Newark Arts Education Roundtable

MEMBERS

2016-2017

Nafeesah Allen

Nafeesah Allen

Community Advocate

“Global Newark Native”
U.S. Department of State
Nafeesah Allen is a native of Vailsburg. She is a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State, as well as an academic. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College in 2006 and completed a Masters of International Affairs at Columbia University with a certificate in Latin American studies and a concentration in race and social policy. In 2013, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Folklore & Cultural Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi and won IGNOU’s Gold Medal for meritorious academic performance for her thesis on women’s identity & remembrance in the Indian Diaspora. She is currently a PhD student at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg focusing on Indian subcontinent migration to Mozambique in the 20th century. She is currently serving a tour at the US Embassy in Mozambique, after having served in New Delhi, India for 2 years and in Washington, DC focusing on the US – Pakistan bilateral relationship.
Chandri Barat

Chandri Barat

Executive Director

Barat Foundation

Chandri Barat is co-founder of the Barat Foundation, a Newark based non-profit dedicated to bringing arts education and a global perspective to underserved youth. The Foundation came to Newark in 2000, seeing a critical need to expand its summer study program in France to include inner-city youth. Chandri’s direction lead to the growth of year-round arts education initiatives including the Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade featuring the foundation’s signature “Animodule”™ sculpures, a city-wide public art muraling project, and a youth entrepreneurship program focusing on the arts.

Prior to establishing the Barat Foundation, Chandri was a pioneer in the natural foods industry, co-founding Legume, Inc., the first natural foods company to go public, creating healthy tofu-based entrees.

After doctoral studies in political philosophy and French, Chandri spent a year in India studying and practicing Siddha Yoga with Swami Muktananda, who bestowed her spiritual name, Chandri.

Chandri is the proud wife and life partner of Gary Barat, entrepreneur and fine-arts photographer, and mother of two daughters and contemporary artists, Athena and Ariana.

Overview of the Barat Foundation: The Barat Foundation is a Newark based arts education organization founded in 2000, dedicated to the power of the arts to transform lives and communities, and level the playing field for highly motivated, under-served youth. The Foundation is dedicated to inspiring Newark’s youth to become productive members of their schools, communities, and society by engaging them in arts education initiatives designed to support NJ core curriculum standards for the arts; public arts programs designed to include Newark youth in the renaissance of their city, and entrepreneurship training in the arts. Major public arts programs have enriched the experience of thousands of Newark youth.

What makes the Barat Foundation unique and necessary? “Barat Foundation arts education programs create safe spaces to engage youth, encourage and develop creative expression, improve academic performance, improve self-esteem, and promote a positive and emotionally healthy life-style. Students develop invaluable tools for everyday living including imagination, observation, and critical problem solving skills while working to improve the quality of life in the city.
We serve an estimated 2,500 Newark children and youth annually, the majority of whom live below the national poverty line, 18% of whom live in a family where neither parent nor guardian has a job, and 50% of whom do not graduate high school. 80% test below grade level in either language or math skills or both; over 50% exist at or below the Federal Poverty line. For these children, Barat Foundation arts education programs offer new solutions to engage and inspire, creating pathways for personal growth, academic accomplishment, and community engagement.”

Services provided by the Barat Foundation
1. In school and after-school artist in residence programs at Newark schools and community organizations, which relate to and are in direct support of support of age and grade appropriate NJ core curriculum content standards for the arts.
2. Large-scale community created public artworks and art installations –Animodules™, currently on view at Newark Liberty International Airport, Turtle Back Zoo, Rutgers University, and NPS. Now seen by over 500,000 travelers to our region per year, these public art installations created by the children of the city create ownership, encourage community engagement and civic responsibility.
3. The Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade and Creator’s Clubs: the largest collaborative art event in Newark, having celebrated its eighth year as the kick-off to Celebration 350 – a citywide celebration of Newark’s 350th Anniversary. The parade brings together thousands of Newark youth, the Newark Public Schools, the Newark Arts Council, NJPAC, the Municipal Council and numerous community, civic, and business organizations, to celebrate creativity and the power of art to transform lives and communities. The parade is preceded by 2 months of free and open art making workshops “Creator’s Clubs”.
4. Youth Entrepreneurship Through the Arts: Entrepreneurship education affording Newark youth experiential learning opportunities to identify and develop artistic creative ideas to produce viable business opportunities.
5. Summer Study Abroad

Lisala Beatty

Lisala Beatty

Program Director

Music and the Brain-42nd St. Development Corp.

Lisala Beatty has worked with MATB since 2003 serving as the Program Manager until being named Program Director in August 2017. Lisala has supported the more than 300 schools who have received MATB grants across the country with ongoing classroom visits and in class training to music teachers, along with handling grantee relationships, marketing and outreach, curriculum development, fundraising and logistics. A professional R&B and Pop vocalist and songwriter for more than 20 years, Lisala’s voice is featured on many of the curriculum recordings performed by the MATB quartet. She has performed with numerous bands across the U.S., France, England, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Canada and Japan and appears on more than thirty-five recordings. Prior to working with MATB, Lisala worked in advertising sales as a Senior Account Manager for Vivendi Universal Net USA, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Ziff-Davis. Ms. Beatty holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where she majored in Marketing. Supporting comprehensive music education to public school students through Music and the Brain has been a dream come true after missing such education in her youth.

What makes MATB unique and necessary? “Since 1997, Music and the Brain (MATB) has perfected a comprehensive, sequential music curriculum for teaching elementary school children to read music and develop piano skills during the school day. Under resourced public schools are targeted for MATB grants with more than 300 schools awarded for twenty years impacting over 400,000 students. MATB links cognitive development and early music instruction”

Services provided by MATB: Music and the Brain (MATB) is a project of the 42nd St. Development Corporation designed to teach public school students to read and play music through classroom keyboard instruction. MATB empowers each school’s music teacher to be able to teach music literacy and piano skills to all students through comprehensive teacher training, ongoing visits and support along with a proven system. During the school day, students of MATB gain cognitive skills, fine motor skills, focus and attention that impacts their learning across subjects.

Anonda Bell

Anonda Bell

Director and Curator

Paul Robeson Galleries - Rutgers University

Services provided by Paul Robeson Galleries: Free exhibitions, receptions, lectures, screenings, concerts, artist talks, and arts events. Free public and educational programming, including tours and art-making workshops. Freelance employment opportunities for art handlers, artist educators, gallery event staff, and assistants. Exhibition opportunities for local, national, and international artists at all stages of career.

Overview of PRG: “In the spirit of Paul Robeson himself, the Paul Robeson Galleries is dedicated to an urban mission with an activist approach. This commitment includes organizing free exhibitions and public/education programs on local, regional, and international contemporary art and culture, as well as developing civic partnerships through community outreach programs. Our aim is to initiate cross-disciplinary and civic dialogues as ways of strengthening the bonds between art, education, and democracy. The PRG consists of nine exhibition spaces showcasing the work of emerging and established contemporary artists.”

What makes PRG unique and necessary?: “With an intentional emphasis on accessibility and democracy, the Paul Robeson Galleries seeks to bring together the seemingly remote spheres of the contemporary art world and the “real” world. Literacy in and engagement with the arts is deeply valuable and relevant for everybody but current arts structures tend to alienate most populations. The Paul Robeson Galleries embraces the task of going above and beyond in order to provide free, relevant, and accessible arts exposure to the Greater Newark community.”

Katherine J. Brodhead

Katherine J. Brodhead

Music Teacher and Dept. Leader

“Educator, passionate, excited”
Newark Public Schools
Cisely Breeden

Cisely Breeden

Program Director

“excited, motivated, creative”
Newark Symphony Hall

Cisely Martin- Breeden is a Social Worker by degree, but has always had a passion for theatre long before graduating from Arts High School in Newark where she worked under the tutelage of Ms. Bashir. Although her focus was on vocal performance, she often sang in theatre productions. Cisely was an active member the Drama Company at Essex County College where she studied musical theatre. She also had the honor of playing Dorothy in their rendition of the Wiz. While at Kean University she studied Theatre Performance and Theater Technology. Afterwards, she worked for Newark Public Schools for over 7 years as a Student Assistance Coordinator. Cisely has a strong passion for using Educational Theatre to encourage student’s positive behavior. In 2011, life changing events allowed her to take a leap of faith and start her own production company, LeapNhigh Productions.

Services provided by NSH: Newark Symphony Hall Children’s Arts Academy provides sessions in summer, fall, and spring. Summer Children’s Performing Arts Academy is a 5 weeks intensive program that includes instruction in vocal music; dance; and drama for students ages 8-13, though the program is not without regard to previous experience we have had the pleasure of working with some extremely talented children. During our summer session we offer a free before care service for parents. While our programs tuition is extremely reasonable scholarships remain available for those families in need who qualify. Students have the pleasure of attending trips that are also art focused to further their awareness of various art forms. We provide discipline-specific classes at the Academy instructed by accomplished Teaching Artists.

Overview of NSH: The Newark Performing Arts Corporation was established in 1988 to manage Newark Symphony Hall, an historic 87 year old performing arts complex that is owned by the City of Newark. The Corporation is led by Executive Director Leon Denmark who was appointed in March 2013. Formerly the Vice President for Programming at NJPAC, Denmark supervised an annual program that featured major symphony orchestras, classical, modern, and ethnic dance companies, major jazz artists, recitalists, cabaret performers, family programming and pop artists. He is charged with revitalizing the task of revitalizing the landmark venue of Newark Symphony Hall during is first role as Executive Director of Newark Symphony Hall in 1989.

What makes NSH unique and necessary?: “The Children’s Performing Arts Academy focuses on an intensive acting/drama, contemporary dance, and vocal music experience. It offers the participants a chance to indulge in the pursuit of knowledge in the performing arts with complete concentration and purpose. Students have the guidance of professional artists and educators who will help develop their artistic talent, personal discipline, and the tools of their crafts.
The academy is both fun and challenging for the students. They grow as creative human beings and are challenged to become more adept at working within a community.”

Danielle Bursk

Danielle Bursk

Director of Arts Education

New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Danielle Bursk is the Director of Arts Education for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In this role, she manages the Council’s arts education and visual arts grants portfolios. Danielle is also involved with the New Jersey Cultural Trust Arts Stabilization Grants program, and is excitedly learning more about the Council’s Public Art Program throughout the state.  Danielle brings more than twenty years of experience in arts administration and education to her role, and remains a practicing and exhibiting visual artist. Danielle earned an MFA from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts, a BFA from Temple’s Tyler School of Art, and also has a certificate in Nonprofit Management from LaSalle University’s School of Business. A seasoned arts administrator and presenter at national and regional education conferences, she has years of development experience, taught visual arts at the post-secondary level and managed programs for special needs and at-risk youth. She has previously served on the board of directors for Artworks, Trenton, NJ’s downtown community art center, as the treasurer to the New Jersey Arts Education Collective, and co-chaired the annual Connect Arts Education Conference. She currently serves on the board of her hometown’s Langhorne Council for the Arts.

Overview of NJ State Council on the Arts: Since 1966, the Arts Council’s volunteer members and professional staff have worked to improve the quality of life in New Jersey by helping the arts to flourish. The Arts Council’s array of programs and services are supported by a direct appropriation from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

What makes the NJ State Council on the Arts unique and necessary: In 1966, the legislature passed and the governor signed a law creating the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and directing us to do all that is necessary and appropriate to: support, encourage, and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey.

Services provided by NJ State Council on the Arts: With annual appropriations from the State Legislature as well as annual federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Council designs and carries out a dynamic program of financial and technical support services for New Jersey artists and nonprofit organizations. The Council has priority programs in arts education, artists’ services, community arts development, folk arts, cultural facilities development, community cultural planning and arts marketing.

Chaundra Cameron

Chaundra Cameron

Teacher/Actor

Creative, Passionate, Positive”
New Jersey State Council on the Arts
Chaundra Cameron is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. She has performed on Broadway in various productions. Ms Cameron has toured in Europe, Carribean Islands, South America, Canada and most of the United states as an actress/singer. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Xavier University of New Orleans, Louisiana in Mass Communications. Her Master of Arts Degree was from University of Maryland College Park with a Major in Directing Theatre and a minor in Acting. Her dedication to the Arts results in her proud membership of the Actor’s Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. She received her teacher certification from Rutger’s University in Newark, New Jersey which has led to her present profession, during the past decade, of teaching Theatre in the Newark, N.J. school system. She has also served as adjunct faculty for several community colleges as a Speech Instructor. She loves her daughter and wants to inspire others by encouraging the importance of knowing yourself.
Ronald Chaluisan

Ronald Chaluisan

Executive Director

“Curious, Rigorous, Optimistic”
Newark Trust for Education

As Executive Director of the Newark Trust for Education, Ronald Chaluisán is committed to developing, coordinating and focusing ideas, resources and expertise that expand opportunity and improve academic and socio-emotional outcomes for all children in Newark. Prior to joining the Trust, Ronald led the New Visions Charter High Schools Initiative, successfully opening seven charter high schools serving high need students across New York City. During his career in the field of education, Ronald has also led the creation, implementation and assessment of programs and has served as principal and educator for district schools.

Prior to joining NV, Ronald founded the NYC Museum School, a partnership between NYC Community School District 2 and four New York City museums. Over the years, the school has claimed its place as one of the best high schools in New York City.

Ronald is currently a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Harvard University, a Master of Arts in Literature from Claremont Graduate University, and a Master of Education in Leadership from Bank Street College of Education.

Overview of The Newark Trust for Education: The Newark Trust for Education (The Trust) is an independent non-profit dedicated to coordinating and focusing, ideas, people, and resources; and holding all of us responsible for providing a quality public education for all children in Newark. The Newark Trust envisions a city with a public education infrastructure that leverages the wide array of opportunities available to its young people to effectively help them meet academic requirements and to prepare them for high-quality post-secondary options.

What makes the Newark Trust for Education unique and necessary: The Trust is uniquely positioned to collaborate with and support Newark’s citizens, civic leaders, community-based organizations, charter sector, and public schools district. As an emerging backbone organization, The Trust can deliver upon a joint commitment to broadening effective learning opportunities and improving educational outcomes for Newark’s school-eligible young people.

Services provided by the Newark Trust for Education: As a backbone organization, Newark Trust commits to working with partners to:
1) guide vision and strategy; 2) support aligned activities; 3) establish and use shared measurement practices; 4) build public will; 5) advance policy; 6) mobilize funding.

In this capacity, Newark Trust will work with key stakeholders to:
1) Provide the public with reliable information concerning the School Board Elections: process, candidates, timeline, key issues and questions (city-wide); 2) Ensure the City of Newark and Newark Public Schools engage in an effective process that results in strong and informed Local Control (city-wide); 3) Engage the district and charter public school constituencies in meaningful conversations that lead to promising collaborations (Newark Charter School Fund, NPS, Newark Trust, 2-4 school communities); 4) Determine key outcomes for the Community Schools Initiative and organize partners to effectively meet these outcomes (NPS, Newark City, 5 school communities in the South Ward, Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation); 5) Build the capacity of our partners including that of the Board and staff of Newark Trust (Existing and New Boardmembers of the Trust, Existing and New Staff members of the Trust).

Seye Charles

Seye Charles

Executive Director

“motivated step instructor”
Teens Step Up, Inc.
While attending Rider University, Mr. Charles cultivated his stepping skills as a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. A New Jersey native and former Step Master of Dem Boyz step team, Mr. Charles led Dem Boyz to numerous Step Competition Championships, including the First Annual “Stomp the Yard” Super Stomp National Step Competition in 2006, which aired on ESPN 2. America’s top ranked step team, under the leadership of Mr. Charles, was also featured in Sony Pictures 2007 smash block buster hit movie, Stomp the Yard and Paramount Pictures, How She Move, the NFL’s Annual Gridiron Gala featuring the JB Awards, several daytime television shows such as Good Day New York, Live with Regis and Kelly, and ESPN’s Cold Pizza.

