// OUR PEOPLE
Over 50 years of teaching the arts in the Bay Area
Matthew Clark Davison
Matthew landed in San Francisco in the late 80s as a teen-aged runaway and high school dropout. He began writing in response to the AIDS crisis. After enrolling in Poetry for the People at Glide Church, he was encouraged by poets Janice Mirikitani and June Jordan to pursue a degree in writing. He eventually earned a BA and MFA from SF State's Creative Writing Program, where he is now faculty. His short fiction has appeared in or online at The Atlantic Monthly, The Mississippi Review, Fourteen Hills, Per Contra (and others); and has been recognized with a Clark/Gross Novel-in-Progress Award, a Stonewall Alumnae Association Award, and a SF Cultural Equities Grant. He was the inaugural recipient of SFSU's Lecturer Creative Work Grant, and is the founder/instructor of a generative writing workshop called The Lab :: Writing Classes with Matthew Clark Davison.
Chinchin Hsu, Dancer, was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, Chinese martial art, Chinese ballet, Tai-chi, improvisation and dance composition. She graduated summa cum laude from New World School of the Arts under the direction of Daniel Lewis, and received her BFA in dance from University of Florida. In 2008, Chinchin moved to San Francisco and has danced with ODC, KUNST- STOFF, Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers, Tanya Bello's Project.B., Kara Davis of project agora, Lenora Lee’s Asian Improv, Christy Funsch, LEVYdance and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Chinchin joined Performing Arts Workshop in November 2008. Chinchin teaches creative movement, world dance, and serves as an artist mentor at Performing Arts Workshop.Chinchin loves to move, create and share; she is interested in creating forum that allows students to practice critical thinking, problem solving, and building empathy and community through dance. Chinchin is curious about each student's story and seeks for moments when she is growing with her students.
Natasha Huey is a poet, teaching artist, and project manager. She has been teaching spoken word poetry with the Workshop since October 2013. Natasha has performed on stages across the nation and beyond including the Oracle Arena in Oakland, the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles, and Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai. Natasha is a graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in Language, Power, and Identity and a Creative Writing minor. Natasha teaches poetry to give young people tools to best dig to the truth of their experiences. She believes in the power of embodying our stories, especially those that have been silenced or marginalized, and bringing them to life in our own voices. In addition to being a teaching artist at the Workshop, Natasha is currently the Brave New Voices Manager for Youth Speaks, the co-founder of The Root Slam, and the co-founder of the Write Home Project.
Glenda Bates, DMA, is a soulful musician and multi-instrumentalist. Her innovative approach blends classical training techniques with jazz repertoire and improvisation, lending a fresh voice to the Bay Area music scene. She is an active freelancer in Baroque, Classical, and Jazz ensembles, and is sought out by contemporary composers to perform new works for oboe and English horn. In addition to playing oboe and English horn, she is an accomplished vocalist, vibraphonist, composer, and poet. Bates earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance from Stony Brook University in New York, her Master of Music from the University of Maryland, and her Bachelor or Arts from the University of South Carolina. Glenda loves sharing music with others through teaching in a variety of settings, from university classrooms to private oboe instruction to preschool classes. She joined the Workshop in August 2014.
Vanessa Sanchez is a dancer, educator, and choreographer who focuses on community arts education and multi-cultural dance forms. Based in San Francisco, Vanessa has studied and performed throughout the United States, Mexico and Brazil, and holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University in Child Development and Dance Education. She currently teaches with local non-profit arts organizations Loco Bloco, Dance Mission and Ruth Asawa’s School of the Arts. Vanessa has been with Performing Arts Workshop since April 2014 and is currently a Core Teaching Artist. While performing with multiple dance companies throughout the Bay Area, including Duniya Dance and Drum Company and Aguas da Bahia, Vanessa directs and creates original choreography that explores cultural traditions, rhythmic collaborations and social justice with her project “La Mezcla.” Her work has been presented as part of D.I.R.T. Political Dance Festival, CubaCaribe, and Live Arts in Resistance.
