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 Greenville, SC native, has over two decades of experience in theatrical stage productions. Aaron has held positions at Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Sankofa.org and 651 ARTS. 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 been responsible for the planning and executing of themed events associated with theatrical productions. Aaron was also the Producer-In-Residence for #LoveHustle, an artist-led movement that focuses on examining the question of how do you live your best life now by balancing work and life.
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.
Nicole Amaral is a New York City native. She has extensive experience in theater both on and off stage. Some of her recent theater credentials include: "A Sari for Pallavi" as part of The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival (Assistant Director), “Queen Latina” at Cherry Lane Theatre (Stage Manager), "We Rise" at The Public Theatre (Actor), "Annabellee" in Future of Storytellers (Stage Manager), along with other productions. Nicole is an alumna of Developing Artists Theatre Company where she was the recipient of the Kevin Geer Scholarship. Nicole is currently completing her B.A. in Theatre at Hunter College.