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CAELI Class of 2018

Jeffery Allen is the director of arts education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  He oversees the entire portfolio of arts education programs, both in and out of school hours, and connects with the arts community for meaningful student engagement and enrichment.  Allen has held key positions in the arts education field including serving as the director of education and public programs for the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, OH and as the director of the Center for Lifelong Learning for Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, IN. He also served as the producing artistic director for Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown, CT and as the director of education at Cleveland Public Theatre, Northeast Ohio’s leading alternative theatre. Jeffery is the father of three and continues to work professionally in the theatre industry.

Nicole Amri is a 2006 alumna of the SAY Sí program and is now the program director of the organization, an award-winning creative youth development program located in San Antonio, TX. Driven by learning and creating, Amri’s great passions are education and the arts. As an artist, her artwork predominantly explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. In addition to her work at SAY Sí, Amri serves on committees such as the city-wide initiatives SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA, and national groups such as the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s ALAANA Network and the National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. She is 2012 graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.F.A. in painting and a B.A. in communications with a public relations concentration. When Amri is not working or creating, she loves to dance, cook and listen to music (often at the same time).

Mariana Astorga-Almanza is the visual and performing arts coordinator for the Lynwood Unified School District in California.  Astorga-Almanza is a National Board Certificated music educator with nine years of band and orchestra experience at the middle school level, primarily within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Astorga-Almanza earned a bachelor of music degree in Music Education from the University of Southern California (USC), where she marched in the USC Trojan Marching Band; a master of arts in education from California State University, Los Angeles; and a doctor of education degree in the educational leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles. Astorga-Almanza is a member of the California Practitioners Advisory Group, which provides input to the California State Board of Education related to LCFF and ESSA. She is also a member of the CREATE CA leadership development team. Astorga-Almanza is passionate about providing all students with the equitable access to quality arts education.

Ashley Blakeney is the Pablove Shutterbugs program manager at the Pablove Foundation in Los Angeles, CA, where she oversees a portfolio of five cities across the country. Blakeney’s professional goals are to provide arts healing and creative safe spaces for youth of color. Hailing from New Haven, CT, Ashley is the ultimate pizza snob, a music enthusiast and a photographer. She loves dancing to 90s hip-hop music and enjoys a good Lord of the Rings marathon. She earned a B.A. in creative writing and photography from the University of Southern California and is a certified social emotional arts facilitator.

Lindsey Buller Maliekel is the director of education/public engagement for The New Victory Theater in New York City. She oversees all programs and content for family audiences and runs The New 42nd Street Youth Corps, the theater organization’s youth development programs. In 2014, under her oversight, The New Victory Usher Corps received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award, presented by then First Lady Michelle Obama, for outstanding programs in creative youth development. Buller Maliekel has also worked for the past five years with WolfBrown to lead a longitudinal research study on the intrinsic impact of arts on young people. She is a thesis advisor for the first master’s program in in the United States in applied theatre at City University of New York and is part of the national advisory board for the Teaching Artist Guild.  Prior to joining The New Victory Theater in 2004, Maliekel was a consultant, director, curriculum writer and teaching artist for such organizations as Creative Arts Team, Summer Theatre Institute, Girls Leadership Institute and TheatreWorks: Silicon Valley.  She is honored to serve currently on the board of directors for Spellbound Theatre. She received her master’s degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University focusing on theater as a tool for communication and learning.

David R. Carter is an executive musician with Tulsa Symphony, serving as both education director and principal clarinet. In his executive role, he oversees all aspects of the Tulsa Symphony’s education outreach initiatives. Under his leadership he cultivated a partnership with Carnegie Hall and their acclaimed Link Up program. In only three seasons, the partnership has gone from serving 1,200 students and teachers in the Tulsa region to 17,000. Carter is also acting principal clarinet with Tulsa Opera Orchestra and a member of Tulsa Camerata. Previously, he served for five years as an assistant professor of music at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. He has presented recitals and master classes in the United States, Brazil, and Puerto Rico and has performed in the clarinet sections of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de la UANL in Monterrey, Mexico, Detroit Symphony, and many others. He earned his doctorate of musical arts from the University of Oklahoma. He also holds a bachelor’s of music from the University of North Texas, a master’s of music degree from Ohio State University, and a graduate certificate in orchestral studies from Wayne State University.

