PCAC Board of Directors
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Visit our CONTACT US page, where you can direct your questions or comments to any of our Directors.
PCAC’s Board regularly meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Parkview Assisted Living Facility, 100 Valley Ave. in Pleasanton. If you would like to attend a board meeting, please contact the president to get on the agenda. Members and visitors are always welcome!
Kelly Cousins, Co-President
Kelly Cousins, Ph.D. has been co-president of the PCAC since March 2016 along with Dave Wright. She became interested in the PCAC group after participating in painting poetry chairs for auction at the Big Draw
Event. Kelly is a retired educational psychologist and has been an active member of the Pleasanton community since 1991. She became involved in PUSD arts and music programs and the Boy Scouts of America while raising her two sons. She has participated within the larger community as a Human Service Commissioner, currently a Library Commissioner and on various city wide task forces including being a part of the Youth Master Plan and Cultural Arts Master Plan, the East Pleasanton Specific Plan and most recently the Civic Center/Library Task Force. She currently serves on the Board of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and is on their education committee which provides arts enrichment and performing arts opportunities for school aged children in the Tri-Valley Area. She is also a member of the Pleasanton Tulancingo Sister City Organization. Kelly enjoys traveling with her husband and engaging with different cultures and ethnicities. One of her goals as a member of PCAC is to engage the cultural diversity in the community and to help showcase their art and cultural gifts as well as help meet the goals that she helped create in the City’s Cultural Arts Plan.
David Wright, Co-President
Dave Wright has been an English educator for 39 years, mainly at Chabot and Las Positas Colleges. As a teacher of creative writing, he created and developed the Las Positas College/Community Anthology, which is still going strong, co-created the English Centers on both colleges, chaired the Humanities and Arts Department for five years, and acted as Academic Senate President for Las Positas when it was restructured. His volunteer work includes being past president of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society of the United States and Canada for 10 years. He was a founding Commissioner of the Pleasanton Civic Arts Commission, and for 21 years has worked on the PCAC Board as designer of the Youth Excellence in Arts (YEA!) Awards, as a grant writer, as designer and editor of the PCAC Arts in Season newsletter, as co-producer of the Poetry, Prose & Arts Festival and as a member of the Firehouse Arts Center Task Force.
Valerie Arkin, Secretary
A long time supporter of the arts, Valerie is a 23-year resident of Pleasanton. She is currently a Board Trustee for the Pleasanton Unified School District and has been on that Board for over 7 years. She is a former Library Commissioner for the City of Pleasanton (served two 4-year terms) and a former board member for the Tri-Valley YMCA. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration from Cal State Northridge and an M.B.A. from Cal Lutheran
University. Valerie is married to Brian and has three children ages 24, 21, and 16. All of her kids have participated in the performing arts. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, wine tasting, all kinds of music and performances, and Zumba classes. “I believe in instilling passion for the arts in our community, especially among our youth.”
Resident of Pleasanton since 1987 and retired 37 year Art teacher with the Fremont Unified School District. Graduate of San Francisco State University, BA -Art major and Psychology minor. Masters in Education. Secondary teaching experience in Ceramics, Calligraphy, Arts and Crafts, Drawing / Design and Computer Graphics, Drafting, Math and Yearbook.
Jan Coleman-Knight, Board Member
Retired 41-year Secondary educator in Fremont Unified School District, teacher, counselor and Department Chair of History. Graduate of Cal-State East Bay, double major History and Political Science. Masters in Educational Psychology, Adjunct Professor, Teacher Education, Cal-State East Bay, Mrs. Coleman-Knight was a member of various California State committees: History Social-Science Framework Committee, Model Curriculum Guide, and California Assessment Program. Serving on the Advisory Board for McGraw Hill and Glencoe textbooks, she has sought the inclusion of creative activities to incorporate art in the learning process. Hired as a writer for Teacher’s Curriculum Institutes Unit 4, Imperial China and Feudal Japan, Mrs. Coleman-Knight developed a curriculum inclusive of art slides, teaching modules and art activities related to the 7th grade World History curriculum. As grant writer and director for “The Ingenuity of Humankind: Integrating Science and History,” Middle School Demonstration Project, the Science and History Departments she worked collectively to integrate both subjects. A $30,000 extension grant spawned the Academy Project, integrating Science, History and Art and led to working with the Smithsonian Project integrating science, history and art through the digital development of Insecta-Inspecta.com.
An article, “Imperial Scholars Challenge the Standards” published in the Review has been adapted by the SF Asian Art Museum, and credited to Mrs. Coleman-Knight. Other writings have been published by UCLA, NEH, Middle Ground, and Lowie Museum. In addition to teaching and writing, Mrs. Coleman-Knight has been a presenter at numerous conferences including key-note speaker for the Intel Corporation at a world conference in Costa Rica.
