I graduated with a BA in Music Education in 1980, beginning my career as a private piano instructor with the Creative Arts and Theatre School in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas. My husband, Rick, and I joined YWAM in the Pacific Northwest in 1994 and remained in leadership in Salem, Oregon until 2001. We led the King’s Kids Ministry for six years and then pioneered a very arts-focused version of the Mission Adventures program that facilitated church youth groups into short term missions. During that time, my educational employment included positions as Teaching Artist with the Salem, Oregon Arts Association, and Artist-in-Residence, where I taught music and arts enrichment classes within the public school system.
I’ve had a lifetime interest in music history and the role of music within world cultures. Mission travel in India, China, and the Middle East in 2000-2006 allowed me to observe the integral role music plays in the individual and communal health of indigenous tribes-peoples and inspired me to return to academic life to continue my studies in musicology/ethnomusicology. My research interests are focused on Egyptian and Sudanese Nubian musicians and how their music sounds the riverine environment that has shaped their everyday lives for thousands of years.
Since moving to New Mexico, I was adjunct faculty with the music department of Northern New Mexico College in Espanola, NM until 2017. I'm a vocalist, pianist, composer - have been married to one of those classic Christian rock worship leaders for 38 years and have children who creatively forge their own paths in the arts, intensive healthcare, social work, and the kingdom.
Creative Writing Track
My main focus in my writing is on children and youth. I am especially interested in highlighting the interests and situations of youth whose reading ability is below their age group. My dream is to create a platform that gives a voice to those who feel voiceless. I’ve written two manuscripts that dealt with youth in foster care. Currently, I am working on a piece about troubled youth set in a southern backdrop.
Maybe one of the projects I’m most proud of is a series that follows an eleven-year-old boy as he navigates junior high with numerous disabilities… well, and also a children's alphabet book entitled A Wee Matey’s Treasure Hunt through the ABCs that I wrote and illustrated.
I graduated from Belhaven University in 2016 with a BFA in Creative Writing. I’ve served as Editor-in-Chief of a literary journal and was published in several literary magazines over the past six years. I love reading and editing others work and helping them form their ideas into coherent, engaging stories. Summer and Fall of 2018, I completed my Creative Arts DTS with YWAM London Radiant. While in this school, I created a blog which I continue to expand upon. The link is here: https://screendoorsummit.wordpress.com/ for those interested.
Music and Recording Track
Matthew Tobias has been playing drums since age 4 and professionally for 27 years since college. In that time, he has played hundreds of shows in over a dozen countries and drummed on over 1,500 recording projects. Matthew also owns Empty House Studio, a full-service commercial singer/songwriter project studio with drum set recording specialty, where he produces and records artists and also drums on projects for artists from around the country. Empty House Studio opened in Omaha, Nebraska in 1999 and operated primarily as a drum set recording facility until 2011. In March 2013, Empty House Studio was relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Matthew has produced/mixed over 200 records. He also gives Creative Ministries lectures to worship teams and offers workshops on “Drumset and the Kingdom” and “Artists and the Kingdom.”
emptyhousestudio.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emptyhousestudio/ ; Instagram: @Matthewdrummer
Youth With A Mission (Kona,HI) 1992; 1995-1996; DTS and Campus Worship Staff
Arts Promotion Track
Carolyn Tobias, originally from Brisbane, Australia is a wife, mom to three and a lover of the arts. Carolyn brings over 26 years of public relations and communications experience with non-profits, agency, corporate and freelance sectors to the role of Communications Director with Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico (since 2014). She has taught “Branding and Marketing for Creatives” workshops with Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community. Carolyn's background is in theatre, her husband is a drummer and music producer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and their whole family enjoys all artistic endeavors. Her motivation each day is to value the artist behind the art, first and foremost.
Education - Bachelor of Business Communications: Public Relations & Marketing (with Distinction) from Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
Youth With A Mission (Kona, HI) DTS and DTS staff 1995-1996
Visual Arts Track
Marianne Millar was born and raised in Southern California and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Davis. She then went on to post-baccalaureate studies In Illustration and Drawing and Painting at California State University in Long Beach. During this period Marianne was involved in the design and production of many public and private murals for such clients as Liberty Fruit and Produce, City of Long Beach, the Port of Long Beach, and the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
After brief employment as a newspaper photographer in 1992-1993, Marianne traveled back to Southern California and back to her first love, painting.
In 1994 she began drawing on her childhood experiences of traveling to Indian reservations, trading posts, dances and Pow-wows throughout the American West, and started her first series of Native American portraits. Her painting career continued to blossom throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s as Marianne began to show her work in various southwestern galleries of Scottsdale, AZ and Santa Fe, NM.
Then in late 2006, Marianne felt the need for a short term hiatus from painting while also wanting to explore her spiritual roots. She ended up joining Youth with a Mission in 2007 and the short term hiatus turned into 4 years living in Guatemala and helping to manage the YWAM Antigua base as well as leading DTS teams and church groups throughout parts of Central America and the Caribbean. During this time, Marianne continued to pursue the visual arts but was now working in the realms of graphic and web design.
With a passion to merge her art with her ministry, Marianne continues to paint Native America, is working as an illustrator for Create Seeds International and also continues to work with Youth with a Mission in Native American ministry and as a sand animation artist.