Lisa Saunders is a multicultural arts integration specialist, member of UNESCO's International Dance Council and founding executive director of the Ethnic Arts Institute International. Her career spans more than 30 years as a teaching artist and principal performer with two premier Bay Area dance companies. She is the recipient of awards and recognitions for innovations in K-12 enrichment programming, dance-without-borders exchanges and pioneering methods that bring authentic global dance curriculum to young learners. Beyond the classroom, Lisa contributes to the professional development of K-12 music educators by presenting nationally to members of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Christine has been teaching drama to elementary students for more than 15 years. She is a trained performer, published playwright and dynamic instructor, who is dedicated to the arts as a teaching tool. She has a master's degree in theater from SFSU and has run her own week-long Creative Storytelling camps. She has worked at many diverse schools in the Bay Area, guiding students to wholeheartedly express themselves in the dramatic arts. A well-rounded theatrical artist herself, Christine has performed in many Bay Area shows and has travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she starred in an original play. She is most proud of her own troupe, The Momma Drama, where she produces, directs, and performs in a popular play that she co-wrote about motherhood, called "Stretchmarks!" (www.themommadrama.com) The play has enjoyed many sold-out shows in San Francisco, and has even travelled to the East Coast for a smashing debut. One of her favorite things in life is to help children learn how to be heART-centered and to blossom creatively in this lovely journey called LIFE. "My goal as a teaching artist is to instill the positive, empowering aspects of theatre arts, so that children can learn to be collaborative, compassionate, and creative in mind and heart."
Manolo Davila was raised in (and by) San Francisco’s Mission District, where from a young age he was surrounded by music and art. Manolo has been an arts educator, performer and organizer for the past 12 years, and joined the Workshop as a teaching artist in January 2014. Although he was already breakdancing, playing congas, and rapping with some of his best friends, it wasn't until he turned 19 that he decided to pick up his father's classical guitar, which sparked an artistic revolution in his life. Since then, he’s drummed and played guitar for Carnaval Contingents such as Mara Reggae, Loco Bloco and SambaAxe. He teaches and performs in Afro-Brazilian, Haitian, Cuban, West African and Congolese forms. In addition to the Workshop. Manolo teaches Guitar at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, and has taught at Buena Vista Childcare and as Drum instructor for Loco Bloco and Tradicion Peruana. When not teaching, Manolo plays guitar in Soltron, a 12-piece band fusing music of the African Diaspora. He loves working with youth because they are fun and it gives him a chance to both give back and receive that same feeling of wonder which he was given early in life.
"Rahman Jamaal" McCreadie
Rahman Jamaal has been with the Workshop since September 2007 and is a writer, actor, musician, emcee, filmmaker, and educator with multiple degrees in Cinema-Television, Communications in the Entertainment Industry, and Music Industry from the University of Southern California. In 2003, he debuted as the star of the record-setting feature film "The Beat" which earned critical and public acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, and began airing domestically and internationally on Showtime, STARZ, and Encore in 2005.
Jamaal graduated film school with honors, and then wrote the first Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) and Common-Core standards-based Emcee/Spoken Word Curriculum in California, which began its implementation in schools, non-profits, and the juvenile justice system in 2004. He joined the Workshop in 2007 and has continued to use his path as a performer to collaborate with a unique network of talent through organizations such as Hip Hop Congress, the 15-year nonprofit for which he began serving as Executive Director in 2015. "Rap is an art-form that allows our brain to create a new reality through language. Starring in a movie helped me realize the power of words and perception, and this enables me to work with untapped and developing talent at all levels. It is a daily pleasure to walk this path alongside anyone else bold enough to pursue their dreams."
