Leadership & Staff
Adam J. Sheldon
Adam Sheldon is the director of the Community Arts School at Baldwin Wallace University. Prior to being appointed to this role, Sheldon was the operations and finance manager for the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (now Arts Cleveland). In this role, he led the national Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute, assisted with the Creative Workforce Fellowship program, provided technical assistance to artists and arts-related organizations while overseeing the financial and human resource operations of the organization. In tandem to this position, he served as the executive director of SMART360, a comprehensive music and literacy program for students grades one to four in the Akron Public School System. For this work, Sheldon was awarded the Education Impact Award from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and the Volunteer of the Year award by the Superintendent of Akron Public Schools.
Sheldon holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace University with an emphasis in Arts Management and with additional studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Brisbane, Australia. He has completed educational field work at the Akron School of the Arts (Firestone CLC) and Litchfield Middle School in Akron, OH, at the Chancellor State College – primary campus in Sippy Downs, Australia and at the Nasivikoso Village School in Fiji.
Sheldon continues to stay professionally involved both regionally and nationally as a Trustee of the Dalcroze Society of America, a certified visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music, the co-ambassador of the Collegiate Divisional Network of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, a member of the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium, a member of the Higher Education Protection Network, a member of the American Camp Association and as a nationally certified instructor of Mental Health First Aid. In addition, Sheldon is sought after as an independent consultant for non-profit financial management, risk management and compliance, revenue generation, strategic planning and program development and evaluation.
Cory Isler has appreciated a diverse career in Northeast Ohio’s nonprofit sector and is thrilled to return to his alma mater. Most recently, Cory served in fundraising and business development roles at The City Club of Cleveland, one of the nation’s oldest free speech forums. Previously, Cory was the Associate Director of Education and Nonprofit Engagement at BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence. He holds a BA in Music with a focus in Arts Management and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University. Cory also remains active as a musician throughout the Northeast Ohio community and is currently the baritone soloist/section leader at Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights.
Laura brings 30 years of graphic design, project management, marketing communications and strategy experience to the Community Arts School. She has worked in organizations on all sides of the business – print, agency, client – throughout Northeast Ohio, including a local Fortune500 company and a leading not-for-profit healthcare system. Laura currently enjoys life in the country outside of Oberlin with her husband, two teen-aged sons, and a very silly yellow lab.
Heather Dennen is the Program Coordinator – Dance for the Community Arts School. Dennen grew up in New York City where she began her dance training at the age of 2. Training extensively in multiple dance genres, Dennen competed nationally, winning multiple awards, top honors and titles. After graduation, Dennen worked with Ohio Dance Theater performing in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Firebird, The Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Dennen then went on to do a national and international tour of Sesame Street Live, Super Grover Ready For Action! as the first cast role of Zoe. Dennen has been teaching various dance genres and choreographing for ten years. Her students have found success on the collegiate and professional level. Dennen has choreographed multiple musicals, figure skating programs and gymnastic floor routines at the national level in addition to her dance credits and choreography. Dennen is certified at the highest levels through Dance Masters of America and the Cecchetti Council of America.
Jeanette Hagerty is the Program Coordinator – Theatre and Music Ensembles for the Community Arts School and is a proud graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in arts management in 2016. Hagerty is a member of the Arts Management Association and brings three years of leadership experience with her, including a performance background in theatre. As program coordinator, she holds a working knowledge of community engagement as well as event and program management. She was born and raised in the Northeast Ohio area.
Dawn Hyde is the Administrative Assistant for the Community Arts School, Whistle Stop location, and has more than 20 years of experience in the performing arts sector. She holds professional and technical knowledge of the day-to-day operations at CAS. In addition to being meticulous to detail, she is also responsible for maintaining office efficiency and making the office run smoothly by frequently interacting with the CAS students and families through various platforms. Her past experience includes positions in human resources, casting for theatre and film, teaching gymnastics, graphic design and sound design for community theatre. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and being outdoors, photography, and baking cupcakes!
Meredith Kurtz is the assistant director of the Community Arts School and has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including positions at The Cleveland Play House and Lyric Opera Cleveland. In addition to this, Kurtz worked in the financial sector as a conference manager, planning and coordinating community bank investor conferences across the country. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in arts management from Baldwin Wallace University and has been with the BW Community Arts School since 2009. She is not only connected to BW CAS as a staff member, but also as the mother of two children who experience music through BW CAS programs including MusicPlay and Dalcroze.
Lisa Manning is the Professional Development Coordinator of the Institute for Music Teaching and Learning for the Community Arts School. She has held this position since she retired four years ago as a music educator. Manning taught a choral director, general music teacher and assisted with marching bands in the Lorain County area for over 30 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Bowling Green State University and a Masters in Music Education from Ohio University. In addition to the professional development program for BW CAS she is also the coordinator for the BW Men’s Chorus, one of the many ensembles BW CAS offers. In addition to working with the BW CAS programs Manning enjoys spending as much time as possible with her two grandsons.