By the Associates of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation
The Associates of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation’s Spotlight on Leadership presentation is at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11. In the Idyllwild Arts campus’ Fireside Room in the Nelson Dining Hall — a comfortable setting — Marianne Kent-Stoll, vice president of educational programs, Heather Companiott, director of the adult art center and Native American arts program, and Shaliyah Ben, Native American arts program coordinator, will share the story of the Native American programs at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and summer program. The series is open to all at no charge.
The speakers will share the stage and talk about the big picture as Idyllwild Arts strengthens its existing commitment to the Native American community.
Our Spotlight on Leadership series happens monthly with leaders from Idyllwild Arts and our community.
Marianne Kent-Stoll has worked in education for more than 30 years. Though she has taught English at the college level for most of her career, she has taught high school English and served as assistant head at a college prep school in Santa Cruz, California. She has a particular interest in arts education and holds a master’s in English Literature with an emphasis in poetry. She has also published several poems. Kent-Stoll infuses her passion for education into a nonprofit organization that she and her husband founded in 2008. Every summer, they lead volunteers to the same remote village in rural East Africa in order to work alongside its people to build and renovate schools, provide clean water, and improve health care.
Heather Companiott is the director of the summer program’s adult arts center and the Native American program and festival. She has been on staff at Idyllwild Arts for 27 years during which time she has served in various capacities including public relations director and special programs director for both Idyllwild Arts Academy and the summer program. Prior to joining Idyllwild Arts, she worked as public program coordinator for the Colorado History Museum and managed the Squash Blossom Gallery, both located in Denver. Companiott also had the privilege of living on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona while working at the Apache Cultural Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Colorado College and a master’s in Folklore from Indiana University.
Shaliyah Ben is the Native American arts program coordinator. She is a new resident to Idyllwild but is an alumna in both the children’s center and summer youth programs. Prior to joining Idyllwild Arts, she worked as the director of public programming at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona where she worked for 20 years. During her tenure at the Heard Museum she served roles in both the education and curatorial departments. Ben is a lecturer, educator and promoter of Native American arts and culture and originally hails from the Navajo Nation. She was born in Shiprock, New Mexico where her family still practices traditional farming in the San Juan River Valley.
Ben enjoys spending time with her dog, Amira, and her family and friends. She is a violin player, French speaker and lover of the color pink. Ben has a bachelor’s in French and certificates in both Arabic Language and Islamic Studies from Arizona State University.