01 07 15 SheilaSheila Womble

Executive Director

 Ms. Womble is a Miami native and passionate arts leader with more than 15 years of experience. She excels at team building, managing change, strategic planning, and fundraising. Her vibrant approach to all tasks and thoughtful analysis of opportunities helped her drive a significant period of growth and transition at Arts for Learning, increasing the annual budget by more than 55% in one year as a result of program expansions and evaluation initiatives. Under her leadership, Arts for Learning developed programs to serve children and youth from infancy through high school, providing Miami’s youth more opportunities to grow up with the arts.

Prior to helping establish and lead Arts for Learning, she managed a private art collection and handled artist and community relations and marketing services for ArtCenter/South Florida. She studied at the Institute for American Studies in Aix-en-Provence, France and holds a degree in Art History & Anthropology from the University of Miami. When not advocating on behalf of children and the arts, she can be found dancing in her kitchen, telling the same joke repeatedly to her son, or picking up the fallen mangoes in her yard.


01 07 15 SidraSidra Mattson Urbom

Finance & Operations Director

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.


damaris-144x144-sDamaris Suarez

Finance Manager

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.


Raúl Santiago-Lugo

Personnel & Operations Coordinator

Raúl has excelled as a retail leader with an extreme passion for people. He has been an Associate Professional in Human Resources & Marketing focused on shifting from building brands to building companies as an HR & Recruitment Specialist. He is a hands-on leader & trusted advisor with a passion for hiring, developing, and retaining high-performing teams while increasing performance, productivity, and alignment with the organizational mission and values. Raúl holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico. He also earned a Certificate in Digital Marketing from the University of Puerto Rico.


01 07 15 CarolinaCarolina Candelaria

Communications Director

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.


Carlos Noguera

Artist Services Director

Carlos has 15 years of experience in arts education. He started working with A4L in 2013 as a Teaching Artist for the Artworks program for three summers. He is re-joining the A4L team again as the Artist Services Director. One of his goals for this new role is to help A4L become the go-to organization for the top teaching artist in Miami. He will be working with the Teaching Artist and Program Managers to ensure the success of the residencies. Mr. Noguera holds a BFA.Ed from Tufts University and a M.A in Arts Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has worked in Boston Public Schools, Miami Dade-County Public Schools and abroad. As an educator, he is interested in inquiry-based learning to engage students learning in and through the arts. He believes that the arts can provide an opportunity for developing the social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligence of students. While working in Seoul, S. Korea, he helped establish the arts program at Dwight International School in his role as the Arts Coordinator. More recently, he spent the last 7 years working at Raha International School in Abu Dhabi where he was working in the nexus of the Arts and Service Learning in addition to teaching Media and Film Studies. Whenever he is not engaged within the Arts, Carlos can be found in Key Biscayne riding his bicycle or enjoying time with his wife and daughter.


01 07 15 DiaDia Carter Webb

Senior Program Director

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.


01 07 15 IvyIvy Bennett

Program Director

Ms. Bennett received a BS degree in Economics from Florida State University in May of 2004. She first joined Arts for Learning as a Dance Teaching Artist in 2004, and now holds the position of Program Director and Artist Services Administrator. Ms. Bennett worked as a professional dancer and choreographer for many years, having found a passion for movement, performance and the choreographic process. As a Teaching Artist, she shared her artistry with both children and adults of all ages. She formerly served as a Guardian ad Litem in Broward County, where she advocated for the best interest of Florida’s abused and neglected children. She has volunteered as a mentor to young girls at Girl Power, a non-profit organization in Miami-Dade County. She has also 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. In 2015, Ms. Bennett participated in Young Audiences Emerging Leadership Institute (ELI), an intensive professional development program for individuals who are committed to strengthening their skills and competencies in order to become transformational leaders in the arts-in-education field. Through her work as a Program Director, she has developed a passion for working with teens and helping them to discover their fullest potential. Ms. Bennett gets to continue this mission by leading Arts for Learning’s teen internship initiatives, the ArtWorks Internship Program and the Wall(in) Project.


01 07 15 LauraLaura Luna

Program Manager

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.

Samantha Shalaby

Early Learning Program Manager

Samantha holds a BS in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and focused her graduate work on Special Education. Samantha has experience in working with students from birth through elementary school age. She started her career as a preschool educator working with children with disabilities where she taught and inspired children for many years. Samantha proved to be a kind, patient, and organized teacher who loved teaching through the arts. She is passionate about helping children develop confidence and a love for learning. Samantha believes that allowing students to explore their creativity by exposing them to the arts from a young age positively influences their overall development.

Wanda Carreras

Program Assistant

Wanda Carreras is a Cuban-American artist based in Miami, FL. As of 2017, she became an alum of New World School of the Arts’ visual arts high school program in Miami, FL. In 2021, she became an alum of Art Center College of Design’s illustration-design BFA program in Pasadena, CA. Wanda currently works creative/administrative roles for local non-profits aligned with the vision of uplifting underserved communities and supporting the arts for all. Thinking, communicating, and solving problems creatively is the foundation that she thrives on in program management. Wanda is a passionate person with the intention to inspire others into more playful, more expansive, dreamier spaces within themselves. Wanda’s references spoke highly of her motivation, creativity, collaboration, organization, focus and flexible mindset.