Meet Our Staff

Dr. Kristen Paglia, Chief Executive Officer

Elda Pineda, Deputy Director

Advancement & Events

Jennifer Garratt, Advancement Director

Ratri Lertluksamipun, Associate Director of Events & Corporate Fundraising

Stephanie McGrath, Associate Director of Communications

Clarissa Rice, Events Coordinator

Gaby Palmadessa, Advancement Assistant

Education & Programs

Lui Sanchez, Program Director, Extended Learning

Lora Cawelti, Associate Program Director

Sylvia Chavez, Program Manager

Jaime Reichner, Program Manager

Darryl King, Project Lead, Turnaround Arts: California

Gaby Hernandez, Program Coordinator, Central California

Lauren Instenes, Volunteer Program Coordinator, Americorps VISTA

KT Leuterio, Program Coordinator, Inside Out Community Arts

Oscar Navarrete, Program Assistant

Finance & Operations

Guillaume Wateau, Associate Director of Finance

Nikki Manibhai, Operations & HR Coordinator

Dr. Kristen Paglia

Dr. Kristen Paglia, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Kristen Paglia has been in a leadership role at P.S. ARTS for nearly a decade. In addition to overseeing the quality, content, and evaluation of P.S. ARTS’ education programs, Dr. Paglia works to keep educational equity and excellence for all children at the center of everything at P.S. ARTS. Dr. Paglia is an active member of the state and national discourse around public education reform and has a seat at the table in numerous policy, advocacy, and planning groups. In 2013, Dr. Paglia was appointed to a special joint task force by California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson to help create “A Blueprint for Creative Schools,” which was published in 2015. Dr. Paglia has taught courses on arts education, and arts-based strategies for teaching special education students at UCLA and Claremont Graduate University. Recently, Dr. Paglia was honored to present her talk, It takes two to tango, and other lessons we learn from the arts about partnership, at TEDxUCLA. Dr. Paglia holds Masters’ Degrees in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA and Arts Education from Harvard University. She also earned a Doctorate from Harvard in cognitive developmental psychology and has extensive experience developing arts programs and designing curriculum in urban public and independent schools.

Lora Cawelti

Lora Cawelti, Associate Program Director

Ms. Lora Cawelti is responsible for overseeing P.S. ARTS in-school classroom studio programs, and launching new district and school partnerships.  She began working in arts education a decade ago as an Artist Leader for Inside Out Community Arts and extended her role as Master Trainer and Mentor Coordinator.  Additionally, Ms. Cawelti worked in arts administration for LA Opera and as a teaching artist for LA Opera’s Voices for Tolerance program and at the Norris Center for Performing Arts.  She is a Council 1 Facilitator through the Ojai Foundation, and uses this listening and speaking practice to inspire communication and intercultural understanding in the youth she works with.  As a performer, Ms. Cawelti has participated in opera and musical theater in Honolulu and Los Angeles.  She was a Studio Singer with the Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio for Hawaii Opera Theatre.  Ms. Cawelti earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and English at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology from Pepperdine University.

Sylvia Chavez

Sylvia Chavez, Program Manager

Sylvia Hathaway Chavez joined the P.S. ARTS team in 2015, where she has since managed fine & performing arts residencies in several schools and districts throughout Los Angeles County. She previously served as the Conservatory Director for New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco, where she developed theatre education programming in schools and onsite for youth and teens. She began her career as a post-graduate Berkeley Repertory Theatre Education Fellow, and later went on to manage theatre education programs at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, CA and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA. Additionally, she has worked as a teaching artist for companies such as Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA and Girls Leadership Institute, and has performed professionally in theaters throughout the Bay Area. Sylvia holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is currently an M.A. candidate in the Nonprofit Management program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

Jennifer Leitch

Jennifer Garratt, Advancement Director

Ms. Garratt graduated from UCLA in 2006 with a B.A. in Art History and History; she completed her Master’s degree in Art and Curatorial Practice at USC in 2010.  Her thesis work examined the role of participatory artistic practices as temporary interventions that question the inherent social conditions experienced within social, public spaces such as museums or institutions. Prior to joining P.S. ARTS, Ms. Leitch worked in Development at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and most recently at the Fowler Museum. Ms. Garratt is currently working with the UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education program to develop workshops that will foster collaboration and dialogue between organizations dedicated to providing arts education to K-12 students. She is also a contributor to the online art magazine Burnaway.

