Ava SadripourExecutive Director
Barbara PalleyDirector of Program and Strategy
Heather HeslupSenior Program Manager
Dr. Kim MitchellSenior Program Manager, Professional Learning
Jaime ReedDevelopment and Communications Manager
Brittany MatticeProgram and Communications Coordinator
Ava Sadripour is a nonprofit leader with 13 years of experience in the Los Angeles philanthropic sector. She has successfully created initiatives for increased fundraising across multiple areas, including major gifts, board engagement, membership programs, foundation and corporate giving, annual fund, and signature events – including a luncheon featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and a gala honoring Motown legends Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy.
Ava has established and nurtured comprehensive development programs and teams for two organizations, serving as the inaugural head of development for both The GRAMMY Museum and The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. She began her development career as a Senior Development Associate for Thurlow/Associates, advising a range of nonprofit clients in social services, healthcare and environmental conservation on development strategies. Prior to this, Ava was a practicing attorney, specializing in international human rights and environmental litigation.
Barbara Palley is the Director of Program and Strategy for Turnaround Arts: California. Previously at Cool Culture, NYC, she helped narrow the arts education gap through citywide partnerships between early childhood centers and cultural institutions, which engaged families in out-of-school time. She led a federally-funded national leadership grant to bring together 23 NYC museums in a “Laboratory for New Audiences” in which they utilized user-centered design methods to innovate diverse and inclusive educational approaches. Barbara is a recognized leader in the field, with almost 20 years of experience in museum education, arts administration, and program evaluation at a variety of institutions including MoMA, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Harvard Project Zero. She has served on the board of the NYC Museum Educators Roundtable and presented at national and international conferences. Barbara has a BA in Art History, University of Virginia and an Ed.M. in Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As the Senior Program Manager for Turnaround Arts: California, Heather Heslup is responsible for coordinating and orchestrating implementation of the Turnaround Arts program across elementary and middle schools in California, which includes developing professional development opportunities for school and regional arts partners and providing strategic planning consultation to school-based arts team leaders. Heather holds a BA in Television & Film Production from Howard University and an MA in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. She is a diverse professional with over a decade of experience producing high-quality arts programs, leading strategic planning, fostering equitable and diverse learning environments and building partnerships that promote creativity, growth, and sustainability. Heather’s varied scope of skills has been highlighted through her work with prominent institutions including Los Angeles County Dept. of Arts & Culture, California Institute for the Arts, Columbia College Chicago, and Public Broadcast Service. Heather is a passionate advocate for equity and using arts as a change agent to uplift our schools and communities.
Dr. Kim Mitchell
TEDx speaker, Dr. Kim Mitchell, is a proud Los Angeles native and a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in English. During her time at Stanford, she had the opportunity to study Shakespearian Literature abroad at Oxford University. Dr. Mitchell earned both a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Directing and a Master of Education from UCLA. Her film projects garnered awards including a Motion Picture Association of America Award and the Lynn Weston Fellowship in Film. Dr. Mitchell recently received her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne. Her dissertation title was “The Art of Improvisation: The Phenomenology of Delivering Arts Instruction Online in Title I Schools.” In addition to her academic accomplishments, Kim brings her experiences as a former K-12 film and theatre teacher and current adjunct instructor of teacher education at the University of La Verne. In her methods course, she is responsible for preparing teachers to integrate the arts in elementary and secondary classrooms.
In her role as Development and Communications Manager for Turnaround Arts: California, Jaime is responsible for expanding and diversifying TACA’s network of support as well as overseeing the organization’s communications strategy. Jaime has worked for arts and social justice organizations for 10 years with roles focused in development and operations. Prior to joining Turnaround Arts, Jaime worked at A Window Between Worlds, an organization dedicated to transforming trauma through art. She has also previously worked with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Just Communities Central Coast. Jaime received her BA from UC Davis in Sociology and Women’s Studies and her MA in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University Los Angeles.
Brittany Mattice serves as the Program and Communications Coordinator for Turnaround Arts: California. Brittany has worked for arts and education-focused nonprofits in California and Oregon over the past seven years. Her foundation in trauma-informed practices guides her work toward more equitable and inclusive program design, communications, and program operations. Most recently, for Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program, she successfully co-led a five-year strategic planning initiative for Cascadia Arts Association, laying the foundation for sustainable nonprofit arts practices across Multnomah County, OR. At her core, she is energized and passionate about connecting communities and students through the arts. Brittany has a BFA in Art, Arizona State University and an MA in Nonprofit Management and Arts Management Certificate, University of Oregon.