Cultivating Better Tomorrows is a Woman, Black, and LGBT owned business with a passion for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the performing arts community. With over 20 years of experience, our team has combined their wealth
of knowledge to produce authentic and innovative programming for students, educators, administrators, and professionals. Our creative learning model provides a welcoming place for self-reflection and knowledge building, and has been impactful for a variety of organizations.
To advance positive change in learning and working environments.
Learning and working environments become places where everyone can thrive.
Erica Lynette Edwards (she/her) Founder and Lead Facilitator
Erica is an accomplished consultant and public speaker who champions change to advance social justice. With diversity, equity, and inclusion as the core foundation of her work, she transforms visions into reality. After a rewarding 15-year career as a ballerina at The Joffrey Ballet and five years as the Director of Community Engagement, she founded Cultivating Better Tomorrows. Through this consulting company Erica reshapes the dynamics of performing arts communities to produce environments where all can thrive. Highly skilled in delivering consistent success and effective change, she is passionate about facilitating results driven conversations and workshops focused on reflection and knowledge building. Her visionary leadership has earned her many honors and opportunities, including speaking on national panels, giving a TEDx talk, and being selected as a member of Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40.” By developing shared understandings, Erica inspires communities to make the world a more just place.
Mauro Villanueva (he/him)
Director of Marketing and Client Relations
Mauro had a 13 year performance career with the Joffrey Ballet. Upon retiring, he transitioned into arts education and has been teaching, choreographing and directing since. While working in arts education, Mauro updated policies and practices to further student wellness and have a student centered classroom. Mauro understands that a positive experience can have a lasting impact on both students and professionals and works towards providing the necessary resources for those positive experiences.
Kenny Borchard (he/him)
Director of Operations
Kenny is an alumni of Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of Arizona. As an educator, Mr. Borchard has taught for dance institutions across the country. In addition to teaching full-time he also assisted in the development of curriculums and policies at several educational organizations. He is currently the Director of Joffrey Texas, a seasonal dance intensive in San Antonio, Texas. There were parts of Kenny’s early dance training that were harmful, and he understands that his teachers didn't have the knowledge to do better work in the classroom. This has led to providing resources for other educators to create welcoming spaces for their students.
"Cultivating Better Tomorrows is rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work that our whole country needs to be engaging with and implementing right now. The history presented and facilitated conversations are poignant, informative, thoughtful, and insightful. All organizations need to make Cultivating Better Tomorrows and high quality diversity training part of their mandatory professional learning." Michael M.
"If you want to create change in both yourself and the community around you, this is a safe space to do so." Priyana A.
"This experience was the first of many steps I can take to ensure that the systemic injustices faced in our society become less prevalent, less degrading, and empower all members of our community, no matter the identity constructs seen or unseen." Carrie F.
"I was very impressed with the participant agreement...'Be comfortable being uncomfortable'. It had a huge impact in setting up the session's conversation. Definitions and discussions open the platform to listen, think, and decide if it's important to share your personal experiences." David M.
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