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Nina Woodruff-Walker, M.A.
Chief Executive Officer

Nina Woodruff-Walker (she/her), MOCHA's Chief Executive Officer, is an East Oakland native and became a “MOCHA kid” in 1989 when she connected through the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC). When Oakland schools removed art programming from the curriculum, MOCHA became an art-making space and welcoming refuge during her teenage years. She found delight in identifying different ways to use art to create, express, shape and influence, even getting her first experience in giving back as a MOCHA youth board member. This cemented her passion for community service. Nina is a poet who loves visual arts and understands the value of providing a platform for children to express, create, and teach. She entered the tech industry in 2000 – with a focus in project management which opened doors to a successful 10-year career in technology sales. During her master’s seminars at CSUEB, she studied Afrofuturism; she spearheaded an Afrofuturist exhibition and curriculum at MOCHA in 2020. Her master’s thesis was a Critical Discourse Analysis of the Framing of White Terrorism; this research has informed her practice and commitment to youth development. Her motto is, "Ideas are only great when we have the courage to give birth to them." To honor her inner child, she loves to laugh and play.

Roxanne Padgett
Creative Director

Roxanne Padgett, she/her, born in Oakland, CA., is a mixed media artist and book-maker. MOCHA's Creative Director is responsible for Professional Development and Curriculum Development for the entire organization. Roxanne is a Visual Artist, Arts Educator, and Executive Administrator bringing more than 30 years of experience in multiple youth services and arts educational nonprofit organizations. She brings a combination of arts education practices, management experience, leadership ability, and a passion for the arts. The past 25 of those years have been spent working for MOCHA in a variety of capacities: Senior Teaching Artist, Program Manager, Curriculum Developer/Writer, Professional Development Coach, Director of Educational Programs, and Director of Programs. Roxanne is a certified arts integration coach, holds a teaching credential in visual art, and received a fellowship to attend Harvard’s Project Zero on arts education. Additionally, Roxanne’s artwork and articles have been published in several visual art periodicals. Roxanne is the author of “Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media,” published by North Light Books, Arts Division. Roxanne honors her inner child by being a lifelong creative through hands-on art-making, making mistakes, experimenting, playing, and abundant curiosity.

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Kaya Fortune
Director of Curation & Culture Keeping, Founding Teaching Artist

Kara “Kaya” Fortune, he/him, born in Oakland, California and raised in Compton, California. Fortune attended UCLA where he received a B.A. and later went to Otis Art Academy. He has been working as a Teaching Artist at MOCHA for more than 30 years. His current position at MOCHA is Director of Curation and Culture Keeping. He believes that art for children transcends the difficulties in their lives and acts as a healing force. He teaches to inspire, ignite, and challenge his students to find their own identity. Fortune is a visual artist whose art represents African-American history, music, and visual arts as well as spiritual and social concepts. John Outterbridge was one of Fortune's primary artist inspirations as a young artist. Outterbridge's mixed media and found object works helped create a style called Assemblage. As a youth working with Outterbridge, Fortune was inspired to research artists and develop his own artistic style. Kaya honors his inner child by drawing and painting to keep the legacy of African American creative spirit alive for future generations.

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Jennifer Ross
Director of Development & Communications

