Our Dedicated Team
Before joining Hi-ARTS Raymond held the position of Senior Research Associate with the Aspen Institute's Roundtable on Community Change policy program. Raymond has served as an independent curator and consultant with the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and the Office of the Mayor (City of Los Angeles) where he developed programing around urban expressive culture. He was the Founding Director of the Julian C. Dixon Institute for Cultural Studies and Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Raymond also served as the Sandy Boyd Postdoctoral Fellow at the Field Museum's Center for Cultural Understanding and Change. Raymond was Co-Director of the Hip-Hop Education Center at New York University. He has conducted research across the U.S., U.K. and Latin America involving topics related to race, Hip-Hop, identity and civic engagement. Raymond holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Aaron L. McKinney, a native of Greenville, SC, has over two decades of experience in theatrical stage productions. He earned his BA in Theatre Performance from Florida A & M University and MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from California Institute of the Arts. Aaron has worked in various management positions throughout his career in theaters ranging from small community theaters in Florida to large regional theaters in Los Angeles. He has also been responsible for the planning and executing of themed events associated with theatrical productions. Before joining Hi-ARTS, Aaron has held positions in the following New York organizations: Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Sankofa.org and 651 ARTS.
Raelle Myrick-Hodges was born in North Carolina, raised in Washington, D.C. and educated internationally. She is a graduate of Ealing College of Humanities (London) and the University of Southern California ( Bachelor of Arts). Artistically mentored by Mr. George C. Wolfe and Joseph Haj respectfully, she is the founder of Azuka Theater in Philadelphia (now in its 23thyear). Raelle has worked with artists such as Geoffrey Arend, Meryl Streep, Jeffrey Wright, Mos Def, Tony Kushner, April Matthis, Harold Perrineau and Keith David among others. Her work as a performance art creator/curator has been seen at the DeYoung Museum ( San Franciso), Red Poppy Art House, Feroz Gallery (Germany), Theater Minnot (Beirut, Lebanon) and Ami Gallerie (Paris). As a producer/curator, her programming ranges from regional artists to high profile internationally known ensembles and performers in music, dance and theater. Artists she has presented Denis O’Hare, The Rude Mechanicals, Penny Arcade, Meklit Hadero, Julian Sands, Amir Sulaiman, Sam Green, Double Edge Theater, Arturo Sandoval and Joey Arias among others. She has directed with Magic Theater, Playmakers Repertory, Redcat/ UC, California Shakespeare Theater, Arden Theatre Company among others. She is currently an Adjunct Professor for Directing at Brown/Trinity graduate studies in Theater program. In 2018, she will be presenting works at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Virginia Stage Company.
Daphne Farganis specializes in the development of strategic partnerships — bringing together entities within the arts, cultural, educational, philanthropic and government sectors. Based primarily in New York, Daphne has considerable experience in forging strong collaborations among a wide range of individuals and institutions. Daphne focuses on special events, public programs and strategic planning for social change projects including Bill Lynch Associates, Amnesty International (Arts for Amnesty), The Children’s Defense Fund, The Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (New York University), The Institute for Urban Education (The New School), Howard Zinn (Voice’s Project), Sekou Sundiata (America Project), The Hip-Hop Theater Festival and HBO. Daphne spearheaded the creation of the national education outreach initiatives for The Black List (HBO), the Latino List (HBO) and The Women’s List (HBO). Cultivated partnerships have included Scholastic, Target, Expanded Success Initiative, National Public Radio, PBS, UNCF, The Walker Arts Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The National Portrait Gallery. Daphne has taught at Eugene Lang College and Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School (Founding Advisory Board). In addition, she served as U.S. Project Director at the International Education Center (Denmark). Daphne is also a self-taught Clay-Maker, creating functional objects for the home and table. She is a graduate of Vassar College and holds a Master’s degree from the Bank Street School of Education.
Danny Skinz is a creative professional specializing in branding, design, street-art and fashion. He is a big-picture thinker with over 15 years of experience. Skinz is a certified master composter and holds multiple certifications in permaculture design. In 2007, he helped re-design the Sivananda Ashram; one of the first Yoga Ashrams to apply permaculture principles to their entire 70 acre ranch. In 2009 Skinz served as a guest judge for the New York City Housing Authority’s urban-gardening competition. As a renowned advocate of spontanous public art installations and a contributing member of the global aerosol art community; Skinz has participated in several international art festivals, including… Art Basel - Miami, Kosmopolite - Paris, the Aotearoa hip hop summit - Auckland, and the Meeting of Styles -Montreal. His unique design sensibilities have helped some of todays most successful brands re-image themselves.
Kiana Sosa, a Dean's Graduate Scholar, is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University where she is developing a Hip-Hop Theatre pedagogy in an approach to teaching curriculum for secondary education. As a Boston Posse Scholar Alumna and a William J. Bristol Fellowship recipient, Kiana values community, education, and the performing arts. Before joining the Hi-ARTS team, Kiana has volunteered as an English teacher with WorldTeach in Costa Rica, a volunteer coordinator with Free Arts in Los Angeles, and as a tutor with America Reads in Utica, New York.