Staff Biographies


Ingrid Zimmer  |  Executive Director

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Ingrid holds a BA from Pomona College in Dance/Theater and has been in the vanguard of early learning through the arts in the Washington, DC area for over two decades. During her 10 year tenure as the Director of the Dance Department at the National Cathedral School and St. Albans Ingrid was also a Teaching Artist with Wolf Trap’s Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. As one of ICIC’s founding teaching artists, Ingrid was instrumental in developing ICIC’s centerpiece program, Dancing with Books. While she continues to work with teachers and children as a Teaching Artist, Ingrid also directs all day to day aspects of ICIC and works closely with funders and child development centers to implement ICIC programs. 


Jocelyn Sturdivant  |  Development Director

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Jocelyn Sturdivant manages fund development for Inner City-Inner Child and supports its programming. Ms. Sturdivant has worked extensively in the nonprofit. legal, and business sectors, and with early childhood education, literacy, and arts organizations. Her work related to children, education, and the arts has taken her from Bronx, NY, to Eagle Butte, SD, to the Washington, DC metropolitan area.


Evan Cannon  |  Program Manager

Evan Cannon holds a BM from the Manhattan School of Music, where he majored in Doublebass Performance.  He has performed of stage with many different orchestras including the National Symphony, OSEM, and the Bahamas National Orchestra.  He has worked extensively as a music educator, most notably with the Manhattan School of Music and Teachers College of Columbia University.  In addition to being the Program Manager for Inner City-Inner Child, Evan is a freelance musician and Principal Bassist of Ensemble Du Monde.  


Teaching Artist Biographies


Magpie (Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner)  

Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, educators and musicians, are mainstays of the Inner City-Inner Child early education program. Terry holds three degrees in early childhood education, including two in special education for children with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances from Kent State University. In addition to being award-winning, renown singer-songwriters, Terry and Greg are Master Artist Teachers for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning and pioneers in the use of American Sign Language to promote literacy for low-income early learners.


Sylvia Soumah  

Sylvia, an ICIC Teaching Artist  since 1995, has been dancing and teaching African dance in Washington since 1992.  She is Founder and Director of Coyaba Dance Theater, D.C.’s  critically acclaimed & award-winning African Dance company. Sylvia’s extensive West African Dance experience has lead her to tour with some of the best artists of the National Ballet of the Republic of Guinea. Coyaba Dance Theater performs Outreach/Inreach dance and drumming workshops for the Dance Place, Smithsonian, Washington Performing Arts Society, The Concoran Gallery of Art and The Washington Ballet at the Arc. Ms. Soumah studied Modern Dance and Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati.


Marcia Daft  

Marcia is the Founder and Artistic Director of Moving Through Math and Moving Through Science. Her company produces and publishes children’s books, instructional materials, and videos that bring arts integrated learning to life in the classroom. Marcia is a national workshop presenter for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  and  a Master Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Ms. Marcia has also developed museum exhibitions and educational programs for the Smithsonian Institution. She has written more than twenty children's educational booklets with CD’s for The Smithsonian Institution and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Daft graduated Phi Beta Kappa in bio-medical engineering from Duke University. She was a Century Fellow at The University of Chicago, where she earned a Master’s Degree in music. She studied piano performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and holds both a Certificate and License in Dalcroze Eurhythmics - a technique of integrating music and dance.


Sylvia Zwi  

In addition to leading ICIC Family Literacy and Professional Development workshops, Sylvia is a Master Teaching Artist for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and Fairfax County Office for Children. She is a performing arts instructor, with an emphasis on early childhood music at the SITAR Center for the Arts, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School (DCPS), Levine School of Music and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. A graduate from the Universidade de Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sylvia also has credits in early childhood education and psychology from Nassau Community College in New York.


Kofi Dennis  

Kofi Dennis started as a middle school teacher in his native country of Ghana, West Africa in 1981 after graduating from Komenda College. Then, after studying Creative Dramatics at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, his focus shifted to Early Childhood Arts Integration. He has been a Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist since 1998 and continues to train Teaching Artists and teachers, conducting several residencies and workshops both locally and nationally. As the director of Playing for Concepts and a member of the duo Anansegromma, he has performed professionally in schools, libraries, museums, and fairs nationwide. He holds African Djembe Drumming classes for adults and children, and frequently facilitates many workshops and seminars at conferences. Some of his popular workshops are “Finger Plays Are Not Enough: Let’s Get Physical!”, Bringing Books to Life Through Storytelling, Drama, Music, and Dance)”, “The Beat Goes On: Young Children Learning Mathematics through Beat, Rhythm, and Melody”, and “Call and Response: It’s More You Think”. Kofi lives in Burke, Virginia with his family.


Diane Macklin 

Katherine supports Practice Initiatives for School Readiness Consulting and currently works with Program for Parents in Essex County, New Jersey to develop Professional Learning Communities in a range of early learning settings. In addition, she organizes and facilitates professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals and volunteers in the District of Columbia. Katherine earned a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in children and adolescents at risk for problems in school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Katherine completed graduate level courses on Supervision of Infant and Toddler Providers and Infant/Toddler Environments at Wheelock College.


