SICA TEAM

Sebastian Flynn, Board President and SICA Chair

Sebastian is the Senior Manager of Events and Major Projects for MDA Ltd. (Multicultural Development Association) in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He is responsible for the annual WELCOMEfest and Luminous Lantern Parade. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director of Australia's National Folk Festival in Canberra — with 50,000 in attendance.  Sebastian also developed a series of online educational modules to provide music education and cross-curricular benefits to primary and tertiary school students. He has an extensive background in managing all aspects of mounting major arts and community festival programs for both public and private sectors.

A musician/composer himself, Sebastain plays a mean Irish fiddle, and recently performed with the Ensemble Diaspora for the G-20 Summit in Brisbane. A transplant from UK, Sebastian lives in Queensland, Australia with his wife and family.
 

Juan-Felix Prieto, Vice President

Originally from Colombia, Juan-Felix is a Senior Public Health Educator at Parkland Hospital, Dallas Texas where he coordinates and facilitates a portfolio of community education programs dealing with smoking cessation, cancer, asthma, obesity and diabetes for children and adults. He has also coordinated and managed programs for seniors, drug and alcohol prevention, job assistance and other social services. He is also a strong believer in power of music, arts and creativity to also heal. Coincidentally of his first jobs was worlking for a rather special tape unit run by Magnus Cheifetz in Chicago — and that began the path that ultimately led to his serving on the SICA board. Felix lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and musician son.


 

Sandra Spivey Harrington, Treasurer

Sandy, as she likes to be called, is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years of experience. She presently works with the Mary Goss Nursing Home and is also the accountant and team member for  the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Inc. Prior to her current position, she worked with the accounting firm of Luffey, Huffman, Ragsdal & Soignier which audited the accounts of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce In addition and numerous other commerical institutions. Sandy  lives in Monroe, Louisiana.

 



Erica Zoltan Sapir, Director

Erica is the founder of Puppeteers Without Borders, an award-winning, international NGO that promotes growth, change and conflict-resolution through puppetry. Erica grew up in Florence, where she studied journalism. She later moved to Israel, raised a family of five, and only then took up theater and puppetry. She spent time working with Mother Theresa in the early 90s, and began her NGO after moving to the South of France in 2001. Erica has worked as puppet-maker, director, creator, designer, and puppeteer, in many prize-winning shows for children and adults and has participated in many International Festivals.  She is dedicated to using art to work for social change. Her recent black box puppet theater piece, "Legend of the Half-Boy," had its world premiere in Puebla, Mexico in 2014.
 

Rusydah Zeisel, Director

Rusydah is an artist, art therapist, educator and clown and gives workshops for creativity and self-expression. She calls what she does “Creative Care.” Rusydah created SICA's  Wall of Kindness program for the recent Subud World Congress in Puebla, and she also taught the many young people how to be the clowns that welcomed attendees to the first plenary session.  Rusydah will be running the upcoming Keys to Creativity program at the Zone 4 Gathering in Budapest later this year.   Rusydah studied theater and improvisation with both Keith Johnstone and Augusto Boal. She is multi-lingual and lives with her husband in Germany.

 


Michael Menduno, Director

Michael is a Senior Reporter at OTR Global, which provides market intelligence for institutional investors. He is also an award-winning freelance journalist as well as the founder and editor of the iconic technical diving magazine ‘aquaCORPS’ – and the man credited with coining the term ‘Technical Diving.’ Somehow he still finds time to freelance as an events producer and musician. He produced the SDIA Gala in Puebla, Mexico in 2014 — and performed. (He plays bass). Michael lives in Palm Springs, California.


 


Latifah Taormina, Past President and Director

Latifah is Executive Director Emerita of Austin Creative Alliance, an arts service organization she helped to create that serves the creative community of Austin, Texas. She participated in the 1983 Anugraha workshop that conceived of SICA and served as its first Vice-Chair with Richard Engels. She has taken on various roles with SICA since then, including creating the first SICA website and managing the look and content of the present site. She dreamt of being a visual artists as a child but ended up with 60 some years in the perfoming arrs. Starting as an actress, she went from summer tours, to off-Broadway, to Second City where she met and married Alan Myerson. Together they co-founded,produced The Committee, San Francisco's famed improvisational theater in the 60s. The Committee played on Broadway, spawned a multitude of other "improv" groups, enjoyed numerous TV and film ppearances, and gave birth to "long form" improvisation. On the side, she wrote lyrics for the Chad Mitchell Trio, Leon Bibb, The Belafonte Folk Singers — and Ron and Nama. Latifah left Hollywood — and her acting name of Jessica Myerson — for Indonesia in the 70s and ended up building a lively K-12 theater and drama program at the Jakarta International Schools — work that led to the school building a major fine arts complex. She supervised the re-opening of The Pasadena Playhouse in the 80s and later joined the CDT team in Australia as an animation script supervisor. She later married Harun Taormina and lives in Austin, Texas.

 

Thanks to our Outgoing Board of Directors, some of whom will happily be staying on!

Left to right: Latifah Taormina, Felix Prieto              Rosario Moir, Rosetta Narvaez, Erica Sapir Sebastian Flynn, Ismanah Schuze-Vorberg, Halimah Polk

Not pictured:  Luqman Pensenney and Maxwell Fraval, former WSA Chair and WSA Executive Chair, who served ex officio on SICA Board.

 

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