Kim Popa – Executive Director/Co-Founder (14 years)
Kim has studied dance for over 36 years and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in theatre and dance from Northern Kentucky University. Kim teaches dance classes at The Carnegie, Springer School and Center, SCPA, and multiple workshops around the region. Kim has worked internationally at the Sri Lankan Institute for Buddhist Studies in 2017, the CrisisArt Festival in Arezzo, Italy in 2014, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania in 2007, and performed in multiple mainstage productions and modern dance concerts. In addition to teaching and performing, Kim is the Executive Director, co-founder, and a performing member of Pones. She has choreographed for multiple award-winning productions at NKU, New Edgecliff Theatre, and Know Theatre. She’s a member of the National Organization for Arts in Health, serves as a “big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and has a passion for art and volunteerism.
Jackie Smith – Director of Education (4 years)
Jackie Smith has been involved in dance her entire life, ever since her first dance class at 2 years old. Jackie is a freelance teaching artist with a BA in Theatre, BS in Business Management, and a minor in Arts Management from Miami University. For over 10 years, she has been teaching theatre, visual art, and dance around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. She currently works for Pones, Notre Dame Academy, The Carnegie, and The Playhouse in the Park.
Desirae Hosley – Pones in Public (PIP) Manager
Desirae “The Silent Poet” Hosley was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Known for being the quietest person on the scene, it’s astounding to see such a little lady with such a big voice that packs a powerful punch. At the age of 36, she is a Spoken Word Artist, Motivational Speaker, Actress, Community Organizer and Author. Desirae served for AmeriCorps Volunteers of America and her first assignment was with the Urban Appalachian Council (currently known as the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition) in Lower Price Hill. That was the start of her love for the nonprofit world. In addition to her work with UACC, she has collaborated with Community Matters and local teens around creative writing, spoken word expression and performances. Desirae also serves on the Board of Queens Village Cincinnati and Your Store of The Queen City, LLC. As the world continues to shift, she has created a community called Social Therapy 2020 where young adults and adults come together to bridge the social gap in this new pandemic world through writing and storytelling. And she will continue her community building while being a part of Pones team.
Kerry Ulm – Grants Manager
Kerry danced throughout her childhood and picked up creative writing as a teenager. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Ohio State University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from University College Dublin, and an M.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Cincinnati. As a freelance writer, she enjoys using writing and information design as tools for positive impact. Some of her past and present clients include the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, the UC Department of Classics, and Getson & Schatz Immigration Law Firm. She is also an adjunct instructor for UC’s Department of English. Kerry is excited to contribute to the artistic energy Pones brings to the Greater Cincinnati community.
Staff are supported by Kentucky Arts Council and William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation.