About 

Kate Quarfordt is a Brooklyn-based educator, writer, performer, artist, advocate, and mom. On any given day she is rehearsing for a musical theater production with hundreds of kids from the South Bronx, blogging for the Huffington Post, advocating for Whole Child Education on Capitol Hill, performing at a storytelling event, working on her latest series of painted collages, or hanging out with her family in Fort Greene Park. Kate's multifaceted existence is sustainable (sometimes a little nuts, but sustainable) because everything she does hinges on the same idea: that creativity has the power to transform lives, build community, spark dialogue and support deep learning. Her long D train commute is where she hatches all her best schemes.

 
Teaching
Advocacy and Writing
Education and Background

 

Teaching

Kate began teaching at Bronx Preparatory Charter School in the South Bronx in 2003. During her second year at the school she founded a musical theater program that now involves hundreds of students, parents, teachers and community members and produces two full-length musicals every year, one of them entirely designed and directed by students.

 Since 2003, Kate and her artistic program colleagues have been proud to watch their students:

  • Win national recognition in speech, oratory, writing and acting
  • Receive scholarships to Dickinson College, Syracuse University, Hobart and William Smith, SUNY Purchase and others
  • Choose to major in the performing arts and arts education and/or integrate artistic studies with academic pursuits
  • Return to the Bronx to help launch new arts programming, mentor students, assist with theater productions and spearhead other community service projects

Kate is especially interested in helping young people develop as leaders. In 2010, she and several adult colleagues joined forces with a group of current students and recent Bronx Prep graduates to launch the Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy. Offering students in grades 5-12 an integrated performance studies experience spanning speech, theater, musical theater, design and directing, The Academy places a strong emphasis on building a sustainable model of student leadership and peer mentoring.

Advocacy and Writing

Education and Background

Kate holds a double BS in visual art and theater from Northeastern University and an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Teachers College, Columbia. She is the recipient of the John Fanselow Scholarship Award from Teachers College for infusing her teaching practice with creativity, humor, and a "healthy unorthodox attitude."

Whether she is teaching, making art, performing, writing or speaking, Kate infuses her work with a deep understanding of the mind/body connection gained through years of yoga and meditation studies... and dancing lots of Cuban salsa--pretty badly, but with abandon.