Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer
David C. Hemann
Global Education Coordinator
Playing saxophone alongside Aretha Franklin, Laura felt the power of rhythm and voice to ignite the common humanity of thousands of strangers as they danced and sang together. Playing alongside preschoolers tapping drums and dancing while singing Five Little Pumpkins, she experienced that same power of music and movement to ignite joy and engagement, and create authentic community. Laura believes that every child deserves to be a part of that power and is on a mission to bring high-quality music and dance to all children.
Laura built her career performing and teaching. As a professional saxophonist she toured, recorded and/or played with Aretha Franklin, Tom Hanks, Roberta Flack, the Temptations, The Four Tops, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Jerry Lewis, The Cleveland Orchestra, and many other groups. As a studio vocalist she’s worked with LA based songwriters and producers mike busbee, Amy Powers and The Transcenders. She’s also worked as a session musician and horn arranger for film and TV.
Laura’s passion for education developed at Cleveland State University where she majored in saxophone performance and studied music therapy. She received her Masters in saxophone performance and literature at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Laura is an advocate for the philosophy of Orff Schulwerk and is certified in Orff Schulwerk Levels I, II, and III. She is also a member of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. Fulfilling a dream to start her own school, Laura is the Co-Founder and Director of the Bloom School of Music and Dance (BSMD), serving over 6,000 families to date. Laura’s talent for recruiting and training early childhood teachers, and her commitment to diversity and inclusion, has made BSMD the most reviewed and recommended music and dance school in northeast Los Angeles.
As an artist and educator, Laura has seen the significant benefits a high-quality music and dance program can have for children. After the Covid-19 pandemic began, the funding for arts education programs decreased and funding was already in decline. This was a call to action for Laura. After researching different options she decided she could reach the most students and have the greatest impact by creating a non-profit. Leveraging her experience as an educator for over three decades, and the community relationships built by BSMD, she began the Foundation and started serving children immediately.
Laura enjoys spending her free time with her husband and identical twin boys. You can catch them racing around the skate park, playing music in the garage or trying out a new recipe together.
Chief Operating Officer
Radhika is driven by impact. She believes that ordinary people can have an outsized impact in the world if they put together the right team. And that’s exactly what’s happening at the Bloom Arts Foundation. Radhika’s dream team of artists and educators have come together to disrupt the education system and give children the high-quality arts education they deserve. So far the Foundation has impacted the lives of over 2,000 students in Los Angeles and is moving towards tripling that number soon.
Radhika is passionate about law and education. She first became aware of the significant disparities in the public education system while volunteering with community development organizations as an undergraduate student at the University of Rochester. To make more of an impact for underserved, marginalized communities Radhika went to law school and graduated cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Licensed as an attorney in New York and California, Radhika has advocated on behalf of victims of domestic violence, tenants in affordable housing disputes and student victims of teacher misconduct. She has also advised non-profit organizations and served on their Boards as Director, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Radhika always returns to the field of education because that’s where she sees the most impact. Better and earlier childhood education improves people’s lives through adulthood. Learning about the well documented benefits of a high-quality arts program inspired Radhika to co-found the Bloom Arts Foundation. It almost feels too good to be true that something as joyful as arts education can lead to improvement in test scores, verbal skills, reading ability, social emotional learning, cognitive skills, empathy, team-building, critical thinking, school attendance, public speaking, concentration, confidence, motivation, and executive functioning. Impact!
In her free time, Radhika is often found curled up with her dog reading a mystery novel, having an impromptu dance party or biking around town with her family.
David C. Hemann
Dave found his passion in life when he quit violin (sorry Mom) and picked up his first guitar. He quickly joined a friend’s basement band and spent every possible moment picking, strumming, and rocking out. Dave was extremely focused on becoming a professional musician and took his playing to the next level at University of North Texas, where he graduated with a B.M. in Jazz Studies. Dave went on to make his living as a freelance professional guitarist. In Los Angeles he became a sought after studio and touring musician playing for popular TV (Gossip Girl) and film and working with The Transcenders (Blackish, Mixed-ish, Madame Secretary, Harry’s Law).