 

Caren King Choi

Caren King Choi

Associate Director of Programs

“practical, hardworking, thoughtful”
Paul Robeson Galleries - Rutgers University

Caren King Choi is an artist, writer, and arts administrator who has worked with the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University – Newark since 2008. As head of programs at the Paul Robeson Galleries, Choi leads a team of 14 local artist educators in bringing exhibition-based artmaking workshops to schools, senior centers, and many other organizations in the Greater Newark area. She is dedicated to providing arts accessibility and visual literacy education to all demographics in the city of Newark.

Services provided by Paul Robeson Galleries: Free exhibitions, receptions, lectures, screenings, concerts, artist talks, and arts events. Free public and educational programming, including tours and art-making workshops. Freelance employment opportunities for art handlers, artist educators, gallery event staff, and assistants. Exhibition opportunities for local, national, and international artists at all stages of career.

Overview of PRG: “In the spirit of Paul Robeson himself, the Paul Robeson Galleries is dedicated to an urban mission with an activist approach. This commitment includes organizing free exhibitions and public/education programs on local, regional, and international contemporary art and culture, as well as developing civic partnerships through community outreach programs. Our aim is to initiate cross-disciplinary and civic dialogues as ways of strengthening the bonds between art, education, and democracy. The PRG consists of nine exhibition spaces showcasing the work of emerging and established contemporary artists.”

What makes PRG unique and necessary?: “With an intentional emphasis on accessibility and democracy, the Paul Robeson Galleries seeks to bring together the seemingly remote spheres of the contemporary art world and the “real” world. Literacy in and engagement with the arts is deeply valuable and relevant for everybody but current arts structures tend to alienate most populations. The Paul Robeson Galleries embraces the task of going above and beyond in order to provide free, relevant, and accessible arts exposure to the Greater Newark community.”

Deryck Clarke

Deryck Clarke

Educational Outreach Director

“gregarious, passionate, caring”
The Harlem Chamber Players

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Deryck Clarke (French horn) is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts in New York City and the Curtis Institute of Music. Throughout his career Deryck has performed with renowned artists including Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Donnie McClurkin, Paquito D’Rivera, and James DePriest, among others. While in college, Mr. Clarke discovered his passion for teaching at the NY State Music Camp (now Hartwick College Music Festival). He was faculty member at the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival, the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program and the Mannes College preparatory division. Mr. Clarke also served as Interim Music Director of the Harlem School of the Arts. As a certified K12 music educator, Deryck received awards and recognition for his service as instrumental and vocal music teacher at the Mount Vernon Elementary School in Newark, NJ. He later served as Program Director of William Paterson University’s Music After School program in Paterson, NJ and started the Music camp. Deryck is currently an artist-in-residence at the Cicely Tyson School of the Arts in East Orange, NJ. He is the founder and President of The Harmony Effect, a grassroots Arts advocacy and education organization. Deryck is also the educational and community outreach director for The Harlem Chamber Players, he is a member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, and the Education Committee for AFM local 802.

Overview of Organization: The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, The Harlem Chamber Players seek to build an audience for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem’s other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions. The Harlem Chamber Players not only bring live chamber music to under-served neighborhoods in the Harlem community, but also create opportunities for classically trained minority musicians.

What makes this organization unique and necessary? “We are an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians in the classical music arena where Black and Latino musicians are still grossly underrepresented. We provide opportunities for classically-trained musicians of color. I think it is empowering for young students to see, hear and work with professional classical musicians who look like them.”

Services provided by the organization: Classical music performances, educational concerts and workshops, masterclasses, music education

 

 

 

Kyle Conner

Kyle Conner

Manager, Sales & Partnerships

“Creative, Motivated & Confident”
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Lisa Michelle Conrad

Lisa Michelle Conrad

Director

“printmaker, teacher, mother”
Newark Print Shop

Lisa Conrad is an artist and trained art educator living and working in Newark, NJ. She studied studio arts
and art education at Kean University in Union. As a practicing artist, she has created a multifaceted body of
work including ceramics, works on handmade paper, artist books, paintings and prints. She is the founding
executive director of the Newark Print Shop, a community printmaking studio in downtown Newark.

Allison Davis

Allison Davis

Executive Director

Arts Horizons

An accomplished non-profit leader, Allison is the Executive Director of Arts Horizons. She spent much of her career in television news working at NBC, MSNBC and CBS. An award-winning journalist, she headed up a team of reporters who produced some of the first original journalism on the internet. In the not-for- profit arena, Davis has served as communications’ director for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and The Riverside Church in the City of New York. Davis is a contributor to the book “Global News: Perspectives on the Information Age”. She has been recognized by History Makers: The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection, housed at the Library of Congress and was recently honored by the Boy Scouts of America. She is a graduate of Boston University.
Overview of Organization: Arts Horizons was founded in 1978 by John Devol, trumpet player, music educator and parent. John played in the orchestra of A Chorus Line for the entire 15-year run of the show and, as he sat in the pit night after night, he realized the importance of bringing quality music to children. He got together with fellow Broadway musicians and formed Festival Brass, a lively, interactive music assembly program that taught students about the brass family of instruments. In 1995 Festival of Music became Arts Horizons, a full-service arts- in-education organization. Now entering our fourth decade, we reach more than 350,000 students and teachers every year.

What makes this organzation unique and necessary? Looking back over the past nearly four decades, Founder John Devol says, “We are committed to foster the development of the whole person by integrating the arts into the educational experience, and we endeavor to instill in people of all ages and abilities a knowledge of their own creativity. When I visit schools and senior centers and see faces light up, I now that it’s all been worthwhile.”

Services provided by the organization: Our exceptional programs are customized to meet the unique needs and goals of the population and site. We provide:
Engaging residency programs conducted by professional teaching artists
Interactive live performances
Participatory arts workshops for seniors that promote well-being
Adaptive programs for populations with special needs and children in hospitals
Professional development for teachers and staff that builds skills in and through the arts

 

 

Sophia Domeville

Sophia Domeville

Community School Director

“Motivated. Visionary. Creative”
Kids Corporation II

Sophia Domeville is a Newark born Haitian American Artist, Art Educator and Art Advocate. A studio arts graduate of The College of New Rochelle, Sophia Domeville is a Haitian American Abstract Expressionist whose usage of expressive colors, textures and collage creates a Universal Language through Abstract Art. Her work can best be described as, “Bold, explosive, and deeply emotional.” Ms. Domeville’s passion of giving back to the community granted her an opportunity to become a Community School Director for the 2016-17 school year, at Louise A. Spencer in Newark implementing an art and mentorship program, managing their academic support, and ELT programming. Ms. Domeville has a rich history of program creation and implementation as well as artistic success in the fields of painting, mentorship and art education. Her work can be viewed simultaneously at LaCaye Restaurant in Brooklyn and City Without Walls where she is also resident artist at Gallery Afferro in downtown Newark, NJ.

Organization Overview: KidsCorp is a non-profit organization that provides healthcare, summer and year round after school programs throughout the city of Newark for children.

What makes KidsCorp unique and necessary: Kids Corporation’s mission is to improve the lives of Newark children through cost effective programs and services that bolster academic skills, promote healthy development and stimulate a love of learning.

Each year our after-school, summer and school-day enrichment programs and human services benefit more than 4,000 low-income children ages 4 through 12 and support the education services at over 60 Partner Program schools, community and faith-based organizations city-wide.

Services provided by KidsCorp: After-school programs, summer and school-day enrichment programs and human services benefits.

Natasha Dyer

Natasha Dyer

Director of Operations

“Arts & Culture Enthusiast”
Newark Trust for Education

A native Newarker, Natasha is a cultural enthusiast and non-profit professional. With a commitment to the development of her city, Natasha has devoted significant time to civic engagement and immersion in the arts community of Newark. Through personal and professional experiences, she has witnessed the impact of service on the human spirit and the power of collective action and experience. She believes in a holistic approach to constructing nonprofit organizations, programs and services, which combine cultural awareness, with theory and best practices, lending itself to the elevation of communities.

An alumnus of Leadership Newark, Natasha currently serves as Director of Operations at Newark Trust for Education and on the Board of Directors at Aljira, a Center for Contempory Art. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Rutgers University. Natasha has served as moderator, facilitator, coordinator and consultant for a number of cultural events, organization and causes over the years including: NJPAC’s International Hip-Hop Festival, Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art and Hip-Hop for Flint Newark.

Overview of Newark Trust for Education: The Newark Trust for Education (The Trust) is an independent non-profit dedicated to coordinating and focusing, ideas, people, and resources; and holding all of us responsible for providing a quality public education for all children in Newark. The Newark Trust envisions a city with a public education infrastructure that leverages the wide array of opportunities available to its young people to effectively help them meet academic requirements and to prepare them for high-quality post-secondary options.

What makes The Trust unique and necessary? “The Trust is uniquely positioned to collaborate with and support Newark’s citizens, civic leaders, community-based organizations, charter sector, and public schools district. As an emerging backbone organization, The Trust can deliver upon a joint commitment to broadening effective learning opportunities and improving educational outcomes for Newark’s school-eligible young people”

Services provided by The Trust: As a backbone organization, Newark Trust commits to working with partners to:
1) guide vision and strategy; 2) support aligned activities; 3) establish and use shared measurement practices; 4) build public will; 5) advance policy; 6) mobilize funding.

In this capacity, Newark Trust will work with key stakeholders to:
1) Provide the public with reliable information concerning the School Board Elections: process, candidates, timeline, key issues and questions (city-wide); 2) Ensure the City of Newark and Newark Public Schools engage in an effective process that results in strong and informed Local Control (city-wide); 3) Engage the district and charter public school constituencies in meaningful conversations that lead to promising collaborations (Newark Charter School Fund, NPS, Newark Trust, 2-4 school communities); 4) Determine key outcomes for the Community Schools Initiative and organize partners to effectively meet these outcomes (NPS, Newark City, 5 school communities in the South Ward, Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation); 5) Build the capacity of our partners including that of the Board and staff of Newark Trust (Existing and New Boardmembers of the Trust, Existing and New Staff members of the Trust).

Ifeoma A. Ejiogu

Ifeoma A. Ejiogu

Owner

“Creative, Passionate, Goal-orientated”
Purpose Studios
My name is Ifeoma Ejiogu and I am 25 years old. Currently I am pursuing a degree in Art Education p-12 at Montclair State University and will be graduating in January of 2018. I enjoy learning and taking risks. Many of my artwork consists of oil paintings and pen. I am inspired by all that is around me and most of my artwork includes nature (Animals, Oceanscapes, Landscapes). Last year I opened up my own art studio in Somerville, NJ. In there I do my own work as well as host events and art lessons for all ages. One of the best things I enjoy about teaching art to others is being able to simultaneously watch them reach new heights and learn about who they are individually. I try my hardest to encourage others to express themselves uniquely through art, be personal and care about each individual or student, and to be a model for upcoming generations.
Margaret El

Margaret El

VP of Visual Arts/PE

Arts High School
Margaret El is Special Assistant for the Arts Office of Curriculum for Newark Public Schools with tremendous education experience. She was previously Vice Principal of her alma mater Arts High School, serving students in grades 7-12. In September 2015 her duties expanded from supervision of the visual arts program and included the performing and media arts departments. During the 2010/2011 academic year she implemented a middle school program into the Arts High School structure, providing an opportunity for students in grades 7-8 from across the city to have earlier consistent exposure to arts programming. Ms. El previously worked as a classroom art teacher at both Arts and Weequahic high schools. A Newark resident, Ms. El is a member of: the Essex County Arts and Cultural Advisory Board; Unified Vailsburg Services Organization board; a Leadership Newark fellow; and has served as a Chairman and Commissioner to the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustments for twenty years.
Anne Englot

Anne Englot

Director

“Arts, Architecture, Community engagement”
Express Newark

Dr. Anne Schaper Englot, M. Arch., Ph.D., LEED GA
Anne joined Rutgers University – Newark in 2014 as Professor of Practice in Architecture & Humanities in the Arts, Culture & Media Department. She teaches courses on the city and architectural history.
Newly appointed as the Director of Express Newark and Special Advisor for Arts and Engagement, she has been instrumental in shaping key university—community initiatives including Express Newark: University Community Collaboratory in the former Hahne & Company department store currently under renovation in downtown Newark.
Prior to Rutgers, she was a Visiting Professor in the Syracuse University School of Architecture during Fall 2013 and from 1997 to 2013 she was Professor of Architectural Studies & Design at Morrisville State College earning the Distinguished Teaching Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. At Morrisville she served as President of the College Senate and as Senator to the SUNY-wide Senate where she was the Technology Sector Representative and sat on the Executive Committee.
She has an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the Humanities and a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University; and a BA in French and Studio Art from Binghamton University;
She has published two chapters on teaching with technology and her latest publication is “Situating Jerusalem: Poiesis And Techne In The American Urbanism Of Jemima Wilkinson And Thomas Jefferson” in Building the Kingdom: Architecture for Religious Communities (forthcoming).

Overview of Express Newark: “Express Newark: University Community Collaboratory in the former Hahne & Company department store currently under renovation in downtown Newark. Express Newark (EN) is a conceptual framework and an interdisciplinary learning space where artists and community residents collaborate, experiment, and innovate in partnership with Rutgers University – Newark faculty, staff, and students to engage in creative practice, foster democratic dialogue, and promote positive transformation.”

Services provided by Express Newark: “Classes, workshops, lectures, performances, collaborative projects, grant writing and partnerships.”

What makes Express Newark unique and necessary?: “We want to leverage the resources of the University as an anchor institution in Newark. As we do this work, we aim to move away from traditional models of “public service” in which faculty and students do things for “a passive and needy public,” as public historian Scott Peters has put it, and engage instead in “public work that taps and engages and develops the civic agency, talents, and capacities of everyone, inside and outside the academy.” Our strategic activities in these areas already range from cross-disciplinary initiatives rooted in community, to partnerships with diverse “communities of experts,” to co-created spaces in the city and region. Throughout, we seek to pool the expertise and energies of our faculty, staff, and students with those of partners from across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.”

Chiho Okuizumi Feindler

Chiho Okuizumi Feindler

Senior Director of Programs & Policy

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Chiho Okuizumi Feindler is the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, responsible for the implementation of award winning national initiatives committed to restoring music education in America’s public schools and to raising public awareness about the benefits of music education. Ms. Feindler completed rebuilding of instrumental music education in such cities as Buckeye, AZ; St. John the Baptist Parish, La; Columbia Heights, MN; Trenton, NJ, and directly manage ongoing partnerships in cities across the United States including Denver, CO; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; Newark, NJ; New York, NY; and the state of West Virginia. She created Encore grant program and Ensemble Academy to further Save The Music Foundation’s mission.

Ms. Feindler has presented at numerous state and national educator conferences including Arts Education Partnerships National Convening, SXSW Edu, KIPP Summits, and National Association for Music Education Eastern Region Conference and provides consultation to communities throughout the United States as they face challenges that jeopardize arts education. She serves on the Arts Education Partnership ESSA Working Group, National Association for Music Education’s Policy Roundtable and the Sphinx New York City Advocacy Board. She was a recipient of 2017 Casio Leadership in Music Education Award.

Native of Japan, Ms. Feindler holds Bachelor of Science Degree in music therapy with emphasis in special education and psychology and Master of Arts degree in euphonium performance. She was a former Director of Education and Community Engagement at New Jersey Symphony Orchestra where she was responsible for the Symphony’s education and outreach programs reaching over 900,000 residents in New Jersey.

Overview of VH1 STMF:
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Inc. is a New York 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps kids, schools, and communities realize their full potential through the power of making music. Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has donated $53 million worth of new musical instruments to over 2,000 public schools in 257 school districts around the country – impacting the lives of millions of public school students. Get involved at vh1savethemusic.org – Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @vh1savethemusic.

We are a national organization that donates instruments to public schools to foster and advocate for instrumental music education. We can bring national perspective to Newark and also eager to live amongst Newark community.

