Mitzi Cohen, McKinsey & Company
Will DuBose, Will DuBose Design
Cathy Elkies, Phillips
Lois Gelernt, Manhattan Country School
Samantha Gilbert, Ford Foundation
Dr. Christopher-John Godfrey, Pace University
Rob Krulak, Acme Projects LLC
Kevin Lee, Treasurer, AIG
Karen C. Liu, Community Leader
Risa Meyer, Style Simple
Edwina Meyers, NYC Administration for Children's Services (Ret.)
Bevy Smith, Host of BEVELATIONS on SiriusXM Radio & Page Six TV Co-host
Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Henry Luce Foundation
Ahmed Yearwood, Y INTERACT
Executive Director of Cool Culture since 2007, Candice has devoted her career to improving the wellbeing educational opportunities and life outcomes for children and families from historically marginalized communities. Previously, she served as Director of Child Care and Head Start Collaboration at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, and as Senior Policy Associate for Child Care, Education and Youth Development at Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, NYC’s premier child advocacy organization. Candice has received the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Extraordinary Women award, has an MS in Urban Planning from the New School for Social Research, received her B.A. from Oberlin College and in 2010 became a graduate of the Executive Level Program at Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. In October of 2015, she was appointed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio as a member of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and also sits on the NYC Department of Education’s Arts Committee to the Panel of Educational Policy.
Jon Diep is the Development Coordinator at Cool Culture. He has a background in grant writing, community engagement and outreach, special events, and administration. Jon comes from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the nation's largest nonprofit dedicated to ending colorectal cancer. His work has been centered on serving marginalized communities, demonstrated by his roles with the District Office of Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims and the Montgomery County Public Defender's Office. Jon is a Philly suburb native and graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and Global Studies with a concentration in Economics from Temple University.
Tracey Greenidge is the Director of Development at Cool Culture and brings a diverse background of experience in fundraising and arts administration to her role. Before joining Cool Culture, Tracey was the Development Director at Partnership with Children (PWC) and its subsidiary, The Center of Arts Education (CAE). Tracey led all aspects of PWC's and CAE's Development Departments and secured large federal and city grants. She also sat on PWC's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Previously, Tracey was the Development Manager at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) and a grant writer at Hudson Guild. She has also held various roles at well-known arts organizations in the United Kingdom and New York City and co-produced a major cultural festival in Barbados. Tracey has over 15 years of professional dance experience that allowed her to travel internationally, performing and teaching dance to young children, inner-city youth, and adults. She has also won several dance awards. Tracey received her MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University and a BA with honors in Arts Management from London South Bank University. She is the proud mother of two children and sits on the after-school committee of a New York City public school.
Tammy Mahone is the Assistant Director of Family Programs at Cool Culture and brings years of experience as an art educator. Her life’s purpose as an artist, educator and activist is to transform, heal and empower the communities she serves. Tammy has organized and facilitated many art workshops and family events in community-based organizations and schools. She is a master art teacher and served as an Integrative Art Specialist at Ember Charter School in Brooklyn. While at Ember, she led a team of art teachers and language specialists and managed art programming for families. She received a B.A. in Art Education from Southern University at New Orleans and a Master of Science in Art Education from Pratt Institute.
Adriana Herrera Perhamus is the Program Coordinator at Cool Culture. She has a background in community organizing and arts administration. Her work is driven by a mission to see the world become more equitable for young people. Before joining Cool Culture, she worked as the Community Programs Fellow with NEW INC, an arts and design incubator initiative of the New Museum. Adriana was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She holds a B.A from Eugene Lang College, where she graduated with a degree in Culture & Media and Race & Ethnicity studies.
Kanika Srinivasan is the Senior Director of Operations and Strategy at Cool Culture. She has a diverse professional background in local and international community development, program implementation, partnership management, and operations. Kanika comes to us from Citizen Schools where she served as the Director of External Engagement and led her department to create sustainable partnerships, mobilize volunteers, ensure stakeholder satisfaction, and deliver high-quality programming for students. Prior to Citizen Schools, she served as an Indicorp Fellow in Western India concentrating on agricultural development and public health in tribal communities. She also worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in the Corporate Program, as well as in the Executive Office as the Special Assistant to the President. Kanika graduated from Bucknell University with a double major in International Relations and Spanish.
