I really enjoyed this episode with Shiela! It was like story time for me hearing her recount all her experiences. Shiela Scott-Wilkinson is the Founder, Executive Director and Artistic Director of Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First (TOHYF), where she oversees day-to-day operations.
Prior to her work with Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First, Scott-Wilkinson studied and worked in Europe, where she became an acclaimed actress of the stage and screen. Scott-Wilkinson completed training at the Frankfurt Conservatory of Music in Frankfurt, Germany, and the London Drama Center, England. While in Europe, Scott-Wilkinson starred in numerous stage productions at the famed National Theater of London, such as David Hare’s Map Of The World. Scott-Wilkinson also starred in a number of productions in theatres throughout England, such as London’s Royal Court Theater, the Welsh National Theater, the Liverpool Playhouse, the Theater Royal in Windsor, and many theatres throughout the West End of London. Scott-Wilkinson starred in Peter Nichols’ The National Health, a feature film shot for Columbia Pictures. She starred in three television series: Diamond Crack Diamond (London Weekend Company), Special Branch, and Marked Personal (Thames T.V.). She received the Best Actress award by the Jamaican International Film Festival in 1977 for her role in Pressure, the first black feature film shot in England for the British Film Institute. She received two DramaLogue Critics Awards for her work as an actress in The Book Of The Crazy and Jack Jackson’s Piano Bar, performed at the Skylight Theater, Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Cultural Center. Scott-Wilkinson is regarded as one of the major talents of British and American theater, and her work is mentioned in Michael Billing’s The Modern Actor and Katherine Worth’s Revolutions In The Modern English Drama and At The Royal Court: 25 Years Of The English Stage Company.
Highly concerned with social issues, Scott-Wilkinson was actively involved in fundraising for the Royal National Institute for the Blind between projects in England. Later, after returning to the United States and settling in Los Angeles, Scott-Wilkinson’s professional interests turned to the community, particularly regarding youth arts education. She served as a Program Coordinator for Artsreach from 1987-1998 where she taught, designed, developed, and implemented arts programming for Arts-in-Correction and for incarcerated youth at Nelles School for Boys. In response to the severe civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, she established the Youth First Artist-In-Residence Program to prevent and intervene in youth-on-youth violence. In 1995, for her innovative city- and county-wide program design, Scott-Wilkinson received a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles, and a State of California Resolution. In 1997 she was awarded a Fellowship by the Eureka Foundation. Scott-Wilkinson was a three-year recipient of a California Arts Council Artist-in-Residence individual grant to teach theater at the William Grant Still’s Arts Center for youth ages 9-16. Scott-Wilkinson participates on the initial Steering Committee for Arts for All, the Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education with the Los Angeles County Office of Education Community Arts Team. Most recently, Scott Wilkinson was invited to participate in the Los Angeles Arts Commission Arts Leadership Initiative, the Executive Learning Group. She continues to pursue her passion for Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First, which has served over 93,000 youth to date and is one of the most successful youth arts education organizations in Los Angeles.
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