About

Faculty

KENNETH C. BROWN

Early Childhood Movement

Kenneth C. Brown has performed in many theatrical and dance productions in the tri-state area and is very active in the Delaware arts community. Ken completed the early arts education program at the Curtis Settlement Music School and Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania where he earned a Masters’ Degree in Education in 2002. Ken is school founder and Dean of Students & Families at Kuumba Academy Charter School.

GABRIELLE HILLIARD

Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Praise

Gabrielle Hilliard is a native Philadelphian. She attended Delaware Technical & Community College for her Nursing Degree and is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). She had an opportunity to perform in the production of Friends and Lovers, starring Leon of the Five Heartbeats. She has also performed in “What Men Don’t Tell” starring Kenny Lattimore and Chaunte Moore and was the lead dancer in the production of “Good Lord, What Is The World Coming To” starring Megan Good. She is a former dance and member of the board of directors of Eleone Dance Theatre and currently is an instructor at Eleone Dance Unlimited.

RICHARD KEE

Acrobatics

Richard Kee graduated from the American Beauty Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. He also attended Delaware Technical Community College and passed the Washington DC state board for CNA. Richard has been affiliated with CCAC for the past seventeen years. He has studied Hip Hop, Jazz, Acrobatics, Modern, Ballet and Drama under the instruction of Shawn-Lamere Williams, Tanya Jackson, Faye Snow, Chauntee Andrews, Kenneth C. Brown and was former member of the CCAC Dance Ensemble. Richard loves to pass on to others what he learned. He is able to pull out the raw talent of students that they never knew they had. Currently, Richard is a guest choreographer for the Cab Calloway School of the Performing Arts. He has been part of the Police Athletic League (PAL) creative arts for program as an instructor and guest choreographer.

TANYA JACKSON

Tap Dance

Tanya Jackson started her teaching career by substituting at Christina Cultural Arts Center for her dance teacher the late Rhon McKennies Ivory. She received her training at age nine through a scholarship at the Academy of the Dance while attending Cool Springs Elementary School (William C. Lewis Elementary). She has performed in the "Nutcracker" with the Academy of the Dance. She also joined the Wilmington Black Ensemble with Llewllyn Wimberly, J. Preston Powell, Harold Pearson, Kamau Ngome, and Bebe Coker, which included performances like "Pearlie", "The Rose", "Ain’t Nothing But The Truth", "Black Experience", "Mo Tea Ms. Ann", "Wake Up World to What’s Happening Now" and was the lead dancer in "God’s Greatest Gift". Tanya teaches Tap, Jazz, Modern, Ballet and Hip Hop dance. Tanya founded the 3 Times Tap Ensemble that performed at the Apollo Theater in New York. Her Tap Choreography won first place.

JEFFERS LOPERBEY

Karate

Jeffers Loperbey has a BA in Human Services and is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College. He has been practicing martial arts since 1966 and is a 5th Degree black belt and an East Coast Regional Director of the Sho-Rei- ShobuKan Budo Organization. He has been featured on radio, television, in national martial arts publications and conducted demonstrations for civic, social and charitable organizations. With an extensive career in education and social services, Loperbey specializes in teaching karate to children with the idea of using traditional karate as viable platform for building character and personal virtues as well as the physical and mental health benefits. Loperbey’s passionate commitment is to give to others what he has graciously received in the many years of martial arts training and study.

KEVIN BENJAMIN

Piano

Kevin Benjamin is a native of Wilmington, a graduate of Delaware State University with BA and a Masters’ degree in Music Education. Kevin completed a Masters’ Degree in Divinity from Eastern University and is the new pastor at Mount Salem United Methodist and Summit United Methodist Church. Currently, Kevin is an adjunct professor at Wesley College in Dover, DE. He received his early music education at the Christina Cultural Arts Center and has served as musical director for many theatrical productions and as minister of music for Delaware churches. He is a much sought after conductor for a range of cultural and civic events. Kevin Benjamin is the proud father of five children.

BENOD DURHAM

Percussion/Arts Integration

Benod was born in Jamaica Queens, NY, Benod has been playing drums since he was 5 years old and has grown to become a musician of great caliber. Benod became a professional musician at age 16, purchasing his first real drum set with his earnings as a musician. Benod is also a producer. His musical talent has taken him all over the east coast, San Diego, Atlanta, Catalina, and Mexico. He has shared the stage with Mylious Johnson , Jeff "Lo" Davis, Norman Hutchins, Jonathan Dubose, Steven Ford, James Poyser, Steven Smack and others. Currently, Benod teaches private lessons at CCAC as well as in public charter schools, blending the gift of music with academics. He envisions founding a non-profit organization called BANAH Inc., targeting young urban males to help build character and discipline for their personal success.