Eepi Chaad is an arts access advocate, a working studio artist, and an environmentalist based in Houston, TX. Each passion feeds the other and this has informed her mission. After studying architecture at the University of Houston with a focus on sustainability, Chaad decided to shift her career path to focus on supporting healthy social practices. She developed her personal artistic practice while working in arts outreach by creating continuing professional development programming for artists and arts educators. She went on to work as a residency coordinator and teaching artist for an eco-art nonprofit organization on the Gulf Coast that bridged the gap between arts access and ecology through public art projects and outdoor adventures that promoted conservation of coastal margins. Chaad was then selected as one of the City of Houston, Texas’ the first resident artists. In Houston, she worked with immigrant and refugee populations to create communal art as an exercise in creative placemaking. Most recently, she joined Art League Houston where she is spearheading the growth of the organization’s outreach and arts access programming. Chaad believes that just like art, every community is built of ingenuity and creativity, and therefore these practices must be utilized in tandem to grow a successful and healthy society for all.

Jennifer DiFiglia joined LEAP in July 2017, offering a breadth of experience in nonprofit program management, arts administration and youth development best practices.  LEAP’s mission is to provide quality educational arts programs that promote access and equity for all students underserved in the arts. As the organization’s senior director of programs, DiFaglia leads a department of more than 250 full- and part-time staff members working in more than 150 schools throughout New York City. Over the course of her career, she has worked to increase the impact the arts can make on youth and community development, and as an artist, teaching artist, and leader, she is committed to creating high-quality programs accessible to all young people and to promoting the importance of professional teaching artist in learning environments. DiFiglia is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work, where she received the Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention Scholarship from the Mailman School of Public Health. She has served in organizations that include Young Audiences New York; Urban Arts Partnership; Partnership for After-School Education; Groundwork, Inc.; ExpandEd; Good Shepherd Services; and the Henry Street Settlement.

Tarah Ortiz Durnbaugh is the performance programs manager for Urban Gateways in Chicago, IL and has been a part of the organization since 2007. Durnbaugh’s work focuses on managing the performance programs with the goal of making high-quality and inspiring arts experiences accessible to youth and communities throughout the Chicago area. She shares her passion for the arts with students as a dance instructor and choreographer and as the artistic director of the Kaleidoscope Krew youth dance company. She is a proud ensemble member and choreographer with Be the Groove, a Chicago rhythmic performance ensemble, and company member with the legendary Joel Hall Dancers. She has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works arts education review panel and is currently a co-ambassador for the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Emerging Leaders Network. Durnbaugh has more than two decades of dance training and a theatre degree from Northwestern University.

Paul A. Ellis, Jr. is a practicing attorney and an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2006, he has served as the executive director and general counsel of the August Wilson House in Pittsburgh, PA. In that capacity, Ellis has engaged in significant fundraising, capacity-building, event planning, contract negotiation, relationship-building with community partners, fiscal compliance and reporting requirements, board development, professional development of volunteers, and grant writing. He also secured historic landmark status for the house from local, state, and federal government. Ellis’ legal career has been multifaceted and he has litigated hundreds of cases, among them employment discrimination, adult and juvenile criminal defense, and civil rights actions. Notably, Ellis worked with the late Johnnie Cochran on a case that seeking reparations for the descendants of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921. In February 2010, the City of Pittsburgh recognized his contributions with the History Maker Award in the area of civil rights and community action. Ellis, whose hobbies include cycling, rowing, collecting music, and traveling, is also an avid writer, contributing regularly to periodicals including the Lawyers Journal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the New Pittsburgh Courier, and the Soul Pitt Quarterly. His legal scholarship was published in the Duquesne University Business Law Journal. Ellis received his B.A. in legal studies from the University of Pittsburgh and his J.D. from the New England School of Law.

