Anna Roberts Ostroff (Executive Director) holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied Musical Theater and minored in Applied Theater and Psychology. While in college, Anna did multiple arts outreach programs through her club, Community Connections. Community Connections, which transitioned into Arts For All, also won the President’s Service Award at NYU two years in a row. Anna has many professional theatrical credits from all over the country and has also served as a producer on multiple theatrical productions both inside and outside of New York City. In the past, Anna worked as a teaching artist for many organizations: the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis in Maryland, where she taught musical theatre audition workshops; D.A.R.E. America, through their D.A.R.E. P.L.U.S after school program; and for Camp Broadway (now known as Curtain Up) at the Renaissance Charter School in Queens. Anna also serves as Co-Producing Artistic Director of Infinity Theatre Company, providing professional New York City theatre to Annapolis, Maryland each summer. As Executive Director and President, Anna looks forward to continually spreading Arts For All’s mission to in-need youth communities so that deserving children all over NYC have the opportunity to explore the arts!
Barbara Matovu (Development Associate) holds Bachelor of Arts degree in drama and a minor in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Although moving to New York City to be an actress, Barbara has found working in other parts of theatre fulfilling. Since moving to New York, Barbara has worked as an actress, teaching artist, assistant director, and on the administrative side, in the box office as well as development. Administratively, the move to development was about finding another platform to share the importance of the performing arts. The benefits of the arts reach far beyond an entertaining evening at a show. It is someone finding his/her voice through a monologue, paintbrush, musical note, poem and sharing it with their community.
Barbara is thrilled to be joining the AFA team!
Robin Cannon Colwell (Program Manager, Artistic Residency Program) discovered her love of teaching in 2005 through the Berkshire Theatre Festival where she had the opportunity to teach in public schools, direct numerous after-school programs and summer camps, and choreograph shows for kids. Robin has been teaching theatre, music, and movement with Arts For All since 2008. She also teaches music and dance at Long Island City Kids – an enrichment center for early childhood development. Robin can be found entertaining children all over NYC at birthday parties and events as “Captain Robin” with her hot pink guitar “Pinkerton.” A very shy Robin discovered her love of being on stage at the age of 6, and she now aspires to give kids the same confidence and skills that she learned early on through performing. She has been seen on professional stages, in television commercials, and print ads. Robin holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Mississippi and an AA from Tyler Junior College in Speech/Theatre. She is a member of Actor’s Equity.
Shawn Shafner (Program Manager of Literacy Through the Arts) is a theatre-maker, educator, and creator of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (www.thePOOPproject.org)- an organization that uses art, education and humor to promote sustainable sanitation for the person, planet and world community. His NYC acting credits include performances at Madison Square Garden, Theater Row, Joe’s Pub, The Club at La Mama, and Classic Stage Company. Shawn spent most of 2008 touring nationally as Pablo in Nickelodeon’s The Backyardigans Live!, and has been creating original ritual theater with Storahtelling since 2005. He is the recipient of a 2005 Spielberg Fellowship, and has since enjoyed eight sessions as Artist-in-Residence at four different Wisconsin summer camps. Shawn edited and contributed writing to Think-Build-Live Success, a three-part life skills, self-empowerment, and career readiness curriculum; and he has led educational programming for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art department, HiArt!/TimeIn and Periwinkle Theater for Youth. He holds a BFA with Honors in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is proud to have been working with Arts For All since 2006.
Cara Burdick Winter (Program Manager of Arts For All Chicago) has been a theater professional for 15 years. Favorite jobs include two national tours of A Christmas Carol, the National Tour of The Adventures of Curious George, “Mrs. Molloy” in Hello, Dolly!, “Helena” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and singing with the New York Oratorio Society at Carnagie Hall. As a playwright, Cara’s play Social Work was produced by the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in 2007, and she’s currently working on her second play. Cara holds a BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.