Kim Popa – Executive Director/Co-Founder
Kim has studied dance for over 30 years and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in theatre and dance from Northern Kentucky University. Popa is a professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, teaches dance classes at The Carnegie, Springer School and Center, SCPA, and multiple dance workshops around the tri-state region. Popa has worked internationally at the Sri Lankan Institute for Buddhist Studies in Sri Lanka 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, Popa is the Executive Director, co-founder, and performing member of Pones. Beyond Pones, she has choreographed for multiple award-winning productions at NKU, New Edgecliff Theatre, and Know Theatre. She’s a former member of the Ohio Dance board and serves as a “big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and has a passion for art and volunteerism in many forms.
Jackie Smith – Education Manager
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 7 years, she has been teaching theatre, visual art, and dance around Cincinnati and N. Kentucky. You can find her currently teaching for Pones, The Carnegie, and The Chidren’s Theatre Of Cincinnati. Additionally, she directs, house manages, stage manages, designs and creates production elements for various organizations. Jackie is proud to provide opportunities for others to experience dance through her role at Pones.
Mimi Richmond – Pones in Public (PIP) Manager
Prior to Pones, Mimi served as Business Director and Grantwriting Specialist for Ronald McDonald House. She also worked as Managing Director for Madcap Puppet Theatre, facilitating the theatre’s growth to triple its budget while directing productions, and helping to manage their touring schedule. In addition to Madcap, Mimi has brought her passion for the arts to her work with Uptown Arts, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Cleveland Play House, Clifton UMC and The Seven Hills School. Mimi earned her B.A. from the College of Wooster and her M.F.A from the University of Iowa. She is currently working toward her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Drama Therapy specialization. Mimi is thrilled join the Pones team, believing in the power of movement, dance and the arts to bring people together for both personal and community growth.
Katie Maurer – Grant Writer
Katie is an experienced arts manager who has worked across development and communications for arts organizations of all sizes and disciplines. Prior to joining Pones, Katie worked as a grant writer in Washington, D.C., where she formed productive partnerships and secured funding for arts organizations and other nonprofits throughout the D.C. metro area. Katie earned her MA in Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and her MBA from UC’s Lindner School of Business while interning for Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Katie has a deep appreciation for the arts as a for of cultural expression and as a means of social justice, and is thrilled to be working with Pones.
Thomas McLaughlin – Marketing
Thomas is also the Director of Sales & Ticketing Services at Cincinnati Ballet. He holds a Master of Business Administration and is a candidate for a Master of Arts in arts administration from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has also worked at ArtsWave, Know Theatre, and New Stage Collective. He continues his work with Pones Inc. because he loves the way Pones can connect movement to everyday living.