While at the University of Miami, Joyce Masongsong-Ray learned how to juggle, literally – with balls and other weighty objects – at her part-time job at a museum gift store. Customers would come in to watch the juggling employees and would wind up purchasing the overpriced Monet wall calendars. In the ensuing years, she continued to juggle, figuratively, her careers in the arts and education.
After moving to Michigan, she designed toys and activity books for Flying Colors Toys and Giddy Up. She also edited videos for the educational organizations Wayne RESA and Community + Public Arts: Detroit. She has been a fifth-grade teacher at Central Academy, an Arabic charter school in Ann Arbor, and an urban middle school animation instructor with Community Arts Partnerships in Detroit. Her teaching interest is in how educators can best utilize art and video as storytelling to enhance writing and other classroom curriculum.
Currently, she lives near Santa Cruz, California and is taking a professional hiatus to focus on raising two young children while writing and illustrating a picture book series on cultural identity and self-esteem, based on her experience as a first-generation American and teacher of immigrant students. She has a Bachelor of Art in art history from the University of Miami (Florida), a Bachelor of Fine Art in animation from the College for Creative Studies (Detroit, Michigan) and a Master of Art in elementary education with teaching certificate from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). On the side, she is a referee for the Santa Cruz Derby Girls and she still juggles – soft objects for small audiences only.
Member since 2010
Region: California: San Francisco/South
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