Meet our teaching artists

Since 2000, BMCA has been employing local artists to teach our classes and workshops. Supporting the artists in our community has always been, and will always be, one of our core values. Meet some of our incredible instructors below.

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Geoff Bird

About Geoff

Laura Boswell

Laura Boswell is a classically trained pianist and guitarist with 10 years of teaching experience in styles including pop, rock, folk, and jazz. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC and studied with Scott Tennant and Bill Kanengiser of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in 2013. Laura is also an active singer-songwriter and performer.

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Charles Freeland

About Charles

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Cary Fridley

About Cary

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Heidi Longwith

About Heidi

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Amy Maze

Amy Maze lives in Black Mountain, NC.  She studied at North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated with honors with a BFA in choreography and performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her choreography has won top honors at regional and national competitions. Since 2007, she has been a movement teacher and choreographer for all the musicals at The Learning Community School. Along with her own program, she also judges national dance competitions throughout the U.S. and can be found guest teaching in public/private schools.  Amy is also currently on the roster of Dance Competition Judges with Impact Dance Adjudicators.


Melanie Meador

Melanie Meador started her art career 20 years ago as a muralist. She graduated from Auburn University with a BFA in painting and is certified to teach K-6 and K-12 Art. Teaching first grade, directing theater camp and building giant puppets have given her the opportunity to work with students of all ages in a variety of art mediums. Her personal works are large, textured mixed media paintings that incorporate printmaking and collage. Recently, she painted an Ombre wall at the Center for Craft in Asheville for the grand reopening.

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Maddy Mullany

About Maddy

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Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson grew up in a family of old-time musicians in southwestern Virginia, and began playing string instruments as a teenager. Growing up immersed in old-time music - in its beauty and its shortcomings - has shaped a vision of teaching that prioritizes equity, community-building, and recognizing the inherent gifts of every student. A passionate educator with over a decade of teaching experience, Ben works as an elementary school science program leader and traditional music instructor. In addition to teaching for multiple JAM programs, he facilitates old-time music classes at Warren Wilson College, and has been a staff member at music camps across the eastern US. In 2005, Ben was awarded a Thomas J. Watson to study the trans-Atlantic roots of the fiddle and banjo in Ireland and West Africa. Ben has also toured internationally as a member of the prize-winning stringband The Moose Whisperers, and has performed as a dancer with the Asheville-based Green Grass Cloggers.

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Mathilda Potter

About Mathilda

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Sue Richards

Richards won the American National Scottish Harp Championship four times and sat in with the Chieftains Irish band. She currently teaches and directs the harp program at the Ohio Scottish Arts School at Oberlin and has many recordings and books of arrangements and original tunes to her credit. Richards also plays and tours with Ensemble Galilei, a group of five musicians performing multi-media concerts commissioned by the National Geographic Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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Paola Tinoco

Paola Tinoco was born in Caracas, Venezuela. From a very young age she identified with dance as a way to express herself. She has experience in gymnastics, ballet, contemporary dance, and yoga, but she is most dedicated to Flamenco. She started studying flamenco in 2003 and in 2001, traveled to the hub of Flamenco, Spain, and fell in love with it even more. Since 2001 she has taught Flamenco in Venezuela and the United States. 

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Bob Travers

Bob Travers is a graduate of the Pratt Institute & an award-winning wildlife artist who teaches in oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor & more.

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Mike Yow

About Mike