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Joseph D'Arezzo Natale

Director/Learning Coach

While Santa Barbara has been Joseph's primary place of residence for most of his life, he has been working internationally for over 30 years. His background is eclectic. However, his experience in mentoring people, young and old, has always been a part of his work. With a Master of Science in Education, and also Business Administration, (both from the University of San Francisco) for over 30 years he has owned and operated a Management Consulting Firm.  With his wife, Glenna they founded a global non-profit Called Heart Ventures providing assistance to people who have been victims of, or survived human rights violations.   He has worked with large commercial business, and provided organizational development for non-profit organizations. Throughout the years, he worked with university students in career development, and families, youth and adults who faced mental health or other life challenges. His role has been to develop and implement support services including nurturing, goal planning, mentoring and specific education and vocational plans, focusing on the individual as the center of their personal life plan.

Joseph's business degrees included specific application of training for people with disabilities, including people with mental challenges, autism and developmental disabilities.


His experience as adjunct faculty for Westmont College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Antioch University and concurrently designing and implementing programs for victims and survivors of human trafficking and extreme poverty, has provided him the opportunity of understanding people from all walks of life.


Joseph has worked with youth in many programs such as the Yolo Community Care Continuum in Davis, California, The California Department of Rehabilitation, The Devereux Foundation, our own non-profit Intensive Heart Ventures, provided services in Human Resources, Employment Training, Program and Project Management.  He has experience working in various industries from the private sector to social enterprise in the development of programs for people, business processes and technology development, all over the world including the 38 USA States,  Asia, Africa, Mexico and Central America.


In 2014 Joseph developed a merging of his for profit and non profit into what he defines as “pure social enterprise.  The theme of pure social enterprise is to draw circles around our places of business and homes, and take responsibility for the needs of our immediately surrounding social and physical environment without expecting our government, churches and nonprofit organizations to do it. Even if, due to small profits or personal income that provide just a few dollars above our own needs, and that circle is very small, we believe as our model is adopted by more and more people we can effect huge change in our immediate surroundings. As we evangelize those within our circle, and where our circle intersects with others (our neighboring residents and businesses) to adopt our model, and they evangelize the circles that intersect with theirs, this methodology can spread exponentially to change our world."


After many years of management consulting for complex projects and working as the primary owner of our Caribbean beach front resort-social enterprise, Joseph has settled in his long time hometown of Santa Barbara to work with a team of social entrepreneurs, educators and youth to provide this education and enrichment service to our community in the D'Arezzo Center for Creative Expression.


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Janet Austin


A native of Santa Barbara, California, I grew up loving the beach and the outdoors. The beach was a place I could read, write and explore. Growing up I had no idea what path I would find myself. I did, however, know that I wanted to work in a creative environment. Early on, I found myself in entertainment. I followed in my brother’s footsteps pursuing a career in Radio Broadcasting.


From the age of twenty, I succeeded in the industry for more than four decades. While I had a passion for Radio, I started to see a downward trend. So, at the age of forty-eight, I enrolled in college and set my sights on a new career. Earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education has been one of my greatest achievements.

While in college, I discovered a talent I never knew I had. I could relate to children in a special way and they could relate to me in a way I could understand. The thrill I get from a child who experiences a “light bulb moment” is magical and something I hope to experience on a daily basis.


Over the years, I’ve written close to twenty children’s songs covering everything from animals to mathematical equations. I believe music spawns learning and love how music brings people together of all backgrounds. I enjoy journaling, hands-on education and encouraging children to think outside the box because I think learning should be fun and engaging!

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Meghan Downing

Guest Learning Coach

Music & Theater


Meghan was born a musician...starting violin lessons at age 4, she performed regularly in local recitals and busked at the Saturday Farmer's Market.

Over the years, her musical repertoire grew to include piano, ukulele and guitar which has become her main passion. Along this journey Meghan found her love for singing as a member of an award winning choir and  

the lead singer of a pop rock band. You can find Meghan performing at many local events such farmers' markets, festivals, private functions, and weddings. 

Meghan's songbook is expansive covering country to singer/songwriter to pop, adding her own special acoustic vibe to each song.

Meghan is attending the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston to study guitar...and beyond that, she plans for a music centered career!


Avery Artigo: Tutor and Athletics Learning Coach

​Avery Artigo is the Director of AA Fitness and Health. He is an all year, all the time, fundamental health and fitness skills development and training coach. The AA Fitness mission is to use the tried and true Presidential Physical Fitness, quality training system to provide a comprehensive program for athletes of all ages and skill levels.


The focus is individualized training to improve athletes’ fundamental skills, confidence and sportsmanship. Goals are to evaluate each participant and guide them gently into healthy activity and overall fitness including eating habits. Training will build upon a student's existing talents and allow the athlete to grow and see tangible results.


Avery Artigo is a natural born athlete. From soccer, football, baseball, to varsity basketball, Avery's talents demonstrate that a focus on general health and fitness produce eclectic athleticism.  Avery is a Certified Lifeguard, and CPR Trained. He was recognized as a hero for quick response rescue at the Boys and Girls Club. Avery's love for youth is only surpassed by their love for him! Avery brings humor and fun into serious training that inspires even those who have been hesitant to join into serious health and fitness training. Avery "rings the bell" of success as he encourages each and every student athlete's accomplishments!

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Jesse Natale- Guest Learning Coach

Jesse Natale, Director of Photography, Editor

Graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in with a bachelors degree 2017 in Commercial Film and Photography.


