Al-Bustan Camp Teachers

Posted On:
20 May, 2020
Al-Bustan Camp

2020 Camp Teachers

Hafez Kotain
Hafez Kotain

Hafez Kotain: Drumming
Hafez is a master percussionist fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms. He is a recipient of the prestigious 2013 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, which is awarded each year to 12 Philadelphia artists who are of exemplary talent. Born in Venezuela of Syrian heritage, he grew up in Syria until the age of 16 years. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven years, made his first stage performance at nine years, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan, winning the national percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught a variety of percussion styles blending Arab and Latino music to youth. Hafez works with Al-Bustan throughout the year teaching weekly percussion at several Philadelphia schools, and returns to camp for the ninth summer of music and fun.

Lisa Volta
Lisa Volta

Lisa Volta: Art
Lisa Volta is a Philadelphia-based artist with a background in herbal studies. Her interests include investigating interventions in between spaces, playing with the botanical and the structural, medicinal and poisonous, and points of passage. She has worked in Philadelphia area classrooms as a lead artist with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia Arts and Education Partnership, and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art. With a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education, Lisa has worked with school principals and teachers to develop integrative curriculum designed to enhance core curriculum learning through the arts. Since 2014 she has been a teaching artist with Al-Bustan at summer camp and public schools. Through her teaching practice with Al-Bustan, Lisa spotlights contemporary Arab artists as a way to explore history, cultural context, and specific artistic techniques. Her travels in the Middle East region gave her first hand experience of the generosity and beauty of Arab culture. A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Lisa is currently pursuing an MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Nashid Ali
Nashid Ali

Nashid Ali: Storytelling
“Storyteller for Peace” Nashid is a community worker, hand craft jeweler, and storyteller extraordinaire. He draws from the well of community remembrances, collective words, and everlasting images in order to tell and retell stories, passed along by ancestors and elders, for generations to hear, enjoy, realize and learn. He utilizes the creative forces of sound, improvisation, and positive vibrations, inviting his audiences to engage, self discover, and articulate. Nashid is a long standing storyteller with Keepers of the Culture and the National Association of Black Storytellers. He looks forward to returning to Al-Bustan Camp to share his storytelling craft with campers and engaging them in telling their stories.

Moez Ben Mansour
Moez Ben Mansour

Moez Ben Mansour: Arabic
Moez is a French and Arabic teacher. He has been teaching French at the String Theory School for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia since 2014. A native speaker of Arabic, he grew up in Tunisia before moving to the U.S. He received an Associate Degree in Behavioural Science from the Community College of Philadelphia, a B.A. in French from Rutgers University, Camden, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Teacher Education. Moez has tutored students in Arabic for many years. Throughout his teaching career he eagerly shares with students the cultural heritage of the two languages. The father of a teenage boy, Moez enjoys making art, playing soccer, long distance running, gardening, and listening to classical Arab music.

Madeline Conley
Maddy Conley

Madeline (Maddy) Conley: Camp Coordinator
Madeline grew up in Vermont and graduated from Connecticut College in 2014 with her BA in History and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2019 with her MA in Art + Design Education. She has spent the past five years working in museums, nonprofits, classrooms, and outdoor education settings. Her parents are both teachers (a ceramics professor and an English-as-a-second-language teacher in public schools, respectively), and as a result she grew up thinking and talking about education, art, language, culture, and the intersections of all four. At RISD, Madeline wrote her master’s thesis on the classroom experiences of multilingual, international students in art and design schools, which was an opportunity for her to research what it means to teach and learn effectively across linguistic and cultural diversity. She is interested in accessible, inclusive education and teaching for cross-cultural understanding.