Jennifer Ross (she/her) was born and raised in Waco, TX, she studied at the University of Texas/Austin in the Communications & Marketing Dept of the School of Communications. Her career path has been shaped by a deeply personal desire to facilitate thriving financial viability for community-focused organizations that uplift arts and education, working artists, community development, and environmental stewardship. Professional experiences include: Managing Director of the Oakland Youth Chorus, Community Relations/Marketing Associate at San Francisco’s Theatre Artaud (now Z Space), Development Director for Zaccho Dance Theatre, Executive Director of the Bayview Opera House in SF’s Bayview Hunter’s Point community, Booking Manager for SOMARTS (SF’s South of Market Cultural Center), and Project Managing opportunities such as the City of Oakland’s month-long 2000 Festival at the Alice (now Malonga Casquelourd Cultural Center) featuring over 60 performing artists. Hired full-time March 2023, she served as fund development consultant for MOCHA during and since the pandemic. Prior, over time, interweaving consultancy and employment, she has served in executive, development, and event management roles for Bay Area arts/culture institutions including Oakland Museum of California, Dimensions Dance Theatre, Chitresh Das Dance, Freight & Salvage, Cultural Odyssey, and Diamano Coura West African Dance. For five years she served as Project Administrator for the Arts Education Funders Collaborative, a project of the San Francisco Foundation Community Initiatives Fund. The contract overlapped a 15-month stint as Project Manager for the Matrix Project, a comprehensive organizational development and non-profit management coaching program targeting San Antonio/ Fruitvale leadership in East Oakland. The project was funded by the Stuart Foundation with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Prior to 2000 she also worked in municipal grantmaking for both the San Francisco Arts Commission and Oakland Cultural Funding. Jennifer honors her inner child by being outdoors enjoying immersive activities such as hiking, discovering beaches, bird watching, and journaling.

Simon Muturi
Chief Financial Officer

Bio coming soon

LuzMarina Tovar
Community Arts Manager

LuzMarina Tovar, she/her, is from Oakland, California. LuzMarina graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in Boston, with a B.F.A. in Metals Art. She has also studied jewelry and metal-smithing in London, England, in her native Caracas, Venezuela, Colorado springs, Colorado, and in California and went on designing and manufacturing her own jewelry line, showing her work in art galleries. LuzMarina is the Community Arts Manager, she has been a professional artist and arts educator for over 20 years. Some of her professional experience includes, the Museum of Children’s Art MOCHA as Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Little Studio manager, and bilingual Teaching artist, Otis Elementary School Artist in Residence, Edna Brewer Middle School Art Program guest teaching artist, and Peralta Elementary school teaching artist. Her latest endeavor is the creation of Artree Studio, a home based art studio offering children and families a space to create and explore the beautiful and intricate world of the arts. LuzMarina’s international and diverse experience gives her a broad perspective and an unique approach to making and creating art. LuzMarina has been an Oakland resident over a decade, and she's the proud mother of two beautiful sons, loves the outdoors, roller skating and anime. LuzMarina honors her inner child by striving to stay wide eyed and embracing the sense of wonder.

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Jaee Sumter, M.F.A.
Health & Wellness Manager

Janae’ “Jaee” Sumter (they/them) is a nonbinary migrating New Orleanian with a widely diverse interdisciplinary creative practice and organizing background that centers on the liberation and empowerment of communities of color. Their practice uses collective storytelling, creative entrepreneurship, reiki, creativity coaching, agriculture, herbal medicine, dance, and holistic healing approaches as an educational tool for community understanding, empowerment, identity, ancestral connection, abundant mindset, food scarcity, liberation, global sovereignty, sustainability, and intergenerational healing. Jaee received their B.A.A. from Spelman College in Studio Art and their M.F.A. in Integrated Practices from Pratt Institute focusing on community art and healing justice. Jaee holds the Health and Wellness Manager and Instructional Coach role at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA). Jaee’s favorite artists are Sonia Sanchez, Faith Ringgold, Renee Stout & Beyte Saar. Jaee's honors their inner child by building out and growing their own food & herbs in their garden. From their homegrown herbs and produce, Jaee loves cooking vegetarian soul food and making herbal products for sustainability, accessibly, nourishment and healing.

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Kellee Runnels
Operations Manager

Kellee Runnels, she/her born in Oakland, CA and raised in West Oakland. Kellee is currently the Operations Manager for the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA). Her specialty is finding ways to be effective and efficient, while analyzing daily operations to ensure MOCHA is operating and functioning at an optimal level. Kellee is responsible for developing, implementing, and building out operational policies and procedures, assisting with HR processes. She is very passionate about leading operations for MOCHA, where she can use her skills to improve operations for the benefit of the organization. Kellee honors her inner child by taking walks at the park and going to the Marina to relax and listen to to the water knock against the rocks.