Quanice G. Floyd is a renaissance woman who wears many capes. Floyd is a public-school music educator teaching elementary school general music, chorus, band, and orchestra. She is the founder and director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network, an organization committed to empowering artists and arts administrators by advocating for access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in the arts in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Floyd also serves as a board member for two DC arts organizations and is an alumna of the ArtEquity Facilitator cohort; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Educators Academy; Arts Administrators Academy; Schools Essentials Program, and the Arts Education Collaborative’s Leadership Academy. Born and raised in New York City, she has spent more than a decade in Washington, DC where she received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in music education from Howard University and Kent State University, respectively. Her passion for arts administration led her to pursue her second master’s degree in arts management at American University and she is currently a doctoral student at Drexel University. Floyd works tirelessly toward her goals of becoming an arts education expert and advocate by providing a quality education to DC’s at-promise student populations.

Julianne Gadoury is an artist, leader in social change, and endurance junkie. She enjoys helping all community members realize the opportunity for creative expression. As the arts education coordinator for the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Gadoury oversees grants for in and out of school learning, professional development for educators and teaching artists, special initiatives, and Poetry Out Loud.  Previously, she served as New Hampshire’s folk and traditional arts coordinator building relationships with immigrant and refugee communities and helping to sustain and promote New Hampshire’s cultural and artistic heritage.  Prior to joining the Council on the Arts, Julianne was an adjunct lecturer in art history, digital media, printmaking and drawing. A New Hampshire native, Gadoury earned an M.B.A. in business administration, an M.F.A. in printmaking, certificate of advanced graduate studies in cultural studies, and a dual B.A. in art history and studio art. She continues to make prints, handmade paper, and original clothing, and actively explores New Hampshire through the arts, running, and hiking.

Lynn Hoare is the senior director of school-based programs at Creative Action, an organization in Austin, TX that uses the arts to support the academic, social and emotional growth of young people.  As senior director, she supervises the creation, staffing, training, and implementation of a variety of inquiry-based performance residencies in classrooms in five school districts in and around Austin.  Hoare also supports Spark Schools, the arts-integration and arts-enrichment partnership between Creative Action and local elementary schools, and leads professional development and training for classroom teachers, teaching artists and community members. Previously, Hoare directed the Theatre for Dialogue program at the University of Texas at Austin. As part of this program she worked with students and stakeholders to develop original, interactive theatre programs that allowed students to investigate healthy/unhealthy behaviors in relationships, consent, sexual assault and stalking. Hoare co-created and co-facilitates the Performing Justice Project, which works with youth to create original performance around racial and gender justice and injustice.  She also co-created and co-facilitated The Owl’s Nest, a retreat for women who use the arts in and with community.  Regardless of the context, Hoare uses applied theatre, theatre in education, theatre of the oppressed to engage community and investigate issues relevant to a particular context.

Rosa Hyde is senior manager of SchoolTime & Assemblies for the arts education department at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  In this capacity, Hyde oversees the scheduling and production of all internal and external events for the department, including management of the SchoolTime season and touring performances for school audiences. She also has oversight of 12 rehearsal studios. Previously Hyde served as the first house manager for the concerts and lectures department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  In that role, she was responsible for hiring, training and managing 24 part-time staff members, creating and implementing a structural plan to overhaul front of house and company management operations, oversaw the logistical planning and execution of approximately 250 museum events, among other responsibilities. From 2004 - 2011, Hyde served as performance manager for the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. She holds a M.A. degree in educational theater from New York University and a B.A. degree in theater from Oberlin College.