Rebecca Lallande  

Becky Lallande is an instructor with Word Dance Theater, where she has received training in Duncan technique with an emphasis on teaching dance and movement for youth.  Becky holds a BA in Religion from the University of Mary Washington, where she also studied dance and vocal performance. Since returning to Northern Virginia, Becky joined the DC hip hop team Capital Funk and currently studies dance choreography through Dance ICONS, an international choreographic institute based in Washington, DC. Becky is also a teaching artist through Wolf Trap’s Institute of Early Learning in the Arts and Inner City-Inner Child, where she shares creative movement through dance, imagination, and rhythm with young children in school classrooms and community centers. Becky loves the joy and beauty in dance and especially adores watching the growth and happiness it brings to children! 


Karen Brown

Karen is a professional artist and experienced arts educator. She conducts workshops and residencies for organizations such as The Kennedy Center, Class Acts Arts, Washington Performing Arts, the Smithsonian museums, and numerous public libraries. Her international travels in Asia, Europe, and Central and South America inform and enrich her teaching residencies, workshops, and public art projects. Karen’s graduate work is in textiles, ceramics, sculpture, 3-D and surface design, bookmaking, and photography. She specializes in differentiated instruction to meet the needs of children with varied learning styles.


Imani Gonzalez

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Imani Gonzalez performs and conducts vocal workshops concentrating on traditional world music nationally, from the cultures of Asia, West and South Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. She has conducted traditional World Music workshops for the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and offers exciting professional development workshops, residencies, classroom modeling, arts coaching for teachers, and school performances for communities at every level. She has performed traditional African music for the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival, and the World Music Institute. Ms. Gonzalez has taught in the DC Public School system and in private schools as a traditional world music teacher. In past years, she has received grants from both the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Artist-In-Education Program for the Maryland State Arts Council. She has also served as Consultant for the PDAE Grant Committee of Jacksonville, Florida. She is a Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts (WPA) teaching artist and is on the roster with the Maryland State Arts Council and United Arts Council of North Carolina. 


Abdou Muhammad

Abdou started playing the Djembe when he was 3 years old. He has received extensive training from Songa of the Valley, David Rock, Ezibu Muntu, Melvin Deal, Papa Aziz, and his godfather and whom is he name after, Abdou Kounta. Abdou’s family moved to Richmond, VA and he joined Ezibu Muntu. He became the lead drummer for Ezibu Muntu at the age of 11 years old and held the position until he was 19 years old. Continuing his journey, Abdou moved to the Washington, DC area, where he has performed with African Heritage, Coyaba Dance Theater, Soul In Motion, KanKouran, Elegba Folklore Society, Ezibu Muntu, Green Beats, The Washington Ballet, Dance Place, Step Afrika, and many more. Abdou has also performed for Fela!, the Broadway play in DC, the National Slave Ground Anniversary in Richmond, VA, the Nigerian Embassy Celebration, the NACA Conference, and at the National Cathedral School. 


Sylvana Christopher

Sylvana Christopher is a Washington, D.C. dancer who grew up in Maryland and trained at Metropolitan Ballet Theater and The Washington School of Ballet. At The Ohio State University, Christopher gained exposure to great choreographers and teachers while earning a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography with honors. Currently, she teaches at Joy of Motion Dance Center and Dance Loft on 14. In the past, she has taught for Howard Community College, Washington Performing Arts, Dance Place, City Dance and Sitar Arts Center. She founded Glade Dance Collective in 2009, and danced for Bowen McCauley Dance, Rincones & Company Dance Theater and Arts United of Washington, the presenter of 5 by 5.


Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

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Cathy and Marcy are trailblazers in children’s and family music. Their relationship with family audiences spans over 25 years of live performances and 20 award winning recordings.  They play dozens of instruments from banjo to mandolin to rockin’ electric guitar, steel drum and ukulele. Over 5,000 shows in performing arts centers, schools, folk festivals, community centers, libraries and children’s festivals have given Cathy & Marcy the superb skills to deliver a show that is fun, wacky, energetic, and participatory and that also brings meaning to their song, “It’s Better When We Sing It Together.”  Cathy & Marcy inspire effortless participation from every audience. GRAMMY® Awards (and 14 nominations), Parents’ Choice Awards, American Library Association Awards, National Association of Parenting Publications Awards, Early Childhood News Awards and Washington Area Music Association Awards all attest to the superb quality of their body of work. Cathy & Marcy have entertained the Queen of Thailand, sung at the White House Easter Egg Roll, performed at hundreds of folk festivals, sung in Congress on behalf of the SCHIP bill (State Children’s Health Insurance Program), appeared on the “Today Show” and on National Public Radio.


Natasha Mirny

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Natasha Mirny is a stage director, choreographer, performer, and founder of the Happy Theater. She started her career as a stage director of one of the largest puppet theaters in Moscow, Russia and has been running her small professional theatrical company since 2011. Natasha is a dedicated teacher who works with students of all ages, and enjoys working with kids from 3 to 15 the most. Her background is in pantomime, puppetry, and physical theater. Natasha is a faculty member at several theaters in DC metro area – Synetic, Imagination Stage, TheatreLab, Wolf Trap