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Home > Program 2017 > 2017 > Featured Speakers

Conference delegates gain skills and valuable insights into best practices and emerging trends from visionary leaders in the arts, as well as nationally renowned experts in assessment and evaluation, fundraising, governance, marketing, partnerships, technology, and more. Here a just a few of the inspiring speakers who addressed this year’s Conference for Community Arts Education: 

Keynote Speaker

 Hasan Davis, an artist, educator, and former commissioner of juvenile justice for the State of Kentucky, has spent more than thirty years inspiring and motivating youth across the nation, weaving his personal journey of transformation from "Hasan Davis, Juvenile Delinquent" to "Hasan Davis, Juris Doctor," with humor and honesty. Hasan has been a teaching artist (theater and writing) with the Kentucky Arts Council, a touring artist with Alternate R.O.O.T.S., and a Chautauqua actor/scholar with the Kentucky Humanities Council. He is a founding board member of Kentuckians for the Arts, and former co-chair and current Executive Committee member for Alternate R.O.O.T.S. In 2016, Hasan wrote his first book, Written Off: How One Man’s Journey Through Disability, Delinquency and Poverty are Transforming the Juvenile Justice System. As commissioner of juvenile justice, Hasan has insured that youth in the system have access to creative outlets from mural projects to Shakespeare Behind Bars. More importantly, he has been instrumental in advocating for juvenile justice reform in Kentucky. Senate Bill 200, which enacted sweeping juvenile reform, was signed into law in April 2014 and is now transforming Kentucky’s juvenile justice and other youth serving systems.

  • Opening Plenary: The Art of Justice
  • Breakout Session: Building a Culture of Accountability

Bill Burnett is a consulting assistant professor at Stanford and currently the executive director of the Design Program. After years of drawing cars and airplanes under his grandmother’s sewing machine, Burnett went off to University and discovered, much to his surprise, that there were people in the world who did this kind of thing every day (without the sewing machine) and they were called designers. Twenty years, five companies, and a couple of thousand students later Bill is still drawing and building things, teaching others how to do the same, and quietly enjoying the fact that no one has discovered that he is having too much fun.

Burnett directs the undergraduate and graduate program in design at Stanford, both joint programs between the Mechanical Engineering department and the Art department. He got his B.S. and M.S. in product design at Stanford and has worked professionally on a wide variety of projects ranging from award-winning Apple PowerBooks to the original Hasbro Star Wars action figures. He holds a number of mechanical and design patents, and design awards for a variety of products including the first “slate” computer. In addition to his duties at Stanford, he is on the Board of D2M, a product design consultancy, Dalson Energy, an alternative energy company focused on developing biomass gasification energy systems for small-scale municipalities, and advises several Internet start-up companies.

  • Friday Plenary: Designing your Life


 Lara Davis is the recipient of the 2017 National Guild Service Award. This award recognizes Lara’s remarkable service to the National Guild and its membership as co-founder of the ALAANA Member Network and current ambassador, long-time member of the CYD Steering Committee, Community Arts Education Leadership Institute alumna and past practitioner faculty member, and frequent presenter of Guild conference sessions and online learning opportunities. Lara’s service and leadership has contributed greatly to the Guild’s increased commitment to racial justice, equity, and social change, and has provided enormous value to our membership.

Lara has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award winning Seattle-based youth arts organization. As arts education manager for the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Lara is the City's representative for the Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership to ensure equitable access to high quality arts learning for all Seattle students. Lara serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild, and facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators, and organizations, presenting locally and at national conferences. As a person of color, Lara understands the value of cross-cultural, multi-sector efforts to dismantle racism and other oppressions, and to promote justice. As an artist and arts administrator, she knows firsthand the power of creativity necessary to build access, foster engagement, transform communities, and inspire systemic change.