Jackson Elisabeth Knowles has worked for 18 years at the intersection of the arts, education, equity and community. As MINDPOP’s program director, she collaborates with artists, teachers, school administrators and city leaders to create the conditions for arts educators to thrive and for cross-sector partnership opportunities to unfold. Prior to her tenure at MINDPOP, a creative learning nonprofit in Austin, TX, she led the design and implementation of youth programs at the Entrepreneurs Foundation, and before that she served as the director of community development at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts launching projects including culinary gardens, a student-led food truck, and performance projects about local civil rights issues. Jackson is a co-founder of the Homer A. Plessy Community School, a diverse-by-design, arts-integrated elementary school in New Orleans currently in its fifth year of operations. She began her career performing with Rosy Simas Danse in Minnesota and working in arts advocacy at Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and the Guthrie Theater. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Macalester College and is the mother to two young children.

Kearsten Kuroishi is the director of education at the City of Las Vegas’ award-winning and nationally lauded Rainbow Company Youth Theater program. A successful actor and musician in Las Vegas, Kuroishi focuses her talents and skills on enriching the lives of children through the theatrical arts. She has taught for Disney’s Musicals in Schools, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, and Cirque Du Soleil. Teaching classes on all aspects of theatrical production from technical to performance aspects, Kuroishi also manages, performs in and composes for the company’s original Nevada Series in-school tour, where each year 14,000 young students experience their first interaction with live arts.

Julia López is a poet, theater artist and educator, and the manager for the foundations and innovations program for Mural Arts Philadelphia. López believes in the power of the arts and arts education to effect social change and justice. She is dedicated to collaboration with families and youth, creating arts-based experiences, programs and curriculum. As an artist, she has performed, exhibited and facilitated community based experiences throughout the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and Spain and is a founding member of Las Gallas Artist Collective based in Philadelphia, PA. López has served on numerous review panels championing diversity and accountability in the grant making process. Most notable is her work with the Leeway Foundation where she was instrumental in the development of new granting programs and served as board president for four years. She is a 2009 Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute Fellow at the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Research and has a B.A. in theater arts from Wesleyan University.

Emily Magenheimer is the Silver Spring campus manager of Levine Music based in Washington, DC, and she works with children and adults to help them achieve their musical goals. She has served in this capacity since the Silver Spring location was established and has worked to increase enrollment by 200% in its second year by curating partnerships within the Silver Spring arts community. Magenheimer is a classically trained vocalist and spent many years as actress in New York and on tour. She is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and she holds a B.F.A in musical theatre from the University of Michigan. Magenheimer believes that building relationships between artists, faculty, and students can transform an arts community, and that the arts are for everyone and the more we invest in the arts, the more we thrive.

Kevin D. Marr II is the dance director for the All-City Dance Ensemble and program coordinator for The Foluke Cultural Arts Center, both of Cleveland, OH. For the past 10 years, Marr has held positions as a choreographer, program director, educator, and mentor at a range of arts and performance organizations throughout the Greater Cleveland area and in the surrounding Northeast Region. He has toured the United States with companies such as Morrison Dance, Dance Afrika Dance, GreeneWorks, and Dancing Wheels Company. In 2013, Marr launched Deuce Dance, a networking and planning company for the dance band industry. A native of Cleveland, Marr has a B.A. in communication management from Cleveland State University.  He is always excited to be a part of new opportunities and performances, and commits himself to sharing the joy that is within through his work.

Devon Miller is the managing director of Junior Players in Dallas, TX, overseeing daily operations and developing strategic fundraising strategies. He began his career in arts administration as an intern for Junior Players in 2012, which eventually led to a permanent position. At Junior Players, Miller has held the positions of program assistant, marketing and development manager, and marketing and development director. He has also served as the manager of foundation and major gifts for the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center, where he played a vital role in securing support for the Center’s impactful community-based programs. In addition to his arts administration work, Miller also works as a stage manager for local theatres around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned a B.A. in political science.

