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The Staff at Appel Farm Arts & Music Campus

The staff at Appel Farm is committed to providing the community with transformative arts and learning experiences in our inclusive, supportive, nurturing community. Our team is made up of highly qualified individuals who embody our core values: community, safety, personal growth, fun and love of the arts!

Cori Solomon, Executive Director

Cori holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, in Elementary Education and Mathematics, from Queens University, as well as Nonprofit Management & Development and Financial Management Certificates from LaSalle University. Solomon is finishing a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University.

Cori’s extensive teaching, visual and performing arts experience includes serving as a Gifted and Talented Certified Teacher at Flowertown Elementary School, Primary School teacher in Cottingham, England, and Arts Director and Administrator at Kamp Kohut. She also served as Assistant Camp Director at Camp Curtain Call Performing Arts Camp and Theater Director at S.T.A.R.T.S. Summer Day Camp, and is a Board Member of the Philadelphia Area Camp Experts. Solomon’s passion for the arts is a natural extension of her own experiences as an actress, director, dancer and visual artist. Cori joined the staff at Appel Farm as a Camp Director at Appel Farm in 2007, and was named Executive Director in 2014.

Email Cori at [email protected].

Julia Weekes, Programs & Creativity Director

Julia is an educational management leader, educator, and artist. Julia brings nearly thirty years of experience in leadership and management, arts education, arts and science integration, early childhood education, project-based learning, cooperative learning, and progressive education to her new role as Appel Farm Art and Music Center Programs and Creativity Director.

Julia is a Philadelphia-area native and resides in the Mt. Airy section with her two teenage sons, Judah and Isaiah. Julia received her BFA from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts and her MAT from University of the Arts. She has spent decades teaching visual art and science with a focus on community-based programs. She has extensive experience in leadership positions as founder and executive director of an experiential education organization and early education center director.

Julia is also a proud Appel Farm alumna, attending the camp in the early 1980s. It was Appel Farm that inspired her to pursue the arts and foster a commitment to diversity and equity in education. She shared her love of Appel Farm with her children through nostalgic stories and trips to music festivals. Three summers ago, Judah and Isaiah began their own journey as Appel Farm campers. Appel Farm has become their home away from home and eagerly look forward to each summer, returning to their Appel Farm family…now bringing along their mom.

Email Julia at [email protected].

Jennie Quinn, Public Outreach Director

Jennie is a graduate of West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education.

Jennie started her arts education career at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as an intern for Youth and Family Programming’s national tours, and the Theater Training Program. She worked in development and graphic design at the Wilma Theater, co-produced the short film series Through the Lens for WYBE Public Television, and worked as an independent film producer. Jennie has been a Camp Director at Appel Farm since 2001, was promoted to Associate Director in 2015, and is thrilled to continue serving the Appel Farm community as Public Outreach Director.

Email Jennie at [email protected].

Heather Yelle, Operations & Finance Director

Heather received her B.F.A in Illustration from Rivier College (Rivier University) and her M.S.M in Arts Administration from Lesley College (Lesley University). In Fall 2016, Heather finished a customized marketing/development certificate at The NonProfit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business.

She joined our staff in 1993. Over the course of working at Appel Farm she has held staff positions as the Events Intern, Concert Marketing Coordinator, Organizational Marketing Director, Director of External Relations, and currently serves as the Operations & Finance Director. She received the Paul Aiken Award at the South Jersey Cultural Alliance’s “Encore Awards” in 2016. Throughout her Appel Farm career, she coordinated the Jersey Arts Marketers South committee for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and currently sits at the Vice-Chair of the committee. Ms. Yelle was presented with the Jersey Arts Marketer Leadership Award for 2018. Ms. Yelle is also a County Freeholder appointed member of the Salem County Tourism Committee and currently sits on the “Celebrate the Excellence” Awards Nomination Committee and the Mission Alignment Committee of the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey. Her other positions within the local community included Secretary on the Women’s Auxiliary of Inspira Health Network-Elmer Division, the Elmer Board of Education and the Service Unit Manager for the Crow Pond District of the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey.

Email Heather at [email protected].

Kristina Hill, Arts Integration and Steam Education Director

Kristina holds a BA in Speech Language Pathology/Audiology and Special Education from Marymount Manhattan College. A lifelong visual and performing artist, Kristina began her career in education as a speech therapist for children with autism, where she was able to further develop her love of the arts by utilizing an arts-integrated approach to traditional therapy. For almost 20 years, Kristina has developed and implemented arts integrated educational programming for public schools and community centers for underserved populations in the tri-state area. She is also the founder of Creative and Curious, an early childhood arts integrated program with an emphasis on social emotional learning.  Kristina joined the summer leadership team at Appel Farm in 2017 as the Head of Visual Arts and was brought on as the Arts Integration and Steam Education Director in 2019.

