our board

Ridvan Foxhall | Founder and Executive Director

Guided by the belief in the principle of the Oneness of Humanity, Ridvan Foxhall is committed to promoting in young people the conviction that they can be the voice of positive change in the world. To this end, for over two decades, she has committed her time, energy and resources to creating and developing creative and educational programs for children with an emphasis on developing their moral capabilities alongside their intellectual and artistic talent.

In 2006, she founded the Peekskill Chapter of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) a non-profit organization dedicated to building character on stage. CTC sees theatre as a tool to inspire both participants and audiences by producing shows that address some of the social challenges in our community in order to educate both and stimulate conversation and a call to action. In 2013, New Era Creative Space came into being, in response to the growing need for educational programs that were both creative and provided children the opportunity to develop leadership skills as well. Ridvan’s vision for NECS for the organization to become a hub for creative initiatives, community engagement and to inspire the next generation of mindful and innovative thinkers. 

Ridvan Foxhall holds a Masters degree in occupational therapy and is a certified Positive Discipline parenting educator. Originally from Nigeria, she currently resides in Peekskill with her husband and two children who are a constant source of inspiration. She enjoys reading, dancing, playing tennis and hiking. 

Leslie Fields Cruz | Board Member/Secretary

Searching for an opportunity to share her love of theater with her children, Leslie Fields-Cruz joined the staff of CTC in 2009 with her own kids in tow. Since then, every fall season Leslie eagerly looks forward to creating the magic that is theater with the CTC community. Leslie served as the Artistic Director of City Lights Youth Theater in NYC from 1998-2000, and spent several years prior to that as an actor performing on stages in New York and Los Angeles. When she is not playmaking at CTC, Leslie spends her time funding and distributing documentary films that explore the cultures of African Americans and people of the African Diaspora. She is the Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and produces the PBS series AfroPOP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. Leslie lives in Cortlandt Manor with her musician husband Gerry Cruz, and their three daughters, Maya, Sumara, and Cierra.

Karen Foxhall | President/Treasurer

Karen Foxhall-Schneider is a Certified Management Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from SUNY New Paltz and an MBA in Finance and Information Systems from Pace University. She has been employed by GE Capital for more than 10 years and currently works on SEC Reporting for GE. Her professional experience includes accounting for Manufacturing, Sales & Distribution, Industrial and Financial Services. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.