Nicole Jost is a playwright and educator from Washington, DC. She is a two-time winner of the James Milton Highsmith Playwriting Award for queer theater and was named a national semi-finalist for The John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play. Her plays have been seen at Rorschach Theatre, The Inkwell, The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival, and the Capital Fringe Festival in DC; Gadfly Theatre Productions in Minneapolis; and PlayGround, ReproRights! Theater, Breach Once More, the SFSU Fringe Festival, and the SF Olympians Festival (upcoming) here in San Francisco. Nicole received her B.A. in Theater and Cultural Politics from UC Santa Cruz. She is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Playwriting at San Francisco State. Nicole joined Performing Arts Workshop as a teaching artist in September 2016. She firmly believes that practicing creative self-expression will benefit any young person, regardless of what they go on to do in their lives.
Fredrika Keefer is a Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary and Traditional Japanese Taiko drumming teacher. She is currently a member of Dance Brigade And Alayo Dance company.
Born and raised in San Francisco's Mission district, Fredrika started her dance training at age 5. When she was 14 years old, she started her hip-hop dance training with the well-renowned choreographer and Mind Over Matter’s director, Allan Frias. She proceeded to dance with his company for 6 years. Since then, she has worked with choreographers such as Kim Epifano, Anne Bluethenthal, Christy Funch, Krissy Keefer, Ramon Ramos Alayo, just to name a few. Fredrika takes the responsibilities of an educator very seriously, and works hard to develop mutual trust and respect. After earning her diploma from San Fransisco School of the Arts, she immediately pursued a career in dance education and started, at age 17, to teach, in the youth program, at Dance Mission Theater. Her hard-work has given her the opportunity to hold a series of increasingly responsible teaching positions. She has been a guest teaching artist at SPACE (School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education), in Ukiah and Destiny Arts Center, in Oakland. She also has been a trained teaching artist at Performing Arts Workshop, in San Francisco, where she specializes in critical thinking through dance with preschoolers. Her teaching experiences has exposed her to diverse populations and art forms: from preschoolers to adults, from new to experienced aspiring dancers. She has successfully taught diverse student populations whose learning and social functioning levels cover a wide spectrum. She provides a well-balanced dancing experience along with basic rhythm grasping tools. She continuously imparts knowledge in an enthusiastic manner, motivating the students in ascertaining their strength and abilities, stimulating a learning environment that fosters confidence. Fredrika aims to encourage her students to reach their full potential. Fredrika’s broaden experiences have brought her to travel to teach and perform nationally and internationally (Lebanon, Egypt, St. Maarteen). She is currently a guest teaching artist at La Ena (Escuela National de Arte) in Santiago, Cuba. Fredrika has been with the Workshop since September 2011.
Aaron Kierbel has been proudly teaching drumming and rhythm classes for the Workshop since September 2008. He earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from C.I.I.S in San Francisco. A professional and volunteer Bay Area teaching artist, Aaron uses drumming to build community and promote self- empowerment with public school children and with inmates at SF Women's Jail, Alameda Juvenile Justice Center, Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Edgewood Center For Children and Families and many more. In addition to his teaching, Aaron is a well-known drummer in the Bay Area and is a founding member of Rupa and the April Fishes. He can also be seen playing with the SF Mime Troup, Jazz Mafia, Mercury Falls and Tumbledown House. He continues to be inspired by the brilliance, vulnerability and humor of the youth he teaches, who are constantly reminding him to keep a beginner's mind, to experiment, and most of all, to PLAY.
Areyla Moss-Maguire got her start in circus arts and touring with the famous clown, Patch Adams. She earned a B.A. in Theater Arts and Dance Choreography at UC Santa Cruz and continued on to complete her graduate work in Jacques Lecoq Physical Theater in Barcelona, Spain. Lindy Hop and Swing Dance led her to northern Sweden and London where she danced extensively with the members of Syncopated City Dance Company from NYC. Areyla earned a diploma in contemporary dance at the Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School, Denmark. She has taught movement and dance at the Copenhagen Film and Theater School, The Theater School, Camp Winnarainbow, Swing Shoes, Dance Mission Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, and is part of the 2017 cohort with Luna Dance Institute. Areyla has performed on stages all over the world, from Latin America to Africa, and is currently dancing with the We Players and Kim Epifano's Epiphany Productions. Areyla is honored to be teaching dance and theater with the Workshop since April 2015, where she is constantly surprised by the depth and creative problem solving of her students.
