The Uvalde Love Project is a community project that will promote community healing through a combination of workshops and art. The final part of the project is a mosaic mural of hand made tiles by workshop participants and other members of the community.
Our therapists and artists are a highly experienced team of former teachers who became mental health professionals, based out of Austin, TX, who have dedicated themselves to children and healing.
We are flexible and trauma-informed. All Uvalde Love sessions can be customized based on the participants’ needs in real time. We will facilitate activities based on best practices from evidence-based models such as:
• Trust Based Relational Intervention
• Neurosequential Model in Education
We listen deeply. Our goal is to utilize the existing strengths in the community and enhance the capacity of educators and caregivers to provide trauma-informed support. The goal is for healing to continue generation after generation.
We believe that collective trauma requires collective healing. We believe that art provides a path for healing when words are not enough. We believe that post-traumatic growth is possible. And we love helping people on their own journeys to healing.
LPC-S-AT, ATR-BC, ATCS, RPT-S
In addition to her traditional counseling and therapy (talk therapy) methods, she integrates art therapy for her middle-school students, as well as in community art projects with children throughout her community. Wanda is also MARI certified as well as a Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) practitioner.
Meagan is a Senior Therapist at Ensemble Therapy in Austin, TX and a PhD student at Texas State University. Meagan specializes in neuroscience-based interventions and trauma-informed practices; she is a Trust Based Relational Intervention practitioner and completed the Neurosequential Model in Education Trainer Program. Meagan practices mindfulness everyday and brings compassion and care to her therapy practice.
Amy Morran is a former elementary and middle school teacher. She has spent over 10 years working as a volunteer for community-based art projects around Texas.
Bridget works with a wide range of individuals, including 3-year-olds through adult clients. Trauma work is one of the cornerstones of her practice and she provides services for those in recovery from domestic violence. Much of her time has been in front-line agencies targeting underserved populations highly impacted by inequity and exclusion.
MA, LPC ATR
Danielle Gindele (she/her/ella) is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Art Therapist (ATR) with over 12 years of experience in the mental health field. Danielle has served various populations from diverse backgrounds including the LGBTQIA+ community, folks of varying racial groups, and other marginalized identities. She is passionate about providing equitable services and sustainable resources to her communities'
MAAT, LPC Associate, ATR-P, LCDC
Kami Land is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, Provisional Art Therapist and, as a former art teacher, has over 15 years of experience working in educational settings. An indigenous person from the Chickasaw Nation, Kami’s approach to counseling is person-centered, flexible, and integrative. She is thrilled and humbled to be a team member of the Uvalde Love Project and work alongside the Uvalde community to open doors of hope and healing.
MAAT, ATR-P, LPC Associate
Twana is a former art teacher. She taught elementary in both the public school system as well as internationally in Central America. She is currently an art therapist with Community Arts LLC as well as an administrative assistant to the Community Arts team and the Uvalde Love Project.
Zach Van Den Berg
LPC Associate, ATR-P
Zach is passionate about collaborating with LGBTQIA+ and TGNCNB individuals and communities through creative approaches to healing. Returning to my hometown of Austin, Texas, after studying in Chicago, Illinois, where he received my Master's in Counseling and Art Therapy, he is honored to be back to serving the Texas community. He believes that clients should not have to explain or educate their therapist about minority stress and discrimination.
Yadi, founder of Artvango Therapeutic Services, is a board-certified Art Therapist and LPC-S. She is also a foster and adoptive mom who created Artvango in order to better serve children who have experienced trauma. Artvango goes an extra step by involving parents in the healing process by including and educating them how to parent differently in order for the family to succeed. It takes a village to raise healthy children.
Graduate Student Intern
Sarah grew up in Waco, Texas and has enjoyed a deep love for the arts from a young age. She is currently completing a Master’s in Art Therapy from St Mary of the Wood's College, with plans to graduate in 2024. Sarah is currently an Intern with Community Arts llc and Alpha 180.
