What does being a leader in Urban Arts Academy mean to me?


Judi LinderAs a member of the Urban Arts Board for a couple of years and now Chair, it is very important to me that we (the Board) work to ensure the financial viability of Urban Arts and also address the needs of the neighborhood families served by Urban Arts Academy.

This means being actively supportive of the mission of the organization through providing support to the Executive Director, using whatever means we have to promote the program and secure funds to support the budget, learning about the community we serve, and volunteering on various committees.  I have particularly enjoyed being involved in the Program Committee which has included meetings with the whole Urban Arts staff.  I am always impressed by the staff’s creativity, energy, and concern for all the children in the programs.

Judi Linder
Chair, Urban Arts Academy Board

Board Members

Judi Linder—Board Chair
AFF: Crossroads Foundation

Ryan Davenport—Vice Chair
AFF: DavenPR

It’s a privilege to serve on the board of Urban Arts Academy because I’m so proud of this organization and its impact on the lives of children and families.  I’ve seen firsthand how my own children have been inspired and influenced by their exposure to the arts through the UAA preschool program.  Talented UAA teachers and staff are dedicated to helping children learn, explore and express themselves through art.   Urban Arts Academy is truly an asset to the community.

Deb Paulsrud—President
AFF: Crossroads Foundation

I love being on the Board of Urban Arts because I can use my talents and resources to support a quality organization that provides non-tradtitional arts programming to ALL neighborhood children with the belief that, through the arts, individual and community change is possible.

Terrie Thompson—Secretary
AFF: Thompson Consulting Group Inc

Serving on the board lets me contribute in my own way to let all these wonderful neighborhood children develop their love of the arts, and their sense of individual value; every time I see them it brings a smile to my face and I know I’m in the right place!

Terry Pressley—Treasurer
AFF: Foley/Mansfield

It’s the moment during the Annual Gala when I’m watching the video of the students and teachers and see the tenderness in the teacher’s interactions with the kids, the pride in the children’s eyes and the confidence in their voices that I know what I do as a Board Member is worthwhile and important.

Ann Layne
AFF: Child Psychologist

Having a child enrolled at UAA’s preschool, I have been a direct recipient of the many gifts UAA offers to children and families.  As a child psychologist, I have been so impressed by the sensitivity, caring, experience, and skills that the teachers at UAA possess. I joined the board to in the hope that I could support this organization that has meant so much to our family.

Karina Altoro
AFF: Community Volunteer

Urban arts has been a blessing to our family and a place for our youngest child to find his love for arts. We are a blended, trilingual, multicultural family. I work part time as a Youth Counselor at the YWCA of Mpls. I’m happy to be able to  work in the same community I live. In my work with Latino families, I empower and educate them to fight the health disparities that affect them. I am passionate about my work towards eliminating racism and educating and creating awareness in others  about the impact that historical trauma has on the population. I’m honored and excited to be part of he board.

Naarah Turner

AFF: Community Volunteer

I proudly serve as a board member for Urban Arts Academy because of the diversity of artists and mediums UAA exposes its students to is remarkable! Urban Arts allows students to explore diverse ways of expression and encourages them to have a broad perspective of interpretation.  

Felecia Boone
AFF: Hennepin County

I love that Urban Arts Academy provides a judgment free space for children to explore who they are and the innate talent they possess!

Brad Froslee
AFF: Calvary Lutheran Church

A powerful image in the Christian tradition is of Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me.”  While Urban Arts is not a religious organization, what I see happening at Urban Arts is that all children are welcomed, celebrated, and equipped to learn, grow, and live vibrantly.  Each day the staff and Board at Urban Arts live and work to make sure that children know that there is a place where they are honored and cherished.  As I Board member I am gifted to be part of an atmosphere that celebrates creativity, wonder, education . . . and the deep welcome of children.

Jennifer Davidson McCarthy
AFF : Rahn Elementary School of Arts & Technology

Serving on the board of the Urban Arts Academy gives me the opportunity to experience the deep importance and impact of arts-embedded education. Creativity, confidence-building, and the nurturing of self-expression are evident in every aspect of the UAA community – tools for successful, happy lives.

Brenda Lockwood

AFF: Community Volunteer

I started attending the UAA Gala event about six or seven years ago with a friend, who is a former UAA Board member. I was almost immediately rapt by the energy of this place, this organization. I have dedicated my professional life to helping parents and their children build healthy and strong bonds with one another and their community. Witnessing the creative opportunities available to children and families through UAA, and seeing the difference it makes in the lives of children, their family and community,  fills up my cup and gives me energy to keep moving forward every day. I am honored to be a member of the UAA Board, it is one small way I can help keep the energy moving.

Markeshia Truzy

AFF: Community Volunteer

Over the past three years both of my children have attended all of the programs UAA offers. UAA has given them a safe and caring place to express themselves through art. All of the teachers, staff and interns encourage the students to be themselves in a judgment- free zone. Many students are not offered art education in school but UAA is showing our community how powerful art can be in the lives of our young people. As a member of the UAA board I hope to support UAA as much as they have supported my family over the years.

Staff—Executive Director
Tamar Ghidalia, ext 215 Executive Director
TGhidalia@urbanartsacademy.org