Salê Ramos began training Capoeira in Brazil in 1990. Through his many years of training and experience, he has learned the many techniques and aspects important to capoeira. His training has included intense physical conditioning, studying Capoeira's extensive history and learning to play the musical instruments, all of which are integral parts of capoeira. In 2000, He traveled to Chile, Argentina and Peru in order to teach a number of intensive Capoeira workshops. Salê came to San Francisco in November 2001, and began teaching Capoeira at the San Francisco Central YMCA in 2002. His goal has been to create a strong community through Capoeira and to keep its spirit alive outside of Brazil. He continues to spread the dynamic energy of Capoeira through his dedication to teach and to use Capoeira as a tool to create a strong community among his students.
Melissa Wynn is a dancer, choreographer and teacher interested in the the intersection between dance, theater, spoken word, music and design in performance and education, as well as the performing arts' influence on the development of the "whole person". A graduate of the Juilliard School and University of California, Davis she has enjoyed a career as a professional performer in New York City where she resided for 16 years. As a teacher she has taught dance and/or Creative Movement at both the university level (Sam Houston State University, California State University-Sacramento, Santa Clara University and UC Davis) and to children ages 4-11 as a Core Teaching Artist at Performing Arts Workshop since 2014. This year she has switched to being an hourly teaching artist in order to pursue her certification as a Massage Therapist.
Rebecca joined Performing Arts Workshop as a theatre educator in April 2015 following a lifetime of devotion to the stage. Local acting credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Speakeasy with Boxcar Theater, as well as various roles with The San Francisco Dungeon at Fisherman’s Wharf. Rebecca also performs locally as a vocalist with both the SFJazz Monday Night Band and her own quintet, the Sharp Six. Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts from CSU Sacramento, a credential from the Sacramento Montessori Training College, and is currently working toward her graduate degree in Education. In addition to her work with Performing Arts Workshop, she also teaches dance, theatre, and library media at Alvarado Elementary in San Francisco. Being able to combine her twin passions for art and youth advocacy in one of the world's most beautiful cities is a dream come true for Rebecca.
Olivia Eng joined the Workshop in March 2017. She loves and continually studies an eclectic variety of dance forms including urban styles, modern, west African, hip hop, house, ballet, brazilian, haitian, cuban, bhangra, bollywood, capoeira, salsa, among other forms. She has also performed and furthered her studies and training in Singapore, Mexico, Cuba, Africa, and Europe. She has performed and created with The Dance Monks, Liberation Dance Theater, and Paco Gomes and Dancers in San Francisco.he graduated from the University of California, Irvine, focusing on Dance and Sociology. Olivia is currently a performing artist with Duniya Dance and Drum Co. and Aguas da Bahia as well as other freelance projects. A recent hiatus while recovering from surgery challenged Olivia to persevere and find creative pathways outside of dance. She strives to share her insights with her young students, giving them an opportunities to develop their own creative responses to life’s challenges.
Lara D’Emilio is a proud newcomer to the Workshop team starting as a creative dance teaching artist in January 2017. Lara is graduating from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor in Arts in Performing Arts and Social Justice: Dance concentration and a minor in Child and Youth Studies. She loves all the various dance forms in which she is trained including ballet, contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre. She has had the opportunity to perform for several Bay Area artists including Andrew Ward and Melecio Estrella, Brenton Cheng, Lauren Simpson and Jenny Stulberg, and Jennifer Polyocan. Lara is passionate about integrating academic curriculum and students’ personal experiences in her teaching to encourage an engaging space for youth. She encourages her students to use their imaginations and is dedicated to individual expression and storytelling to foster critical thinking and a positive self-image within her students.