Inspired to create the next generation of musicians, Dave has taught guitar and bass for over 25 years to students ages 7 to 70. He is a gifted mentor who has a unique ability to break down complex musical concepts into easy to understand ideas. Dave co-founded the Bloom School of Music and Dance (BSMD) in northeast Los Angeles, serving over 6,000 families to date. BSMD is the most reviewed and recommended music and dance school in northeast Los Angeles. Soon after starting Bloom, he co-founded the SaaS company LessonMate.org, a communication tool for music teachers and a modern solution to the missed music lesson.
Having had the privilege of growing up with music in school as a child, Dave credits his early experiences with music education with his career success and greatest joys in life. Dave believes that music and movement education should be a part of every child’s life, not just those who can afford it. He is honored to be a part of the Foundation and looks forward to enriching the lives of as many children as possible.
When not hiking or playing in a garage band with his wife and identical twin boys, Dave can be found recording and making music with the band, LowCoast.
Gail is an educator first and foremost. As the founding kindergarten teacher at a progressive independent school in Los Angeles, her 35 years of experience in education, administration, curriculum development, and arts integration is an incredible asset to the Bloom Arts Foundation.
Her experience as a volunteer in an elementary classroom while studying at Reed College confirmed her belief that conventional schooling is not always in the best interest of children. Fueled by educational thinkers such as John Holt, George Dennison, and Jonathan Kozol, the search for an alternative led her to Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Here she studied progressive education and met early pillars in the development of anti-bias curriculum. Gail then embarked on a pivotal year teaching in a tri-lingual (English, Spanish, and ASL) after-school program in Echo Park, that was specifically designed to support students attending local public schools, with equity and inclusion at the forefront.
A year and a half later, while at her desk in the finance department of PRO-Peace, the sponsoring organization for the Great Peace March (for Global Nuclear Disarmament,) she received the phone call that changed her life. A new school, informed by a progressive philosophy, needed a kindergarten teacher. That fall, the school opened with one kindergarten classroom of 11 families in a glorified rummage sale storage room at a church.
Not long after the school’s inception, it became clear that the school’s governance did not reflect the philosophy and practice in the classroom. Gail was on the committee that began an examination and re-imagining of the school’s structure — one that was inclusive, non-hierarchical, and had multiple points of entry; and viewed parents, teachers, and administrators as partners.
Over the years she has been entrusted with carrying the torch of those founding principles in multiple roles: as a writer & speaker, as co-curriculum coordinator, as a Board trustee and co-chair of the long-range planning committee, and as a member of admissions, multi-age, accreditation, and Head search committees. Gail now brings this mix of classroom & administrative experience, and enthusiasm for program development, to her leadership of The Bloom Arts Foundation.
Darlene Fountaine is an executive life coach with more than 20 years’ experience working with individuals and organizations to provide solutions that will set up future generations for success. An advocate and change agent in the Diversity and Inclusion arena, she has worked with thousands of people to help revolutionize agendas.
Lovingly known as the ‘go-to person’ by her friends and colleagues, Darlene is committed to helping people shift their mindsets. Her coaching journey has been informed by her work in consulting, volunteer work, and through being an independent school administrator and board member. As a senior school administrator, she helped to strategically position the campus for growth and financial stability, while helping it become a noted leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her title of admission director, she oversaw an entire admissions staff and interviewed more than 1,000 parents and their children. Recurring themes emerged from these interviews, which she distilled into common threads of concern, anxiety, and hope.
In addition to coaching, Darlene has a robust volunteer agenda. She sits on three education related nonprofit boards and mentors undergraduate business students. Darlene brings to Bloom Arts Foundation many years of experience in business, education, and diversity and inclusion. Her passion for children, her interest in equity and access, and her understanding of the benefits of the arts for children fuels her work with Bloom Arts Foundation.
Originally from the Detroit area, Darlene earned a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Darlene is an ICF Associate Certified Coach. She is also certified in Teams and Relationships, Diversity and Inclusion, Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Business Sustainability. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.