February 16, 2022 – Live Arts is delighted to announce that actor, director, and educator Ti (tee) Ames has been hired as education director, starting March 21, 2202. They replace Miller Susen, who is stepping down after five years in the role to pursue her own artistic endeavors.
About the Education Director Position
The education director oversees Live Arts’ year-round education program for adults and youth, which includes classes, camps, and workshops; volunteer education; audience enrichment and engagement; student internships; and Live Arts’ Mentor/Apprentice program. Ames is also charged with shepherding “teenish” theater programs and off-site education programs in partnership with community organizations.
About Ti Ames
A Charlottesville native, Ames grew up and found their voice at Live Arts, a volunteer-powered community theater in downtown Charlottesville.
“I see no better way to return my gratitude than to provide the same opportunities for theater makers, young and old,” says Ames, who is currently completing a guest artist position at their alma mater, Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio.
Caroline Jackson Smith, Oberlin theater department chair, describes Ti as “talented, gifted, and totally ready for this position. They are a brilliant actor/singer and an accomplished director. [As a teacher,] they are so clear, prepared, and organized. They are the consummate professional.”
“Ti has a depth of experience that belies their years,” says Live Arts Executive Director Anne Hunter. “They are passionate about theater and kids, and widely respected at Live Arts and in the community. We are thrilled to welcome them back as a member of our leadership team.”
Over the past 16 years, Ames has been involved at Live Arts as both a volunteer and professional. They attended summer camps and classes in elementary school and worked as a camp counselor during college, eventually teaching and directing under the Live Arts education umbrella.
“I have an innate passion for working with children and students of all ages,” says Ames. They currently teach an African American History course which they designed and curated at Renaissance High School in Charlottesville. The course is so well received that it has become a graduation requirement for all incoming students.
A multi-talented performing artist, Ames is also a vocal coach at The Front Porch, a roots musical school just a block from Live Arts. Since 2016, they have taught theater workshops and coached vocal students at Monticello and Charlottesville High Schools.
“I wholeheartedly believe that knowledge is power. The power that stems from learning to use your voice is impactful for the students themselves, their parents, and the community at large,” they say.
In accepting the role, Ames is “most excited about the opportunity to offer a missing perspective on the Live Arts staff” as a Black, queer, non-binary individual. Having these perspectives identified in Live Arts leadership will “further encourage diversity and accessibility for volunteers and the Charlottesville community.”