Arts Center Instructors

The Arts Center’s many educational programs are made possible by the passion and dedication of our amazing instructors. We’re always looking to add to our team!  If you’re interested in teaching for us, please complete our Instructor Interest Form.

Amanda Hendershot for webAmanda Hendershot – Starry Night Studio

Amanda holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Art Education from Asbury University and Georgetown College, respectively. She has taught art in a public school for 25 years and is currently pursuing my National Board Certification. She has also had a solo exhibit at the Arts Center.

“I enjoy teaching Starry Night Studio classes because they allow me to teach art to an adult group, and interact with them in a more relaxed, social atmosphere. When I am not teaching, I love to read, paint, spend time with friends, work out, and go on motorcycle rides with my husband.”

Barbara Hall Retirement PortraitBarbara Hall – Music Appreciation, Voice Instruction

Barbara recently retired from Centre College after 35 years where she taught voice and conducted all of the choral ensembles as well as held administrative posts.  She began teaching voice in college, taught as a graduate assistant at University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, and then at Centre for about 15 years.  She has also participated as a professional singer in a number of professional choirs (Santa Fe, NM,Aspen, CO, Atlanta, GA, France) and gave annual recitals through the 1980s and 1990s. Barbara also serves as the President of the Board of the Community Arts Center.

“I love working with serious amateurs – people who have talent (sometimes undiscovered!), a desire to improve, and a love for music and words.  I have been heard to say that I can teach anyone to sing!”

Brandon Long for webBrandon Long – Youth and Adult Visual Arts

Brandon Long once told his Kindergarten class he was an artist.  They didn’t believe him.  He has been daily proving them wrong for over thirty years.  Brandon has a BA in Fine Arts from Georgetown College and has served as the Community Arts Center’s Program/Creative Director since 2007.  He enjoys creating art in a variety of media – drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, sculpture, photography, graphic design, etc.

“I enjoy teaching art at the Community Arts Center because it is an opportunity I never had when I was younger.  There were lots of opportunities for athletic kids, but the art kids didn’t have a lot to do in the 80s.  My kids both love doing art and have that ‘creative drive.’  I want to help others awaken their creativity and flourish as artists.” 
Brandon’s hobbies include all things guitar – playing, building, tweaking, collecting.  He also loves video games.  He has also been known to dabble  in acting at West T. Hill Community Theatre.  Just don’t ask him to dance.
Dionna Baker – Youth Visual Arts, Adult and Youth Ceramics
Dionna holds an Associates Degree in Art along with a BS in Science with a focus on Arts Education. She has taught art locally for Danville Christian Academy and Woodlawn Elementary School.
Dionna specializes in pottery and painting but also likes to sew, cook, and read.
“I like to teach art because it teaches students how to learn from the world around them and see beauty in uncommon places.  Also, taking art classes provides fulfillment in what they have produced and aides in lifelong participation in the arts.”
Jeff Cain – Guitar

Jeff Cain teaches guitar lessons for children and adults. Jeff has played professionally for over 35 years and has been teaching for 20 years. He says that “the guitar is such a versatile instrument. It can be adapted to suit nearly every style of music.” He also points out that guitars can be purchased inexpensively and easily transported, making it an accessible instrument for beginners. Of teaching at the Arts Center, Jeff says “I think that art and music share a similar kinship in that both spring forward from a need to be creative. The Arts Center’s music room provides a great atmosphere for learning.”

Jennifer Ahnquist – Starry Night Studio
A Danville native, Jennifer attended The Savannah College of Art and Design and studied Interior Design. She has painted, drawn, and made messes her whole life. Now, as a hobby/side business, she does custom Prisma marker architectural renderings.
“I believe creating art opens up pathways in the brain, and expands your mind in ways you wouldn’t expect. Even if you don’t think you are talented, just the act of creating is beneficial to you. Sometimes you just need to get messy and let go! And it’s fun to see people grow and learn talents they didn’t know they had. I love helping people discover their inner artist!”

Jonas Hurley – Adult Ceramics, Printmaking

Jonas Hurley is the Community Arts Center’s “Potter in Residence,” with a studio located in the basement of the Arts Center. Jonas is an ER doctor, a farmer, a musician, and self-taught potter who has been making wood-fired pottery for the last 15 years. Jonas regularly teaches a popular wheel-thrown pottery class and also teachers introduction to printmaking for adults.

You can check out Jonas’ artwork (which is for sale) in the Ceramics Gallery in the basement!

Martha RobertsonMartha Robertson – Starry Night Studio, Adult Visual Arts

I love to paint. Period. When I lose track of time, it’s when I’m painting, and I’ve been painting since high school, off and on while raising a family. Since retiring from KSD, I’m able to paint full time, taking classes in oil painting landscapes and portraits. I love teaching Starry Night Studio. It’s a joy to see people walk out the door with their own creation having never picked up a paint brush. I enjoy seeing folks return again and again, and watching them learn and express themselves through art. Outside of SNS, you’ll find me working in my home studio, teaching piano, cooking, and more. I’m a working musician who loves theater, a wife, mom, grandmomma, Bible teacher, pianist, reader, and porch swing lover.

Mary DeHaan – Piano

Mary began playing the piano at age 3.  She learned to play and to teach from her mother, who was a professional piano teacher at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.  She has been accompanying her husband (who plays violin) for 40 years, and his students for 20 years.  She has played on a number of worship teams over the years, arranges music, and has taught music theory to both children and adults.  Mary says, “The Community Arts Center provides me the opportunity to teach students in the Danville area who don’t want to drive to my home in Washington County.”

Paula Whitaker – Starry Night Studio, Youth Visual Arts

Paula has been teaching art to children since 1974. Four years ago, she expanded her teaching to adults by becoming a Starry Night Studio instructor.

Paula is a well-known figure at the Arts Center, having taught Arts Exploration Camp, Munchkin & Me, and various children’s visual arts classes over the years.

“Helping people of all ages find the joy of making art fills my heart with happiness.”

Phil DeHaan – Violin

Phil has been playing the violin since age 9, when he fell in love with the instrument.  He won the concerto competition as a college senior.  He has been teaching violin for over 20 years, and holds Suzuki certification through Book 5.  He works with both children and adults, and can teach fiddle as well as classical violin. 

Because he teaches one-on-one, he can tailor the lessons to the individual student.  He enjoys helping each one develop their skills at their own rate. 


Shauntina Phillips – Voice

Shauntina holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from UK and a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from UT Knoxville.  She is currently undertaking Doctoral courses at the University of Kentucky. She has been teaching for 20 years. Shauntina says she enjoys teaching at the Arts Center because “it is a busy hub full of wonderful sights and sounds and learning! It is like a magical portal that you can step into and leave whatever cares you have at the door and just enjoy your time here making art and music! I like it also because I always run into friends who are teaching or taking classes.   You see everyone here!”


Wes Bratcher – Ballroom Dance