Andrew Gibson

Executive Director

Andrew Gibson has been a performing and teaching artist since he was a teenager. He started his professional career in 2003 by performing and recording with a wide variety of musical artists, teaching private lessons, and learning the basics of music production. He served as Assistant Percussion Instructor for Parkway South High School from 2005-2010 and Pattonville High School from 2012-2017, and has taught hundreds of students out of his home studio and music studios and centers across the St. Louis region. He is one of the first audio technicians for Strictly Audio STL, has worked as a musician and audio tech at several area churches, and consulted on multiple youth and community arts initiatives. He currently serves as the Director of Partnerships with the advocacy group Faith For Justice through which he has co-organized national conferences and co-leads ongoing anti-racism and de-escalation training from a faith perspective. He also keeps a steady schedule as a performing and recording musician working with several hip-hop, soul, jazz, and gospel artists and bands, recording on nationally acclaimed albums, and sharing stages with Grammy winning artists. As co-founder and Executive Director of Freedom Arts, Andrew directs all fundraising and marketing campaigns, participates in all programs, supports staff in day-to-day operational and programmatic tasks, facilitates many Art & Academic Workshops, and closely mentors and teaches several youth. He has designed and implemented dozens of successful programs and events, secured strong partnerships with likeminded organizations and funders, cared for numerous youth and their families, and created jobs for many artists and educators. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a double minor in Philosophy and Audio Production from Webster University. He has been recognized for his artistic and social achievements by the Regional Arts Commission, Arts & Education Council, Riverfront Times, St. Louis Champions, Webster University, Integrity in the Arts, and St. Louis Underground Music Festival. He remains tirelessly devoted to ensuring equity for youth, creating jobs for artists and educators, and advocating for justice in St. Louis.


AGSTL





Miles Dela Cruz

Director of Program Integrity

Miles Dela Cruz is an artist, teacher, audio engineer, and mentor who has a wealth of experience working in multiple creative, educational, and technical fields. From community murals and graffiti art to web design and tech support, Miles’ work in the arts and grassroots community building speaks for itself all over St. Louis. In high school, he focused on developing his writing and instrumental music skills before finding his creative home in visual art. He worked with preschoolers at both KinderCare and MyGym before accepting a position as the Event Coordinator for St. Louis Carousel at Faust Park. Miles learned audio engineering by working for Strictly Audio STL in which he provided audio and video support for major music festivals throughout St. Louis. He is an inaugural member of the Great Rivers Greenway Artists of Color Council, judge for the annual South Grand Chalk Walk, consistent volunteer with Faith For Justice, and lead audio engineer for multiple churches in St. Louis. As co-founder and Director of Program Integrity for Freedom Arts, Miles oversees the logistics and planning of all programs and events, trains teaching artists and tutors, mentors and tutors youth, and facilitates many Art & Academic Workshops. He also coordinates transportation for the scholars, maintains technology at events and throughout facilities, and manages the Freedom Arts website. He has served as the resident teaching artist at Kingdom House/LifeWiseSTL and Tower Grove Christian Academy, has designed dozens of original arts workshops and activities, and has led Freedom Arts scholar artists in community mural installations for several St. Louis businesses and organizations. Miles is a 2016 fellow of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute which trains artists in community development and social change. He also earned his Associates in Computer and Electrical Engineering from ITT Technical Institute. He has been recognized for his creative and community efforts by the Regional Arts Commission, Arts & Education Council, and Humans of St. Louis. Miles has a gift in connecting with people from all backgrounds that is accentuated by his varied talents, outstanding work ethic, balanced leadership, and desire to create a genuine sense of community.






Nabil Ince

Director of Arts Innovation

Nabil Ince - aka Seaux Chill - is an innovative and perceptive artist, educator, and music director who fuses pillars of Black art and brings a one of a kind energy and presence to the work he’s involved in. Growing up in Columbia, Maryland, Nabil started playing the piano at 6 years old and quickly found the instrument to be the foundation for his creativity in the arts and teaching. While solidifying his piano skills and musicianship during high school, he also was a competitive swimmer, founded and ran a Bible study, and studied engineering. Nabil moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee to study music at Covenant College and work for East Lake Expression Engine. From 2015-2018 Nabil worked in multiple roles for “the Engine,” successfully coordinating an afterschool music and tutoring program, planning fundraisers and concerts, and teaching under the ideals of El Sistema music education practice. He has served as the music director for dozens of national conferences and shared his music on stages from the Midwest to China, spanning over 7,500 miles. Having released four albums to date under the Seaux Chill brand, his original music seamlessly blends Gospel, Soul, and Hip-Hop on the firm foundation of Jazz, creating a sonic canvas bursting with an unforgettable and authentic vibrancy. He’s currently working on his fifth album and collaborating with the Common Hymnal creating an online library of songs and stories of spiritual consciousness and social justice. In 2020, he relocated to St. Louis and is currently working as the Music Arts Manager for Faith For Justice and serving as the Lead Musician of Worship Arts Ministry at the historic St. John’s Church in North St. Louis. As Director of Arts Innovation and longtime teaching artist with Freedom Arts, Nabil is responsible for designing and organizing innovative multi-discipline arts projects, arts-related exposure trips, and commissioned projects and performances with his teammates and the youth. He equips his fellow teaching artists, facilitates arts classes and community workshops, leads all musical performances, and supports fundraising initiatives. All of his creative efforts utilize his unique skill set and passions and center the youth as they grow creatively, intellectually, and spiritually. Nabil earned his Bachelors in Music from Covenant College in 2018 and has had his music published and played across the globe. Always positive, always producing, and always on the journey of self discovery, Nabil has a deep love for empowering his fellow humans - especially the youth - to unleash their own creativity and use it to honor themselves, restore their community, and bring glory to the Creator.


