After a year of transition, reflection, and collaborative visioning, Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth is excited to welcome Olivia Theilemann as BAAY’s new Artistic Director and Juliette Machado as its new Operations Director. Both Olivia and Juliette share similar identities as creative triple threats, with skills in nonprofit administration, arts education, and performance. Together as co-leaders, this dynamic duo will chart the organization’s next course, working hard to ensure that BAAY has everything it needs to thrive and serve students for years to come.
Olivia Theilemann (Artistic Director) has served as an arts educator in the Bellingham community for the last 9 years. Her journey with BAAY began as an EduArts after-school enrichment instructor in 2015. She eventually moved to BAAY’s campus as a stage manager in And in 2018, she stepped into the role of BAAY program director for the senior level age group. Olivia received her BA in Theatre Arts and Secondary Education from Western Washington University (WWU) and began teaching for Bellingham Public Schools after graduating. Last year, Olivia completed graduate school and received her Masters in Education in Instructional Design. Olivia is thrilled to help usher BAAY into this next phase as Artistic Director. She is looking forward to upholding BAAY’s longstanding mission while implementing necessary and exciting new visions.
Juliette Machado (Operations Director) began working for BAAY in 2014 as EduArtsProgram Coordinator. During her time running EduArts, she grew the after-school program from its humble beginnings to a sustainable source of arts education averaging 50 classes per year in over 10 elementary schools in Whatcom County. Juliette earned her BA in Communications and BFA in Dance from WWU. Since 2016, she has also worked as BAAY’s Marketing Director. Juliette is a company member of Bellingham Repertory Dance and adjunct faculty for Whatcom Community College’s dance program. She is committed to fostering sustainable and equitable systems in our community and is very excited for this new chapter as BAAY’s Operations Director.
About BAAY: BAAY’s mission is to enrich children’s lives through the exploration of the arts. We believe that the arts are a basic and essential component of all children’s education. We serve approximately 1400 children ages 5-17 annually in our EduArts and Theatre programs, and provide over $30,000 a year in annual scholarship assistance to remove financial barriers to participation. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and stay at home orders, the need for creative expression and community engagement is more important than ever. Learn how you can support the sustainability of this work at baay.org/donate.