Ellen Michelson is the recipient of the 2017 National Guild Leadership Award. Ellen is being recognized for her role as founder and president of Aroha Philanthropies, an organization with a progressive and strategic approach to grantmaking, advocacy, training, and technical assistance. Aroha has been a significant driver in advancing the arts and aging field, amplifying the impact of teaching artistry, and promoting the role of arts and creativity in human development and community life. Aroha is devoted to the transformative power of the arts and creativity, inspiring vitality in those over 55, joy in children and youth, and humanity in adults with mental illness. Ellen strategically directs the foundation’s giving, allowing her to connect more deeply and engage intentionally with grantee organizations, always recognizing Aroha’s grantees as collaborative partners. Inspired by formative moments from Ellen’s own childhood, Aroha Philanthropies’ efforts are now concentrated in three distinct areas: 55+ in the arts, K-12 arts education, and adult residential mental health and the arts. Each of these program areas addresses the vital role creativity can play in everyone’s life.

Preconference and Special Session Faculty

 Kwayera Archer’s combination of frequent international travels with her parents as well as being raised in both Jamaica and NYC was the beginning of what peeked her cultural curiosity. Developing a respect and deep passion for understanding and working in partnership with communities to reach to their desired outcomes became her quest. Kwayera was trained as a professional modern and ballet dancer, and later became the founder and CEO of the NYC-based Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy where she collaborated with the Brooklyn community for over 25 years to grow the organization from a minute budget to a multi-million dollar institution. Under her leadership, Ifetayo was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school time arts and humanities programs. She now travels the world sharing her insights on philanthropy and social responsibility, cultural intelligence, organizational transformation, mindful leadership, and community and employee engagement. Kwayera is a former trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the 2015 recipient of the National Guild’s Service Award. She is also an award-winning author and recognized speaker, sharing her expertise as a thought-leader with ESSENCE, Ebony, Daily News, Jamaica Observer and many other national and international media sources. In addition to focusing on her international consulting firm, Global Ase, today Kwayera is a visiting professor at multiple universities, serves as a director on boards, advises several philanthropic entities, social venture firms, and non-profit organizations and their leaders globally on best practices for building, leading and sustaining their organizations.

  • Transformative Leadership: Leading, Caring for and Preparing the People You Serve

Paula Smith Arrigoni has built her career on growing and strengthening nonprofit organizations. She recently co-founded a new independent film venture dedicated to supporting diverse, emerging filmmakers through grants and other programs called Multi Storied Pictures. Previously she was the COO of Youth Speaks. During her tenure Youth Speaks tripled in size and embarked on a series of new innovative national and international programs championing youth voice and cultural participation. In addition to running the business functions of the organization, she oversaw a $9M field-building initiative that provided grants, consulting services, and training to emerging arts and youth development organizations and leaders. Paula formerly ran the Bay Area program of Nonprofit Finance Fund, after serving as a lender/grantmaker for NFF and a community development arm of the US Treasury Department. Paula has been an independent consultant to and board member for many organizations across the Bay Area. She is currently the Treasurer of Camp Reel Stories, a media and film organization for teen girls.

  • Nonprofit Sustainability: Money and Mission

Ronnie Brooks is the founding director of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute, a program that provides a yearlong renewal experience for foundation and nonprofit organization leaders. Ronnie has extensive experience in the public and private sectors in Minnesota. She served as special assistant to the governor of Minnesota and as director of majority research for the Minnesota State Senate and has managed development projects for the mayors of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Ronnie was also vice president of the Keystone Center, executive director of the Saint Paul Downtown Council, and manager of community development and policy planning for the Dayton-Hudson (now Target) Corporation. Ronnie earned her bachelors at the University of Michigan and received her master in political science from Michigan State University.

  • CAELI Alumni Retreat – Refuse to Despair: Building Community, Generating Hope, Demonstrating Courage *for CAELI Alumni Only

Hodari B. Davis is the executive producer of the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, and the creative director of the Life is Living Campaign and Festival, organizing eco empowerment events in cities around the country including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York. As the national program director at Youth Speaks, Davis has been responsible for developing the Pedagogical Framework, the Service Model, the Oral Narrative Learning Standards, and the overall Program Design, since 2005. He is an award-winning educator who has taught at schools throughout California at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels, and facilitated classes on topics including but not limited to: African American History, Literacy, The History of Hip Hop Culture, Critical Pedagogy, Cultural and Ethnic Studies, Leadership Development, Diversity in Education, African American Poetry, and Youth Empowerment. Davis is currently the artistic director for Young Gifted and Black, a youth performance a repertory group that uses historic poetry and rap to teach African American History.In serves as an arts education consultant for the African American Male Achievement Initiative in Oakland, the Kuumba Lynx Half Pint Poetry Project in Chicago, and for Metaphor Houston, a BNV Affiliate in Houston, Texas.

