BOARD MEMBERS & STAFF
Andrea was born, raised, and currently resides in Baltimore MD. Affectionately known as "Andi", she is dedicated to enriching families and community engagement. She is an arts-enthusiast and believes that art has the power to influence culture, social change, and impact the trajectory of a person's life. Everyone is an artist, but few will have a chance to tap into it! This is what led her to birth #TAPInc!
Andrea matriculated through the Baltimore City Public School System, graduating from the illustrious Baltimore City College High School in 2006. Her education continued at University of Maryland, College Park where she earned a Bachelors in Family Science in 2010. She has 10+ years of experience of working with children and families. Currently, she is enrolled in University of Baltimore earning her Masters in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship. Using her professional experience and her education, Andrea is now working diligently to use her passion for art to bring about change!
As a creative, she enjoys painting/drawing, singing, and mentoring other young creatives. Her vision is that The Arts Project will help encourage all youth to pursue their dreams with passion and to tap into their greatness via the arts.
Tiffani is a native of Baltimore City. Tiffani is a graduate of The Baltimore School for the Arts (Dance, 2008). She attended George Mason University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Dance. Currently, Tiffani is a Master of Public Health candidate at Morgan State University. Tiffani has been dancing since the age of 5, through dance she has had many opportunities to study with several different professional dance companies during the summer months to strengthen her training in dance. After graduating from George Mason, Tiffani began giving back and teaching dance at the local dance studios. She wanted to instill in young artist what she was taught throughout the years. When she was introduced to TAP she knew this was an organization she wanted to give back to. She believes it is very important for young creatives to have exposure to the arts, no matter where you live.
Briell McCoy English
Program Manager/ Board Secretary
Briell McCoy-English is a Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend but besides all of those titles she identifies most as a creative. While she has dabbled in theatre and stage production, her creative journey found that she is a wordsmith, and has a passion for writing. Briell is a published author, with one of great successful publications being Love on Sunday,. In addition, she has written and produced a series of plays about Women’s equality and written for the Afro newspaper.
Currently, Briell works for Beautiful Hearts and Minds Health Services engaging the community with understanding and acknowledging mental health diagnosis. She brings several years of professional experience with her having worked for Baltimore City Public schools and launching an after-care program and summer camp program.
When asked why she loves to serve children, she says, "I love children and helping to make all children feel comfortable in the skin that they are in."
Arts in Education and Performing Arts Specialist
Shayla Simmons is an award winning actress, singer, writer, director, acting coach, teaching artist and founder of the “principled performing arts production company”, NguzoArt! She is a proud graduate of Baltimore City College High School and alumni of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York City.
After touring internationally with The Golden Gospel Singers and Disney Cruise Lines in the musicals, “Aladdin”, “Hercules” and “The Lion King”, she traveled the U.S. playing four women of African American history in the one-woman show, “Ain’t I a Woman”. Later portraying the major roles of Mae Jemison, Mary Fields and Barbara Hillary, the first black woman to reach both the North and South Pole in the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater’s production of “Into the Great Unknown”.
Shayla has appeared in over 20 plays, musicals, television shows, independent and feature films. She continues to pursue fusing her passions of positive educational initiatives in African American history with performing arts and is delighted to have the opportunity to empower youth with a sense of self, purpose and value with The Arts Project Inc.
Project Manager/ Special Events Coordinator
Sharonda Lang is a native of East Baltimore, Maryland She matriculated through the Baltimore City Public School System and graduated from Baltimore City College High School. She then attended the University of Maryland, College Park and studied Hearing and Speech Sciences.
She began a career in Applied Behavior Analysis and works at the Kennedy Krieger Institute as a Behavior Analyst. Her hobbies include singing, making handmade jewelry, and any craft involving a cricuit machine.
She has released two R&B singles and sings in a local gospel group.
Music Teacher and Performance Arts Specialist/ Founding Member
Mariah Ash is a Baltimore local. Ash’s introduction to music began with her father and aunt who played guitar, provided the first live entertainment for our city fair, and sang in various neighborhood clubs in the 70s. She studied choral music at Baltimore City College High School and Penn State University. Mariah’s paternal grandmother and Billie Holiday were first cousins, which inspired her love of jazz. Her jazz roots run a deep mood indigo as she evokes a similar forthright yet gentle tone. Mariah uses her singing and songwriting to heal herself and will continue sharing with others to do the same.
Mariah Ash is a Baltimore local. Ash’s introduction to music began with her father and aunt who sang and played guitar. She studied choral music at Baltimore City College High School and Penn State University. Mariah’s grandmother and Billie Holiday were first cousins, which inspired her love of jazz and story telling. She uses her singing and songwriting to heal herself and will continue sharing with others to do the same.