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Founders
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Jeremiah Enna
Founder, Executive Director

Jeremiah Enna is a native of Kansas City, growing up performing with around the country with a bunch of friends in a little group called Crackerjack Theatre.  He moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 to work with youth organizations teaching healthy communication and goal setting skills.  He was fortunate to receive the Young Leader's Award by then mayor, Tom Bradley.  Mr. Enna went on to graduate from UCLA in Theater, receiving the Carol Burnett Award for his work in Musical Theatre.  Upon graduation he moved to Sweden as a company member of Eternia Dans Teater both as a dance soloist and an occasional composer.  His composition for "Offer" inspired by the painting by Marc Chagall, White Crucifixion, was sponsored by the Swedish National Board of Culture and lauded by the French Institute.  He was fortunate to travel extensively with the other artists of Eternia as well as benefit greatly from the community of artists from Kreativ Mission, Laxa, Sweden.  

Eternia's production, We Want To Live!, was invited to tour Israel by the Israeli Ambassador to Sweden, Moshe Yegar.  Jeremiah traveled to Israel representing Eternia to plan the tour.  The tour never materialized, but he did meet his wife, Mona Storling.  

He moved to Kansas City in 1995 with his wife, Mona to start The Culture House.  The Culture House is a dual division, multi-disciplinary arts organization inspired by the ever revealing discovery of how God has made the world, our place in it and how the arts are a gift that we may steward and thrive. 

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Mona Störling-Enna
Founder, Artistic Director Störling Dance Theater

Mona grew up in Kokkola, Finland a few hours from the Arctic Circle.  Daughter to a painter and an accountant, Mona grew up painting and walking in the woods catching glimpses of the Northern Lights.  She began her ballet training at the Ostrobothnian ballet academy, subsidizing her training in Helsinki and Paris, France during the summers at the Paris Opera.  Her pastor, Johan Candelin challenged her to 'dance for God' when she was a young teenager and thus began a journey of exploring the connection between her gift in dance and relationship to God.  

She moved to Helsinki at 19 and started her first company, Kadosh together with her friends Titta Tunkkari and Yara Kupper.  They danced throughout Europe and received the Blue Ribbon for Young Choreographers in Helsinki already in their first year.  

After meeting Jeremiah in Jerusalem, Israel, Mona moved to Sweden and joined Eternia Dans Teater.  During their years performing together they crafted the idea that eventually became The Culture House.  

Mrs. Storling-Enna is the Artistic Director for Storling Dance Theater where she has created such noteworthy productions as The Prodigal Daughter, Butterfly, Suspended Grace and the acclaimed Underground (choreographed together with Tobin James).  Underground has become an annual tradition in Kansas City, premiering in 2008.  Mona was asked to move the production to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts during its inaugural year where it has found its home and become a part of the beautiful tapestry of the arts in Kansas City.  

Conservatory Directors

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Lana Gage

Director, School of Theatre

Lana has been involved at TCH since 2005 and working as the Conservatory of Theatre Director since 2012. Lana’s love for theatre began in her youth choir years and has been growing progressively ever since. She is passionate about seeing students grow as not only performers, but more importantly as whole people with integrity and care. Healthy people make healthy artists! Lana invests her time at TCH developing the acting curriculum and building the theatre program with a focus on personal and professional growth. She also teaches, directs, and choreographs many of the Conservatory and summer theatre productions at TCH and in the community. 

Directors
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Courtney Kierl-Bourman

Director, School of Dance

Ms. Bourman has been an instructor of ballet at the Culture House Conservatory of the Arts since 2005 and was named Director of the School of Dance in 2010.  As a dance educator, Ms. Bourman has been privileged to be on the faculty of the Storling Conservatory of Dance, Kansas School of Classical Ballet, American Academy for Dance and the Kindred Arts, the School of Ballet Omaha, Kansas City Ballet School and American Dance Center working under her mentors Kathy and Dennis Landsman.  

Ms. Bourman’s dance training began in Kansas City at the age of two.  She later was a scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School where she trained under influential master teachers Larisa Sklyanskaya, Irina Jacobson, Jonathan Watts, Henry Berg, and Jocelyn Vollmar.  She went on to a professional career with Ballet Omaha, Kansas City Ballet, and was a premiere soloist with the Tulsa Ballet.  She had the privilege to dance leading roles in classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Nutcracker, Paquita and Cinderella as well as attaining an extensive principal repertoire with the ballets of George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Anthony Tudor, Todd Bolender, Arthur Mitchell, John Butler, Leonide Massine, Frederic Franklin, and Lew Christensen among others. Ms. Bourman was a featured performer with Storling Dance Theater for seven years during which time multiple leading roles were created on her by director Mona Enna.    

