Andrew Gibson

Executive Director

Andrew Gibson has been a performing and teaching artist since he was a teenager. His versatility, passion, and experience make him a valuable musician, educator, and organizer. Setting his sights on being musically diverse, he started his professional career in high school by performing and recording with a variety of musical artists and learning the basics of music production. Andrew has been teaching private lessons, classes, and workshops since 2003. He served as the 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, at City Music and Education Center, and Dayspring School of the Arts. He also worked as one of the first audio technicians for Strictly Audio STL, has led musical worship at several area churches, and currently serves with the advocacy group Faith For Justice. In December 2013, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music with a double minor in Philosophy and Audio Production from Webster University. Andrew keeps a steady schedule of performances and sessions with several musical artists, ranging in styles from hip hop to gospel to jazz. He has organized several unique shows and concerts, recorded on nationally acclaimed albums, and recently had the honor of opening LouFest in 2017. Within Freedom Arts, Andrew facilitates many Art & Academic Workshops, mentors and tutors several scholars, and devotes much of his time to building relationships with fellow artists and likeminded organizations. He oversees the planning, direct implementation, and evaluation of all programs, manages all finances and contracts, and provides leadership and management to assure that the organization is well-respected, self-sufficient, financially secure, and operating with integrity. Andrew has been recognized for his artistic and social achievements by the Regional Arts Commission, Riverfront Times, Integrity in the Arts, and St. Louis Underground Music Festival. He is tirelessly devoted to ensuring equity for the systemically underserved youth, creating job opportunities for devoted artists and educators, and advocating for justice and vibrancy in St. Louis.

Miles Dela Cruz

Arts Coordinator

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 After Sessions program. He also manages Create Days 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’s Community Arts Training 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 and create a genuine sense of community. 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.

Beth Gibson

Academic Coordinator

Beth Gibson is an experienced and creative educator who is devoted to building meaningful relationships with children and families all across St. Louis. While earning her Bachelors in Elementary Education at University of Missouri, she worked as a day camp director and caregiver at an after school childcare facility. After graduating magna cum laude in 2009, Beth taught in the Parkway School District for 7 years before accepting a teaching position at South City Community School in 2016. 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. As Academic Coordinator, Beth manages the After Sessions and Freedom Readers programs by mobilizing volunteers, communicating with parents, developing curriculum and partnerships, and collecting data. She facilitates several Art & Academic Workshops, including Watercolor Doodling, Mouse Painting, Reader’s Theater, Lego Engineers, and 1, 2, 3, Do Math With Me! She also closely mentors several of the young girls in Freedom Arts and loves spending her time with them building strong relationships, encouraging and challenging one another, exploring St. Louis, reading, learning, and creating. Beth is continuing to develop her visual art skills and has plans to write and illustrate a children’s book series. She is an inherently gifted educator who brings honest enthusiasm, practical knowledge, and an innate ability to genuinely connect to every child she teaches. She 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.