Meet Our Team - ART-ventures for Kids 


Over the past ten years, the ART-ventures for Kids' creativity team has brought it's imaginative and playful spirit to more than 80,000 kids and families. Our fun-loving, super-talented and energetic instructors are true professionals who genuinely care about the quality of the art enrichment they provide. They LOVE what they do!



" We look forward to getting creative with you and your group. Tara and the entire staff at  ART-ventures for Kids are very professional and a pleasure to work with. The instructors do a great job with the children while providing them with quality art projects and keeping their interest throughout!" - Recreation Supervisor, Suffield Parks and Recreation Department


"Thank you! The Art-ventures for Kids team was fantastic. They mangaged the group beautifully. 25 tweens and teens were engaged and involved the entire time. The feedback from the kids was great... several asked when we would be doing this again. The t-shirts came out terrific. We will definitely be in touch for a program this winter!" - Kathleen Feeney, Prosser Library, Bloomfield, CT


Michael O. Budnick, Executive Director


Michael has been running Mad Science of Western New England since 2011 and welcomed the opportunity to join with and help lead ART-ventures for Kids. He has a lifetime of experience in management, education, science and theatrical performance. Michael has a BS in Science from McGill University, an MBA from Iowa State Ivy School of Business and an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Michael believes strongly in the integration of all STEAM topics into enrichment education for elementary-aged children, and is a firm proponent of fun, student-centered, hands-on learning that inspires creativity. When not managing the organization, he can be found perfoming as Professor Micron in science shows or acting and directing for community theater.  



Lisa Panaia, Director of Client Relations


Lisa is a valuable office administrator for both Mad Science and Art-ventures for Kids. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College in Boston, MA., eight years of experience working in childcare, and over a decade of experience in an office setting. She loves children and has known since third grade that she wanted a career involving education in some way. Being detail-oriented, she also loves office work, so she feels that her role at Art-ventures for Kids and Mad Science gives her the best of both worlds. It makes her so happy to know that the work she does behind the scenes will help to shape the minds of future generations by bringing incredible art and science experiences to children.


“The children LOVED your workshop and parents thought it was wonderful. The fact that the children brought home 4 art projects, all different from one another, speaks volumes about your program. The kids were so proud of their creations and could not wait to show their parents. The young women who facilitated the program were wonderful. We will definitely do this again!” -Joan and the Staff at St. Thomas the Apostle After School Program, West Springfield, MA


"I just wanted to send a note with a big THANK YOU to Tara, who did a wonderful job. She is such an amazing and talented face painter, and so sweet. Everyone loved her, and she did a phenomenal job. Please pass that along to her." Darlene Buttrick, Tighe & Bond, Westfield, MA


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