Meet our team of dedicated female arts educators.

Correne Spero - Director of Programs and Development

photo: Sara Reeves

photo: Sara Reeves

Correne (known as Spero to most) has been writing songs for over twenty years, beginning at Oberlin College where she earned a B.A. in Women's Studies.

Originally from New York, Spero studied audio engineering and production at the Institute for Audio Research. As part of the three-woman hip hop group Northern State, she toured across the US, Europe, and Canada for almost a decade sharing the stage with The Roots and Tegan and Sara, and recording with hip hop legends Adrock of Beastie Boys, members of Cypress Hill, and Pete Rock. Rolling Stone called Northern State "everything you want underground hip-hop to be" and "hip-hop for the modern fabulous woman."

In New York, Spero also played guitar and drums and wrote songs in 6-girl rock group Lucky Bitch. In 2010, Spero relocated to Little Rock where she recorded an album of her songwriting with local Little Rock musicians. In 2015, she formed DOT with Trust Tree co-facilitators Melanie Castellano and Jordan Wolf, in which she contributes songwriting/vocals and plays drums, guitar, and keyboard.

Spero has a lifelong interest in supporting women, children, and immigrant communities. She received a CELTA TESOL/TEFL certification from the University of Cambridge and has taught English as a second language to adult learners.

Proudly "New Yorkansas", Spero loves being a part of Little Rock's musical community. She founded Trust Tree in 2017 to inspire the next generation of girls in Arkansas to discover for themselves how far their creativity can take them.

Keesha Bass - Director of Outreach and Communications

photo: Katie Childs

photo: Katie Childs

Keesha Bass is a Little Rock native and recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. 

Keesha is a classically trained cellist, but that didn’t stop her from also becoming a member of a “noise band” during her high school and college years. Keesha attended the Governor’s School for theater and participated in several theater and visual arts projects during her time in college.

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Keesha has been the Educational Coordinator at Motley’s Farm and has worked as a Project Manager and Marketing Specialist for businesses and organizations in the Little Rock area. Keesha has also served as a coach for Girls on the Run, working to build confidence and healthy habits in girls through running and fitness.

Keesha wears many hats at Trust Tree and has been invaluable in helping us get our message out, connect with our community, and inspire our campers. We are so fortunate to benefit from her creativity, strategic thinking, and dedication to our mission.

Melanie Castellano - Director of Music Camp Programming, Lead Music Progam Facilitator

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Melanie holds a Bachelors in Art Education, a Masters degree in Special Education, and certifications in Art Education and Special Education.

Melanie has taught Special Education at Parkview High School for 8 years and her 10 year musical career includes recordings, live performances, and tours with bands Tippy Canoe, Sister Brother, Color Club, and Casual Pleasures.

Melanie is a multi-instrumentalist and plays ukulele, piano (thanks to her Grandma), drums, and trumpet, with a foundation in music theory.

Melanie currently plays ukulele, keyboards and drums and writes songs in the Little Rock band DOT (with Correne Spero and Jordan Wolf).

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Melanie has been hands-on in developing our music program since day one, helping girls learn the basics of multiple instruments, coaching bands on collaboration and teamwork, and helping bring out the best in our young songwriters.

photo: Katie Childs

photo: Katie Childs

photo: Angel McVay McGehee

photo: Angel McVay McGehee

 
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Jordan Wolf - Director of Visual Art Curriculum, Lead Visual Art Program Facilitator

photo: Sara Reeves

photo: Sara Reeves

Jordan received a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock and is currently an Art Educator at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet Middle School.

Jordan is a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter and has played banjo, drums, bass and sang in bands for over a decade including Tippy Canoe (2005-2007), Color Club (2007-2014), and DOT (2015- Present).

photo: Angel McVay McGehee

photo: Angel McVay McGehee

In 2015, Jordan was selected by the U.S. Department of State to join the Arkansas Declaration of Learning Initiative, where she collaborated with a team of teachers to develop an innovative curriculum designed to empower students through civic engagement.

Jordan continues her own art education by attending a variety of studio art classes and was the recipient of the John Neff Memorial and Windgate scholarships to attend the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.

At Trust Tree, Jordan develops visual arts programming that allows girls to build confidence and self-expression and find creative inspiration through a variety of visual art mediums.

Hope Findlay - Music Program Facilitator

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Hope Findlay is a Little Rock-based multi instrumentalist who hails from a family of musical women. Hope began playing drums at age 8 (including in her school band) and guitar at 15 and she has played guitar and drums and contributed songwriting in multiple bands.

Hope has been a summer camp counselor and worked with church youth groups in addition to wrangling 6 nieces and nephews.

Hope is a total wiz at helping us get our sound set-up just right and helping to coach our girls to songwriting and performance victories!

Hope will be be a music camp co-facilitator for the second time in Summer 2019 and we are so lucky to have her back with us in the Trust Tree!


Robyn "Sprout"Goodmark - Guest Music Program Facilitator

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Robyn “Sprout” Goodmark holds a degree in Environmental Education from Vassar College and has taught elementary education as well as music, arts, and environmental education in New York, Massachusetts, and California.

Robyn is the the author of “Girls Rock: How to Get Your Group Together and Make Some Noise” (Billboard Books), aimed at teaching girls the ins and outs of starting a band.

With her bands Northern State and Lucky Bitch, she released four albums and toured the world playing music for nearly a decade.

Robyn lives in Northampton, MA with her husband and son, Ellis, and we are so privileged to have benefitted from her experience, support, guidance, and involvement in our program since its inception.

 

 
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Hope running sound for “Hiding Away”! (photo: Katie Childs)

Hope running sound for “Hiding Away”! (photo: Katie Childs)

 
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DOT by Sara Reeves

DOT by Sara Reeves

DOT - Melanie Castellano, Correne Spero, Jordan Wolf

DOT - Melanie Castellano, Correne Spero, Jordan Wolf

Northern State - Julie Potash, Robyn Goodmark, Correne Spero

Northern State - Julie Potash, Robyn Goodmark, Correne Spero