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New Generation Fine Arts Foundation

43311 Joy Road - Suite 240

Canton, MI 48187

P  734.707.0735    Info@NewGenFineArts.org F  734.707.0736    ​www. NewGenFineArts.org


Learn . Grow. Share.

The New Generation Fine Arts Foundation (NewGen) Board of Directors and Staff are comprised of individuals who have committed their lives to serving humanity by paying it forward in every possible way.

Having worked in numerous fields of endeavor in corporate America, public and private sectors, and government and community organizations, our expertise is boundless. Individually as successful entrepreneurs and now collectively as a team possessing a spirit of service, the board is prepared to make a difference.

Forever the creative and assertive group, we are resourceful, results driven, and totally embrace the essence of living to change lives and see hope in the eyes of each and every individual impacted by our efforts. 

Kendall OwensExecutive Director

As the Founder and Artistic/Technical Director of  NewGen and master faculty, Kendall is the protégé of the late Professor Robert L. Reed, tap dancer extraordinaire, instructor, director and producer of the St. Louis Tap Festival (SLTF) which was one of the most well-known and long-lasting tap festivals in the world. She studied closely under the tutelage of Professor Reed learning the artistic and administrative process of hosting the SLTF and served as Assistant Director/Captain of the Detroit Hoofers Club (DHC), their traveling tap company. DHC hosted educational programs such as tap and salsa dance master classes and community performances to increase cultural awareness and appreciation for these dance art forms. The company also performed at events such as the Livonia Spree, Secret Society of Twisted Story Tellers, Christmas Extravaganza at the Charles H. Wright Museum, SLTF, Motor City Tap Festival, Big Apple Tap Festival, and programs sponsored by the Carr Center in Detroit. She serves as an active member of our community by teaching and mentoring at local dance studios and is eager to share her gift as an instructor, performer, choreographer, and mentor with all aspiring artists. 

Jason Samuels Smith, Advisor/Project Consultant

World renowned tap master, Jason, is the Founder and Director of the LA Tap Festival. He has spent the last 15 years growing the festival to its current glory. Jason has achieved many accolades including an Emmy, American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography”, a Hoofers Award, and the Gregory Hines Humanitarian Award. He has extensive experience and knowledge pertaining to all technical, artistic, and administrative matters associated with dance and he is highly dedicated to his work as an artist, instructor and mentor. Jason has opened many doors to careers for successful, working tap dancers in today’s industry. 

​​​Karen Owens, Assistant Director 

Karen has been instrumental in bringing NewGen to fruition. She brings a wealth of corporate management experience and more specifically, she successfully fulfilled the role of Assistant and Executive Producer during the last two years of the SLTF under the direction of Professor Robert L. Reed. Karen sustained the vitality of the festival using successful financial management, marketing deployment, registration organization, and facilitation of the overall production process. Her experience as DHC manager and treasurer in addition to her work for  the SLTF makes her a tremendous  asset to both the Board  of Directors and operations. 

Billy Abshaw, Chief Content Officer

Billy has a wide breadth of corporate experience. He served as a spokesperson for a Fortune 10 company where he managed all communications for some of America's most popular brands. Prior to that, he was on assignment as a broadcast journalist at local, national and international levels. Billy's current focus is on publishing and consulting through his communications company, BA Concepts, LLC. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Communicado Magazine and his consulting work includes branding, diversity relations, web development, and mentoring aspiring young journalists. His experience will be invaluable in positioning NewGen for success as he serves on the Board of Directors.

Blake Owens, Chief Financial Officer

Blake is a Disputes and Investigation Practice Consultant. He graduated from the University of Missouri with honors as a double major in Statistics and Finance with an emphasis in Risk Management. His finance experience serves to identify the economic needs within the community and his statistical experience will ensure optimal support for specific programming and events. As a member of the Board of Directors, Blake's education and insight into financial affairs will be vital to NewGen in the areas of fundraising, grant acquisition, and government compliance as a  charitable organization. 

Marla Stoker, Publicist

Marla has an extensive background in public relations, media placement, social media, and promotions.  She currently provides PR consulting for a wide variety of clients within the performing arts, entertainment industry, and nonprofit sectors through her company Marquee Media.  Prior to starting her own firm, she spent ten years as a field publicist for major motion picture studios, giving her a long record of successfully carrying out projects for everyone from billion dollar movie studios to local businesses.   Her passion for the entertainment industry allows her profession to mirror what she loves in her personal life.

Our Team


A Collective Mind. . .One Thought. . .One Purpose

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