Tina Shoulders is a creative technologist with over 15 years experience spearheading teams in the design and execution of programs and technology that advocate for equity in education, health and design. Tina's career started as a freelance designer creating textiles for everyone from Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart and Calvin Klein to launching her own brand that was sold in the states and overseas. She then forayed into tech where she found a love for creating user experiences and apps that supported disenfranchised communities. Tina has a degree in Design and Merchandising, she is a designer, content creator and storyteller.
Sam Wenc is Program Manager at Cool Culture. His background has centered around cultural planning, arts and media management, and community outreach. Most recently, he worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston as a member of their Arts and Culture Department, where he promoted creative community development and equity in cultural production. He also has an array of experience working with youth in a variety of educational settings. Sam graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. As a lifelong musician, Sam has toured nationally and operates a record label in his free time.
As principal of SEW Consulting, Susan Wilcox collaborates in cultivating liberatory education initiatives in the United States, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean that center dignity and justice and align with the mission at hand. Her clients include community based organizations, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and foundations. She is a co-founder of Free Minds Free People (a bi-annual national conference focused on social justice education), a Fulbright alumnae (with a teaching and research appointment at the University of Ghana), a former Co-Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol where she created Sister Sol, and she has held teaching positions at various colleges. Susan is an artist (photography, design, textile arts) and says this practice informs her work as an educator.
JJ Lind is a Brooklyn-based artist, arts manager, and nonprofit consultant specializing in fundraising, program development, organizational planning and process, and change management. In addition to serving as Interim Director of Development at Cool Culture, JJ previously served as the first Executive Director of Abraham.In.Motion (AIM), 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Kyle Abraham’s Bessie Award-winning dance company, and as the first Executive Director of The Civilians, where he oversaw the operations of this acclaimed investigative theater company, including all aspects of finance, development, administration, and production. Prior to his leadership roles at these two highly innovated and respected companies, JJ served as the Director of Strategic Integration for New York Live Arts. In this role, he worked closely with Live Arts leadership to manage the merger and integration of its founding partners, Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. JJ has served on the faculty of Bard College teaching Arts Administration to its Junior/Senior Dance and Theater majors and has been a guest lecturer at Brooklyn College and SITI Conservatory. A native of Vinita, Oklahoma, JJ is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies.
Ayoka Wiles-Abel is Program Officer, Culture and Art, Open Society Foundations, and a former Senior Director of Programs and Innovation at Cool Culture. She has over twenty years of background experience in the arts, dance, culture, and education. Ayoka has worked with several community-based organizations integrating the arts, literacy, spirituality and cultural education in programming for youth and adults. She is seasoned nonprofit professional with over 20 years of experience in programs, finance, evaluation, and fundraising. She served as the first Associate Director of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy and then returned to serve as the Associate Executive Director/Interim Director of Finance for 5 years. While at Ifetayo, she also was a dance teacher/coach and managed an award-winning youth ensemble which received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama. Ayoka most recently served as Grants Director and Director of Programs and Strategies at the Brooklyn Arts Council. She received a B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Milano Graduate School of Management and Policy, New School. Additionally, she has a Nonprofit Management Certificate from Columbia Business School, Institute of Nonprofit Management.
Cathleen Wiggins is Director of the Leadership in Technology and the Arts Program at Bank Street College of Education, which is a collaborative Master's degree program with Parsons New School of Design and Sarah Lawrence College. Cathleen is also a member of the Museum Education faculty at Bank Street. A former public early childhood and elementary school teacher and theater artist, she brings her life long love of the arts and education to her many professional endeavors. She is passionate about museum education, the transformative power of the arts in education, and to minimizing the success and opportunity gap for our nation's children.
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