(In alphabetical order by last name)
Director of Leadership Development
Ashley Hare (they/them) joins our team remotely from Phoenix, Arizona. Their career has shifted and expanded from stage management and teaching artistry, to arts therapy and arts administration. Now, they work to integrate wellness, joy, community organizing, elder and ancestral knowledge, and CYD youth-led practice together. They have facilitated programming within shelters for youth who are homeless, and in group homes, rehabilitation facilities, juvenile detention centers, public and private schools. They are a co-founder of InSite Consultants AZ, a racial equity group centering wisdom at the margins, and have served as arts director for city government and nonprofit arts organizations. Ashley remains local in Arizona to support Re:Frame Youth Arts Center as a co-founder and adult accomplice who shares leadership power with a 50% youth staff and 50% youth board. They also serve as a board member for Mass Liberation AZ, an organization working to abolish incarceration for youth and adults.
Chief Program Officer
Heather Ikemire, Ph.D., (she/her) is chief program officer at the National Guild. Heather works alongside the Guild's CEO to shape and implement a strategic vision for Guild programming, ensuring successful execution of strategic goals and alignment with institutional core values. Heather oversees the Guild's work in learning, leadership development, and information resources and plays a lead role in the development of strategic alliances, including the Guild's role as a backbone organization for the Creative Youth Development (CYD) National Partnership. The Partnership, which also includes Americans for the Arts and Mass Cultural Council, launched in 2016 to organize and accelerate cross-sector advancement of CYD. Prior to her current position, Heather served as the Guild’s marketing and communications director for seven years, and as public relations manager for the former Madison Repertory Theatre in Madison, WI. Her research on community arts education, theatre for youth, and creative youth development has appeared in various publications. She directed the development of the CYD National Action Blueprint and helped guide the development of the Guild’s highly-regarded resource “Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts.” She has a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College, and a Ph.D. in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University’s School of Film, Dance, and Theatre. Heather serves as secretary for the Rose Community Development Corporation in New Orleans, where she currently resides.
Chief Operating Officer
Alongside the executive director, Adam Johnston (he/him) provides leadership and ensures efficient administrative function and results in the areas of resource development, marketing and communications, finance and operations, and human resources. As an integral member of the senior management team, he will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement. Adam is a recent transplant from Philadelphia, where he proudly served as the director of strategic initiatives at Settlement Music School, one of the oldest and largest community music schools in the nation and a founding member of the Guild. At Settlement, Adam had the privilege of working closely with its CEO (and Guild Trustee) Helen Eaton and focused on building partnerships and creating a vision for collective impact with many other organizations in the city. Prior to working at Settlement, Adam spent time in California working with City Year Los Angeles and the Teaching Artist Guild, and for four years launched and managed an El Sistema music program at the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN), where he was fortunate enough to work closely with another Guild Trustee, Jeffry Walker. Adam has a degree in music from Yale University.
Membership and Operations Manager
Rangsey Keo (she/her), membership and operations manager, is a specialist in project management with a background in a diverse range of industries. While pursuing her B.B.A at Singapore Management University, she joined a coaching and development company as a project manager focused on creating and growing a community of people looking for development in leadership and relationship management. In her spare time, she worked as a professional life coach, helping others to improve interpersonal relations and time management. Her learning and abilities were carried over to the banking industry in Cambodia where she worked as branch performance analyst with Australia New Zealand Bank in Phnom Penh. Rangsey is an advocate of continuous learning and improvement, and looks to apply this thinking to the Guild’s operations team.
Jenina Podulka (she/they), communications manager, is a queer white latine born, raised, and living in Hudson County, NJ (occupied land of the Munsee Lenape people). Jenina comes from a family of artists, writers, growers, and teachers, which has shaped her belief in the alchemical power of storytelling to create new worlds. After earning their B.F.A. in Filmmaking from Montclair State University, they worked on several documentary films and tv shows before completing an intensive community organizing training through the Center for Community Leadership (CCL). For the next five years she worked at organizations fighting for food and housing justice—including Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), Community Food Action at New Settlement Apartments, and Just Food—always using writing and video as tools to push the work forward. Jenina aims to use communications to support the Guild’s mission and help ensure that all people can connect with their inherent creative power.
Kate Riley (she/her), development manager, brings more than 15 years of fundraising experience on behalf of youth, women, and families in New York City and Los Angeles. Most recently, she was a development officer for Children’s Aid's renowned Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. Prior to that, she was a grant writer at the YWCA of the City of New York, Osborne Association, and Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Los Angeles. A native (and one-term elected official) of Middletown, CT, she has a History degree from Wesleyan University, where she co-founded its first comedy improv troupe.
Member Services and Data Systems Manager
Claire Wilmoth (she/her) has been with the Guild since August 2005. A Seattle native, Claire came to New York from the Chicago area after completing her B.A. at Northwestern University, where she graduated with honors in 2005. While at Northwestern, Claire helped produce the Waa-Mu show, a nationally known original musical revue by and for Northwestern students. She has also worked for Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project and as a teaching artist for the Experience Arts Camp, both in Seattle.
Director of Conferences and Learning
Ivy Young (she/her) recognizes her interest in arts education as a natural expression of her artful upbringing. As a young person, she had many creative opportunities both in school and at home, and so in her undergraduate studies she began her work as an arts educator by shadowing teaching artists and crafting her own visual art lessons in New York, Jerusalem, and Dharamshala, India (she attended an international school). Later, she continued artful teaching as an elementary school educator (self-contained, K-5 classrooms) in progressive schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. After about a decade in the formal education environment, she returned to school for Museum Studies and later contributed to schools, museums, and arts organizations as a learning design consultant. From her most recent work with professionals across the country, crafting project-based curricula for young learners, designing and implementing professional development programs, and engaging stakeholders in collaborative workshops, she is thrilled to be able to weave all of her professional experiences together and put roots down in her new role at the National Guild.
As a CYD National Partner, Guild supports the work of the Partnership and many of its projects and events, including: the CYD National Blueprint, the National Young Artists' Summit and Leaders Network, and the Peer Learning Network project. The CYD National Youth Coordinator is a grant-funded position on behalf of the partnership; Ashley Hare, Director of Leadership Development, supports the Coordinator position and these national initiatives.
CYD National Youth Coordinator, Creative Youth Development National Partnership
Paula Yamilet Alvarado Ortega (she/her) is 20 years old and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently enrolled at Phoenix College, working on her Criminal Justice degree and Theatre degree. As well as being the CYD National Partnership's CYD National Youth Coordinator, she also works at Rising Youth Theatre as a transforming artistic collaborator, and is a Co-founder and staff member at RE:frame Youth Art Center. She is an alumni of the 2019 National Young Artists Summit. She loves and admires that space, because young artists across the country come together and hold space for each other. The space that is created brings communities together from different forms of arts and leadership. Within all her work as an artist and community organizer, she focuses on completely shifting the way young people are included and valued. Alongside her peers, she ignites new norms where young people are recognized as leaders, compensated for their time, and work alongside adults equally.