Meet Your Muses

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Meet Your Muses

Melanie Ann Apel is the Owner and Director of The Paintbrush. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts from Bradley University, and earned a subsequent bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care from National-Louis University. A native of Lincoln Park, she worked as a pediatric respiratory therapist at Children’s Memorial Hospital for six years. Melanie has also been a freelance writer of predominantly children’s books (plus the popular pictorial histories Lincoln Park: Chicago and Lincoln Park Revisited)  and Cystic Fibrosis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, since the mid-1990s. Her newest book What Are You Hiding, Tory? is available as an ebook. Melanie is a single mom to two talented, creative boys. She is very active in her sons’ school’s PTA as a VP and chair of several committees, she is the  band association’s recording secretary, an an all-around a volunteer, and a busy mom. Melanie brings her love of watching children explore their world, along with her organizational skills and her amazing ability to multitask to The Paintbrush.

Jennifer Diaz, our Lead Teacher,  joined The Paintbrush in August 2016.

Caroline Watson,  is a student, an actor and now  teacher at The Paintbrush. She teaches our Saturday classes and runs birthday pARTies. She joined our team in fall 2016.

Teresa Sousa is a European ART Lover with a background in both Visual Arts and Fashion. She is a passionate teacher! Teresa is new to Chicago directly from Portugal. She joins The Paintbrush team to teach classes, camps and birthday pARTies in the Spring on 2017.

Andrew Garcia joined The Paintbrush team in May 2014 to run pARTies and work special events.