TST EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Veronica Thompson, President
Nancy Renée, Vice President
Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy, Secretary/Treasurer
Davis, Wright, Tremaine Law Firm
Cheryl D. Cromwell
Cheryl Cromwell is the owner of Cheryl D. Cromwell and Associates, a consulting practice which provides proposal writing and program planning for nonprofit organizations. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Cheryl has lived in Tallahassee, Florida; Los Angeles, California and currently, Henderson, Nevada. She graduated from Morgan State College with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Bryn Mawr College with a Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in community organizing and planning. She is a member of the Association of Black Social Workers of Greater Las Vegas and Co-Chairs the Fund Development Committee of the National
Association of Black Social Workers.
Cheryl has been a life-long consumer and supporter of performing arts, especially theater and dance. At an early age, her parents and other relatives took her to theater, dance, and opera performances. She has been a season ticket subscriber and supporter of numerous equity waiver and large venue theaters in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She began attending performances at Towne Street Theater while it was still located on Towne Street. She learned a different side of the arts when in 1982, she became Assistant Director of the Kellogg Training Center, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, a volunteer trainer with the Center for Nonprofit Management and a board member of the Los Angeles Area Dance Alliance. Through these experiences, Cheryl learned about the business side of the arts. While living in Los Angeles, Cheryl realized one of the items on her bucket list. She took flamenco dance classes with Katerina Tomàs and performed in student shows.
Cheryl was invited to join the Advisory Board by Carolyn Williams, whom she originally met while volunteering with the Center for Nonprofit Management.
My name is Barbara Williams, a retired LAUSD educator and graduate from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s degree in education.
I started dancing at the age of nine at The Willie Covan School of Tap. Later, as an adult, I joined the Frances Awe Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble. Finally, I was a member of The Ujazi Dance Ensemble, a group of seasoned women whose purpose is to inspire and motivate movement at any age. I am founder and artistic director of The Mary Williams Kandid Kompany School of Dance - a dance company named after my mother, Mary Williams.
I am a theater goer and enjoy reading. I have attended various events of Towne Street Theatre. Some of my favorites being the readings of Octavia Butler’s books. I am a member of “Sisters With Books," a monthly book circle of enthusiastic and energetic women who love to read.
Bunny Coleman Withers
As a native Angeleno, Bunny Coleman Withers has spent most of her adult life sharing information to benefit her community. Whether it has been through employment, her church, participation in non-profit organizations, word of mouth, or the collection of information received through the media, print and/or social. If it is something that she deems important and necessary you can count on Bunny to get the word out.
Personally, Bunny is the mother of two adult children, and Granny to four, all that she loves dearly. She is a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District, both as a student and as a professional. She holds an Undergraduate Degree in Health and Human Services Administration from Memphis State University and a Masters in Education/Counseling and Guidance from Loyola Marymount University. She is retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District where most of positions were in Health and Human Services.
Currently, she is an Elder in her Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Board of Directors of Ladera Senior Association. She is also an Associate Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, where she formally held the position of Far West Regional Director.
Lastly, one of the joys of Bunny’s life is her membership on the Advisory Board of Towne Street Theatre. Through this affiliation she has discovered her love of the performance arts. She has been able to introduce many friends to Towne Street who have become avid supporters and is pleased that Towne Street has been the stepping stone to the careers of many performers. Towne Street Theatre has become a family to her.
Kathryn Shirley is a seasoned CPA who practiced with KPMG and in Corporate America before running her own boutique, business management company, World Management Solutions, Inc. She also serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations where she helps develop policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance and financial stability.
Kathryn serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, Los Angeles Division and the USC Athletics Board of Counselors. She is also Chair Emeritus of the USC Black Alumni Association (Black Alumni Council) and Chair, Recruitment and Retention. Furthermore, Kathryn is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Beverly Hills West (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and has served on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, National Alliance of African American Athletes and Project MuszEd Board of Directors to name a few.
Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from San Diego State University and a Master’s degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles, California and has a daughter, Kennedy Shirley, who is a senior at the University of Southern California.
Photo by Bruce Talamon
I grew up in a home that emphasized the arts: music, the theatre, visual art, painting, photography, opera, architecture, et al. I also played the violin throughout my childhood. My mother played the piano and my father had a rich baritone bass voice. As an Army officer, my father’s assignments took us to the Far East on two occasions to live. In my civic life, in the mid to late 90’s I became involved in the Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center, becoming its President along the way.
