Alicia Morena – Artistic Consultant
In 1998, I was invited by the Department of Dance at the Monterey Peninsula College, under Dawn Sare and Walter White, to be a guest artist in Flamenco dance and to produce my choreo-drama, “Concierto Homenaje-a Lorca”. The very successful 3-night concert, financed in part by the Cultural Arts Council for Monterey County, involved a multifaceted community of students, artists, and audiences who expressed and supported cultural survival through the dance arts in the life and works of Federico García-Lorca. Because of this event, I founded ADITI, Sanskrit for creative abundance, with the generous help of local attorney, Sonia Sharma. Since 1999, I have worked in numerous roles on the board to encourage and demonstrate the preservation of cultures through dance and the inter arts.
As Artist Consultant to the Aditi Foundation, I will (1) assist the board in securing applications for student dance scholarships in the under served communities of Monterey County, (2) mentor scholarship students in teaching roles to pass on the disappearing heritage of the oldest ethnic and classical dances, (3) build a student ensemble (Así, Así Jazmín) and a professional ensemble (Danzas Aditi) to demonstrate the oldest, authentic dances with music and costumes in historic venues for cultural tourism, and (4) encourage the board to create a yearly fundraiser that integrates dance with inter arts, in a thematic and collaborative manner, with other non-profits.
Valerie Rivera – President
As a middle school visual and performing arts teacher, I am committed to ensuring that all students receive a comprehensive, rigorous arts education. The arts provide many alternative ways of constructing knowledge and problem solving that are not addressed in other curricula. I am particularly dedicated to extending arts programs to groups who are typically underrepresented. Dance is frequently left out of the daily schedule for most public schools; this is a missed opportunity for children – our greatest resource.
In my role as Board President, I hope to extend the reach of the Aditi Foundation into the cultural and economic life force of Monterey County. I will continue to work with other arts non-profits and community groups to keep the arts a relevant, coveted treasure in our community. Along with the Board of Directors, I am determined to support dance students and emerging artists in their career path to help preserve this vital art form. I am an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, and have attended San Jose State University, CSUMB, and CSU Dominguez Hills for graduate studies.
Sheila Keifetz – Vice President
The Aditi Board elected me Vice President of the Aditi Foundation in 2012. It has been my pleasure to promote its vision of fostering creativity and education through the performing art of Ethnic Dance. Aditi offers scholarships and grant programs to Monterey County youth that create opportunities for cultural enrichment and the learning of heritage dances.
My goal is to bring dance education, performance and the enjoyment of cultural heritages to our community in a variety of venues and historic settings. I am a life long student and educator, who has designed arts education programs in New York City, San Diego, and Monterey with a dedicated background in the visual arts and cultural anthropology.
Alin Rios – Secretary
My motivation for serving on the Aditi Board goes back to Seaside High School where I was encouraged to pursue my education on many levels. In college, I joined groups such as the first Latino club on campus where I organized fundraising events and did humanitarian work in Tabasco, Mexico. I was able to share this experience with the public through a TV interview.
As Aditi secretary, I will assist the Board in the creation of their annual fundraiser as director of publicity for this important event. I will be the contact person between Aditi and the community with correspondences regarding financial support, scholarships, and special cultural events. My contribution to preserving cultures through dance will be my teaching in preschool programs. I am also the contact person for the Así, Así Jazmín monthly concerts at Mando’s Restaurant in Pacific Grove, to ensure audience donations for future scholarship students.