Services provided by VH1 STMF: Instruments, equipment, method books, program supports and professional development

Vickie Fernandez

Vickie Fernandez

Program Manager

Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL) - Rutgers Business School
Brianne Ford

Brianne Ford

Jazz Musician/Educator

“creative, artistic, empowering”
With a musical resume that reads longer than those of many seasoned veterans, jazz pianist Brianne Ford has been a girl on a mission to become a star since a very early age. Born and raised in the home of Jazz, the great American city of New Orleans, Brianne Ford began her obsession with the piano at the age of seven performing in her church and mastering her craft through professional lessons. When Ford wasn’t performing on stage, she spent much of her time listening to jazz musicians on her radio. Her infatuation for the genre grew into what would become a lifelong passion for jazz artistry and sound. Growing up enthralled by the Jazz musicians and clubs of her hometown, Ford wasted no time jumping right into the heart of the jazz scene in New Orleans. Ford began playing at local clubs and attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (N.O.C.C.A), a gifted arts program whose alumni include Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, and Jonathan Batiste.
Spencer Frohwirth

Spencer Frohwirth

Teaching Artist

“Inspired Community Collaborator”
The Institute of Music for Children
Spencer Frohwirth began teaching electronic music for the Newark Museum’s Junior Museum in 2009 and has since taught modern music production regularly for the Institute of Music for Children and several other afterschool programs in Elizabeth. This is the third year he will be a resident teaching artist working with 5th graders at Brick Avon Academy, and his first year teaching 4th and 5th graders from Marion P. Thomas Charter School, both located in Newark. In addition to teaching students in a computer lab setting, he has produced several collaborative projects where teachers and students create instrumentals, choreograph dance, write poetry and lyrics, record, and perform together in front of audiences. Spencer is currently spearheading a project to develop a song with Newark youth called Newark In Tune, celebrating the city’s 350th Anniversary in 2016.
Lane Gardner

Lane Gardner

Director of Programs

Music Ascension

Lane Gardner is deeply passionate about using the Arts as tools to enhance academic curriculum and support individual learning styles. Lane serves as an Arts Curriculum and Program Developer and as a teaching artist in several Special Needs schools. She develops programs to foster self-esteem, cultivate positive character development, instill solid musical and theatrical skills and serve as therapeutic tools for the Special Needs community. Lane teaches in-class music, instrumental and vocal lessons, serves as chorus and drama program director, in addition to teaching songwriting and recording where students write and record an original album every year. Lane’s experience and expertise in Arts Education spans over 20 years, contributing to innovative arts organizations prior to her work with Music Ascension at The Metropolitan Opera Guild as well as The Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Lane attended both Baldwin-Wallace College and University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she graduated with a degree in Classical Vocal Performance.

Overview of Music Ascension: Founded in 1999 with the belief our children’s voices deserve to be heard, Music Ascension is a teaching artist collective that places songwriters & music producers into classrooms & summer camps across the United States. Utilizing contemporary music technology, our innovative programming in songwriting, music production, audio-engineering, instrumental performance, chorus, & classroom music offers young people the chance to feel their creativity fuel their learning.

Our work engages & enhances the creative voices of our youth and serves as a galvanizing force in the community. With decades-long partnerships with schools, non-profit youth development organizations, youth centers, and summer camps, we have helped transform students, faculties, and communities in deeply meaningful and sustainable ways.

What makes Music Ascension unique and necessary? “Our children have a lot to say… we can help them say it. Music Ascension has produced over 75 full length CDs featuring the lyrics, music, and artwork of thousands of children throughout the United States and was awarded by the New Jersey School Board Association an Innovations in Special Education Award for 2016. The amazing creative output of young people which we have helped to cultivate, and its significant impact, was the focus of multiple TEDx talks Music Ascension Founder & Director Pete Kalvert was invited to present including TEDx Beacon Street in November of 2015: http://tiny.cc/PeteKalvertTEDx. So often our young people are told what to do, what to say, what to think. In our programs its the exact opposite.”

Services provided by Music Ascension:
In-School as well as After School Teaching Artist Residency Programs in:
SONGWRITING & RECORDING
MUSIC PRODUCTION
BEAT PRODUCTION
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
STAGE CREW / TECHNICAL THEATER
DRUM CIRCLE FACILITATION
SPOKEN WORD / LYRICAL FLOW
VOCAL WORKSHOPS & CHORUS

Music Ascension provides the following PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS:
Bringing Technology-Based Songwriting and Hands On Music to Your School
GIVING VOICE: Writing and Recording Music to Inspire Creativity at School !
Music Technology For Teachers: Concepts & Techniques for Recording & Producing Music with Your Students
Building Partnerships in Your School Through Music and The Arts
Musical Ideas and Activities for the Classroom Teacher
Utilizing Drum Circles to Enhance Student Focus and Build Community

Rodney Gilbert

Rodney Gilbert

Executive Director

“visionary, passionate, empathetic”
Yendor Arts/Yendor Productions

Rodney Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Yendor Productions, a Newark-based firm that consults, develops, and produces arts education programming and events. Yendor Productions was founded in 2003 to meet the challenges for the under served artists and communities.

Mr. Gilbert has worked in professional theatre for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he earned a BFA. He has been serving the arts community through acting instruction for various institutions and organization as one of the leading teaching artist in the tri-state area. . He presently oversees the theatre program for Newark Public Schools, Extended Day and serves as the lead teacher and liaison to its Drew University Theatre partnership for which he co-created the curriculum.

At Drew University he is an Adjunct Professor for the Theatre Department teaching acting, directing, and introduction of speech with a focus on extemporaneous speaking. He is an Arts Educator for the Kennedy Centers’ Wolftrap program here in NJ, as well as the Director of the Writers program for Playwrights Theater. He developed for Yendor Productions the afterschool arts education program “ZOOM” for the city of Newark.

Rodney Gilbert created the Wellness Arts program which includes: Martial Arts, Yoga, Rites of Passage workshops for the youth, and Green Program to get our seniors back out into the community. He is the Director for the Newark Murals Program, which Yendor is the Lead Arts organization which manages this program. As an acting head of the Newark Art’s Education Roundtable he has developed numerous workshops on arts education including symposiums for Steve Adabato’s Stand and Deliver program, developing their current curriculum. He has conducted workshops as far as Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mr. Gilbert is also a member of the Actors Equity Association, a Leadership Newark Fellow, the Newark City of Learning Collaborative, and an Audelco Award Nominee. He was recently presented with an Award in Civic Engagement by Drew University.

Overview of Yendor Productions: Yendor Productions was founded in 2003 to alleviate the challenges experienced by under-served artists and communities as it relates to cultural and artistic expression. Yendor produced its first arts event with local Newark artists Jerry Gant, Hassan Hamilton, and Yucef Mayes at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Yendor Productions established its reputation by developing and facilitating workshops for Plainfield Public Schools under the direction of Laura Fatal, Director of Visual and Performing Arts. The Turrell Foundation in 2005 and 2006 funded the “I Have a Dream” (IHAD) program in Plainfield, NJ for Yendor to produce a documentary on IHAD and host filmmaking classes. Yendor developed and implemented in 2005 a Rites of Passage program for Children’s Aid in partnership with The Artist Collective for Social Change.

In the spirit of community development, restoration and sustenance, Yendor Productions prides itself on engaging in advocacy opportunities that extend beyond the Arts. In its totality Yendor Productions is dedicated to bringing the arts to the people, and we are deeply rooted in serving individuals within diverse communities. With an unwavering commitment to underserved populations, Yendor Productions fosters hope and healing through access to arts-integrated and cross-cultural programs and performances.

What makes Yendor Productions unique and necessary? “What is so impressive about Yendor is it’s grassroots approach to community development. Through active listening and collaboration, Yendor uses the Arts in its various forms to knit together a wide array of community organizations, city government, educational institutions and many others to create true collective impact. Communities are actively engaged and reinvigorated with a sense of social responsibility for not only the art they have been exposed to but their community and neighborhood.”

Services provided by Yendor Productions: Today, Under the vibrant leadership of its Founder and now Executive Director, Rodney Gilbert, Yendor Productions coordinates a plethora of programs that are executed in partnership with other active organizations in and around Newark with a vested interest in developing and sustaining the communities we work with. ADVANTAGE ARTS was recently created in partnership with Drew University and Newark Public School’s Office of Extended Learning. These civic engagement theatre class participants include Drew University students and Newark Public School scholars. Other notable programs include the NEWARK MURALS PROGRAM, ABANDONED LOT ARTS PROJECT (ALAP) and THE GATES INITIATIVE.

 

Lara Gonzalez

Lara Gonzalez

Co-Founder/Artistic Director

“passionate, versatile, dedicated”
Marafanyi Drum, Dance & Song

Lara is a passionate, versatile and dedicated artist who enjoys multi-disciplinary projects and community collaborations. Connecting music, dance and spoken word to visual art is of particular interest. This process is one that she has honed in educational settings for nearly 20 years, and is pleased to share as an Arts Integration Professional Development Facilitator for classroom teachers, music & visual arts professionals, and education/arts administrators.
Lara is a teaching artist (West African Drum, Dance & Song, Early Learning Through the Arts©: NJ Wolf Trap Program, Movement Matters©, Explore-A-Story©) a dance accompanist (West African, Modern, Ballet, Creative Movement). In addition, she is certified to teach Level 1 Orff Schulwerk and
has designed custom programs for Special Needs clients based on the principals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She is a graduate of Fordham University earning a B.A. In Art History/Studio Art and an Assets for Artists grantee.

Dr. Irene Hall

Dr. Irene Hall

School Leader

dedicated, has a good sense of humor, friendly”
Discovery Charter School

Dr. Irene Hall earned her doctorate in Education from Harvard University and has over 30 years of experience in K-12 education. She was integral in establishing Discovery Charter School in Newark in 1999. As a School Leader, Irene works with staff members to develop positive, respectful relationships with students and families, is a strong proponent of multi-age grouping and the mutuality of both discipline and creativity in the learning environment. She also teaches certification courses through Rutgers’ Provisional Teacher Program. Irene hopes her students (both middle school and adult) graduate with an attitude of respect for others, a curiosity about the world, and an eagerness to embrace challenges.

What makes Discovery unique and necessary?
“Discovery Charter School is a school that stands in contrast to the more popular technique-laden, scripted learning environments that seem to be popular these days. Discovery Charter School is an open schoolhouse environment with 100 urban middle school students in mixed age groupings. In the two decades of the school’s existence, there have been less than five physical altercations between students and the students traditionally score well on state tests. The school leader believes this is because of the deep commitment and caring on the part of each staff member, the recognition that parents are real partners, and the relationships the adults in the school have with the students.”

Overview of Discovery Charter School: Discovery is a small, nontraditional public charter school serving 100 children from fourth through eighth grade in downtown Newark, NJ. The school’s mission is
to provide a challenging, rigorous, safe, nurturing, and inspiring learning environment to Newark students by teaching them to learn through curiosity, creativity, and discipline in a multi-age setting with an interdisciplinary curriculum. Discovery’s learning environment is an open schoolhouse setting and includes daily mixed-grade instruction and cross-curricular learning activities. The pedagogical emphasis is on active learning, with project-based explorations and open-ended tasks. Students are active members of the school community and express their ideas, tutor younger children, and share communal responsibility for taking care of the school’s animals, serving and cleaning after lunch, and other duties. Every adult in the school knows every child, and the staff places a high value on building close, constructive relationships with the families of all students. Parents/guardians are welcome in the school at any time to observe and discuss the progress of their child.

Jessica C. Handrik

Jessica C. Handrik

Director of Education

“advocater, collaborator, educator”

 

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
Jessica Handrik has nearly two decades of of experience designing, implementing, assessing and advocating for the arts in educational and community-based settings. Since October 2016, Jessica has been the Director of Education at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT where see oversees all aspects of the Center’s arts education and community arts programs. Prior to her current position, Jessica developed her career at Lincoln Center Education for twenty-years, most recently serving as the Director of pK-12 and Higher Education programs. Jessica has been a member of the Newark, New Jersey Arts in Education Roundtable Advocacy Committee and serves on the board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable. She earned an MA in Liberal Studies from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2001, upon completion of her thesis titled Policy in the Making: the Role of the Arts in Education.
Porche Hardy

Porche Hardy

Assistant Director

Institute of Music for Children
Barbara Heisler

Barbara Heisler

Executive Director

“innovative, collaborative, entrepreneurial”
GlassRoots

After serving as GlassRoots Interim Executive Director for one year, the Board asked Barbara Heisler to stay as the Executive Director of the organization. Barbara assumed that role on July 1, 2014. Her professional background includes more than 20 years of experience in non-profit, education and government management; focusing on strategic planning, organization and board development, program design, communications strategy, fiscal oversight, resource development, and grant procurement.

Barbara brings extensive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, having served as the Executive Director of Funding Exchange, the CEO of Fund for an Open Society,and as Founding Executive Director for the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, in addition to experience in senior management positions at the US Department of Education and institutions of higher education. Barbara also serves as the president of a nonprofit consultancy firm, Organizations by Design. She has served on national and local boards and is currently a board member of the NJ Center for Non-Profits and the Center for Creative Placemaking. Barbara earned an M.Ed in Management from Cambridge College.

Services provided by GlassRoots: FLAME offers local alternative HS students a unique program grounded in a work readiness frame with glassworking at the core of an engaging learning opportunity.
In our Business and Entrepreneurship Program local HS students begin their journeys as entrepreneurs, identifying and cultivating the skills needed to start a business.
Our Summer Youth Leadership Corps youth receive in-depth training in leadership/mentorship skills and serve as mentors to younger aspiring artists.
Varis Scientific Glassblowing Training Program offers 18-22 year olds training in academic areas (CAD, Math, Drafting and Blueprint Reading) and scientific glass studio work, while preparing them for life in the working world through Job Readiness, Workroom Safety, Financial Literacy, Leadership, and other skill training.
Our Summer Glass Experience Programs are designed to foster an appreciation of glass art for youth 12-18.
Classroom Experiences include a wide variety of customized programs that are easily adapted to the needs and interests of students and teachers in grades 4-12 from public, private and parochial schools. Our activities, whether in school or at GlassRoots’ studio, are interactive and rooted in NJ Core Curriculum Standards.
Our After School Programs introduce students from community-based organizations to the basic techniques of glass making; our artists deliver a strong dose of science and history as part of the fun of working with glass.
Adult classes and lessons too.

Overview of GlassRoots: The mission of GlassRoots is to transform lives, especially of underserved youth, by fostering life-long learning and creative self-expression through the wonder of glassmaking. GlassRoots staff believe that participation in glass art directly contributes to the development of intellectual and personal capacities. Our goals have long been to invite youth to discover the “coolness” of glass art as an alternative to less productive and more dangerous activities; our arts education program is complemented by a business and entrepreneurship curriculum that uses students’ collections of unique glass artwork as an example of a viable business venture — providing a real life dimension to the workshops that spur youth to understanding vital economic principles. Additional programs feature STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. Newer offerings connect graduates of our high school programs and other young people without an apparent direction in life with apprenticeship training and a structured work experience. We facilitate effective transitions to high-skill, high-wage employment in glass-based labor demand occupations; providing a meaningful training program leading to work while focusing on building accountability, self-esteem, and other interpersonal skills.

 

 

 

 

Siocain Hughes

Siocain Hughes

Art Teacher

“artist, educator, sweetheart”
Newark Public Schools

Síoċáın Hughes is an artist working with camera, paint, dimensional materials and digital, often exploring themes of site, observer, time and space. She has exhibited internationally at forums including the Musée Carnavalet and the Galerie Lambert in Paris, France, the Kultur Senat Roloff-Momin, the Galerie Am Scheunenviertel and the Amerika Haus Gallery, in Berlin, Germany, the Henry Street Settlement and White Columns in New York City, and several east coast universities. Her work is in the collection of the Musée Carnavalet and numerous private collections. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, she studied at the University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany. Ms. Hughes holds an MFA from Hunter College and a BFA from Parsons School of Design, New York. A college-level arts educator with over 20 years of experience, she has taught a full range of artistic techniques and approaches for the development of visual art and personal growth the student. Her coursework includes digital art, photagraphy.

