Learn about our Board

Scott Ward

Scott Ward

Scott Ward is the Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts (since 2001). Located in Pasadena, this community-based organization is committed to creating, teaching and presenting the arts for all ages and backgrounds. Programs include exhibition and performance, on-site sequential education, art experiences in the community, school residencies, and professional development for teachers and artists. Previously, Mr. Ward worked as the Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Arts Center (1997-2001), Executive Director of the Downey Museum of Art (1987-1996), and Gallery Director of the University Art Gallery at CSU San Bernardino (1983-1985). He often serves as a grants panelist for organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, California Arts Council, Los Angeles Department for Cultural Affairs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Wallace Foundation. Mr. Ward is also an accomplished curator and educator who has taught at CSU San Bernardino, Chaffey College, and Loyola Marymount University. He is frequently invited to speak and consult on a wide range of issues and topics related to Art and Community. He received an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a BA in Aesthetic Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Peter Walden

Peter Walden

Executive Director and professional musician Peter David Walden began his work in Probation nine years ago helping to co-found Rhythm Arts Alliance. Today, RAA reaches throughout Los Angeles County, and under Peter’s guidance seeks to fulfill their mission of helping communities live out loud.

Malin McKinley

Malin McKinley

Malin McKinley LCSW is the Program Director for C/HOPE, a program of the Coalition for Engaged Education located inside of Camp David Gonzales. Malin supports the C/HOPE team as they provide enhanced educational services along with re-entry preparation and arts programming to the young men incarcerated at Camp G.

Keren Taylor

Keren Taylor

Keren Taylor, Executive Director of WriteGirl, has been a community leader for two decades. In 2001, she founded the nonprofit WriteGirl to pair women writers with underserved girls for creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and college readiness guidance. The Bold Ink Writers program, a division of WriteGirl, trains men and women writers to be creative writing mentors for boys and co-ed groups.

Janice Pober

Janice Pober

Janice Pober is Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Social Responsibility for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) where she oversees the studio’s strategic philanthropic efforts, cultural participation and community outreach activities. Over the past 30 years Pober has increased the company’s reputation for philanthropy and strengthened its role as a social responsibility leader in the entertainment industry.

Pober is a Trustee of the California State Summer School for the Arts. Additionally, she serves on the Boards of the Craft & Folk Art Museum, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network and Vision to Learn, the Executive Committee for the Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education; the California Institute of the Arts, Community Arts Partnership Council; as well as the advisory boards for the Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and Culver City’s District Community Arts Team. She is also a member of Grantmakers in the Arts and Los Angeles Arts Funders.

Chris Henrickson

Chris Henrickson

Chris Henrikson is the founder and executive director of Street Poets Inc. He has over 20 years of experience teaching and mentoring youth and young adults in, around and beyond the Los Angeles County juvenile probation system.

Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton

Melissa Denton has dedicated the past 10 years creating pathways for social and emotional development through theater arts, to LA’s hardest-to-reach youth and families. As Executive Director of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, she represents US as a thought leader in various capacities, including the First International Teaching Artist Conference in Oslo, Norway, and has designed and facilitated performance based training workshops for corporate and nonprofit clients, such as the Dramatist Guild of America, Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, and the Satyagraha Institute’s Nonviolent Training Program.

Prior to her role at US, Melissa served as Project Coordinator with New York City’s Roundabout Theatre Company, managing 25 teaching artists at Bronx Theatre High School. She has worked as a teaching artist for various arts organizations in NYC, including the Guggenheim Museum. Melissa holds a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University, Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s in Theatre-Mass Communications from South Dakota State University.

Sabra Williams

Sabra Williams

Sabra Williams has received international acclaim for her work as an actor and co-founder of The Actors’ Gang Prison Project, including being named by President Obama a, "Champion of Change" in 2016, and being honored with a British Empire Medal by Queen Elizabeth in 2018.

As former Director of The Prison Project, for twelve years, she oversaw the program from one California State Prison to thirteen, as well as programs in two Reentry facilities, girls Juveniles Camps and a new Correctional & Probation Officer program.

She is currently the Executive Director of a new Social Justice initiative, Creative Acts. www.creativeacts.us

Amir Whitaker

Amir Whitaker

Amir is an educator, author, and civil rights lawyer. He is the founder and volunteer director of Project KnuckleHead, a nonprofit organization empowering youth through music, art, and educational programs since 2013.

Often referred to as "Dr. KnuckleHead," Amir was introduced to the criminal justice system as a child when he visited both his mother and father in prison. At age 15, Amir himself was arrested and entered the juvenile justice system. Problems at school eventually led to him being expelled. Despite these hardships, Amir went on to complete five college degrees.

As a lawyer referred to as a "civil rights and education stalwart" by the Daytona Times, Amir has negotiated settlements and policy changes that have improved the lives of thousands of youth across the country. Amir is currently a staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. At the Southern Poverty Law Center, Amir worked on a class action lawsuit on behalf of incarcerated youth receiving inadequate education, mental health, and rehabilitation services. Within the Juvenile Division of the Miami-Dade County Public Defender‘s Office, Amir represented incarcerated youth and developed training materials. He has taught varying grade levels and in different educational settings for over a decade, and has held teaching certifications in Florida, California, and New Jersey. He has delivered keynote speeches to thousands, and written for leading publications across the country, including TIME Magazine. Amir’s recently released autobiography has been featured on ABC News and in The New Yorker. Amir is the current board chair for the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network in Los Angeles, a collaborative of 12 organizations providing arts programming to incarcerated youth throughout the county. He received his doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California, juris doctorate from the University of Miami, and his bachelors from Rutgers University.