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Carolyn Baker

Program Manager

Carolyn BakerCarolyn returns to her home in New Orleans (Louise S. McGehee School) after taking a brief break from the city of Jazz to study music and business in the birthplace of rock and roll at Rhodes College in Memphis. In her free time Carolyn pursues her hobbies of competitive tennis, choral singing, and drawing. At Young Audiences, Carolyn manages the performance roster, acts as in-house graphic designer, and works with Director of Education and Programs Jenny James to coordinate daytime teaching artist programming. In addition to these responsibilities, her favorite side projects include boosting morale in the office with a smile or, if necessary, several dozen cupcakes. 

Richard Bates

Associate Director

Richard Bates is a native New Orleanian (Franklin High School) who spent most of the 90’s homesick in grunge-less New York, Paris, and London. With Young Audiences since November of 1999, he is currently putting NYU English and French degrees to good use as Associate Director, shuffling budgets, project outlines, and special requests for maximum impact in compliance with Intergalactic Arkestral auditing requirements. His favorite part of the job is holding the paper trail at bay long enough to actually see or speak with any of our phenomenal teaching artists, all of whom have made great personal sacrifices to develop and share their inclusive, transformative gifts with children and with the community at large. Richard is also a thankful son, mischievous brother, fortunate friend, lucky husband, bewitched father, aspiring rock star (hear him with the hons), and vehement enthusiast of the serial comma.


Jon Cosper

Director of Extended Learning

Jon was born and raised in the 9th ward of New Orleans and was a graduate of Edna Karr High School. Jon joined the Young Audiences team in May of 2011 shortly after getting his degree in Business Management and Legal Studies from Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business.  As the Director of After School and Summer Programs, Jon relishes every free moment he gets. In those moments, he loves to spend time with his Boo and his Fantasy Football teams.


Jenny James

Director of Education and Programs

Jenny JamesJenny joined the Young Audiences team in January 2007 as a physical education specialist in an after-school program, but surprisingly found that her English Degree better prepared her to supervise the implementation of Young Audiences' arts-integrated literacy program, Arts for Learning Lessons.  She quickly moved into the role of Program Director.  When she is not at the office or a school, she spends her time practicing her Italian and trying to devise ways to meet Rod Stewart.


Chean Lawrence

Afterschool and Summer Program Associate

Chean LawrenceA computer geek and aspiring fiction writer, Chean lived in various states along the east coast before settling in Louisiana. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of New Orleans in 2012; in September 2013 she enthusiastically joined the Young Audiences staff. Chean maintains the student databases and assists with everyday office duties while fending off massive stacks of paper. After hours, she writes, polishes her web design skills, goes dancing, or rides her hybrid bike around the city.


Heather Nelson

Development Associate

Heather NelsonAs a native New Orleanian with a strong commitment to the city's growth, Heather joined Young Audiences with hopes to serve as an advocate of arts and cultural education and development. She earned her degree in Art History from Tulane University in 2003 and has since acquired many years of experience in nonprofit development. When Heather is not planning new fundraising strategies, she enjoys reading, traveling, studying the latest fashion styles and trends, spending time with close friends and family and relaxing at home with her cat, Alex.

Rickie Nutik

Executive Director

Rickie, a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, has been Executive Director of Young Audiences of Louisiana for 22 years.  During her tenure the organization has expanded its mission to focus on arts, education, and youth development. Prior to joining Young Audiences, she taught drama and language arts to high school students. When Rickie is not visiting schools or writing grants she can be found jogging in Audubon Park or having early morning coffee breaks with friends.

Contact Young Audiences
Phone: (504) 523-3525
Fax: (504) 523-6476

615 Baronne St. #201
New Orleans, LA 70113
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