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Adele Davalos Mitchell

Founder of the original SOL Club

Adele has been an educator for over thirty years. She has taught visual art, dance, physical education and film studies. Adele has worked with generations of students at Montgomery High School, Lawrence Cook Junior High School, Santa Rosa Junior College and was a founding faculty member at Maria Carrillo High School. Her awards include the California State Senate Award for Outstanding Commitment to Southwest Santa Rosa Youth, recognition at a Congressional Forum on Education hosted by United States Representative, Lynn Woolsey and the Excellence in Education Award presented by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. At Lawrence Cook Junior High School, Adele was the founding teacher of SOL Club (Socially Organized Latinos). SOL was a club that originated on campus as a way of resolving gang violence that had emerged in 1994. SOL club combined honoring cultural heritage, community collaboration and visual art projects to create positive social change. SOL activities included weekly guest speakers from the community, participation in art festivals, canned food drives, student speakers sharing the SOL club experience with other schools, lowrider bike shows, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and art creations throughout the school. SOL successfully ended the gang fighting on campus with students focusing on cultural pride and giving back to their community. Two student leaders of the original SOL club are now local community leaders. Omar Medina is a Santa Rosa City Schools Trustee and Gustavo Mendoza is the Outreach Specialist for the City of Santa Rosa. Adele was also the founder and executive director of Santa Rosa Dance Theater for over fourteen years, providing professional dance training and performance opportunities for hundreds of young artists. Adele continues to be an advocate for underserved youth by helping to promote art as a way of self expression and resilience.

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Carmen Maria Mitchell

Founder of Redwood Theatre Company

Carmen is the Founder and Executive Director of Redwood Theatre Company, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to bringing professional theatrical productions and educational programs to Sonoma County, CA. She also spearheads FTA (For The Art) Productions, working alongside a collective of passionate filmmakers & multimedia artists. Their mission is to produce meaningful art and share powerful stories that amplifying voices in the community. Carmen studied Performing Arts and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco, where she cultivated her passion for arts outreach and activism. Carmen is the Co-Founder of the SOL Community Arts outreach organization, providing intentional programming and scholarships to vulnerable youth. This initiative aims to make performance and visual art more accessible to children in underserved communities as a form of violence prevention. Carmen is passionate about using the arts as a tool for social change, fostering creativity, and nurturing resilience among young people. Her commitment to arts activism is reflected in her advocacy for inclusivity and community empowerment within her projects. She actively engages in social justice outreach initiatives, using her platform to uplift marginalized voices and advocate for meaningful change. Through partnerships with local organizations, Carmen leads projects that address issues of inequality and injustice, empowering individuals to tell their stories and advocate for their rights. With a deep passion for the arts and activism, Carmen looks forward to the opportunities that lie ahead, eager to continue collaborating with kindred artists and organizations to create impactful and meaningful work.

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Gustavo Mendoza

Advisor & Original SOL Club Member

Gustavo Mendoza : Coordinator of Wellness and Engagement Santa Rosa City Schools "Sonoma County artists draw on their Latino heritage to create works of art that unite, educate and empower. Whether it's designing classic cars like Gustavo Mendoza, who found his niche thanks to another Latino artist; helping troubled young people channel their energy into art like Dayana Leon, who draws inspiration from her powerful Latina mother; or building public artworks from twisted metal and fire like Martin Zúñiga, whose sculptures dot Central and Northern California, art is a force for change and reflection. Some of these artists are familiar Sonoma County names, while others are fresh faces just making their mark on the art world. Together, their works represent a sampling of the passion, strength and diversity that Latino artists bring to the art world across the North Coast..."


Nikko Kimzin

Advisor & Consultant 

Founder of Kimzin Creative. Joy Centered Creative Collaborator. Maker of things. Teacher. Performer. Director. Producer. Strategic Problem-Solver. Systems of Success Designer. Artist. Leader. "We center joy through the art making process by reimagining what art is, how we create it, and who we are creating it for." With a nasal resonance built for ancient Roman coliseums and a natural flair for “heightened circumstances”, I’ve been handing out Tony-award-winning performances from my living room since the age of 3. At the end of 8th grade, my mom suggested that I take my solo show to a different venue: my high school theater department. That’s where I first discovered the power of art, community, and “zip zap zop”. I got my degree in Musical Theater, began exploring culturally responsive art making, moved to NYC, and started performing all around the world. After years of alternating between West Side Story and Sister Act, I realized a pattern in the roles I was being considered for…a young latino man with a gun in a gang with a thick accent. Desperate for complex storytelling I was faced with a choice: “do I wait for the industry to change?” or “learn new skills to help change the industry.” The latter was my start into a world of storytelling that seeks to honor and celebrate the cultural wealth of diverse communities. And now I get the JOY of continuing to collaborate with passionate, talented artists in creating a more inclusive and just world for all of us."

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