NORWOOD COLEMAN JR.

Strings/Piano

Received a Master of Social Work Degree from Delaware State University. Norwood has an eclectic mix of cultural knowledge and skills. His goal is to help students forge a relationship between their technique, theory and love of music. This forging of mind, body and spirit is at the core of his approach to artistic discovery. Norwood currently directs the chamber ensemble Umoja Strings, serves in the musical department at the Spirit of Life Lutheran Church in Wilmington and is a member of the Christina Cultural Arts Center Fruits of the Spirit Chorale Ensemble. He has studied with Jan Baty of the DeLos String Quarter on the viola using the Alexander Technique. Norwood also studied with late John Young, international pianist and professor at Lincoln University from 1980-1987 and with Ray Urwin from 1979-1990 playing the harpsichord, organ and music theory. His musical repertory includes solo and ensemble performance of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Spirituals, Jazz and Contemporary music. Norwood performed with the Fruits of the Spirit at the Tuscan International Choral Festival in July 2007, with violinist John Blake Jr., and at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

BRYNIA JOHNSON

Hip Hop/Ensemble

Brynia J. attended Howard University where she studied theatre arts. She acquired a functioning entertainment company entitled Dionne's Entertainment. Within her company she operates as a songwriter, actress, director, assistant director, choreographer, script writer, and workshop catalyst for organizations such as Christina Cultural Arts Center, Delaware Dance, Heidi's Academy, and other projects. Having recently completed a tour with the cast of “Love Jones the Musical”, Brynia tours with musical artist Chrisette Michelle. She has been seen in the hit stage play “Tears of A Teenage Mother” as the supporting role of Shawny and she is also a member of Theatrical Fusion improv acting troupe. She also has choreographed for stage play Temporary Insanity, and has continued to serve her community and extended communities by teaching dance, acting, and life skills to organizations such as Girls Inc, East Side Community, Pal Center, and Team Mac Assoc. of Chester, Pa. Brynia has had opportunities to display her craft as a hip hop artist from New York City to California’s sound stage of Nickelodeon, performing and writing the theme song for celebrity kid “CJ Sanders” of “Ray Charles”. Brynia J. has also recorded with a host of producers/engineers such as “Barry B” of Doug E Fresh, “Scotti Beats” of Night Flight Studios, and “Buddha Monk” of “Brooklyn Zoo/Heisman.” She has an undeniable musical catalog that consists of originality, creativity, conscious content, catchy hooks, and inspirational messages. She provides her listeners with an arsenal of her catalog on Reverbnation.com.

DARNELL MILLER

Guitar/Voice/Music Production/Early Childhood Music

Darnell Miller has enjoyed a long association with Christina Cultural Arts Center as a student in the Youth Chorale under the direction of H.L. Ratliff, as a faculty member in the Voice/Strings Department and as Music Department Chair. Currently, Darnell teaches as CCAC arts integration faculty for Kuumba Academy Charter School where he also directs the Kuumba Kadillacs. As a gifted composer, arranger and versatile artist, Darnell has toured internationally with a range of gospel artists including Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, as well as artists Toby Mac and Eric Roberson. He has appeared on the Stellar Awards, NAACP Image Awards and other televised performances. HIs recent venture is an EP release. The first single “BASTARD” is on Sound Cloud. As a producer he has worked with a wide range of artists from rock to jazz and gospel. His band “The Souldaires” is much sought after in the region.

DENNIS FORTUNE

Piano

Dennis Fortune, an adjunct professor of music at Drexel University has been teaching and performing in the Philadelphia area for over 35 years. He holds a B.A. degree in music and sociology from Dickinson College and is currently the musical director for the groups FVC and The Jenkins Project. He has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and the world performing with such artists as Esther Satterfield, Jean Carne, Donald Byrd, Billy Paul , Norman Connors, and numerous others. He is the recipient of the Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship for jazz composition. He currently has released five CD’s and produced projects for many other artists. He composed the music for the WHYY television special “Four Presidents the Great American Clean Up” and the Delaware production of “The Four Poster” staring Jasmine Guy and Keith David. Christina Cultural Arts Center awards an annual scholarship “The Dennis Fortune Scholarship for Musical Excellence” to a deserving student studying jazz piano.

