Meet Our Team

A Lasting Impact Through Mentorship

Our team helps young artists transform through access to world-class mentorship, real-world skill development and mental health support. We foster an inclusive community where historically underrepresented artists are emboldened to raise their voices through music.

Enrique Chi Founder, Artistic and Executive Director
Brandon Yangmi Program Director, Mentor
Peter Beatty Experience Architect, Mentor
Jack Summers Outreach Manager, Mentor
Erika Noguera Communications Strategist
McKenzii Webster Marketing Manager
Steve Berlin Mentor and Advisory Board Member
Addie Sartino Artist Ambassador
Juan-Carlos Chaurand Artist Ambassador
Duncan Burnett Artist Ambassador
Diego Chi Artist Ambassador

Meet the Board

Enrique Chi

Making Movies

Adam Fichman

Lifted Logic


Ryan Fields

Kansas City Southern
Service Design Specialist


John Gordon


Aisa Palomares

Actor and Writer

Celia Ruiz

Bilingual Community Outreach Specialist

Our Advisors

In 2020, we added professional advisors from across various industries to our team to help make our program the best it can be.



Ben Yonas

is a Grammy Nominated Music Producer, Engineer, Artist Manager and Assistant Professor of Music Business.

Ben empowers others to become leaders through music. He has revolutionized his craft, empowering artists in countless ways, thus earning the nickname “el maravilloso.”



Julián Zugazagoitia

Julián is the director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Julián uses the museum to allow others to discover true originals, mankind’s greatest achievements, from ancient to contemporary works of art and to feel the power of community.



Sherri Jacobs

Sherri is the founder of Heartland Art Therapy and former president of the Kansas Art Therapy Association.

Sherri is devoted to assisting people in the cathartic process of unloading their troubles.
She works with Art as Mentorship to integrate therapeutic principles into our curriculum.



Steve Berlin

Steve is a Grammy Award-winning Producer and member of Latin band Los Lobos.

Steve has pursued musical excellence for over 40 years, shaping an important part of the american musical landscape. His work in the Latin-music community has made him a legendary figure and valuable advisor to Art as Mentorship.

Gina Chavez

Gina is a Latin Grammy Award-nominated multi-ethnic, Austin native, is a queer, Catholic, internationally-acclaimed Latinx pop artist.

Gina appeared as a guest to one of the most loved RSA Live! Sessions which lit a spark and a desire to collaborate more. She joined the advisory board in January of 2021.

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff is a lawyer with over 40 years of experience, serving people and using his powers to be a staunch supporter of the Kansas City arts scene.

Over the last three years Jeff has helped Enrique visualize the structure and create the boundaries around Art as Mentorship. He brought his experience with the Owen/Cox dance group and other local arts organizations to us, which has been an instrumental part of helping us grow.

Our Partners

AMERI’KANA is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional Support Provided By 
  • Martha Lee Cain Tranby Music Enrichment Fund
  • R.A. Long Foundation
  • Tim Lyons Music Fund
  • Paul & Marilyn Lyons
  • Mike Lyon Foundation
  • Terry Basham

Helping Artists Write Their Own Success Stories

It is through the support of the community that makes it possible for us to deliver the best possible curriculum to our students. Your contribution will have a lasting impact on the lives of those we are mentoring. We thank you for your support of the next generation of creative artists.