Tori Pelz, Communications Director, Bright Stars of Bethlehem

Tori Pelz comes to Bright Stars Bethlehem with over a decade of experience in arts leadership and education, both in the nonprofit sector and higher education.

Most recently, she was Assistant Professor of Art at Hope College in Holland, Michigan where she led the art education program and received numerous grants and awards for her interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching and research. Prior to Hope College, she was the founding Executive Director of CultureWorks, an art center in West Michigan dedicated to empowering youth from all backgrounds. She has an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University-St. Louis.

An advocate for art as a vehicle for justice, Tori seeks opportunities to use art to amplify the voices of under-represented individuals. Her own artistic practice often involves social engagement, creating platforms for personal, place-based narratives and investigating themes of hospitality, displacement, and belonging.

She has spent time in Palestine as both an arts educator, co-leading an art camp in Beit Sahour, and as a researcher, mapping narratives with individuals in Bethlehem area. During one of these trips, she was introduced to the work of Dar-al Kalima and Diyar Theater. Having glimpsed first-hand the power of the arts to inspire and equip the next generation of creative leaders in Palestine, Tori is excited to contribute to BSB’s reach and impact.

She resides in West Michigan with her husband, Mike, and daughter Lula, who just might have the most infectious belly laugh.