Picture Me Here Team and Contributors:

(more bios coming soon)

 

Brigid McAuliffe is the director and cofounder of Picture Me Here. Since 2012 she has coordinated local and international programs, taught classes and workshops, built community partnerships, managed and built a team of teaching artists and return participants, and raised funds for PMH. Her work as an artist and educator is inspired by the power of stories to create empathy, understanding and community. She believes good storytelling requires a high level of patience, awareness and deep listening. She has taught digital media and storytelling courses as a visiting professor, adjunct faculty, and a consultant to foundations and community organizations. She also works as a photographer, videographer and editor, helping organizations and individuals communicate their mission. McAuliffe has exhibited her work internationally and designed/curated Picture Me Here exhibits in the US and Nepal. She holds a MFA in Emerging Digital Practice from the University of Denver, and a BFA in Photography from Colorado State University.


Lauren Dorn is a cofounder of Picture Me Here. Since 2012 she has co-facilitated multiple classes, including PMH's first international program Damak to Denver. In addition to her work with PMH, she works with newly resettled refugees in Metro Denver in the area of employment, education and English Language Acquisition (ELA). She has studied Spanish in Central America, yoga and Buddhism in India, and has taught English in South Korea. As co-founder of Picture Me Here. she fosters her passion for photography, teaching and encouraging self-exploration and personal growth of local refugees. As the Community Internship Developer and Youth Education and Employment Specialist, she has developed innovative programs at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains focusing on internships, education, ELA, and employment opportunities for refugees. Lauren holds a B.A. in International Studies from Colorado State University.

 

Dave Thatcher is a photographer, videographer and community activist based in Denver, CO.  He co-teaches a storytelling through photography and writing class for Picture Me Here. He has spent nearly a decade working with refugee communities and displaced populations in various capacities. His work has taken him to several countries in the Middle-East and throughout Subsaharan Africa.  Dave’s work focuses on traditional and emerging forms of interactive and participatory media that help communities tell stories and achieve change.  In addition to working with local populations he has also worked with clients such as UNICEF and the International Rescue Committee creating media content for large refugee advocacy campaigns. Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Advocacy Campaigns from Metropolitan State University of Denver and Associate of Arts in Photography from the Art Institute of Colorado.

 

Zina Castañuela is a teaching artist and an exhibit designer/coordinator for Picture Me Here. During her career in graphic and environmental graphic design, she has led award winning design teams for the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and created internship programs for both institutions through Dupaul and the Art Institute of Chicago giving recent graduates opportunities of being mentored by award winning designers. Through her years of design she developed a love of craft and handmade paper. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Denver. She has taught papermaking community classes and shown her artists books and paper sculptures in Chicago, Seoul, Korea and Denver. Currently she is collaborating with local paper artist to create a community paper, print and bookbinding studio to bring artists and community together through the art of craft.

 

Patti Bonnet conceptualized, coordinated and co-facilitated the Langtang Photo Album project of Picture Me Here. She has raised a network of local and international support to ensure the project continues. She is a freelance documentary producer whose work focuses on social justice and cultural awareness. She was Line Producer on the award-winning documentary feature Racing Extinction. Patti co-directed the documentary short  Come Back to Sudan. She served as a cultural delegate for the US State Department’s 2010 American Documentary Showcase in Rwanda. She has also worked for National Geographic, the Rockefeller Foundation, PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, the ABC News program This Week with David Brinkley. She has a BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado, and a MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

 

Juliana Matias is a photographer and former professor of Portuguese currently based in Denver, Colorado. Originally from Curitiba, Brazil, Juliana came to the United States on a student visa to study English in January of 2015.  While attending Emily Griffith Technical College Juliana signed up for her first of many Picture Me Here classes.  Juliana has been an outstanding participant of Picture Me Here programming creating powerful images exploring issues of immigration, community and identity.  She has served as a teaching assistant and currently volunteers for the organization as a digital storytelling mentor.  

 

Goshen Carmel is a teaching assistant and participant for PMH. He is a videography student attending classes at Front Range Community College in the Denver Metro Area. In addition to his studies, Goshen is a freelance photographer and filmmaker, and a driver for Lyft and Uber. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Goshen fled his country ten years ago when war and poverty threatened his family’s security.  After spending several years living in Ethiopia, Goshen and his brother were resettled as refugees in Aurora, CO in 2010. When Goshen first started with Picture Me Here in 2012 he had limited experience with visual storytelling. He credits the organization with helping him discover his passion for photography and videography as well as inspiring him to pursue a career in media work.

 

Birendra Dhakal is a teaching assistant and participant of PMH.When PMH worked with Bhutanese refugees in 2014 that were resettling in Colorado, he was instrumental to the project's success, helping to coordinate with participants and interpretting during workshops, exhibits and events. He is a Bhutanese refugee that was born and raised at Goldhap refugee camp in Nepal. In 2007, at age thirteen, he resettled in Denver with his family. He is currently attending Metro State University. As a teacher for Picture Me Here, he has gained valuable teaching experience and sees the program as an excellent opportunity to practice photography as storytelling and a way to preserve memory and connect people. He now realizes that documenting everyday life can lead to interesting stories. Having been in Denver for many years now, he enjoys helping newly resettled refugees navigate their new city and share stories about their experiences. 

 

Former Leadership and Contributors:

 

Erin Preston is a cofounder of Picture Me Here and was actively involved in co-teaching and developing the first projects from 2012-2014, including PMH's first international project, Damak to Denver. She is a photographer, videographer and adventurer. The beauty of all people and their perspectives on life drives her to continue exploring the various forms of storytelling. Her assignments have taken her from Colorado to Africa to South and Central America. She has worked with agencies including Catholic Relief Services, Bridges to Prosperity and DelAgua Health. Erin has worked extensively with the immigrant and refugee communities of Denver, Colorado. She created the multimedia series Stories of Integration for Colorado Providers for Integration Network. As co-founder of Picture.Me.Here. she continues to teach the language of photography to refugees that have been resettled to Denver.