Cheri Walsh | Executive Director
Originally from Southern California, Cheri began her studies and career as a ballet and jazz dancer, working throughout the United States and Europe. She later went on to build a strong record of over fifteen years in non-profit leadership positions. Before joining ETA, she served as Managing Director of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College and prior to that was the Director of Development at North Carolina Dance Theatre. She is a volunteer master dance teacher at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and recently collaborated with the dance and film students to create a video to Tony's Steppin' Out With My Baby to honor his 90th birthday. Cheri holds a B.A. from U.C.L.A in Political Science and in 2017 completed an Education Policy Program fellowship at Columbia University.
Faith Childs-Davis Ed.D | Director, L.A. Office
The Chicago native sees herself as a nurturer of creative talent. In addition to raising two artistically talented sons of her own (filmmaker Kahlil Joseph and painter Noah Davis), the former public school teacher was an early pioneer of arts integration in Seattle Public Schools during her 15-year tenure, beginning in 1984. After retiring from the classroom, Faith relocated to NYC, where as a sittings editor she directed and collaborated with creative talent in the production of photo shoots for Essence Magazine. In 2005, she relocated to Los Angeles and joined The Music Center as a producer of the nonprofit's annual Bravo Awards, which recognizes exemplary arts educators in LA County. In addition to her current role at ETA, Faith continues to be involved in personal creative endeavors as well as arts education consulting. She holds a Doctorate in Education from U.C.L.A.
Karin Venegas | Director of Development & Communications
A native New Yorker, Karin's artistic life began as a young child performing with off-off Broadway repertory theatre companies before majoring in Drama at LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts (better known as the school from "Fame"). She holds her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College with a double major in Sociology and Spanish. Prior to ETA, Karin worked as a Writing Instructor at the Bronx Institute of G.E.A.R. U.P., an out-of-school program preparing high-poverty teens to enter and succeed in college, and she freelanced with Hudson Heights Partners, authoring grant proposals, case studies, and promotional materials for their various nonprofit clientele. She continues her work on creative projects outside of ETA and most recently produced and directed an award-winning, documentary film, "Unafraid: Voices from the Crime Victims Treatment Center," with distribution from Women Make Movies.
Hannah Berson | Director of Programs & Assessment
Hannah has worked continuously in arts education for over ten years. Prior to ETA, she managed after-school teen apprenticeship programs in the performing, visual, literary and culinary arts at Gallery 37 in Chicago, which later became After School Matters. She has also worked with the education programs at New York City Opera and New York's Children's Museum of the Arts, as well as in music and visual arts classrooms in New York and Chicago public schools. Hannah holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago, and she is an alumna of Coro Leadership New York.
Ken White | Programs Manager
Ken has worked with youth in the arts for well over a decade, most recently as a teaching artist in NYC and Hartford, CT public schools through such agencies as LEAP, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and Artists Collective. He has also spent much of his career as a touring musician and educator, participating in several US Department of State-sponsored tours throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America as the musical director and drummer of a live hip hop band. Ken holds his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and his Masters from the Gallatin School at New York University, focusing on the relationship between music and dance.
Dori Alper, LMSW | Program Manager, Lang Arts Scholars
The only thing greater than Dori’s passion for theatre is her actual playbill collection. Dori majored in Human Services at the University of Delaware, with a focus on children, families and communities, and she studied clinical social work at the Graduate School of Social Work at Touro College. She joined ETA from CUNY Kingsborough Community College, where she worked as an academic counselor focused on retention initiatives, student wellness, personal counseling, and student success. Dori serves on the Associate Board of SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education). She cares deeply about education and youth development.
Yolanda Hester | L.A. Program Manager
For over a decade Yolanda has been committed to helping young people attain their educational and artistic goals. Most recently she served as Associate Director of Admissions at Art Center College of Design in Pasdena, CA and at ArtWorxLA developed the Creative Careers Mentorship Program, partnering artistic high school students with working artists. She has also worked with Atlantic Theater Company, Women's Project and Productions, and at Cornerstone Theater, connecting communities to art.
Alia Tejeda | Arts Internship Coordinator
Alia first began her career in arts education while still a student at Talent Unlimited High School, when she participated in ETA's Apprenticeship Program, placed in the education department at Roundabout Theatre Company. She later worked with Lincoln Center Education, and as an arts educator with Union Settlement, and she served as a mentor for the Bloomberg Arts and Culture internship program. She is a graduate and president awardee from SUNY Purchase College’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, having earned her B.A in Theatre and Performance and Arts Management. Alia is still engaged in her craft and most recently performed in the new musical "Gravity of Me Gone" at the off-broadway theatre Ars Nova.
Arielle Jennings | Arts Internship Coordinator
Arielle's passion for art and arts education began at an early age. As a student at High School of Art & Design, she participated in the AIGA/NY Mentoring Program and fostered a relationship with her mentor that has lasted 10+ years. She went on to study Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to joining ETA, she interned at the artist-run AS220 Printshop, and she briefly worked as a candy maker at Papabubble NY before transitioning back into arts education, teaching as an Arts Coordinator for The Boys' Club of New York. Outside of ETA, Arielle is currently Head Illustrator at The Tempest Co., a women-run media company, and a volunteer at Project Attica, a non-profit that uses artivism to teach others about social justice issues.