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Shannon Meadors
Museum Programs Manager

Shannon Meadors (she/her) is a Southern California born/Northern California raised native. She earned her Bachelors of Art in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University. She enjoyed assisting with the Day Reporting Program at the Benton County Juvenile Detention while living in Washington State. Upon moving back to California in 2022, she joined MOCHA as Museum Programs Manager and is enjoying facilitating programming like camps, art parties, and open studio onsite for all the children the museum serves. Shannon honors her inner child by roller skating when she can and eating ice cream whenever the urge arises.

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Dr. Jasmine Wade, PhD
Community Futures School Administrator

Dr. Jasmine Wade, she/her, was born and raised in Chester, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor's in Sociology from Princeton University, a Master's in English and Creative Writing from Mills College, and a Doctorate in Cultural Studies from UC Davis. She is an Administrator for the Community Futures School at MOCHA and an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies/Pan-African Studies at Sacramento State University. She spends her days reading and teaching about Afrofuturism and other futurisms. She loves to read and write about time travel, hauntings, Black fairy tales, apocalypse, and more in the pursuit of a more just world. Dr. Jas honors her inner child by spending time close to water.

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Tammy Artis
Museum Programs Supervisor

Tammy Artis, she/her, grew up in Hayward, California in a family who are very nature oriented, growing their own fruits and vegetables, and spending much of their time camping, fishing, and diving on the northern California coast. Tammy was introduced to art at a young age and by age 5 had dreams of becoming an artist. Tammy attended Delta College taking art courses while volunteering as an Art Docent at Tokay Colony Elementary School. She opened Art & Soul studio in Berkeley, joined the Firehouse Art Collective and began doing murals with themes of social justice, equity health, and wellness. Teaching and sharing her art in communities that lack resources has been an important part of her journey, and it brought her to MOCHA, where she has been a Teaching Artist for 10 years. Currently, Tammy is the Museum Programs Supervisor which consists of developing curriculum for Open Studio and Art Parties along with mentoring beginning teaching artists. Her favorite artists include architect, Zaha Hadid, Frida Kahlo, and Georgia, O’Keeffe, whose flowing forms and symmetry are very appealing to her. She is drawn to surrealism, cubism and futurism, and loves to incorporate recyclables and found objects into her art. Tammy honors her inner child by spending time in nature, focusing on gratitude for the beauty and serenity it brings.

Nia Moten
Archival & Curator Assistant

Nia Moten, she/her, born and raised in Oakland, California and lifelong MOCHA kid. Nia is currently finishing her B.S. in Psychology from Howard University, set to graduate December 2023. Her next aim in education is to obtain her M.L.I.S. with an emphasis on archival processes and digital curation. Currently, she works as MOCHA's Archival and Curator Assistant working to preserve MOCHA's history and legacy. Nia honors her inner child by sleeping, doing all the things little Nia was not allowed to do, and taking daily hot girl walks.

Sienna Fatuesi
Program Assistant

Sienna Fatuesi, she/her, is from Seattle, Washington. She recently graduated from Howard University with her B.S. in Health Science, minoring in Chemistry. Sienna joined the Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. in the Spring of 2022. Sienna plans to obtain her Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Sciences. Sienna is Program Assistant at MOCHA, where works as an integral part of multiple departments. Sienna honors her inner child by dancing when she feels joy, discovering new hobbies, and being in nature, especially by water.

Nia Shakur
Administrative Assistant

Nia Shakur, she/her, born in Chicago, Illinois, was raised in Berkeley, California. Nia is currently finishing her B.S. in Data Science from Arizona State University set to graduate in December 2024. Her next goal is to combine her love of the arts, beauty, and wellness by correlating those with her desire to analyze trends and help businesses grow. Currently, she works at MOCHA as an Administrative Assistant for CEO, Nina Woodruff-Walker. Nia honors her inner child by spending time with her 13-month-old daughter, writing poetry, and finding new experiences that bring her joy.

Museum Program Assistants
  • Charlotte Loretz
  • Irene Harris
  • Megan Chu
  • Leo Thai
  • Keyaisha Garth
  • Octavio Vaughn-Tovar
  • Samantha Cuevas
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