An Oakland native, Nina Woodruff-Walker became a “MOCHA kid” in 1989 when she connected through the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC). When OUSD removed art programming from the school 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, as Nina also involved herself in church-led activities and school-sponsored service events as a youth.
In 2000, Nina began her career in technology – with a focus in project management which lead her to a 10-year career in technology sales as a Major Account Executive. Nina brings a wealth of knowledge in S.M.A.R.T business practices. She holds a B.A. in Communication, PPO and her M.A. will be completed in May, 2019. Her motto is, Ideas are only great when we have the courage to give birth to them.
Nina returned to MOCHA as a board member in 2006. She has expanded her adult volunteer service during her tenure with the Kiwanis Club of Oakland and she is now serving as a member of the San Francisco chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
“I believe art is technology and it’s imperative that MOCHA is an active participant in STEAM education and advocacy.”
With her love and commitment to MOCHA, Nina brings her strategic and business acumen to work implementing “MOCHA 2.0”, with a focus on increasing MOCHA’s reach with enhanced technology + art based projects that leverage the tech influence and tap into opportunities for collaboration here in the Bay Area.
Nina believes that supplementing MOCHA’s in school and on-site art programs will open child artists into new worlds of creativity. Nina is a self-proclaimed poetess who understands the value of providing a platform for children to express and create.
Nina’s three children, Brooke, Brooklyn, and Nia follow in her creative footsteps as the next generation of MOCHA kids and her husband, Gregory holds an honorary seat in the MOCHA family.
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.
As an Oakland native, Noah holds 15 years of work in youth development. He received a Master of Arts in Leadership with a concentration in Social Justice from St. Mary’s College and spent his undergraduate career at Cal State East Bay with a degree in human development specializing in childhood. Noah also spent time as an Americorp member with the non-profit organization Playworks (formerly known as Sports4Kids), whom is founded by MOCHA’s co-founder, Jill Vialet.
Jill has a background in program administration and community outreach. She enjoys creating art through photography and foliage portraits in her spare time. Jill holds a BA in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
Ms. Joe is an Author, singer, comedian, philanthropist and advocate for both homelessness and domestic violence. She has more than 30 years as a volunteer with different organizations, as well as helping to start 2 non-profits with friends for great causes like Autism and homelessness. She has served on the “Board of Ballet Florida” which conducts ballets for kids & by kids and is still on the Board of “All ABout Me” which is for kids with Autism. Her life long social passion has been to help create creative thinking kids from birth and turning them into entrepreneurs and thriving artist before the age of 16. Using her own son as her 1st guinea pig, she is now creating her own Non-profit called “FinKids USA”, which will not only teach kids the importance of money but owning your own business and having a great FICO score to boot. Her personal passion however is dabbling in Cryptocurrencies and Real Estate, while being addicted to Karaoke. Joe‘s background has been in Sales and Technology, but says those are not the things that wake her up in the morning, it is knowing that she will help make someones life better.
Brandy Gardner is an awesome professional ceramic sculptor who will knock your socks off in the classroom. She has been a professional artist and an art teacher for over 15 years and has taught in Hawaii, New York, and California.
Cameron Thompson found his love for art at an early age. Inspired by graffiti and murals in his neighborhoods of Southern California, he was introduced to a wide variety of local artists who helped spark his love for art. In the late 90’s he migrated to the Bay Area where he was part of a vibrant art scene that focused on graffiti, murals, and mixed media. Finding a love for teaching and working with the community, he moved to Oakland where he has been continuously showing art and working in the public school system.
Danielle Zorn Danielle has been creating as well as teaching art to children for the past 15 years. She enjoys implementing her extensive studio art and art history background in all of her classes and lessons. Danielle strives to help young artists express themselves through various mediums and create original masterpieces that they can be proud of.
Jill McLennan is an active artist and art teacher in the urban environment of Oakland. She has a MA in Arts Education with formal training in painting, drawing, and printmaking, and has taught art to diverse populations for 15 years. She designed JMAC to help facilitate her expertise in the art world and to guide students in developing their creative voice. JMAC is unique because of Jill’s creative talent and empathy for urban youth.
Kaya Fortune has been a teaching artist in the Bay Area for 25 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.
Leticia Padgett has been creating with kids for 12 years. From summer camp programs to field trips and in school lessons her favorite part is seeing how kids can amaze themselves. Their ability to see past the obvious and generate originality is something that teaches and inspires her everyday.
Raine Robichaud is an urban studies student at UC Berkeley, and has been involved with different art studios for more than two years. She worked as a studio assistant at Simply Jane Studio in Minneapolis, in visitor services at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, and volunteers at Creative Growth Art Studio in Oakland. Raine is passionate about art that deals with the environment, and loves helping kids inspire and help each other to make art.
Zachary Greer has been making art in some shape or form since his first drawing at the age of 2. After attending school at the University of Texas at Arlington with a concentration in painting, he has cultivated his work both in the studio and out by exhibiting pieces throughout Texas and the Bay Area. Dedicating his life to children with moderate to severe disabilities for the past four years, Zachary takes a holistic approach to teaching and facilitates art as a therapeutic practice aimed at self discovery and empowerment.
Margo Hoover is an artist, art educator, animal, and book lover. Originally from Oklahoma, she caught a wagon west in 2004 to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. After completing her BFA she dabbled in teaching youth through several SF galleries. These experiences were exhilarating and led to her completing a Single Subject ‘Art’ teaching credential from SFSU in 2012. Margo takes a soft but firm approach to teaching and is driven to develop conceptual art projects that are research based, reflective, and most importantly fun!