Tamara is co-founder and Core Faculty of Expressive Arts Florida Certificate Training Program and a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant Educator (REACE). She serves as REACE Co-Chair with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and is a National Certified Counselor working as a registered mental health counselor intern in the state of Florida.
Tamara Teeter Knapp earned an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University and a B.A. in Art and Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 2007, Tamara earned a Certificate in Art and Healing from Ringling College of Art and Design. Prior to that, she received Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College and acquired a teaching certificate in the state of Florida for K-12 Art and Elementary Education. She has received special training in Creative Drama for Creative Learning provided by the Kennedy Center for the Arts and completed Collaborative Leadership Training in 1998 through Antioch New England.
An educator since 1997, Tamara taught in Waldorf schools in Alaska and New Mexico before relocating to Florida. In public education since 2002, Tamara taught art, expressive arts, computer technology, and second grade in Sarasota County School District. She also taught art summer camp at the Art Center Sarasota for five years and has served as adjunct faculty at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching Discovering Creativity for children ages 5-11. Throughout her teaching career, her special interest has been to integrate the arts and facilitate curriculum connections that broaden the child’s understanding of themselves and the world. Tamara enjoys sharing her passion for arts integration with educators who seek to enliven their curriculum.
Tamara’s first creative love was dance. Throughout her education, she continued to seek dance training and performed with “Voices” Dance Ensemble at the University of Alaska Anchorage for three years. She also performed the duet “Box for a Brighter Side” with Susan Joy Share, a sculptural book binder, for two years. Beginning in 1983, Tamara received private instruction in drawing and has continued throughout her life to express herself through the arts. At California College of Arts and Crafts in the late 1980’s, Tamara discovered the field of Expressive Arts Therapy and her passion for working with art to help others was born. Tamara met Kathleen Horne and Victoria Domenichello-Anderson in Sarasota in 2001 and began using expressive arts processes like Touch Drawing to heal and grow. At the onset of the Art and Healing Certificate program at Ringling College, Tamara resumed a journey toward a career in the expressive arts and has not looked back since.
In 2007, Tamara joined with Kathleen, Victoria, and Elizabeth Bornstein to form Expressive Arts Florida. As a creative partner in Expressive Arts Florida, Tamara has been able to work collaboratively with educators to bring expressive arts to children with Autism as well as create a unique opportunity in our community for people without homes to create art and transform their experience of being homeless.
Tamara applies knowledge of creative drama, dance, movement, and visual art to her work with children and adults. She facilitates using each of these processes in a non-threatening, spontaneous, and fun way that helps participants construct a new understanding of themselves and those around them. She works with adults, children, and families focused on self-expression, communication, and wellness. As a counselor, Tamara utilizes expressive arts to help clients access their own inner knowing to initiate healing and positive growth.