Gaby Hernandez

Gaby Hernandez, Program Coordinator

Gaby Hernandez joined P.S. ARTS in 2015 as the Education and Programs Assistant. As Program Coordinator, Gaby is responsible for managing P.S. ARTS’ programs in the Reef Sunset, Lost Hills, and Wasco school districts in Central California. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Art History, Gaby interned at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and participated in the Getty’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program. In her spare time, she enjoys eating sushi and hanging out with her dog, Charlotte.

Lauren Instenes

Lauren Instenes, Volunteer Program Coordinator, Americorps VISTA

Lauren joined P.S. ARTS in 2017 as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator. During her service year Lauren will be helping P.S. ARTS grow their capacity for service through enhancing the volunteer program. Lauren graduated from Wittenberg University with a B.A. in History and worked as a Community Service Coordinator during her time there. She was the project manager for a community storytelling project called Facing Intolerance in Springfield, A Facing Project, and believes the best way to connect communities is through the listening and telling of stories. While Lauren has a passion for community and service, she also has a passion for the arts, growing up heavily involved in theatre and visual arts. Because the arts had a huge impact on her childhood, she wants all students to have the opportunity to grow through the creativity they provide and is excited to contribute to P.S. ARTS’ mission this year.

Darryl King

Darryl King, Project Lead, Turnaround Arts: CA

Darryl King joined P.S. ARTS as the Project Lead, Turnaround Arts: California. As Project Lead, Darryl is responsible for the coordination, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of the P.S. ARTS contract with Turnaround Arts: California. Darryl comes to us with a background in developing and implementing training and professional development for educators and after-school leaders with multiple organizations that include LA’s BEST, Common Sense Media, and The Center for the Collaborative Classroom. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in education, along with a multi-subject teaching credential. He is also a visual artist.

Ratri Lertluksamipun

Ratri Lertluksamipun, Associate Director of Events & Corporate Fundraising

Ratri is a proud team member who joined the organization in 2017 as the Associate Director of Event and Corporate Fundraising. Prior to P.S. ARTS, she worked in Development as the Manager of Events and Donor Relations at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest—the third-largest affiliate in the nation. There, she advocated for access to reproductive health, rights, and raised funds for high-quality healthcare services for families living in underserved communities. She believes that positively impacting those in need foster ideas that change the way we live and think for the better.

Ratri is an alumni of UC San Diego with a B.A. in international studies, economics.

KT Leuterio

KT Leuterio, Program Coordinator, IOCA

KT Leuterio joined P.S. ARTS in August 2016. As the Inside Out Program Coordinator, she provides logistical and administrative support for the award-winning after-school program. Prior to P. S. ARTS, she managed the student matinee program at The Broad Stage and also worked with the Children’s Summer Theatre Program at CSHM. She received her B.A. in Film Studies and Media Studies from UC Berkeley. While earning her degree, she was a part of SUPERB, the on-campus student-run production team and entertainment branch of student government at UC Berkeley.

Nikki Manibhai

Nikki Manibhai, Operations & HR Coordinator

Ms. Nikki Manibhai joined P.S. ARTS in August 2016 as the Administrative Assistant. She provides administrative support to the operations and advancement teams as well as maintains the office day-to-day. While pursuing her B.A. in Art History at USC, Nikki began working at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County which sparked her interest in education and nonprofit organizations. Nikki went on to complete her Masters degree in Museums Studies with a concentration in education and programming at John F. Kennedy University. She has held internships at various well-known institutions in the Bay Area including the California Academy of Sciences and the Oakland Museum of California. Prior to joining P.S. ARTS, Nikki worked for the Long Beach Museum of Art as the Education Assistant providing administrative support to the education, visitor services and development departments.

Stephanie McGrath, Associate Director of Communications

Stephanie McGrath comes to P.S. ARTS from UCLA where she worked in marketing and communications for the alumni association. Stephanie brings past experience as a project facilitator, writer and photographer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Stephanie also previously managed a fine-art, digital printing facility for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that worked closely with students, faculty, and staff and as worked as a photojournalist for various Chicago-area newspapers.
Oscar Navarrete

Oscar Navarrete, Program Assistant

Oscar Navarrete joined P.S. ARTS July 2016 as the Program Assistant. His responsibilities include supporting the passionate Teaching Artists and Program Team in various ways. He is also in charge of organizing P.S. ARTS’ Program Events, like Family Art Nights. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Sociology & Latin American and Latino Studies. While he studied at the university, he was a mentor and program assistant at a UC Links after school program called Corre La Voz that focused on using digital storytelling and mentoring to help bilingual students work on their language arts and analytical skills.