  • Life is Living: The Creative Ecosystem in Action

 Dr. Derrick Gay is an internationally recognized consultant to educational, artistic, and philanthropic organizations around the world on issues of diversity, inclusion, and global citizenship. Gay collaborates with education thought leaders to foster empathy and enrich inclusion. He served as senior administrator at the Nightingale-Bamford School (NY); taught at the Groton School (MA), Wilmington Friends (DE), and The Masters School (NY); and served as dean of students at L’Academie de Paris in Paris, France. He is a proud graduate of Oberlin College (B.A. in romance languages), Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. in opera), and Columbia University (M.A., Klingenstein Program, educational leadership in independent schools). Gay recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research interests explored the ways in which social identity mediates the academic and social experience of students in schools.

  • Equity Frameworks: Community-Centered Organizational Leadership

 Shawn Ginwright is a leading national expert on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. Dr. Ginwright serves as the senior research associate at the Cesar Chavez Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco, CA and is also an associate professor of education in the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America, Black in School: Afrocentric Reform, Black Youth and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture, and co-editor of Beyond Resistance!: Youth Resistance and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America’s Youth.

  • Working in Trauma-Impacted Communities: Building the Capacity for Self-Care to Better Care for Others

Gregory Hodge
is a social change activist and organizational development consultant at Khepera Consulting. Working as a strategist, meeting designer, facilitator, and coach, he works with a range of groups from small non-profits and foundations to public agencies, particularly school districts. He has served as lead consultant on the Equal Voice for America’s Families Campaign, an initiative of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, two national initiatives. His clients include The California Endowment, the Association for Black Foundation Executives, Sierra Health Foundation, and Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Achievement. Gregory holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a law degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. As a leader in his community, Gregory served two four-year terms as a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education beginning in January 2000, including a year as president of the board. He served nine years on Workforce Investment Board, City of Oakland. In addition, he serves as the chief network officer for the Brotherhood of Elders Network, an intergenerational network of African-descent men.

  • Trauma-Informed Practice: Setting the Stage

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is chief of program and pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. ln the Fall of 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America’s Top Young lnnovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists.” He is the 2011 Alpert Award winner in Theater and in April 2012, he was one of 21 artists to be named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists. After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph has developed several poetically based works for the stage that have toured across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is the founding program director of the exemplary non-profit Youth Speaks, and is a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action.

  • Life is Living: The Creative Ecosystem in Action

Jan Kirsch is passionate about the arts and creative expression for children, youth, and community. She is the director of professional development at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles. Jan incorporates current research to create curriculum and presentations that are responsive to the needs of multiple varied groups. She has a BA from UC Berkeley and came to this work after 21 years as a professional dancer, teaching artist, educator, event producer and social justice activist.

  • Connecting Purpose, Paradigms, and Practice: Through-Lines to Moving Forward in the Workplace, Classroom, and Community

Nathan Majoros
, program director, is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and coordination of Lifetime Arts’ multiple national projects. He provides expert technical assistance to teaching artists, librarians, and other creative aging stakeholders, and routinely presents information about Lifetime Arts and the field of artful aging. Nathan is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where he received his master of arts in teaching and bachelor of fine arts degrees. Nathan has several years of experience in arts education curriculum development and is a practicing visual artist, primarily as a painter and a printmaker.

  • Catalyzing Creative Aging Institute

 Jan Masaoka is the CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide policy alliance of more than 10,000 nonprofits speaking to government, philanthropy, and the public at large. She is a leading writer and thinker on nonprofit organizations with particular emphasis on boards of directors, business planning, and the role of nonprofits in society. Her books include Best of the Board CafĂ© (Fieldstone), Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, co-author (Jossey Bass), and The Nonprofit's Guide to HR (Nolo Press). Jan founded and through 2015 wrote the Blue Avocado magazine, growing it to 64,000 subscribers. Prior to CalNonprofits, Jan served 14 years as executive director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, where she was named Nonprofit Executive of the Year by Nonprofit Times. She is an eight-time designee as one of the "Fifty Most Influential" people in the nonprofit sector nationwide and was named California Community Leader of the Year by Leadership California. Her volunteer work includes serving as chair of Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center and founding chair of Community Initiatives. She currently serves on the National Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector.

  • Nonprofit Sustainability: Money and Mission

 John McCann has more than 25 years experience in helping leaders work more effectively. His clients have ranged from the American Association of Retired Persons to the New York Youth Orchestra. In the area of innovation and strategy, McCann has worked with more than 300 of the nation’s leading cultural institutions including the Association of Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, Chicago Opera Theatre, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the National Symphony Orchestra. His clients within the philanthropic community have included the Wallace Foundation, Bush Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, Grantmakers in the Arts, Grantmakers in Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • CAELI Alumni Retreat - Refuse to Despair: Building Community, Generating Hope, Demonstrating Courage *for CAELI Alumni Only

Annie Meek Montgomery
, director of professional development at Lifetime Arts, is a master teaching artist and trainer. Annie leads the design and development of Lifetime Arts many professional development efforts. She facilitates trainings for a wide range of practitioners including teaching artists, librarians, arts organizations and funders. As a teaching artist, Annie has taught numerous creative aging memoir and performance workshops throughout the metropolitan region in public libraries and community settings. Additionally, she has taught for 15 years with such organizations like The New Victory Theatre, Disney Theatrical Production, Creative Theatrics, and others. She is an active theatre artist, as an actor, director, and playwright. Annie received her bachelors in acting from Boston University and her masters in educational theatre from New York University.

  • Catalyzing Creative Aging Institute

 Maura O’Malley is the CEO and co-founder of Lifetime Arts. She promotes the field of creative aging as a speaker and presenter at major national conferences and symposia including: The American Library Association, Grantmakers in Aging, Grantmakers in the Arts, and American Society on Aging. Maura has more than thirty years of experience in arts management; including program design and implementation, arts education, development, and community cultural work. She has informed policy and created innovative programming for adults and children with many premiere arts and educational organizations including the New York City Department of Education, Studio in a School Association, and Young Audiences. Maura graduated from Pratt Institute with a B.F.A. in painting and earned a masters of public administration in arts policy and planning from New York University.

  • Catalyzing Creative Aging Institute

Jerry Tello comes from a family of Mexican, Texan roots and was raised in South Central Los Angeles. He is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of fatherhood, family strengthening, community peace and mobilization, and culturally based violence prevention and intervention issues. Over the last thirty years, Tello has dedicated his efforts to preventing and healing the pain of relationship and community violence, teen pregnancy, fatherless-ness, and internalized oppression by speaking to over half a million people and training thousands of facilitators across the nation to address these issues. He is co-founder of the National Compadres Network (established in 1988) and the present director of the National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute. Tello has received the Presidential Crime Victims Service award, presented by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, two California Governor’s Awards for his violence prevention and intervention advocacy work, and the Ambassador of Peace award from Rotary International. As part of his continued work on peace, healing, and violence prevention he is presently working in numerous communities integrating a trauma and healing informed approach to violence prevention.

  • Trauma-Informed Practice: Setting the Stage

Chrissy Anderson-Zavala is a writer and educator from Salinas, California. She has worked as a teaching artist with WritersCorps, the Performing Arts Workshop, Educators for Fair Consideration, and UC Berkeley’s EAOP program, as well as served as the co-deputy director of Streetside Stories and the program and policy management consultant with the San Francisco Arts Commission. She was a recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s 2008 and 2010 Cultural Equity Individual Artist grants. She currently works as a teaching artist and education consultant in San Francisco, while pursuing a PhD in social and cultural contexts of education with designated emphases in critical race and ethnic studies and feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz.

  • High Impact Partnerships with K-12 Schools


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