Future Arts Training and Education
Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. FATE Foundation-Kids emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support communities, and a desire for all kids to have access to organized physical activities. Established in 2020, we’re an organization driven by providing access to physical activities for all kids. Contact us to learn more and get involved.
FATE-Kids originated from the idea that all kids should have access to physical activities regardless of financial capabilities. Research has shown that kids who participate in organized activities help develop lifelong skills. Dance classes can often be costly, but FATE-Kids is committed to keeping classes free to allow kids to have access to organized activities which encourage physical and social development. This creates long lasting effects which can lead to a better quality of life and further cultivate thriving communities.
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, kids have been unable to attend school and organized activities in person which has moved everything online. With kids having the resources to meet online, FATE-Kids has used this opportunity to teach kids through zoom, reducing the regular costs of hosting dance classes in person. FATE-Kids can offer these dance classes for free to kids ages 5 and up while still bringing in elite dancers to teach.
Stephanie Hilles is a founding partner with FATE Foundation. She began managing the Kanyok Arts Initiative dance program since its inception. While staying at home to raise her now adult children, she volunteered at Church, Homeless Shelters, and other organizations working with youth. She continues to volunteer with several NYC nonprofits and she and her daughter Hayden developed a weekly youth dance program at a Bronx family shelter in 2019.
Rachel Lundblom is an administrator that has been working for Fountain House, a non-profit for over two years. She has experience in running non-profits and the employment program at Fountain House. Her expertise in running 7 social enterprises has given her the skills needed to keep track of all bookkeeping and finances, reach out to donors, write grants, and coordinate the back-end work that it takes to run a small business. Although she has never danced before, she is constantly inspired by the impact that dance has on individuals and communities as a whole.
Hayden Hilles has been dancing since she was three. She has taught dance for young children and developed a weekly youth dance program at a Bronx family shelter in 2019. After spending her first semester of college in Paris, she is transferring to Syracuse University in the fall as a nutrition major. She is currently in the process of getting NASM certification in personal training and health coaching. She is an advocate for health and wellness and lives a vegetarian and gluten free life. While home from school, she virtually tutors elementary aged children and teaches dance and conditioning for FATE Foundation-kids online.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LAURIE KANYOK | Founder
Ms. Kanyok has performed on Broadway, television and film. She played the lead roles in Twyla Tharp's COME FLY AWAY and MOVIN OUT; other Broadway credits include FOSSE, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, and IN YOUR ARMS. She was the ballet casting consultant for Tony Award winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's An AMERICAN IN PARIS, where she scouted elite ballet companies in North America, preparing dancers both theatrically and vocally while coaching them through Mr. Wheeldon's choreography. Additionally, Laurie was a member of Tony Award winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli's creative team; where she provided additional choreography for Gattelli's IN YOUR ARMS and The Cher Show. Ms. Kanyok's professional experience has allowed her to develop a diverse repertoire of unique relationships. An established and respected performer, producer, choreographer, director and mentor to many.
Point Park University
Orange County School of the Arts
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Before creating DanceBreak, Melinda was a professional dancer, a choreographer, a theater producer, and a director. She graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts with a degree in philosophy. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Self Family Arts Center, Juggernaut Theater Company, The Elizabeth Foundation, The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, and the New York Music Theater Festival.
Melinda started her career in musical theatre as a dancer and then moved onto choreography. She was awarded The Best of Boston Award for Choreography for her High Hot Moons shown on Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. She later directed and produced an original musical adaptation of Loves Labors Lost at the Hasty Pudding Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She moved to Africa in 1986 where, for six years she ran an indigenous carpet-making business that employed over 40 people. She also funded several wildlife projects, including the preservation of endangered rhinos and the protection of migrating elephants, an initiative that was recognized for merit by the region’s British High Commission. She also funded the construction of several primary schools in extremely rural communities while also creating scholarship funds to ensure that top students would have the chance to attend secondary school. Since 1992, nearly 1000 students have earned this opportunity, many going on to receive their university degrees. After returning from Africa, Melinda worked at The Manhattan Theater Club’s (MTC) Musical Theater Program. While there, she realized there were no programs for the development of musical theater choreographers. She set out to correct this problem and, in 2002, DanceBreak was born. Melinda has also produced four all dance musicals for NYMF: Common Grounds, Platforms, Wild About Harry and Andy Warhol Was Right, all choreographed by DanceBreak Alumni.
Drew Hilles has more than 20 years of experience in the media industry, with expertise in advertising sales (online/offline), technology operations, and partnership development.
Mr. Hilles has served as senior vice president for Infinity (CBS) Broadcasting, handling both the Philadelphia and Denver markets. Prior to Infinity, he was regional vice president of sales for Clear Channel Radio, responsible for the southwest central region, including 38 markets in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Mr. Hilles also has held senior leadership positions with AMFM, Nationwide Communications and the Journal Broadcast Group.
In 2004, Drew Hilles was one of the key founding Senior Executives of dMarc Broadcasting (later acquired by GOOGLE). For GOOGLE, Mr. Hilles served as a Director of Sales, overseeing Audio Content Partnerships, and Advertising Sales & Operations. Drew was a key Senior Executive of GOOGLE'S North American Organization for 4 years. Drew worked on many key projects at GOOGLE including the integration of YouTube’s Sales Organization. Drew currently operates as Senior VP of Veritone.