Elizabeth Jennings is a fiction writer and current MFA candidate in fiction at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in such literary magazines as Literary Orphans and The Saturday Evening Post, and she is currently at work on her graduate thesis – a collection of slipstream short stories that blur the lines between the mundanely familiar and the strangely surreal. Elizabeth has long been passionate about both writing and education, and has worked with students of all ages, from kindergarten through college. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of imaginative play, and that all students can think and express themselves creatively, regardless of age, background, or academic performance. She has been teaching creative writing with Performing Arts Workshop since January 2017.
Heather June Gibbons
Heather June Gibbons holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Callen Graduate Scholar. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the author of the chapbook Flyover (Q Avenue Press), and her poems appear widely in literary journals such as Blackbird, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, and jubilat. Heather has taught at the University of Iowa and Purdue University, and is currently a lecturer in creative writing at San Francisco State University. She joined the Performing Arts Workshop in January 2017 because she believes the arts provide young people with crucial opportunities for developing creative expression, critical thinking, and confidence.
Emily's passion for the transformative connection between teaching artists and students was sparked while she was working as a professional opera singer and teaching artist. Since transitioning to administration, Emily has held various roles in institutional and individual fundraising and most recently served as Executive Director of Young Audiences of Northern California. Emily's volunteer service includes membership on the Executive Committee of the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco and service as a grant review panelist for the California Arts Council. Emily studied music at Yale University and Manhattan School of Music and holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their three-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, and black lab Luna. E-mail: emily@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Lorena Landeros joined the workshop after teaching Middle School English and Special Education in the South Bronx. Her classroom experience and deep love of the arts compel her to work towards social justice and educational equity. She earned a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University, an Ed.M from Hunter College, and is a Teach for America alumnus. When the sun goes down, she is a writer, photographer, wanderlust. E-mail: lorena@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Zoë is a Bay Area native who spent much of her youth writing and quietly observing the world around her. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz, where she learned to turn her private observations into public investigations of our social lives. She spent her last year as an undergraduate advocating for housing rights and conducting ethnographic research on the most damaging anti-homeless policies in Santa Cruz County. Zoë eagerly joined the Workshop in August 2016 as a way to expand her commitment to social justice to include creative expression as a vehicle for youth empowerment. Zoë is now studying Counseling Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley. Outside of the Workshop and classroom, she enjoys reading in bed, wandering around redwood forests, and bobbing to the music at indie rock and punk shows. She values being gentle and loving abundantly. E-mail: zoe@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Christina Magaña is an Angeleno now living in the Bay who believes in words. She graduated from UC Davis with an M.A. in English (creative writing, poetry), where she was given the wonderful opportunity to teach undergraduate creative writing and write herself. She comes to Performing Arts Workshop after a brief stint editing and with an investment in helping students gain access to the arts. She has interests in all things tiny, and believes in the potential of smallness to affect and transform the enormous, and to contain multitudes itself. When she isn't at Performing Arts Workshop, she enjoys reality television, writing letters, and eating (always eating). E-mail: christina@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Ivy joined the Workshop in March 2012. Before taking part in the current position, she has had 10 years extensive experience in the capacity of Manager in the areas of Budgeting, Finance and Accounting in various sectors and different sizes of non-profit organizations. She is an MsBA graduate of San Francisco State University and holds an MBA degree from University of Leicester, UK. At leisure, she enjoys traveling, hiking and dining. Mostly, she shares passion in visual arts and performing arts. E-mail: ivy@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Adam Z. Levy has spent over five years working in the arts and education. Prior to joining Performing Arts Workshop, he taught undergraduate creative writing at Columbia University and worked in the publishing industry in New York. For the 2012-2013 academic year, he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship for literary translation. He holds a BA in comparative politics from