 

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson

Independent Consultant

Independent Consultant
Jeremy V. Johnson

Jeremy V. Johnson

Executive Director

Newark Arts Council
Jeremy Johnson is a connector and collaborator, driving numerous New Jersey efforts related to cultural development, philanthropic partnerships and public-private initiatives. Jeremy was named Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council in March 31, 2016 to help champion the city’s burgeoning arts scene, which is experiencing tremendous growth,accompanied by billions of dollars in economic investments in the downtown and neighborhoods. For eight years, Jeremy served as Newark’s first philanthropic liaison. He worked in the administrations of then Mayor Cory A. Booker (now the US Senator from New Jersey) and current Mayor Ras J. Baraka. Jeremy brought together local and national funders to benefit Newark. Funded by the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, his non-partisan office leveraged $50 million from public and private sources. Jeremy’s office attracted philanthropic attention and resources for multiple causes, from lead poisoning prevention to prisoner reentry to early childhood development to college access. Jeremy is active in the movement to raise the percentage of Newarkers with college degrees to 25% by 2025. In this role, he co-chairs the “Newark City of Learning Collaborative.” Jeremy served on the leadership team of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for twelve years. At NJPAC, he raised awareness and funds for the $187 million cultural complex which opened in 1997 as a catalyst for Newark’s revitalization. He solicited and stewarded grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge, Ford, Victoria, Wallace and Doris Duke Charitable Foundations. He has presented on public-private partnerships at the University of Southern California, New York University, and Rutgers University. Jeremy serves on the Newark Youth Policy Board, Newark Public Library board, and the Newark Museum Business and Community Council. Jeremy hails from Cleveland, OH and resides in Newark, NJ. He received his BA from Kenyon College in Ohio and his MFA from the University of Iowa.

 

Overview of Newark Arts: Newark Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to advance and expand the artistic and cultural resources of the City of Newark, New Jersey.  The Council’s mission is to bring the transformative power of the arts into the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark. The Council is the umbrella for the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) and is a partner with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Development, Arts, and Tourism.  The Council awards neighborhood grants through its ArtStart program, produces the Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival every October, and will oversee Newark’s Community Cultural Plan in 2017-2018.  For more information, visit www.newarkarts.org.

Pete Kalvert

Pete Kalvert

Founder & Director

“inspired, open, driven”
Music Ascension

A consummate singer/songwriter, teaching artist, and music producer, Pete Kalvert has proven himself to be a galvanizing force for music education as the Founder & Director of Music Ascension. Founded in 1999 upon the belief that our children’s voices deserve to be heard, Music Ascension has produced over 75 full length CDs featuring the lyrics, music, and artwork of thousands of children throughout the United States and was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Education an Innovations in Special Education Award for 2016. The amazing creative output of young people which Pete has helped to cultivate, and its significant impact, was the focus of multiple TEDx talks Pete was invited to present including TEDx Beacon Street in November of 2015. http://tiny.cc/PeteKalvertTEDx

Kalvert’s work in education began as a NYC public school music teacher at PS 186 in Queens, NY. He designed and facilitated music residency programs for one of the oldest Arts-in-Education organizations in NYC, ArtsConnection. Kalvert went on to establish Music Ascension’s first program with Project Morry, a not-for-profit youth development organization serving students from the Bronx, NY and Bridgeport, CT. His work has greatly impacted the Special Needs community for more than a decade with year round music programs in fully accredited New Jersey schools of Special Education. Kalvert has also designed and overseen music programs at some of the most highly regarded residential summer camps in the nation from the Bay Area of California to Maine.

With the success of his work with students, he was asked to expand his reach into the professional arena. Kalvert was asked to design and provide Professional Development trainings at conferences sponsored by ASAH (an organization serving the NJ Special Needs community), the Newark Public Schools Arts Office, the West Orange Central School District, Chapel Hill Academy, Orange and Essex County Child Study Teams, The FedCap School and has served on discussion panels at the American Camp Association’s Tri-State Conference. Pete has also served as a grant reviewer for the Newark Arts Council. His work with Music Ascension has been featured on WBAI’s Wake Up Call, WFUV’s Cityscapes, and was the subject of a documentary film titled Morry’s Song produced by Left Unsaid Films.

A graduate of Brown University, Pete continued to study music at SUNY Purchase, SUNY New Paltz, and New York University. Kalvert is a dually Certified Teacher of Music and Teacher of Social Studies by the State of New Jersey. He is a Certified Pro-Tools Operator and worked at Blue Monster Studios in Brooklyn, NY specializing in recording traditional West African music.

Overview of Music Ascension: Founded in 1999 with the belief our children’s voices deserve to be heard, Music Ascension is a teaching artist collective that places songwriters & music producers into classrooms & summer camps across the United States. Utilizing contemporary music technology, our innovative programming in songwriting, music production, audio-engineering, instrumental performance, chorus, & classroom music offers young people the chance to feel their creativity fuel their learning.

Our work engages & enhances the creative voices of our youth and serves as a galvanizing force in the community. With decades-long partnerships with schools, non-profit youth development organizations, youth centers, and summer camps, we have helped transform students, faculties, and communities in deeply meaningful and sustainable ways.

What makes Music Ascension unique and necessary?
“Our children have a lot to say… we can help them say it. Music Ascension has produced over 75 full length CDs featuring the lyrics, music, and artwork of thousands of children throughout the United States and was awarded by the New Jersey School Board Association an Innovations in Special Education Award for 2016. The amazing creative output of young people which we have helped to cultivate, and its significant impact, was the focus of multiple TEDx talks Music Ascension Founder & Director Pete Kalvert was invited to present including TEDx Beacon Street in November of 2015: http://tiny.cc/PeteKalvertTEDx. So often our young people are told what to do, what to say, what to think. In our programs its the exact opposite.”

Services provided by Music Ascension:
In-School as well as After School Teaching Artist Residency Programs in:
SONGWRITING & RECORDING
MUSIC PRODUCTION
BEAT PRODUCTION
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
STAGE CREW / TECHNICAL THEATER
DRUM CIRCLE FACILITATION
SPOKEN WORD / LYRICAL FLOW
VOCAL WORKSHOPS & CHORUS

Music Ascension provides the following PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS:
Bringing Technology-Based Songwriting and Hands On Music to Your School
GIVING VOICE: Writing and Recording Music to Inspire Creativity at School !
Music Technology For Teachers: Concepts & Techniques for Recording & Producing Music with Your Students
Building Partnerships in Your School Through Music and The Arts
Musical Ideas and Activities for the Classroom Teacher
Utilizing Drum Circles to Enhance Student Focus and Build Community

Dani Kapoulos

Dani Kapoulos

Program Outreach Coordinator

“experienced, creative, energetic”
Educational Arts Team

Dani Kopoulos is professional teaching artist and arts education presenter and an award-winning solo performance artist and writer of creative non-fiction.
She received a BFA in multi-media performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was an active member of the experimental theater and performance art community in Chicago throughout the late 80’s and 90’s. For her performance work she has received a John Quincy Adams Travelling Fellowship and Chicago Artist Assistance Program grant. She has presented solo performance pieces in England, Germany, Italy, and Canada.
Dani has been a teaching artist for almost 20 years, leading drama, movement, writing, and video workshops and residencies for youth of all ages, in in-school, after-school, and community settings. She has taught theater integration in the schools with various arts education organizations in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago, developing programs, integrating curricula, directing student performances, conducting professional development workshops, and leading several Illinois Arts Council Arts-in-Education residencies. She worked closely with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and served as a member of the Youth Theater Coalition of Chicago. The video “Sometimes…,” which was made by at-risk teens in a summer youth program under her direction, won first place in a national festival. She was a presenter at Illinois Arts Council annual state-wide conferences, leading professional development workshops in arts integration.
She came to New York for graduate studies, completing an MFA in Creative Writing from New School University. Her essays and poetry have been published in several national literary journals and have won a variety of awards and competitions.
She was an after-school drama specialist for the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Organization, serving at-risk youth in Brooklyn, and was a regular presenting artist at their annual Family Literacy Conference.
She has been accepted to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Artists-in-Education state-wide Artist Roster, in the disciplines of both theater and writing.
With Educational Arts Team she has taught theater integration workshops in Jersey City schools, as well as an after-school drama program at the Boys and Girls Clubs, and a teen video program at Camp Liberty.

Overview of Organization: Educational Arts Team incorporated in 1981 to improve literacy for low income urban students in low performing schools and provide positive cultural, social and recreational experiences in an outdoor setting during the summer months for local children. We achieve these goals through the two branches of our organization, Dramatic Impact, and Camp Liberty.
Dramatic Impact is our in-school literacy program, helping economically disadvantaged young people become better readers and writers, as well as, socially matured individuals.
Independent researchers have documented how our literacy work has helped thousands of young people increase their academic achievement, and improve pro-social, cognitive and critical thinking skills.
During eight weeks of the summer Camp Liberty serves over 500 local children in a beautiful outdoor setting that provides artistic, cultural, social and recreational experiences for young people of diverse ages, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.

What makes this organization unique and necessary? “From 2005 to 2014 our organization received funding for three United States Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination projects in partnership with the Jersey City Public Schools. The project enabled us to hire independent evaluators to assess the effectiveness of using arts integration in classrooms from the 2nd to 7th grade. All three projects have been well documented both through published journal articles and reports to the United States Department of Education. Data from all three projects show the powerful changes that our program has made on large numbers of students academically, as well as affecting teacher pedagogy.”

Services provided by the organization: 
Family Literacy Events

Professional development for classroom teachers grades K through 8 on the use of arts integration in the language arts classroom

Drug Prevention and social skills workshops for students grades K to 8

Sarah Keh

Sarah Keh

Program Officer

Prudential Foundation
Donna Kirkland

Donna Kirkland

Program Coordinator

Trust for Public Land
Donna joined Trust for Public Land in September 2006 as an intern for the Parks for People—Newark program and became a full-time staff member in September 2007. Donna engages students and community residents in participatory design and long-term stewardship of TPL’s completed and future parks and playgrounds. In particular, she works closely with community-based committees at our project sites, helping them to grow into their role as local stewards and serving as a liaison with schools, the city administration, the police, and other community organizations. A lifelong Newark resident, Donna’s extensive volunteer experience includes: working with the hospice program at Beth Israel Hospital; running summer art programs at Quest, Inc. and Pilgrim Baptist Village Housing Complex; teaching the art of giving unconditionally for children with behavioral problems at William H. Brown Jr., Academy; and serving as Art Director for Street Warriors, Inc., team leader for the Girl Scouts, and team leader for the relay walk for cancer. She became Co-Chair Of the Newark Environmental Commission in November 2014, and a member of the Sustainable New Jersey Arts Task Force.
Dr. Jee-Hoon Yap Krska

Dr. Jee-Hoon Yap Krska

Founder

“Pianist, engineer, advocate”
Keys 2 Success

Jee-Hoon Krska was born in Malaysia where she performed extensively as a young pianist, receiving national exposure through radio broadcast performances. After immigrating to the United States with her family at the age of eleven, she continued her piano studies as a scholarship student in the Juilliard pre-college program. She attended MIT as an undergraduate and as a graduate student, ultimately receiving a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Throughout her years at MIT, she continued to study piano performance under Dr. David Deveau. During her student years and since, she has performed in numerous concerts including as one of the soloists performing Mozart’s two-piano concerto with the Boston Pops at Boston Symphony Hall. Dr. Krska also spent twenty years working in the semiconductor industry, leading global teams in product development, marketing, and strategy. During the last decade, she has also actively worked to improve the lives of the children of the Pennington Court community in the Ironbound section of Newark, a severely impoverished community, through involvement in a series of projects aimed at fostering their intellectual development and social skills. Most recently, since early 2016, that work has expanded to include teaching piano to young elementary school students, none of whom had had musical training in the past. That teaching provided a springboard for founding Keys 2 Success. The work she has done with this community over the past decade has provided her with a deep understanding of the community and its needs and fostered close relationships with community members, some of whom have actively and enthusiastically supported Keys 2 Success. She also currently serve as the treasurer for the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER).

Overview of Keys 2 Success: The mission of Keys 2 Success is to use music education as a means to personal betterment for Newark’s poorest children. The effects of generations of poverty on legions of disadvantaged children in Newark are not confined to material want. They include lack of access to the cultural inheritance and social network enjoyed by children in more privileged communities. This program, first implemented in the fall of 2016, has generated enthusiasm among children and families already participating, interest in others waiting to enroll, strong support from the school administration, and deepening personal investment from a diverse group of dedicated volunteers drawn from Newark and the surrounding suburban communities. Students who previously had neither musical training nor access to such training are demonstrating progress not only in music but also, and equally importantly, in social skills, self-discipline, and self-confidence.

What makes Keys 2 Success unique and necessary? Although Newark is home to several high quality youth music programs, the city’s poorest children face nearly insurmountable barriers to gaining access to and participating in them. They lack not only musical training but also a network of adults who believe in them and who can help them gain access to these programs and to go on to achieve long-term success in life. Personal mentoring, cultural exposure, and providing that kind of support are among the goals of Keys 2 Success. We are working alongside the families of poor children to create a pathway to participate in and benefit from existing musical opportunities in Newark and to enable them to go on to live productive, satisfying lives.

Services provided by Keys 2 Success: Since the fall of 2016, Keys 2 Success has provided instruction to pupils at Newark’s South Street School, which is part of the city’s public school system and serves many of the elementary and middle school students from the Pennington Court housing project, which is home to many of the poorest minority residents in Newark.

The program began last fall with 12 1st and 2nd grade students receiving daily group piano classes during the regular school day as a ‘“pull out” program. In January, encouraged by the success of the pilot group, the school administration approved dedication of additional space to expand the program to serve 29 students, and also to include formal theory and weekly percussion ensemble training. Our aim for next year is to continue with the students currently enrolled and to start the next cohort of 1st graders and potentially kindergartners. We intend to reach a capacity of 120 students by the fifth year. We plan to include opportunities for participants to collaborate with and audition for other arts organizations

Marshell Jones Kumahor

Marshell Jones Kumahor

VP of Education & Community Engagement

“fun, committed, creative”
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

With more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, Marshell Jones Kumahor’s career has been marked by an aptitude for building strategic partnerships among diverse stakeholders. She has leveraged a broad base of skills and experience in community engagement, arts education program design, team leadership and general management to forward the mission of the NJSO. Since Kumahor joined the NJSO in 2009, the ECE Team has increased the statewide reach of its offerings by more than 40%, nearly tripled its earned revenue, launched two nationally recognized programs, and garnered the department’s first ever endowed chair.

An alumna of the LEAD New Jersey Class of 2015, recipient of the 2015 Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award and member of the inaugural 2016 class of the Cultural & Ethnic Arts Executive Leadership Certificate Program (Rutgers Business School), Kumahor serves on the Steering Committee of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership and the Executive Committee of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable. She was recently invited by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Director of Education to serve on the 2016 NEA Arts Works grant review panel.

Prior to joining the NJSO, Kumahor led all aspects of single- and multi-year grantmaking at The Center for Arts Education in Manhattan. In this role, she helped to ensure that nearly $10 million in grant funds to support arts education was disbursed to more than 350 public schools and 250 arts and cultural organizations across the five boroughs.

