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Committed to the Cause

Since our founding in 2018, Spectrum Collaborative has developed and grown to a large team of talented artists. We’re very proud of the diversity of our staff, and their abilities to share their own unique artistic experience with the youth who join our program. All of the Spectrum Collaborative team has been given extensive LGBTQ+ diversity training to effectively support the youth involved in our program. Find out more about some of our team members below.

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Executive Program Director, Simi Valley Cultural Association

Jan is an artistic director of Actor’s Repertory Theatre of Simi, and has been the executive program director and developer for the Simi Valley Cultural Association since 1992. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with such a remarkable and giving group of artist who share her passion in creating programs for those whose voices need to be heard.



Co-Founder - Program Director

Sarah earned her BA degree in anthropology and LGBTQ Studies at UCLA. She is passionate about supporting queer youth and being an active agent of change in a political climate that is unsafe for LGBTQ people. Sarah handles operations at Spectrum Collaborative and manages the mentor team. Outside of her work at spectrum she works full time at a non-profit suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth. She is honored to be a part of Spectrum.

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Youth Mentor

Cindy is an illustrator and graphic designer based in southern California. They love hiking, oil painting, reading and being a part of Spectrum Collaborative. She is grateful to be able to support the queer youth and local art community.



Youth Mentor

McColley Wilk is a transgender actor, writer & musician based in Simi Valley, CA. Growing up, their love of theatre was fostered at Northwest Children’s Theater, Simi Arts Conservatory, and Santa Susana High School. They went on to study acting, directing and playwriting at Moorpark College. In 2014, McColley co-founded Figure 8 Troupe, a grassroots theatre collective where they co-wrote and performed in several shows, including a residency at The Arena. (X) (X) McColley had the fortune of becoming a mentor with the first session of Spectrum Arts Collaborative and has loved participating in every project the mentees have generated. They strongly believe in the power of the arts to build confidence, foster community, and broaden minds. As someone who identifies as non-binary, they rarely felt represented in media or among adults in their community, and feels motivated to be a positive role model for young people exploring their own identities. 




Youth Mentor

Turner is a musician, podcaster, and writer. He is currently hosting The Redemption Arc, a podcast attempting to find the good in terrible movies. He lives with his partner Cindy Lanuza and couldn’t be happier.


Youth Mentor

Amanda is an animator, illustrator, character designer, and comic artist based in the greater Los Angeles area. With a BA in Cinema & Animation and honors in Comic Making, she is passionate about creating media with positive and accurate representation of LGBTQIA+ people. She was a long-time student and teacher at The Animation Academy run by the famous Charles Zembillas in Burbank, CA.

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Youth Mentor

Joshua Stapel is honored to be a mentor for Spectrum Arts Collaborative. He has been working in costume and makeup design since 2014 at Moorpark College, CSU Channel Islands, Ventura College, and most recently with Unity Theatre Collective.


Youth Mentor

Nikki is someone who finds film, writing, and photography to be the most creative outles of time. Growing up in Simi Valley, CA as a first generation Persian-American, having some sort of expression through art was extremely important. Nikki's passion for film was ignited through the film program at Santa Susana High School. In 2014, she won best director for a film she had written and directed for her school's filmstock while acting as the secretary of the club. Since then she has continued to work on personal film projects and runs her own Youtube channel. 



Youth Mentor

Forrest Holt is a Designer & Visual Artist based in Los Feliz, CA. As a child, their love for the arts was fostered at Santa Susana High School and the California State Summer School for the Arts at CalArts. They then went on to start their career in graphic design in 2014. In 2014, Forrest was also a featured installation artist for Gibson's Guitartown at the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Since then they have had the fortune to work as a multifaceted designer for several companies. They joined spectrum in Fall 2020 and have enjoyed every moment of it. Forrest believes in the healing power of art and coming together as a community to provide a safe space for freedom and expression.


Youth Liaison

Kalista has been involved with the performing arts from a very young age. Though she does enjoy acting and dance, she mainly focuses on singing and songwriting, and uses music as a creative outlet.

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Co-Founder and Development Support

Kris has been involved with organizations such as Tie the Knot, Thread Experiment, AIDS Life Cycle, and HRC. Kris has been involved in theater and arts since the 1990s. She believes it is essential for us humans and Americans to treat others with kindness, understanding, and caring.

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