Who We Are
We are a team of caring art professionals who have big ideas, love the community, and want to make a difference.
Tobi Furman, Founder and Program Director
As a student, Tobi Furman always gravitated toward the arts. In part, her love and appreciation for the arts stemmed from a learning disability that made traditional academics challenging. Living in New York City with access and exposure to arts of all kinds, Furman flourished— not just artistically, but in all facets of her development, cultivating greater self-esteem, creativity, self-expression.
Furman is the founder of The Artmobile, an art studio on wheels providing access and exposure to the arts and art experiences for youth 7-11 living in under-served neighborhoods. Furman’s love for the arts and passion for helping others have always been a big focus in her life. Her collaborations with locally known artists, art agencies, art educators, and community leaders have made The ArtMobile a reality.
She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture. She later gravitated to advertising and marketing, a eld that has always drawn upon the creative arts.
As a full-time artist, I value my contract work in educating through the arts. Since 2014 I have fully immersed myself in the mentoring position – running a studio where I teach private lessons. I began work at the South Side Settlement in the year 2000, where I led my first art program which forwarded me to another contract in literacy.
This was focused primarily on school children in the Somali community of Columbus, thus inspiring me to pursue these programs as they have a substantial impact on the general public. Based upon my invaluable skill-set, experience and discipline towards learning, combined with my knowledge of communicating high art to any person of any background, this allows me the advantage and confidence to lead as an art teacher.
I'm currently a part-time educator for the Columbus College of Art and Design, where I've constructed a curriculum for a Saturday morning art class focusing on art and storytelling - comics; it's called SMAC (Saturday Morning Art Class).
I'm a seasonal resident (for 3 years and counting) with the Pages Program through the Wexner Center for the arts in a focus on education in engaging teens with the arts. I also work part-time for the Columbus Museum of Art in their Learning Department. Aside from it all, I'm still a full-time artist - executing my own projects and taking on those commissions!
Dionne Custer Edwards
Dionne Custer Edwards is a writer and arts educator working in education programming at The Wexner Center for the Arts, where she created Pages, an arts and writing program. For nearly 20 years, Dionne has served in central Ohio communities focused on education and arts integration in K-12 schools, arts and cultural institutions, and the community. Her work and interests are writing, literacy, and developing arts-integrated programs and interdisciplinary learning experiences.
She has partnered with many programs and organizations including Ohio Arts Council, Maroon Arts Group, Transit Arts, and Thurber House Writing Center—and served on several nonprofit boards. She has received awards and fellowships for her work in the arts, and in 2014 and 2016 was nominated for a GCAC Community Arts Partnership award.
In conjunction with her work in the arts and education, she presented in Indianapolis, a TEDx talk titled: Beautiful Distractions in 21st Century Learning, and recently spoke in New Orleans at the National Art Education Association on her research and work with the Pages program.
For several years, she was a contributing writer for Alive, has published creative writing, essays, and articles, and recently published an essay, translated in English and Turkish, Inside Outside: On Creative Practice and Arts Partnership in Sanat Dünyamiz (“Our Art World”). In 2015, she was featured on The Ohio Channel’s Book Notes, a series featuring writers living and working in Ohio.