About Us

ENRICH . EDUCATE . EMPOWER

Arts Enrichment Programs
RISE Beyond will provide arts enrichment programs at participating schools throughout the school year that will highly develop and challenge the mental, physical and creative abilities of each student. The programs will be focused on three kinds of arts: Urban Performing Arts, Martial Arts and Media Arts. During the summer season, RISE Beyond will conduct annual intensive programs, internships and extended learning opportunities, which will provide an avenue for students to improve in their specific art form.

Educational Awareness
RISE Beyond will educate students at its participating schools on three specific human rights issues that are affecting children and youth world wide: Hunger, Abduction and Human Trafficking. Our Ground Breakers Urban Performing Arts program will support charities whose mission is to end child hunger. Our Young Dragons Martial Arts program will partner with organizations that teach child safety. Our Storytellers Media Arts program will support those that actively fight to end child trafficking.

Charitable Giving
RISE Beyond will establish a plan of action to give our students an opportunity to be a part of the solution. This will give our students an understanding that even as young children, they do have the ability to make a difference in their communities. This is a great avenue for our kids and youth to see that every good deed is valuable no matter how small it is.

RISE Beyond will also give back financially to participating schools and charities that address the issues of hunger, abduction and human trafficking. A school is considered a “participating school” if RISE Beyond is currently offering at least one of the three arts enrichment programs to the students of their school. All participating schools will then qualify for a financial donation from RISE Beyond. The school principal/director will allocate the donation accordingly towards any need that the school may have.

Additionally, RISE Beyond will provide need-based scholarships to our arts enrichment programs. Students who have shown exceptional dedication and ability can also receive “On The RISE” student scholarships to our annual summer intensive and extended learning opportunities such as field trips, conferences, conventions, festivals, competitions, etc.

Board of Directors:

Lee Hughes, President

Lee has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Management from SUNY Brockport, NY. He helped establish and served as the Owner and Operator of Arikata Martial Arts, Rochester NY, which has been in operation for 15 years and is still currently serving the local community. He was the business counselor for National Grants Conferences, a company specializing in small business development and financing. He’s had over 20 years of experience in Fine Arts, Performing and Martial Arts and is currently serving as the Director of Admissions at the Art Institute of California – Hollywood, a school specializing in design and commercial arts.

Hanne Fellers, Secretary

Hanne worked full time for GX International, which is a non-profit organization under Youth With A Mission (YWAM) that uses dance, extreme sports and multimedia to share a message of hope to youth all around the world. She also lead GX International teams that traveled all over the world from 2003 – 2008. She has worked for the city of Bryne, Norway that held creative arts program for youth from 2002 – 2004. She is currently a Masters Program student in International communication, culture understanding and human rights. She is also the President of a Non-profit organization called Passport 2 Freedom, which uses art, music and dance to raise financial aid to the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Genein Letford, Treasurer

Genein has a Masters of Education from California State University Northridge in curriculum and instruction with a master thesis on ‘Integration with Integrity: The Importance of Keeping Music in Elementary Classrooms.’ She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCLA, specializing in Diversified Liberal Arts in Elementary Education.

She has studied cultural and historical influence of the arts from various schools such as US China Institute (Los Angeles), Korean Academy for Educator (Korean Culture Center Los Angeles), Costa Rica Language Academy (San Jose, Costa Rica) and University of Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain) She was a recipient of multiple fellowships and grants such as the National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship: Duke Ellington – Development of American Culture, 2011; Horace Mann: Abraham Lincoln National Fellowship Recipient, Springfield, IL, June 2008; Donors Choose (Classroom Supplies, Music Books, and Instruments) Grant Recipient, 2008-2010; Target for the Arts: Field Trip Grant Recipient, 2009, 2010; California Community Foundation, Grant Recipient, 2007, 2008. She received a few more awards and scholarships such as the Great American Teacher of the Year Award, Atlanta GA, 2010; Ortner Educating Through Music Curriculum Awards, Grammy Museum, Los Angeles, 2010; Bravo Arts Educator Awards Finalist, Music Center, Los Angeles, 2010; National Sontag Urban Educator Award, Boston, Mass., 2010, 2011; National Teacher Award Finalist, Time Warner Cable, 2008.