DARA STEVENS-MEREDITH

Ballet/Jazz/Modern/Dunham/Senior Ensemble

Dara Stevens-Meredith is an Atlanta native, trained at Total Dance/Dancical Productions under Terrie Ajile Axam and Dawn Axam. She received her B.F.A. in Dance Education at the University of the Arts where she was the recipient of the highest honored Stella Moore Award. She also received her Masters of Fine Art at Temple University and was awarded the Rose Vernick Choreographic Achievement Award. Mrs. Meredith has performed with Total Dance Theater in Senegal, West Africa, Tommie Evans’ “Waheed Works”, Brian Sanders’ "Junk", Jomandi Productions’ “Black Nativity” (Atl), and VIA International’s “Body Snatchers the Musical” (Los Angeles, CA), and Sonia Sanchez’ “Living Legends” national tour. She has also choreographed for Bad Boy’s “Danity Kane”, Grace Dance Theater, Danse 4 Nia Dance Company, Axam Dance Theater Experience, and West Chester University. She has taught at the University of the Arts, Pennsylvania State College, and several studios and institutions in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In 2004 she co-founded DCNS Summer Dance Intensive and in 2009 she produced and choreographed her own sold out show, "Moments ReDefined". Mrs. Meredith is presently the choreographer for the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia musicals since 2009. She received a “"Best Choreography Award”" from National Dance Showcase, Philadelphia Live Arts Fringe Festival’s “Rocky Award", and the “E Award for Excellence" from Eleone Dance Theatre. She also received the "2009 Audience Choice Award" for the highly competitive International Dance Festival for Choreographers in Stuttgart, Germany. Mrs. Meredith is currently an adjunct faculty member at Temple University, and heads up the Dance Chance Program for the Pennsylvania Ballet. She is a proud wife and mother of 3.

JILL BROADWAY

Voice

Jill Broadway, full Lyric Soprano, has just returned from her huge success of creating the role of Katherine in the world premier of Marilyn Thompson’s new opera Tapestry. She returned to the east coast on the heels of her Texas success to begin rehearsing the role of Desdemona in The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival’s production of Otello. This will be the third time she has performed the role of Desdemona since 2012. In the summer of 2014, Jill Broadway joined a incredible international cast of Artists to perform her first Donna Anna in Opera Seabrook’s new production of Don Giovanni. Opera Seabrook received splendid reviews for the production with the Artistic help of Ms. Broadway. The Soprano will be tackling the role of Leonora in the summer of 2018 when Opera Seabrook launches their first Il Trovatore. Jill Broadway has performed regularly in Philadelphia and New Jersey with Opera Seabrook and the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival in such roles as the First Lady in The Magic Flute and Mercedes in Carmen. Jill Broadway is in demand for her Concert Artistry throughout the whole eastern seaboard region. Jill Broadway received her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from University of Delaware and her Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Vocal Performance and English Literature from East Carolina University. Along with her career of singing, Ms. Broadway continues to take time to teach as Artist of Voice at Christina Cultural Arts Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

FRANCEE BOULWARE

Piano

Francee Boulware is an accomplished musician, music educator, multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter from Wilmington, DE. Francee is an alumna of Delaware State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Comprehensive Music Education. She has studied with prominent music professors from Delaware State University, Lincoln University and Morgan State University. Since graduating in 2009, she has gone on to work in live and studio environments across the US sharing prestigious stages with top acts. She currently performs with several local bands Fuzion Sol, Aziza Nailah and Richard Raw.

Francee has had music production featured on major TV and radio and has produced on a number of artist records such as Kefia Rollerson, Ratu Suguturaga, Leon Monroe, Colby Bright, Vokyle to name a few.

STEVEN MARTINEZ

Hip Hop

Steve Martinez is versed in hip hop dance including Popping, Gliding and Waving, Isolations and Krump style. A 2014 Delaware Teen Idol 4th place winner, Martinez has choreographed with Prestige Kids Empire and has been a member of Millennium Dance Company. His TV appearances include Saturday Morning Fever/Dancin' on Air. Register now for Winter/Spring Hip-Hop classes.