Kasia Bielak-Hoops

Kasia Bielak-Hoops

  • Artistic Director

A native of Colorado, Ms. Kasia Bielak-Hoops began her career in the arts as a cellist and has over 15 years experience as a performer and teacher.   After obtaining degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM) and Northern Illinois University (MM) she taught music in south-side Chicago schools and shortly thereafter she moved to Japan as a freelance performer.  In the three years she lived there she initiated numerous collaborative projects, the culmination of which was the Envoice Project: Live For Africa, a charity concert tour that included Tokyo jazz musicians and modern dancers, koto performers, folk musicians and masters of the djembe and dijeridoo.  She was also an invited soloist and chamber player in the late Minoru Miki's Hokuto International Music Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2008, Ms. Bielak-Hoops moved to Tanzania to join the faculty at the Umoja Arts Center.  There she became deeply involved in their outreach programs, developing and managing youth ensembles, educational workshops and an artistist-in-residency.   Recognizing a need for a more unified front in arts and culture community initiatives, Ms. Bielak-Hoops founded the Arusha Arts Collaborative whose membership includes organizations representing a wide spectrum of local arts and culture needs and populations.  Her reputation won her a position as Community Arts Programs Consultant at the Cultural Heritage Gallery, the largest art gallery in East Africa.  In less than one year she established the Gallery as one of the community's main culture centers through rigorous arts programming and marketing.

In addition to her involvement in arts management in Tanzania, Ms. Bielak-Hoops lectured at Makumira University College both music history and music theory courses and taught music at St.Constantine's International School.

She currently lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, a Zanzibarian wood craftsman.