Andrew Gibson

Executive Director, Music/Creative Writing/Academic Teaching Artist
Andrew Gibson has been working as a musician, educator, producer, and audio technician in the St. Louis area since 2003 and believes deeply in the value of arts accessibility and education equality. Setting his sights on being musically diverse, he started his professional music career in high school by performing and recording with a variety of musical artists and learning the basics of music production. He first got into music education in 2005 when he started teaching private lessons out of his home studio and was hired as the Assistant Percussion Instructor at Parkway South High School. In 2013, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music with a double minor in Philosophy and Audio Production from Webster University. He worked as one of the first audio engineers for Strictly Audio STL, taught percussion lessons at City Music & Education Center, and taught music classes and lessons at Dayspring School of the Arts from 2011-2015. He has been teaching the drumline at Pattonville High School since 2012 and keeps a busy schedule as a performing and recording musician, playing with dozens of hip-hop, soul, jazz, and gospel artists. Within Freedom Arts, Andrew facilitates many Art & Academic Workshops, tutors through Scholar Sessions, develops programming, serves as a teaching artist and mentor in the Super Scholardays program, plans the annual Freedom Arts Expo and Freedom Arts Camp, and devotes much of his time to building relationships with fellow artists and likeminded organizations. He has been recognized for his artistic achievements and social efforts by the Regional Arts Commission, Riverfront Times, Integrity in the Arts, and St. Louis Underground Music Festival. Andrew is one of the original founders of the organization and and is dedicated to creating opportunities, empowering servants, and seeing everyone realize and utilize their God-given talents and worth.

Beth Gibson

Academic Coordinator, Academic/Visual Arts Teaching Artist
Beth Gibson is an experienced educator and emerging artist who has been building meaningful relationships with children and families all across St. Louis. A 2009 magna cum laude graduate of University of Missouri, Beth taught 2nd and 3rd grade in the Parkway School District before accepting a 1st grade teaching position at South City Community School in 2016. Throughout college, she worked as a day camp director and caregiver at an after school childcare facility. She graduated summa cum laude from Lindenwood University in 2013 with a Masters in Elementary Mathematics and expanded her natural artistic skills through painting, drawing, and sewing. Beth is an inherently gifted educator who brings honest enthusiasm and practical knowledge to every teaching opportunity. She has an innate ability to connect on a genuine level with every child she teaches. Beth facilitates several Art & Academic Workshops, including Watercolor Doodling, Mouse Painting, Reader’s Theater, and 1, 2, 3, Do Math With Me! As Academic Coordinator, she manages the Scholars Sessions and Freedom Readers programs by mobilizing volunteers, communicating with parents, developing curriculum and partnerships, and collecting data. She is continuing to increase her visual art skills and has plans to write and illustrate a children’s book series. Beth is one of the original founders of the organization and believes that all children deserve equal opportunities to devoted mentors and a high quality, well-rounded education.

Miles Dela Cruz

Arts Coordinator, Visual Arts/Theater/Music/Academic Teaching Artist
Miles Dela Cruz is an artist, audio engineer, and mentor who has experience working in a variety of childcare and education jobs. He was a preschool teacher for two years at Kindercare before working as a children’s fitness teacher at My Gym. He was also the Event Coordinator for St. Louis Carousel where he organized exciting programs and activities for children. He learned audio engineering by running live sound at Clayton Community Church for several years and working for Strictly Audio STL providing audio for major music festivals throughout St. Louis. As the Arts Coordinator, Miles facilitates many Art & Academic Workshops, trains his fellow teaching artists, and serves as a mentor through our Scholar Sessions program. He also manages Super Scholardays by designing and organizing art projects, performances, and field trips. He coordinates transportation for the scholars, maintains technology at events and throughout facilities, and designs and manages the Freedom Arts website. He is a 2016 fellow of the Regional Arts Commission CAT Institute which trains artists in community development and social change. Miles has a gift in connecting with children from all backgrounds that is accentuated by his varied talents and desire to contribute. Miles is one of the original founders of the organization and is passionate about people of all ages discovering their identity and finding their place as contributing members of our world.