Ms. Womble is a proven leader with more than 15 years of experience in arts administration and education. She has served as Executive Director of Arts for Learning since 2006. Under her leadership, she led the organization through a significant period of growth and transition, increasing the budget from $1.6 million to $2.5 million in one year as a result of program expansions and evaluation initiatives. Before becoming Executive Director, she was Arts for Learning’s founding Arts Program Director. In this role, Ms. Womble developed and produced arts programs at 47 after-school and summer camp locations, created a community of more than 85 professional Teaching Artists, managed $800,000 in program service contracts, and served as the liaison to more than 42 arts organizations. She designed and delivered countywide professional development workshops for artists, educators and arts administrators and produced a 12-part promotional television series. In 2005, she received the Staff Member of the Year Award from Arts for Learning’s national affiliate Young Audiences, Inc. Prior to joining A4L, she studied at the Institute for American Studies in Aix-en-Provence, France and she worked closely with Miami art collectors Ruth and Richard Shack. From 1996 through 1998, she managed artist and community relations and marketing services for ArtCenter/South Florida. Ms. Womble holds a BA in Art History & Anthropology from the University of Miami, and an AA in Literature from Miami-Dade College where she graduated with honors. In 2010, she received a scholarship to attend a Harvard Business School Executive Program. Ms. Womble serves on the Young Audiences Marketing and Conference Committees, and is a member of The Liberty City Community Collaborative For Change.
Ms. Mattson joined Arts for Learning in January 2004. She holds a BS degree in Systems Analysis from the University of Miami’s School of Business, where she graduated with honors. She quickly became a key part of Arts for Learning’s executive management team as she rose though the positions of Administrative Coordinator, Business Manager, and then Finance Director. She believes in the connections between music and math and that her childhood training in piano, choir, and violin are serving her well in her career.
Ms. Suarez joined Arts for Learning in April, 2016. She holds an AAS in Hospitality Management from Formatur and an Entertainment & Customer Service Management diploma from Sandals Resorts International. She has more than 15 years of experience in the operations/administration support fields. While working in hospitality, she was in charge of several cultural galas, exhibitions, concerts and visits to sites of artistic and/or historic interest, oriented to create awareness and increase revenues. As a volunteer, she created and participated in initiatives to help build and restore houses in impoverished neighborhoods in Cuba, Jamaica and Saint Martin and also created family and children oriented activities in these communities. While working in the TV/Media industry in Miami for more than 4 years, she held administration and business development management positions, servicing prestigious networks such as Telemundo, Univision and Discovery en Español. She is currently enrolled in MDC’s School of Continuing Education and Professional Development business courses.
Carolina Candelaria joined the A4L team in 2013. She holds an AA in English Literature from the Honors College at Miami Dade College, and a BFA in Drawing from Florida International University. She began work as an intern at Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, Inc. while at FIU, and continued to become the festival’s Artist Coordinator & Curator of the Viernes Culturales Gallery. Later, she served as Executive Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design, housed in the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami.
Dia Carter Webb earned a BA degree in Fine Arts from the University of Florida and a Masters of Science in Art Education from Florida International University. Mrs. Carter Webb joined Arts for Learning in 2004, after 16 years of teaching in the Miami-Dade County Public School system at both the elementary and middle school levels. During six of these years, Mrs. Carter Webb taught at the School of Choice Expressive Arts Program at Charles R. Drew Elementary School. Mrs. Carter Webb was an early adopter of Arts for Learning’s GET smART program and is experienced in integrating the arts with core subjects, incorporating various pedagogies, enhancing instructional performance through partnering with diverse community resources, and providing professional development for classroom teachers. She has directed A4L’s early childhood program since 2007, and is highly skilled in inclusion strategies. She currently serves on Miami-Dade County’s All Kids Included Steering Committee.
Ms. Bennett received a BS degree in Economics from Florida State University in April of 2004. She first joined Arts for Learning as a Teaching Artist in 2004, and now holds the position of Program Director. Ms. Bennett is a professional dancer and choreographer. She enjoys teaching children and adults of all ages, and has been a teaching artist for the past 11 years. Ms. Bennett is a devoted volunteer. She currently serves as a Guardian ad Litem in Broward County, where she advocates for the best interest of Florida’s abused and neglected children. She is a mentor to young girls at Girl Power, a non-profit organization in Miami-Dade County, and is also a registered volunteer with the City of Miami Gardens. She has served as the Vice-Chairperson of Miami Gardens Progressive Young Adults, a subcommittee of the City Council that represents the interest of young adults in the City of Miami Gardens, since 2011. While studying for her MBA in Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, Ivy discovered her passion for law. She plans to pursue a degree in law in the near future.
Laura Luna is an artist from the “Cuban Golden Generation” living in Miami, FL, since 1980. She studied at San Alejandro School of the Arts at the same time as Jose Bedia, Ruben Torres-Llorca, Gustavo Acosta and other important artists from the 80’s. After graduating from art school in 1978, she trained in sculptural ceramics at the same workshop (Santiago de las Vegas) attended by Amelia Pealez, Rene Portocarrero and Wifredo Lam. Ms. Luna has extensive teaching and lecturing experience including teaching college courses in Art History, Art Appreciation, and Drawing, Painting and Sculptural Designs as well as facilitating lectures, workshops and presentations both locally and internationally. Ms. Luna began her work with Arts for Learning as a teaching artist in 2005, prior to becoming a Mentor Artist in 2006.
Sheena Sang began her journey with Arts for Learning as a Site Coordinator at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2013. Her outstanding performance, effective and efficient work habits, and ability to forge strong and positive relationships with the children and families of the Lewis Arts Studio caught the attention of management. When A4L wanted to think about providing additional support to our Finance and Operations areas, Sheena stepped up to the plate and accepted the position of Programs and Operations Coordinator in late 2015 all while attending school and earning her BA in English at Florida International University. She has now been promoted to the full time position of Program Assistant reporting to Dia Carter Webb, Senior Program Manager. Prior to working with Arts for Learning, Sheena worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale.
Yazminda Merida-Acosta brings extensive sales and customer service experience to Arts for Learning. Her administrative experience is also due in part to her previous work in medical billing, augmented by her Medical Office Administration Diploma from Concorde Career Institute. As A4L’s Program Assistant, Yazminda is a huge support to the entire Program department, and serves as liaison to A4L Teaching Artists.