Meet our Staff


An important part of building community is getting to know the friendly faces behind the initiative. Meet our hard-working staff members who assist in facilitating safe spaces to house artistic endeavours and mental health advocacy. We could not engage in such robust and dynamic arts and mental health programming without the collaboration of many individuals.

Thank you to our participants, alumni, volunteers, board members, funders, community partners, creative partners, health care workers, and many more who continue to build this community with us.

Uyen Pham – Executive Director


Uyen Pham (she/her) is Artbeat Studio’s Executive Director and works to bring successful leadership, management, and delivery of programs, services, and initiatives that support the ‘voice’ of Artbeat Studio.

Uyen’s excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills were developed and honed through nearly 15 years of working in the nonprofit sector as an Accountant’s Assistant, Programs Manager, and Executive Assistant prior to coming to Artbeat. No stranger to wearing multiple hats, Uyen dons what’s necessary to aide in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization to better serve its community and the health of its members.

Uyen earned her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. In her free time, Uyen enjoys trying new and different restaurants, exploring new countries, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.

What inspires your creative expression?

I was drawn to Realism as a kid, drawing still life in grade school and poring over small details to make sure I've got them all to make my picture as life-like as possible. Now, my creativeness is inspired by Anime, which is largely characterized by colourful graphics, vibrant characters, and fantastical themes - which is how I like to view my surroundings: brightly coloured filled with cool and complex beings with imagination to bring forth a better world.

headshot photograph by Joanie Peters

Ksenia Broda-Milian - Executive Assistant


Ksenia Broda-Milian (she/her) is the Executive Assistant and works directly with the Executive Director to cultivate and strengthen the relationships with members of the community, volunteers, funders, as well as with employees throughout the organization.

Ksenia is a trained theatre artist who has worked as a set, costume, and lighting designer and educator across Canada. She holds a BSc in biology and BAH in theatre from the University of Winnipeg, where she also studied sociology; as well as an MFA from the University of Alberta, and has trained extensively in contemporary dance. She is also passionate about creating a more accessible world and has studied the subject with organizations based in Canada, Europe, and the United States.

Ksenia is interested in storytelling, elements of movement and transformation, and collaborative practice. As much of her work in theatre involved model-making and costume renderings, she often uses unconventional materials and textures, and is excited to use those in the world of visual art. She believes in the importance of the creative arts as a means of personal expression, a way of building connections between individuals and communities, and as a joyful process. Anyone can make art!

What inspires your creative expression?

Coming from theatre, a sense of storytelling and/or creating atmosphere are important to me. I love working in a multidisciplinary way and learning about different creation methods! 

headshot photograph by Elizabeth D'Alessio

Lisa Obirek - Studio Facilitator

Lisa smiling in front of brick wall


Lisa Obirek (she/her) is the Studio Facilitator. She oversees the artists in residence, facilitating group art sessions and mental health conversations, initiating outings and community connections, and connecting with the artists individually via mental health check-ins and goal-setting.

Lisa approaches her work from a diverse set of backgrounds. She is in the final stages of completing her art therapy certification through the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. For her final project she facilitated, in February 2020, group art therapy with newcomer adolescents and young adults in response to the nine chapters of Kent Monkman’s “Shame and Prejudice: a Story of Resilience.” She is a dedicated artist, accomplished at a variety of media, including oil painting, printmaking, and encaustic collage. She has a long background in social services, which spans being a youth worker and running art camps in rural Manitoba, being an art and fourth grade teacher in Madagascar, social entrepreneurship experience in Lusaka and the Zambian copperbelt region, Mennonite - Shia Muslim dialogue in Iran, and volunteering with various NGO organizations in Winnipeg.

Lisa has provided various group and individual art therapy services to adults with and without intellectual disabilities through L’Arche Hamilton and L’Arche Saskatoon, and has facilitated group art workshops with the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre and the Art to Inspire program at the Winnipeg Art Gallery where she worked closely with people living with dementia or Alzheimers and their care partners.

What inspires your creative expression?

I’ve been driven to make and create art for as long as I can remember. No matter how much time I devote to it I can simply never keep up with the things I want to make. My first true artistic discipline was oil painting. Since I became a Mom five and a half years ago I’ve spent much of my artistic energy on printmaking, especially lino cutting. Art can be part of the healing and shaking-up that this world so badly needs - I am drawn to art that makes that kind of good work explicit. Over the last 5 years, some of the artists whose work I’ve most closely followed include Christi Belcourt, Isaac Murdoch, Kent Monkman, Kit King, and Aleah Chapin. Fritz Eichenberg is also simply awesome and I wish he was still alive.

headshot photograph by Rachel Wilson

Marissa Hoff – Art Program Director



Marissa Hoff (she/her) is the Art Program Director at Artbeat Studio, where she oversees the planning and daily operation of their urban arts centre, Studio Central. She acknowledges that creativity can be a vulnerable process, and values the opportunity to house a safe, accessible space where others can experience different forms of art through free workshops and establish a sense of belonging in their community.

With a B.EnvD. from the University Of Manitoba School Of Architecture, Marissa has developed her design education into an appreciation for the social make up of community and a concentration on how arts and culture strengthen the built environment. Within an aspect of social care, Marissa has been involved with working and volunteering at Siloam Mission, as well as multiple fundraising efforts for the MS Society. She is interested in the sense of community and vibrancy present in downtown Winnipeg, and values the individual creation and vitality which art can bring. Marissa practices visual art through paper collage, print layouts, and simple form sculpture.

What inspires your creative expression?

My inspiration stems from an appreciation of identity and space, as well as the exploration of new materials and methods to conceptualize ideas. The work of Louise Bourgeois, Frederick Kiesler, Isamu Noguchi, and David Umemoto greatly influence my creative process.

headshot photograph by Joanie Peters

James Dixon – Community Projects Coordinator



James Dixon (he/him) is the Community Projects Coordinator and works closely with alumni while engaging our central community. He is dedicated to creating space for creative growth and forging new partnerships that engage the public with Artbeat Studio's message of hope and recovery.

James is an Indigenous filmmaker and artist based in Winnipeg. With a BA in Film and Indigenous Studies from the University of Manitoba, James’ work revolves around his personal process of decolonization. His films have exhibited widely in Canada, broadcasted on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and collected by the Alexander Street Press.

James is an accomplished arts educator who has worked with Freeze Frame, the Winnipeg Film Group, and Camp Aurora, providing workshops on film history, documentary film making, and painting for both youths, and adults.  James brings his enthusiasm and creativity to Artbeat Studio, with demonstrated experience and knowledge working within community development, media arts and management. 

What inspires your creative expression?

I’ve always been drawn to the work of Canadian artist William Kurelek, his work is realistic and symbolic, an ongoing search for artistic identity through an idiosyncratic and deeply personal manner.

headshot photograph by Joanie Peters