Featured Artists and Guests
Venezuelan American Artist Sasha Mangarre-Rodríguez
Sasha Mangarre-Rodríguez is a singer/songwriter and actress based in Miami, Florida. Sasha holds her B.F.A in Acting from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Acting. At the age of seven she developed her interest in music and went on to begin her vocal training with the Iowa City Girls’ Choir. By age 15, her passion in performing expanded in theatre and dance where she performed in many stage plays and musicals. Most recently, she lived two years in Hidalgo, Mexico where she studied and explored native/indigenous music with the famous “Danza de la Luna” – Moon Dance circle. Her debut single “Take Me” recently released this spring and is now available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.
Local Evansville Photographer and Videographer Chris Berneking
Chris Berneking is the owner of Chris Berneking Productions, a photography and videography studio located in Evansville, Indiana. Chris has owned his own business for over 15 years and has worked in the photography industry since 1995. Chris is a 1995 graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography located in Santa Barbara, CA. After working in the San Francisco area, he moved back to his hometown of Evansville and started his own business. His work covers many aspects of photography and videography including commercial and corporate work, weddings and portraiture.
Dancing and Zumba Instructor Kaitlin Nonweiler
Kaitlin Nonweiler is a dancer who specializes in Latin dances such as salsa, cumbia, merengue, and cha-cha-cha. She began her Latin dance training in high school and continued dancing in college. She taught and performed for various events at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She is a licensed Zumba® instructor and offers classes to those who want to join a calorie-burning dance fitness party. She has been teaching Zumba periodically for seven years. For three consecutive years, she participated in a local non-profit fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars Owensboro style, as a professional dancer. She also gives lessons to Girls Inc. teaching girls the history of salsa and the basic steps of the dance. She seeks to share her passion for dance and fitness while at the same time creating an awareness and appreciation for diverse cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language with a minor in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in intercultural Studies.
Leadership and Empowerment Facilitator Claudia Tascón-Peña
Claudia Tascón-Peña moved to the United States 30 years ago from Colombia, South America. She received undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Kentucky Wesleyan College. Currently, Claudia is a Foster Care Case Manager and Trainer for The Villages of Indiana. She joined the organization a year ago, bringing a unique perspective and experience to the team. Claudia says that being raised in Colombia has taught her valuable lessons in what it means to help and empower people, and she uses those lessons to empower others. She led several workshops for Leadership and Empowerment for the Girls of Color program in 2018. Claudia has brought a fresh perspective to the program, helping girls see themselves as leaders in the community. “I like colors… Color for me is happiness, diversity, and being different.” Mrs. Tascón-Peña wants to help the VEA girls of color to think outside the box, express themselves, and execute ideas.