An avid yoga practitioner, proud “newlywed” of fifteen years, mother of two boys and long-time resident of Montclair, NJ, Kumahor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Overview of NJSO: Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Under the bold leadership of Music Director Jacques Lacombe, the NJSO presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

What makes NJSO unique and necessary? In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music, serving more than 60,00 New Jerseyans annually. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People performances and multiple offerings—including the NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project)—that provide and promote instrumental instruction as part of the NJSO Academy. The NJSO’s REACH (Resources for Education and Community Harmony) chamber music program annually brings original programs—designed and performed by NJSO musicians—to a variety of settings from preschools to hospice facilities in nearly all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

LaQuin Lay

LaQuin Lay

Education and Community Resource Associate

“creative, funny, passionate”
WBGO Jazz 88.3/Newark Public Radio

LaQuin Lay currently works as a Education Community Resource Associate in Newark, New Jersey with WBGO. Prior to this position, LaQuin spent 7 years as a Program Coordinator and Program Manager for Playworks. LaQuin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. LaQuin previously taught music in Boston Public Schools and the Boy’s Club of New York. He is also a musician and recording artist performing in New York and New Jersey as well as performing on local New York TV. LaQuin is currently recording his debut album due for release in September 2016 entitled Family Tree.

Overview of Newark Public Radio: WBGO Jazz88.3FM was the brainchild of an urban think tank whose members came together in Newark in the 1970s to affect change after the riots of 1967. Marshalling an extraordinary group of city activists, and with the help of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, they established the first public radio station in New Jersey in 1979 by convincing the Newark Public School System board to transfer its underutilized broadcast license to them.
WBGO was born as an independent, community-based, not-for-profit, public radio station that would champion jazz-an American art form that is also an important chapter in Newark’s cultural history. Jazz88 affiliated with National Public Radio (NPR) and went to a 24-hour broadcast day in 1980 when the only other full-time jazz station in the New York Metro market, WRVR (a commercial station), changed its format to country-western music.
Today, WBGO’s broadcast signal is heard by listeners on the air and via the Internet. Fans from around the globe tune in for jazz, blues, Rhythm and Blues, and award-winning news. Jazz88 has won the “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award and twice won the Gavin Report’s “Jazz Station of the Year” Award. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has named us a Major Impact Arts Organization for over 16 consecutive years. The designation of arts organization reflects WBGO’s mission which extends beyond the radio station to important programs and activities that preserve, promote and present jazz.

What makes WBGO unique and necessary? “Jazz88.3FM’s daily broadcast can be easily identified by the passionate, extremely knowledgeable and idiosyncratic on-air announcers, frequent live broadcasts and on-air interviews with today’s hottest jazz and blues artists, and a news department whose drive time news reports and weekly magazine program, the WBGO Journal, are recognized for their reporting excellence every year.”

Services provided by WBGO: WBGO’s studios are located at 54 Park Place in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey. The WBGO broadcast signal (from high on-top the Conde Nast building in midtown, New York City) reaches north to Rockland and Westchester Counties, NY and parts of Connecticut; south to Ocean County, NJ; east to Nassau County, NY and west to Morris County, NJ. The signal can be heard in all five boroughs of New York City. In addition, WBGO can be heard on the four New Jersey stations of New Jersey Public Radio, from midnight to 5 a.m.

Joy Lindsay

Joy Lindsay

Executive Director

“Inspiring Social Entrepreneur”
Butterfly Dreamz

Joy Lindsay is the Founder and Executive Director of Butterfly Dreamz, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teaches students how to author impactful stories and use their voices to ignite change in their communities. She is the author of the children’s book, When a Butterfly Chooses to Fly and the young adult activity book, The HerStory Journal. Joy has worked in consulting, finance, and public education management. She holds a BBA in Finance from Howard University and an MPA in Nonprofit Management & Policy from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark and is an alumna of the Leadership Newark Fellowship program. Joy is passionate about education and has worked with youth in various capacities, including as a mentor, coach, and facilitator of enrichment programs, for more than eleven years. As she continues her work, Joy hopes to use her diverse skills and background to ensure all children have equitable access to quality education and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Overview of Butterfly Dreamz: Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that teaches students how to author impactful stories and use their voices to ignite change in their communities. Through our programs and books, we use the art of storytelling to build literacy and leadership skills in youth. Our goals are to (1) build a strong network of student leaders and authors who are inspired to create, share, and use their stories to change the status quo, (2) Increase the number of relatable and interesting texts used to teach our students, and (3) Encourage and support students in expressing their thoughts, ideas, and stories.

What makes Butterfly Dreamz unique and necessary? “Our commitment to celebrating, supporting, and utilizing student voice is what makes us unique. Although students are affected by many education decisions, their voice is often excluded from the decision-making process. Our approach to programming and curriculum development is different from “the norm” because we start first with students’ stories. We then design literacy and leadership activities around their thoughts, interests, and beliefs. Because of this, their educational experience becomes both personal and relatable.”

Services provided by Butterfly Dreamz: (1) Building E-Books: In this multi-week course, student authors work together in teams, building a web page and writing an e-book to read and discuss with their school community.

(2) I Am an Author: During our I Am an Author workshops and short story competitions, student authors learn to create powerful stories that influence, celebrate, and inspire change in their communities.

(3) HerStory: Through our HerStory community workshops and books, we curate experiences for women and girls to connect, share their stories, and support each other’s dreams.

 

Wendy Liscow

Wendy Liscow

Program Officer

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Alex Mack, Jr.

Alex Mack, Jr.

Director

“energetic, committed, innovative”
Innovation Music and Performing Arts Conservatory

Alex Mack, Jr. is an exceptional Music and Performing arts Director with over 22 years in performing arts in the United States and abroad.

As music and performing arts director at New Hope Baptist Church, Alex interpreted and modified music to personalize performances. He organized 6 to 8 shows and recitals each year, including booking musicians. Practiced piano 4 per week to maintain and improve technical skills. Selected music carefully in order to achieve a balance of musical styles on the program. Conducted the ensemble at rehearsals and during both live and recorded performances. Arranged musical compositions to achieve a particular musical style. Transposed music to alternate keys with speed and accuracy. As Assistant Director of the International Youth Organization, he performed at an average of 2 events per month, including special functions, rehearsals and recordings. He accompanied modern and ballet dance classes and performances. Collaborated with the dance department in creating scores for choreography projects. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in: Collaborative Piano from The Julliard School, NY where he also did Coursework in Music History.

About Innovations Music and Performing Arts Conservatory: has a strong team of music teachers, dance instructors, art teachers, and teaching artist that will participate in the development in training, study trips, and planning meetings in order to develop a set of curriculum units tied to early childhood and elementary reading/writing teaching objectives from English language arts literacy curriculum. In addition to the Project Team, two teaching performing artists associated with IMPAC will also participate. IMPAC will develop a plan, supporting activities, and resources that will be used to effectively engage young children in hands-on learning that directly strengthens the children’s reading and writing skills. The project will result in an instructional program that can be shared with schools and extended care programs throughout NJ.

What makes IMPAC unique and necessary?: “It is well-documented that music education programs can successfully address diverse academic and social needs, such as: Advancing academic achievement due to transferable study skills and enhanced self-esteem; developing attention skills, self-expression and physical dexterity; Broadening one’s understanding and appreciation of the world; and improving abilities such as self-discipline, collaboration, communication with others, and creativity. Through music, children experience the wholeness of language. Using music to teach reading draws on the natural rhythm and rhyme of language. Within group music experiences, children learn as they read, write, comprehend and express ideas. Through music, memory skills can be improved, and aural (listening) discrimination increased.”

Services provided by Innovation Music and Performing Arts Conservatory: We promote excellence, creativity, and accessibility of the arts through performance events and instruction of the highest quality, in music and related artistic disciplines.
The Center is committed to the sustained development of creativity and cultural life in individuals and the city, by advancing artistic talents regardless of income and cultivating new audiences for fine arts.

Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall

Dance Instructor

“creative, energetic, flexible”

 

Newark School of the Arts
.
Emanuel (Mani) Martinez

Emanuel (Mani) Martinez

Teaching Artist/ Academic Specialist

Perceptive, Discerning, Nurturing

 

Educator
I am a Mexican-born artist who was raised in New Jersey and brought to political consciousness in the city of Newark. The nature of my artistic production is multi-disciplinary and rooted in the desire to encourage more civic engagement in my community.
DeNiqua Matias

DeNiqua Matias

Assistant Director

Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center

DeNiqua Matias was raised in the South Ward of Newark, NJ. Living in a household with her mother, father, brother, aunts, uncle, and grandmother she developed a strong sense of family values and togetherness. She attended preschool at Clinton Hill Community & Early Childhood Center, Inc., founded more than twenty years ago by her grandmother, the late Mrs. Marguerite Bush, and where she is currently Assistant Director. DeNiqua oversees one of the largest private preschool programs in the City of Newark. Her 19-year tenure in Early Education has provided her an extensive background in educational policies and practices.

DeNiqua Matias is a life-long member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and former Youth Advisor for the Newark Branch Unit. Throughout the years she has been involved in protests against cuts to State funding for education, and advocating for equitable resources for economically disadvantaged families on a local and state level. In 2010 she appeared on WPIX11 to talk about the need for equitable resources and stronger parental engagement in Newark Public Schools.

In 2012, DeNiqua was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board. During her tenure she served on the following committees: Program & Instruction (Chair, 2012-2015), Finance (2013-2015), Legal (2012-2013), Constituent Service (2012-2013), and Personnel (2014-2015). She also served as a member of the District Evaluation Advisory Committee, as well as the Newark Early Childhood Advisory Council. On the state level, DeNiqua served as a member of the NJ School Board Association Legislative Team, representing District 29 and the NJ School Board Association, Urban School Board Committee.

Sharron Ann Miller

Sharron Ann Miller

Artistic Director

“Arts Educator of Dance”
Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts
Sharron Miller is Founder and Director of Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts now in its 20th year of operation. Former Principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Broadway veteran, Sharron Miller continues to teach and mentor young dancers. Her school, located in Montclair, NJ, is a not for profit 501c3 whose mission is to provide comprehensive developmental training in dance and related theater arts to students of all ages with interest and/or ability and a love of dance!
Gwen Moten

Gwen Moten

Executive Director of the Division of Arts, Cultural Development & Tourism

The City of Newark
Shaun Neblett

Shaun Neblett

Executive Director and Owner

Mindful, Visionary, For the Children”
Changing Perceptions Theater, LLC

During his senior year at Montclair High School, Shaun began teaching English Language Arts to youth for Summerbridge, a national non-profit, enrichment program designed to assist predominantly low income students through a “students teaching students” model. By the time he graduated from New York University in 1999 he was appointed to develop a youth theater program for Harlem Children’s Zone. Under the mentorship of Shawn Dove, CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Shaun created a youth- theater program called H.O.T. Works that boosted the social emotional intelligence, leadership and community involvement of hundreds of children. Shaun has taught at St. Mark the Evangelist School in Harlem, where he secured $15,000 worth of funding for the school to erect a three-yearlong drama program. He was also a teacher and administrator at the Eagle Academy for Young Men (Bronx Campus) where he explored different pedagogy and facilitated extensive professional development on reaching male students in urban communities. Shaun established Changing Perceptions Theater (CPT) in 2010. As the company’s Executive Director, he has secured contracts to instruct over one thousand youth in theater programs throughout New York City and Newark, NJ. Thousands of young people have seen CPT’s original youth productions that inspire youth audiences to change perceptions of themselves, their abilities and their communities. Shaun is also an accomplished playwright whose works have been produced Off-Broadway and internationally.

What makes CPT unique and necessary? “Research published by The Opportunity Agenda in 2011 showed that the life outcomes of millions of people of color, especially black males, are affected by their own self-esteem, identity, and sense of empowerment. Among the many factors that influence the opportunities and achievements of people of color, specifically black men and boys, are public perceptions and attitudes toward them as a group and their own self-perceptions as well.

Throughout its seven-year history, Changing Perceptions Theater has instructed over one thousand youth in theater programs throughout New York City and Newark, NJ and thousands of young people have seen CPT’s original youth productions that inspire young people to change perceptions of themselves, their abilities and their communities. CPT’s school programs inspire families, peers school environments and young people themselves to gain powerful and confident perceptions of our youth’s abilities and character.”

Services provided by CPT: Amongst CPT’s programs that inspire confidence through teaching theater and public speaking are:

S.K.I.T.S: Through fun and interactive playwriting and improvisation exercises, CPT Artistic Mentors show participants how to create and perform 5-minute skits that interpret themes from literature, historical quotes, visual art, or school mantras. Participants’ culminating event is a performance for peers, parents and teachers.

PRODUCE A PLAY: CPT Artistic Mentors are all experienced instructors, trained mentors, men and women of color, and professional, practicing theater artists. Over the course of a school semester, trimester or school year, CPT artistic mentors work one-on-one with a group of students to present a professional level theatrical production for their families, peers, and teachers. Whether an original one-act play from CPT’s repertoire or an established full length musical, students are exposed to playwriting, performance, stage combat, stage design and marketing skills needed to produce a show.

INTERACTIVE IN-SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES: CPT’s various in-school assemblies are entertaining and thought-provoking for ALL grade levels. In this fun, communal and interactive assembly format, a student-body watches a play performed by 3 professional CPT actors; the play pauses for students to reason and contribute to the play’s conflict and resolution; selected students act alongside CPT Artistic Mentors; students discuss themes in the play with their teachers and peers.

Sheikia Purple Norris

Sheikia Purple Norris

Artistic Director & Teaching Artist

“mindful, expansive, unify-er”
Painted Purple

Purple is an artist community advocate using Hip Hop cultural context to connect people, places and ideas. Through performance and writing Purp discovered her inner voice and purpose which is fulfilled through her work as an artistic director, teaching artist, and cultural ambassador for a variety of organizations, agencies and creative collectives! Purple holds a degree in Community Health Education from Johnson C Smith University and is a wellness advocate in the City of Newark. Purple is just as influential as a Hip Hop emcee as she is in the classroom. Being guided by the greats, Purple is committed to using the power of her voice as a source of elevation and inspiration!

Overview of Painted Purple: Painted Purple provides creative solutions consulting for artist, activist and wellness workers. Services range from connecting people, places and ideas to strategic planning through coaching and partnership.

What makes Painted Purple unique and necessary? “What makes this organization unique is the artist centered approach and individual coaching around personal development as a way to support creative folks fulfilling on their contribution through their works. There is a need to support those who live non traditional lives. Those who are often called upon to make a difference for others, tend to neglect themselves and their basic needs. This is a population that is not necessarily reached by marketing, and under utilized services.”

Services provided by Painted Purple: Coaching, visioning, personal wellness planning, clutter removal, time management strategies, community building, resource referral.

Petra Pankow

Petra Pankow

Director of Education

“encourages participation and engagement”
Montclair Art Museum

Petra Pankow is the Director of Education at the Montclair Art Museum, where she oversees gallery interpretation and programming, school tours, and docent/educator training. Recent program initiatives included MAM’s Centennial Lounge and “100 Years, 100 Voices,” a crowdsourced audio project, Art Start, MAM’s multi-visit partnership with the local Head Start program, as well as the launch of the Museum’s Creative Aging Initiative. In addition to her work at MAM, Petra has worked with school, family, and adult audiences at many institutions, including the Museum of Art and Design, the Guggenheim Museum, and MoMA, where she still teaches regularly.

Overview of Organization: The Montclair Art Museum (MAM), along with its Yard School of Art, engages a diverse community through its distinctive collection of American and Native American art, exhibitions, and educational programs that link art to contemporary life in a global context.

What makes the Montclair Art Museum unique and necessary? “The Montclair Art Museum seeks to elevate our profile as a nationally recognized leader of mid-sized, regional art museums. Valuing diversity, innovation, and the importance of art to society, we will invigorate our curatorial presentations, expand our educational mission, promote greater connections to our community, engage in fruitful partnerships that reach deep into our region and beyond, embrace new media and technologies, pursue responsible facilities management and environmental impact, and secure our financial stability.”

