Festival Team


Dale Heinen

Executive and Artistic Director


Jeffrey Pence


Yazmin M

Yazmin Maldonado

Operations and Communications Manager 


Josy Jones

Associate Producer & Director of Community Building

Untitled design(3)

David Matheny

Digital Media Coordinator

Untitled design (4)

Kate Newsome

Development Director/Inbloom Consultant


Palmer Event Solutions

Production + Event Logistics


Jetpack Group

Website Design

CLE Consulting Firm

CLE Consulting Firm

Accounting + Professional Services

Board of Directors

Bloomberg Photo

Jon Bloomberg

(President) Attorney,
Squire Patton Boggs

Luis Cartagena

Luis Cartagena

(Treasurer) President/CEO, Cartagena CPA & Consultants, LLC

Felicia Phillips BW

Dr. Felicia Phillips

(Secretary) Master Business Strategist and CEO Of PPICW


Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley (ex officio)

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Dept. of State, United States Ambassador (Ret.) 

Joe Cimperman

Joe Cimperman

President, Global Cleveland


Rachel Costanzo

Director & Senior Consultant, The Acuity Group

Patrick Espinosa

Patrick Espinosa

Managing Partner, Sus Abogados Latinos 


Charlotte Fowler

Community Leader


Audra T. Jones

CEO, Krystal Klear Communications


Dan Moulthrop

Chief Executive Officer, City Club of Cleveland

O'Bryan headhsot

Megan O'Bryan

VP, Development and President, Tri-C Foundation

Jenny Pykett(1)

Jenny Pykett

Senior Procurement Specialist

Rab Razzak

Rab Razzak

Palliative Care Physician and Internist, University Hospitals


Terry Stewart

Advisory Board, The Museum of Jazz & Art (Oakland CA); Advisory Board, The Louisiana Music and Heritage Experience; Former CEO and President, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Former President and COO of Marvel Comics 70


Felton Thomas, Jr.

Executive Director of Cleveland Public Library

Founding Advisory Council

Fred Bidwell
Executive Director,
FRONT International

Raymond Bobgan
Executive Artistic Director,
Cleveland Public Theatre

Carrie Carpenter
SVP, Corporate Affairs
Huntington National Bank

Kathleen Cerveny
Poet, Artist, Arts Advocate,
Faculty member at Baldwin Wallace

Jason Drake
Education and Workforce Development,
Dan T. Moore Company

Itzik Giuli
Former Artistic Director,
Israel Festival

David Goodman
Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, (Ret.)
Former Board President at Playhouse Square

Roe Green
Arts Patron, Community Activist,
CEO of the Roe Green Foundation

Marvin Krislov
Former President of Oberlin College,
Current President of PACE Univ., NYC

Neil Mohney
Entrepreneur and Co-Founder,
NABER Capital

Nathan Motta
Artistic Director,
Dobama Theatre

Joy Roller
Fundraising Strategist and Grant Writer

Giovanna Sardelli
Director of New Works and New Works Festival at Theatre Works, Silicon Valley

Charna Sherman
Attorney, Philanthropist,
Civic Leader

Larry Simpson
Provost at Berklee College of Music, Boston
Founder of Tri-C Jazz Fest, Cleveland

Terrence Spivey
Former Artistic Director of Karamu House, Founding Director of Powerful Long Ladder, and Founder of the Tamir Reach Program

Gina Vernaci
President and CEO,
Playhouse Square (Ret.)

Graham Veysey
Developer and Entrepreneur,
Co-owner of Mancan

Thomas M. Welsh
Managing Director, Big Ears Festival

Pierre van der Westhuizen
Director, Gilmore Festival and Awards

Founder Bios

Dale Heinen is a director/dramaturge who has directed new plays in Chicago, Glasgow, Cleveland, New York and London, and has workshopped plays in Tokyo and Brazil. Her previous experience includes seven years as a dramaturge and then Artistic Associate at Soho Theatre in London’s West End. She also served on literary panels for leading London theatres and has judged international playwriting competitions. Prior to that, for seven years, Dale was co-Artistic Director of Footsteps, an equity theatre in Chicago, and was listed three times as one of Chicago’s “Best Directors” in the trade paper, PerformInk.  Dale has directed over thirty professional productions; her work has been recognized by the Jeff Awards and After Dark Awards (both Chicago), and she was the recipient of the Arches Award for Directors (Glasgow). She has a BA from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and an MFA in theatre directing from Middlesex University (London), where she studied international theatre in London, Moscow, Madrid, and Bangkok.

Jeffrey Pence is a Cleveland-based filmmaker and screenwriter.  He produced the award-winning feature Kitchen Hamlet.  He co-founded the production company Art+Practice, whose web-based series of documentary shorts about ordinary, yet extraordinary, individuals in Northeast Ohio, The Amerikans, has become an international cult sensation, with viewers in over 135 countries (one million in China alone).  Currently, Art+Practice is producing its first feature, Amerika, with principal photography in Japan already completed.  Jeff is also writing scripts for future screen and stage projects.  He is Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of English at Oberlin College, where he cofounded the Cinema Studies Program and served as Director for five years.  His writings on narrative and culture have appeared in prestigious journals and collections worldwide. Jeff’s play, Omena, was produced as part of Test Flight at Cleveland Public Theatre.