Who we are

Casa Azul of Greensboro began in 2010, with a gathering of local Latino artists, professionals, and enthusiasts working to promote Latin-American arts and culture to increase the understanding of Latinos in the area and encourage community involvement. Since that time, it has evolved into an independent 501(c)3, now housed in the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.

Casa Azul currently has a Board of Directors, an Executive Administrator on staff, an internship program in conjunction with local universities, and over 150 volunteers who assist in the execution of community programming and events. We often partner with other major non-profits in the area to avoid duplication and increase community impact.

Each year, Casa Azul organizes and participates in programming focused on building an understanding of the diverse Latino community in the Triad. We encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to learn together and engage in community dialogue. We strive to strengthen individuals and families through art-based education and cultural activities.

The City of Greensboro proudly supports our organizations by providing in-kind office space and programming infrastructure located at the Greensboro Cultural Center.

See more about Casa Azul’s Mission and History.

Board of Directors

Claudia Femenias, Co-Chair, External Affairs

Claudia Femenias is a Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at High Point University. In addition to her academic work, she is an active member of the community. Claudia was a founding member of Amistad de Guilford and volunteered at the former Latino Family Center of High Point. Originally from Chile, Claudia came to the US in 1989 and to North Carolina in 1997. She has a passion for teaching Latin American culture and history, Latin American Film and the culinary arts.

Margarita Kerkado, Co-Chair, Internal Affairs

Originally from Mexico, Margarita Kerkado has made High Point and Greensboro her home. She has been a community leader since she moved to the area, first as Programs Director at the Latino Family Center of High Point and later as Director of the Latino Family Center YWCA at High Point. Margarita is currently an admissions counselor at UNC-Greensboro, specializing with Latino students to guide and help open doors to higher education for them. Margarita was named Humanitarian of the Year in High Point for 2015. She enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.

Maria Harkins, Secretary

Maria has been an advocate for women’s rights in the community since moving to Greensboro in 1996. She has a degree in Business with Boston University and has also earned certification in computer engineering with Control Data Institute. Maria is a member of the Board of Directors for Casa Azul of Greensboro and the Latino Community Coalition of Greensboro. She loves music and the arts. Maria is of Puerto Rican Heritage.

Jodi Johnson, Treasurer

Jodi Johnson has an independent consulting business where she enjoys working with non-profits and small companies. She spent over a decade with Lincoln Financial in Sales and Marketing roles. Prior work experience includes the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) where Jodi focused on inclusion opportunities with the Latino community. Jodi’s other non-profit work includes her role as a founding member of Amistad de Guilford, volunteer roles with the PTA, a local Adopt a Highway program, and various social activism organizations. She has a Master’s in Public Affairs from UNCG and a passion for cultural anthropology, economics, home renovation, social issues, and Latin American cultures.

Mariana Rodriquez-Pardy, Art Director and Founding Member

Mariana Rodriguez-Pardy, originally from Mexico City, has been working closely with the Latino community in the Triad as a certified healthcare interpreter for the last nine years. Mariana has, on parallel, pursued a career as a studio potter and exhibiting artist. She enjoys promoting traditions from her native Mexico and instructs workshops for Day of the Dead and on a folk sculpture called “Tree of Life.” She is co-founder and artistic director for Casa Azul of Greensboro.

  

Angel Fuentes, Director of Children’s Activities

Angel Fuentes is a local painter who works in the construction industry, specializing in remodels. He has lived in Greensboro since 2002 and is originally from Mexico City where he studied hospitality and tourism. Angel’s love of and appreciation for the diversity of Latino cultures inspire him to help the local community preserve knowledge of their roots. He also believes in opening minds of all people through art and culture. Angel volunteered with Casa Azul from 2011 until 2016 when he became a member of the Board of Directors. He is an active volunteer with The Red Cross and the Parent Teacher Association. In his free time, Angel spends time with family and attends cultural events.

Teresa Wellendorf, Member

Teresa Wellendorf has built a career in Community Outreach. She has worked as a Health Educator with the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. With a love for advocacy and the arts, Teresa is also a member of the Board of Directors for Casa Azul of Greensboro and advises with Triad Stage. In her free time, Teresa enjoys music, art, and inspiring young people. Teresa is of Mexican heritage. 

Kathy Hinshaw, Legacy Member

Kathy Hinshaw, one of the founding members of Casa Azul of Greensboro, serves the Board of Directors as a Legacy Member. Kathy is widely recognized as a leader in the community. Her work with the NC Latino community began in 2000 at the Women’s Resource Center of Greater Greensboro, where she worked as a Bilingual Specialist and Peer Counselor. In 2002, she began working at the Center for New North Carolinians. She has provided a wide-variety of services to the community including interpretation, translation, and the facilitation of dialogue between various ethnic communities within the Piedmont Triad Region. Kathy has served numerous non-profit boards of directors. She has been instrumental in developing community-based programming, such as a tutoring program at Reedy Fork Elementary School, which has become a thriving community center serving the Oakwood Forest community. Kathy also helped establish the Latino Community Coalition of Guilford. Kathy is originally from Peru.

Interns

Each semester, Casa Azul hosts 1-2 Interns from local colleges and universities. Interns specialize in Events and Programming, Volunteer Program Management, and Public Relations. They gain valuable work experience and new skills. Casa Azul gains new insights and understandings and truly values the work they contribute to strengthening our community.