She designed and acquired funding for the ‘MUSIC for ALL: Instrument Scholarship Fund’ which provides instruments to high achieving low-income music students and is currently a Music and Global Studies teacher at New Academy Canoga Park where she developed music driven curriculums, which integrated social studies, math, science and cultural music from around the world to increase geographical and cultural awareness.

Bonita Lovett, Advisory Board

Coming from a classically trained dance background in Phoenix Arizona, Bonita began her professional career performing with and choreographing for the Phoenix Mercury Hip-Hop Squad and the Phoenix Suns Dance Team. Since then she has performed with artists such as: Jason Derulo, P. Diddy, Black Eyed Peas, Sean Kingston, Fergie, Jamiroquai, Wyclef Jean, Midnight Red, Stooshe, Bon Qui Qui, Redman, Q-Tip, Eric Sermon, Biz Markie, KRS-ONE and Doug E. Fresh. Not only has she had the opportunity to perform with such artists, she has also been featured on Disney’s “Shake It Up”, Nickolodeon’s “Fresh Beat Band”, “American Idol” and has worked as an animation dancer on the movie, RIO. Additionally, she has performed in corporate events for NIKE, ADIDAS, Sketchers, Dillard’s, Toshiba, Red Bull and many more.

Before moving to Los Angeles to further her dance career, Bonita co-founded and directed Automatic Response, a non-profit dance company, which was featured on the first season of America’s Best Dance Crew. During her involvement with Automatic Response, she wrote, produced, directed and performed in several theater productions featuring AR as well as other top names in dance. Through her creativity, drive and positive influence she helped establish a united dance scene in Phoenix, AZ. Bonita was highly instrumental in forming Phoenix’s first Hip-Hop after school program, All the Right Moves, which designed a curriculum to teach students the four elements of Hip-Hop.

She has been a member of The Legendary Rock Steady Crew since 2006, whom she credits for her Hip-Hop knowledge and education. She has trained closely under many pioneers such as Crazy Legs, Mr. Wiggles and Pop Master Fabel. She has won a number of national battles, both individually and with her crew, RSC, and can been seen battling all over the world amongst the top B-boys and B-girls of this generation. Bonita has traveled to Mexico and South America as a member of humanitarian teams, volunteering her time to teach, perform and judge. Her belief and commitment to community and volunteer programs will continue to be a high priority throughout her career.

After moving to LA, she became a member of the Groovaloo’s, an LA based Hip-Hop Company, who was recently featured on Dancing with the Stars. She completed a US tour as well as an Off Broadway run, performing in their theater production of Groovaloo. Bonita has been teaching professionally for 12 years nationally and internationally. She has traveled to spread her knowledge of Hip-Hop and dance to countries such as Indonesia, Taiwan, London, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico. Bonita teaches, choreographs and judges for Universal Dance Association and USASF. She is a faculty member for The Groove Expo and Word in Motion, both well-known national dance conventions. She currently teaches and lectures at colleges, universities, community centers, schools and studios all over the world.

Bonita recently became the newest member of the world famous female dance group, The BEAT FREAKS, and can also be seen performing with them on a number of upcoming projects.

Staff:

Katrina Dingcong, Executive Director

Kat has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies majoring in Psychology and Communications from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. She was a recipient of a professional scholarship program at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles Ca where she was under the mentorship of leading artists in the entertainment industry.

She has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of integrating various art forms as well as over 10 years of experience in teaching and choreography for students of all age range in the US and internationally.

She has done various music videos, commercials and print ads for Pepsi, K­Swiss, Aya Salon; TV shows and stage shows for CBS, VH1, Myo Dance Company, Ray Pierce Illusions, Disney Productions at the El Capitan Theatre, and various industrials for L’Oreal, Axe and Arena Swimwear.

She has traveled nationally and internationally as part of Aerial Experience Productions (AEP), helping in all aspects of creation and production such as casting, choreography and concept planning for gala events, the television and film industry, public relations firms and corporate clients worldwide. Her last project with AEP was a 4 month show at the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu Korea, dancing as the lead character in the multi­media presentation for the Samsung Pavilion.

She is currently a company member of Word In Motion Dance Company (WIM) which serves the local community by providing life­changing dance classes and choreography pieces. Her latest endeavor is performing as the Magic Carpet at Disney California Adventure’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.

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