Email Kristina at [email protected].

Curtis Williams, Community Programs Director

Curtis holds a BA degree in History and Africana Studies and a MS degree in Public Affairs from Rutgers University – Camden. He also holds an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Public Affairs with a focus on Community Development from Rutgers University – Camden.

Curtis has worked in the education and youth development fields for over a decade. He is excited about the possibility of utilizing his experience to contribute to the growth of Appel Farm’s arts education programs in the South Jersey region.

Email Curtis at [email protected].

Bailey Cunningham, Program Coordinator and Theatre Instructor

Bailey graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in music composition. He joined the Appel Farm team in 2018 as camp’s Musical Theater Director. Bailey began teaching in his hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona, and continues composing, music directing and teaching at Creativity CoLaboratory. He has worked off-Broadway at Ensemble For The Romantic Century, and has transcribed music for Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn. He was a teaching artist with Cultural After School Adventures (Queens NY) in 2017, and taught piano and voice lessons at Park Slope Music School (Brooklyn NY) in 2018. Bailey is excited to continue his artistic journey as part of the Appel Farm Family!Email Bailey at [email protected] or 

Email Bailey at [email protected] or [email protected]

Rachael Basescu, Music Director

Email Rachael at [email protected]

AJ Nichols, STEAM Assistant

Email AJ at [email protected]

Audrey Angeloni, Engagement & HR Director

Audrey, a native of Canton, Ohio, graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in 2013.

Audrey came to Appel Farm in 2013 as part of the camp staff before joining Appel Farm year round as an intern for 2014-2015. She has become an essential part of Appel Farm through her work as Office Manger, Volunteer Coordinator and manager of our Teaching Artist Roster. In addition to her administrative work, Audrey is coordinating and managing Appel Farm’s on-site after school arts program, Arts Lab. Audrey pursues her passion of the arts by making pottery and jewelry.

Email Audrey at [email protected].

Kelly Rich, Administrative Coordinator

Kelly studied criminal justice and marketing, and had a 24-year career in banking and finance. She is proud wife and mother to 3 small children that keep her active in the community.

Email Kelly at [email protected].

Samantha Miller, Public Outreach Assistant

Samantha graduated from  Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. Music with a concentration in commercial music, and is a native of Salem County, New Jersey. 
Samantha has joined the Appel Farm public outreach team for the summer of 2019 as an intern. Through her studies, she has found a way to combine her love of music and nonprofit business and sharpen her skillset to fulfill both of these passions as she trains for her future career in arts administration. Samantha is also a member of her University’s choir, marching band, clarinet ensemble, and chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity.”

Email Samantha at [email protected].

Frank Baratta, Senior Accountant

Frank comes to Appel Farm with 30 years of accounting experience.  During his career he spent 18 years in public accounting with a focus in auditing, serving clients in a wide range of businesses including: non-profit organizations, real estate development and property management companies, commercial and residential real estate, construction contractors, hotel management, affordable housing developments, technical schools, professional and medical practices, durable medical equipment suppliers, and newspaper publication companies.

Frank is a CPA, certified in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).  He received his bachelor degree in accounting from Rutgers University (Camden) and is eager to share his talents with the Appel Farm community.

Email Frank at [email protected].

Natasha Thompson, Program Operations Director

Natasha is a graduate of Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and a minor in Sociology.

With a passion for nonprofit and performing arts management, Natasha worked in development both at Southern Tier AIDS Program in upstate New York and at Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland. She also spent a summer as the Assistant Stage Manager at Cortland Repertory Theatre. In her free time, she is an active member of the local theatre community. Natasha joined the Appel Farm team in 2013 as a bunk counselor and instructor, has served as the Head of Technical Theatre since 2014, and was promoted to Program Operations Director in 2018.

Email Natasha at [email protected].

Donald Nees, Assistant Facilities Caretaker

Donald has vocational training in drafting, carpentry, welding, small engines, and more. He began his career working at the David Library of the American Revolution, an historic site in Washington’s Crossing. Donald has worked as an Assistant Property Manager for multiple summer camps, and holds a certificate as a Certified Pool Operator.

Donald started with Appel Farm in May of 2014, and keeps our grounds and buildings in good working order and looking great!

Email Donald at [email protected].

Susan Miranda, Technology & Program Coordinator

Email Susan at [email protected]

Danielle Walkden, Food Service Manager

Email Danielle at [email protected]

Skylar Stiles, Operations Assistant

Skylar graduated from Rowan University with a BA in Art with a focus in Photography and Graphic Design. Her love for the arts has led her to Appel Farm in hopes to help people from all walks of life express themselves through art. When she is not at work at Appel Farm, she can be found behind the lens of a camera.

Email Skylar at ss[email protected].

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