Dartmouth College and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. In addition to his work at the Workshop, he writes, translates, and, together with his wife, is the publisher of Transit Books. E-mail: adam@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Ryan was born and raised in Detroit, MI, home of Motown and the Motor City. She has been a Theatre Artist since she was 12 years old, and has been in love with different art forms her entire life. Ryan obtained a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Michigan, recently completed her Master's in Theatre Arts at UC Santa Cruz, and has worked professionally in arts education, Film/TV and Theatre. Ryan joined Performing Arts Workshop to combine her passion for the arts with crucial social justice initiatives; and believes that art is a learning, teaching and healing tool for all. Outside of work, Ryan loves to read and write, is a major connoisseur of film/TV, and a coffee addict. She is also a proud, card carrying member of the BeyHive. Ryan loves celebrating Black culture, fiercely fights against ideals of antiblackness, battles systemic racism, promotes body positivity, and believes the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way. E-mail: ryan@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Allison is a Southern Wisconsin/Northern Illinois native who grew up playing piano and flute, and has always been passionate about the performing arts. She received a B.S. in Journalism from Northern Illinois University, then moved to Nashville where she worked in Artist Relations for Guitar Center and at the Humanities Center at Vanderbilt University. Leaving behind a comfy life in Nashville in 2014, Allison moved to London to chase a dream of being a leader in the performing arts. She received an M.A. in Arts Policy & Management from Birkbeck, University of London, where she also worked for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She returned to the States after graduation for a Major Gift Officer position with the San Francisco Symphony, and is just as excited to be with the Performing Arts Workshop as she was when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. E-mail: allison@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Laurie wrote grants on contract for the Workshop for a decade before she joined the staff in 2012. She finds joy in making the work of our artists and students visible, and helping everyone see that learning deeply in an art form is great for humans and vital to a society that nurtures the best of us. Her research and teaching as a PhD student At Carnegie Mellon focused on understanding structural racism — the many ways that it’s perpetuated, but also how it’s resisted and ruptured through political movements and art. She has faith in the human imagination and capacity for goodness. Laurie has lived in Oakland since 2002, and when not working, she's lucky that some high school students there let her help them write. Away from the laptop: running, redwoods, music, making things, ogling dogs. E-mail: laurie@PerformingArtsWorkshop.org
Board of Directors
Sagar joined the Performing Arts Workshop's Board of Directors in 2013. He is a founding member of the investment firm Finchwood Capital where he focuses on long/short equities as a Senior Analyst. Prior to forming Finchwood, Sagar was an investment professional at Balyasny Asset Management (BAM) and KKR. Earlier, he was an investment banker specializing in the technology industry at UBS and Blackstone. Before embarking on a career in finance, Sagar founded and operated a music entertainment company that provided Indian percussion and DJ services. This early venture in both music and business cemented Sagar's strong belief in arts and music education as a crucial building block for all youth. He is passionate about the Performing Arts Workshop's mission to ensure that all students are armed with the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Michelle has been a resident of San Francisco for 15 years. She has a Bachelor's degree in Piano Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and fits music into her life whenever possible, from teaching piano lessons to accompanying local singers and choruses to directing an a cappella group. She is very excited to be part of an organization so effectively serving youth and the community through the arts. Michelle has also been active in the San Francisco public education community for many years and currently serves as President of the city-wide San Francisco District PTA, where she works with almost 70 schools to grow parent leadership and advocacy efforts. Michelle serves on numerous education-related advisory committees and works closely with City leaders to prioritize family friendly policies.
Reed Mayfield is a Manager at RSF Social Finance, a nonprofit financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. Reed works to identify and deploy capital to high impact, mission-driven non-profits and for profit enterprises that focus on social and environmental issues. He works both on the Social Enterprise Lending program as well as RSF's subordinated debt fund to determine if loans or investments should be extended. Reed focuses on Arts, workforce development, and spiritual organizations. In the past Reed has worked for a low-income asset building coalition and Fidelity Investments as a licensed representative. Outside of work time, Reed enjoys live music and performance events, the outdoors and travelling with family and friends.
