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Meet the Team

Photo of Mel Brown

Mel Brown (she/they)


Carmel is an artist and systems builder committed to collective liberation and creativity. An exhibiting visual artist and costume designer, They are the founder of the non-profit vintage shop Colored Vintage and have co-founded several collectives. Current positions include co-founder of DSM 215, a collective highlighting mental health and creativity and co-director of the Young Artist Program, a queer youth led artist residency. They are a member of the second class of the new MFA/MSW degree at the University of Pennsylvania and their personal narratives have been published in Ginger Mag, Womanly, and Caldera.

Photo of Sam Merkt

Sam Merkt (she/her or they/them)


I'm a fiber artist, community organizer and full spectrum doula. I have been with YAP since it's inception and love making collective zines with the crew. I enjoy playing with clay & paper, and occasionally trying my hand at the sewing machine. I love watching reality TV (Love Island anyone?), swimming in the ocean, & snuggling with my pup.

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Ingrid Raphael (they/she)

Lead Teaching Artist

I’m an educator, filmmaker, and curator who’s interested in dance, justice, herbalism, and tech/data. I enjoy solo walks, traveling, and dancing to afrobeat & house music.

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Sophie Lee (she/her)

Lead Teaching Artist

I'm an artist and mentor who has been with YAP for the past four years. My mediums include illustration, collage, and digital, but recently I've been interested in working with fiber arts and ceramics. I love big sweaters and taking long walks through the city.

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Ivy-yon Jackson (she/her)

Alumni / Lead Teaching Artist

I was a YAP participant for 3 years, as a high school student. Now as a college student, I am in a mentorship role. I am studying psychology. I enjoy sewing, specifically embroidery. Being in YAP have me the opportunity to develop as a person and as an artist. My favorite pastimes are spending time with my nephew and watching baking shows.

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Kristin Hill (they/she)

Alumni / Lead Teaching Artist

I’m Kris, an alumni/mentor at YAP :D! Pronouns are she/they, I talk a lot, I’m very dramatic lol, I’m very shy until comfortable, I love music, I do art/paint. My favorite is acrylic paint, it’s just the best! And I’m excited to start my journey on becoming an LGBT+ (Advocate) interior designer and realtor!

Ella Wilkerson (she/they)

Alumni / Marketing Coordinator

I was a YAP member starting my sophomore year of high school and now I am a junior in college. I am studying social work but creating art helps when the assignments are long. I like embroidery but recently digital art and graphic design has been my favorite thing! I am getting better at crocheting too thanks to YAP. I usually spend my time rewatching Youtube videos for less commitment lol.

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