Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Olisa Johnson
Partner Type
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Born into a family of music Olisa played in family bands from the age of 4. Her specialty is improvisation with a keen ability to compose full songs on the spot. A writer of expressive songs, Olisa offers Hip-Hop, Soul, and RnB with a funk-folk twist that stays rockin'. Olisa began exploring hip-hop and the art of eMCee at the age of 11. Her journey with music brought her to theatre in 2003. Under the genius of Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, she was schooled in the Acting methodology of Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum and where she became a part of (TCP) (501c3)  Olisa believes that artists and art are vital to the state of culture and society and hopes to share her soul through performance. Olisa dedicated herself to becoming a master. Olisa earnerd her BFA, magna cum laude, in performance and her MFA in theater pedagogy with a dual focus in Acting and Directing and Voice and Speech. She is a certified instructor in RPDWAC , Archetypes for the Actor and the Oxyrhythms. Olisa has been a professional teaching artist for over 15 years and believes in the power of the creative spirit to foster resilience.

Contact Information

First Name
Last Name
(Enrico) Johnson
Address 2

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
K-2, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th

Artistic Disciplines

  • Theater
  • Music
  • Performance
  • Writing
  • creative collaboration
  • creative communities
Literary Art or Spoken Word/Performance Poetry, Music, Theater, Multidisciplinary


Previous School Partnerships
Asa Mercer Middle School: Griot Girlz OST program Denny International Middle School: The Stolen Ones program (Marcia Arunga) Interagency SW: Spoken work class via Artscorps  
Other Trainings or Certifications
  • Washington state certificated teacher: Secondary ELA endorsement
  • Washing state certified Substitute teacher
  • Ritual Poetic Drama within the African Continuum
  • Archetypes for the actor
  • Oxyrythms
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Experience with English Language Learners
Experience with Students in Special Education

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
I work at building confidence and fostering a love for learning by being the example. I am willing to make mistakes, acknowledge those mistakes and make a point to learn from them. I find joy in their mistakes; I thank them for the opportunity to learn. When they say, "I can’t" I say... "... yet." I know they are getting it when they add the word yet without my reminder. Persistence, Growth Mindset and Critical thinking are supported by instilling a love for learning, willingness to fail and a desire to understand how and why that failure was valuable. We are taught, as a culture, to serve the self not the tribe. When we climb mountains, we step on the heads of those around us afraid that if we slow to help them, we will fall, we will fail. We are climbing, alone, focused solely on the peak that we were sold as success. We are taught that this is not only an acceptable way to see the world but an expected one. I do not believe this. I believe in collaboration, in relationship, in the value of community. I may be good alone, but together we are great.
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
Testimonials from Schools




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mosaics as expression
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reading of an original play
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facilitated interactive talk back after collaborative performance piece
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staged reading of original work
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staged reading of original collaborative work


Video Description
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