& Executive Director
Rozz Nash is a musician, a vocalist/composer, a choreographer, a theater director, and has been a teaching artist in New York City and the SF Bay Area public and private schools for over 25 years. She serves as the Founding Director of Performing and Visual Arts at Roses in Concrete Community School for four years. Previously she was the Artistic Director and creator of the Brooklyn based Caras Youth Contemporary Dance Ensemble--a youth centered social justice and contemporary dance company, the Brooklyn Performing Arts Institute--a year round arts academy for youth ages 13-21, and Co-founder (with Imani Uzuri and Tomasia Kastner) of WERISE--a women’s artist collective that supported entrepreneurship and arts-based business start-ups.
She has directed and choreographed musicals and dance performances for Columbia University's Varsity Show, Marymount High School Theatre and Summer drama camp, El Puente Leadership Program, Way Off Broadway Acting School, and The Possibility Project--a national youth development organization. Rozz has facilitated music, theatre and dance residencies for arts organizations such as Creative Music Programs and Learning through an Expanded Arts Program in over 50 schools in NYC for over 20 years. She is also a partner and director of Creative Arts and Music Programs, one of Brooklyn's first multidisciplinary arts camps currently in its 11 year stint. She is an internationally touring artist having performed with various music groups including Groove Collective, Slavic Soul Party, Living Colour, and DJ Towatei as well as her own projects COULON, Red Lotus, and her children's music project The Rozz & Val Show. She is currently working on a new solo project. Rozz is also a co-founder and former Board Chair of Art & Abolition, a Kenyan based organization that gives arts education and life support to young girls that have been sexually abused and exploited due to poverty.
Director of Teaching
Ron E. Miles is a Modern Language Professor and Curriculum Specialist who fosters cross-cultural learning, social justice and tolerance for diversity. For nearly two decades he has served South Florida's public and private schools as a volunteer, preK-12 classroom teacher, college lecturer, curriculum leader, education consultant and school principal. Currently, he commutes to Leogane, Haiti where he is developing an ESL program for graduate and undergraduate nursing students. His qualifications include an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Science degree in International and Intercultural Education, and a graduate certificate in African-New World Studies each from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Ron E. also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature and Language from Columbia University in New York City. Currently, as a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, Ron E. investigates the intersections between Language, Literacy, and Culture and analyzes the pedagogical implications for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) including Speakers of various Social Dialects and Vernaculars.
Moreover, Ron E. loves to dance, choreograph, act, model, travel, cook, compete in triathlons, and speak “Ebonics”, English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with his friends, colleagues and students just for fun or to facilitate learning.
Director of Media
Safahri Ra Hendrix is a hip hop educator, emcee, after school program director, Katrina survivor, and full time Arts Academy Instructor, who over the past 15 years has built a career by teaching, workshops with teachers, taking over schools, innovating after school programs, aiding principals, creating summer camps, presenting in other states, panels, opening up new schools, performing & touring internationally in schools, coaching young artists, and eventually starting his own Hip Hop company which seemed like the natural next step to take…
So now after countless albums, stages, tours, films and presentations, Safahri is launching his life love and dream company Pangea to partner with Arts Academy back at home base in the Bay Area with the support of all his family and friends!
Director of Communications & Marketing
Juanita Taylor has over 10 years of experiences of owning multiple businesses and navigating the demand of online interactions to operate and market them. In, 2019 she brought those talents to The People's Conservatory to create an online presence that reflects the amazing multi- cultural arts programing TPC is bringing to the Bay Area & beyond.
Amani Jade serves The People's Conservatory in various roles, as a Master Teaching Artist, Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistance. She has helped to build and maintain after-school programming, homeschooling, and school-wide services spanning across 10 campuses. Perhaps most notably supporting the KOLA Production and in the major shift from in-person to online learning in order to keep families, young artists, and school communities connected to our creative healing and abilities.
OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Kelley Nayo-Jahi currently serves as Director of Geekwise Academy Oakland in addition to running two small businesses: Nayo Partners and Body Butter by Kelley. In recent years, she has been an integral team member for several start-ups, including Landed, Uptima Business Bootcamp and Qeyno Labs.
