Board of Directors:
Nicole Carter - Executive Director
Nicole Carter is the perfect example of what Peter Benson describes as someone who has the spark of an artist. Though she did not pursue the arts professionally she has always identified herself as an artist. Raised by a musician and composer by trade, the arts were paramount to her childhood. In her early years she was an impassioned dancer and singer songwriter. She went on to study dance in college and has a degree in Performing Fine Arts. Married at a young age, Nicole has four children of her own. Three of them have a deep love for theatre and dance and have been the driving force behind the reawakening to her artistic spirit. Nicole has a love for children and enjoys nothing more than seeing them reach their potential and share their talents with the world. For this purpose and with the help of Dana Cretsinger and Audrey Gross, Nicole founded Create a Spark Foundation in 2015.
Dana Cretsinger - Creative Director
Originally from Iowa, Dana Cretsinger started dancing at three and began performing on stage professionally when she was nine years old. By the time she finished high-school she had already performed many coveted female roles for Lyric Theatre, Jewel Box, Illinois Repertory Theatre and Chopin Theatre. She studied Vocal Performance (BM) at Oklahoma City University. In 2007 she became teaching certified in Speech Level Singing (SLS Level 1) and KinderMusik. Dana's talents have taken her to Branson, Los Angeles, Chicago, Mexico, Europe and South America in various touring companies, showcases and even "The Moscow Circus". In addition to training and experience Dana owned, operated and taught piano, dance and voice at Academy of Music & Dance in Oklahoma. She is a truly talented director and mentor and is beloved by her students.
Sam Cardon - Program Advisor
Sam Cardon is an EMMY winning composer whose credits include 9 large-format films:Texas, The Big Picture, Lewis and Clark, The Legendary Journeys, Shakleton’s Antarctic Adventure, Mysteries of Egypt, Olympic Glory, Whales, Building the Dream at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California; Treasure of the Gods at Zion National Park, Utah and The Secret of San Francisco at Pier 39.
In addition, he has written or co-written such themes as National Geographic Explorer, ABC Sunday Night at the Movies, Good Morning America and provided three hours of original music for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary and recently provided music for Closing Ceremonies at the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games.