Our Board of Directors
Danka Kulikowski is a highly experienced school leader and educator with a diverse and adventurous background. With seventeen years in the field of education Danka has taught middle and high school Theatre and English both in the United States and abroad in amazing international schools in Kuwait, China and Russia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Winona State University in Winona, MN and a Master’s in School Administration from The College of New Jersey. Some of Danka’s accomplishments in her field include directing and producing over thirty theatre productions and receiving the Teacher of the Year Award from Chapel Hill City Carrboro School District. She currently resides in North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she works as a middle school theatre teacher and mini-van driving mother of two active boys, Harrison age 9 and Connor age 8.
Keith Marks currently serves as the Executive Director of Next Stage Arts Project in southeastern Vermont where he also serves on the board for New England Presenters Association. Marks holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from The University of North Florida, a master's in education from Tel Aviv University, and completed National Arts Strategies' Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy. Prior work experience includes founding the non profit music organization Avant, producing a weekly radio show on NPR affiliate WJCT, and running numerous community initiatives such as Party, Benefit & Jam, The Jacksonville Memorial Light Festival, & No Meat March. He has worked as a neuromuscular massage therapist, lived in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and enjoys adventuring to new places with his family. www.keithallanmarks.com
Mr. Harri Hursti is a world-renowned data security expert, internet visionary and serial entrepreneur. He began his career as the prodigy behind the first commercial, public email and online forum system in Scandinavia. He founded his first company at the age of 13 and went on to cofound EUnet-Finland in his mid- 20’s. Today, Harri continues to innovate and find solutions to the world’s most vexing problems. He is among the world’s leading authority in the areas of election voting security and critical infrastructure and network system security.
Mr. Smith is proud to support the work of 400 arts educators in providing 86,000 students in Nashville, TN with equitable access to arts learning opportunities that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning. Prior to joining Metro Nashville Public Schools, he served as director of arts for Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, FL. During his time with Duval County Public Schools he was honored by the Jacksonville Business Journal with the Innovators in Education Award for his role in developing Instruments for Change, a community campaign to collect new and gently used instruments for students with nonprofit and business partners throughout Jacksonville. He has always been a staunch advocate for arts education and developed his love of the arts when introduced to the piano at the age of 5. He was inspired to become a music educator while participating in the chorus, band, and drama programs during his high school years. He spent 12 years teaching music in New York and South Carolina before becoming a nonprofit leader in Jacksonville, FL.
Upon moving to Jacksonville in 2010, Mr. Smith served as Associate Director for the Cathedral Arts Project for three years. During that time, he oversaw program research, faculty development, and strategic partnerships while leading the expansion of after school, summer, and school day arts programs. He also started Smith Creative, a consulting company for nonprofits and businesses. Mr. Smith possesses a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education from LIU Post, Master of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University, and Professional Diploma in School District Leadership from The College of New Rochelle.
He currently serves on the board of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Bold City Contemporary Ensemble, and on the education committee for the Nashville Symphony. He lives with his three kids in Nashville. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his children outdoors, playing the piano, watching independent films, visiting cultural institutions, and attending as many school and community performances and exhibits as possible.