Jesse Natale (son of director Joseph Natale) is the owner of J North Productions, a Santa Barbara Based Video Production and Photography Company. They specialize in commercial, corporate, promotional, real estate, resort and lifestyle, weddings and events.

J North Productions provides media content, starting from concept to final product. This includes design engineering, direction, film, sound, and final editing.  Full service production company with a team of 10 media professionals. Some of their clients include Adidas, Figueroa Mountain Company, MOXI Museum, Beckman, Deckers, Ugg, AA Airlines, Enduroshield, private promotions for Actors such as Scott Eastwood and more.

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Nathan Schley

Learning Coach


Nathan embodies the character of Santa Barbara Creative Education in many ways! Nathan brings broad-scale skills and talents to our program. He is an excellent musician, with a beautiful voice, plays the piano and guitar.


He is bilingual, and has high scholastic accomplishments in Mathematics, Data Science and the development of predictive models.


Nathan is also an avid bicyclist! Nathan has teaching and lecturing experience in Math at UC Santa Barbara, Lindamood Bell Learning Process, and Santa Barbara City College.


With bilingual skills in Spanish Nathan has worked with Transition house a shelter for people without homes.


With a large family of his own, Nathan’s love for children shines brightly as he works with our students in both academic tutoring and enrichment in music and the arts!




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Piper Dellums

Piper Dellums - Guest Learning Coach

As a credentialed California teacher her determination to touch and heal the lives of children began with her puppet and dramatic arts therapy, and was further unveiled in her establishing and designing curriculum's for the State of California, in addition to two institutions of learning, "Baby Earth", a Malibu based learning facility promoting ecological and cultural diversity and Awareness, and "Piper's Playhouse", a bay area based professional theater production house and arts education program.

Piper Dellums is a public and inspirational speaker, host, advocate, author, survivor, and drama, arts and writing therapist specializing in issues of aging, child, domestic and sexual violence, abuse, addiction and trauma. She is the CEO of Piper Dellums Productions; an Executive Producer at Raging Nations Films; and the executive producer and International Celebrity Ambassador of the 2020 and onward John Legend and Taye Da Prince, “Love one another.”

Piper Dellums is a powerful inspirational speaker with over 20 years of experience; speaking at social and political activists’ conferences and events, women’s prisons, women's rights and empowerment conferences, myriad synagogues, churches, schools, and human rights forums all over the United States, Belarus, American Samoa, Europe, and South, East and West Africa. 

She has published fifteen books and produced/written/ directed a multitude of award winning feature, documentary and short films. An established and recognized author, Piper has published children's stories with Viking Press/Penguin Group USA, edited by Jill Davis in New York City. Her latest books are MOMMY and ME and the Things that are Free, The Road to Nkamba, The Lyric of Life, The Lyric of Love, and The Lyric of Lamentations. Her story, SIMUNYE, can be read in, "Open Your Eyes: Extraordinary Experiences in Faraway Places." The story is an autobiographical one about a white South African exchange student sent to live in her home in 1976 in Washington, D.C. The story was adapted into a Disney film entitled, "The Color of Friendship". The film won two Emmy Awards and an NAACP Image Award. Piper was named "Poet of the Year 2004" for her work entitled "It's Happening".  


Dakota Middleton Learning Coach

Dakota Middleton is a local Santa Barbaran, born and raised. Dakota, a founding Learning Coach with D'Arezzo Creative Education is versatile and multi-talented. Youth flock to and follow Dakota who serves as a wonderful mentor and model citizen of the community.

Dakota is a well seasoned musician, currently majoring in Music Studies. He is a writer, drummer and bass guitarist.  Dakota teaches music, performance and also provides academic tutoring to students of D'Arezzo Creative Education.

Dakota has an amazing talent in building relationships with youth and guiding them into the learning process. He helps them develop a strong motivation to learn while helping them to enjoy the academic path to ultimately graduating from High School and following their dreams. Dakota embodies the very culture and methodology of D'Arezzo Creative Education naturally and professionally.


Playing drums to Classic Rock and Motown hits in my Michigan bedroom as a teenager is how my passion for music began. I arrived in Minneapolis to study Audio Production in 2014 and was ecstatic to engineer songs for Early Eyes, Good Luck Finding Iris, and produce my own first album in the studios at The Institute of Production and Recording.


I picked up playing Guitar and Bass by learning Beatles songs in an effort to become a songwriter and eventually toured the country from Milwaukee to LA as a solo act. Having spent two years in Santa Barbara now, I’ve been fortunate to play with my favorite local musicians in a long list of SoCal venues and to have helped my students improve their skills on Drums and Guitar.


Sharing the gift of music and encouraging students to be patient and have fun is a rewarding path to utilizing my studies properly.

Brian McKee Music & Academic Learning Coach

Former Vice President of Engineering for Verizon offers a Review-Reference of Joseph Natale

"The founder and leader is a man of unmatched compassion and faith. He has stepped in to help those in need around the world when no one else saw the need. He is the best person I know, his understanding of organizational dynamics and the details required to run a successful venture, are unparalleled. I have been blessed to see him succeed, to the benefit of those who are in real need, time and time again. Recently, I was honored to help teach a science class at D’Arezzo Creative Education, and I can tell you first hand that his energy and commitment are making a difference in this world. I am profoundly proud to have been able work with Joseph for over 30 years and for the relationship that has endured for three decades." Craig Frost

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