FOUNDERS & CO-CHAIRS
Both Dr. Heard and Dr. Walker-Bennett have extensive careers in physical education and dance movement.
Dr. Marcia E. Heard
Marcia was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received the Bachelor of
Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Arts, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from New York University. She’s also the recipient of several grants, awards, certificates, and fellowships. Her resume comprises a plethora of training and productions such as a dance program at Schurz High School in Chicago that grew to fill two full time teaching positions. She has studied and performed with notable teachers and choreographers inclusive of Darlene Blackburn (Nigerian and Ghanaian); Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn (Ballet-Cecchetti); Joel Hall and Pepsi Bethel (Jazz); Wali and Andara Rahman (Sabar African Dance). Not only has Dr. Heard studied Dunham, Humphrey-Weidman, Katherine Dunham (Dunham Technique), and Limon techniques, she was a scholarship student at the Ailey School.
Dr. Heard served on the Core Course Proficiencies and Standards Panel for the Arts in New Jersey and the panel that drafted guidelines for licensing dance and theater for the State of New Jersey.
Today she is married, the mother of two children and continues living and giving her passion to the arts.
Marcia E. Heard, Ph.D., Co-Founder & President
Doris Walker Bennett, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Vice President
April Thompson, Treasurer
La Vonne Jones-Mc Getren, Secretary
Troy Kwesi Harrison, Member – Community Business and Access Programs
Tatiana Hyrnyzyan, Member – MVOCSL Music Specialist
Gracian Mack, Member - Accountant
Master Teachers Past and Present
Adreinne Armstrong-Cooper Dance
Mariah Ayscue Theater Arts
Carole Bailey Visual Arts
Maurice Chestnut Dance
Alfred Gallman Dance
Tatiana Hyrnyzyan Vocal music
Harriet Parker Community Activism
Serge Sinitsyn Painting/Scenic Design
Ericka Streeter-Adams Vocal Music
Robert "Bob" Smith Theater Arts
Wincey Terry-Bryant Vocal Music
Dr. Doris E. Walker-Bennett
Doris E. Walker-Bennett holds a B.A. in Health and Physical Education from Trenton State College, N.J.; an M.A. in Health Professions from Montclair State College, N.J.; and a Ph.D., in Movement Science from New York University. Her expertise is in Dance Education and Movement Science with an emphasis on education for the handicapped and special populations. This expertise transcends into Curriculum Design and Evaluation, demonstrated by her 27-year Supervisor of Health, Physical Education, and Dance for the Montclair Public School System; she is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships.
Dr. Bennett is Co-Founder of the Ivy Hill Vailsburg Center for Arts Culture and Community Activism and has held Professorships in Health/Physical Education and Dance at The College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, The New Jersey Performing Arts and the University of Phoenix. She joined the School of Performing Arts at Montclair High School as the founder of the dance company and Coordinator of Dance and was also Supervisor of the Health, Physical Education and Dance Department. Dr. Bennett became the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist in the Office of Assessment for the New Jersey Department of Education (1997-2000). As an evaluator, her credentials include the New York City Board of Education's Dance Institute, based on The Katherine Dunham Model and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Dr. Bennett serves on executive boards of professional and community service organizations. Her education and personal goals have always been to enhance each student's awareness of his/her own innate potential for creativity and success.