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Administration

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Nina Woodruff-Walker, M.A.

Executive Director

An Oakland native and MOCHA Executive Director, Nina Woodruff-Walker 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.

Roxanne Padgett

Creative Director
Roxanne is a Visual Artist, Arts Educator, and an Executive Administrator bringing more than 30 years experience in multiple youth service, 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, Director of Programs and Roxanne is 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 been published in several visual art periodicals. Roxanne is a published author of “ Acrylic Techniques in Mixed Media” published by North Light Books, Arts Division.

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Kaya Fortune

Founding Teaching Artist

Kaya has been a teaching artist in the Bay Area for over 30 years. He is a visual artist who exhibits his work nationally, a fashion designer with his own menswear line, and the co-founder of an artist collective called Soul Salon 10. Kaya Fortune moved to the Bay Area 1982 to pursue an academic teaching career. He was drawn to the Bay Area because of its art scene which he saw as a creative environment where he could pursue his own art career. He later focused on art education and became a teaching artist at MOCHA. He wanted to inspire children by using the visual arts as a vehicle to give them the voice to be creative spirits. He has shown his work during the last 25 years throughout the Bay Area. 

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Community Arts Director

Ashley Aaron, M.A. is an educator, art enthusiast, self-proclaimed bibliophile, and mother of two wondrous little humans. She is the inaugural Director of Community Arts at the Museum of Children’s Arts and has been a Lecturer in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University for over a decade, where she teaches Black Creative Arts. Prior to accepting a director role at MOCHA, she worked at MOCHA as a Teaching Artist.

 

An avid reader and lover of both the arts and the written word, Ashley curates literacy and art rich environments for children and young people, where they see themselves and their communities mirrored in the curriculum, and as windows to the world and possibilities around them. She believes deeply that the arts should be accessible to all, and that providing children and young people with these types of experiences can be life changing. At MOCHA, Ashley develops community centered art programming for children, young adults, and families.

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Museum Programs Manager

Bréana Parks, MOCHA's Museum Manager, is a photographer, photojournalist, live sports producer, and novice film critic-- born and raised in the Bay Area, specifically the East Bay. Bréana attended UC San Diego, majoring in Visual Arts Media with a minor in Ethnic Studies. She often enjoys researching and creating new artwork that addresses things such as identity, social issues, familial histories. Some of her work can be found at the REACH Ashland Youth Center, where she was a teaching artist for two years cultivating a curriculum that explored conscious storytelling. In her down time, she enjoys her plants, trying new food spots, working out and spending time with her family. Breana provides administration for the museum, and supports teaching artists and exhibitions.

Museums Program Assistant

Nia Moten, MOCHA's Program Assistant, is a Howard University student from Oakland, CA pursuing a degree in Psychology. She joined MOCHA in 2014 as a volunteer and now provides administrative support for the organization's School Program department and regularly communicates with Teaching Artists and school site staff.

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Ying Yu
Museum Coordinator
Ying Yu, MOCHA's Museum Coordinator is a Laney College student born in China, and raised in Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of Oakland Technical High School, a former MOCHA intern, and a Laney College Student. A mixed media artist, she is interested in theatre, oil painting and sketching. Ying plans to transfer to San Francisco State University, where she will major in Fine Arts or Technical Theatre. In addition to interning at MOCHA, she also interned as a mural artist with the Arc Youth Fest with Bobby Arte, and at East Bay Asian Youth Center, as an intern working with young children. She enjoys rock climbing, video games, and volunteering at St. Vincent’s de Paul preparing and serving food to the unhoused. Ying provides administrative and facilities support for the organization's Museum Programs department, and regularly supports exhibitions and youth interns.