Services provided by the Montclair Art Museum: 
School Programs for K-College audiences, including gallery tours and studio engagements
Teacher Professional Development
Family Programs
Portfolio Day for HS students
Northern NJ Affiliate of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
Compelling Public Programs on current exhibitions, arts education, and contemporary art
MAM Art Truck outreach into the community, Adult Tours, Art Classes and Summer Camp

 

Christian Perry

Christian Perry

Program Coordinator

VH1 Save the Music Foundation
Christian serves as the Program Coordinator, representing the Foundation at educational conferences nationwide, and helping oversee grantees. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from Princeton University in June 2016, where his independent work focused on education reform in low-income communities. He minored in French Language & Culture, culminating in a 12-week summer research project in Paris and Nice, France after his junior year. As an undergraduate, Christian volunteered as a Big Sib, mentoring local elementary school students. A native of Laurel, Maryland, Christian was involved in music through each stage of his childhood education. He began taking piano lessons and playing the clarinet in 4th grade. Christian has played the clarinet to alto saxophone, and was very involved with his high school jazz band. He currently resides in Brooklyn, playing guitar and writing RnB music in his free time.
Marisa Pierson

Marisa Pierson

Senior Program Coordinator

Rutgers Clement Price Institute on Culture, Ethnicity, and the Modern Experience
John Pietrowski

John Pietrowski

Artistic Director

Writer's Theatre of New Jersey
Elizabeth Player

Elizabeth Player

Executive & Artistic Director

“passionate, assertive, conscientious”
The Harlem Chamber Players

Clarinetist/bass clarinetist Liz Player has performed with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, New York City Housing Authority Orchestra, One World Symphony, Ensemble du Monde, Harlem Symphony Orchestra, The Harlem Festival Orchestra, The Manchester Music Festival Orchestra, The Bronx Opera, and on Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow. As an avid lover of chamber music, Ms. Player has organized recitals and chamber music concerts in New Jersey and New York since 1990. She founded West Harlem Winds in 2004 and in 2008 started the acclaimed Music at St. Mary’s chamber music series with The Harlem Chamber Players. As artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz has contracted chamber ensembles and orchestras for several other organizations, such as American Opera Projects, Opera Ebony, Columbia University, Harlem Opera Theater, the NYC Housing Symphony Orchestra and more.

She attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College as a Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellow and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor in Music. There she made her debut as soloist with the Queens College Orchestra in a performance of the Debussy Première Rhapsodie. She also appeared as a featured soloist with the Greenwich Village Orchestra in a performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and as a guest artist with Ensemble du Monde in a performance of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and strings. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, CAMI Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Brooklyn’s Forecast Music. Former instructors and master class coaches include David Krakauer, David Glazer, William Blount, Ayako Neidich, Stanley Drucker and Ronald Roseman.

In addition to being a dedicated chamber musician, Liz is able to use skills she acquired from her diverse educational background and work experience to run The Harlem Chamber Players. She received her B.A. in Computer Science with a minor in English from Rutgers College, New Brunswick, N.J. and has worked in various industries from marketing and communications to foundations. In addition to her duties as executive and artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz also uses her graphic design skills to create all marketing materials and concert programs. She designed this website www.harlemchamberplayers.org and is responsible for maintaining it.

Overview of The Harlem Chamber Players: The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, The Harlem Chamber Players seek to build an audience for classical music in general through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem’s other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions. The Harlem Chamber Players not only bring live chamber music to under-served neighborhoods in the Harlem community, but also create opportunities for classically trained minority musicians.

What makes HCP unique and necessary? “We are an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians in the classical music arena where Black and Latino musicians are still grossly underrepresented. We provide opportunities for classically-trained musicians of color. I think it is empowering for young students to see, hear and work with professional classical musicians who look like them.”

Services provided by HCP: Classical music performances, educational concerts and workshops, masterclasses, music education

 

Cathleen Plazas

Cathleen Plazas

Senior Director Curriculum and Evaluation

NJPAC
Flisadam Pointer

Flisadam Pointer

Digital Marketing Associate

Newark Symphony Hall

Flisadam Pointer is a proud alumna of Rutgers University – New Brunswick’s School of Communication and Information for both her bachelor’s and is currently enrolled in their graduate studies program to pursue her master’s degree in digital media. After working her way up from an intern, Flisadam is grateful to work as the digital marketing associate at Newark Symphony Hall. She also does freelance digital marketing consulting. In 2015, Flisadam launched a digital news platform for unsigned entertainment, Envert Entertainment (www.envertentertainment.com) to promote music, live performances and more.

 

 

Jenny Pollack

Jenny Pollack

“energetic, funny, collaborative”
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center

Jenny Pollack designs and oversees education programming for the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center (YBMLC) on Montclair State University’s campus. 

The Museum’s education focus is to promote the values that made Yogi a national treasure — respect, excellence, perseverance and teamwork — through interdisciplinary and series programming that includes STEM, Literacy & the Arts and Civil Rights/Social Justice for grades 5 through 12.

 Prior to joining the team at Yogi Berra, Jenny was the program director at GlassRoots in Newark for three years.  Jenny crossed the river from NYC and became a New Jersey resident in 2009, where she had been the director of education programs at Healing Arts Initiative in Long Island City. During her time there she ran after-school programs that offered middle and high school students violence-prevention, anti-bullying, STEM and literacy programming through the arts. Jenny has been an arts administrator and teaching artist for the Theater Development Fund and Arts Horizons, as well as the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.  Jenny published her first young-adult novel KLEPTO (Viking publishers) in 2006. Jenny holds a Masters Degree in Acting, Directing and Playwriting from Trinity Rep Conservatory (Rhode Island College) and a Bachelors Degree in English from Barnard College.

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.  The mission of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is to sustain and promote the values of respect, perseverance, sportsmanship and excellence through inclusive, culturally diverse sports-based educational exhibits and programs. www.yogiberramuseum.org

 

Amy Pozmantier

Amy Pozmantier

Community Program Coordinator

“punctual, responsible, organized”

 

People's Preparatory Charter School

Amy Pozmantier came to People’s Prep in 2013 from Grover Cleveland Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia, where she was a sixth grade reading teacher. In her first two years at People’s Prep, Ms. Pozmantier placed over 60 students in internships across the city of Newark. She continues to build lasting relationships with organizations and companies in Newark, with the goal of placing more students in internships and community service work. Ms. Pozmantier holds a B.A. in Individual Studies from New York University and a M.S.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Overview of People’s Prep Charter School: “People’s Preparatory Charter School welcomed our first 9th grade class in August 2011. Located in the heart of Newark, we are a growing community of learners, teachers, and staff all working to support the People’s Prep core values of Grit, Empathy, Achievement, Curiosity, Humility, and Enthusiasm. People’s Prep provides a rigorous curriculum and an extended school-day and school-year calendar. Simply put, we give more to get more. All students complete a college-preparatory curriculum. Our students not only develop academic skills, but also nurture a love of learning.”

What makes People’s Prep unique and necessary?: “Unlike most charters in the area, People’s Prep is a stand alone charter high school with no feeder elementary or middle schools. That said, we offer students at an older age the opportunity to still receive an excellent education. Additionally, we not only strive to get kids into college but we also make sure they succeed in college and beyond. We have an Alumni Coordinator that tracks and supports students for six years after they graduate.”

Services provided by PPCS: *All of the below is only for People’s Prep Students:
-Longer school day and school year to help students become college ready
-Internships
-Extracurricular Activities/Clubs
-Sports such as basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, and football

 

Jessica Rademaker

Jessica Rademaker

Assoc. Director of Marketing and Development

Newark Symphony Hall
Tamara Remedios

Tamara Remedios

Owner

Mom, Advocate, Entrepreneur”
Xplore Communications/NewarkPulse
Tamara Remedios, is a Newark resident and mom of two. Tamara is an entrepreneur with a marketing business (Xplore Communications) of 19 years, co-owner of Burger Walla, restaurant on Halsey Street. She is community leader volunteering with Newark library, Halsey Merchants, Tourism, Conservancy, Downtown district and many more. She co-created Newark Mommies a social group of 1500+ Newark moms/parents that leads meet-ups, children’s events and more. She runs NewarkPulse.com, a guide to Newark of positive news and information (online and in-print) and organizes city-wide events like Newark Restaurant Week, Small Business Week and Halsey Festival. She is a mom of two girls now attending Newark schools and active in their schools.
Michele Renaud

Michele Renaud

Senior Program Manager

 

 

Arts Horizons

With Arts Horizons for over nine years, Michele works with schools, organizations, and teaching artists to plan and implement all aspects of New Jersey workshops and residencies and manages the renowned Artist/Teacher Institute. Michele was a former textile designer, creating designs and managing accounts for international clients for the apparel industry including women’s. men’s, and children’s wear. She was also the president of the Stillman Elementary School Home School Association, acting as a liaison between the parent community and school administration.

Overview of Arts Horizons: Arts Horizons was founded in 1978 by John Devol, trumpet player, music educator and parent. John played in the orchestra of A Chorus Line for the entire 15-year run of the show and, as he sat in the pit night after night, he realized the importance of bringing quality music to children. He got together with fellow Broadway musicians and formed Festival Brass, a lively, interactive music assembly program that taught students about the brass family of instruments. In 1995 Festival of Music became Arts Horizons, a full-service arts- in-education organization. Now entering our fourth decade, we reach more than 350,000 students and teachers every year.

What makes AH unique and necessary? Looking back over the past nearly four decades, Founder John Devol says, “We are committed to foster the development of the whole person by integrating the arts into the educational experience, and we endeavor to instill in people of all ages and abilities a knowledge of their own creativity. When I visit schools and senior centers and see faces light up, I now that it’s all been worthwhile.”

Services provided by AH: Our exceptional programs are customized to meet the unique needs and goals of the population and site. We provide:

Engaging residency programs conducted by professional teaching artists

Interactive live performances

Participatory arts workshops for seniors that promote well-being

Adaptive programs for populations with special needs and children in hospitals

Professional development for teachers and staff that builds skills in and through the arts

Aaron Rogers

Aaron Rogers

Associate Director

 

 

Newark Mentoring Movement

Aaron Rogers is the Associate Director for the Newark Mentoring Movement (NMM). In that capacity, he is responsible for special events, grant management, program development, mentor trainings, and a number of Technical Assistance contracts. He also coordinates NMM’s collaborative work with the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Newark. Aaron brings to NMM many years of experience in leadership training, youth development, and nonprofit management. He sees mentoring as a critical practice in collaboration, empowerment, and transformation.

Rogers is a Public Policy fellow for Leadership Newark and holds professional memberships with the American Academy for Public Administration, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.

Rogers is originally from St. Louis, MO and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and a Master’s of Divinity from Eden Theological seminary.

Rogers is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Rutgers University-Newark where his field of study is Public Administration and Public Policy.

Overview of Newark Mentoring Movement: Newark Mentoring Movement is a network of mentoring programs. As a network, we work to increase the quality and the quantity of mentoring relationships that serve youth in Newark. We support and launch programs, share research and learning, pilot innovative models, recruit mentors, build community, and track progress in the Newark mentoring field.

What makes NMM unique and necessary? “Our role in the mentoring field in Newark is somewhat parallel to NAER’s role in the field of youth arts programming. It helps the field to have organizations that convene and support the individual programs. There are several ‘intermediary’ or network organizations in Newark, and what makes NMM most unique is our strong focus specifically on the relationships that support youth within various programs and school and community settings. The quality of these relationships make a huge impact on youth development and program quality.”

Services provided by NMM:

• Provide tools and resources for all programs to achieve evidence-based standards
• Provide research-based training for mentors
• Foster new program development
• Reach out to schools, community organizations, employers, and universities to increase engagement in mentoring
• Serve as a hub in the Newark mentoring field for innovation, collaboration, and data-tracking

 

Kristen Romenelli

Kristen Romenelli

Supportive Services Coordinator

Central NJ Social Services
Keary Rosen

Keary Rosen

Faculty

“artist, educator, human”
Express Newark/Rutgers University Department of Arts, Culture, and Media
Allison Russo

Allison Russo

Senior Manager of Education and School Programs

Jazz House Kids

Allison joined Jazz House Kids in July 2014, beginning her foray into arts administration. After graduating from Ithaca College in 2011 with a B.M. in music education and a minor in writing, Allison taught elementary school band in Ithaca, New York, for three years. While there, she taught over 130 students each year, oversaw student teachers from Ithaca College, and created three school-wide dinosaur-themed art projects titled “Jurassic Arts.” She also enjoyed three summers working with the NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies as the Head Counselor, theory teacher, and woodwind quartet coach. Allison completed her Master’s in Music Education through Boston University in 2015. Along with two of her friends, she bakes professionally with Trio Dolce Desserts (triodolcedesserts.com). She lives in West Orange with her husband and college sweetheart, Ben.

Overview of Jazz House Kids: Jazz House Kids has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations. Our mission is to transform young lives and open doors to the future by offering pre-professional, year-round musical training along with community engagement and education programs for K-12 students from diverse backgrounds. Internationally renowned jazz performers teach alongside our professional staff, offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership and life skills, and strengthens academic performance. Through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, Jazz House Kids cultivates tomorrow’s global citizens so they may build vibrant communities.

What makes Jazz House Kids unique and necessary? “At Jazz House Kids, we believe that learning to love, understand, and create jazz—this great American art form–reaps life-long benefits that every child deserves to enjoy. We know that music creates bonds and builds communities. That’s why everything we do is suffused with jazz. Step into our rehearsal rooms, an in-school program, one of our events, or just our office, and you’ll always find something in the air: great music! In schools, at our Jazz House studio, and within the larger communities where we work, we’ve built circles of enthusiastic students, dedicated staff, first-rate professional teaching artists, supporters, and friends. We also believe in jazz as a tremendous teaching tool. Through jazz education and performance programs, we teach children ages 8 to18 to become lifelong learners, communicators and innovators. As students practice on their instruments, rehearse with their ensembles, and interact with instructors trained to teach and mentor them, they develop important skills.”

Services provided by Jazz House Kids: School programs of all sizes: assemblies, masterclasses, residencies, and full-year programs; Classes at the Jazz House in Montclair on nights and weekends. All programs are jazz-focused and can serve students with any amount of jazz experience, or no jazz experience.

Michele Russo

Michele Russo

President and CEO

“passionate, committed, collaborative”
Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

Michele Russo is Young Audiences’ President & CEO, having joined the organization in October 2015. Michele previously served as Associate Director of The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Poetry in the Schools Program since 2011. Prior to her time at the Dodge Foundation, she served as a Senior Education Associate at Young Audiences for 10 years. Michele chaired the New Jersey Arts Education Collective from 2008-2011 and was a member of the LeadNJ class of 2014. Michele has published articles on early childhood education and the arts and has traveled nationally as a trainer of arts education programs. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey.

Overview of Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania: Arts education is who we are and what we do. Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania’s (YA) mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. The work of the Board of Trustees and staff is guided by a vision of a future in which all students in our region engage in high quality arts that are a basic part of their education, directly learning about art, art forms, and the processes of creating and expressing art.

Our venue is the school. Our model of delivery brings arts experiences by professional teaching artists directly to students. By doing so, we eliminate barriers to participation and make the arts accessible to students of every socioeconomic background, geographic area, and ability. We deliver this programming in formats designed to complement the workings of a school. Formats include workshops, residencies, performances, and teacher professional development. All programming is designed to meet school-defined needs. Our programs are consistent with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in the Arts, National Core Arts Standards, and 21st Century Skills.

What makes YA unique and necessary?
Children are at the center of our work. YA teaching artists focus on an outcome driven approach, with emphasis on the skills and knowledge children should acquire, understand, and apply to their lives and learning. At the center of this model are the four core elements that are the hallmark of all YA programming:

1. EXPERIENCE extraordinary art and artists,
2. UNDERSTAND the value of art and creativity in the world,
3. CREATE art that engages the imagination and expresses ideas, and
4. CONNECT the creative process to learning and life.

The quality of our teaching artists and their ability to educate children is our top priority. YA engages professional teaching artists and provides them with the opportunity to work with students, teachers, and parents.

