Our Team

Meet our Staff

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Laura Bishop
Executive Director
laura@the418project.org

Laura fell in love with The 418 Project through Dance Church. First as a volunteer, then a board member, now on staff, Laura leads our large community and our programming, creating an environment where people can feel empowered, creative, and appreciated. At The 418 Project, she discovered the immense value of acceptance and is committed to providing a space where as many people as possible can discover and express more of who they are.
Laura holds an MBA in International Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BS from Cornell University.
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Megan McGuire
Financial Operations
Coordinator

finance@the418project.org

Having an accessible safe place for her community to be authentic, grow and gather is important to Megan. She appreciates that she can bring backstage enthusiasm and proactivity to The 418 Project. Megan’s past work experience was in affordable housing where she managed large communities, such as The Artspace Tannery Campus but changed to finance with ideals to support in a more personal way to individuals and organizations, such as The 418 Project.

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Thais Hogarth
Community Development Coordinator

community@the418project.org

More info coming soon!

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Claudia Aguilar
Diversity Specialist/Intern

Claudia born in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her born place is known for host La Guelagetza, a multicultural expression that involves dance, music, flavour, colour and more. She likes to learn about dances around the world and enjoy the same looking a professional ballet dance on stage as well a street performance on the subway, or a senior couple slow dancing. She recently fell in love with The 418 project, looking forward to a long term relationship.

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Abby Pistoni
Web Designer

Having spent her formative years in the zany circus arts world and her high school and college careers immersed in performing arts, Abby has always had a soft spot for the arts and their community spaces. With a BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a deep love for performing, Abby has been eagerly applying her skills and education into the The 418 Project's mission in fostering community and creating spaces for personal/artistic growth. You can also see Abby co-hosting the Contact Impov Jam on Tuesday nights and emphatically soaring through the air with her movement friends!

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Dougli
Facilities Manager

A native of Pennsylvania, Dougli came to Santa Cruz in 1980 and found his Home. When not sweeping up Galactic dust at The 418 Project (since November 2005), he crafts a Life out of reading, playing music, enjoying Nature and pursuing Mastery at Tai Chi and Qigong.

Meet our Board

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Gabrielle Adelman
President

Gabrielle Adelman, President of the Four-Eighteen Project, had an idea at one time that she might be a pilot, like her grandfather, or in the movie biz, like her Papa, or even a businesswoman, like her great-great grandfather, but didn’t quite think she’d be able to be all three. Fortunately, having no previous experience in any of these endeavors, she didn’t know that middle-aged women who had a lot of joy and love for flying, movies, and making an organization run weren’t supposed to do these things, and did them anyway.

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Mark Schneider
Secretary

Mark Schneider has lived in Santa Cruz since 1993. Soon after arriving, he stumbled upon an African dance class at The 418 Project. He kept stumbling, but kept dancing, and over the years traveled to Africa twice for drum and dance workshops and participated in a number of local dance performances. When he's not dancing, he works as an executive recruiter, focused on recruiting finance executives worldwide. He also is passionate about empathy and communication practices, and has facilitated workshops in Non-Violent Communication (NVC) locally and at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He joined The 418 Project’s Board of Directors in 2010, and serves as Secretary and lead Chocolate Truffle Maker, and says he is grateful to give back to a place that has enriched his life beyond measure.

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Beatriz Ehrenfried
Treasurer

Beatriz grew up in Brazil in a musical family, where dance was also very much part of life. She took dance lessons for years, but it was Ecstatic Dance, a free-form dance practice, that brought her to The 418 Project. She is grateful to The 418 and its strong Ecstatic Dance community for having re-discovered the joy of dancing through the many embodied movement practices that it offers. Beatriz has a degree in Economics from the University of Sao Paulo and holds a position in Finance at a high tech company.

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Stan Grindstaff
Board President Emeritus

Stan Grindstaff is in his ninth year as Performance Coach for What Is Erotic?  With an MFA in Theatre (specializing in Directing) from UC Riverside, he brings valuable experience as a former staff member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. He was a cofounder and one of the principal actors of the Murrieta Repertory Theatre. As The 418 Project Board President Emeritus, Stan is proud of how What Is Erotic? creates original presentations, developing skill levels in people from novice through experienced artists, inspiring confident performances for a professional caliber show.

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Gregory Speed
Board Member

Gregory M. Speed Sr...
Born and raised in North Carolina.
Is a poet and spoken word artist.
A former U.S. Army soldier,
And a current staff member at
The University of California at Santa Cruz A proud grandfather of grandaughters
Miss Marlo and newly born Miss Melody.
Also being a great hugger and soft-spoken
Greg enjoys riding his bike and creating art
Writing poetry/performing in virtual events.

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Timothy Duncan
Board Member

Timothy Duncan is a composer, performer, writer, educator and visual artist. His projects have received a number of awards and grants as well as performances around the country. In 2019, his vocal ensemble voix (nouvelle) premiered a new program of works at The 418 Project. He joined the Board of Directors of The 418 Project in 2018, inspired by the unique contribution that The 418 makes to the Santa Cruz community through its inclusiveness and bold programming.
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Beverly Shen-sung Molina
Board Member

As a firefighter, writer, active community member, mentor, and embodied movement ambassador, Beverly believes strongly in serving and inspiring people in her local community and beyond. From a young age dancing with abandon felt like truth, freedom, and her wild natural state. When she found free form dance at The 418 Project, Beverly felt like she was coming home. Beverly brings multifaceted experiences from all her endeavors to inspire people to follow their dreams and to celebrate their authentic self-expression. Whether she is speaking to the community, teaching students, interacting with people on the emergency scene or on the dance floor, Beverly is grateful for all moments in which to create meaningful connection.