ARTZ home   > artists network: page one   > page two   > page three   > page four    > page five    > page six
  Taisha Gonzalez, Massage Therapist
A graduate from the renowned Swedish Institute, Taisha is a licensed massage therapist. Her thesis in college consisted of a massage treatment plan tailored for Alzheimer patients. Her inspiration for her thesis and contributing to Artists for Alzheimer's was her grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. As a teenager who had to struggle to understand what Alzheimer's was, she now realizes what could have been done differently. Modalities such as massage and aromatherapy could have eased her grandmother's symptoms during the day, before sun downing, or when she woke up at night. She is trained in modalities such as Swedish, Shiatsu, deep tissue, sports and chair massage. Before the age of 22 she worked for The Waldorf-Astoria, Affinia Wellness Center, and the Village Day Spa. Email Taisha at
  Janice Lewis, Care Partner
Janice is a care partner for people with Alzheimer's in Brockton, Massachusetts. Janice has done volunteer work with The Commission for Abused Women and Children. Janice is very interested in the art of rug hooking, needlepoint, flower arranging, decorating, and all types of arts and crafts. Some of her hobbies include: gardening, going to the movies, sewing, reading, and cooking. Janice is also a licensed hairdresser. For her "Artists for Alzheimer's" performance Janice will help organize a painting show for participants. When asked why it is important to be a part of "Artists for Alzheimer's," Janice said: "Because I love to see the gleam in their faces; it seems to awaken their souls. It is truly a touching experience for everyone involved!
  MacKenzie Melemed, Pianist
MacKenzie, a.k.a. The Little Piano Man, has studied with pianist/composer Dean Arvidson for the past two years. He is a member of the Worcester Children's Chorus. He spends much of his time performing for seniors. Before the age of six, he had accomplished over one hundred performances. Mayor Timothy Murray recently awarded MacKenzie a Mayoral Citation for outstanding contribution and ispiration to the community. He has appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Wayne Brady Show, and Americas Funniest Home Videos, as well as in many national and regional commercials for TV and radio. He is featured in May of 2003 in a Discovery Channel documentary on Mozart, playing the part of Mozart as a child.
  Rachel Epstein, Vocalist
Rachel is a native New Yorker and the Director of the Senior Center of Queens. She has been a member of the prestegious 'Hebrew Arts Corral' in Manhattan's Merkin Hall and singing remains an important part of her life.
Rachel is particularly drawn to Hearthstone's 'Artist for Alzheimer's Program' because of her experience working with the elderly as a New York City based Social Worker as well as her closely held belief that, "You can't be sad when you are singing".
  David Ellner, Actor
David a native New Yorker, received his formal training at The Circle on the Square Theatre School and City College of New York. He has also studied extensively with Lynn Singler formerly of The Yale School of Drama, and has had the pleasure of both working and studying with Tony Award Winner Trazana Beverly. David is drawn to Hearthstone's 'Artists for Alzheimers' in part because he has witnessed the effects of Alzheimer's and believes that the 'Arts' are a perfect tool for expression in this somewhat compromised population. David enjoys a myriad of cultural events here in the Big Apple but is particularly pleased that he has clear reception of the Yankee Channel as part of his basic cable package.

Frances Barrineau, Artist
Frances earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of West Florida in 1969, with an emphasis on painting. Her approach is predominantly the abstract expressionist style and she works in oils. Her motifs are primarily nature and music, especially jazz. Many of her works evoke landscapes. However, for the past decade she has done a number of collages and a combination of collage and paintings in acrylics. The latter collage-paintings originally were inspired by Cajun Mardi Gras masks, but as they have evolved they have taken on more African and Native American influences. Visit her website at

  Marianne Berel, Pianist
Marianne Berel has played the piano since the age of two. After studying music therapy for handicapped children at Columbia University, she worked for many years as Education Director and Learning Disabilities Specialist at the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). Born in Breslau and presently a resident of the Upper West Side, Marianne received an award for achievement from the International Society for Music in Medicine. In addition to participating in the "Artists for Alzheimer's" program, Marianne volunteers at the Columbian Presbyterian Hospital at the Department of Radiology, entertaining children with puppets, key rings, and magnets, in addition to her music.
  Marilyn Kaplan, Music Specialist
Marilyn retired recently from her position as Music Specialist in the Therapeutic Recreation department of the Jewish Home and Hospital. Her extensive repertoire includes music of the 1930s and 40s, show tunes, as well as Yiddish, Hebrew, and Spanish songs. Born in New York and a graduate of Hunter College, Marilyn developed her own approach to music and health using piano and guitar without sheet music to further enhance interaction with her audience and encourage their participation.