Susan Gay Wemette, PhD | Co-Founder, Executive Director
Dr. Susan Gay Wemette is an arts educator with twenty years’ experience in theater and arts education. She holds a BFA in theater, an MFA in Acting, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (focus on arts education). Susan has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Lynn University and Florida Atlantic University.
From 2002-2009, she served as the director of education for a regional theater company, where she created collaborative drama and writing programs with students in South Florida and their peers in Rwanda, South Africa, and Kosovo. She also created drama and writing programs for the young women at the Transitions Home for Teen Mothers, residents of The Lord’s Place Homeless Shelter, and children with severe disabilities at Royal Palm School. In 2008, she received the Palm Beach County Cultural Council’s Arts Educator of the Year Award. Susan served as the Arts Integration Project Manager (2012-2014) for the School District of Palm Beach County’s $1.2 million Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which focused on enhancing student achievement through arts integration, supporting teachers with high-quality professional development in order to sustain their integrated practice, and developing a model that can be replicated in other school districts.
As a program evaluator, she has consulted with the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, Arts4Learning/Miami, The Crossroads Institute of New Orleans, The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, The Center for Creative Education, FAU University Galleries, and Theatre Lab at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Wemette is currently serving as consulting investigator on the School District of Palm Beach County’s AEMDD federal arts integration grant (2014-2018).
See Susan’s talks, presentations, and publications here.
Cora Bresciano, MFA | Co-Founder, Global Education Specialist
With a background in several art forms, a wealth of experience in non-profit grantwriting and executive leadership, and an extensive background in developing and implementing international writing and arts programs, Cora brings a unique edge to her position as co-founder and global education specialist for Blue Planet Writers’ Room. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in English/Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, and she is currently completing her PhD in Comparative Studies, where she is working at the intersections of literature, myth, and global studies.
As a Visiting Instructor in English at Florida Atlantic University, Cora also teaches literature, creative writing, and first-year writing. She has served as the Cultural and Educational Projects Director for 3-Way Split, a multi-country business, arts, and education collaboration, and she has presented on her work in such venues as the Modern Language Association’s International Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal; the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu; the Italy in Transit Symposium hosted by FAU and the Consolato Generale d’Italia, Miami; Florida Atlantic University’s Global Education Conference; and the 3-Way Split International Forum in Southend-on-Sea, England. Her academic and instructional writing have been published online and in traditional print, as well.
As a creative writer, Cora has been the recipient of the Frank and Courtney Brogan Award for Fiction for her short story “The Mermaid.” As a theatrical composer and lyricist, she was awarded a number of production grants from the Broward Cultural Division for her children’s musicals, which have been produced in theatres in Florida and New York.
Cora’s personal background is as international as her professional experience: raised in a family of immigrants from two countries, in a house where three languages were spoken, she has a special interest in creating spaces where cultures can come together peacefully and amazing things can happen.
Erica Ando | Marketing & Development Specialist
Erica Ando has written about art for the past ten years with a focus on the intersections of art, society, and politics. Her art criticism and cultural journalism has appeared in art magazines such as BOMB, Art Papers, Sculpture, Aesthetica, The Miami Rail, and others.
She earned her BFA in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design, her MFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, and her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from Florida Atlantic University. She lives in West Palm Beach with her child and two passively curious cats.
Mary Stucchi | Teaching Artist
With a Theatre Arts B.A. from Palm Beach Atlantic University; teaching experience in the hills of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; and years of professional photography experience, Mary Stucchi continues to look for ways to share her love for the arts with young hearts everywhere. She has been sharing her considerable talents with Blue Planet as a teaching artist in the disciplines of photography and theatre arts for the past four years.
Mary specializes in business and theatre portraiture and also performs onstage with the professional TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) touring company, StoryMakers. Many weekends she stars in one of her favorite roles as education assistant for the Kravis Center’s DeGeorge Academy for the Performing Arts, which delivers professional performing arts instruction to economically disadvantaged youth. Her mission is to always “find her light” whether onstage or through her camera lens. For Mary, giving back to students reflects that light.