SeauxChill





Beth Gibson

Director of Education & Operations

Beth Gibson is a versatile and experienced educator who is masterful at creating caring learning communities and building meaningful relationships with students and their families. After spending most of her time in performing arts in high school and achieving a high GPA, Beth went on to the University of Missouri to study education and earn her teaching certification. She worked as a day camp director, after school program coordinator, and a caregiver for young children during her college years. After graduating, Beth’s first classroom position was in the Parkway School District where she worked for seven years teaching 2nd and 3rd graders. In 2016, she went to South City Community School where she taught 1st and 2nd graders for four years before accepting her current position as a 5th grade teacher with the School District of University City. Beth is constantly pursuing professional development opportunities and has innovated new teaching strategies combining the practice of differentiation with arts-learning and play. She also serves with the advocacy group Faith For Justice, has taught herself the basics of accounting and nonprofit operations, and expanded her natural creative skills through painting, drawing, and sewing. As co-founder and Director of Education & Operations with Freedom Arts, Beth carries the dual responsibility of directing the organization’s academic programming and managing administrative tasks with the goals of disrupting the school-to-prison-pipeline and ensuring the organization’s operational and financial health. She designs and implements academic curriculum, gathers academic data and reports, communicates and coordinates with schools, facilitates youth workshops, and trains tutors and teachers. Beth oversees bookkeeping and accounting, manages tax-related tasks and general administrative duties, and assists with grants and fundraising. She also works collaboratively with staff and youth to curate a leveled and culturally-relevant library to increase youth literacy, social consciousness, and love of reading. She graduated magna cum laude from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education, and summa cum laude from Lindenwood University in 2013 with a Masters in Elementary Mathematics. Beth is an inherently gifted and highly trained educator who invests her skills into creating quality, relevant, free educational opportunities for all children, and she brings genuine enthusiasm, practical knowledge, and empathy to every teaching situation.






Pacia Anderson

Director of Culture & Creativity

Pacia Anderson is a St. Louis-based poet, writer, visual, and teaching artist who uses the art of the narrative to make sense of the world around her, explore complex subject matter, and tell a good story. Her work meets at the intersection of arts-learning and community development, with a focus on youth advocacy and the reclamation of the cultural practices, traditions, and customs of the African Diaspora. As one of the most innovative and respected teaching artists in the region, Pacia’s work in arts and education includes time with Good Journey Development Foundation, UrbArts, Yeyo Arts Collective, Bread & Roses, Springboard to Learning, and Colorbridge Arts. A village-minded artist deeply invested in the neighborhood where she lives, Pacia has played key roles in the development of the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan, and as a Cherokee Street Development League board member. In 2014, she co-founded Cherokee Street Reach, an art-based initiative that works with youth in the Cherokee Street area to co-create practical, actionable, positive social change through a multidimensional creative approach. She has served in leadership with Americans for the Arts, St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, Great Rivers Greenway Artists of Color Council, the NEA-sponsored Poetry Out Loud, Regional Arts Commission, and as the Curation Assistant to inaugural St. Louis Poet Laureate Dr. Michael Castro. As Director of Creativity & Culture and longtime teaching artist with Freedom Arts, Pacia shapes and implements creative strategies and practices to strengthen youth learning and engagement. She facilitates arts-centered lessons combining historical consciousness with academic requirements for the youth and curates a welcoming, nurturing, stimulating space to support youth learning, leadership, creativity, overall well-being, and education as a practice of freedom. Pacia received her Associate of Arts Degree in Journalism from Southwestern Illinois College, is a 2014 graduate of Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute, an Urban Bushwomen SLI alum, and a 2020 New Leaders Council-St. Louis fellow. She has garnered praise and accolades from dozens of local and national foundations and publications, and most recently was awarded the title of Community Impact Artist by the St. Louis Visionary Awards in 2020. Pacia brings her vibrancy, grace, and wisdom to dozens of area arts institutions, community non-profit organizations, grassroots and civic engagement groups, city recreation centers, and neighborhood youth while continuing to create, perform, and raise her powerful, brilliant daughter.


Pacia Elaine