Kurt Kunselman became a board member in June 2013. His current role is the Sales and Marketing Director for AccountingSuite, a cloud based business software for growing businesses. Kurt's background is mostly in software technology, startups, finance, music production and music technology. In addition, to his "day" job, Kurt is also a director for Independent Distribution Collective, a music company that supports independent artists in physical distribution, digital distribution, music licensing, and music marketing. Prior to IDC, Kurt founded an internet music label, chameleon Music and also started a 501(c)3 music charity named Chameleon Music Promotion. The focus of the music charity is promotion of "Entrepren-Artists" in the San Francisco Bay Area. A few of the programs sponsored by the organization have been UnsignedArtist.org, AMP3 (Association of Music Industry Professionals) and currently Peanut Butter and JAMMusic Sessions for Kids. When not working in the office, Kurt is active volunteering for MIT-Stanford VLab, playing basketball, billiards, songwriting, keyboard, strumming the 12-String or Bass, and attending music events of all genres.
RoseMarie Maliekel was elected to the Board in May, 2015. She is an associate with the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, a San Francisco firm with deep roots in San Francisco that is a pioneer in civil rights litigation. Prior to joining the firm in late 2014, she spent four years as a trial lawyer with Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. RoseMarie earned her BS from the University of Illinois, Chicago and her JD from the Northwestern University School of Law. RoseMarie brings to the Workshop a deep commitment to promoting social justice and civic responsibility. In addition to five summers as a volunteer providing after-school care to young children, she has more than 20 years of training in Indian classical dance. Additionally, as a former federal public defender, she witnessed first-hand the tremendous impact arts education has on incarcerated youth.
Garth Applegate is a former Performing Arts Workshop teaching artist. Currently, Garth is a teacher at the San Francisco Friends School. He built the Friends instrumental music program to include an orchestra and world music ensemble in every grade of the middle school, a middle school jazz band, a beginning fourth grade band program and various other smaller ensembles. Prior to teaching at Friends, Garth attended the Westtown School and went on to receive his BA in music education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After touring in North Carolina, Garth moved to San Francisco where he taught music and visual art to youth on probation at the Principal Center's Collaborative. Garth keeps busy writing and performing around the Bay Area and recently completed "Muse at Eleven", his debut CD of solo classical guitar pieces.
Nate Cormier is an editor for Lucasfilm currently working on Star Wars: Rebels. He's also worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and various Dreamworks Animation titles. He holds a bachelor's degree in film and tv post production from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Nate has been playing bass for 15 years and spent much of that time in bands playing all over the US. He has played hundreds of shows for thousands of people and he still gets severe stage fright. When he's not holed up in his studio he can usually be found on his bike or kicking a soccer ball around some field in San Francisco.
Stephanie Elder joined the Performing Arts Workshop's Board of Directors in November 2015. She is currently a Senior Associate in the Transaction Services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a global accounting and consulting firm, where she provides financial due diligence to corporate and private equity clients. Prior to moving to San Francisco in late 2014, Stephanie spent most of her life in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and studied both piano and clarinet from a young age. She went on to study clarinet performance at the University of Michigan and has performed across the US and in Europe and China, where she discovered the power of music to transcend language and cultural barriers. During her time in Ann Arbor, she also completed Bachelor's and Master's degrees in business administration and accounting at the Ross School of Business. While at PwC, Stephanie has been involved in various volunteer initiatives related to teaching financial literacy in schools. However, her first passion is for the arts, and she is very excited to support the Performing Arts Workshop's mission to develop teamwork, creativity and leadership through arts education.
