Meet Our Team
Gale McNeeley founded Youth ARTS Alive in 2017 to introduce children to the visual and performing arts. He began his career as a speech teacher in 1968 at an Urban Community School in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, he has taught theatre to children and adults on both coasts. He has been a union actor since 1970, appearing on stage, television, movies, cabarets, circus and street theatre. Currently, Gale loves doing his one-man shows of original characters and songs, bringing Archy the poetic cockroach, and Mehitabel the alley cat to audiences around the country. Visit his webiste and follow on YouTube!
Gale looks forward to seeing children from more and more Santa Maria families joining us for classes each summer.
Alma Flores has been a graphic artist for 17 years. She has a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She has her own business; Soul Flower Screen Printing and Design, LLC, where she uses her talents to create logos, print designs, and graphics for printing. Her passion is to customize items that bring joy to those receiving them. Alma taught Art for Youth ARTS Alive for the first time summer of 2022. She says, “This has given me great excitement to show our youth how to utilize their creative side through different avenues as well as help them find their own journey.” Now she is the director of the program.
The youngest of five children, Oscar Muro was born and raised in Santa Maria, CA, on July 22, 1970. His earliest memories are that of tapping on the family stereo speakers as his mom clapped and sang along to the song being played and of the different sounds coming out of his siblings bedrooms. Music was constantly being played around the house... singing, radio, records, 8-track and cassette tapes. Later, being captivated by an older’s electric guitar playing he starts with formal guitar lessons at age thirteen. Upon graduating high school he attends and graduates from the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, CA in 1991 and then with a B.A. in music composition from the College of Creative Studies, UC Santa Barbara in 1995. Oscar teaches music privately and with various non-profit children’s after school music programs in the California Central Coast.
Odessa has been an actor, dancer, and singer on the Central Coast since 2015. In this time, she has been involved in productions with Coastal Youth Theater, Coastal Dance and Music Academy, SLO Movement Arts Center, and Pioneer Valley High School. A year ago, she began teaching dance at Flex Performing Arts in Grover Beach and has loved getting to work with kids while being part of something she is very passionate about. This fall, she will be attending UC San Diego to major in theater and dance. This is Odessa’s first time working at Youth Arts Alive, and she is very excited to be part of the team.
Grace Kitchen has been a Santa Maria local her whole life, and is thrilled to be teaching theater games this summer at the Minami Center! Grace has a previous background working in children’s theater directing shows and teaching theater classes from ages 6-18. Grace is an acting student at PCPA and theater is her passion! She looks forward to meeting all of her wonderful students as they find a sense of play together.
Andrea Huffman is a Santa Maria native. She started her career as a portrait photographer specializing in the newborn to 5-year-old age group. She continues to work in photography alongside freelancing as a graphic designer. She is excited to be joining Youth ARTS Alive! for the first time to instruct art classes with aspiring artists of the community.
Screen Printing Teacher
Jayson Maulé is a local of the central coast, born in Santa Maria and raised in Arroyo Grande he graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 2017. Jayson then moved to Portland, OR to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Business Administration: Marketing at Portland State University. While attending university he ran cross country and track, in the most competitive conference in the nation, and as a second year he co-captained the men’s cross country team. Jayson has since moved back from Oregon to pursue acting full-time. In 2020 Jayson was accepted into PCPA acting conservatory. Jayson is currently working on various acting and artistic pursuits!
Miss Lynnae has been a Children's Art Teacher for over 25 years. She has taught TK-9th Grade in many public schools , charter schools, and her private home studio. Miss Lynnae has taught Summer Art Camps for 22 Summers in a row...until the last 2 Covid Summers. She is SO EXCITED to INSPIRE CREATIVITY for our Santa Maria students through Youth Arts Alive! Art Students will be developing their drawing & painting skills, while using many different Art mediums: chalk pastels, glitter paint, tempera paint, watercolor, crayons, watercolor color pencils, markers, salt, oil pastels...to create beautiful, expressive, awesome Art! Art! Art! Students Art is all matted and sized to fit in standard size frames, to hang on their walls!
Kellie is a dancer and teacher in many genres of dance: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop. She began teaching dance at age 16, first through city programs and various dance studios, then colleges. She began her professional career as a dancer at age 18. Kellie has appeared on stage (both nationally and internationally) , film and TV and has a BA in dance with an emphasis in theater. She loved working with all ages and skill levels and is really looking forward to working with the students through Youth Arts Alive.
Shirley Hinzo was born in San Luis Obispo, CA. Having lifelong roots in a central coast farming family, the connection between her hands and the earth began long ago. Preference for simplicity in life is reflected in the pottery pieces she has produced. Her mentors include Herb Knaebel and Bob Nichols, both of whom have provided an environment full of encouragement and excellent teaching. Having been steeped in such an environment, Shirley is grateful to have an outlet that she in turn can pour into others what she has learned. Having been a Youth Pottery instructor since 2008, her enthusiasm continues. Seeing the delight on the kid's faces as they work with clay, and their amazement when their gaze is on their finished pieces, she sees them as priceless and considers herself to be twice blessed.
"As a professional musician and educator specializing in drums and percussion, Sean Sullivan enjoys sharing his passion for music and teamwork in the schools, as well as regularly performing live and in the studio with various local organizations including, San Luis Obispo Symphony, Ricky Montijo, Brass Mash, PCPA Musical Theater. In 2006 Sean was offered an opportunity to fulfil his dream of traveling the world as a performing musician and spent the next 7 years as the show band drummer/band leader with Princess Cruises, visiting many countries in Europe, Scandinavia, Austral-Asia, North and South America, Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Islands. Now Sean focuses on helping the youth of our community experience the JOY of TEAMWORK through DRUMMING as the founder of Drum&Perk."
Sarah Raines is a graduate of NYU with a bachelor's degree in classical voice. She moved to the area in 2015, and has taught voice, piano, choir, and theater all over the central coast. Also an accomplished performer, she has performed with The Melodrama, Opera Santa Barbara, and PCPA. In 2020, she received the honor of winning BroadwayWorld Santa Barbara's Vocalist of the Decade. When not teaching or performing, you can find her working on the administrative side of SLO Symphony as well as on the board of the Santa Maria Philharmonic.
Anita Tubbs is a certified fitness instructor and has been teaching dance at all our local schools in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and as far as Cambria for the past ten years. Her love for dance has been her lifestyle and passion. She recognizes the importance of the arts for both children and adults, for those who participate and those who watch. She believes Joy must be part of our lives, building a positive community working as a team, and helping each other to bring out the best out of ourselves.
Rosa has been in love with art her whole life. She taught with Youth Arts Alive! for the first time Summer 2022. She says, "This opportunity to share that love with kids is the highlight of my life." She has taken art classes at Hancock for 6 years where she learned that "YES! I am an artist." This experience has given her a new passion to teach what she has learned to others.
This is Lacy's second time as an intern with Youth Arts Alive, she is excited to be back. As a young artist, working as an assistant to various teachers has given her the career experience in a classroom environment that she needs for her future endeavors. In addition to visual art Lacy studies dance and poetry.