Services provided by YA: 

WORKSHOPS AND RESIDENCIES transform a classroom into an artist studio and provide hands-on sequential art learning activities. Students and teachers are guided by professional artists to actively engage in art-making experiences for one to 20 days.

PERFORMANCES are valued by YA as a vital component of arts education. Our performances introduce the arts and provide new and diverse cultural experiences to our audience of students and teachers. While our stage is a school auditorium, the work is no less important or impactful than an event at a performing arts venue. YA strives to ensure that children value live performance as an essential part of a full life, cultivating the next generation of performing arts supporters.

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (PD) seminars empower and encourage classroom teachers to integrate the arts across the curriculum.

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY EVENTS extend arts education to parents and families.

Carmen Santos-Robson

Carmen Santos-Robson

Community Outreach/Development

Newark School of the Arts
Sarah Schettig

Sarah Schettig

Manager of School Programs

The Newark Museum

Overview of Newark Museum: The Newark Museum is one of the most historic and influential museums in the United States, with the 12th largest collection in the nation. Our 80 galleries of world-class collections include African, American, Asian, Classical art and Decorative Arts from Europe and the Americas, including the largest collection of Tibetan art in the Americas, the 1885 National Historic Landmark Ballantine House, a distinguished and critically acclaimed collection of American Art and one of the most comprehensive collections of African art in the country. The Museum is also nationally recognized as a leader in museum education, devoting a substantial portion of its facilities to youth and family programs and school-based education, serving almost 100,000 visitors each year.

What makes the Newark Museum unique and necessary?: The Newark Museum operates, as it has since its founding, in the public trust as a museum of service, a leader in connecting objects and ideas to the needs and wishes of its constituencies. We believe that our art and science collections have the power to educate, to inspire and transform individuals of all ages, and the local, regional, national and international communities that we serve. In the words of founding director John Cotton Dana, “A good museum attracts, entertains, arouses curiosity, leads to questioning, and thus promotes learning.”

Services provided by the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum provides a full range of education and cultural programs for its constituents.

Kate Shoemaker

Kate Shoemaker

Chief Operating Officer

“optimistic, focused, open”
BRICK/South Ward Children's Alliance

Kate Shoemaker joined the South Ward Children’s Alliance as COO in October, 2015 after 16 years at the Harlem Children’s Zone. In her new role, Shoemaker is leading a strategic planning process to help SWCA develop a cradle to college and career continuum in the South Ward through partnerships, policy and program development. At HCZ, Kate helped develop and implement the FY2000 business plan that helped HCZ scaled up from a $5 MM budget serving several thousand children in 24 blocks, to the full scale organization of today that serves over 12,000 children in 97 blocks with a budget over $120 MM. At HCZ, she advised the Obama Administration and community leaders on how to translate HCZ’s model into the Promise Neighborhoods program, developed partnerships on asthma, planned and launched programs, managed funder relationships, and built the 92,000 square foot Promise Academy Charter School and Geoffrey Canada Community Center on Harlem’s historic 125th street. Kate graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Government and Economics from Bowdoin College, and earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Georgetown.

Overview of the South Ward Children’s Alliance: The South Ward Children’s Alliance is a division of BRICK Academy (Building Responsible Intelligent Creative KIDS). As BRICK schools made strong advancements academically with young people, they recognized that many challenges outside the schoolhouse doors were impacting children and families. Together with other traditional and charter public schools in the South Ward, they created the South Ward Children’s Alliance to help meet those needs. While SWCA is in our infancy, our vision is to build a cradle through college and career continuum for children in the South Ward that focuses on their academic, social-emotional and health needs so that all young people growing up here can become successful adults.

What makes SWCA unique and necessary?: “Children living in the South Ward need and deserve what all children need to succeed, namely: 1) high quality programs at every developmental stage and in every domain (academic, social-emotional and physical and behavioral health); 2) strong families; and 3) a safe and healthy community in order to succeed as adults. Over time, SWCA will create partnerships, build programs and influence policy to meet those needs by building a cradle to college and career pipeline in order to change the trajectory of our children’s lives.”

Services provided by SWCA: SWCA currently includes the Family HUB and will expand this fall to include the Family College as well. Our Family HUB offers social services for families who have a child who lives in or attends school in the South Ward. This January we launched three free tax preparation sites in the South Ward and we also provide financial literacy and housing workshops.

 

 

Samantha Simpson

Samantha Simpson

General Manager

“versatile, organized, dedicated”
Pushcart Players

With over 20 years of experience in the entertainment field, she is passionate about the arts. Simpson has been a proud member of The Screen Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 1996, and Actors Equity since 2004. Her experience includes various regional theatre (Bickford Theatre at Morris Museum, McCarter Theater, Surflight Theatre, Judith Anderson, The Forum Theatre, Running Rabbit) television, film, national commercials, and modeling projects. Favorite credits include Guest Starring/Recurring roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As The World Turns and Gossip Girl. As a dance teacher and choreographer, Simpson enjoys developing and executing lesson plans, as well as mentoring children of all ages and skill level. Past choreography credits include Westfield High School, Surflight Theatre, Light Opera of NJ and Plays in The Park. Simpson is a two time Paper Mill Rising Star Award nominee and the recipient of the 2015 Paper Mill Rising Star Award for Outstanding Choreography/Staging of a Musical (Pippin) and the 2015 Broadway World New Jersey Award for Best Production by a Local Theater (Jesus Christ Superstar – Choreographer, Middlesex County Plays-in-the-Park).

Overview of Pushcart Players: PUSHCART PLAYERS (PP) is the award-winning professional touring theater company specializing in arts education for children. Twice nominated for an Emmy©, Pushcart is the recipient of numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A social-profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 2 million miles nationally and abroad, from the nation’s White House to the rural little red schoolhouse.
PP addresses social studies, literature, history, the Autism spectrum, special educational needs, and values clarification for young people, their families and their educators. All performances by professional artists (Actors’ Equity Association) are supported by study guides, post-performance assessments and other supplemental materials, and adapt to any location with innovative scenery, lighting and sound systems.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS include: Cultural Access Network of NJ Innovator Award; NJ Governor’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education; NJ Theatre Alliance Applause Award for Excellence in the Arts; commendation of Pushcart Players and entry in Congressional Record; NJTA Arts Access Award for exceptional work in providing accessible programming statewide; 2 performances by invitation at The White House; International invitations to Soviet Union, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Africa.

Services Provided by Pushcart Players: TOURING MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTIONS that are fully-mounted with state-of-the-art lighting/sound systems, costumes, scenery, masterfully orchestrated, recorded scores and performed by AEA actors.
SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES of all above, wherein productions are adapted to be accessible to children on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive disabilities.
ARTS EDUCATION/LEARNING is the center of PP’s mission, goals, programs and operations. Touring musical productions are curriculum based (history, literature, social studies) and are designed to educate in other subjects and, most importantly, to support/encourage appreciation of art for art’s sake. Education programs embrace NJ Arts Standards that engage students to create, perform, respond and connect:
JFK PLAYERS ONSTAGE-residency in Newark creating theater with children on the Autism spectrum; PASSAIC WORKSHOPS with at-risk youth in the juvenile correctional system; KIDS DO BROADWAY-Student productions directed by PP staff/teaching artists in schools, theaters and community centers; THE INFORMANCE-pre or post performance workshops that offer a hands-on exploration of all elements of musical theater including the Artist, the Medium, and the Career; Q&A/ASSESSMENT SESSIONS with actors and audience following each performance; STUDY GUIDES with resource lists, bibliographies, show summaries, suggested activities; PUSHCART, JR-scripts originally produced by PP are adapted for students to perform in their schools.

What makes PP unique and necessary? “Because theater is a synthesis of all the arts and provides an excellent vehicle for the introduction of music, dance, poetry, prose, visual arts and other artistic expression, it is the centerpiece of many innovative residencies and workshops offered in PP’s programming.
As a professional ensemble of artists and educators (teachers, writers, musicians, actors, designers and directors) PP’s primary goal is to increase the aesthetic world of children by involving them in theater and arts programming. Traveling to schools throughout the nation is a high priority so that all children in a given community have the advantage of arts programming prepared, conducted and presented by outstanding professionals in the field.
With arts as an inseparable part of the human journey, PP introduces the live theater experience while underscoring many rich curriculum connections such as history, diversity, positive values, responsible behavior & other social competencies.”

 

Alysia Souder

Alysia Souder

Executive Director

 

 

The Institute of Music for Children
Houston Stevens

Houston Stevens

President

“Community Based Organization Activist”

 

Ivy Hill Neighborhood Association

An Auto-biography

Houston Stevens is a life-long labor and community activist who currently serves as President of the Ivy Hill Neighborhood Association; Treasurer of the Ivy Hill Little League; Executive Board Member of the Giblin Association and District Leader for Essex County Democratic Committee, Newark West District 36. In those capacities, since 1994, Houston has provided leadership in community efforts to improve public safety, renovate Ivy Hill Park, support neighborhood schools, sponsor community-based arts & cultural events and public forums, establish youth recreation programs, and advocate with state, county and municipal officials for public services on behalf of the Ivy Hill community. A few notable projects include: establishment of After School Youth Development Program at Mt. Vernon School; $2.5 million renovations in Ivy Hill Park; establishment of Ivy Hill Little League Baseball; establishment of Ivy Hill Basketball League; establishment of Ivy Hill Interna

Erin Sweeney

Erin Sweeney

Executive Director, Newark

“energetic, personable, dedicated”

 

Schools That Can

Erin is the Executive Director for STC Newark. Deeply committed to urban youth education and Newark, she previously worked as Director of Strategic Initiatives for STC Newark school St. Benedict’s Prep, where she was a representative to STC. Erincurrently serves on the Board of Newark-based youth education nonprofit GlassRoots, co-manages the Girl Scouts of Newark, and serves as a mentor through NJ LEEP. An alumna of Leadership Newark, Erin recently completed a Master in American Studies at Rutgers-Newark where she focused her studies on the City of Newark and urban populations/migration. Previously, Erin served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow in Nigeria, Bolivia, New York, Tanzania, Germany, and Washington, DC. She was recognized by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her community work overseas working with youth and victims of human trafficking. Erin began her career of nonprofit and government service in the late 1990s when she co-founded Harvest House, a community lunch program in New Jersey. Erin earned her Master in Public Policy/Urban Planning focused in community advocacy from Harvard Kennedy School and her Bachelor in Public Policy focused in urban studies from the University of Chicago.

Overview of STC: Schools That Can (STC) unites leaders to expand quality urban education and close the opportunity and skills gap. STC sites throughout the country facilitate cross-sector programming, partnerships, and thought leadership with a network of district, charter, and independent schools and community partners. STC Newark currently works with about one-third of all Newark schools, providing opportunities for schools to work collaboratively to increase student outcomes for all of Newark’s children.

What makes STC unique and necessary? STC Newark has the unique position of working with all K-12 schools (district, charter, and independent) with the ultimate goal to expand quality urban education across school sectors, not within a particular type of school. Through STC Newark, school leaders and faculty are able to not only meet colleagues at different types of schools, but they are able to work collaboratively through professional learning groups, study tours, and other partnerships to address common challenges. STC Newark doesn’t take any position on the politics of education; instead, we look to bridge the gaps that exist within the K-12 education sector and between the education, private, and civil sectors.

Services provided by STC: For the 2016-2017 school year, STC Newark is focused on expanding real world learning opportunities throughout all schools. We will be providing several Professional Learning Groups for participating schools to create innovative solutions to common challenges faced when implementing or expanding real world, project-based learning. Additionally, STC Newark will expand our partnerships with various private and civil sector entities so as to provide more career exposure, career/college readiness, and real world learning opportunities for our schools and their students. We will continue to host various thought leadership venues, including our newsletters, annual publication, and several special events, including a one-day interactive conference on culturally relevant schooling to be held in September 2016.

Monika Szumski

Monika Szumski

Education & Community Engagement Assisstant

“Outspoken, determined, mobilizer”

 

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Bio:

Monika A. Szumski is a Montclair State University alumna where she graduated summa cum laude in Music Performance, focus on flute.

She currently works with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as the Education & Community Engagement Assistant, providing support to all programs in the NJSO education department and continues to aggressively advocate for the arts. It is absolutely imperative to expand the audiences of present day orchestras and musical programs to include those who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.

 

In addition to her work with the NJSO, Ms. Szumski maintains a private studio, giving flute, piccolo, and piano lessons in the North/Central Jersey areas. She performs regularly with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey as their second flutist/piccolo and gigs in the tri-state area in all genres of music on flute. Along with a classical background, Ms. Szumski highly values music of others cultures and is a West African Drummer, giving workshops for all ages to local schools, hospitals, summer camps, and functions of all kinds.

Carmine Tabone

Carmine Tabone

Executive Director

Educational Arts Team
Sonnet Takahisa

Sonnet Takahisa

Deputy Director for Engagement and Innovation

“innovative, engaging, pioneering”
The Newark Museum

In May 2014, Sonnet Takahisa was appointed Deputy Director for Engagement and Innovation at the Newark Museum. As part of the senior management team she is responsible for implementing the vision of a unique urban museum that specializes in art, science and the humanities. She oversees the Education Division, and advocates across all Museum divisions to ensure an ongoing and productive conversation with a diverse and growing audience. Through innovative leadership, creative partnerships, and strategic planning, she works with colleagues to ensure that the Newark Museum is relevant and inspiring to a 21st century community.

Sonnet has been a member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable since she arrived in Newark and for the past two years has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Council.

Sonnet has consulted with museums, cultural institutions and schools, focusing on public engagement, community building and education reform. She has served on national and local task forces for museums, arts, pre-K through higher education, government funding agencies and foundations. She initiated programs at Boston Children’s Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. From 1993 – 2003 she was founding co-director of The NYC Museum School, a groundbreaking public school that engaged secondary school students by providing direct access to the resources of cultural institutions. She was Senior Program Officer at New Visions for Public Schools, an academic management organization, where she worked with new schools focused on arts, cultural and youth leadership. For six years, she coordinated the statewide Museum School Partnership Professional Learning Network for the NY State Council on the Arts. Recently she consulted on exhibit planning and design for museums and early childhood education was faculty member of The Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies graduate program.

Overview of the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum is one of the most historic and influential museums in the United States, with the 12th largest collection in the nation. Our 80 galleries of world-class collections include African, American, Asian, Classical art and Decorative Arts from Europe and the Americas, including the largest collection of Tibetan art in the Americas, the 1885 National Historic Landmark Ballantine House, a distinguished and critically acclaimed collection of American Art and one of the most comprehensive collections of African art in the country. The Museum is also nationally recognized as a leader in museum education, devoting a substantial portion of its facilities to youth and family programs and school-based education, serving almost 100,000 visitors each year.

What makes the Newark Museum unique and necessary? The Newark Museum operates, as it has since its founding, in the public trust as a museum of service, a leader in connecting objects and ideas to the needs and wishes of its constituencies. We believe that our art and science collections have the power to educate, to inspire and transform individuals of all ages, and the local, regional, national and international communities that we serve. In the words of founding director John Cotton Dana, “A good museum attracts, entertains, arouses curiosity, leads to questioning, and thus promotes learning.”

Services provided by the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum provides a full range of education and cultural programs for its constituents.

