Karen Emerson, Artistic Director
Karen is a visual artist with a long history of social activism and an astute artistic eye. She studied at the Ontario College of Art, the Toronto School of Art and Ryerson University, and spent many years prior to joining Children’s Peace Theatre creating workshops for children and youth and using the arts to raise awareness and understanding of issues of peace and social justice. Karen has a strong connection to the community of Crescent Town and believes deeply that art can change the world one person, one community at a time.
Lucia Ly, General Manager
Lucia is a graduate of the Arts Management program at the University of Toronto and has worked in both the public and not-for-profit arts and cultural sectors. An avid traveller, Lucia feels most at ease while completely lost in a different culture and learning about the world around her. She has worked with children and youth, both locally and abroad, and is always amazed by their infinite creativity and imagination. Lucia’s greatest inspiration comes from her family, refugees who came to Canada and through much hard work, courage and perseverance, have given her a life full of possibilities.
Alixa Mukonambi, Assistant Manager
Alixa (also known as Alix) is a lifelong student of nature, a storyteller, and an apprentice drummer. She immigrated here from Kenya, studied at the University of Toronto and spent her formative years advocating human rights issues, including a decade of queer/trans/gender policies rights advocacy, art-for-social-change education, as well as organizing and working with youth. Alixa is focused on peace-building & transformative justice work within Tdot and East Afrika, and passionate about harvesting diverse forms of art in reclaiming indigenous Afrikan technologies and sharing stories. She’s infinitely grateful not only to be living in this neighbourhood but to be sharing more resources in growing learning villages through the platform of creativity, compassion & courage at the Children’s Peace Theatre.
Elvis Aidoo, Program Coordinator
Elvis has always been an advocate for social justice. As a young boy growing up in what would now be classified a priority neighbourhood, he realized that marginalized communities needed structure and change. With a B.A in Political Science, he has organized various community-based programs which encourage youth to be more than society makes them out to be. V.O.I.C.E (Viable Options Involving alternate Choices for Effective rehabilitation) was an initiative which bridged the gap between service providers and at-risk youth. This roundtable panel discussion gave the youth participants the voice needed to stand up for what they believed in. This was a highly successful program which has generated various duplicate programs. Today, Elvis continues to work with youth, and remains keen on his desire for youth advocacy and development.
Lida Alirezaei, Artist Coordinator
Lida is an accomplished arts professional working in visual arts and theatre both in Canada and in her native Iran. She spent many years in Iran as a stage manager and assistant director as well as working as a public relations and international affairs manager for the Iranian Artists Forum. Lida has been involved in social and political documentary filmmaking as a translator and production manager and has directed her own documentary about art and Iran. In Canada, she has participated in two group painting exhibitions and currently manages one artist in Toronto. Her work at Children’s Peace Theatre integrates perfectly with her diverse experiences and interests. Last year Lida worked as a Program Coordinator at CPT. In this position she was able to initiate several small projects to give arts opportunities to a number of diverse artists and refugees hoping to work in the arts milieu in Canada.