Ms. Bourman has set her own original ballets on schools and companies across the country. Her pieces have been presented at Regional Dance America Festivals in the Pacific and Midwest regions; most being chosen for gala evenings.  She has been the recipient of four awards for choreography including the Monticello Foundation Award for Outstanding Female Emerging Choreographer in 2000.  She was awarded the Choreographic Recognition Plan Award for the Mid-States Region in 2002 and 2009 in addition to receiving the same award at RDA’s National Festival in 2007. 

Passing along the beauty, discipline, and traditions of classical dance to a new generation of artists brings Ms. Bourman great joy.  She cherishes the time spent working with the young people at the Culture House, watching them become inspired by dance, growing in their craft, and seeing the arts change their lives.

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Brandon Graves

Director, School of Music

I have been teaching at The Culture House since 2004. I joined on a few months before our current building opened. Initially, I was only teaching drums but for the last several years I have been directing the music school and the recording studio. I have been teaching professionally for over 30 years and have built my experience on professional performance, private study and collegiate instruction. I focus on all areas of drum set performance as well as high level marching percussion and concert percussion.  I am deeply passionate about teaching. I have always loved sharing my craft with others whether it be hallway conversations or 30 minute practice sessions, my passion for drumming and music knows no bounds. I love sharing music with kids and also learning what they are listening to. I am also an artist by nature and I enjoy spending time in the recording studio creating new music or working with other artists to bring their art to life. 

Administrative Staff

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Tonya Franken

Director, Customer Care

Tonya joined TCH Staff in 2005 but began as a Storling Patron in 1998 and an enrolled family in 2001. She and her husband, Bruce, have 3 adult children that have all studied under the TCH faculty for a combined enrollment of 31 years. This blended experience as supporter, patron and parent through the transformative years of TCH’s growth has developed her unique administrative skill set for Director of Customer Care & Conservatory Administrator.

 

Tonya has her BS in Management Information Systems from Iowa State University. Though software development and a sports background built zero performing arts skills, it did foster an understanding and empathy for parents that find themselves in this creative, ever evolving arts world for the first time. Art has no assigned language and can therefore speak to every member of our community. It is our priority to teach future generations the importance of excellence, enjoyment and responsibility in their area of study. As a Christian, she sees every individual as a creation by their Maker with the potential to make a positive difference through the development of the gifts they’ve been blessed with. It’s a privilege to have a tiny role in that journey.

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April Tabuchi

Accountant & Administrator

April Tabuchi has worked at The Culture House in the Finance Department since April of 2016. April graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting in March of 2022. In addition, April has a broad and diverse work experience history—from family business to ministry, retail, food, and other office related and bookkeeping roles.

 

Storling Dance Theater was April's initial inspiration to be part of TCH, having trained under some of Störling's top professional company members when she first moved from Texas to the Kansas City area around 2007.

 

April is grateful to be a part of the TCH story with the hope that her contribution can be a part of pointing the TCH community to the hope we have in Christ. 

Kevin Doyle

Project Coordinator

Kevin has been on staff at The Culture House for one year, but his kids have been in dance classes here and participating in theatre productions for almost twelve years so he truly feels a part of the Conservatory family. His focus is on tracking essential projects, managing data, and helping our staff stay updated and productive.

 

Kevin graduated from Kansas State in ’99 with a dual degree in Marketing and Management of Information Systems, then gained 12+ years of experience in customer service and tech support at several Kansas City businesses.

 

In his work at TCH, he is inspired by creativity and is determined to help all young people—and adults—learn to express themselves artistically in whatever capacity feels right for them. God is our original creator and to continue His work, with such a great team, is truly a daily blessing!

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Matt Richardson

Graphics & Media Coordinator, Music Director

Matt has been working at TCH since the Summer of 2016 and he joined the staff in January of 2021. His roles have changed over the years, but he currently serves as the Graphics and Media Coordinator, Sound Engineer and Technician, and also resident Music Director of the School of Theatre. He also operates his private voice studio of 90 students out of The Culture House. He earned Education and Master's degrees from Northwest Missouri State University in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Since graduating he has studied voice and pedagogy with Dr. Rebecca Sherburn and Dr. Robert Mance. He wears many hats at TCH and his main motiviation for working at TCH is that he believes wholeheartedly in its mission, wanting to do everything in his power to make the organization the strongest, kindest, best represented, highest achieving version of itself.  TCH is family.

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Mark Zemelman

Director of Facilities

Mark has degrees in science and business and does not sing, dance, act or draw.  However he has been involved at TCH since 2005 and in his current role about 7+ years.

 

Mark has decades of experience in corporate and government management and project management and enjoys bringing facility/logistics perspective to his TCH activities.  He got involved with The Culture House  when one of his (now adult) daughters started taking classes and performing in TCH productions with Mark volunteering with sets, security and whatever else was needed.  Mark oversees The Culture House facilities and security, provides assistance to Storling Dance Theater for their performances as well as assisting students, parents and teachers during the year and before and during performances.  He does what he does so everyone else is able to do what they do and enjoys it all greatly.

