2018-2019 North Carolina Wolf Trap Teaching Artists


Kim Arrington

Theatre Arts

Kim Arrington is a teaching and performing artist using poetry, drama, music, and audio documentary to tell stories. She graduated from North Carolina Central University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a concentration in Electronic Media. Kim released her first volume of poetry, the lapis dwellers, in August 2005 voted the Independent Weekly’s Best Poetry Book. Kim’s writing has appeared in Black Arts Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, Drumvoices Revue, and In the People’s Hands.

Through her numerous writer-in-residencies, Kim teaches poetry and theatre to thousands of youth and families every year, including as faculty at Duke University’s Young Writers Camp, Arts Center of Carrboro, and Durham Arts Council Summer Cultural Camps. Kim has performed for tens of thousands all over the United States and Europe. Kim was nominated for the Best Female Poet of 2005 by the National Underground Spoken Word and Poetry Awards. As the 2007-2008 recipient of the Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant in Drama, Kim traveled to Taller Portobelo Norte in Panama to complete her full-length play, For My Father to See, under the direction of award-winning playwright Howard L. Craft.

In February 2009, Kim toured London, England, after releasing her debut CD of soul music titled First Love Note of Kim Arrington. Kim released her sophomore CD of jazz music, Getting II Yes, in 2013. Kim is the recipient of North Carolina Central University’s 40 Under 40 Award for excellence in the arts. She was the co-founder, along with Billboard-charting singer, Rissi Palmer, of The Relative Pitch, a free, quarterly performance workshop for youth ages 18 and under. Kim is hard at work on her third CD, Make Your Luck.

Sandy Barber


Sandy earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While a senior at Salem, she had the privilege of meeting one of the authors of the German form of Kindermusik, who had just returned to America. It was a life-changing experience to watch the author of Kindermusik teach American children with this newly-developed and successful early childhood music curriculum.

From that point forward, Sandy had found her life-long calling: teaching very young children and their parents the magic and joy of integrating music into their everyday activities. Sandy trained with the author of Kindermusik at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and began her career of early childhood music education. She started the first Kindermusik program in South Carolina, and then continued her Kindermusik career in Charlotte.

For over a decade, Sandy traveled extensively for Kindermusik International as a Training Institute professional and workshop leader. During this time, Sandy visited colleges and universities to encourage new music educators to be knowledgeable and confident in teaching young children and their parents. She has often been the keynote speaker at conferences for early childhood music.

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Salem College, 1976; Graduate studies at Westminster Choir College; Graduate studies at Winthrop University

Teaching Artist Philosophy: For over 30 years, Sandy has been on a mission to facilitate early childhood music education within the Carolinas. She truly believes that music can change, in the most profound ways, the way a child learns, the pedagogical efforts of educators, and the way in which parents develop their own parenting style.

Erin Badger-Coffey


Erin Badger-Coffey discovered her love of dance at a young age through experiences with creative dance and movement. Born and raised in the uptown Charlotte neighborhood of Fourth Ward, she graduated from Northwest School of the Arts High School with a major in Modern Dance. After auditioning in 2000, Erin was accepted to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNSCA), where she studied modern, ballet, improvisation, and choreography and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance. Due to repeated injuries, Erin began to explore aspects of dance and movement other than performance, including Kids Yoga, Pilates, and aerial dance.

Erin has always enjoyed working with children. In 2011, she helped develop and launch a dance/movement program for children and adults with disabilities. Through this program, she taught movement classes, assisted with camps, and utilized her Yoga for Kids Certification. Today, Erin continues to use her knowledge and love of dance and movement to support early childhood educators of children from newborns to six-year-olds. She is the Program Coordinator of North Carolina Wolf Trap and a seasoned Wolf Trap Teaching Artist in Dance and Movement. As a teaching artist, Erin is certified to provide traditional Wolf Trap residencies in Literacy, Math, and Science, as well as family-based and classroom-based BabyArtsPlay!™ residencies.

Erin has presented at multiple education conferences including the University of North Carolina Charlotte STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Conference and the Alliance Educators Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Erin also enjoys leading Read With Love, an active reading workshop for caregivers and their children, and Arts Integration Professional Development Workshops for Wolf Trap classroom teachers.

Highest Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 2007

Teaching Artist Philosophy: “I have always used dance and movement for creative expression and emotional release in my own life, and I believe the arts to be essential to the development and education of children.”

Bradley S. Messer


Brad Messer was born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and has called Charlotte home for the past couple of decades. Starting his musical journey before his teenage years, Brad is steeped in many musical styles. He is well versed in multiple instruments including, but not limited to, ukulele, guitar, drums and even the banjo and saxophone. His passion is very evident in his teaching music to the early childhood age. His joy overtakes any classroom he is a part of, and the students learn and grow in his teaching of musical concepts. He is well rounded in teaching music to all ages and has a background in performance arts.

He is currently in multiple Charlotte preschools teaching his music classes and is genuinely grateful for all he gets from teaching his students. He grows as a teacher with each passing day, as well as, giving great care to the developmental process the early childhood age needs. With two precious boys at home, he knows firsthand how important the first few years are of their lives and how it is our job to teach as many skills, concepts, education and most of all fun of music and learning into their life at such a young age.

Teaching Artist Philosophy: “Teaching children to use their imagination, and express their emotions using art is vital in this growing digital age. If we forget to create using our own minds, we will lose the most important part of ourselves. “

Shana Tucker


With a deep respect for lyrical storytelling, cellist/singer-songwriter Shana Tucker delivers a unique voice through her self-described genre of ChamberSoul. Shana’s melodies weave strong hints of jazz, classical, soulful folk, acoustic pop and a touch of R&B into a distinctive rhythmic tapestry. Growing up on Long Island, NY as a beneficiary of public school arts education, Shana’s cello talents awarded her a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC, where she was first introduced to jazz and other essential musical resources in the classroom and around the city.

While at Howard, Shana initiated her improvisation chops and honed her songwriting skills, but decided to relocate to NYC to study with master cellist Marion Feldman at CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. A 2011 NPR interview about Shana’s debut CD, “SHiNE” and her ChamberSoul style prompted an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the company as cellist/vocalist for their show, KÀ in Las Vegas, where she stayed until 2017. With collaborations as the cornerstone of her artistry, Shana is currently a featured artist with jazz legend, saxophonist/composer Bennie Maupin’s ensemble;  jazz drummer/composer Shirazette Tinnin and Sonic WallPaper; Grammy-nominated NuSoul collective, The Foreign Exchange; Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a North Carolina-based, socially conscious theatrical organization; and her newest project, Women’s Work, a female-led creative collective of musicians and composers representing both east and west coasts.

Shana is the recipient of two Nevada Arts Council grants, including the prestigious NAC Artist Fellowship. A front-line advocate for arts education, Shana is teaching artist of all ages, and has served or is serving with United Arts Council of Raleigh/Wake County (NC), The Smith Center for Performing Arts – Las Vegas, and Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.