Our Team


Among Apollo Outreach’s greatest assets is its relationship with other outreach organizations and educational institutions across Lorain County. Our programs are strengthened through our partnership with:

Founders and Directors – Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree

Rian Brown is a filmmaker and Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Oberlin College. She has two young boys and spends her time in Italy and the U.S. Her short films and video installations have shown around the world at film festivals and museums including the L.A. Hammer Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the New York Shorts Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, and many others. She was recently awarded the 2011 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. In 2009, Brown and Pingree founded the Apollo Outreach Initiative (AOI), a year-round media literacy outreach program dedicated to fostering local and global education, understanding, community building, and social change by providing sustainable educational outreach and media literacy opportunities for public school students of all ages in Lorain County, Ohio.

Geoff Pingree is a documentary writer, photographer, and filmmaker who works in Spain and the U.S. and teaches Cinema Studies at Oberlin College. His film work has received an Emmy Award and been broadcast on venues including PBS and Discovery. His photography has been published widely and received National Geographic’s 2008 World in Focus Grand Prize. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, The Economist, The American Prospect, TIME, Ms., Cineaste and other periodicals.

Outreach Coordinator — Claudio Orso

Claudio Orso is a printmaker and ceramic sculptor from Turin, Italy, and he has been living in Ohio for the last ten years. He has exhibited across the US, and was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 2004, after which he completed his Master of Fine Arts at Bowling Green State. Zygote Press has been his artistic home, and he has worked there as contract printer and assistant with some of the foreign visiting artists. He was one of two Ohio artists chosen by the OAC in 2007 for the cultural exchange with the city of Dresden, GER. Early participant to the Ohio Board of Education-sponsored Reggio Emilia study group, he taught art to a very wide range of audiences and academic level, and has a very strong commitment to art practice as a service for the community: throughout his years in Oberlin he volunteered many sessions in public schools teaching art fundamentals; he created with the help of the Nord Family Foundation ArtZreach, a project of art practice and education at the Lorain County Juvenile Detention Home; he started and laid the foundations for the Big Parade, an all-town event in May where thousands of people congregate for a public cookout, music and games after a procession of home-made floats and acts from community groups and schools. Claudio Orso has been one of the first resident artists at the Morgan Conservatory and Art of Papermaking in Cleveland.