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Our Toronto Team

  • Marilyn Field, M.S.M., B. Mus. A., B. Ed., OCT; DAREarts Founder and President

    A classically trained pianist, Marilyn worked for the Scarborough Board of Education as an elementary classroom teacher and music specialist for 12 years. She has a passion to help our young, and personally knows the power of the arts in life after the loss of her mother at the age of two. During her teaching career, she trained teachers and, among other events, coordinated a cultural festival for 2000 students called “Arts Odyssey”.

    In 1998, after seeing the cuts to arts funding in public schools, Marilyn initiated DAREarts as a comprehensive, multi-year arts education program, targeting those children in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, who are at risk of not reaching their potential. Through the DARE of Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence, children develop their self-confidence, inner strength and leadership skills.  

    Since 1998, Marilyn has dedicated her life to bringing the arts as hope to children challenged by life circumstances, by exposing them to a wider world, engaging them in creativity and empowering them to ignite change in their lives and in their community as leaders.  

    In 2001, Marilyn led a choir of children representing over 20 countries at the Nobel Peace Prize’s 100th Anniversary celebration in Oslo, Norway.   In 2003, Marilyn received the Meritorious Service Medal from Canada’s Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and the Queens’ Jubilee Medal from Ontario’s Premier Ernie Eves.

  • Laura MacKinnon, B.FA., B.Ed., OCT; Lead Teacher & Assistant National Program Director

    Laura was a professional dance and theatre artist before coming to education to enliven children’s learning by integrating the arts into curriculum.  She has been an artist-educator and professional development workshop leader for organizations including the RCM’s Learning through the Arts, the National Ballet of Canada, Danceworks, the Canadian Opera Company and OISE. As Lead Teacher, Laura has designed and co-facilitated hundreds of multi-arts workshops for young people that build leadership and celebrate culture.

  • Lisa Norton, B.A. (Hons.); Program Coordinator

    Lisa is working on her 10th year here keeping all our program schools, kids, artists and teachers coordinated. A love of storytelling led to her attainment of a B.A. (Honours) in English Literature from Laurentian University.  She enjoys sharing her passion for literature and graphic novels with the DAREarts Delegates and grads.

  • Franco Saccucci, M.A., B.Ed.; Teacher

    Franco is a seasoned arts educator committed to driving arts education forward through his passion and experience in drama education. He has worked with students across Canada, in the inner-city as a drama teacher, with Newcomer and Indigenous youth on reserve, with queer and transgender youth, and with children with disabilities. These experiences are coupled with his years of academic training and own life experiences.

  • Mackenzy Willis, DAREarts graduate; Lead Teaching Assistant

    Since graduating from DAREarts, Mackenzy has followed her passion for helping others to be their best.  Having attended Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, specializing in performing arts, the arts have played a crucial role in shaping her outlook that, with hard work, any challenge can become an incredible learning opportunity.  Her extensive work has yielded life-changing results in hundreds of young people.

  • Emily Iannucci, B.A.; Teaching Assistant

    Emily has over four years’ experience with program development and delivery as a camp coordinator and counselor and after school worker site lead. She has developed arts-based, education-based, recreation-based, and empowerment-based programming for children and youth aged 2 to 26.  Emily is particularly passionate about working with children and youth with mental health challenges and/or behavioural disruptions using positive behaviour modification techniques.


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