Jane Weiner (Founder & Director)

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Jane founded Hope Stone, Inc. in 1997 with a dream of unlocking the innate creativity of children and adults and improving their quality of life through the performing arts, and continues to run the organization with a vision of “Art for All.” The arts education outreach program she founded in 2002, The Hope Project, touched the lives of 40 children at its start, and now reaches over 1,100 underserved students through dance, theater, and music classes in their schools and facilities. Hope Stone Dance is celebrating over 20 years under her artistic direction, with her works that challenge, entertain, and educate audiences.

Graduating from Bowling Green State University with a degree in deaf/elementary education and minor in dance, Jane then had the unbelievable opportunity to work with the Doug Elkins Dance Company for a decade plus of fine dancing and touring before her move to Houston, Texas in 1996. She has set her work on the Alley Theater, Houston Ballet II, Stages Repertory Theater, the Houston Children’s Museum, as well as many high schools and universities and has collaborated with the Houston Symphony, the CAMH, and the Asia Society. She was a finalist for the Cal Arts/Albert Award for Dance in 2001, awarded the CACHH general fellowship grant for 2002, the Houston PBS Speaking Women’s Health Conference Honoree 2004, the Surgical Society of Oncology’s James Ewing Layman Award, the Jung Center Award for 2005, DiverseWork’s Artist of the Year 2011, and was a speaker at the 2012 TEDx Houston and 2013 TEDx TAMU.

Outside of Hope Stone, Jane enjoys gardening, sitting motionless on the couch with her three cats Houston, Riley and Spot, and puppy Beatrix Grace, dreaming of rescuing animals, and being married to the awesome Eric Mallory.

 

Amy Pearl (Managing Director) 

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Amy joined Hope Stone in 2009 as Managing Director, and has over 15 years of nonprofit management and event fundraising experience. After graduating from the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA) with a degree in Modern Dance Performance and a certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Pennsylvania, she worked for the prestigious nonprofit performing arts center New York City Center in both their education and development departments, managing the Young People’s Dance Series program (40 public schools and over 5,000 students across NYC) and transitioning to the Director of Events where she managed the major donor program and achieved the first million-dollar Annual Gala in the organization’s history. Amy then worked for City Parks Foundation as their Special Events Director, managing six diverse annual fundraising benefits throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Away from Hope Stone, Amy is a writer whose work has been published in print and online, and she is currently working on a collection of essays.

 

Gayla Miller (Education Specialist–TheatEr) 

Gayla joined Hope Stone in 1997 as both a theater teacher and stage manager. Her process is informed by a Master’s degree in counseling education from the University of St. Thomas, a BA in theatre/psychology and over 20 years of working in professional theater, producing, performing and educating. Notable companies Gayla has worked with include Hope Stone Dance, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Dance Salad, The Pink Ribbons Project, Group Acorde, Theater Lab, Main Street Theater, Leadership Houston and MATCH.

Currently Gayla has a small teaching studio where she uses mindfulness, creativity and guidance lessons to support social, behavioral and academic goals in students. She also serves as the theater teacher and guidance instructor at Crockett Elementary for the Performing and Visual Arts.

 

Ashley Horn (Educational Specialist–Dance)

Ashley is a passionate dance educator, teaching since 2000 and specializing in early education. She has served as the Children's Dance Coordinator at the Jewish Community Center and taught since 2013 with Hope Stone. Ashley is dedicated to addressing early childhood developmental needs through the study of the arts.

She is also a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and costume designer. Her choreography and films have been shown at ACDF, The University of Houston, Big Range Dance Festival, The Texas Weekend of Contemporary Dance, Third Coast Dance on Film Festival, The Houston Fringe Festival, and Dance Month at the ERJCC among other venues and events. She has created costumes for FrenetiCore, Frame Dance Productions, Open Dance Project, Sara Draper, Teresa Chapman, The Pilot Dance Project, Hope Stone Dance, and her own works. Ashley is a two-time recipient of an individual artist grant from the Houston Arts Alliance for choreography. She has been an artist in residence at Hope Stone and Rice University and has been a guest choreographer for Rice University, Houston Community College, and The Pilot Dance Project.

 

Dave Sharma (Educational Specialist–Music)

Dave has an extensive career as a musician, producer and educator. As an Educator, Dave has lectured at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Virginia Tech, New York University, and Ohio State. His teaching schedule in Houston includes The Hope Project (Hope Stone), where at Cristo Rey Jesuit he teaches ethnomusicology to junior high school students and structural musicology and production to seniors. At Houston Community College, Dave has designed the Capstone course of Remixing in Ableton Live and also teaches beginning and intermediate production in Logic Pro. He teaches early childhood musicality with the Prelude Foundation through the Houston Ballet’s ECE program, and is on staff at the University of Houston’s Department of Dance & Theater. He joined Hope Stone in 2015.

As a percussionist, he has performed at Wembley Stadium with Moby, played dhol at Madison Square Garden, been a featured soloist with the Chicago Sinfonietta (alongside longtime collaborator DJ Rekha), and was one of two onstage percussionists for the Broadway and national tour of AR Rahman/Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Bombay Dreams.” He is currently the percussionist for the celebrated NYC live-disco band Escort, who have been featured on Last Call with Carson Daly, headlined the Montreal Jazz Festival, and toured with CeeLo Green.

As a producer and engineer, Dave has worked with multiple artists, including the Glitch Mob, Red Baraat, Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin, NYC producer JKriv, DJ Rekha, Bombay Dub Orchestra, among others. He was part of the seminal NYC live/electronic band Sub Swara, and continues to mix records for diverse clients.