Varun is a software engineering leader, currently working in research and development group at Salesforce.com, a global SaaS company as well as a pioneer of corporate philanthropy with a very well defined 1-1-1 corporate giving model. Varun has been involved with multiple non-profits since he moved to the Bay Area in 2006 and served on the board of Streetside Stories, a non-profit specializing in language arts education, for 6 years. He is passionate about causes that focus on youth and education. He feels organizations like Performing Arts Workshop fill a key gap in the general education system by providing an avenue for our youth to express their creativity in a non-academic setting. In his spare time Varun likes to get off the road whenever possible and take to the skies as a licensed private pilot or to the seas as an amateur sailor.
Marilyn Zoller Koral
Marilyn Zoller Koral, M.Ed. is an SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) Administrator Emeritus having served 8 years as an Assistant Principal. Previously she has been a visual arts teacher working with public school children for the NYC Board of Education in partnership with the Cloisters, NY, and the Guggenheim Museum, NY. Additionally she has served as a teaching artist and visual arts teacher for the SFUSD, Families First, (a Residential and Day Treatment mental health program) and afterschool programs in NYC’s housing projects. She holds an Undergraduate Degree from the City College of New York, a Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, and a Masters Degree/Administrator Credential from University of California, Berkeley. She is a certified Integrated Learning Specialist teaching in ACOE’s (Alameda County Office of Education) ILSP (Integrated Learning Specialist Program) and currently sits on the boards of Arts Ed Matters and The Performing Arts Workshop.
Travis Neal became a Performing Arts Workshop board member in November 2015. Although he can't draw, drum, or dance in public for fear of setting off explosive laughter, he has been committed to the arts and the arts in education for many years. Prior to joining the board, Travis served on committees that provided books to Oakland public school students, fundraised for early childhood education, and supported innovative policies to improve student attendance and parental engagement. When not being entertained by his son's antics, Travis works as an estate planning attorney with the Continuing Education for the Bar (CEB), a University of California affiliated legal publisher. In other words, he spends his time reading dry legalese and attempting to turn it into compelling commentary that (perhaps) helps people direct their money to worthy organizations like the Workshop.
Rebecca joined the Performing Arts Workshop in 2016. She currently works as a Technology Consultant at Protiviti, a business and risk consulting firm. At Protiviti, Rebecca focuses on Strategy & Operations within the technology and financial services industries. Rebecca graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in business administration and a minor in dance. There, she studied various aspects of dance including ballet, ballroom, modern dance, creative movement, and teaching methods of dance. Rebecca developed a passion for the arts at a young age and has been studying ballet for more than 15 years. She is passionate about arts education and its ability to teach valuable skills such as critical thinking and creativity. Rebecca hopes to help spread the accessibility of the arts through her involvement with Performing Arts Workshop.
Kendra joined the Performing Arts Workshop's Board of Directors in 2014. She is a management consultant at Accenture, a multinational consulting and technology services company. In her line of work, Kendra travels the U.S. to work with Fortune 500 companies and their leaders to solve critical organizational issues. She is specialized in human capital strategy and change management. Early in her childhood, Kendra discovered her love for painting and crafts and believes that these hobbies were more than pastimes but contributed greatly to the development of her confidence, individualism, and capacity for learning. She hopes that through the Performing Arts Workshop, she can help spread access to arts and the empowerment it brings to more Bay Area youth.
Elaine Choi is a lifelong pianist and proponent of arts in education. She is currently the Director of IT and Strategic Initiatives at College Track, an Oakland-based education organization that empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college. During her free time you can find her hosting crafternoon with friends, playing intramural soccer, hiking outdoors, or in an impromptu jam session with her friends.
- Aliza Arenson
- Beatrice Krivetsky
- Carlene Laughlin
- Carol Kocivar
- Charles & Jean Wood
- Dana Smith
- Diane David
- Diane Downing
- Donald Ohlen
- Francine Prophet
- Geoff Hoyle
- Jeanne Milligan
- Joanna Haigood
- Linda Belden
- Margaret Jenkins
- Marilynne Solloway
- Michelle Angier
- Nancy Wang
- Nina Kwan
- Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
- Sheila Pressley
- Sonia Wong
- Tom DeCaigny
- Vivian Redsar