Gabriel Pickus, Founder, Executive Director, Teaching Artist
Gabriel Pickus founded, directs, and serves as the lead teaching artist for the Baltimore Wisdom Project. Gabriel Pickus was a Program Director for the Whole Child Intervention Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research. A Healing Touch™ Certified Practitioner (HTCP), Gabriel has been dedicated to transformative education since he attended a bi-lingual Montessori school. Gabriel is trained in Systema (a Russian martial art), Capoeira Angola, Ghanaian drum and dance, and conflict management. He is an alumni of Habonim Dror, an international youth movement that values social justice, collaboration, and positive identity formation. A Chicago-native, he spent 14 summers with Habonim, immersed in alternative learning models, and training as an educator. Gabriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Goucher College and spent a year in Israel/Palestine designing and facilitating conflict resolution curricula for Muslim-Israeli, Christian-Israeli, and Jewish-Israeli youth. A student of Contra-Mestre Skher Brown, a Capoeira Angola teacher, Gabriel also completed Dr. Theodore Richards’ Wisdom Teacher Certification course before founding the BWP.
tree, Managing Director and Teaching Artist
tree is a veteran nonprofit manager who has helped guide the operations, communications, fundraising, engagement, and educational initiatives of several organizations over the last 25-plus years. A longtime holistic educator, tree (whose mononymous, one-word name is spelled lowercase), is an ordained Buddhist Upāsikā in practice for over 30 years; a seasoned mindfulness educator; a deeply-rooted restorative practitioner; healing specialist and formerly licensed nurse with expertise in trauma-informed care; and conflict management specialist; a language arts, spoken word, and storytelling teacher; a former Baltimore City Public Schools and Columbus City Public Schools teacher; a former instructional trainer for Columbus City Public Schools arts teachers; a writer, editor, and journalist; and a former movement theatre artist, vocalist, backup/session singer, and child entertainer. For more information, visit everythingtree.info.
2018-2019 Contributing Teaching Artists
- Adam Candelaria is a multifaceted artist, graphic designer, and art educator with skills in arts administration.
- Christina Cook, creator of Rhythm Keys, is a musician, multi-instrumentalist, and QiGong holistic educator.
- Talbolt Johnson is an award-winning Hip Hop dancer, storyteller, arts educator, and multi-genre artmaker.
- Lev Shamberg is a martial artist, art educator, and teacher with advanced skills in Capoeira.