Dreamers And Doers

Meet our dynamic team of dreamers and creatives who work with us to create magic:

Paola Gómez

Paola is a trained Human Rights lawyer, Community Organizer, Public Speaker, an Artist Facilitator, a writer and a dreamer. Paola is involved in causes such as Ending Violence against Women and Forced Migration as well as Community engagement.

Paola has received several awards such as Toronto Community Foundation VITAL PEOPLE, Amina Malko Award, City of Toronto Human Rights Award, and Skills for Change Pioneers for Change Excellence in the Arts award, amongst others. 

Alex Usquiano

Alex is a Toronto based visual artist who integrates different techniques to his exploration of new and contemporary languages of Art. With more than fifteen years working on the arts, both a practicing artist and an artist educator, Alex uses his talent on painting, performance, drawing and photography to promote love for the arts and to encourage children to find ways for self-expression and explore their creativity.

Alex’s hobby is “psico magia", his favorite food is pork bone soup and his favorite movie is Dreams by Akira Kurosaw. 

Laura Rojas

Laura is a Colombian-born, Toronto-based artist and designer. She holds a BFA from OCAD University where she graduated in 2018 from the Cross-Disciplinary Art program specializing in Publications. Laura is interested in using art and design as tools for education, participation, and mobilization, as well as exploring how the arts can support community-building, strengthening our connections between each other and the world around us. Laura has too many hobbies, but a current obsession is learning about mycology.

Paula Sofía Morales

Paula Sofía is a Guatemalan-born, Toronto-based, singer-songwriter and a graduate from Arts Administration and Cultural Management at Humber College. She has worked in various capacities in MUSE Arts such as workshop facilitation, programming, and community engagement. 

Paula’s favorite song is Volar by El Kanka and her favorite movie is “Life is Beautiful”.

Natalia Ruiz Cuartas

Natalia is a Community educator, Feminist, Communications professional with postgraduate degree in innovation management, and communication and digital journalism. She has more than 8 years of experience in community work with women, LGBTQIA+ population, Victims of armed conflict and forced displacement, people with disabilities and children. Her professional practice has been linked to the development of inclusive education strategies and to using communication tools for activism, education and culture. 

Currently in her spare time she is doing doula training.

Verónica Gómez

Veronica is a community artist interested in creative writing and literature who aspires to travel the world and connect with others. She currently works with Muse Arts, in aspects such as workshop facilitation, communications, and project development. Veronica enjoys reading, as well as eating pastries and her favourite movie is Karate Kid.

Samantha Beltran Velasco

From a young age Samantha has had curiosity spring and dance in her mind. She’s a person who loves to learn and listen and is always willing to try something new.  From dancing in the Mexicans Folk Ballet, volunteering at festivals and community centres, acting in her school’s National Theatre School and now working with Muse arts. They all tie in to her love for arts and culture.

Daniela Marciana

Daniela Marciana is a Colombian artisan, performer, designer, community-social worker/builder, and multi disciplinary artist. She collaborates and works within the administrative, artistic development and set up team with different festivals, companies and organizations. Daniela is interested in the arts as a powering tool for social change and peace making. Over the last few years Daniela has developed her own brand of Jewelry and accessories named Marciana Artisanal Designs.(www.marciana.ca). Daniela loves dancing and her favourite singer is Carlos Varela.

Our Board

Board of directors:

Juan Camilo Poveda

Juan Camilo has become experienced in the coordination, outreach, and intake processes of programs for youth. He is a graduate with High Honours from the Social Service Worker program at Seneca College. Juan Camilo’s favourite activities are meeting new people, learning from them, and striving to empower other youth with tools to become the agents of change they want to see in their communities and the world.

Ana Gabriela Lopez Castro

Ana Gabriela is an active exponent of Mexican art and culture throughout the presentation of her artistic and handcrafted work known as the Alebrijes, fantastic figures created of paper mache. She has participated as an artist facilitator, leading artist, and volunteer with Muse Arts since 2013.
Ana Gabriela’s favourite hobby is swimming and her two favorite movies are Guillermo del Toro’s Laberinto del Fauno and La Forma del Agua.

Lidia Barrera

Lidia Barrera is a visual artist and registered nurse who uses acrylic paints and canvas to create very bold cultural rich art. Guatemalan born, she relocated to Toronto at the age of 5. Her paintings revolve around Guatemalan people, cultures, fabrics and life. Though she enjoys displaying themes revolving feminine spirit and vibes, her most favorite pieces revolve around the love of mother and her children as it resonates with the relationship and adoration she has towards her own children Austin and Raquel. Lidia’s favourite movie is Shawshank Redemption, and her favourite hobby is art.

Our Principles

Inclusion and Participation: There are many ways in which artists and other community members can get involved with us, and we welcome anyone who wants to share their talents or participate in any capacity. If you are an emerging artist from an equity-seeking group, reach out to us and let’s chat about possible opportunities! 

MUSE Arts is all about dreamers and doers working together to encourage social change at an individual and a collective level. Join us as we promote the use of the arts as a tool for social change and activism, support emerging artists, and collaborate on the promotion of arts and literature projects in Canada and across the world.

Self-expression: We believe that self-expression is born from the unique gifts and talents that each individual carries. The arts allow us to express and promote our ideas and interests, our world views and our creativity. We believe that allowing each person to find ways to express their artistic spirit creates a sense of well-being that brings us closer to achieving a common good.

Communal Effort:  We value creative cooperation and collaboration and believe in the creation of community spaces with a focus on the arts, with the integration of art, social justice, and community development as key pillars of these spaces.

Civil and Social Responsibility:  We recognize that we each have an individual responsibility in contributing to the improvement of our societies, and encourage artists to build allyship with other community members in order to achieve collective goals and work towards a more just and inclusive world, one project at a time.

Community Partners

Our Community Art Projects are delivered at Community Centres, VAW Shelters, Refugee Housing, Transitional Programs in the City of Toronto and other cities of Ontario. We also partner with Universities, Art organizations and other agencies in order to fulfill our mission.   Please contact us to explore more partnership opportunities.

Thanks to our past and present Community Partners: