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Event Date and Time

Saturday, April 29, 2023

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM MST



Desert Willow Conference Center 

4340 East Cotton Center Boulevard

Phoenix, AZ 85040

About This Event

Presented by BHHS Legacy Foundation

On April 29, 2023 Free Arts for Abused Children will welcome staff working in child social service agencies, Free Arts volunteer mentors, Free Arts professional teaching artists, and Free Arts staff, for plenary learning sessions, breakout sessions, and expressive art experiences. Session topics will include understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences, trauma informed care principles, special considerations in working with specific ages, summaries of recent Free Arts program evaluations, support for self-care, and creative arts-based interventions for children and teens.

Featured Artists and Speakers


Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Maven has made it his duty to uplift and service his community by way of beat making, emceeing, and teaching artistry. With a strong background in audio engineering and the art of DJ, Maven has had the privilege of participating in multiple nationwide tours, music events, and collaboration projects at a professional level since 2016. This also marks the calendar year that Maven became affiliated with Free Arts when he was contracted as a teaching artist for their annual Hip-Hop Camp that summer. Today, Maven continues to share his passion for various Hip-Hop disciplines with youth around the valley as a full-time teaching artist, community event coordinator, and DJ.

Danica Koestner

Danica’s career focuses on serving children and families.  She has worked as a teacher, foster child ally and advocate, foster parent educator, and currently serves as a children’s ministry director.  She holds a master’s degree in special education and has a personal passion for movement and how anyone can connect body movement to music.  For more than 10 years, Danica has served the Free Arts community in many roles: Youth Leadership Team Coordinator, Camp Counselor, Camp Director, Teaching Artist, and more.  Danica is passionate about enjoying life and making content accessible and fun for all – whether that content is geometry or movement! In her spare time you may find Danica walking her two dogs or trying to find the best iced matcha in town. 




Lizzy House

Lizzy House started mentoring with Free Arts when she moved here from Boston in 2010. Over the past five years, she’s brought yoga and mindfulness to Children’s First Leadership Academy, Maggie’s Place, and several group homes as a Free Arts Professional Teaching Artist. She teaches yin, flow, Forrest, and gentle yoga, as well as meditation at local health clubs and for special-needs and at-risk populations. 







Sean Medlin

Sean Avery Medlin (they/he) writes raps, poems, and sometimes essays, while occasionally teaching young folks to do the same. Their art questions the limitations of Black masculinity, media representation, and personal narrative. Medlin’s work has been featured in the Tucson Poetry Festival, Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Tribune, Phoenix New Times, and Teen Vogue. All of Medlin’s work is available online at 808s & Otherworlds: Memories, Remixes, & Mythologies is their debut collection of essays and poetry, available in audio and print everywhere books are sold in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. You can follow them on Instagram @skinnyblksean.


Denise Beagley

Denise Beagley, M.Sc. is the owner of Beagley Consulting, Associate Director of Banner University Health Plans, Crisis and Justices Systems programs, and Faculty Associate at Arizona State University’s School of Social Work. She also works part-time as a Crisis Intervention Specialist for Chandler Fire Department. She has worked within the behavioral health system since 2002. Prior to working in Arizona, she completed her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. Denise’s work has predominately intersected at Criminal Justice and Psychology. While at Trinity College, her research focused on the Garda Síochána (police force in Ireland) and working under stress. Since 2005, Denise has served as an adjunct faculty for the Office of the Courts, Arizona Probation and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) instructor within Maricopa County. Denise was recently appointed to the Arizona Parents Commission on Drug Education and serves as a commissioner. Denise has over 20 years of experience working under the umbrella of Psychology and Public Safety and serves as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to internal and external ASU departments and provider companies.

Mario Barela

Originally from Fresno, Ca, Mario Barela grew up with a gift and passion to create music. Music was a key component to keeping him in school and opening doors of opportunity, as Mario spent most of his time in bands. In 2007, Mario created the Buckets of Fun Program, designed to interact, introduce, and inspire young learners to grow in music. Today, Mario shares his music gifts with the world through teaching, performing, writing, leading worship in church, and recording with others. 

Erina Sanchez

Erina Sanchez has extensive non-profit experience from local social service organizations like Southwest Key, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, and the State Board of Education.   Erina is fluent in Spanish and passionate about supporting the rights of vulnerable children in our community.   She has volunteered with the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and is excited to continue making a difference with the Free Arts community!

Jenna Christie-Tabron

Jenna is a mental health clinician who has dedicated her career to helping children and adolescents achieve their highest potential. With experience in environments that extend from the east coast of the United States all the way to The Bahamas, Jenna comes with a wealth of knowledge from working with youth in the school, medical, psychiatric, residential, and judicial systems. Additionally, since her relocation to Phoenix, she has begun working with refugees and asylum-seeking families on their quest to resettle in the United States. Jenna uses her vibrant spirit to help her clients achieve personal empowerment in all their endeavors. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys all things related to music, food, and Grey’s Anatomy!


Workshop Descriptions


Keeping Cultural Connections with Native American Beading –Elisia Manuel, Founder of Three Precious Miracles / A Place to Call Home

This workshop will celebrate and share our Native history, culture and heritage by teaching participants beading techniques, with step-by-step demonstrations to create beautiful lanyards. This beading workshop provides cultural enrichment and mental health healing to promote the health and well-being of children and families.






Connecting Families Through the Arts – Erina Sanchez and Jenna Christie-Tabron

During this workshop, participants will be given an overview of the benefits of art-based activities for both individuals and families and receive an introduction to the Free Arts Family Program. They will discover how our programs help foster, kinship, and adoptive families engage in healthy self-expression and cultivate emotional resilience through the arts. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an intentional art activity where they will be guided through a creative experience designed to encourage emotional processing and build self-efficacy.

Compassion Fatigue & Self-Care: an Occupational HazardDenise Begley, M. Sc., Beagley Consulting

Compassion Fatigue is a state characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among individuals that work directly with trauma survivors such as nurses, psychologists, case workers, and first responders. However, sufferers can exhibit several symptoms including hopelessness, a decrease in experiences of pleasure, constant stress and anxiety, sleeplessness or nightmares, and a pervasive negative attitude. We find in the behavioral health arena it has a significant presence and can lead to negative outcomes for the helpers. Self-Care is all about learning how to take care of yourself and identify those issues that trigger you to act in a negative manner. This is where the real work begins.

The Art of Connection: Family Preservation Through Mandated Supporting – Jenna Christie-Tabron

Mandated reporting is a safeguarding obligation to report suspicions of abuse and/or neglect. This practice has managed to save an overwhelming number of children from dangerous environments all over the country. However, there is a growing concern among the human services community that mandated reporting in the absence of a socio-contextual lens can lead to traumatic familial separation which may have been preventable. Therefore, this workshop intends to explore the concept of mandated supporting which increases family preservation through acknowledging unintentional bias in reporting and increases families’ connection to community-based resources for support

Mindful Grounding Tools – Lizzy House

Mindful practices, grounding you into the present moment, empower you to respond (instead of reacting from charged emotions). Learn to guide yourself and others through simple, research-backed breathwork and refocusing techniques, designed to soothe anxiety and defuse anger. 

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth – Wallace Hudson, one•n•ten Training Program Manager and Hira Ismail, one•n•ten Training Program Specialist 

one•n•ten envisions a world where all LGBTQ youth and young adults are embraced for who they are, actively engaged in their communities, and empowered to lead.

Register Today!