A global mission to help children
in need achieve their
highest potential through
scholarships in the arts
our friends and beneficiaries
From my earliest childhood memory, I was always dancing. Dance is an important part of my soul. It was the key to achieving freedom from challenging life circumstances. Time cease to exist and unlimited imagination helped me travel to a place of dreams. My body became a strong instrument of expression and self-respect. With just your own heartbeat, anyone can dance. If anyone said that I can’t achieve, it would motivate me to show that I can and I will.
My mother, Madelene is a strong woman who raised five children on her own and had the wisdom to emphasize the importance of a good education. I graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a degree in Accounting and was recruited by Deloitte, a firm providing industry leading audit, tax and advisory services. The UCLA Medical Center and Medical School were among my clients.
With my entrepreneurial spirit and creative passion, I launched my own production company Angel Heart Films in Los Angeles and worked as a film producer for over a decade. I chose to produce films that inspire and educate which were broadcast on The Discovery Channel, HBO and Showtime. My first film was the award-winning Discovery Channel documentary “Little Warriors” that focuses on children born with HIV/AIDS. Little Warriors was awarded the TV Guide Award for “Outstanding Biographical Program” and had its worldwide broadcast on World AIDS Day.
I wanted to shed light on a neglected group of children, celebrate their courage and empower their voices.
Your inner child is your most potent muse so I re-discovered my love of dance as an adult, beginning ballet training remarkably at the age of 31 and dancing on pointe after only one year! The arts and philanthropy became my lifelong purpose and passion after an encounter with a gifted young dancer who didn’t have the financial resources to pursue her education. I organized a fundraiser so that her dream could be within reach. The renowned Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva contacted me and we joined forces. I created, produced and performed in the AllyCat instructional ballet DVD with Diana, aimed at giving children who cannot afford ballet classes an opportunity to learn, promote healthy self-esteem and encourage dance as an effective way to stay fit. The AllyCat character was created as a positive superhero for children and dance. The AllyCat DVDs have been donated to The David Geffen UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital as dance therapy for children who are hospitalized to help speed up the healing process and provide a way for them to stretch their imagination in order to stay optimistic during challenging times.
It is my belief that every child has been blessed with a unique gift and without adequate support, that dream might be lost.
Now instead of producing films, I find joy in producing dreams for children. I established the Angel Shine Foundation to provide educational scholarships to gifted children in need and support arts programs worldwide. It has taken me on global mission trips to Europe, North America, Asia and South Africa to offer financial and emotional support to children who live in impoverished communities. I serve as a member of the board of directors of New York City Ballet and on the vestry of The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.
In addition to my family and friends who helped make my own dream a reality, I would like to especially thank Alexandria Altman and Vicki Leeds Tananbaum, ASF’s amazing board members and my husband, Dr. Thomas Widmann, a cardiologist who has taken great care of my heart.