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Ginger Zemelman

TCH Stage & Studio Manager

I have been a TCH Mom/Alumni Mom since 2005, including making costumes for many shows

over the years and performing in several of the dance shows and summer theatre shows. I have been the manager at TCH Stage & Studio since it opened in December 2017.

My areas of focus are in customer service, events, hospitality, and spreading information to the public!

I love my work every day, representing The Culture House to the general public at Oak Park Mall and introducing them to the ways TCH might add value to their lives through arts education and performances. I also get to share the TCH Experience with my husband, Mark, who is the Director of Facilities and who helps with many behind-the-scenes-activities.

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Kevin Cloud

Director of New Works

Kevin has worked at The Culture House for four years, as the Director of New Works. Kevin’s focus is to bring new stories and new projects to the stage at The Culture House. Kevin is a lifetime musician and songwriter, and has a music degree from the University of Kansas. Kevin and his wife Allison have written three new musicals, including Roar, a family musical about dancing bears trapped in an evil circus that won Best of Fringe Kansas City in 2022. They also wrote The Nashville Chronicles, a one-woman show about writing songs in Nashville, and Vilna: A Resistance Story, which shares the untold story of the heroic Jewish resistance movement in the Vilna Ghetto. Kevin believes in the transformative power of story, and loves being around the creative energy that happens throughout The Culture House.

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Will Gurley

Artistic Director, Balladeer Theatre Company

Will Gurley is a former Culture House student and started working at TCH in 2023. Will is the artistic director of the Balladeer Theatre Company, the professional theatre division of Culture House. He also directs and produces the exciting new play The Brightest It’s Ever Been by local playwright Kayli Slayden. He is a student at MidAmerica Nazarene University, where he studies theatre. Will is passionate about good art with good messages and hopes to influence culture with art.

Störling Conservatory

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Kathleen Schuler

Director, Störling Conservatory of Dance

Kathleen Schuler, Director of Störling Conservatory, is a Kansas City native and has been involved with The Culture House for 20 years. Kathleen was a student the very first year of Störling’s Artist Development Program (ADP) then continued her dance education at Belhaven University graduating with a BFA in dance, then spent 2 seasons dancing as a company member in Störling Dance Theater. In 2012 Kathleen became director of ADP, eventually transitioning it to a college degree program and establishing Störling Conservatory in 2020. Kathleen is a dreamer and loves to travel, she had opportunity to perform and teach in Paris, France with Youth With A Mission for many summers which led to assisting in production of the first Project Dance Paris in 2016, a dream come true. Kathleen continues to dream big dreams for the future of Störling Conservatory, and is honored to lead and work with incredible faculty, staff, and students. 

Conservatory

Shannon Benton

Director of Communications, Störling Conservatory of Dance

Shannon Benton joined The Culture House staff in August 2020. She works as the Director of Communications for Störling Conservatory of Dance and serves on the marketing team for Störling Dance Theater. Benton also teaches as adjunct faculty for Störling Conservatory and dances with Störling Dance Theater. 

 

Benton graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in communications: advertising and public relations and minors in theatre and business.

 

Additionally, she works for Unite KC, a grassroots nonprofit working toward racial healing in Kansas City. 

 

Benton is passionate about helping to equip the next generation to bring their gifts and talents to the world. She is grateful to work with an incredibly talented team at an organization that values people, excellence, integrity and community, and she appreciates the opportunity to continue pursuing her own craft.

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Laura Morton

Associate Professor, Division Head, Störling Conservatory of Dance

Laura Morton’s background includes extensive training in classical ballet, jazz, and modern
from prestigious dance educators such as Anne and Nicholas Polajenko, ABT’s Alexander Minz, and at Ballet West with director Bruce Marks and Toni Lander. Her professional credits include Milwaukee Ballet, Delia Stewart Dance Company, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Ad Deum Dance Company.

 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Science in Applied Exercise Physiology, and a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. She has taught nationally and internationally. Her teaching credentials include serving on the faculties of Summer Arts Session (Ravensburg, Germany), Pacific Northwest School of Ballet (Seattle, WA), Evergreen City Ballet (Auburn, WA), Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, and Ad Deum Dance Company (Houston, TX). Laura served for 18 years as an Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Ballet Division at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS.
 

In the summer of 2022, Laura relocated to Olathe, KS to join the dance faculty as an Associate
Professor of Dance and Division Head of the Performance Concentration for Störling
Conservatory of Dance and as a ballet instructor at The Culture House. She is thrilled to share
the valuable information gained from mentors, teaching experience, and continuing education in her discipline, as well as inspire love for dancing in all her students.

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