NJ State Teen Arts Festival Workshops


The New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival offers all students in attendance a diverse workshop selection each festival day. The daily workshop schedule allows students the opportunity to enjoy multiple different workshops throughout the festival day. Workshops span the literary, visual and performing arts led by professional artists currently working in their respective art forms and fields. 

2018 Festival Workshops

More workshops are being added! Check back regularly!



Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


In this introductory workshop to African Drumming students will gain a practical understanding of the basics of how to play the drum and the “ Assiko” rhythm through hands on application with authentic African drums. Additionally, through the hands on instruction students will learn about the African culture and how the art of drumming serves a role. Shiek, the workshop instructor believes it is important to expose children to other cultures to enrich them and perhaps interest them in learning more about this and other cultures around the world. It teaches diversity and how the world is a beautiful place to explore. Drumming is an intuitive form of expression which can be therapeutic emotionally and physically. Whether an experienced drummer or a new comer, all students will learn something fun and new!


Sheik was born in Senegal, West Africa. Sheik is an African Drummer who plays percussion for various bands.  He has played venues such at Carnegie Hall and BB King in NYC. Sheik plays and teaches how to play the djembe (African Drum) and various other percussion instruments. He is also an artist who paints abstract from dreams.


MISSION POSSIBLE - Experience the Hands-on, Minds-on Journey from Imagination to Innovation! 

Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to confront an undisclosed challenge with nothing more than your imagination, your team’s energy and creativity. Your team will be supplied with some commonly available everyday items to use as you decide to accomplish your mission.  Your challenge may be to build a bridge, a tower or create a presentation that emulates a Shakespearean drama ... all within a given time limit. Behold the unlimited power of teamwork, appreciate the inner reserves of creativity, for without these qualities, success will not be fully realized. Think and work fast as a team and answer the question - Where will your imagination take you today?


Carmine Liuzzi is the Vice President for the Training and Improvement Solutions Group of SAI Global, a training and consulting firm specializing in business process improvement. Carmine specializes in Environmental, Health and Safety, Lean Manufacturing, Laboratory Accreditation and Automotive Quality disciplines. He has lead numerous multi-country, multi-site implementation and improvement projects during his tenure with SAI Global with focus on ensuring effective and efficient operations throughout the entire organization.  Prior to his current position, Carmine held several operational management positions in Union Carbide Corporation for over fourteen years. He has a Masters Degree in Polymer Chemistry. Carmine has been involved with New Jersey Destination Imagination for the last eleven years. He has served as Head Appraiser, Challenge Master and now Affiliate Director for the last five years.  Carmine was elected Vice President of the Destination Imagination Affiliate Directors (DIAD) Team in May of 2013 and then President of the DIAD Team in May 2014. He will serve as a member of the Management and Development Committees.

ORIGAMI – It’s More than a Peace Crane!

Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018


Come join the fold!  Origami is a fun, creative, surprising, and challenging craft.    With Deanna Kwan’s guidance, everyone will fold their own model.  Learn about valley and mountain folds.   Practice making sharp accurate creases.  Test your listening, fine motor, sequencing, and spatial perception skills.  Expand your artistic horizons while experiencing the magic of turning paper into an amazing work of art. 

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Deanna Kwan has been practicing and teaching origami since 1997.    She has been a member of OrigamiUSA, the largest origami organization in the U.S., and has had the pleasure of teaching at their annual conventions.  She teaches origami at schools, libraries, scout meetings, parks, other origami conferences, and at Paper Shapers Origami Club in Morris County.    As a recently retired mathematics teacher, Deanna enjoys having more time to learn and share origami.    She loves seeing students beam with accomplishment when they successfully fold paper into something beautiful.


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

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Students will Crank Up the ‘Toons with the Doodle Dude in this interactive workshop that covers the business of cartooning, art and illustration! Doodle Designs are all around us! Learn the ins and outs of taking an idea start to finish. Students will take away from this workshop a foundation approach to creating a cartoon character and developing that character for potential projects for the future.



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Art Kaney, the Doodle Dude, has been rocking the art education scene in New Jersey for over thirty years.  He doesn’t just teach he entertains!  His exciting energy engages children in an interactive program exploring cartooning, art and illustration.  His in-depth understanding and appreciation for the current cartoon industry makes his assemblies and classes extremely relatable to children of all ages.  Let your students become engaged in his comedic, up-beat, and inspirational demonstration. Art has inspired thousands of children at hundreds of schools and has performed for MTV and Nicktoons!  Art’s Philosophy:  “Inspire them in the arts, within their schools, and most of all within themselves.”


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm

  This Festival Workshop is sponsored by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

This Festival Workshop is sponsored by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Students will receive voice and acting training in this workshop that immerses them in Broadway's greatest hits -- from the Golden Age of musical theater to the popular shows of today. Young performers work with a professional teaching artist to develop creative expression and build the collaborative skills needed to work as an ensemble.

  This Festival Workshop is sponsored by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.


Lisa Gunn Becker, a native Californian, comes to the State Teen Arts Festival by way of Philadelphia, New York, Brooklyn and New Jersey.  She is an educator, actor, and coach.  Lisa has performed on Broadway in the 20th Anniversary production of ANNIE, with composer great Marvin Hamlisch, and with numerous regional theatres such as The Walnut Street and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  Lisa’s work includes stage, commercials, television, and film.  She has represented such products as Chevy, Dominos, Band-Aid, and was the spokesperson for Tom Kean Jr.  She can be seen in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening”, “Christmas Present”, “The Abduction of Jack Butterfield” as well as episodes of “All My Children”, “As the World Turns”, and “Law and Order”.  Lisa is the Senior Teaching Artist for the “Dancing Classrooms” program at NJPAC.  She also facilitates “Disney Musicals in School”, “Explore a Story,” and Wolf Trap – Early learning through the arts.  She helped build the apprentice vocal class for the Young Artist Summer Intensive.  She has taught at Temple University, Saint Anne’s in Brooklyn, and many public schools in New Jersey.  She facilitates seminars for Destination Imagination.  Lisa coaches business executives in Performance Skills and Accent Reduction work.  She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from CSU Fresno, and an MFA in acting from Temple University.  She has trained at the National Theatre of Great Britain and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Lisa lives in a 1725 farmhouse with her husband and two daughters.  Lisa believes creative expression can empower and transform individuals.



Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


Grab your pencils and draw the day away while taking your portraiture drawing skills to the next level.  The Art of Portraiture will ignite students' passions for illustration and portraiture work. Led by veteran illustrator and portrait artist, Mark Romanoski, this workshop will introduce new comers and challenge skilled artists alike in their creative approaches. Students will be guided through a series of exercises applying techniques to further their skill and understanding of portraiture work. Students will create portraits of their peers.  

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Mark Romanoski is a graduate of Kean University with a BFA in illustration. He became serious about pursuing a career as an artist when he met and apprenticed under the Brothers Hildebrandt. Later on Mark studied with DC Comic Artist Joe Devito and Peter Caras, a protégé of Nomran Rockwell. Mark has created works of art featuring some of the most iconic characters of our time from Batman, The Joker, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, to his lavish renderings of the classic movie monsters. His work has appeared on Magic the Gathering, World of Warcraft, Harry Potter, and at W.W.E. Corporate Headquarters. Mark currently works as an independent artist while teaching at Kean University and DuCret School of Art.


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm

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The workshop Behind the Puppet Stage will take you on a journey via the Puppet Arts where creativity meets imagination. Be it a road show, a school performance, the Broadway stage or a Hollywood film, the Puppet Arts can draw together your interests in performance, drama, dance, music, technical theatre, dramaturgy, literature, etc.


Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr. is Director of the University of Connecticut’s world renowned Puppet Arts Program. He is recognized internationally as a leading advocate for Puppetry in the USA. The Puppets and Productions he has created have been presented throughout the U.S., China, France, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan. Most recently, Mr. Roccoberton has collaborated in major productions with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and the Boston Pops.


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


Pick up your saxophone, keyboard, guitar, bass...Whichever instrument you brought with you and come jam! Jam with students from all across NJ in this Jazz Improvisation workshop. Students will gain a working appreciation of the art and technique that jazz improvisation entails. Explore the vocabulary of Jazz through application of basic jazz forms!



Radam Schwartz has had a 40 year performance career that encompasses work with David Fathead Newman, Arthur Prysock, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Cecil Brooks III, and many others. Radam is featured on a long list of recordings, 7 as leader or co-leader and over 35 as sideman. He has taught jazz improv, jazz ensembles and jazz history for 30 years.


EMPTY BOWLS - Raising Hunger Awareness

Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm

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In this workshop students will create hand-built clay bowls with textures and unique patterns inside of paper template bowls. The bowls made by NJ Teen Artists at this year’s New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival will be donated for a charity fundraising event hosted by Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in Toms River, NJ later this year, in October, during World Hunger Month.


Mil Wexler Korinski studied art in Amsterdam, Netherlands and afterwards moved to work in a ceramic factory in Israel. Back in the USA she has taught at various venues: ceramics and art history at Monmouth University, Brookdale CC, Thompson Park and currently, private studio classes. Mil loves to engage students in having passion and meaning in what they create. Mil is very passionate about pairing art with social awareness in public settings. 


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


Come, one! Come, all! Join the fun and learn to juggle objects big and small! That’s right, you can do it... juggle, that is! Learn the ancient art of juggling, by way of a few simple steps and a bit of practice and... if you already know how to juggle, still come by! You may learn a few new tricks!



Ron & Sue Schopperth are retired educators who have taught hundreds of people how to juggle by way of school clubs (before retirement) and our workshops. Ron and Sue conduct workshops annually at the Sussex County Teen Arts Festival and are always well received.  


Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm

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This workshop will explore phrases that mix and synthesize elements of hip hop dancing (breaking, house, and other footwork styles) with Capoeira and contemporary modern dance.  By the culmination of the workshop, participants will be able to perform a fusion phrase excerpted from the repertory of the Doug Elkins Dance Company. 


Doug Elkins is a former break dancer and internationally renowned contemporary choreographer. He is a two-time BESSIE Award winner and a Guggenheim Fellow. 



Workshop Schedule: May 30 , 31, & June 1, 2018

Session 1: 9:00 am - 10:00 am | Session 2: 10:15 am  - 11:15 am | Session 3: 12:30 pm -  1:30 pm


Whose line is it anyway? Who cares?! Let’s improvise! Improvisational Acting is an essential skill for any performer. Whether you’re a musician bantering with the crowd between songs, a writer looking for inspiration, or an actor who’s partner just blanked on their next line, the Art of “Yes, And” can save you anytime anywhere. Plus, it’s just a lot fun. In Improv Acting you will explore the fundamentals of improv, you’ll make your peers laugh without even trying, and you’ll create entire realities on the spot; all while simply playing Games.


Tim Norek fancies himself a professional make-believer. He is a co-founder, co-director, and instructor with Death by Improv since 2004. He has been performing improv since high school way back when, and then in college he co-founded Backstage Players Improv Thingy, which led to the co-founding of Death by Improv. Tim has also studied improv with instructors from around the country at numerous improv festivals, schools, and retreats; such as the Boston Comedy Arts Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, Philly Improv Festival, Gainesville Improv Festival, Richmond Improv Festival, Camprov, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Armando Diaz’s 24 Hours of Improv for Sandy Relief.