Beverly E. Mislang is the associate director of development at Youth Speaks in San Francisco, CA. With a decade of fundraising experience, Mislang specializes in finding sustainable and community-oriented streams of support for the organization. Prior to joining Youth Speaks, Mislang was the director of individual giving at Performing Arts Workshop. She is an AmeriCorps alumna and served as the AmeriCorps VISTA fundraising associate at Streetside Stories from 2009 to 2010. She is on the board of directors at the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Golden Gate Chapter and on the board of Oakland-based Transit Books, a nonprofit publisher of international and American literature. Mislang is a Bay Area native with family roots in the Philippines. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles where she double majored in political science and history, with a focus on international relations and Middle East history and foreign policy.

Paul Moshammer is a professional artist who is the studio director at Creativity Explored, an art center for adults with developmental disabilities in San Francisco. After spending nearly a decade as a visual art instructor in the studio, Moshammer moved into management of this nonprofit organization. For the last sixteen years, he has been supervising teachers, initiating art projects, serving as an ambassador for the studio, curating art shows, and representing studio artists’ works at the Outsider Art Fair in New York and at other venues. He embraces all aspects of his job and finds excitement in challenges and upcoming projects. Moshammer grew up in Vienna, Austria, and has made San Francisco his home. He resides there with his wife and two children.

Rebekka Nickman is the program manager at the DC Collaborative in Washington, DC. Nickman is the primary contact for the Arts and Humanities for Every Student and Professional Development programs. In this capacity she serves as the liaison between public schools, public charter schools and the DC Collaborative’s cultural institution members to ensure the best possible field-trip experiences for students and continued learning opportunities for educators. Prior to joining the DC Collaborative team, Rebekka received a B.M. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and served as an intern at the Kennedy Center. Rebekka is a passionate advocate for arts education and is inspired by the DC Collaborative’s mission of equity.

Melissa Gawlowski Pratt, playwright and arts educator, is the assistant director of school programs at Lincoln Center Education. She oversees the Arts in the Middle initiative, created in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, which seeks to measure the impact of providing fully subsidized arts programming to high-poverty New York City middle schools that previously had little to no arts programming. Prior to LCE, she served as literary and education coordinator at Premiere Stages in Union, NJ where she designed and oversaw its education programs and literary department, followed by a term on the company’s advisory board. Gawlowski Pratt was selected by the New York Foundation for the Arts for its inaugural Boot Camp for Emerging Leaders in Arts Administration. She has taught kids, adults, and teachers in contexts including New York University, Ohio University, Kean University, conferences, public schools in New York and New Jersey, as well as schools in Peru and Japan. Melissa received her M.F.A. in playwriting from Ohio University. Her plays have been performed in New York City, the US, and internationally, and have been published in several anthologies. She is a Ph.D. candidate and adjunct instructor in educational theatre at New York University, where received the Ella Mae Mullavey Ader Fellowship. She currently teaches a course on drama with special populations.

Chad Swan-Badgero is the arts education program manager at the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Swan-Badgero is the founder and co-artistic director for the Peppermint Creek Theatre Company and the Renegade Theatre Festival. He is proud to have served the last three years on Michigan’s State Pilot Policy Program through Americans for the Arts, advancing arts education policy in the state. In 2009, was named one of the Ten Over The Next Ten Business Leaders by the Lansing Chamber of Commerce. Swan-Badgero earned a B.A. in English and theatre/speech, and an M.F.A. in theatre from Michigan State University.

Molly Terbovich-Ridenhour began her dance training at the age of five, and now serves as the president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet (SDCYB), San Diego's oldest classical ballet school. Before joining SDCYB, Terbovich-Ridenhour worked as a freelance arts administrator coordinating events such as the annual 5X5 Modern Dance Workshop and the Celebrate Dance Festival and she served on the steering committees of Rising Arts Leaders and San Diego Dance Connect. Since moving to San Diego in 2013, she has worked with Butterworth Dance Company, Eveoke Dance Theatre and various independent dance projects and choreographers and co-founded the Stella Nova Dance Company. She has a B.F.A. in dance from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and an M.F.A. in dance from Arizona State University.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, Dance/USA, and transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.