Meet Daniella, our new Maker VISTA Program Manager!

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Me making a signature skeptical face.

When I was young, my favorite things to make were:

  • sandwiches
  • my brother laugh
  • believe

I was somehow both incredibly shy and incredibly bossy. I followed rules on the outside and raged defiantly against The Man on the inside (at the time, “The Man” took the shape of my mom, or directions about coloring, or pants). Making things – decisions, dream-worlds, declarations – was a deep, driving urge I felt even long-ago then and certainly, rampantly, in present-day now.

But when I was young, and still later when I wasn’t, I was painfully afraid to:

  • make a mess
  • make a mistake
  • make disappointment

Making for me has always had this dual-surge source of sky-rocketing creative ambition and bottomless fear. I am somehow wired to crave and seek out impossibility, and risk, and the unknown, while remaining brutally scared of it.

So for many years, I made only on the inside — in my head, or within the safe bounds of a notebook. I made stories, I made super strengths for myself, and I made sure they were mostly secret.

One of my plays produced off-Broadway.

And then I became a writer: a playwright, a poet, a lyricist. I took words and wishes that I had quietly made and let them live loudly outside myself. I experienced the joy and compulsion and delicious challenges of making to share, making to collaborate, making to learn, making to make me better, hungrier, happier.

In ways that I couldn’t have imagined as a frequently frightened but feisty fire-cracker of a five year old, I made it past messes and disappointments.

Designed by a more talented friend; nail gunned by me.

What is quite plainly true to me now is how you make through things.

My favorite things to make still include:

  • sandwiches
  • my brother laugh
  • believe

They now also include:

  • making things with nail guns
  • making songs up about my dog
  • making messy(ish) mistakes


I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at Maker Ed, and immerse myself in the work of Maker VISTA. I’m eager to see what we can build, grow, launch, learn, and make together.



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