Gwen is currently finishing her senior at Austin High School. She plans to continue her studies after graduation by pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is our intern for the year, and will be assisting our team with the Uvalde Love Project.
Our committee members are industry professionals from diverse backgrounds that help us build and maintain the Uvalde Love Project. We depend on these people for strong knowledge and advise, connections, and assistance in fundraising that allow the project to thrive and provide service to Uvalde community members.
PhD - Clinical Trials Consultant
Renée Simar, PhD is a neuropharmacologist with 30 years of professional experience in academia and corporate clinical research. Her background in writing proposals, grants and strategic project planning is not the only reason she accepted Wanda’s invitation to the Uvalde Project Committee. She has broadened her passion for mosaics by working with Wanda on past murals and is pleased to be participating in this new project.
LMSW, CEO & Founder of Wisdom En Familias
Over the last 20 plus years, Leonor, a masters-level social worker, has created sacred learning spaces to elevate the voices of students, their families, educators and stakeholders through shared storytelling, restorative healing circles, listening and equitable family engagement in an effort for organizations and schools to embrace, understand and plan strategically with familias and communities. Leonor was part of a team that facilitated restorative circles in the Uvalde Community in 2022.
Karen Aidman has served more than three decades in public school service as a teacher and an administrator. Much of her time was spent in Texas middle schools, and she brings that experience with and attention to youth to the Uvalde Love Community Art Therapy project as a committee member.
Steve Maddox is an experienced educator, skilled in instructional support, project-based learning, restorative practices, and professional development. He is a longtime supporter of the arts, an abstract expressionist painter, and an art gallery educator.
Community Health Worker
Kirsten is a writer and non-profit professional with more than a decade of serving in programmatic roles at various non-profits, from the national to community scale. She's passionate about finding opportunities to heal in community and is excited to both lend her experience and hone her skills by assisting with grant applications to support this project.
Mina is an expert project manager with over twenty years of experience working with social sector organizations on strategy, business planning, stakeholder engagement and facilitation, performance evaluation, and organizational learning. Mina has a passion for working with teams to build a robust culture of learning and innovation. As a consultant, Mina has worked with capacity building organizations, funders, and direct providers in youth services, K-12 education, higher education, workforce and economic development, domestic violence, affordable housing, volunteerism, and the arts. Mina worked closely with Wanda on a previous community mosaic project, "We are Barton Hills," which was an incredibly meaningful experience. She is delighted to support "Uvalde Love."
Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert
Ashley is a maker, teacher, and healer in the arts. She is the owner of Bead It, a company that supplies beads and goods to makers, teaches people skills for jewelry making, and is a vendor at Uncommon Objects. Ashley is lending her expertise in social media and marketing to the Uvalde Love project.
Chris is video producer, director and editor. He’s a visual storytelling professional who has documented many community art projects. He brings 30 years international experience to each project and is helping create the visual story around the Uvalde Love Project.
Teachers Making a Difference
Teachers will be taking the lead in creating this large-scale healing community mural, working in their classrooms using trauma-informed techniques.
Veronica Martinez-Reyes is in her 4th year teaching Art at Dalton Elementary. She’s all about inspiring and helping young minds develop a love for art.
Fine Arts Teacher
Elaine Valenzuela is the Uvalde Elementary Fine Arts teacher and has taught for 17 years for Uvalde CISD. Throughout her teaching career she was named "Teacher of the Year" for Benson Elementary and "District Elementary Teacher of the Year" for Robb Elementary.
She believes in offering opportunities for her students to shine through music and art.
A mom of two, Elizabeth Libby has been a teacher with Uvalde CISD for 11 years. She taught pre-K for 8 years and absolutely loved it. She is currently at the High School teaching Art 2/3 for the second year in a row, and also the head cross country coach and head lobo track coach.
Acy Martinez is a first-year art teacher at Flores Elementary. She believes in education strongly. She believes that helping children grow their imagination and expressing themselves through art plays a big role in growing their love for education. She has enjoyed getting to watch her students' creativity and confidence grow through the introduction of art.