and Arts Alive in 2004.