Three years ago, I retired from Los Angeles City College as a Reference and Instruction Librarian in the College Library culminating a 50+ year career. In my retire-ment life I have joined the Ebell Club of Los Angeles, the Grammy Museum, the Friends of the L.A. Phil, the new Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Na-tional Museum of African American History and Culture and other arts organizations..
Deborah Charles was instrumental in introducing me to the Towne Street Theatre and when it was suggested that a support group in the form of an Advisory Board would be beneficial, I became involved. And that was fourteen (14) years ago!
Being involved in the Advisory Board has been wonderful. It has given me the opportunity to contribute to the Company with both hours and monies and I have met new people who are involved in the Company.
Carolyn R. Williams
Carolyn Williams is a Professional Life Coach, Mediator, and Principal at Southern California Consulting Associates. She coaches and consults with nonprofit and corporate leaders. As a mediator, she works with youth and families using a restorative justice model. She retired after a 30-year career at the Sempra Energy companies where she held management positions in human resources, operations management, public affairs, and community relations.
Ms. Williams currently serves on the boards of the Mervyn Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills (Advisory Board Chair); Center for Nonprofit Management; Towne Street Theater; Lynwood Partners Educational Foundation; Executive Support Network, and Women in Leadership/Vital Voices (Executive Committee). She is a founding board member/emeritus of the USC Price School of Policy Alumni Association, former board chair for the Downtown Women’s Center, and former board official for a $1.2 billion federal credit union.
Ms. Williams has a B.A. in psychology from Louisiana Tech University, an MPA from USC, and completed her Ph.D. coursework at USC in Applied Behavioral Sciences and Research. Her professional certificates hail from Boston College, USC, the Center for Nonprofit Management, and the Association for Talent Development. She enjoys theater, traveling, reading, and has one son, Joshua, who is a chef/actor/singer.
Cheryl holds a Master of Social Work Degree from Cal State Long Beach and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Howard University. She worked for 35 years in the field of adult vocational rehabilitation and spent many of those years as a program monitor, trainer and consultant to non-profit organizations serving disabled adults.
Twelve years ago Cheryl retired from her professional career in order to devote more time to her 4 grandchildren and to her passions for pottery making and adventure travel. She has sailed in the Indian Ocean, biked in Holland, hiked in Italy and done volunteer work in Ghana.
Born and raised in Harlem, NY to parents who loved all variety of music and theater Cheryl was able to experience everything from Leonard Bernstein's Children's concerts to Saturdays at the Apollo Theater. Family outings were usually Broadway shows where she was privileged to see theater greats like Ethel Merman, Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee.
Twelve years ago Deborah Charles invited Cheryl to join the Towne Street Theater Advisory Board and she was thrilled to have an opportunity to work in support of such an outstanding theater company. Cheryl felt it would not only nurture her love of theater but also utilize her non-profit management skills. She has not been disappointed in her decision to work with this innovative organization.
In Honor of Deborah Elaine Charles, Towne Street Theatre Advisory Board Chair.
Two years after the sudden passing of her husband, Roland Charles a well-known photography artist who owned a photography gallery in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, Deborah Charles set out to discover her passion and pursue it with the hope she would heal from the grief of losing the love of her life.
The journey led her to continue sharing her husband’s legacy as a prolific photography artist and promoter of photography as true art form. For the past 16 years, Deborah has curated and co-curated more than 25 exhibitions of her late husbands photography art at venues that include:
Museum of African American Art
M. Hanks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Southwest Community College Art Gallery
Mt. San Antonio Community College
Federal Bureau of Investigation Black History Month Observance Art Show
Mike Curb Art Gallery at California State University, Northridge
Deborah curated an exhibition for the Museum of African American Art, February 2018 titled The Civil Rights Movement: Los Angeles to Selma.
In addition to exhibitions, Deborah co-published a photography and poetry book titled Haiku In My Neighborhood; photography by Roland Charles and haiku poetry by singer-songwriter, Dee Dee McNeil; Deborah also authored and published a book titled “My Walks With Bentley”.
Deborah’s love for the arts extend to the performing arts; for 14 years she has served as the Advisory Board Chair for Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s Premiere African American Theatre Company who has brought to the broad community, quality theatre performances for 27 years.
Deborah’s mantra: “I am a piece of the earth, molded into love, tossed into the world to serve my dreams and others…”