Johns Hopkins University, Intel, Cal-State East Bay, Fremont Unified School District, Alameda County, Disney Corporation, National Education Association and the Society of American Archaeology have conferred various honors and awards.
Charlotte Severin, Lifetime Board Member
Charlotte Severin is a professional artist and art educator. She is the founding president of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, and served as Chair for the renovation for the Amador Theater and Task Force Chair for the Firehouse Arts Center. Charlotte states, “As a working artist, I feel passionately dedicated to encouraging the arts for everyone!”
Kent Moore, Board Member
Kent is a sculptor who earned his BA in art at San Jose State University. He served on the Arts in Public Places Committee until it transitioned into the City Civic Arts Commission–and then served on that commission for two terms. He has acted as Vice President of PCAC and was a key player in supporting the “Big Draw” Chalk and Art Festival from 2013-2015. Now he serves as liaison from PCAC and as a member of the Public Art Selection Subcommittee (PASS) of the Civic Arts Commission in order to help select public art. As an ongoing member of PCAC, he has vigorously supported First Wednesday events downtown and PCAC’s Umbrella for the Arts.
Yi Jiang, Board Member
Yi Jiang is a Professor and Associate Director of the MBA for Global Innovators program at California State University, East Bay. She is also a Fellow at ESSCA business school in Angers, France. In her Management Strategy classes, she has connected students with local designers and art dealers to create business plans. Her students commented that those projects have “definitely given the MBA experience a lot more value.” She endeavors to bring more art-related subjects to her graduate classes and projects. In addition to academic associations, Yi Jiang is also a member and supporter of San Francisco fine arts museums. Yi Jiang was a committee member of the 10th Annual Poetry, Prose & Arts Festival in Pleasanton.
Rekha Joshi, Board Member
Rekha Joshi is an Artist and did a Masters in Fine Arts in India. After moving to California, she did additional art-related courses at San Jose State University. She says, “My passion is art and teaching!”
She started Nirmitee Arts in 2001, where kids and adults enjoy learning art. She also conducted after-school art programs at Mohr and Alisal primary schools for a several years.She has participated in group exhibitions and had a solo exhibit last year at San Ramon Art and Wind festival as a featured artist.
Rekha worked as a Pleasanton PTA Council chair for the Reflections Program for two years as a board member and as a volunteer at PTA. She enjoys volunteering her time as a member of Pleasanton Art League (PAL), Livermore Art Association (LAA) and the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (PCAC).
Christine Steiner, Board Member
Christine Steiner was raised in Leeds England before television and the Beatles and has lived in Pleasanton since 1967. She is not an artist in the usual sense although, as a child, she acted and played the piano. She was blessed with parents and a school that made sure she was exposed to ballet, opera, classical music, and the arts in general.
Long after she went to bed, if her parents were playing one of her favorite pieces on the radio, her father would turn up the volume so she could hear it. Visits to the stately homes of England and museums gave her an appreciation for the visual arts that continued as she travelled the world.
We live in a world dominated by the wonders of technology. However, she believes that the arts in all forms are vital to the development and well-being of who we are individually and as a society. She feels, “It is a delight to be part of PCAC as it continues its work in Pleasanton.”
Teri Dunne, Board Member
After her daughter went to NY from Foothill High for performing arts, Teri missed working in the arts. Being a board member means being able to help out in a variety of capacities and venues. As a new member, she is excited to help with “Ignite: Art and Innovation” in October. Teri’s personal art background is dominantly in the performing arts and she also enjoys fine art. She has danced for many years, mixed and produced music, and even dabbled in different art mediums. Both her children (20 and 23 yrs old) are very creative. Her daughter followed performing arts professionally and her son is an engineering student loving the creativity of technology.
Teri has a degree in Communications and Business. She enjoyed being an elementary teacher in Pleasanton. She outfitted her classroom with things from MOMA and used music to facilitate learning and expand history lessons. Teaching art lessons sponsored by PCAC were very valuable and fun. She believes art is very important to personal growth, and is a part of a community’s culture. Before teaching, she worked in HR and customer service in Biotech on the peninsula. She is currently a dedicated Realtor covering the East Bay. She still enjoys consulting youth and their families about performing art careers and education, and volunteering with her office for various charity functions.
A favorite quote of hers from Stanislavski is, “Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art.”
Jack Harrington, Treasurer, Non-Board Member
Jack is the Principal at Pleasanton-based Franklin Management and Tax Service and has serves as PCAC Treasurer. Jack also has served as the Treasurer of Pleasanton’s Museum on Main and works with many non-profit organizations. He has a Bachelors degree in Accounting from Northeastern University and an MBA from Boston College. Jack resides in Pleasanton with his wife and son.