Village Arts is a non-profit entity EIN: 83-3652255. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
At Village Arts we envision a home for all children 5 to 105 – a place for everyone to experience and explore all art disciplines and where creative collaborations organically fosters meaningful connection, communication and understanding.
Parisa Stepanek holds a Bachelor’s of Music from NYU and has performed on stages across the country in such shows as CATS, Chicago, Big, and Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (National Tours), A Christmas Carol (Madison Square Garden) and Follies (Broadway).
Parisa has spent the past decade on the Colfax Elementary Board, Walter Reed Middle School Parent booster clubs, and school leadership councils. Her focus has been on fundraising and event planning.
Richard Poole has been the Pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church since April 2010 (having served congregations in CO, TX, and OK before that). He has a Master of Divinity degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s degree from The College of Wooster (OH) with a double major in Religious Studies and Geology.
As a native Californian, Pastor Rich loves all of The Golden State. He is particularly fond of Valley Village, where he is active at the Church and has been an active Faith-based seat member in the Neighborhood Council of Valley Village from 2015-2018. He takes pride in being a part of the Residents Association, PTAs at Colfax Elementary and Walter Reed MS, The North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, and Village Arts, of course!
Pastor Rich is passionate about community service and perceives the Church as existing to serve the needs of the people in the neighborhood. Pastor Rich is married to Jane Runnalls-Poole and father of four sons – apart from his work, his family is the greatest passion and joy of his life.
Attorney Karla Patricia Avelino was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and brought to the United States at a very young age fleeing the civil war in El Salvador. She was raised in Los Angeles and is a first-generation college graduate. She received her law degree from Southwestern Law School in 2006 and her B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, in 2001. Karla has been practicing immigration law since 2007. She is a partner of Rogen and Avelino Law in Encino, California. She spends her time helping people from all walks of life, including individuals in the music, film, and television industry and families who have fled their home countries seeking a better life in the US.
She has been part of Village Arts since 2011, when her daughter Eva Avelino acted in her first play, “Snow Queen.” Following in her mother’s footsteps, Eva has continued at Village Arts as a volunteer, now. And, Karla’s son, Francisco, participates in the Summer, Fall, and Spring plays.
It is essential for her that all children have a safe place where their voices are heard and feel that they are an integral part of the community.
Gail Craven is an educator and community leader who has taught at Colfax Elementary and LAUSD for 40 years. Gail is the founder of leads Turning Pages Foundation, a nonprofit which engages young people in the Studio City/North Hollywood community. Turning Pages participated in volunteer programs and community-building activities across the LA area for over eight years.
As a board member for Village Arts, Gail brings her educative and community experiences to our program.
Lindsay Gamache is a professional actress in L.A. Originally from Pittsburgh, she earned her BFA in musical theatre from Penn State University. Upon graduating, Lindsay performed in the Japan and North American Tour of 42nd Street the Musical. She then headed to L.A. to continue her career in theatre, tv/film, and voice-over.
Most recently, she performed in the play, Simpatico at the WhiteFire Theater. You can hear her voice on the Kerrygold Butter campaign and see her on the Jersey Mike’s commercial.
She continues to coach students for their acting and singing auditions and support the arts in education.
Growing up in Elysian Heights, Los Angeles, Laura has always experienced and loved the spirit of a close community. She is most comfortable when she surrounds herself with diversity, art, and giving people. Laura and her husband moved to Valley Village in 2001. She has volunteered at her two children’s schools; most recently, she has served as Secretary, and At Large Member on the parent board of their high school. Their youngest daughter, now a college freshman, attended Village Arts’ improv class when she was in elementary school.
Because of Village Arts’ commitment to children and the community, Laura proudly serves on the board. She provides administrative support and helps develop a fantastic community arts center. As a graphic artist, photographer, and community leader/volunteer, Laura brings her knowledge and experience.
Village Arts offers year-round arts programs after school, weekends and at our summer camp.
Our arts center is located at Faith Presbyterian Church of Valley Village and offer programs at Colfax Charter Elementary School as well as independent schools in North Hollywood area.Currently, our performance and visual arts programs serve a diverse population of students and offer scholarships to families in need.
We collaborate with the local artists to help teach, develop and create programming and continue to expand the array of classes we offer in performance and visual arts.
In the coming year, we plan to further expand our scholarship program for families and we are currently developing programs in design and technical theatre with the local schools and professional designers.
Pam and John’s creation of Village Arts comes from their passion for theatre and education. Together they decided to build on Pam’s successful approach to teaching that allows each student to discover their way to achievement and success.
The creation of an arts center in North Hollywood is to provide a destination for the Valley Village and North Hollywood community to participate in the arts and expose children to all the arts offer.