Founder & Executive Director


DAVA CANSLER, Founder/Executive Director of Foluké Cultural Arts Center is a Kent State University graduate and former US government Computer Specialist. She received a tremendous amount of exposure to the arts: dance, visual arts, instrumental, and vocal music grades 4 thru 12. 

She mastered several musical instruments self-taught, and studied violin under the direction of the late Hyman Schandler, founder of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, and member of the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra. 

It was under Mr. Schandler’s tutelage that Ms. Cansler became a member of the All-City Orchestra, The Supplementary Educational Center Orchestra, The Mount Pleasant Orchestra, and a member of a string ensemble that won numerous awards and recognitions; all between Junior High and Senior High School. As an adult Ms. Cansler was a member of the Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble, singing and dancing in performances locally, different parts of the U.S., Paris France, Barcelona Spain, and Sydney Australia. In previous years, Ms. Cansler served as the Director of the Children’s Ministry at Lane Metropolitan CME Church, and director of the Dance Ministry that Foluké Cultural Arts evolved from. 

Ms. Cansler has received instruction in non-profit management through The Cleveland Foundation and Foundation Center, and the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI) of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She has served as Program Administrator for Cleveland School of the Arts Summer Dance Intensives (2005, 2006), and is currently a Central Promise Ambassador representing the Cleveland Ohio Central Promise Neighborhood. Under her direction Foluké Cultural Arts has become: A member of Cleveland

Neighborhood Arts (CNA), a Cleveland Foundation sponsored collaborative of neighborhood arts organizations; A Central Promise Neighborhood Partner; a member of the Central Coordinating Council for Youth Development; a member of the MYCOM (My Commitment, My Community) Strategic Planning Committee; a member of the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium; A member of The National Guild for Community Arts Education; a member of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Institute; a member of The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) and a member of the African American Artist Alliance of Cleveland. 

Ms. Cansler is also a 2016 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI) Alum, and receives ongoing
professional development from the Cuyahoga County Youth Works Institute at Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Business Management, and is a member of the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) Cohort XV. Most recently, Dava was recognized as one of seven arts education leaders nationwide to receive the 2019 National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Milestone Award for their long-standing, exceptional service to the field. The Milestone program recognizes leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting and advancing community arts education for more than 20 years.


Monique Biggers

Administrative Assistant

Monique Biggers is an abstract artist from Cleveland, Ohio and also serves as the Non-Profit Arts Administrative Assistant here at Foluke Cultural Arts. Armed with her background in sociology, she brings a unique perspective to her role, adeptly managing administrative tasks and fostering connections within the artistic community. Whether coordinating events, maintaining records, or facilitating effective communication, she ensures the smooth operation of our organization’s dedication to artistic expression.

As an artist, she’s all about exploring different mediums and loves playing with negative space and form in her work. Driven by her passion for exploring the depths of multimedia expression, Monique’s artworks reflect her profound fascination with the interplay of negative space and form. Her compositions blur the lines between reality and abstraction, encouraging viewers to delve deeper into the intricacies of the human experience.

You can explore more of Monique’s artistic creations and her professional profile through the following links:

LinkedIn: Monique’s LinkedIn Profile

Artist Website and Portfolio: Monique’s Art Portfolio

Corin B. Self

Program Manager of Arts Education and Community Outreach

Corin attended The HBCU National Treasure, Morgan State University, where he majored in Theater Arts under the direction of the late Dr. Shirley Basfield-Dunlap. At Morgan, his time was spent cultivating and honing his craft; Morgan State laid the groundwork for him to aspire to be great, which lead him to numerous productions and voice-over gigs throughout the DMV. After matriculating from college, Corin took on the role of Theatre Coordinator for the U.S. 

Dream Academy, an after-school program for the youth of Baltimore and this ultimately lead him to the role of teaching for Baltimore City Public Schools. As a result, he’s been in numerous performances across the Cleveland area. His love for Theater Arts will never die!!!

Syrmylin Cartwright

Program Manager for  Production and Performance

Our Project Manager of Performance and Production Syrmylin “Mylin” Cartwright aka  SUGABEAR is no stranger to the Cleveland Artist Scene, he holds a BFA in Theatre and has been a Stylist and Make up Artist for stage and screen for 27 yrs. Member of SAG/AFTRA, Mylin has been in Several commercials and movies. His stage credits include You can’t take it with you, Porgy and Bess, Saturated Fat, Black Nativity, Nine, Little Shop of Horrors to name a few. He has Directed and Produced Productions at Cleveland Public Theater, Playwrights Local,Tri-C and Garfield Performing Arts. 

In addition to his artistry he is a Chef and Owner of Sugabearblue Inc Catering.


Reinaldo De Jesus

Program Manager of Marketing and Communications 

Our Bilingual Marketing Lead, Reinaldo De Jesus, was born in Norwalk, CT, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and Sanlorenzo, Puerto Rico. De Jesus is a Digital Design Artist, Teaching Artist, Entrepreneur, Navy Veteran, and Activist who puts his community at the top of his list. Reinaldo is the Founder of Cultura Clothing Co., a clothing and merchandise company that provides a platform of expression for himself and other artists. He also plays a large part in the New Era Young Lords Ohio chapter. As 2nd in command, with his boots-on-the-ground approach, De Jesus works with the philanthropic, activist organization, making a difference for adults and youth in the community. After separating from the Navy, Reinaldo continues to give back in many ways as Marketing lead for Foluke Cultural Arts and staying busy in his community. Reinaldo’s passion is bringing art to the community, sharing its power, and demonstrating that it can be an agent for culture, ingenuity, and change.

Manuel Santiago

Marketing Team Member

Manny “Che” Santiago born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio is a artist and activist with a community first approach. Founder of The Young Lordz project and community outreach leader of Supportive Networking Society (SNS). He is also a part and chairman of the New Era Young Lords Ohio chapter which involves philanthropy and activism. He is the owner of Visionaries Multimedia llc and as a Photographer/videographer he continues to push the envelope with original projects such as the urban taino project, WasteLAND(graphic web series), and several other projects in the works. During the week Manny finds time the ultimate joy with working at Foluke cultural arts as a videography/photography teacher/mentor to so many amazing children and young adults. 

Syrmylin Cartwright
Culinary Arts
Health and Nutrition

Specialization:  Master Artist

Reinaldo De Jesus
Visual Arts
Graphic Arts

Specialization: Marketing

Corin B. Self
Arts Education

Specialization: Master Artist

Tasharrah Honey
Visual Arts

Jalen Brown

Dar ‘Jon Bentley

Manuel Santiago
Film & Photography

Specialization: Portraits and Short Films

Kahzar Powell
Visual Arts

Specialization: Mural  Work

Delores Barnes

Creative Movement-Dance

Djapo Cultural Arts 
Salima Smith
African Drumming