Gaby Palmadessa

Gaby Palmadessa, Advancement Assistant

Gaby Palmadessa joined P.S. ARTS in 2017 as the Advancement Assistant where she works with Development, Events, and Communications to assist with various projects. A proud Bruin, Gaby graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Art History and a minor in Study of Religion after receiving an A.A. in Art. After training as a K-12 School Group Docent at the Getty Center, she was inspired to shift her focus towards supporting arts education. She is excited to build a career that coincides with her passion for making art accessible to all.

Elda Pineda

Elda Pineda, Deputy Director

Ms. Elda Pineda serves as chief advisor to the CEO, and guides organization-wide administrative policies, practices and communications. She oversees all internal aspects of the organization, including operations, finance, service program development and delivery and employee professional development.

Ms. Pineda began working in arts education as a theater teaching artist for Los Angeles County public schools.  As an actor and teacher, she worked with educational outreach programs targeting at-risk youth, leading workshops for teens and young adults through theater company community programs, including Sinegang in Los Angeles and Sining KilUSAn in Seattle. She is also an active participant in the Los Angeles arts education community having served on the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District arts advocacy team , the Los Angeles Unified School District Arts For All advocacy teamand the the steering committee and recruitment team of the Emerging Arts Leaders-Los Angeles sponsored Arts Professionals Advisors Link.

Ms. Pineda pursued her interest in nonprofit management and the intersection of research, public policy and practice and received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California- Sol Price School of Public Policy. She holds a B.A. from UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television.

Jaime Reichner

Jaime Reichner, Program Manager

Jaime Reichner is responsible for coordinating and managing P.S. ARTS’ programs in LAUSD, Lawndale, and the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy campuses.  Prior to her work with P.S. ARTS, Ms. Reichner was the Education Coordinator for United Cerebral Palsy’s UCPlay Program where she provided in-school instruction and professional development workshops on social emotional learning and the arts.  As a Teaching Artist, Jaime has facilitated theatre workshops and classes for The Virginia Avenue Project, East LA Classic Theatre, Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA), The Seattle Children’s Theatre, Youth M.O.V.E. Miami, Occidental College,Teach for America, National University of Rwanda, California Institute of the Arts and has been an Artist Leader with Inside Out Community Arts since 2008.  As a Turnaround Arts coach, she provided one-on-one arts integration support to teachers in San Bernardino and has presented workshops on theatre and classroom inclusion at The Kennedy Center’s Intersections Conference in Washington, DC.  Jaime has a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Florida State University and a Master’s in Applied Theatre Arts from USC.

Clarissa Hampton

Clarissa Rice, Events Coordinator

Clarissa Rice served as the Advancement & Events Intern at P.S. ARTS before joining the team full-time in July 2016. Before coming to P.S. ARTS, Clarissa served as a Gallery Guide Intern at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and an Education Intern at the Museum of Latin American Art. In both roles, Clarissa grew her passion for connecting people to the arts. She has a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Women’s Studies from Chapman University.

Lui Sanchez

Lui Sanchez, Program Director, Extended Learning

Mr. Lui Sanchez oversees the administration of the nationally recognized and award winning Inside Out Community Arts after-school program and its Artist Leader Training Academy for P.S. ARTS.  He also supervises the Extended Learning programs, Alumni Mentors and Teen Media Initiative.  Mr. Sanchez has established himself as an artist working in various mediums and fields throughout Los Angeles with professional and volunteer experience in developing, implementing, and administering visual and performing arts projects and events.  He began his undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona School of Music and then continued on and received his B.A. in Theatre at University of California, Santa Cruz and attended the Masters Program at the University of California, Los Angeles film school.  He began his work teaching performing and visual arts to youth at the Optimist Youth Homes where he presented their work throughout Los Angeles County.  He has also taught for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and for the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock where he became their first Program Director developing after-school and summer arts programs.  He is the Associate Artistic Director for Company of Angels (CoA) and spearheads their community program that provides theater for adult disenfranchised members of the downtown Los Angeles area.  He has written and directed premier plays and performances for CoA, the USC School of Theatre, Urban Possibilities, The Deltoid Performance Group, and Take Fountain Theatre.  He is a Council I Facilitator through the Center for Council Practice.

Guillaume Wateau

Guillaume Wateau, Associate Finance Director

Guillaume Wateau joined P.S. ARTS in January 2017, as the Associate Finance Director. In this role, he oversees the financial health of the organization and continues the work toward long term financial sustainability and transparency. Guillaume has been working in Finance for the past 10 years, and spent the last 6 working for an International NGO. He holds a master’s degree in Finance and has been involved with the non-profit and humanitarian work since a young age. He grew up in France with parents working with Bosnian war refugees and later with low income seniors.

Stephanie McGrathStaff