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Administration

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Nina Woodruff-Walker

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. Nina is scheduled to submit her master’s thesis, a Critical Discourse Analysis of the Framing of White Terrorism, to CSUEB in the fall. 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 17 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.

Nia Moten

Museums Program Assistant

Nia Moten, MOCHA's Program Assistant, is a Howard University student from Oakland, CA pursing a degree in Psychology. She enjoys watching movies with subtitles, creating art through mixed-media in her spare time. 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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Kaya Fortune

Founding Teaching Artist

Kaya has been a teaching artist in the Bay Area for 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.

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Danielle Zorn

Interim Museum Programs Manager

Danielle is a visual artist and arts educator that has been creating and teaching for over 20 years. She enjoys implementing her extensive studio art and art history background through relevant curriculum development and implementation. Danielle constantly strives to help young artists express themselves through various and often unexpected mediums.  

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Ashley Aaron

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 as a Visual Teaching Artist for MOCHA since 2018.

 

She credits her past work and mentorship through Oakland Freedom Schools, for developing her passion for creating culturally responsive experiences for children and families. 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.