Michelle Castillo: Traveling everywhere with her musician mother, she became a child of the road playing in studios and sleeping in makeshift beds. Taking up piano, violin and voice at an early age Michelle fell in love with the world of creative expression. When it came down to choosing a profession she went into teaching to fulfill her passion for cultivating arts and diversity amongst the youth. While teaching, she did freelance writing for an alternative weekly her articles focused on the underground DIY arts and culture community blossoming in her hometown of Coachella Valley. She is now one of the facilitators for the progressive artist collective Desert Writers, Artists and Musicians, in which they have been throwing a monthly pop-up reading series at Koffi featuring poets and writers. Recently, Michelle collaborated with The Coachella Valley Art Scene to present CONNECTED. She is excited to be part of this program and hopes it will allow her to flourish as a writer. Her genre of choice is poetry, yet she is curious to tap into creative nonfiction. In her free time you may find her at a dinner party with friends, painting at a park, having lunch at Lola’s or advocating for social change.