 

Jeanette Taylor

Jeanette Taylor

Executive Assistant

Marion P. Thomas Charter School
Andrew Teheran

Andrew Teheran

Educator

East Side High School
Andrew Teheran is a New Jersey based sculptor, educator, filmmaker, and media artist. He was born in New York City to parents of South American and Scandinavian descent. Mr. Teheran holds a degree in Art History from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He went on to study sculpture and art education at Montclair State University where he earned his teaching credentials and has received his MFA in Creative Practice with Transart Institute in Berlin, Germany. Mr. Teheran has been teaching at East Side High School in New Jersey’s Newark Public School district for over eighteen years. Within the district and throughout the state, he has been decorated for his work in arts education. In 2009 Andrew received the Apple Computer Distinguished Educator Award. His pedagogical career continues at East Side where he created and developed its award winning, internationally recognized Media Arts Magnet Program. Andrew Teheran currently serves as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and as a member of the board of directors for City Without Walls Gallery, along with his sculptural, film, media and educational work.
Dr. Karen Thomas

Dr. Karen Thomas

Chief Executive Officer

Marion P. Thomas Charter School
Nasha Thomas

Nasha Thomas

National Director of AileyCamp/Spokesperson & Master Teacher for Arts In Education

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation
Shirley Thomas

Shirley Thomas

Director for School, Youth & Family Programs

“committed, dedicated, educator”
The Newark Museum

Overview of the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum is one of the most historic and influential museums in the United States, with the 12th largest collection in the nation. Our 80 galleries of world-class collections include African, American, Asian, Classical art and Decorative Arts from Europe and the Americas, including the largest collection of Tibetan art in the Americas, the 1885 National Historic Landmark Ballantine House, a distinguished and critically acclaimed collection of American Art and one of the most comprehensive collections of African art in the country. The Museum is also nationally recognized as a leader in museum education, devoting a substantial portion of its facilities to youth and family programs and school-based education, serving almost 100,000 visitors each year.

What makes the Newark Museum unique and necessary? The Newark Museum operates, as it has since its founding, in the public trust as a museum of service, a leader in connecting objects and ideas to the needs and wishes of its constituencies. We believe that our art and science collections have the power to educate, to inspire and transform individuals of all ages, and the local, regional, national and international communities that we serve. In the words of founding director John Cotton Dana, “A good museum attracts, entertains, arouses curiosity, leads to questioning, and thus promotes learning.”

Services provided by the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum provides a full range of education and cultural programs for its constituents.

Jennifer Tsukayama

Jennifer Tsukayama

Senior Director of Arts Education

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
Overview of NJPAC: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, by celebrating diversity, shall be America’s foremost urban presenter of arts and entertainment, a creative and effective leader in arts education for children, a convener of useful and enlightening civic engagement events, and a catalyst for economic development in its home city of Newark.
Melissa Walker

Melissa Walker

President and Founder

“passionate, musical, enthusiastic”
Jazz House Kids

An acclaimed jazz vocalist and recording artist, Melissa has performed internationally for close to 20 years. In addition to recording five solo albums and appearing as a guest artist on numerous CDs, she is the featured vocalist on bass virtuoso and band leader Christian McBride’s 2012 GRAMMY-winning album The Good Feeling.

In 2002, Melissa’s passion for performing and working with young people led her to found Jazz House Kids, and she has proved to be a visionary leader whose work has been recognized nationally. Melissa was recently chosen as a 2014 Best 50 Women in Business Honoree in New Jersey and in 2013, the Jazz Journalists Association presented her with a Jazz Hero Award, given each year to “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz who have had significant impact in their local communities.” The previous year, she and McBride received the African American Classical Music Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the Spelman College National Alumnae Association. In 2011, Melissa was honored with a Red Cross Award from the Montclair, Glen Ridge and Nutley, New Jersey Chapter for “significant impact on the quality of life through volunteer and humanitarian efforts, ” and she received the Community Service Award from BlueWaveNJ.

Walker is a graduate of Brown University and in 2013 completed The Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Fellows Program at the Institute For Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School. Originally from Alberta, Canada, Melissa lives in Montclair with her husband Christian McBride and their two dogs, Ella and Jesse.

Overview of Jazz House Kids: Jazz House Kids has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations. Our mission is to transform young lives and open doors to the future by offering pre-professional, year-round musical training along with community engagement and education programs for K-12 students from diverse backgrounds. Internationally renowned jazz performers teach alongside our professional staff, offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership and life skills, and strengthens academic performance. Through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, Jazz House Kids cultivates tomorrow’s global citizens so they may build vibrant communities.

What makes Jazz House Kids unique and necessary? “At Jazz House Kids, we believe that learning to love, understand, and create jazz—this great American art form–reaps life-long benefits that every child deserves to enjoy. We know that music creates bonds and builds communities. That’s why everything we do is suffused with jazz. Step into our rehearsal rooms, an in-school program, one of our events, or just our office, and you’ll always find something in the air: great music! In schools, at our Jazz House studio, and within the larger communities where we work, we’ve built circles of enthusiastic students, dedicated staff, first-rate professional teaching artists, supporters, and friends. We also believe in jazz as a tremendous teaching tool. Through jazz education and performance programs, we teach children ages 8 to 18 to become lifelong learners, communicators and innovators. As students practice on their instruments, rehearse with their ensembles, and interact with instructors trained to teach and mentor them, they develop important skills.”

Services provided by Jazz House Kids: School programs of all sizes: assemblies, masterclasses, residencies, and full-year programs; Classes at the Jazz House in Montclair on nights and weekends. All programs are jazz-focused and can serve students with any amount of jazz experience, or no jazz experience.

Christina Weakland

Christina Weakland

Arts Education Administrator/Director of Education

“Passionate Arts Administrator”
Arts Administrator
Christina Weakland is a passionate arts administrator, consultant, and director-choreographer who takes pride in facilitating high-quality arts experiences for young people. Former Director of Education at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Vermont, Ms. Weakland’s career has spanned presenting, producing, arts integration, arts training, grant writing, stage management, and direction/choreography. She has founded and/or shepherded multiple theater programs for youth, including the Vermont Young Playwrights Festival and the uber-successful Show Choirs and Flynn Youth Theater Companies at the Flynn Center, which have performed live in concert with Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, and Darlene Love, among others. A recent move to NJ brings Christina to NAER; She is currently looking for the right position, and welcomes your ideas!
Elizabeth Weisholtz

Elizabeth Weisholtz

Executive Director

Newark Mentoring Movement

Elizabeth Weisholtz is the Executive Director of the Newark Mentoring Movement (NMM), a network of mentoring programs that serve youth in Newark. NMM’s mission is to transform Newark’s community through preparing youth to succeed in life through positive mentoring relationships. Weisholtz’s life-long passion for social justice, community development and youth development brought her to the Newark Mentoring Movement. She leads the organization in five critical areas: providing tools and resources for mentoring programs to achieve evidence-based standards; providing research based training for mentors; fostering new program development; reaching out to schools, community organizations, employers and universities to increase engagement in mentoring; and serving as a hub in Newark’s mentoring field for innovation, collaboration and data-tracking.

Prior to taking the helm at NMM, Weisholtz worked with the New Jersey Statewide Education Organizing Committee (SEOC), a parent and community organizing group focused on school improvement, and with the New Jersey School Aged Care Coalition (NJSACC), a network of afterschool programs.

Weisholtz holds a Master of Public Health from Rutgers University-Newark, where she conducted her fieldwork project at the Academy Street Firehouse afterschool program focusing on the role of afterschool programs in reducing use of violence. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, where she studied political theory.

Weisholtz is a mother and a friend who loves to build community. She also loves to work and play with people who bring joy, passion and their own unique selves.

Overview of Newark Mentoring Movement: Newark Mentoring Movement is a network of mentoring programs. As a network, we work to increase the quality and the quantity of mentoring relationships that serve youth in Newark. We support and launch programs, share research and learning, pilot innovative models, recruit mentors, build community, and track progress in the Newark mentoring field.

What makes NMM unique and necessary? “Our role in the mentoring field in Newark is somewhat parallel to NAER’s role in the field of youth arts programming. It helps the field to have organizations that convene and support the individual programs. There are several ‘intermediary’ or network organizations in Newark, and what makes NMM most unique is our strong focus specifically on the relationships that support youth within various programs and school and community settings. The quality of these relationships make a huge impact on youth development and program quality.”

Services provided by NMM:

• Provide tools and resources for all programs to achieve evidence-based standards
• Provide research-based training for mentors
• Foster new program development
• Reach out to schools, community organizations, employers, and universities to increase engagement in mentoring
• Serve as a hub in the Newark mentoring field for innovation, collaboration, and data-tracking

 

Kristin Wenger

Kristin Wenger

Director

“Arts Education Advocate”
New Jersey Arts Education Partnership

Kristin Wenger is the Director of the NJ Arts Education Partnership. Kristin was the Executive Director of Young Audiences NJ from 1986-2005. During her tenure Young Audiences grew over 14 times and reached millions of children. From 2006-2008, she was an adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies teaching Managing the Arts. She is a fellow of the Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Program, a member of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, Sustainable NJ and Creative NJ. She is a past president of the Alliance for Arts Education/NJ and a founding member of the NJ Arts Education Collective and Artists in Education Consortium. She received the YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award and currently serves as the board president of the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Affiliate. She has a BA in Government from Skidmore College, a MS in Mass Communication from Boston University and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Case Western Reserve University.

Overview of NJAEP: The mission of the NJ Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP) is to provide a unified voice for those who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society.

What makes NJAEP unique and necessary? “Launched in 2007 as a cosponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, NJAEP received its 501c3 federal nonprofit designation in March of 2015 and started operations as an independent non-profit on July 1, 2015. The NJAEP believes that the arts are an essential part of every child’s education, and must be part of the solution to the many challenges facing our education system. Our diverse coalition of stakeholders works together to influence state policy and motivate local communities to make quality arts instruction and experiences a part of each child’s education.”

Services provided by NJAEP: The NJAEP works to achieve its goals by focusing on these strategic areas of work: • Demonstrating the value of arts education by conducting and disseminating research. • Ensuring that state education policy continues to mandate arts education as an essential part of every child’s education. • Strengthening local arts education programs through direct support services for school districts. • Expanding its role as the central clearinghouse for all arts education resources and services in NJ. • Communicating the value of arts education to a wide variety of constituencies. • Strengthening NJAEP’s organizational capacity to better advance its mission.

Paul Whelihan

Paul Whelihan

Producing Artistic Director

“dynamic, creative, team-player”
Pushcart Players

Paul Whelihan is the producing artistic director of Pushcart Players, and a producer for three decades in New Jersey’s professional theater circuit. While still an undergraduate at Montclair State University, he co-founded Ironbound Theatre in Newark, where Whelihan served as managing director. He was the development director of Forum Theatre Arts Center in Metuchen, and Audience Services coordinator for Premier Stages at Kean University. In 2007, Whelihan co-founded Running Rabbit Theater, a company organized to instill a lifelong appreciation of and support for theater in young audiences and their families. Running Rabbit received unprecedented first-year funding from both the NJ State Council on the Arts and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Whelihan is an actor, director, stage manager and playwright as well. He’s written nine plays for family audiences, including the ground-breaking “Treasure Island,” the first professional production of its kind in New Jersey wherein the entire cast used spoken word, singing and American Sign Language to illuminate the story. He has performed, directed and stage-managed off-Broadway (47th Street Theater, 59 East 59 Theatres, NY Fringe Festival, 54 Below) and regionally (Royal Poincianna Playhouse, Broward Center for the Arts, Centenary Stage, The Growing Stage, Luna Stage Company, Bickford Theatre at Morris Museum, Forum Cultural Arts Center, Quillo Arts Center, Dreamcatcher Rep) in musicals, dramas, original works and in locally produced television, film and web series projects (featured in the web series, “The Madness of Art”). As a teaching artist, Paul directs productions for Franklin Middle School (Somerset NJ), Rockaway Valley School (Boonton, NJ), Northeast Elementary School (Upper Montclair, NJ), Breezy Point Summer Theatre Program (NY) and the YMCA of Wayne (NJ).

Overview of Pushcart Players: PUSHCART PLAYERS (PP) is the award-winning professional touring theater company specializing in arts education for children. Twice nominated for an Emmy©, Pushcart is the recipient of numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A social-profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 2 million miles nationally and abroad, from the nation’s White House to the rural little red schoolhouse.
PP addresses social studies, literature, history, the Autism spectrum, special educational needs, and values clarification for young people, their families and their educators. All performances by professional artists (Actors’ Equity Association) are supported by study guides, post-performance assessments and other supplemental materials, and adapt to any location with innovative scenery, lighting and sound systems.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS include: Cultural Access Network of NJ Innovator Award; NJ Governor’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education; NJ Theatre Alliance Applause Award for Excellence in the Arts; commendation of Pushcart Players and entry in Congressional Record; NJTA Arts Access Award for exceptional work in providing accessible programming statewide; 2 performances by invitation at The White House; International invitations to Soviet Union, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Africa.

Services Provided by Pushcart Players: TOURING MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTIONS that are fully-mounted with state-of-the-art lighting/sound systems, costumes, scenery, masterfully orchestrated, recorded scores and performed by AEA actors.
SENSORY FRIENDLY PERFORMANCES of all above, wherein productions are adapted to be accessible to children on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive disabilities.
ARTS EDUCATION/LEARNING is the center of PP’s mission, goals, programs and operations. Touring musical productions are curriculum based (history, literature, social studies) and are designed to educate in other subjects and, most importantly, to support/encourage appreciation of art for art’s sake. Education programs embrace NJ Arts Standards that engage students to create, perform, respond and connect:
JFK PLAYERS ONSTAGE-residency in Newark creating theater with children on the Autism spectrum; PASSAIC WORKSHOPS with at-risk youth in the juvenile correctional system; KIDS DO BROADWAY-Student productions directed by PP staff/teaching artists in schools, theaters and community centers; THE INFORMANCE-pre or post performance workshops that offer a hands-on exploration of all elements of musical theater including the Artist, the Medium, and the Career; Q&A/ASSESSMENT SESSIONS with actors and audience following each performance; STUDY GUIDES with resource lists, bibliographies, show summaries, suggested activities; PUSHCART, JR-scripts originally produced by PP are adapted for students to perform in their schools.

What makes PP unique and necessary? “Because theater is a synthesis of all the arts and provides an excellent vehicle for the introduction of music, dance, poetry, prose, visual arts and other artistic expression, it is the centerpiece of many innovative residencies and workshops offered in PP’s programming.
As a professional ensemble of artists and educators (teachers, writers, musicians, actors, designers and directors) PP’s primary goal is to increase the aesthetic world of children by involving them in theater and arts programming. Traveling to schools throughout the nation is a high priority so that all children in a given community have the advantage of arts programming prepared, conducted and presented by outstanding professionals in the field.
With arts as an inseparable part of the human journey, PP introduces the live theater experience while underscoring many rich curriculum connections such as history, diversity, positive values, responsible behavior & other social competencies.”

Alison Scott-Williams

Alison Scott-Williams

VP, Arts Education

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

Alison Scott-Williams is an arts education leader with a commitment to recognizing and cultivating talent in emerging artists. She is currently the Vice President for Arts Education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, New Jersey.

Alison joined NJPAC in 2013 in a pivotal position as Assistant Vice President for Arts Education. Prior to joining NJPAC, Alison excelled in a series of influential leadership roles for The Juilliard School in New York City. From 2006 to 2013, she made a meaningful impact as Associate Vice President for Diversity and Campus Life, a dual responsibility that balanced diversity leadership with comprehensive oversight for the Educational Outreach, Residence Life, International Student, and Student Affairs departments. Alison also served as The Juilliard School’s Title IX Officer.

From 2005 to 2006, Alison served was Director of Educational Outreach, with responsibility for creating, managing and expanding 10-plus educational outreach programs that engaged Juilliard students in the community and on campus. From 2004 to 2005, Alison directly supported students and staff as Associate Registrar for Academic Advisement of The Juilliard School. From 2001 to 2004, Alison provided leadership for marketing, strategic planning and program management as Director of Programs and Admission for Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago.

Alison holds a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College, Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and Master of Arts in Opera Theater and Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Oberlin Conservatory.

Overview of NJPAC: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, by celebrating diversity, shall be America’s foremost urban presenter of arts and entertainment, a creative and effective leader in arts education for children, a convener of useful and enlightening civic engagement events, and a catalyst for economic development in its home city of Newark.

 

Charles Yarbrough

Charles Yarbrough

Youth Activity and Event Specialist

Newark YMCA