Following a 14 year upward trajectory in the commercial insurance industry that took her to Philadelphia, Baltimore and San Francisco, Kelley owned and operated a diverse array of businesses (retail sales, personal services and residential real estate). This background developed her capacity to be an effective, empathetic and focused leader, combining a mix of corporate and entrepreneurial experience.
Kelley holds a BA in Economics from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and an MBA in finance from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. A 22 year Oakland resident, she lives with her husband and they continue to hold space for their young adult offspring.
Kristian Andreas Akseth is a San Francisco native and the son of immigrant parents. He has worked extensively in California in the designing and engineering in the fields of ultrasonics, civil engineering and currently is developing interactive theaters and tools for the burgeoning virtual/augmented reality space. He is also an active founder and or member of numerous historical societies and benevolent groups organized to assist youth and veterans.
Rachel Newmann is a Bay Area-based writer whose work focuses on mindfulness, joy, and justice. She is the author of Not Quite Nirvana, which was selected for Best Buddhist Writing 2012. Her work has appeared in various anthologies as well as in national magazines including the New York Times, Shambhala Sun, The Village Voice and AlterNet.
Rachel is the Associate Publisher of Shambhala Publications.
Amy Kisch is an independent art consultant, curator, cultural producer, strategic specialist, and community organizer. Her expertise includes arts programming, development, marketing / PR, publishing, and collection management. Ms. Kisch previously ran Sotheby’s global VIP program for the auction house’s top clients—curating, producing, and marketing VIP programming, including the Sotheby’s Preferred Museum Programme, Art Fair Programme, and The Economist Lecture series in cities including New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris Chicago, and Hong Kong. While at Sotheby’s, Ms. Kisch concurrently held the roles of Executive Director and Corporate + Community Liaison for the Williamsburg Gallery Association in Brooklyn—developing programming and partnerships with, and for, area galleries, non-profits, artists, corporate, and government agencies. Kisch also previously served as Director of Partnerships + Strategic Initiatives at the San Francisco Bay Area tech / science / art residency, Stochastic Labs. Having spent six years in clinical and community social work, her projects are underscored by efforts to democratize access within the art world, while upholding integrity and quality in curatorial vision and programming.
Kusum Crimmel’s work is to inspire people to live more deeply and firmly into accountability and integrity, thereby accessing higher levels of joy and embodied love. She is a facilitator of transformational change and creates space for truth, (re)conciliation, and healing to reclaim our humanity and the humanity of others. She has spent nearly two decades working with teenagers in non-profits and public schools. Eleven of those years were spent at Oakland Tech High School, where she built up a vibrant and highly acclaimed, peer-based Restorative Justice program. She is an LCSW, has 10 years of rape-crisis counseling experience with San Francisco Women Against Rape and more than eight years of training with Generative Somatics.
She has facilitated workshops & presentations in conferences such as the White Privilege Conference, Loving Decision Conference, and the National Association of Community & Restorative Justice National Conference, and organizations such as Japanese Community Youth Council, California Institute of Integral Studies, SEEDS, Seneca Center, SOAR for Youth, The People’s Conservatory, the San Quentin Prison Interfaith Restorative Justice Roundtable, Head Royce School, Earthjustice, Mission Preparatory School, SEEDS Conflict Resolution Center, and Fred Finch Youth Center. She is a co-lead with the teen program at Heart & Soul Center of Light, and has just launched two new businesses, Dissecting Whiteness and FacingIn (a restorative justice collaborative).
Kusum is a single parent to an eleven-year-old singer, dancer and budding actress, an auntie to a bright and courageous toddler and an ongoing mentor to countless young people who she has connected with over the last seventeen years. Dance is her favorite form of therapy and she loves to laugh until her belly hurts.
OUR BOARD OF ADVISORS
Kerry Clark Speake
Senior Design Director of the Art Department at Nike
Dr. Antwi Akom
Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab
Founder & CEO, More Distribution
Former Dean of Students, Columbia University
Founder, Double Discovery Center
Chief Program Officer, ACLU of Northern CA
American Journalist, Producer and Radio personality, "Sway in the Morning", "Sways Universe"
Senior and Founding Rabbi of IKAR
Director of Finance and Operations at Cast
CEO, Pocket Casts
Former EVP, iHeartMedia
CEO, Flight Design
Director of Business Development, Google
June Kitagawa Sakamoto
Senior Assistant Dean, Hastings Law School