Lynne Thurston has combined degrees in psychology and education with an extensive background in dance, theater arts and yoga. She has been involved in the arts since childhood and continues her interest today as a singer/songwriter, author, choreographer and teacher. She has practiced various forms of yoga and meditation for over forty years. She has incorporated all of these aspects into her eclectic approach in teaching children and adults for over thirty years. Lynne is a California State credentialed health & fitness and yoga instructor and is currently teaching for Ventura Adult Education; Yoga Jones; the City of Ventura and privately as an independent contractor. She has served on numerous art and educational boards, and is currently the President of the Kids’ Arts board.
Lynda Hershey joined Kids’ Arts after becoming acquainted with the organization at a fundraiser in 2011. For more than 40 years she has been involved with arts and education. She was a co-founder of the Abilene Community Theatre in Abilene, KS, and served as its first board president. Her interest in music began at age four with piano lessons, and she has been a vocalist almost as long. She toured the east coast with a vocal group during her college years before completing her BS and MS degrees at Kansas State University. She has published curriculum for the American Red Cross where she was an executive director. For more than 20 years she was employed at the City of Ventura – in the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments. Along the way she earned her JD degree from Ventura College of Law. She married Stephen Joyce at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland in 2006, and they travel the world when not minding their grandkids. Lynda currently serves as WCC secretary.
Westside Cultural Center introduces board member Vikki Smith. She is a 30-year veteran of the Ventura County Behavioral Health department. Her years devoted to securing funding for special programs will be a great asset to our fundraising committee. A desire to stay active in her local community led her to seek service with a nonprofit. Her belief that children greatly benefit from arts programs led her to Westside Cultural Center/Kids’ Arts. As a grandmother to three, Vikki has hands-on experience encouraging creativity in kids through arts and crafts activities. By working with Kids’ Arts she hopes to help reach the many local kids who are missing arts experiences in their schools or homes.
Mr. Thompson has been a volunteer with Kids’ Arts since July 2012 and joined the board of directors in September 2013. With degree’s in Computer Science and Business, Mark has worked with the Defense Department for 20 years, as both a civilian and a soldier. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 16 years, Monika, as well as with his 15 nieces and nephews. Mark is currently serving as board member and chief volunteer.
Nicole Freeman has been affiliated with Kids’ Arts for several years, first as a volunteer and more recently as a board member. She is familiar with different educational modalities from her seven years of volunteer work with the Open Classroom in VUSD. Nicole has always understood the profound importance of art in the lives of children as a means to convey both joy and at times difficult emotions that lay below the surface of what they are able to convey with words.
Nicole is a wife and mother of two daughters. She is currently a graduate student and will obtain her Masters in counseling psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Montecito, CA.
When Nicole isn’t studying she enjoys hiking, horses and her 80 pound “puppy,” Wolfgang.