(In alphabetical order by last name)
Deputy Director of Equity and Human 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.
Learning and Engagement Manager
Jasmine Huff (she/her) joins our team remotely from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. An intuitive visual artist, Jasmine Huff started her career early. As the product of an artistic family, she exhibited and sold her art, photography and jewelry in her family’s gallery, Huff Art Studio. At nineteen, she graduated from Salem College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Media Studies. She continued her studies at Northwestern University where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media in 2016. In recent years, she has been teaching film courses, exhibiting her photography and assisting with art projects within her local community. Jasmine aims to bring her history as an artist and educator to her position as the Learning & Engagement Manager for the Guild.
Deputy Director of Learning and Engagement
Heather Ikemire, Ph.D., (she/her) is a writer and theater artist, deep lover of nature, and current deputy director of learning and engagement at the National Guild where she works collaboratively to shape programming and ensure positive outcomes in the areas of learning and networking, communications, research, and publications. Heather holds a deep belief that creative agency can lead to healing, community connection, and systemic change. During her tenure with the Guild, she has played a lead role in developing and sustaining strategic alliances to advance community arts education, including organizing and accelerating broad-based coalitions to raise the visibility and impact of creative youth development and creative aging nationally. She directed the development of the CYD National Action Blueprint, helped guide the development of the Guild’s highly-regarded resource “Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts," and has led the Guild's large-scale, multi-year investment in Catalyzing Creative Aging. Heather 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. She served for many years as an advisor for YAYA in New Orleans and as Secretary for the Rose Community Development Corporation, which developed the Rose Collaborative, a redevelopment effort that supports the arts, education, and community on Bayou Road in the historic Treme neighborhood in New Orleans. She recently moved to New Hampshire where she serves on the local school board and enjoys hiking, reading poetry, and having dance parties in the living room with her husband and three children.
Deputy Director of Operations
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.
Natalia Vilela (she/they) is excited to join the National Guild team remotely from Long Beach, New York. Natalia is a knowledge-hungry Peruvian-American with a longtime interest in graphic design and community-empowering initiatives. She strives to amplify such initiatives via communicative visuals, and aims to promote work that captivates those who proudly strengthen others. One of their most recent experiences within the nonprofit realm involves working as the Communications Assistant for the migrant rights nonprofit Justice in Motion. Natalia holds a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University and a certificate from the Shillington School of Graphic Design.
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.